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May 30, 2015

Andy Murray


A. MURRAY/N. Kyrgios
6-4, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. I think the first point of the final game almost caught you laughing on court. How easy is it to concentrate when a guy is coming up with outrageous winners or antics as he was during the match today?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I have watched a lot of his matches, so obviously I know what his personality is like. You know, he does have a game style and a personality on the court that, you know, lends itself to playing big matches on big courts. You know, sometimes you don't feel like you're able to control what's happening out there because, you know, he's hitting huge shots and, you know, sometimes playing shots that no one else tries. So you're not expecting it, either. So it's obviously tricky to feel comfortable on the court and feel like you're in a rhythm. That's why, you know, why he's had so many good results, because he takes you out of your comfort zone a bit.

Q. Looking at your condition right now, was it the absolutely right decision to pull out of Rome?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, at the time it certainly felt like it was. I mean, I was extremely tired. I obviously wanted to try to compete as best I could that week. But the more time I spent in the event, you know, I kind of realized I felt very tired the evening that I played the match against Chardy, woke up the next day feeling pretty tired. I had a bad practice before my match with Goffin. And, you know, it was like maybe I'm able to get through a couple more matches, but I'm going to have to then take more time off and the French Open starts on Sunday. It was a tough decision, but at the time it felt like the right one.

Q. During his service games he always -- not every point, but he often takes under 10 seconds, he gets up to the line and ready to serve. How do you deal with that? You're supposed to play to his pace. Sometimes it felt like you didn't even have enough time to towel and walk to the other side. How do you balance playing to his pace with feeling comfortable?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't mind it that much. I mean, when he's serving, I'm fine to try to play at his pace. I mean, sometimes you ask for a towel and the ball kids have to throw the ball and then get a towel to you. It's fine. I mean, it's up to him how quickly he wants to play on his service games. I think obviously today he wasn't serving as big as usual, so wasn't getting as many free points. So therefore, maybe for him could be better to slow down a little bit in that case. But normally, I mean, he serves huge. He gets a lot of free points with his serves. You know, he isn't playing loads of long rallies, so he's able to play at that pace.

Q. If you play a guy with so much firepower, how effective is the dropshots in changing rhythm? Is it almost impossible to play without a dropshot now on clay?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think you can play on clay without a dropshot. It's a tactic that guys use. When the courts are as slow as they are here, the dropshot can work well. It's very difficult to, you know, get the ball past a lot of the guys these days, because everyone moves so well that, you know, using the dropshot can win you some free points. But, yeah, I mean, today it was something I tried to use. I used it quite a lot at the beginning of the match. And, you know, a few times it worked, few times it didn't. What it does do is it also makes your opponent play a bit closer to the baseline because they are anticipating it. But, yeah, it's a tactic that works, and, you know, so long as you pick at the right times and hit it in the right spots, because sometimes, you know -- I don't want to really go into it, because it's a bit maybe a bit dull, but there are a few sort of places where the dropshot works extremely well off certain shots and there are others where it's a mistake. But you try to use it at the right times.

Q. You have watched a lot of Nick and gotten fairly close with Kokkinakis. I wonder what you make in general of the new generation and the swagger they bring to the court? Is there a different flavor to this new crop of players than we have seen before?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think I have said I think all of those guys are good for the game. I mean, some of them -- Nick and Thanasi are, you know, they are pretty fun, outgoing, you know, personalities off the court and on it. Then there is some of the younger guys that aren't like that, like a Coric, for example, he's a little bit different to them. Chung, as well, different personality. I think that's good. I think when everyone is the same that's not as much fun for everyone, but I enjoy watching those two. I enjoy watching Thanasi and Nick play. They are entertaining.

