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July 6, 2016
A. MURRAY/J. Tsonga
7‑6, 6‑1, 3‑6, 4‑6, 6‑1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How hard was it after waiting so long, and also to come on after the crowd expended so much energy on the previous match?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think obviously the wait, you know, is never easy 'cause the match was close to finishing a few times. Like third set, I think it was 2‑All, Love‑40, so you were kind of warming up then. Obviously, wait.
Then towards the end of the fourth set, you're warming up again because Marin had a bunch of chances there to finish it. So that's tricky.
But then when you get out there, obviously it's up to you to create an atmosphere a little bit, too. It's totally understandable that's going to be the case after a match like that. That was a great match. The crowd were unbelievable today. They got two pretty good matches, as well, I think.
Q. How much was that fifth set, especially the first service game, crucial?
ANDY MURRAY: It was obviously a big hold. I think he had a breakpoint there. I'd missed a couple of poor shots in that game, especially on the 30‑All point. Missed a ball that was almost inside the service box.
Yeah, obviously to get that hold and just be ahead, again, was big. I was up 4‑2, had lost four games in a row at that point. Pretty much all of them were tough, tough games to lose. Could have won maybe three of them.
So, yeah, to get that hold was big.
Q. What do you think goes wrong on your side and good on Jo's side in the set you lost?
ANDY MURRAY: Maybe in the third set I maybe played one bad game at 2‑1. That's probably one of the games I would have liked to have had back. I had a chance at 30‑All in the first game of the third. Second serve return, which I missed. If I managed to get ahead in the third, I think maybe it could have been a bit different.
But then, you know, after that, Jo played great. I mean, he was serving well. He was returning very well, I think. He was, you know, mixing the pace up, playing with a lot of variety, coming forward, hitting his forehand big. He came up with some great passing shots.
When I had my chances in the end of the third set, I missed a few shots. I had a passing shot 4‑3 which I hit on the tape. Then the next breakpoint I had, I hit forehand onto the back of the line, he hit a great passing shot.
I could have won it in four sets. But, you know, he came up with some really good stuff when he needed it.
Q. You have such a great record in five‑set matches. What is the most important thing when it gets tight like that?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I don't really know, to be honest, what the most important thing is. I think there's many things that go into winning matches like that. There's not one thing that's more important than another.
Physically, you're strong, that helps for sure. But mentally, you know, today was a tough match. It would have been easy to have gotten very down on myself in that fifth set after the way the fourth set ended. I was happy with that.
Then you also have to be able to play good tennis in the most important moments. I think both of us did that today.
Q. I read recently about your superstition to do with the direction of the water bottles. Can you talk about how much credence you give to this and whether they were facing the wrong way?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think it makes a big deal. I actually started doing it to keep track‑‑ I have a water and a sports drink, just to keep track if I had been drinking or not. At the change of ends you might pick one up. I knew if I had it going that way, it was pointing that way, I would have known I had drunk out of it. That's how it started. I've done it since then, really. It has month bearing on the outcome of the match. I'm fully aware of that.
Q. Is there something to be said, with the two big matches coming up, to actually having gone through a pretty hair‑raising test like that rather than a straightforward progression up to the semis?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I was definitely tested a lot today. Probably the hardest match. Well, my match with Milos at the final of Queen's, I was in a tough position there. But that was, yeah, a really hard, hard match to come through.
I think it can give you a bit of confidence. It can help to go through games and stages in matches that are challenging. If you're in that position in the next couple of matches, you know you've been there.
So I'm hoping it helps me the next couple of rounds.
Q. Roger was saying earlier he feels nervous when there's tennis greats in the game, in the crowd, he wants to impress them still. Is that something that excites you when there's celebrities like David Beckham in the crowd that you're entertaining?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, kind of at the beginning of the match you feel it. But then once you get into the match, I really only concentrate on what's going on on the court, the people in my box. I'm not really thinking about everyone else that's watching.
Q. May I ask you to look ahead to the semifinal against Berdych. What do you think might be the most key determining factors in the outcome of that one?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, we've never played on grass before. We've played a few times over the last couple of years on different surfaces, but never on grass.
I'll have to have a look and see some of his matches to get an idea of maybe some of the things he does differently on the grass courts, what his strengths are, maybe some of the things he struggles with a bit.
Obviously he's a big guy who serves well. When he's dictating the points, he hits a big, big ball. He's a powerful guy.
Ideally, I don't want to have him dictating all of the points because then I'll be doing a lot of running.
Q. When Berdych was in earlier, he was talking about how he had watched your game change. You had become much more aggressive and way more creative on the court. How do you think your game now will match up with his?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, I mean, I know it will be a tough match. I mean, I played well against him the last couple of years. It's nice that the players I'm playing against say I'm playing more aggressive because everyone's only said I've played aggressive when Ivan has been coaching me. The last few years I have been playing more aggressive tennis, playing with a little bit more variety, for sure.
