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November 5, 2016

Andy Murray

Paris, France

A. MURRAY/M. Raonic



THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy, please.

Q. Well, I suppose this was a scenario you never imagined in your wildest dreams.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, obviously didn't expect that today. It felt obviously a little bit strange when it happened. But, you know, everyone was talking about this week, Oh, if you win or do this or whatever.

But, you know, I felt like getting to No. 1, it wasn't about this week and it wasn't just about last week or a few days here and there. It's about, you know, 12 months of work to get there.

Obviously it's unfortunate the way that it happened today. I would have liked to have done it on the court, but, you know, it's been many years of work to get here.

Q. Where were you when you were actually told "No match"?
ANDY MURRAY: I was actually -- I was in the locker room watching some videos of Milos' match yesterday when Milos came into the room where we were. I kind of, like, quickly closed the iPad. (Smiling.)

Yeah, then, then he told us he had hurt his quad and he wasn't going to be able to play.

Q. You say 12 months of work. You could say it's 15 years, in some ways. You must be very satisfied.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, obviously satisfied. I mean, it's not --you know, it's something I have never achieved before and wasn't something that I necessarily felt like I was going to do even, you know, this year, even after the French Open or the beginning of the year.

I was so far behind in terms of points, and, you know, the amount of matches it would take me to win. I never expected to do what I had done after the French Open, so I was really down after I lost that match.

But, you know, things can turn around quick in sport, and it's just a strange sport. You had Novak losing yesterday to a guy who won 14 times in a row against. And then John beating Cilic today who he'd lost six in a row against the following day. Stuff can turn around quick, and the last few months have been really good.

Q. You have obviously achieved so much in your career. How much does being world No. 1 mean to you in comparison to winning Wimbledon, Grand Slam titles, that kind of thing?
ANDY MURRAY: It's kind of hard to say right now. It's quite different, because the slams, you know, you obviously prepare for them. It comes quite quick, the result, you know, in the space of two weeks.

Whereas, with this, it's been such a -- you know, it takes such a long time to get there. And especially at this stage of my career, as well, you know, it's more satisfying in some ways, for sure.

It's difficult to say right now, though, because it all happened really quick. I haven't sort of thought too much about it in the last hour or so.

Q. When Milos told you, what was the first thing that went through your head? Was it relief? Were you just gob smacked? What?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know, really. I actually felt quite calm. I think that's just because of the nature of how it happened.

Normally if you're told someone has pulled out, you kind of, you know, immediately you sort of start thinking about the next day and what you're going to do. You know, I didn't really react. I didn't really react. My team were a bit different, but I didn't really react to it at the time.

Q. (Question inaudible.)
ANDY MURRAY: He just said, Well done. Gave me a hug and chatted about it. Sort of said, Well done, deserved, and we know how hard you've worked to get here and stuff. That was it.

Q. I guess you mentioned maybe in the past what it would be to have world No. 1 next to your name. Is it as good now as you thought it would be, like, the feeling? Do you feel as amazing as maybe you imagined it in the past?
ANDY MURRAY: Again, it's difficult to say, because the way that it happened today was quite strange. I had always imagined, obviously, doing it on the court. Like last night before I went to bed, I was imagining doing it, kind of thinking about it happening on the court after a match.

Normally, pretty much all of your big achievements in your career, I've never had like Davis Cup final or Olympics or the slams, have never been like walk-overs or anything like that. So it was just quite strange how it happened, unfortunately.

Yeah, I'm sure on Monday I'll feel good. But I'm not sure this is right in the rules, but if I get defaulted in the match tomorrow, I don't think I get the points from this week. So I need to make sure I'm on my best behavior, keep my racquet in my hands, and all will be well on Monday. (Laughter.)

Q. When you look back over the years, I think nearly 50 people have won Grand Slams since the rankings started. Only 25 have been world No. 1 before you, and most of them will be considered all-time greats of the sport. How important was it to you to have that on your CV, to feel you belong in that company? How satisfying in particular is it to become world No. 1 when only three guys have held that position for the last 13 years?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think that's the most satisfying thing, really. It's been such a difficult thing to do during my career because of how good the guys around me have been, the guys ahead of me.

I mean, you know, even this year, the year I have had to have to even be there for one week and be like 20 points ahead or whatever is like -- you know, I have had to win so many matches and get to the latter stage of pretty much every tournament that I have played.

It's just been -- it's been really, really hard to do it, been really difficult. Obviously they are three of the best players that have ever played the game and had some of the years that they have had in that period, as well, have been, I mean, ridiculous, really, like three slams and double slams and, you know, many Masters Series, as well.

So, you know, it's taken a great year to get there.

Q. Yesterday Novak spoke to us about his achievements and the fact that it has taken a toll on him, to an extent. What are your thoughts on the pressures and expectations on the top players and how you deal with them?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I can't imagine what it's been like for Novak the past couple of years, because, you know, it's been obviously incredible what he's done the last two, two-and-a-half, three years, really.

So, yeah, I can see how that would -- how it would take its toll and be mentally draining. I think the important thing for me right now is to sort of -- I want to finish this season well. This has obviously been -- you know, I wasn't thinking about necessarily getting to No. 1 this week, but it was something I was looking at for a few months' time.

But now that it's, you know, that I have done it, I need to now obviously sort of reset my goals and, you know, find the next thing to motivate me and try and push me to keep getting better. So that's what we will try and do now.

Q. You know what kids are like messing about. They imagine they have won a winning goal in a World Cup final. Did you have anything in your childhood where you hit a smash or a forehand and said, Yeah, I'm going to be world No. 1, or anything remotely like that?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I didn't really. And also, it was not like when I first came on the tour or even when I got older.

I never -- you know, I never thought I'd be No. 1 in the world and never, you know, never imagined that was something that was going to happen.

So, no, not really. You know, that was more like when I was playing football or wrestling with my brother. We'd imagine being different wrestlers or footballers, but yeah, not so much with tennis. (Smiling.)

Q. Looking at all the great achievements you have accomplished over the past four years, is it fair to say hiring Ivan Lendl is maybe the best decision you have made in your career? Did you speak with him recently?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, Ivan has obviously helped me a lot, you know, in the two times we have worked with each other, for sure.

But I have to give, you know, a lot of credit to Jamie Delgado who, like I said earlier, to get to No. 1 it takes a full year's work, and he's been there for every tournament. He's been there every single day working with me from the beginning of this year. You know, he deserves a lot of credit for the work that he's done with me, as well, this year.

Ivan has obviously helped me a lot in the periods we have spent with each other. The first time I have the best period of time in my career, and obviously since Wimbledon it's been a great run. I haven't spoken to him today. I haven't spoken to him the last couple of weeks. He's coming to London, but he will be able to communicating with Jamie most days. They have been a good team and helped me a lot.

Q. Have you had any messages? Has your phone been busy? Has he been in touch yet?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I haven't spoken to Ivan yet, because we have pretty much only found out. There was a few things I had to do and obviously hit some balls just now, and then I came in here. I spoke to Tim Henman on the phone. Spoke to my wife and my mum is here. But, yeah, only people I have spoke to on the phone were my wife and Tim so far.

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