Q. Do you feel one of your strengths is you can read what your opponent is going to do quite often before they actually hit the ball? Is that harder with Kyrgios because he has such a...
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it can obviously work, can work both ways. You know, I watch him quite a lot. So you go on the court, expecting the unexpected in a way, and so if you go on the court, you know, with that mindset, you can deal with some of the shots that he comes up with. You just have to be kind of on your toes at all times and just try to be ready for something different, really. Yeah, I mean, in the matches I played against him, I feel like I have done a good job of kind of weathering the storms during the matches that, you know, he always has some periods in the matches where he's on fire and hits some unbelievable shots. But I just try to stay solid throughout and make it difficult for them.

Q. You said to Pioline on court you sensed towards the end of the first set that he was not physically 100%. Was there one shot in particular, or did he make a noise of pain that you thought, oh, he's hurt, or was it just realizing he wasn't serving full out?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, serve, I mean, he normally -- I mean, at the beginning of the match he was serving big, over 200 kilometers an hour, and then started slowing down to 170, 180, and not really going for aces. That's something that he normally serves a bunch of aces. He has a very quick motion, and, you know, very accurate serve. Today, like I say, it was really after the first set or his last service game of the first set where he started to slow the serve down. The rest of the game he was still hitting huge shots. You know, wasn't obviously affecting him low, because he smashed a couple of balls pretty far out of the stadium. But, yeah, on the overhead clearly he was struggling there, and that was obviously to my benefit.

Q. You pulled out before your match against Goffin in Rome. You may have to play him in the next round, we don't know yet at the moment. What can you tell me about him?
ANDY MURRAY: I think he's a very talented player. He's very fast. I think he's been quite streaky, you know. At times when he gets confidence, you know, he can play extremely good tennis. I mean, last year he obviously went on a run. When I played him at Wimbledon last year, when I came off, I said, I felt like he played really well towards the end of the match, and then he went and won something like 20 matches in a row. I wasn't expecting that. But, you know, he played great right through until the US Open and then struggled a bit towards the end of the year. I know he had a problem with his wrist before I played him at Wimbledon. I think he had broken his wrist. But, yeah, he's a tough player. He's played well at Roland Garros before. I think this is kind of where he made his breakthrough, qualified or maybe lucky loser and made the fourth round against Roger. He likes the conditions here, plays well on the clay. He's very good.

Q. You have had deep runs at this tournament before, but is this as good as you felt about your game on clay? Is your assessment of that or your confidence level on clay more a function of what the results have been and the winning streak you're on or how you feel when you're out there and how you're playing?
ANDY MURRAY: Definitely coming into the tournament, I mean, is the best I have played on clay. The results would obviously suggest that. Never won a clay court tournament, never been to the final and had many wins against any of the top guys, you know, for a while on the clay. Obviously in Madrid, I managed to do that against Kei, Milos, and against Rafa, played some very good matches there. I think winning the tournament and changing my schedule helped a lot. I never played any of the smaller events on the tour, on clay, and getting my first win on clay helped, for sure. I feel that that was a good decision from me and my team there. And then also physically, as well. I gave myself time to get used to the surface, and a surface I struggled with with my back for a few years and gave myself a proper training period, built it up slowly, and made a few changes to the way that I preferred for this clay court season. That was, I think, they are the things that I have changed and the things that have helped me.

Q. You seem to always be so aware of this younger generation of players coming through. I wondered how much time you spend watching streams of challengers to get an idea how they play?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I watch a bunch of tennis, yeah, online. Normally I watch the British guys or, you know, if I've done a training block with a couple of them, I like to follow and see how they are getting on. And, you know, if they are in some of the latter rounds of the challengers, I'll watch and normally you see some of them playing against the younger guys, as well. And then, you know, you hear about some players. I mean, people talk and you ask or you ask around and they say, who are the best juniors just now? Sometimes it's like, this isn't a great year. You know, for a few years people were saying, oh, now the game is so physical you can't break through until you're 20, 21 year olds, but the reality was it was just a few-year period where there was a few juniors that weren't as good, and now you see you have some great young players coming through that are going to be top of the game for a long time. They have done extremely well from a young age, and, yeah, I have followed them the last couple of years and watched a lot of their matches on the tour. Yeah, I enjoy doing that.
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