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November 27, 2015

Leon Smith

Andy Murray

Ghent, Belgium

A. MURRAY/R. Bemelmans

6-3, 6-2, 7-5

Belgium - 1

Great Britain - 1

An interview with:



THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Andy, regarding the third set and the atmosphere, how annoyed were you by the penalty you were called for? How far do you feel the crowd crossed over the line between just supporting their team, being rowdy, and actually being unsporting?
ANDY MURRAY: I didn't think they crossed the line, to be honest. But as the server, I'm not going to serve obviously when the crowd are making any noise because it's off-putting. That's something that in tennis is a rule really. All of the players obviously wait until the crowd is silent.

I think that's kind of normal in Davis Cup, to be honest. I don't feel like they crossed the line.

With the warnings, I wasn't aware I'd been given the first warning. I didn't hear it and I had no idea. So when I lost the point, I just went up and asked the umpire why. He said, For a second warning. I didn't know I had the first one, so it was a bit confusing.

Q. Do you actually enjoy a feisty atmosphere like that? Does it get you going more?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don't mind it. I'm experienced enough now to not allow it to bother me, and try to use it to my advantage as much as I can.

I know that with playing at home comes pressure, as well. Obviously both of their players came out a little bit nervous in both matches. But then as the matches progressed started to loosen up and play better.

So, yeah, you just have to use it to your advantage when you can. I think today we did a decent job of that because we got off to the better starts.

Q. Leon, could you give us an overview of how you saw the first day.
CAPTAIN SMITH: Obviously on paper it's what people would have expected. I thought Andy was, yet again, very, very good in handling what he just explained with the environment, the crowd, and an opponent who clearly has nothing to lose that was swinging away.

You know, it's kind of obviously a good situation for them when they've already gone one up, they can put out a player and just say, Go for it. That's what happened. But Andy still won straight sets, which is important. Another good performance from Andy.

For Kyle, I mean, obviously it was a very good first two sets. That's why we went with him in the first place, because he's been playing that sort of tennis. It's difficult to gauge it sometimes because he's playing challengers obviously on clay. But I watched him in Argentina, knew the matches he won in particular in the semifinal and final were really high level, even though he was playing people that were just outside 100 they were still very good clay-courters. It showed today he played very good tennis.

But, of course, the experience of David and also the environment at some point did take a toll. He probably had to win it in straight sets or even in four. Yeah, it was tough. But I think it's important for him to realize the level he can obviously play at, and now keep building on that. He did play very, very well for those two sets.

Q. Andy, what did you say to Kyle after a match like that? What advice can you give him?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I was getting ready for my match when he came in. I think wait till the weekend's over really. Like always, if there's anything he wants to talk to me about, be more than happy to chat with him.

But I also don't agree with, within this sport as well, just going and giving your opinions to people if they don't always want them either. So I won't go up to him and give him my views. It's just if he ever wants to talk, or any of the guys, I'll always be there for them.

Q. Andy, you have a lot of tennis to come this weekend. How important is it that you got the job done today in three sets? Is that something you think about in a third set?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, I wasn't really thinking about it. The court's fairly quick so there's not loads of long rallies. It's not particularly warm in there, so it's not that physically demanding really.

Although the match was 2:10, we're also taking sometimes like 45 seconds between points to wait for the crowd to calm down and stay quiet, which gives you longer to recover between points, which is fine on a weekend like this for me.

Q. Leon, did you feel the crowd stayed on the right side of the line? Were you happy with the officiating decisions? You got slightly involved at one point.
CAPTAIN SMITH: Like Andy said, I mean, I think we all expected Davis Cup -- well, it's a Final. We've had phenomenal crowds at our home ties this year. It's going to get that way, it's going to get loud. I'm sure that's why Andy and the other players love playing in it, because it's different. It was pretty much as we expected.

The officiating, you can't really hear. That's probably why Andy didn't hear. The microphones, you can't really hear what's being said.

ANDY MURRAY: I didn't know why he'd called 30-Love. I didn't actually hear I'd been given the second warning. It's obviously very loud after the point. That was why I went to speak to the umpire, because literally I had no idea about either of the warnings because you can't hear anything on the court. So I'm surprised he could hear what I was saying (smiling).

Q. Andy, very basic question. Are you now confident you can get the job done in the next two matches?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, you know, I believe in myself. I believe in me and Jamie as a doubles team, as well.

But it's obviously going to be tough. I mean, Goffin's a top-quality player when he plays well. He's ranked 15, 16 in the world, plays well on the clay. I'm aware that will be a very tough match to win. In the doubles, Davis Cup is always tough, never easy, just because of the way doubles is played.

I believe we can win the tie, obviously, otherwise there would be no point in us being there. But it's going to be tough, for sure.

Q. Leon, Kyle didn't particularly look or sound like he expected to play on Sunday. Are you veering towards James Ward now? I know there's a lot of tennis to be played before then.
CAPTAIN SMITH: There is, and there's also time, which is important. We won't do anything until tomorrow night, see how everyone is, see how the doubles has gone. That's how we've normally done it, that's how we'll do it again. No need to rush into anything.

Q. Andy, with the match so finely poised, just how key is the doubles tomorrow?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think it's as important as in some of the ties. I believe if we lost the doubles, we could win two singles on Sunday. Kyle could have won today. That's possible. If he was to play at that level against Darcis, that's not an easy match for Darcis.

The fifth point, the fifth rubber in a Davis Cup Final is Darcis or James or Kyle, whoever plays that match, will never have experienced anything like that before. So it's not a gimme. It's not like James can't win that match. Darcis would be incredibly nervous.

So, yeah, it's an important match obviously. Every point is. But I don't think for either team, like, if you lose it that the tie is over because I think both teams are capable of winning all of the points here. I did say that before the tie started. Today's matches I think proved that. Especially the first one.

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