BRISBANE — Andy Murray has succeeded in reaching the semi-finals of the Brisbane International but the U.S Open champion has fallen short in a pledge to curb his habit of swearing on court.
Moreover, he has toned down the promise itself.
Last month, the Briton said he wanted to clean up his act after repeated warnings for unsavoury language, but audible obscenities have been uttered in his opening matches in Brisbane against Australia’s John Millman and Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin.
Spectators at Pat Rafter Arena have clearly heard Murray barking the occasional swear word, something the world number three has done throughout his career to let off steam when dissatisfied with his own performance.
Murray defeated Istomin 6-4 7-6 on Friday to book a semi-final against Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who trumped Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov by an identical scoreline.
The other semi-final on Saturday will feature Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov against Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis.
Dimitrov beat Austria’s Jurgen Melzer 6-3 6-2 after Baghdatis had taken out France’s Gilles Simon 6-3 6-4.
“Obviously, me saying ‘shit’ or whatever is bad and wrong, and it’s something I want to try to stop doing,” Murray was quoted as saying last month.
However, he declined to make the same promise ahead of his clash against Nishikori.
“I don’t really know how that will go, to be honest,” Murray said.
“A lot of times I get asked after matches about it. It can get picked up on the microphone or whatever. No-one has mentioned anything to me (in Brisbane) yet but the microphones at the Aussie Open are all around the court, so we’ll see.”
Murray denied his attempt to tone down his language was because he felt more of a role model after winning the Olympics and U.S Open in a breakthrough 2012.
He claimed worse levels of swearing from other players went undetected because it was not delivered in English.
“Where it (the pledge to stop swearing) came from was when I got asked a question,” he said.
“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.”
NOTEBOOK: Victoria Azarenka’s Australian Open preparations were complicated on Friday when “a bad pedicure experience” forced the world number one to withdraw from her Brisbane International semi-final against Serena Williams. Thirty minutes before the match against her American opponent, the defending Australian Open champion announced she would be unable to compete after undergoing a minor procedure to fix an ingrown nail that infected her right big toe. “It’s been there for about 10 days,” the 23-year-old Belarussian told reporters. “It’s just been getting worse a little bit,” she added. “I don’t know in medical terms, but I had to get a piece (of nail) out of my toe because it was jamming into me and got infected. “It’s something that’s very just really unfortunate, but I had to do that. It was just jamming underneath into the skin. I was trying to minimise the pain with taping and everything. “Yesterday it got worse. It got really infected and got really red, so we had to go and see the doctor. He had to open it. That’s what I had to do.” Azarenka had won her first two matches at Brisbane without any signs of discomfort but the eagerly-anticipated showdown against the third-ranked Williams failed to materialise.“It just got infected from a bad pedicure experience,” she said. “I had somebody who gave me infection. They cut a little bit too much and it got infected. And then from as much as we do, as much exercise, it’s just been jamming into it and it’s created an infection inside. Created a little piece of nail to go in and always be hurting me. Actually the doctor said it happens a lot. Never happened to me, so it’s something that I am definitely going to prevent for the next time.”