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Beyond the Baseline

Murray never promised to stop cursing

Andy Murray Andy Murray has reached the semifinals of the Brisbane International. (Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Reports that Andy Murray promised he would stop swearing on court have been greatly exaggerated.

British newspapers reported in December that Murray had sworn off his bad habit of audibly swearing during his matches. Well if you've been watching his matches in Brisbane this week, you know he hasn't exactly kept up with the commitment. He was asked about it after booking his spot in the semifinals with a straight-set win over Denis Istomin, and Murray said he never promised anything.

"I was doing an interview over the phone. I got asked about swearing on the court. I said 'obviously I don't mean to do it. I don't want to do it. Sometimes you get frustrated and you do and obviously I will try to stop.'

"I didn't make any promises or guarantees that I was going to.

"Then it came out that I've said this year I will stop swearing. What I also said was that a lot of players swear on the court and a lot of people say a lot worse things than me - in other languages. It doesn't get picked up the same.

"So where I would obviously love to stop doing it, I try not to. But I can't guarantee it."

So there you go. If Murray's creative cursing bothers you, then earplugs might be a good investment. And Murray's right. The non-English-speaking players can get away with saying whatever they want, which seems to be an unfair double standard.

As for Murray's actual on-court performance this week, it's been a mixed bag. While he's won his two matches in Brisbane, where he tries defend his 2012 title, he's struggled to find consistency and rhythm. He needed three sets to dispatch Australian qualifier John Millman (ranked No. 199) 6-1, 5-7, 6-3, and he was still tight against Istomin, eventually winning 7-6, 6-4. Murray says it's an issue of intensity, not rust.

“Rather than being rusty it’s just getting the intensity back,” he said. “When you’re practicing it’s hard [to] replicate match situations. You don’t have those nerves on the break points or 30‑All points or the end of sets.  You don’t have that in practice, and they’re the things that take a while to get back into the rhythm of playing But “rusty” wouldn’t be the word I would use to describe it normally."
Murray plays Kei Nishikori in the semifinals Saturday.
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