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May 11, 2016

Andy Murray

Rome, Italy

A. MURRAY/M. Kukushkin

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It felt like at the beginning that the bounce wasn't all that reliable. Did you feel that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it's very, very different to Madrid, anyway, but yeah, there is a lot of low bounces on the court, especially around the service line. And there's a few -- it's not particularly flat behind the baseline, either. So for moving it wasn't, you know, that easy.

It gets quite windy on that court, as well. It's obviously very open. And, yeah, it was tricky conditions for me, anyway.

Q. Can you just explain how tough is the turnaround? Madrid on Sunday, and this first match in completely different conditions. Even Novak was struggling today. Is it really that hard?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I spoke -- yeah, I mean, I have always found it different, but this year maybe a bit more than normal, really. I'm not sure exactly why that is.

I spoke to Jeremy Chardy, and he said that he always plays with his racquets at the same tension, and this week he's playing with four kilos less, which is a huge amount. That's obviously like nine pounds. You know, I normally only vary like a pound or two either way.

So for someone who plays with the same tension always to change by nine pounds is a lot, and it does feel pretty different.

Q. What do you think about the organization of Rome tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of what? For what?

Q. Ferrer and Nadal say that the tournament is too small respect other 1000 series tournaments, and calendar is too busy between men and woman tournament, there are not so much court for working out.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think that's always one of the challenges at combined events is just space really. You know, I spoke a little bit about that the other day. But it's also nice in a way, I would think, for the fans. You know, you go around and almost all of the courts are completely full.

There is a great atmosphere, you know, for watching -- there was doubles, men's doubles, women's doubles matches completely filled. I think for the fans it's fantastic. Just sometimes for the players there is not as much space here as, you know, maybe in Madrid, for example, which is a huge area.

I mean, for the fans, it's great. You get really good attendance for the first match, all of the matches on all of the courts, really, which is positive.

Q. A few minutes ago we heard Roger Federer saying, for the first time in 17 years that he's here, he doesn't think he can win the tournament. Are you surprised about something like that? Because we never heard before. Normally when he's playing a tournament, he says, I think I can win. He say, I don't think I can win this tournament. Are you surprised to hear that? Do you believe it? Do you think it's true? What about you? Do you think you can win this tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I have no idea. You know, in theory, everybody that's in the event has a chance to win, but I don't know how his preparation has been exactly. It sounds like it hasn't been perfect. You know, he'll know better than anyone how he's feeling.

You know, it's possible that he's seeing it more as, you know, preparation for the French Open because he's not had the chance to play hardly any matches in the last few months. You know, he's had a few different problems, and yeah, maybe he doesn't feel his best right now. But, I mean, he knows himself and his body better than any of us, so I take his word for it.

Q. What about you? Do you think you can win?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think so. You know, I did find it today difficult. It's a big change in the conditions, but, you know, I did some things well today, but I will need to play better than I did today.

But I think the more the tournament goes on, the better you normally start to feel. You don't normally start to feel worse as the tournament goes on. If you are, something's not right there. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel a bit better.

Q. The conditions here are clearly very different to Madrid, but how different is it going to Paris after here?
ANDY MURRAY: I always find like changing balls really takes time to get used to. I think the conditions in terms of, you know, the heat and stuff can be similar, but who knows?

I spoke about that a few weeks ago, and I mean, in Paris, some of the -- the first week the last couple of years and the preparation week has been like really bad weather, very, very cold, and then again that makes it completely different to here, really.

So a lot of it depends on the weather. If everything's sort of equal in terms of the, you know, the weather and conditions, then Rome and Paris aren't too dissimilar.

Q. You have not had the greatest of records here. What do you put that down to? Is it more than just the conditions? How will you combat them as the tournament goes on?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think -- I mean, clay, over the years, is conditions that I have struggled in, really. I haven't played well on clay courts for most of my career.

You know, some of the years I actually played pretty well. I mean, I lost in the semis one year to Novak when he was having, I think it was his best year on the tour. You know, I maybe served for the match against him. And, you know, one or two years ago I was a break up in the third against Rafa. So I have actually played some decent matches here.

But the last couple of years, obviously last year was tough to pull out when I was playing well, so, you know, I think I can play well in these conditions. Hopefully it will be this year.

Q. Do you feel so confident to play more aggressive, more offensive than the last years?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it really changes, I mean, on a daily basis and how you feel. Like last week I felt good in Madrid, so, you know, when you're feeling good it's a lot easier to go for your shots and be a little bit more offensive.

You know, when you come to a new place and you don't know how the ball is going to react off the strings, you're playing on a different court, then yes, it's a little bit harder to go for your shots. You're not exactly sure how the ball is going to react when you make contact with it.

That can change really on a daily basis, depending on court conditions, how you're feeling, who you're playing against.

But, yeah, I think it's important obviously as tournaments go on. When you play against the best players, you can't win against them unless you play offensive tennis when you're given the chance.

Q. All in all, it's quite tricky conditions on that court, tricky opponent who can sort of hit unexpected shots. You must be pretty satisfied that you sort of kept control pretty much all the way through really?
ANDY MURRAY: I did okay, yeah. I served very well today. That won me a lot of free points and something that obviously that last week was good to -- you know, it wasn't really my serve that was losing me points. It was just more a few mistakes from the back of the court, which didn't feel like I was making a few days ago.

It was a good win against, you know, a guy who has probably been here a week, played three matches in these conditions and beat some good players, as well. He beat Lucas Pouille in the qualifying and Coric in the first round. It was a good win considering that, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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