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May 8, 2016

Andy Murray

Madrid, Spain


6-2, 3-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Defeat in a final can never be easy to swallow, but the way you fought him until the last set must give you a lot of good feelings for the future?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think I obviously fought hard today. Yeah, disappointed because from like two games, like 2-All to 4-2, 5-2, I was making him work hard in the second set and then beginning of the third and then at the end of the third set.

Then there was a period there - if you watch it back - the game I got broken, I made three unforced errors in that game. That was disappointing. Then obviously the last game I don't know how many break point chances I had, but must have been six or seven.

Both of us were pretty clinical on the breakpoints up until the last game for me. Yeah, that's why he's No. 1 just now. He fought very hard in that game and served well when he was a bit nervous. At the end he came up with some big serves and got himself some free points and did well.

Q. You know Novak when you were juniors and so on, but the first match was here in Madrid. It was different story. You're still there. Ten years have gone. It's a great rivalry.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think I need to start winning a few more to call it a great rivalry. We played in a lot of big matches. Up until the last couple years it was extremely close. We played a bunch in the slams. Obviously managed to win a couple of the big ones against him; lost some tough ones, in Australia especially.

But, yeah, we've been in the top of the game for a very long time. I hope I can stay there for longer. Some players are playing into their late 30s now. I don't know if I'll be able to do that, but hopefully still a few more good years left.

Q. We keep seeing how you have improved on this surface. Do you feel the same, like since last year and even again this year there is major improvement on your side on this surface?
ANDY MURRAY: I just think I'm definitely moving better. That's for sure. It makes a huge difference. Like I said, on the other surfaces it's a massive strength of mine, a big part of my game, and for a number years I didn't move well on the clay.

It was a hindrance, and that makes you uncomfortable. If you took Ivo Karlovic's serve away he would feel uncomfortable going on the court. For me, take my movement away...

When I was having the problems with my back it was difficult for me when stepping on the court; whereas now my body feels great. I feel like I'm moving a lot better. So I'm not going on the court sort of a little bit nervous or apprehensive. I believe I can play well on clay now.

Q. Obviously the overriding feeling at the moment is disappointment. Once that's faded, in terms of Rome and Roland Garros, do you think this match will give you more confidence going forward given that you did come close at points?
ANDY MURRAY: I think the week as a whole and the clay season so far has been positive for me. I just need to try to find the way for whole weeks not sort of not dropping intensity at certain moments.

Yeah, that would make a big difference, because I spoke a little bit in Monte-Carlo when I played Rafa after I won the first set, beginning of the second. Lost a little bit there. He raised his level, and didn't quite stay with him there.

Today I needed to keep my sort of intensity very high and concentration on every point, and made a few mistakes in the middle of the third. The best players capitalize on that. You get away with it against players that aren't as good.

It's been positive from where I was a few weeks ago going into Monte-Carlo. I've played some really good stuff. See what happens the next few weeks.

Q. You said many times that when you play Novak, one of the most important things is to start well. That didn't appear to happen today. Was there a problem in the first set at all?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, he played unbelievable at the start. Sometimes that can happen as well. Not always the case. Sometimes you can start slow, but he did start playing extremely well.

And like I said yesterday, it is completely different game to playing against Rafa. Novak obviously plays significantly flatter, stands much closer to the baseline and returns much closer to the baseline, so there is much less time. Yeah, maybe took me a while to adjust to that.

Against Rafa, he's playing a lot higher, so you have more time. You're then able to play with spin as well; whereas at the start when Novak is hitting the ball flatter and faster, you know, it's not as easy for you to play high and use your spin.

It took me a little while to adjust to that. But he started extremely well.

Q. Do you think you were also a bit unlucky? For example, in the dropshots that Novak did, yours were in the net and didn't go over. Do you think luck was on his side today?
ANDY MURRAY: No. At the beginning of the match, like first couple of games, he hit a number of lines. I don't think as the match went on either of us were lucky or unlucky.

We both created chances; some of it was our own doing. The game where I got broken at 3-2 I made a bunch of errors. The last game at 5-3 he made a number of unforced errors to give me the chance as well.

So I don't think it came down to luck today. He was just a little bit more solid at the end of the match when he needed it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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