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August 20, 2015

Andy Murray


A. MURRAY/G. Dimitrov
4‑6, 7‑6, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You must have thought at some point that was a lost cause perhaps. So close to a major, what makes you find that little extra?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I think one of the games, maybe 4‑1 in the second set, helped. I felt like he was a little bit tentative there. And often, you know, those games can be harder than serving out.
Once I got one of the breaks back I felt like‑‑ you know, obviously seen Novak's match earlier today. Down a couple of breaks. It's not possible to get back there.
I was making a lot of returns, so, you know, I knew I could get some opportunities if I could hang in. He played a bad game at 4‑1, and that helped me.

Q. Do you think winning matches like this one tonight could be the difference between getting to world No. 1, winning matches like that, winning matches like the one Novak won earlier.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, if you want to get right to the top, there are certain matches throughout the year you look at them and they can make a difference. For me this year, I mean, like my first‑round match in Madrid, you know, was a big, big match that I managed to come through.
The match against Tsonga last week.
You know, obviously the matches in the majors are really the ones that count, but they count the most if you can get through them.
For me, you know, even when I won Wimbledon, US Open, you know, I was down a set and 5‑1 against Cilic in the quarterfinals in US Open; down two sets to one against Verdasco in the quarters at Wimbledon; and also at the Olympics I was down, I think against Baghdatis. Maybe down a set and a break.
So if you want to win the big competitions, and the there is always matches where you have to come through difficult situations, and I think, you know, last year I didn't come through enough of them. I lost a lot of matches from winning positions, and this year I managed to turn that around, which was very positive.

Q. You mentioned the 4‑1 game in the second set, but there were huge games in the third set. Any in particular that jump out at you that you felt you started to gain the advantage on him?
ANDY MURRAY: I think like games like the 5‑2 game in the third set, it's an important game, because I think when you're the one that's returning there it's‑‑ you know, in some ways it's easier to return for a match than serve for it sometimes. And especially the way our match had gone. There was a lot of breaks of serve. So that's going to be in the back of your mind when you serve for it.
But I think playing solid games there. I think we maybe even went to a deuce game the 5‑4 game as well, and it was a long one. Both of us had our chances in that game.
So, yeah, the tiebreak, as well. Yeah, it was many important games throughout that match. And, yeah, I'm not quite sure how I managed to get through it, because it started off very flat and wasn't hitting the ball well at the beginning.

Q. Serena Williams was saying earlier that she'd take an easy win over a hard one, but what can you get from such a tough match like that going into the US Open?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think physically it helps because that was a three‑hour match. There is obviously a chance that you play, you know, a four‑hour match at the US Open.
But playing three‑hour match of that kind of intensity and the length of some of the points is obviously, you know, a good test. You know, I think other players, you know, look at matches like that and they see, Wow, he came back from a couple of breaks down in the second and 5‑2 in the third.
Like, you know, players look at that and, you know, you want to build up that sort of ‑‑it's not necessarily a fear, but more of a reputation that, you know, when you are behind that you're going to try to come back and you're going to fight all the way. You know, if that's in the back of your opponent's mind going to a competitions, that helps.

Q. Last year people talked about your last year being disappointing, and when you qualified you wrote bad year on the camera. Now something like that has happened with Rafa. Disappointing by his standards, but he's still No. 7 in the race. He thinks he's relatively not doing as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Just wondering how you think great players, when they do have a dip, how that should be assessed. Like the sky is not falling.
ANDY MURRAY: I think the standards that someone like Rafa has set, like when they don't meet them, yeah, people are obviously very surprised. I mean, the consistency he's had over the years has made him, Roger and Rafa, it has been ridiculous. It's something that I don't think we will be seeing probably for quite a long time when they are done.
You know, Rafa has obviously‑‑ I think he's been fairly healthy this year, but end of last year he didn't play lots of matches. He often talks like he's a player that needs matches to feel confident and comfortable, and he's obviously just lost a few close matches this year.
Obviously the one tonight, I didn't see it, but that's a match that you would normally expect him to maybe normally sneak out in the third set or in the third set tiebreak. When the confidence isn't quite there, then you can lose those matches.
But, yeah, I still think that he'll come back and then start playing close to his best tennis again soon.
But it can take time.

Q. You talked about the importance of opponents sort of never knowing when you're beaten, but I don't know if you're aware of the statistic that you have not lost a match all year having won the first set. You're obviously the great frontrunner, as well. What do you make of that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think that's ‑‑I mean, that's obviously a big positive on the year, but you also want to try to win matches when you're behind, too.
But, yeah, when I've got good starts this year I have made it very difficult for my opponents. I feel like my returning helps with that a lot because I don't give away too many free games, you know, because of my return game.
And, yeah, that's something that, you know, I obviously want to keep up. I think a lot of those matches, while I haven't let them get to three sets or tight matches when I have won the first set, I've managed to close them out and conserve energy by doing that.
So hopefully I can maintain that through to the end of the year.

Q. (Regarding the match with Gasquet.)
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it will be a tough match. Played very, very well the last few months. And, yeah, I think he had a good win today against Cilic. He got sick. He got sick last week in Canada, but I think he's having close to one of his best years for a while.
If he hadn't had a couple of injuries here and there and illnesses, I think he could be a little bit higher in the rankings. I expect a very difficult match against him. Be the first match playing in the day here, so the conditions will be a little bit different.
And, yeah, need to make some adjustments there.

Q. Seemed like your endurance has increased. Back in Miami when you played Novak your legs kind of gave out on you. Have you changed your training at all?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I spoke about it earlier in the year. My team has changed quite a lot. Yeah, I have made some adjustments, you know, to the way that I train. You know, my endurance is something I worked on a lot over the last few years, but when I came back from my surgery it was something that took me time to get that back.
It didn't come immediately. I lost a lot of close matches, like I said, last year. It was kind of a long road back to get to the level that I wanted to get to there.
Yeah, obviously with my age, as well. I'm not obviously old, but for tennis I have been on the tour a long time. I have had to make some changes to my training and my schedule, and I think that that's obviously helped.
But, you know, I just try to work as hard as I can. I haven't always had the best results, but I have always tried to work as hard as I could, and that's something that I'm proud of.

Q. You were out on Court 3 today. I know you played Isner last year. Great atmosphere out there as opposed to stadium. Can you comment on playing a slightly smaller court and the atmosphere you experienced out there compared to a big stadium?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I always enjoy playing on these smaller courts because it's always packed from the first point to the last.
You know, sometimes that isn't the case with the bigger stadiums. It can sometimes be a little bit flat, the atmosphere, when, you know, the crowd is half full or whatever.
But tonight from the first point to the last the crowd were there. You know, that's another thing that probably helped me, as well, a bit in the end: there was a good atmosphere.
You know, when you start to make a comeback, the crowd do get behind you and support you. That always helps.

Q. Wonder if you can give an assessment of Grigor's game tonight? Do you think he's at a good point in his performance right now? Tough to play against him?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, he's always tough to play against because he can play so many different shots. You know, he's a very good athlete, as well. He likes playing in front of, you know, big crowd, as well. I think he tends to raise his level when that's the case.
I mean, obviously he will be very disappointed he didn't win the match tonight, and rightfully so. He had a number of chances to do that. Yeah, I think he's playing better than he was a couple of months ago.
But, yeah, still some things I would imagine he'd want to do better. You know, he didn't serve so well when he had his chances to win the match.

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