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June 5, 2016

Andy Murray

Paris, France


3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Another tough tussle with Novak. How did you feel you performed today?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, at points I did well. Not necessarily the whole match. I mean, you know, he did play extremely well. Gave me very few errors. Started hitting the ball a bit close to the lines, and, you know, I was sort of dropping a bit far back behind the baseline.

Against him, obviously if you're letting the best players control points, you know, that's tough. You know, I wasn't able to dictate enough points after the beginning of the match, and made it tough.

Q. Even at 5-4 down in the fourth set, did you still believe you could turn around because maybe it was going to be a bit tight?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. When I got the break at 5-2, then -- you know, the problem was it was such a long way behind by that stage that. You know, obviously when you're trying to do something for the first time and you've not experienced it before, that can throw you off, you know, a few extra nerves.

In that game I was --you know, I was close to making it I think very interesting, but he did well to finish it at the end.

Q. How big a factor was the serve today? The first set you had a really good high percentage of first serves. Then it seemed to drop off quite a bit for the second and the third. Was that the key in the end for not putting pressure on him?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, potentially, yeah. I didn't serve particularly well today.

Q. Obviously not the way you wanted to finish, but how do you think you'll look on this fortnight?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, obviously difficult just now to know. I'm very disappointed. You know, from 13 days ago, you know, I maybe would have signed to have been in this position. I was struggling. I was a couple of points from going out of the tournament in the first round.

You know, but then when you get there obviously you want to win. You know, I didn't do that today. Right now I'm very disappointed, but obviously the tournament could have been quite different, you know, had I gone out in the first round.

Q. You have had the fortune or misfortune of being in the same generation of three guys now who have all completed career Grand Slams. How do you put in context what Novak has been able to do, first guy to do that since Laver, and just the general dominance he's had at Masters level, too?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I spoke about it on court, but I can't really say much more than that. Such a rare thing to have happened, and obviously the depth in the game just now is strong. Some people may think differently, but the level of tennis I think is pretty high now and something you probably won't see for a long, long time.

Yeah, his performances over the last 18 months to two years have been exceptional and he deserves to be No. 1.

Q. How much bearing did the fact that you played effectively five hours longer than Novak on the way to the final have? Couple of guys who know a bit about the game, played the game, said they heard you shout out to your box, My legs have gone, early in the third set.
ANDY MURRAY: I think both of us had tough runs to the finals for different reasons. Obviously played a lot of long matches at the beginning of the tournament, and then the match with Stan wasn't that long. The match with Richard I think was just over three hours. Novak had to play kind of every day, although his matches were more comfortable, so it was a little bit different.

You know, but I think that the conditions have been challenging for all the players. Very heavy, you know, tough, tough conditions. If you aren't the one sort of dictating the points you end up doing quite a bit of running and it's not easy.

It was tough. I mean, I kept fighting till the end, but, you know, I wasn't able to play my best when I needed to.

Q. Did you think he sussed a little bit after saving break point first game second set? Obviously you were the much stronger player in the first set.
ANDY MURRAY: I think so. Yeah, the first -- a little bit unlucky on that point, because he got a bad, bad bounce on that break point.

But then, yeah, after that obviously second set he started to free up a little bit more and got the break immediately after that. Yeah, probably started hitting the ball a little bit better.

But there is -- you know, there's always sort of, I don't know, changes in momentum and ups and downs throughout the best of five set matches. You know, unfortunately I couldn't capitalize on that chance. Maybe that would have changed things a little bit.

Q. Having had some good tussles with Novak in recent weeks on clay, which was never supposed to be your surface, how much confidence does that give you that it could be different perhaps if next time you meet is on grass at Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, we only played twice on grass. I won both those matches.

You know, I have played some of my best tennis on clay, for sure, over the last few weeks and definitely last couple of years. Hopefully that translates well onto the grass, which is a surface that comes way, way more natural to me.

So, yeah, I will try and have a good run on the grass. You know, if we meet on the grass, try and learn from the last few weeks' matches and see things I could have done better.

Q. You said in the past that you have almost sort of enjoyed the rivalry with Novak and that it's sort of driven you to be a better player. But isn't there a part of you that slightly curses the fact that you were sort of born just a week apart from a guy who has turned out to be such an exceptional player?
ANDY MURRAY: Not really. I mean, obviously the guys I have been around the last few years have made things difficult for me. I mean, you know, I have been close-ish to winning all of the slams now and, you know, unfortunately all of them have done it instead.

But I guess I've got a few more years to try and do that. I think, you know, when I finish I will be more proud of my achievements maybe. None of the big events I have won have I done it without beating one of those guys, you know, or a couple of them.

So, yeah. Maybe when I finish playing, you know, my achievements will mean a little bit more.

Q. Sorry to go off topic, but you're such a good student of sports and boxing. The great Muhammad Ali died the other day. He obviously changed the sport and changed the world. Could you just reflect on his legacy, what he meant to you, what he meant to boxing?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Yeah, it was a sad day obviously yesterday. You know, obviously he had been struggling for a long time physically. It did seem like things deteriorated very quickly over the last couple of days.

Yeah, it was a shame. I mean, yeah, he's an amazing man. I watched and read, you know, a lot about him. Even like over the last day or so, like, I went on the BBC Sport web page and it was like first 11 stories were all on him and all different things.

Some were him speaking to kids; some were him the way that he talked before his fights; some were stories of other boxers who fought against him or had met him and what he meant to them.

He was clearly just an amazing man. He was actually the one person I had always said I would love to meet him. I don't meet loads of famous people, but he's one famous person I would have loved to meet. I'm sad about that, as well.

Q. When you think about today's match, is it a match that you think you could have done anything differently to change what was happening, or did Novak just start playing too well?
ANDY MURRAY: I could have served better, for sure. I didn't served particularly well. On this surface obviously, you know, it's harder to sort of get free points on your second serve. Maybe on the quicker surfaces, you know, you can do that. You know, you serve 100 miles an hour second serve on the grass is a little bit different to doing it on a slow, heavy clay court. It's going to come back more often.

Yeah, that's something I would have liked to have done better today. In the first set I was serving better. I was able to dictate a few more of the points; whereas when you're hitting second serve you're more often on the back foot and spend more time defending.

Q. After the game before you said the atmosphere was tough in the audience. Can you describe how it was today for you maybe regarding the last game of the first set?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, that was obviously tough, you know, as well. But, you know, I handled it well, I think, for the last couple of weeks considering. Hasn't always been easy, but, you know, I handled it well and I'm happy with that. Wouldn't have done anything differently, really.

And, yeah, it was good for me. It was good to go through things like that, as well, in your career. You know, it toughens you up a little bit. You know, when I go back to playing at Queen's and then Wimbledon the atmosphere will be a lot different. You know, it will give me a boost, for sure.

Q. Are you surprised that no part of the crowd wasn't pushing for you or that it wasn't even between you and Novak? Was it a bit disappointing at some moment of the match?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I wasn't disappointed the last few days at all. I don't mind that. It obviously doesn't always make things easy, but like I said, I handled it extremely well. It was not an issue for me.

You know, the last -- well, actually a lot of matches I played here, Bourgue, Gasquet, Stan, and today, I was very happy with how I handled it.

You know, what Novak achieved today is something extremely special, and a lot of people would have wanted to have seen that and been a part of that. He deserves the support he gets.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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