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May 7, 2016

Andy Murray

Madrid, Spain

A. MURRAY/R. Nadal

7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. That was a very up-and-down match. Is there any special reason for it? A lot of chances one way or the other.
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. Didn't feel that way to me so much. You know, obviously went up in both of the sets, served for both sets, and then he came back. Then I managed to get the momentum back straightaway. I didn't feel like it was so up and down, but he certainly had a lot of chances.

There were a few service games where he had multiple break points. Yeah, the beginning of the second set was important. The first game of the second set was a very high level, high intensity, and he had chances. I came up with some big serves to win that game. That was important.

But I didn't think it was that up and down.

Q. Are you especially happy about how you kept your composure? You had a 5-2 lead in the first set and match point in the second set, and you really kept your focus into this match. Are you especially happy about that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think I did well. Obviously crowd was getting into the match as well at those stages, too, so managed to hang tough there at important moments.

He helped a bit in the last game. Obviously he missed a few mistakes, but wasn't so much like that in the first set. Yeah, I thought I did good. Yeah, played well throughout the match.

Even though when I served for it made a few mistakes, you know, I was still going for it. I felt like I was aggressive throughout. When I had to defend, I did that well, so it was good.

Q. How would you rate your performance this year against him as opposed to your performance last year against him? What's the level of personal satisfaction between the two?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think obviously last year Rafa hadn't been playing as well maybe coming into the match. You know, he had I obviously Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, and had some pretty comfortable wins until yesterday's match with the roof and stuff. Maybe lost a little bit of his timing there, but the rest of the matches he played here were fairly comfortable.

Yeah, I think it was a better win for me this year than last year. You know, I didn't think he played his best match in the final last year. Not saying he played his best tennis today, but I think he played better than last year.

Q. You have achieved quite a few things in your career: Obviously Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold medals. How big an accomplishment is coming here and beating the guy that you revere as the best clay-court player of all-time in his, not his hometown, but you know what I mean, the major tournament of his nation?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think it's big. Obviously it's not easy. Not loads of players have won against Rafa on clay throughout his career. Very few in the last year for sure when he wasn't playing his best. Yeah, to beat him in Spain on a clay court is obviously a big, big challenge for any player. Very pleased to have beaten him this year.

Big, big step for me from where I was four or five weeks ago. I'm going back in the right direction again.

Q. You said earlier in the week that saving a lot of breakpoints is a very good way of showing that a player is playing very well. Given how the game went today and beating Rafa playing at a higher level than last year, is it fair to say you're playing better than ever on the clay?
ANDY MURRAY: I find those questions impossible to answer. I don't know if I'm playing better this year than I was last year, or the match I played today, how much better it was than the final last year. Impossible to say.

I know that today when he had opportunities, I think I served pretty well in a lot of them, and also was trying to play sort of aggressive, offensive tennis at those moments. I wasn't sort of backing off at all.

So I was very pleased with that. Obviously when you play the best players they are going to create chances. You have to be able to respond when they do create the chances positively. I think I did that today.

Q. We saw that you failed some smashes; Nadal also. Is there a problem today with the light in the stadium, or it's perfect for you?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think -- well, I missed one smash, one bad smash, but one of them that I also hit was right on the tape. I mean, I missed it only by an a little bit.

Yeah, I don't know. Maybe sometimes because of the altitude potentially the ball bounces up a little bit higher. It's not as easy to control. It's not that easy a shot. You know, some of the defensive shots that both of us put up, like in the last game, the lob that I hit was like, I don't know, 100 feet in the air seems like. It was up there for a long time before it bounced.

It's not an easy shot to time. That's why players don't throw the ball 30 feet in the air when they serve. They throw it just a little bit above the head. When it's that high it's not that easy.

Q. Just on your serve, seems the first set it was pretty low on percentage level. Timing issue? The conditions?
ANDY MURRAY: Same yesterday in my match with Tomas as well. But I kept going for it, and that paid off when he had chances really. Obviously I would've liked to have served a higher percentage. Slightly different today having served indoors for the whole match yesterday. Although the sun wasn't out, it was very bright when you play at that time and it's not that cloudy. It's very bright out there. So that was tricky.

Also the beginning the match, literally the first five, six games, it was very windy. Probably didn't seem that way. Then it was totally still after that. So after the first few games it was not really any excuse to not serve a higher percentage.

But kept going for it.

Q. Last year when you beat Rafa that was the end of the tournament. Now you've got it all to do again because of the final. Talk a little bit about what you take from today into tomorrow's final and a little bit about potentially either opponent.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think the challenge from yesterday to today, you know, playing a right-hander who hits the ball extremely flat and today a left-hander with lots of spin. Tomorrow back to a right-hander again. Both guys hit the ball much flatter than Rafa, so it's different. Need to make adjustments again tomorrow.

You know, obviously enjoy the win today, but prepare as best you can for tomorrow's match and try and defend the title.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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