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May 25, 2016

Andy Murray

Paris, France

A. MURRAY/M. Bourgue

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That must have been one of the most tense afternoons of your career. Was there any point in that match where you thought this could go horribly wrong?
ANDY MURRAY: It wasn't as tense as my match against Radek for me yesterday. It was tougher coming out to play the fifth set.

Yeah, I mean, today certainly wasn't easy. I mean, you know, I lost my way on the court today, you know, for quite a while.

So to turn it around and find a way to win after, you know, a period where I was struggling to win points at one stage, I was losing a lot of games at love. It felt like, you know -- I mean, every time the ball was in the middle of the court he was hitting winners. I couldn't see where his shots were going.

Yeah, it was a big struggle. Yeah, managed to get the win.

Q. To spectators like us, it seems like players like you at the top, you have the extra gear to find somehow. Did you find it today? How does that work, if there is such a gear?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think, you know, obviously in terms of ranking just now, I'm 2 and he's 160, I think, pretty much. You know, over the course of a long match like the periods where I'm having sort of down periods or if I'm not playing as well and my level drops a bit, you know, over the course of five sets normally, you know, the higher-ranked player can be a little bit more solid, a bit more consistent in the important moments.

That wasn't the case for all of the match today, but in the end, in the fifth set, that was the difference. I did come up with some good shots, some lucky shots as well today, for sure. I was a bit lucky also.

Yeah, you have to back yourself, which for me today wasn't easy, because I wasn't hitting the ball well for a long period of the match.

Q. Sounds like you're a bit disconcerted with what happened today. Was it an unusual feeling?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, obviously doesn't happen that often where you're struggling to win points. You know, yeah, I managed to win the match. That's what I'm here to do. I don't want to play five sets every round and don't want, you know, to have big dropoffs in matches.

But I was trying. I was trying to find a way. It wasn't like I was, you know, not there mentally, but I just couldn't find the court. I was missing balls.

You know, some of that actually -- I mean, during the match it did -- the court did speed up a lot. It was much, much quicker for a period when the sun was out, you know, for a period, which it hasn't been at all pretty much since we have been here.

I was missing a lot of balls long, and his ball was jumping up a lot, so during that period, I lost my way a bit. I don't know if it was because of that. I don't know.

But, yeah, managed to get it back a little bit at the end.

Q. Obviously your opponent played outstandingly for a couple of sets there. You did seem unusually subdued, your body language and everything. Can you put your finger on why that was? Might it have been connected to the day before?
ANDY MURRAY: Potentially, yeah. Like I said, it was a pretty stressful couple of days. You know, coming back the next day and playing, it's not easy. And a fifth set I played against Radek was tense, you know.

But I didn't start the match that way. Normally you would think that you would start the match off a little bit flatter. But, yeah, there was a period there where, yeah, I was a little bit flat. But I don't know if that's because I was missing balls. I couldn't get myself into any rallies, and there wasn't really much to get fired up about.

So it was tough, but, you know, a lot of that is, you know, down to the way that he played, as well. I have never seen him play a match before, really, watched some video this morning, and, you know, he was really good, as well.

You know, it's not always my fault, but there was a period in the match where I was struggling, for sure.

Q. What do you think of this player?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think -- yeah, I didn't know exactly what to expect, because I had only seen the one match that he played here in the first round. I watched some of the video of that match this morning. So I didn't know his game particularly well.

You know, he played I think very good. He served pretty well a high percentage throughout the match, good first-serve percentage. When he was dictating the points with his forehand he was very good moving around the ball around well. He didn't miss too many backhands today, made some very good ones well. And he had good touch, a lot of good dropshots. When I used a dropshot I got a few points at the end of the match, but for the majority of that, that shot wasn't working too well.

And, yeah, he was good. I think physically he was good. He moved well. He was fast.

So, yeah, I spoke to a couple of the French players, and they said that on clay he played pretty much the whole year on clay, and he's very good on this surface.

Q. We all know you're a great athlete. Are you a bit worried about all the hours you have already spent on the court and thinking about going all the way here?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, for sure. I have never -- I think maybe once I have started a slam playing, you know, two five-set matches in the first couple of rounds.

The positive is I play Karlovic in the next round, and physically, you know, the average rally length will only be a few shots, maybe three, four shots max. So that's a positive there.

You know, for sure, you know, tomorrow I will be tired. At least I get a day's rest now. But, yeah, you can't continue playing matches like that and then expect to win the tournament.

So if I can get through the next one, it will be nice to win it a bit quicker.

Q. How long does it take to get two five-setters out of your system? Will there be a potential effect on next week if you get there?
ANDY MURRAY: I haven't done it too often, but today's match is physically a hard match. The match with Radek, I didn't play five sets in -- it wasn't a five-set match. It was like playing two three-set matches on back-to-back days.

So that, you know, we do that every single week in the Masters Series. We play, you know, a two-hour match and then the next day an hour and a half. I don't know exactly how long we played with Radek, but, you know, that wasn't too bad.

But, yeah, today's match obviously is tough. It's three hours and a half, three hours, 40 minutes. And it wasn't hot the whole way through, but there were some periods where it was warmer. And, yeah, can take time to recover from that.

Q. Do you recall the last time you went on a losing streak like that, if you like, or felt the same as that on court, if ever?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it happens sometimes, for sure. I mean, normally -- well, I don't even know how long a losing streak it was today, but I know in one of the sets I won like 11 or 12 points, which, you know, is not many points. There won't be many sets in the year where that's the case, so it's fairly rare.

Q. True with Karlovic there will not be long rallies. Well, today he played 4 hours 31 minutes, 41 aces, 72 aces in two matches. You won six times against him, but eight times you had to play tiebreaker. So are you sure that the match will not last long?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, what's hard for players is not necessarily the length of the match. It's the physicality of the points that you play. You can spend five hours on the court, but if they're not building up any lactic acid because you're playing two-shot rallies, then that's fine.

You know, Mahut and Isner when they played at Wimbledon, they played for however many hours it was, but they're playing two three-shot rallies. So, you know, mentally it's tiring, but physically not so much.

And normally against Ivo, the sets are very close. You know, plays a lot of tiebreaks because he's so tough to break.

But the points are not physically demanding, so that's why I'm saying it's not always easy to play against him, but right now I'd take that as positive.

Q. At the end there you were pointing to your chest as if to say, if nothing else, your heart was still in it. Was that what you were trying to convey? Was that to the crowd or was it your support team?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it was just to my team. I think, you know, showed a lot of heart the last few days and tough, tough matches, tough atmosphere today. Maybe not feeling or playing my best, but found a way to win.

I said the other day I have positive qualities on the court, and that was one of them. And I have showed it the last couple of matches to get myself out of difficult situations, and that was it.

Q. You mentioned the box. How important were your cheer squad today? Mark Bender was up and screaming. At a particular point in the final set looked like a man possessed. How important were they again for you today?
ANDY MURRAY: I have never been asked so many questions about my box in my career. I feel like there is a reason for that.

But, yeah, I mean, obviously in days like today when the crowd is totally against you, and, like, when you play in Davis Cup, as well, the team on the side are the ones that are there and wanting you to win the match.

They are the only -- yeah, the only real support you've got out there. And like I said the other day, in matches like that, to have, you know, a strong team behind you backing you and supporting you and trying to help you in any way you can to win the match, it helps.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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