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November 18, 2015

Andy Murray

London, England, United Kingdom

R. NADAL/A. Murray

6-4, 6-1

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just talk about how he was using the court today, the totality of the court.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, he obviously I think from like towards the end of the first set, he started to play a lot better. He was able to dictate most of the points. He was hitting the ball harder than he was at the beginning of the match. I was starting to drop the ball shorter.

Obviously when he's inside the court, he's extremely, extremely good. He can move his forehand around very well. He can use all of the angles on the court and make you do a lot of moving.

Q. Looked like you had some tightness in your hamstrings or quads.
ANDY MURRAY: That was just on one point at the end of the match. I pushed extremely hard to pick up the ball. But it's fine. Just a bit tight on that one run and it was fine after that.

Q. I don't think anyone's ever seen a player cut their hair at change of ends before. Was it getting in your eyes?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, a little bit, yeah.

Q. Do you always carry scissors with you?

Q. As someone who has played Rafa on clay and beat him this year, and now playing indoors, can you see some sort of evolution? He said he's been training really hard. As an opponent, can you see this evolution playing him twice this year?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, he obviously played better today than he did when I played him earlier in the year. I think Rafa always practices pretty hard from what I see. Obviously he's won a lot more matches in the second half of the year.

Yeah, he's clearly playing better tennis now than a few months ago. Yeah, also I didn't help myself out there today. I served extremely low percentage, maybe lowest percentage I served the whole year in any match. It was like the low 40s, and in the second set like 35%. Yeah, that's not good enough against someone as good as Rafa.

Q. For Rafa's future, do you think he can win this tournament and follow what he can do next year in the Grand Slams? Is he, again, a favorite for those tournaments?
ANDY MURRAY: I think he always is at the big events. Obviously for a few months this year he was struggling for form a little bit. But I think, you know, almost every player goes through that at some stage during their career.

I think a lot of the media had a lot of doubts about him. I think a lot of the players still felt like, providing he stayed injury-free, that he would raise his game again and compete at the top of the game.

So I'm not really surprised by that.

Q. Was the slightly curious business of cutting your hair maybe a sign that you're slightly preoccupied about next week, the dynamic of this tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know why such minor things make such a big deal to you guys. I had some hair in my eye, and I just wanted to get rid of it. That literally took two seconds. That was it. It was nothing to do with next week or anything to do with the outcome of this match.

I started the match extremely well, I think. I played a very good first game. Although I got broke in the second game, it was a good game. I was hitting the ball well.

I held all the way through to 4-All from that change of end. It wasn't like it was something that affected me at all after it happened.

Q. A lot of matches in this tournament, it seems like the first set is pretty tight, and the second one not so much. Do you think that's to do with the format or do you have another explanation?
ANDY MURRAY: Normally first set is important. Look, I think that's really just been the last couple of years. I don't think it's always been like that. I've played a number of three-set matches here over the years against many different opponents, some that have come in playing loads of matches, some coming in being fresh.

I just think, yeah, last couple of years, maybe it's just a bit of a coincidence. Before that, that certainly wasn't the case. There's been many close matches over the years. I just think it's been a bit unfortunate the way some of the matches have ended the last couple years.

Q. Regarding the format, is there a problem with it in any way, in a situation like today, where you won your first match, you lost the first set, does it at all enter your mind that actually it doesn't matter too much if you lose this match, that you still can qualify?
ANDY MURRAY: No, no, not at all. I think the way the format is, almost every game is important. Rather than thinking like, Oh, well, I can just lose this set, it's fine. Maybe in the last round if you need to win one set to qualify, it's a bit different.

But every year when I've played matches, pretty much where I needed one set to get through, I played Tsonga and won that match in two sets. I played Roger in Shanghai a few years ago where I already qualified and played near a three-hour match with him.

I've never looked at any of the matches like that. You certainly don't want to lose to one of the guys that you're competing against in the biggest events for the biggest titles in the sport quickly in the second set.

I'm obviously disappointed with the way the match finished today.

Q. I still remember a situation where, for instance, Ivan Lendl was hoping to lose to Connors so that the next day he had to play Gene Mayer instead of Bjorn Borg. There were some calculations in the past where some players it was better to arrive second. In your case, it's almost better to be number two and not having to play Djokovic in the semifinals. So that is not a suspicion.
ANDY MURRAY: Good chance that Roger finishes first in that group.

Q. Djokovic is going to be number two, for sure. If you get second, you cannot play Djokovic in the semis. It's just a format that is very wrong. That helps some difficult situations.
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think that's a question. That's your opinion. You're basically telling me that the format is wrong.

I think that Roger plays great in this event. He's won it, what, six times, played some unbelievable matches here. He obviously played great tennis yesterday.

This isn't for me about who's better out of Roger and Novak because things can change on a daily basis.

Obviously I lost comfortably to Rafa today and I could play him in a couple days' time and it could be a different story. I'm sure Novak feels the same way about his match with Roger. I think all of the players know that.

Yeah, I'm not trying to finish second in the group. I'm trying to win every match that I play. I hope that's how all of the players view it. Some people might have different opinions. That's fine if you have a different opinion to me.

I don't think it's right to tell me that the format is wrong, that I would rather finish second than first, when that's not true in my mind.

Q. You were just talking about Rafa's slump in form earlier this year. He was really putting the pressure on you in the service games in the first set this afternoon. How far off his best tennis do you think he is at the moment?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. You obviously have to ask him, and he'll probably give you a better answer than me. I mean, look, I've played great matches against Rafa when I think he's been playing his best, as well. It's a bit easier to judge then.

I think that he was hitting the ball extremely well today from the back of the court. Like I said, from the middle till the end of the second set he played extremely well. But I didn't really help myself. I served poorly at the end of the first set and all through the second. Like I said, that's not going to be good enough against him when he's playing that well.

But, I mean, he's won way more matches the last few months. He's come back from tight situations which is signs he is getting back to where he wants to be.

I'm sure, even now, but beginning of next year, he'll be playing at a very, very high level again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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