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May 24, 2016

Andy Murray

Paris, France

A. MURRAY/R. Stepanek

3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think about this match in five sets?
ANDY MURRAY: It was obviously an extremely difficult match, very tricky, challenging. Today was pretty, you know, stressful. Kind of an hour and a half I think we were on the court, something like that.

And, yeah. It's never easy playing a match over two days. Especially when it ended up kind of being just a one-set shootout really in the end, with him always ahead and starting serving. You know, I was having chances and not getting them. Then I was always having to play from behind.

So it was very tough.

Q. You have been in this situation before both of having to come back from two sets down and also, you know, having to play over two days. How much does that help?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it can help, yeah, in terms of knowing, you know, how to get yourself ready for the match, but also it's still not easy. It's extremely difficult. You know, especially first round, a match that I'm really expected to win, you have the momentum at the time when you stop.

You know, I was actually starting to play quite well, and then, yeah, I have to come out the next day again and do it against a very tough opponent who has a very unorthodox game. Makes it very tricky.

So, yeah, it was not easy at all.

Q. Can you talk about yesterday and the first two sets in particular. I mean, he was obviously playing extremely well. But did you feel you were a bit slow out of the blocks?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, I think, you know -- yeah, obviously I didn't start as well as I would have liked, for sure. Yesterday was a tricky day. And a few days also before kind of getting ready for the tournament, because of the conditions and the rain, you know, was a good chance we maybe weren't going to play yesterday, either.

Then, you know, you start off late, and you're aware that if it goes long that maybe, you know, you don't get the chance to finish. You know, I maybe put a little bit of extra pressure on myself at the beginning, which maybe didn't help.

And then, you know, because of the way the court's playing, it's extremely heavy. It's very difficult to sort of push guys back. You know, players are hitting the ball I think relatively flat. It's not playing like, you know, a true clay court right now because of how heavy it is.

You know, he was stepping into the ball and coming forward, dictating a lot of points. I couldn't get the ball out of his strike zone at the beginning. Thankfully managed to turn that around, but it obviously wasn't the best start.

Q. Today and in many of your matches you have this incredible rapport with your box, they're standing up, they're shouting loud, they're backing you at all points. Talk about that energy, that interaction. Does it help you in some way? Does it break down sort of the isolation you feel out there on court? Could you just talk about that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think in matches like today, it's an extremely important match for me. You know, it could turn out to be one of the biggest wins of my career, which, you know, it may not, also, but to get through that match, it was really, really important for me.

And it easily could have gone the other way. When it is, like I said, pretty much one set, you know, to stay in the tournament, you have to have as much energy, intensity as you can.

You know, I'm glad that my team's right behind me in situations like that.

Q. Third set last night stood out. You changed your shirt. You seemed to change your mentality. You had a completely different mindset for that period. How did you get there and how easy is it to get back there again?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know if it was just the mindset that was different, to be honest. I mean, you can have a great mindset and hit the ball badly, you know, but I needed to try to step up the court a little bit more. I was way too far behind the baseline in the first couple of sets and kind of realized that if I didn't do that, get myself further up the court, I'd be out of the tournament.

So, you know, then once I got a break up and was 3-Love up, I was like starting to free up a little bit, started to go for my shots a little bit more, started to increase my intensity a little bit.

Like I said, the third and fourth sets I actually played pretty good. Obviously today was tough. It wasn't the best tennis. I didn't expect it to be pretty today, but I just wanted to get through. But there was some positive stuff in that middle period of the match.

Q. Were you disappointed by the comments that Amélie made about you in the press? Was that in any way a distraction over the previous few days?
ANDY MURRAY: I'm kind of willing to talk about this, providing that everyone's fair about it, because me and Amélie have a very good relationship, and I don't think it's fair to try to say otherwise. You know, I did an interview before the tournament, before anything that Amélie had said had come out. And the last two days was supposedly that I was hitting back at Amélie's comments and disagreeing with everything that she said and that we had a really tough breakup. That simply is not true.

When we sat down in Madrid, we had -- anyone who said it's heated is lying and was not there. It was far from heated. We spoke very calmly the whole time. And, you know, to say that the reason that we stopped working together is because of my behavior on the court, that is not true.

We, in Madrid when we spoke, we didn't discuss that one time. So that isn't true.

For sure, when we were working together, we discussed many things on the court, and there was times when, like with all of my coaches, they said, you know, You need to concentrate more on the match. Stop directing your frustration at the box and being distracted from what's going on on the court.

But to say that that's why we stopped working together is untrue. Me and Amélie do have a good relationship. Obviously what's happened the last few days has been difficult, because I didn't have a chance to talk about it or respond or, you know, anything.

I don't know if the guy I did the interview with, I don't know if he's in here or not, but I certainly was not -- what I said about my on-court behavior was not in response to what came out. I didn't even know that -- the article hadn't even come out when I answered those questions.

Yeah. That's basically it.

Q. Have you had a chance to talk to her about it since that came out?
ANDY MURRAY: Matt, who -- he's sitting over there. He's chatted to her. She sent me a message a couple of days ago. And, yeah, I'm sure we'll see each other here at some stage. The last two days for me have been pretty busy.

But, yeah. Me and Amélie have a good relationship. We certainly didn't fall out. And that is not true. And I have always been, I think, tried to be quite honest and open about things.

That's what was most disappointing for me is that the reason we stopped working together, we discussed it in Madrid, and what was said at the time was the fact that we literally are spending hardly any time together in a three-month period right before major events coming up. And she was not able to help me during that period. That's what happened.

Q. Radek is over 37 years old. There is as many 30-year-olds as ever in the main draw in Paris. What do you think? Why is that?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don't know exactly why more players are doing better later. You know, potentially like looking at something like Radek, then I think people start to see that and think, you know, I don't need to stop playing when I'm 31, 32. You know, guys like Agassi obviously played late. Roger has been at the top of the game late.

Maybe the players are taking better care of themselves now postmatches, spending more time in the gym looking after their bodies, as well. That's possible.

But, yeah. I thought there was maybe 50 players that are over 30, yeah. Which is amazing, really. There are a lot of guys only 29, as well. Like my year with Novak, too. So I expect that trend to continue, really.

Q. It's not easy being a world-class, elite-level athlete, not easy being No. 2 in the world in any endeavor. Amélie said you were a complex person. Is that something you agree with? Is that something you're proud of in your own way? Just your thoughts on that.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, away from the court, probably not. On the court, yeah. When I'm losing I get very frustrated, you know. When I'm winning, obviously I'm happier.

I don't know if that is -- I don't know if that's complex or not. It's actually quite simple, to me, anyway. You know, it's something that, like I said, you know, the other day, I have worked, continued to try to work on that side of things on the court.

You know, sometimes it can be frustrating for me when it's sort of, I don't know, saying, like that someone is necessarily complex or looking at the negative things. There is also, for me, some good things, as well. Some good attributes that I have on the court, too.

I displayed them in abundance today, in my opinion, and yesterday. I fought extremely hard from a very, very difficult position. Yes, I was getting frustrated, but I gave everything to try to win today's and yesterday's match and got myself out of a situation that not all players would have been able to get themselves out of.

So, you know, I fight through to the end in all of the matches. Yes, for sure I can make improvements on the court. No question about that. But I also do some good things, as well. You know, I need to sometimes balance that up a little bit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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