RAKUTEN OPEN 2012
Murray Bros Q&A: Sushi, Dogs & Golf
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Brothers Andy Murray and Jamie Murray triumphed last year at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships to win their second ATP World Tour 500 level tournament together and are back in Tokyo to defend their title.
The Dunblane, Scotland natives will begin their quest to retain the trophy against Eric Butorac and Jarkko Nieminen. RakutenOpen.com caught up with each of them on Wednesday, discussing sushi and the Ryder Cup among other topics.
This is the first time you guys are bidding to successfully defend a title. How does it feel to be back in Tokyo as the reigning champions?
Jamie: I haven’t thought about it like that to be honest. But it’s nice to be able to come back to try and defend. We had a great time last year, won some good matches and played really well. It’s always nice to win a tournament, isn’t it? So we’ll try and do the same thing again.
You’re quite the sushi connoisseur, Andy. If you had to pick your top three items to order at a sushi restaurant in Tokyo, what would they be?
Andy: Spicy tuna. Then I always have shrimp tempura. And depending on the restaurant, black cod would be the other one.
Is sushi one of your favourite foods too Jamie? If so, is that one of the main attractions in coming to this event so you can get the ‘good stuff’?
Jamie: I like sushi. All Japanese food is good with me. Last year we went to a couple nice restaurants. This year, we haven’t so far. I had Korean barbeque last night which was good, but I reckon if we have time to visit some nice sushi restaurants, we’ll do so because we don’t get to that often.
Andy, your border terriers, Maggie May and Rusty, seem to be jack of all trades. They pose for photos as if they were models, are in terrific shape and Maggie has taken the Twittersphere by storm. What do you enjoy most about being an animal owner?
Andy: I think for a relationship, it’s nice to have something to do together when you come home. We both had dogs growing up. For me, I love when I do go home, to spend time with them. It’s not the same as having a kid, as there’s obviously a lot less maintenance. But I still love going back to be with them. I think they make me and my girlfriend very happy.
Being an avid golfer, I imagine you followed the Ryder Cup closely this past weekend, Jamie? Were you able to find a way to watch it over here? And would you consider Europe overturning a four-point deficit on the final day to be the best comeback in sports this year?
Jamie: I didn’t see one ball hit live because of the time difference. I watched highlights in the morning on YouTube and was reading up on it. It seemed like they didn’t have much of a chance going into the last day, but I think what Ian Poulter did on Saturday, to hang tough and keep the decifit at four points was huge for them. I think they probably all thought Saturday night, let’s go and do it. They talked about the States doing it in 1999 in Brookline. For Europe to do it was pretty incredible really.
If the players on the ATP World Tour were to form their own version of the Ryder Cup, who would win, ATP Europe or ATP Americas? Which players would be shoe-ins to participate and which golf course would you host the competition at?
Andy: Mardy Fish is great at golf. He plays a lot. Tim Henman too. He’s not playing now but he’s an unbelievable golfer… he could be the captain. This is a very good question. There are a lot of good golfers. I’m not one of them unfortunately. Jamie is a very good golfer. He plays off about four. Fish is off two or three. Henman plays off scratch. And Ivan [Lendl] off +2. I don’t know who would win but it would be worth watching. I would have it where they are playing the next Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. I live 15 minutes from there so it would be perfect for me.