Murray's Favourites: Kyrgios, Medvedev, Monfils And...
Two-time Western & Southern Open champion Andy Murray battled past former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4 on Monday evening to reach the second round in Cincinnati. The former World No. 1 said that the feeling of winning such a match never gets old.
“No, [it does] not really. It’s something I’ve missed,” Murray said. “Obviously great to be back here playing again and playing at that level was really nice. I was really happy with it.”
After the match, Murray spoke to ATPTour.com about players he enjoys watching, who he feels could reach World No. 1, Novak Djokovic’s chase for a seventh year-end No. 1 finish in the FedEx ATP Rankings and more.
Who are the most entertaining players you enjoy watching?
I like watching [Corentin] Moutet. I like watching [Gael] Monfils. I like watching [Nick] Kyrgios when he’s into it. When he’s not into it, I don’t enjoy that at all. But when he’s into it, I really enjoy watching him.
Some of the youngsters now, the young, young ones, are really fun to watch. I like watching [Daniil] Medvedev as well. I think he’s a very interesting player who has got lots of variety and has an awkward-looking game. But he’s very intelligent on the court and that’s what I like to see. I like people who are thinking out there.
Who is a young player emerging who people aren't paying attention to who you think has a great game?
Good question. Of the young guys? It’s a difficult one off the top of my head. A lot of the young, young ones like [Lorenzo] Musetti, I like to watch him but he’s not got much experience on the hard courts.
I think [Stefanos] Tsitsipas for example, he had a great result like at the French Open and I think he’s really good for the game. I feel like he’s got a lot of charisma on the court and an entertaining game to watch. It’s difficult to pick one that’s underrated. Tennis is going to be in a good place in four or five years. I think the next generation of players coming through are really good.
You’re the last player to reach World No. 1 for the first time. If I had to make you pick a current player who will reach No. 1, who would you pick and why?
Of the current ones Medvedev would be the guy I would expect to get there first. I think maybe he will need to be a little bit more consistent on the clay to get there, but I think he’s got a good chance. From the young, young ones, I think [Carlos] Alcaraz is really, really good. I think he’s got a good chance at it. I would probably say Alcaraz if I had to pick one from the young guys.
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People might not realise the pressure the young stars face with so many people talking about them, so much attention. What would your advice be to them?
I know it’s difficult, but when I reflect a little bit on my own career, I wish I had enjoyed the good moments more. Tennis sometimes because of the way the schedule is, you go from one tournament to the next and you don’t often have the opportunity to enjoy great results. If you win in Canada, you’re on a flight that night to come here and if you win the tournament here, you’re straight to New York to start preparing for that event.
I just kind of wish that in those moments that I’d taken a bit of a step back and taken a few days to enjoy the wins more. So much hard work goes into them and it’s what you always dreamed of. But once you’re in it, you’re just always onto the next week. I regret that a little bit.
You finished year-end No. 1 in 2016 and know how incredibly difficult that was. If Novak Djokovic finishes No. 1 this year it will be his seventh time. How would you explain just how big of an achievement that would be?
What all those guys have been doing has been amazing. To finish No. 1 also not playing loads of events as well I think is really impressive. There’s not much you can say about what those guys have done. It’s incredible. They’ve totally dominated the sport. Their drive and love for the game is obviously unbelievably high and mentally I think is the hardest part.
Winning one tournament is difficult. It’s for sure hard to do that. But for me to get to No. 1, I had to win the last five or six tournaments in a row on top of all the events that came before that. To do it for a whole season is extremely difficult.
[For Novak] to do that seven times to get to No. 1 [is impressive], but if you look at his other years they’re not too shabby either. There are a lot of No. 2 and No. 3 finishes and winning Slams and winning lots of events in those years as well, so it’s impressive.