That's worked well against him. When in the past, I hadn't such good results against him. The last couple years it's been good.
Q. Have you ever been so fired up at the beginning of a deciding set, engaged the crowd quite as much as you did today?
ANDY MURRAY: I'm sure I played a few matches here and in Davis Cup where I would have been as fired up probably, yeah. But, I mean, I don't know. There's been a few matches. Obviously my match with Nishikori earlier this year is one that I can remember a bit. I remember playing Gasquet here. I was pretty fired up in that one. Stan Wawrinka, too. Yeah, I think there's been a few.
But today was definitely up there.
Q. Just the combination with the crowd and yourself getting fired up really seemed to give you that momentum.
ANDY MURRAY: I think it can help, yeah. That's why it's important to try to use the crowd, if you can, to your advantage, because they do make a difference. In long matches, tough matches, even if it's half a percent difference, it's good.
I try to get the crowd into it as much as I can when I'm playing a home tournament.
Q. How would you assess the difference between you and Jo in that final set? What was the difference?
ANDY MURRAY: I can't remember exactly what happened on the breakpoint in the first game of the fifth set. But he had his chance at the beginning of the set to get the break. Didn't get it. Then when I had my opportunity, I took it in the fifth. That was it. I played a pretty aggressive return, I remember, on the breakpoint. That was the difference.
Q. You talk about some of these passing shots that Jo pulled off in the fourth set. Could have crushed the belief of a lot of players. You seemed to have a belief that as long as you stayed on that court, you were in the match. Where do you get that strength from? It hasn't always been there in the past.
ANDY MURRAY: Thank you. When was it not there?
Q. Earlier in your career.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I just want to win. That's it. I just really wanted to win the match. It was frustrating, for sure. He came up with some great shots. Yeah, I just really wanted to win. The best way to do that is to fight for every point, give your best effort. I did that today.
Q. How tough was the match physically on your body? Do you feel matches like this help you for the big matches, like the semifinal and final? Do you think it takes a bit out of you? Do you feel also like the scheduling doesn't matter, playing the first or second semifinal? Do you think physically that would help or deter you?
ANDY MURRAY: I think here is the fairest in terms of everyone plays the second week, you play on the same days. At some of the other slams, some players get, like, two days off. Like at the Australian Open, sometimes you can get two days off between the semi and the final.
The US Open used to be Saturday, Sunday, semi and final. The guys that were playing second, for sure it was a disadvantage.
Here I think that it's as fair as you can get for the semifinals and finals.
Q. How do you feel after the tough match?
ANDY MURRAY: I feel great right now because I won. Had I lost the match, obviously, you know, might be a bit different. Normally it's the next day when you wake up is when you feel stiff and sore, your body hurts a bit.
That's why it's great to have tomorrow, a day of rest and recovery. Hopefully I'll feel good on Friday.
Q. Kind of reminded of your '12 US Open final. If you're watching it, you think the other guy has the momentum. What's important in reversing that momentum?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I guess the thing, like, with the tennis scoring is that, you know, we're back to Love‑All at the beginning of the fifth set. Won four games in a row to win the fourth. Then you're back to 0‑0.
Because I got that first game, I was back in the score immediately in that fifth set. I got the break again, then 3‑Love up. All of a sudden, you know, that's quite a big lead in the fifth set of a match like that.
I think tennis does have a great, great scoring system. Today's matches proved that, I think.
Q. Obviously this is the first Grand Slam you've had Ivan back in your box. Have you felt the benefit when you're on court or does most of the benefit come off court?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think it's beneficial having him there, for sure, because I trust him, have a lot of confidence in him. So, for sure, he can help when I'm on the court a little bit, just his presence. Might be a small amount, but like I said, every little bit helps.
The prematch stuff, the work that you do in preparation for the matches, is where you get the big benefit. When this tournament's finished, the sort of training weeks are really where I think you get the biggest benefit. Hopefully I'll have a few of them between now and the end of the year.
Q. I don't know if you realize that your win today was your 51st, which equals Bjorn Borg's? Do you remember watching Bjorn? Were you too young?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I was too young.
Obviously that's really nice. He's one of the best player that's ever played. I must be doing something right to have equaled his wins.
He also won the tournament a lot more than me. Still have a long way to go to catch up. But 51 at this event is obviously a lot. Hopefully I can win a couple more between now and the end of the tournament.
Q. The country is a bit miserable right now. We need a new prime minister, Top Gear manager, new England football manager and Wales is losing. How does it feel to be the nation's last hope?
ANDY MURRAY: It's not that bad, is it (laughter)? Is it that bad?
Q. Yeah, it's pretty bad. You're our last hope, Andy.
ANDY MURRAY: I'm not. There's a lot more hopes left than me. I just try my best at this event to make all the people that watch happy. Hopefully I can win a couple more, and that's it (smiling).
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports