Winning Olympic gold is at least comparable to winning a grand slam in tennis
“In sporting terms, I would say that winning an Olympic gold is bigger than winning a grand slam because everybody knows what an Olympic gold is. Everybody understands that. Everyone on the street knows about that, anywhere you go. Whereas a grand slam – I think most people know what it is but I don’t think everybody does. The Olympics is bigger than tennis, bigger than the slams for sure. It’s a huge, huge competition, the biggest sporting competition in the world. It’s just different.
“There’s no way of adding up. Within tennis I would say that when you finishing playing, people would probably look at a grand slam before an Olympic gold, but in sporting terms an Olympic gold is pretty much the ultimate achievement.”
He thinks he can win the French Open
“Last year gave me a lot of confidence and I still feel like I could have played better. It was a really important tournament for me last year, not just because I got to the semis there for the first time but because how the tournament went. I should have beaten Djokovic in Rome and I played good matches with Rafa in Monte Carlo and at the French Open.
“Providing I have improved and that over the next five, six weeks I keep doing that and working hard then there’s no reason why I can’t give it a good shot. I wouldn’t say I’m the favourite going in; Djokovic, Roger and Rafa have got much better results than me on clay but I think I can win against them.”
If he gets to No 1, it won’t matter if he has won a grand slam or not
“Caroline Wozniacki got to No 1 without winning a slam and for me she deserved to be No 1. If you play all the tournaments, every tournament should have a relevance. You shouldn’t just be able to turn up and not play. If you have to have won a major to be No 1, if that’s how everyone’s going to view it, then that’s fine with me (too). I’m happy to sign up for that, because that’s my goal. I want to win majors and get to No 1.
“But I would be a bit annoyed to get there and to have to answer questions like that all the time. Because it’s a bit like: ‘Well, what do you want me to do?’ If all of the points were given for grand slams nobody would bother playing in the other events. At all of the slams everyone is turning up now and whoever does the best at those tournaments over the course of the year becomes No 1. It’s as simple as that.”
New coach Ivan Lendl is full of surprises
“He’s a lot more open-minded than I expected. Most ex-players who I have spoken to , and there have been a lot, could be quite stubborn about what you should be doing and how you should be playing. He’s been trying to find out how I have been thinking. He’s been speaking to the guys I work with about how it was to work with me. He has lots of ideas, if they don’t work he will move onto the next thing. That’s what he was like when he played. He tried different things, always wanted to learn. I thought he would have been more set in his ways in terms of what I needed to do.”
Murray didn’t play competitively on grass until he was about 14 or 15
“I guess it’s a misconception because people think that because you grew up in the UK you practised on grass when you were growing up. I never played on grass, ever. I always played on hard courts. I played on grass when I was 14 or 15 really for the first time, playing points and competitions and stuff. I played on artificial grass when I was growing up, which is a terrible surface to play on. I just like grass because it’s different, very different to the rest of the tour. And I can move well on it quite quickly, whereas on the clay it takes me a good few weeks before I feel like I’m moving properly.”
Murray will be playing at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club this June.