MUNICH, April 26, 2015
On Sunday morning, Andy Murray’s private jet touched the ground at Munich’s airport on time. The Scot had a quick check-in at the official player’s hotel and then went to the venue of the MTTC Iphitos in order to speak to the media ahead of his debut at the BMW Open by FWU AG.
“I just arrived. I haven’t spent much time here in Munich but I will have a few days before the tournament starts to look around a bit and maybe watch the football match with Bayern Munich on Tuesday night. I came once when I was much younger for a few days. I really liked the city. Very clean city. It seems to be a nice club here and I was surprised to see so many fans here on a Sunday before the main draw starts,” the world number three described his first impressions of the venue.
That Murray is interested in football became clear again when he was asked about his most favourite famous Bavarian things if he had to choose between beer, BMW or Bayern Munich. “I do not really drink much, so it’s more about the football for me.”
The British number one seemed to be relaxed and well rested. “I played a lot of matches in Indian Wells and Miami. After that, there were quite a few long weeks with Davis Cup. I basically took nine days off, no training or anything. Then I had my wedding and I went over to Barcelona for a few days. It went really well, had some good practice with a lot of good guys. Physically I feel very good comparing to the last years when I came to the clay I had some problems with my back. That’s a positive for me.”
Murray, who claimed 28 ATP World Tour titles as well as two Grand Slams is still waiting for his first victory on clay. “One of the challenges is not to let affect the surface your game. Clay is still different due to the sliding and the different movements you have to make. In terms of game style, I try to stay as what it is on the other surfaces.”
“Conditions can be quite heavy here. Obviously the weather is very nice today but it can be quite cold, too. I asked a lot of players, who played here and they told me that you do not notice it too much. Next week in Madrid will be the same with the altitude, so obviously it is pretty good to play on this high level before the Masters event and I still have a couple of days to get used to it,” the 27-year-old described the differences between practice on sea-level in Barcelona and playing here in Munich about 500 metres above.
“I know him fairly well as a person because I played him when I was 18 or 19 years old. I played against him in doubles a few times. We have been on the tour for quite a few years together. As a coach I don’t know him so well because we only spent a few days together in Barcelona last week. He is a very calm guy as a good way about him. His mentality on the court was extremely good. Obviously he has a lot of experience in singles and doubles, which is good. We will see this week how it goes,” Murray told about his new partnership with Jonas Björkman, who has joined the Brit’s coaching team. The 42-year-old Swede is a former world number four, who retired in 2008. He will assist French Fed Cup captain Amelie Mauresmo, who works with Murray 25 weeks a year but announced that she is expecting her first baby in August.
“Firstly, I had my wedding and I didn’t play in Monte Carlo. I haven’t played here before and I always enjoy coming to new places. I have only ever played the Masters Series and Barcelona a few times on the clay. I have never played one of the 250 events in my whole career. I thought, it would be a good opportunity for me to play some matches on the clay and hopefully I will have a good run here in Munich. I will try to win a clay court event. A lot of times I have done well on the clay, I lost to Rafa and to Novak,” Murray explained his choice playing a smaller tournament on the dirt. He will step into action on Thursday facing the winner of the match between Jan-Lennard Struff and a qualifier.
The second round of the qualifying continued on Sunday as well with the top-seeds prevailing to the final stage. Dustin Brown beat fellow German Stephan Hoiss winning 7-6,6-4 in one hour and 16 minutes and will take on another compatriot in person of Nils Langer for a spot in the main draw.
Second seed Norbert Gombos cruised past Roberto Affonso in only 48 minutes losing only one service game for a 6-1, 6-2 victory. The 24-year-old Slovakian will face Mischa Zverev in the final round.
Former world number 8 Radek Stepanek also advanced to the final qualifying round beating Daniel Brands 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 in two hours and 12 minutes. The 36-year-old Czech will face Austrian Bastian Trinker on Monday.
Main draw will also start tomorrow without defending champion Martin Klizan, though. The Slovakian was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to injury at his right wrist.