I'm dull as ditchwater to avoid media scandals, says Andy Murray
World No 2 Andy Murray admits his media appearances are rarely thrilling affairs, but he says his dour demeanour is a deliberate tactic to avoid creating unwanted headlines.
The Scot is renowned for his gruff responses to journalists' questions, but he says he learnt his lesson after making unguarded comments to the press earlier in his career.
In an interview published in British magazine GQ, he said: "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. But, to be honest, 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's admission chimes with an accusation from Latvia's Ernests Gulbis that the big four of men's tennis - Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - are "boring".
In French sports daily L'Equipe prior to the Latvian's second-round loss to Gael Monfils at the French Open on Wednesday, the 24-year-old Gulbis complained: "Modern tennis is sorely lacking in character.
"I respect Roger, Rafa, Novak and Murray, but, for me, all four players are boring. Their interviews are boring. Honestly, they are boring."
Gulbis said Federer was the worst culprit.
"I often go on YouTube to watch interviews. I quickly stopped watching tennis interviews. It's a joke," said the Latvian player.
"It was Federer who started this trend. He has a superb image as a perfect Swiss gentleman. I repeat that, I respect Federer, but I don't like the way that young players try to imitate him."
Federer admitted that he was rarely a source of sensational stories, but he blamed it on the high number of media commitments that the players on the men's tour are obliged to honour.
"I understand it - our interviews are not always the most exciting. But that's not just our fault, that's the machine. After each match, we have to give press conferences," he told the Swiss press.
"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."
Speaking in Paris, Djokovic said it was crucial to be respectful of the game and that it was impossible to be controversial or colourful in every media news conference.
"We have certain rules that you have to respect. I think the top players are very respectful towards the sport, and people who are appreciating and following the sport and to each other," said the world No1 after reaching the third round of the French Open.
"There is not much time that you have free to think. Okay, I can do something else or whatever, but you can always be creative. Of course, one can always attract some good attention and fun, fun stuff."