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November 16, 2015

Andy Murray

London, England, United Kingdom

A. MURRAY/D. Ferrer

6-4, 6-4

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said it might be a little bit tricky to start the tournament after having split preparation on clay and hard courts. You seemed to settle down pretty quickly.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, first couple of games my timing was a little bit off. But I got it back pretty quickly, which was pleasing.

You know, if you're looking for a little bit of rhythm, he's also a guy who makes you hit a lot of balls. The rallies are often quite long, so you can get into a rhythm against him. So that was good.

Returns were a little bit off today, especially on the second serve. He obviously served a bunch of double-faults, which helped. But I could have returned a bit better. And that was the one thing, that obviously the ball's coming through a little bit quicker and slightly lower than on the clay. That was the one thing I think I could have done better today.

Q. Any issues at all physically with the back on the readjusting to the change of surfaces?
ANDY MURRAY: No, everything's been good. Very happy about that.

Q. Towards the end of the season, do you change slightly the scheme of practice sessions, like reduced time? Is it more or less depending on the surface, and that's it?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it's a good question because obviously towards the end of the year, this year especially, I played a lot of matches. I've spent less time on the practice court. Also, because I knew I was going to be very busy at the end of the year, I've taken more days off, played less tournaments and, yeah, less time on the practice court, but making sure that the time that is spent on the practice court is as intense as possible.

There's no point in sort of practicing at, I don't know, 50% intensity. You need to kind of go out there and practice hard if you're going to spend less time on the court.

Yeah, it's changed a bit this year.

Q. I'm sure you're aware of Kyle and Dan's success yesterday. Looks like a tricky decision for Leon when he names his Davis Cup team.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, they both did great. James a couple of weeks ago in India, as well.

Yeah, I guess, obviously it's a good position to be in. I think it's kind of the same position as the Belgians really. They have three guys that are capable of playing the second singles, as well, with Darcis and Coppejans probably being the better clay court players, but Bemelmans with a slightly different game style.

I think it's not just Leon that has some decisions to make. But it's better to have players that are coming in on form, which wasn't the case really in the last tie. I think that's what made things tough for Leon last time.

Q. For the Scottish referendum, you've proven to be one of the few sportsmen that care about politics. Since you travel a lot, change hotels a lot, have you got an explanation of what's happening in Paris, if you have an explanation for that situation? What is your idea about that?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think that's something very difficult to talk about without knowing all of the information.

I mean, all of sport really has shown that it's a terrible, terrible tragedy. Obviously everyone was very upset by it. But it's not something I would say I know enough about to really give a fair comment on.

But it was obviously a terrible situation. Hopefully everyone can come together and try and sort it out.

Q. In your mind, is there any part that thinks the longer you will be in the tournament here, the more harmful it could be for your preparation on clay? Does that play on anything in your mind?
ANDY MURRAY: No. If I didn't play here, I would have gone three weeks or something without playing a match before the Davis Cup Final. Obviously it's a different surface here, but playing matches against the best players in the world is also fantastic preparation.

I've totally, like I said, changed my schedule and the way I've trained over the last two months, since our last Davis Cup tie, to make sure I am fresh for this part of the season, which hasn't always been the case. Last year I came in probably not feeling my best after playing six weeks in a row.

I've only played two tournaments in the last six or seven weeks, seven or eight weeks really. I feel good just now. Hopefully I can perform well here and in Belgium. I believe that I've given myself the best chance to do that.

Q. I don't know if you've been keeping up with events, what's going on across the Channel. The focus has shifted quite a lot to Belgium. There have been 23 arrests around the Brussels area. Are you at all concerned about security going over there next week?
ANDY MURRAY: No. Well, I think everybody right now is concerned about things. But I do think the best thing that we can do is to live our normal lives, not change too much, because then the terrorists are the ones that are winning.

We need to go out there and do what we always do and try not to change too much. That's all we can do. I don't want to live my life in fear each time I step on a tennis court. So that's what I'll do.

Q. When you look at the return stats we have in tennis, there's a strong correlation between returners and who is at the top of the game. Do you believe that's an aberration because players like you and Novak are where you are or do you think that's the way things are going to be for a while? Why is that the case now?
ANDY MURRAY: Actually, I don't know what it was like in the past. I didn't see loads of the statistics from 15, 20 years ago even. But, yeah, the return has become a very important part of the game. Before when the courts were extremely quick, it was a different game. Guys were also holding serve a lot more than they are now. That was a bit because of the surface.

Yeah, I just think that the return is maybe more important than the serve now because of the surface. Roger isn't always that high on the return statistics, but he's obviously right up there in all of the serving stats. Roger doesn't serve huge. He doesn't have a 135-mile-an-hour serve. But he wins matches a different way.

So it's not to say that you can't win if you're not, like, right up top in the return statistics.

Q. Do you think this court is particularly slow? You made tonight, I don't know, 15 dropshots or something. Normally indoors it was not possible before to see so many dropshots. Do you think that is because the players like it, because the promoters want it, because some power prefers it? Is there an explanation for you?
ANDY MURRAY: I think the court in Paris was slower, in my opinion. I think both of us played quite a lot of points up at the net. Today I think I came forward over 12, 14 times maybe, which over 20 games, for me anyway, is quite a lot these days.

David was up at the net quite a lot. The ball is staying low. But it's a slow court that bounces low, so you are able to come forward. When you hit a flat shot, an aggressive shot, you have to slice it because the ball is staying down low. It makes it a bit easier to come forward.

I mean, I think I spoke in here the other day about change in surfaces. Yeah, I do think it would be good if there were more variety in the speed of the courts.

But I do think it's important, if it's going to be very fast here, I think then Paris should be fast, Basel, Valencia, the tournaments in the buildup should be fast. Playing with the same balls over the indoor season would help the players as well. I think the fans see the best tennis more often.

When you play one week with one ball, the next week with another ball, the court's really fast one week or really slow the next week, it's impossible to see the best tennis all the time. I think that's what everyone wants.

Q. One more win, from what I understand, would secure you the year-end No. 2 ranking. I think that would be a first for you. Is that something that enters your mind at all?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I spoke about that quite a lot the last couple weeks. You know, it would be obviously nice to finish No. 2 because I haven't done it before, but it's not a goal that I'd set for myself at the beginning of this year or throughout the whole year really.

But the benefits of it, obviously for Australia, being seeded 2 is slightly better than being seeded 3 or 4. Yeah, that's the main benefit for it rather than something that I'll be delighted to finish No. 2. That's not what my aim was at the beginning of the year.

Q. We spoke to you in Paris about it and you don't want to say whether Aljaz should be on the Davis Cup team or not. He has his appeal tomorrow. What are your current thoughts on the rights and wrongs of his case?
ANDY MURRAY: I spoke about it immediately after the match with Petch.

My view is that the process has taken such a long time that it is awkward timing now. I think everyone thinks that. Whereas if this decision was made, like, seven months ago, we wouldn't even be having the discussion.

That isn't his fault that it's taken such a long time. It's also not his fault that it's 10 days before the Davis Cup Final. I'm not the one that makes the rules. If he wins his appeal and is able to play, then if I'm the captain, I'm picking my strongest team to try and win.

But that's Leon's decision. That's what he's paid to do. Yeah, I'm sure he'll make the right one and give us the best chance to win.

But, I mean, he may not win his appeal. It's pointless talking about it. We could wait until I think it's tomorrow. We can talk about it after tomorrow.

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