BRITAIN’S Andy Murray has admitted giving deliberately bland interviews, in comments that vindicate Latvian Ernests Gulbis’s stinging attack on the “boring” stars who dominate men’s tennis.
Gulbis this week bemoaned the anodyne proclamations of Murray and the rest of the top four – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – calling them “lacking in character” and “boring”.
And Murray, in comments made before Gulbis spoke out but only published yesterday, conceded that he hid his true personality from the public for fear of becoming embroiled in controversy.
“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,” the Scot said.
“But, 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.”
Murray, 26, was scarred by widespread criticism and hostility that still endures after he joked, in 2006 when aged 19, that he wanted England to lose at football because he was Scottish.
Federer, meanwhile, responded to Gulbis by admitting some of his interviews “were not the most exciting”, but the Swiss star defended his nice-guy image.
“That’s not just our fault, that’s the machine. After each match, we have to give press conferences,” said the seven-time Wimbledon winner.
“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.”