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May 28, 2015

Andy Murray


A. MURRAY/J. Sousa
6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Well played. What does Fabrice Santoro wear under his kilt? Is that the first time you have been interviewed by someone wearing a kilt? How was it for you?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was the first time. Yeah, because I got asked in here, I think it was by ITV, the other day I got asked about what he was like, and I said something about, I don't know, so apparently I said I can't remember or something. So he decided he would come in a kilt today. It was good, actually. Looked good.

Q. What are your thoughts about your next opponent, Kyrgios?
ANDY MURRAY: I think he's obviously a very talented guy. He likes the big stage. He's had some, you know, good results at the slams. Also away from the slams, you know, he obviously beat Roger a few weeks ago on the clay. So, yeah, I mean, he can cause a lot of players trouble. You know, he's an exciting guy to watch. And, yeah, he's going to be around for a long time, I'm sure.

Q. Can you talk about the time violation rule and how it's enforced? Do you think it's a good thing for speeding up pace of play in theory? Do you think the way it's enforced makes it that way?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I like the time violation -- well, the time rule. I think it's there for a reason. You know, sometimes, yeah, I play too slow and, you know, that's unintentional. I don't mean to do it. But obviously as a player you have no idea how long you're taking in between the points and people can say, Oh, they do, they play tennis... But the reality is when you're out there playing on a court like that, things do kind of happen sometimes. You don't get the ball in time or the towel in time. Or the second one that I got genuinely I was up at the line I think in good time, but there was -- they were showing the highlight from the point before, so I didn't serve. So sometimes things like that make it, you know, tougher for the players. But there was, yeah, there was points today where I got told I was playing too slow and I tried to speed up. And I did. But that one point obviously the second time it happened, I was up at the line in good time, and I didn't serve because they were still playing the highlight from the point before.

Q. Just related to that, before your first time violation were you given any sort of soft warning at all by the umpire? And if not, do you think you should be on a big point?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, he told me to play a little bit quicker, but like at the beginning of the match. And then obviously -- I don't even remember when it was now when the first one was. But, yeah, it happens. I mean, you know, I haven't had loads of time violations. But sometimes I have, you know, played too slow and, you know, the umpire's job is to make the players play at the right speed. But also how the players are supposed to know, we can't know. Because are we supposed to spend the 25 seconds before you serve counting in your head to 25? No, you're thinking about tactics or, you know, other things, what you're about to do with the serve, where you're going to play the serve. And, yeah, sometimes you can go too slow.

Q. (Off microphone.) Do you think like a clock on the court then? Would that be the best way to do it?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know what the best way to do it is. I'm just saying that's the only thing from a player's perspective. I'm not disputing that today, good chance I played too slow on a number of occasions, and obviously I got punished for it. I'm just saying from a player's perspective, it's difficult to know because we have no clue. It's just your -- I don't know. Yeah, you're guessing in a way. You're just trying to play a good speed. And, yeah, obviously today I wasn't.

Q. You were telling yourself, calm down, calm down, towards the end of that second set. Sort of lip reading. I wondered, was that sense of emotion anything to do with the time warning? Was it the pressure of the moment? How well he was playing?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I wasn't annoyed with the time thing at all. I made no issue of it on the court. I didn't say anything to the umpire about the -- you know, I wasn't disputing that maybe I played too slow. So it was nothing to do with that. And I think also it was important not to read too much into what players say on the court, because immediately after points, if you learn a little bit how the brain works, that those few seconds after points, you don't always say things that are actually that rational or things that you actually mean. So, yeah. At that period in the match obviously I was struggling. There was pressure building. I served badly in that set, and I brought that pressure on myself. Then he started to play better tennis and, you know, made it difficult for me for that, kind of 30-, 40-minute period. It was very tough in the end of the second set through to the beginning, beginning/middle of the third. But when I started serving and returning better, obviously helped me get out of trouble.

Q. You say you don't really know about a shot clock. But you played in the IPTL last year and they had the bleeps going when it got near to the time. Was that a help or a distraction to you?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it was also, I mean, I don't even know what, if the shot -- I think I feel like the shot clock was quicker. The shot clock was quicker there. But it was different. There was so much going on in that format. A lot of kind of different, you know, different rules. And like I say, sometimes if you just do it based on a shot clock, you do also take the fans out of the match a little bit. Because sometimes, you know, like on a big point or a set point here, they tend to clap and make some noise and build a bit of, you know, a bit of atmosphere. You know, whereas if you have a shot clock, I don't know whether fans will still do that or they try -- if they have to be quiet or whatever. I don't know what the -- I don't know what the best solution is. But, yeah, I don't know if a loud shot clock would help or not.

Q. You're a big football fan. In light of the arrests yesterday and on the eve of the FIFA elections tomorrow, what are your thoughts, since elections are tomorrow, do you think it's a good idea if Blatter continues for another term?
ANDY MURRAY: I haven't read loads about it. I seen the stories, but I wouldn't say that many people were surprised by it. But, yeah, I don't know what's going to happen over the next few days. But when I read the stories, I haven't had anyone come up to me and say it was very surprising. But I think it's good for sport in a way when that stuff happens, because people have kind of talked about it for a long time. You know, people have suggested that there was some corruption going on there. So, yeah, now they are going to do a proper investigation into it and see what happens after that.

