Sounds like Andy Murray wasn’t too impressed with Roger Federer’s recent attempt to play down his Asian run. And while Federer attempted to backtrack on his second day of media, Murray simply brought his own claws out and (for once in his life) went on the offensive.
“Winning three tournaments in a row is difficult - not many players have done that,” said Murray. “In Tokyo, I beat Rafa and David Ferrer, who is No 5 in the world. Who is there and who isn’t there is really irrelevant.
“You can only beat who is in front of you, but with the depth of men’s tennis you can’t expect to just turn up and win.’
“I always try, if I can, to be positive about all the other players,” Murray said, luxuriating on a Union Jack sofa. “Roger is one of the best players ever to play and I’m glad I’ve had the chance to play against him.” Did he think Federer feared him, then? Running around his backhand, Murray set himself for a forehand winner down the line.
And then the low blow:
“I don’t know if I am getting under Roger’s skin, but maybe I am [...] He’s entitled to say whatever he wants. I hope I get the chance to play against him this week and I can let the tennis do the talking.”
Maybe I’m just imagining it, but is that a touch of mind games I detect?! Sure, it’s hardly worthy of McEnroe and Connors or whatever, but it’s still something.
However, funny as his last comments were, I can’t help but feel that Murray is giving himself a little too much credit there. I mean, I’m sure Rafa’s triple slam-winning 2010 year most certainly ‘got under Roger’s skin’ while Novak’s incredible 2011 has likely had the Swiss sporadically tearing out large clumps of his hair all year. But Murray and his three tournament wins? Well..
But I digress, if they do end up facing each other this week then maybe this handbags will give both just that little bit more motivation to go for the victory. May the best man win.