Andy Murray says dull interviews needed to avoid media fall-out
Andy Murray says dreary interviews are deliberate with players wary of the fall-out from controversy.
Last Updated: 31/05/13 11:42am
Latvian Ernests Gulbis blasted the world's top four players on Wednesday ahead of his French Open defeat by Gael Monfils, claiming they were boring and that they had a duty to provide more interesting press conferences.
The World No 40 said: "I often go on YouTube to watch interviews but with tennis, I quickly stop. It is a joke. They are no good. I have no interest in appearing nice. On the court, it is a war. Off court, no problem.
"I would like interviews to be more like in boxing. OK, maybe those guys are not the most brilliant on earth but, when they face each other down at the weigh-in, they bring what the fans want: war, blood, emotion."
Murray, who pulled out of Roland Garros because of a back injury, admitted that not discussing anything too controversial to reporters was a deliberate tactic.
The Scottish world No2 told GQ magazine: "As an athlete, all I do is try my best to be as good as I can be as a tennis player. Whether people like you or not should be irrelevant.
"But, to be honest, over the years I have found it difficult to open up and be a bundle of laughs in press conferences or interviews. I always try to give honest answers, but they are fairly boring so I don't have to deal with the aftermath of any scandals.
"I would say that I am different from what a lot of people think I am like. What would bother me is if the people around me started telling me that I had begun changing, being an idiot, or something. That's when you take it seriously.
"You don't get to see what people are really like from in front of the TV. It is very easy to be false and fake in front of the camera. But to tell jokes and be fun all the time, that's not actually very hard to do. If you are going to be truthful and tell things like they are, that is much harder."
Gulbis singled out Roger Federer for influencing other players, saying: "It was Federer who started this trend. He has a superb image as a perfect Swiss gentleman. I repeat that, I respect Federer, but I don't like the way that young players try to imitate him."
Federer echoed Murray's thoughts, but also believes the number of interviews the top players have to give inevitably makes them less interesting.
The Swiss 17-time grand slam winner added: "I understand it, our interviews are not always the most exciting. But that's not just our fault, that's the machine. After each match, we have to give press conferences.
"But also you cannot say anything you do not like about something to someone without being totally criticised by many people. Therefore, everyone is very careful. On the other hand, I also think it's nice that we treat each other with respect."
Ernests Gulbis was one of Sky Sports' outside picks for the French Open.