Q. And the elections?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don't know, to be honest. I really don't know.

Q. The pros and cons of not playing or having match practice, obviously Kyrgios would have been playing Kyle, which is a great shame he didn't get that chance with Kyle, your thoughts on preferring to play rather than just practice before a big match like you're facing?
ANDY MURRAY: Again, like these things can work many different ways, and, you know, some people are fine with not playing. Some people, someone like Rafa, for example, he likes to play a lot of matches, a lot of tennis. It makes him feel more comfortable. You know, on the other hand, you go into a match like that, you're completely fresh. There's no sort of residue or tiredness in the legs. So you go out there completely fresh. And even if you get, you know, a bad start because you haven't played any tennis for a few days, you know, you're still fresh enough to come back into the match as well. So, you know, I mean, I also just played first match on Monday, second match on Thursday, and I was getting asked about that before the match if that, you know, can affect you. But I really think that all of the players here are professional enough to, you know, to deal with it. You know, I'm sure that Nick -- he played doubles, obviously saw that yesterday or day before, and I'm sure he'll get good practice in before the match.

Q. One more on the timing thing, if you can bear it. You took a couple of steps towards the chair and very quickly thought better of it. Are there times in your career where you might have let it get to you and is it a good sign you're in a good place mentally?
ANDY MURRAY: When I got --

Q. When the first serve was...
ANDY MURRAY: No, I just went up to the umpire and told him that I didn't serve there because the highlight was still playing. That was it.

Q. Are there times in your career when you might have let that get to you and is it actually a positive thing that you were able to right it today?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I mean, I think sometimes if you feel like, you know, the warning is sort of unjust or anything like that or maybe you feel like, you know, your opponents played too slowly and then, you know, nothing's happened. Then, yeah, I mean, sometimes you will say to the umpire like, Look, it's not fair. Today I wasn't suggesting that it was unfair. I could understand it, like on that point, that I was too slow. But I did just want to tell him that the reason why I was slow was because I had to stop the first time. I'm sure there was maybe one or two times before that where I have played too slowly and he told me. So I tried to speed up, and I think I did. But, yeah, I mean, obviously I don't know. I wasn't timing between the points, so I don't know if I was speeding up or not.

Q. You're on this great run on clay this year. Clearly your best results ever on the surface. How does your overall level, putting aside the surface, relate to some of your high points before maybe your grass runs in 2012, 2013? Do you feel like you're kind of at that level again or better?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, probably not many times have I won this many matches up to this point in the year throughout my career, so, I mean, it's been one of my best starts to a season, for sure. Yeah, I mean, I think my level has been very good for, you know, large parts of the year. I think like last year I felt like I was playing some very good tennis at certain points, and then I could play like so badly the next day or in the middle of a match, could go from playing like really well to, you know, pretty bad. I lost a lot of matches from winning positions last year, and this year that hasn't been the case and I have managed to win matches from losing positions this year, which I wasn't doing last year. So, you know, some of that has to do with confidence, but, you know, my general level has been much higher this year.

Q. Again on the timing issue. Obviously if there was inconsistency over the time violations and certain umpires potentially enforcing it more rigorously, and obviously there has been a story with Rafa requesting not to be umpired by a certain umpire. Have you got a thought on that, or is that something you have ever done, made a request along those lines?
ANDY MURRAY: No. Well, no, I haven't done that before. Yeah, for me, today, it wasn't an issue today at all. I had no issue with what happened on the court at all. I would be very disappointed if I read tomorrow that I said that there was some problem with what happened on the court today. I made no issue about it on the court during the match. I said nothing to the umpire about it, that I can remember, anyway. And, yeah, all I know is it was just from the players' perspective that the umpires are doing their job by enforcing the rules. Just sometimes the players don't know and sometimes you can be up at the line ready to serve, and, you know, a photographer in the front row gets up and moves or the Spidercam I thought like, you know, moves across the court or something and it stops you for three seconds and you're over the time and you get a warning. Sometimes it's tricky, but I think most of the umpires have a pretty good understanding on the court. You know, I know Rafa has had a few issues with Carlos, but for the most part, I think, everyone gets on with it pretty well.

Q. Does the subject rule come up much in players' meetings? I know a couple of years ago when they really clamped down on it it was an issue. Does it come up these days?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I think a lot of the guys, when -- I think I played in Brisbane, and the ATP were enforcing the rule very strictly. You know, the WTA weren't. You know, some of the guys were kind of coming in and complaining and saying, well, you know, we are playing the same event, and I watched. You know, we timed it. A player would take 35 seconds, and we took like 2 seconds over and, you know, we're getting warnings for it. I just think, you know, in general, for tennis, it's better if it's like very clear, easy to understand for fans, you know, across men's tennis and women's tennis, just to have a better understanding of what the rule actually is, how it's going to be enforced, and, you know, how we can make it better for the umpires. Because sometimes the players get angry at the umpires, and sometimes, you know, they are doing the right thing, like how can we make it better for players and for the officials so it's very clear for everybody. Because it's one of the few rules in our sport which there is a bit of a gray area there. It's better when rules are black and white.
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