Flushing Meadows, NY – Andy Murray is in a unique situation.
The 2013 US Open will be the first time we goes into a slam as defending champion. And as such, some things are different.
“A few more media things, a couple extra sponsor things,” Murray said to the media on Arthur Ashe Kids Day. “Days have just been a little bit longer, so it’s been very important to make sure I, you know, manage my time well and conserve my energy as much as I can away from the court.
“Looks like I’m going to play my first match on Wednesday, so it will be close to two weeks. You know, before I play my first match normally I’d go out and do some things, but because I have been busy I’ve tried to just keep pretty low key and spent a lot of time in the hotel room unfortunately.”
The normally reserved Murray comes into Flushing as the No. 3 seed behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. He seems to be content with the seeding, even though he is coming off the win at Wimbledon. At the same time there is a certain serenity in his voice.
He is having a good time.
At the same time, Murray loves coming back here.
“Last year, you know, I wasn’t in a rush to get out of here, but, you know, it was ‑‑ I obviously left the following day,” he said. “I was so relieved that night that, you know, maybe didn’t have the chance to maybe enjoy it maybe as much as Wimbledon or the Olympics, for example.
“There was so much relief last year that I wasn’t necessarily enjoying it as much as I should have. So when I came back and practiced on the Arthur Ashe court, you know, the memories came back, and that was nice.”
However, there is still pressure. But unlike 2012 when he was the Scot who couldn’t get over the top, Murray is now a champion, no matter what happens.
“I think there is less pressure,” he said. “I think before the first match ‑ and probably anything before the first match there will be nerves there ‑ I expect to be pretty nervous because it’s a new experience and it’s different.
“But I think once the tournament gets going, I don’t think it changes. I don’t think it changes too much. There was a lot of pressure on me for a lot of years to win a Grand Slam, and then same sort of thing at Wimbledon. I wouldn’t imagine it would be the same here.”
The pressure is off and that is certainly different.