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October 31, 2016

Andy Murray

Paris, France

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are your energy levels holding up after the long run of tournaments you have had?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I feel fine. I had a break after Shanghai, which I needed, and didn't hit any balls until I arrived in Vienna. And then obviously I got the walkover on Saturday which helped, so it was pretty much a rest day.

And then, yeah, the final wasn't too long yesterday, either. I feel okay.

Q. Now that the No. 1 is coming closer and closer, does it change at all the pressure, the feeling you have, seeing it at your reach at all?
ANDY MURRAY: No, because it's not in my control. You know, I can obviously try and win my matches, but, you know, even if I win all of my matches this week, I still might not get there.

So it's in Novak's hands. He's ahead obviously just now, so, you know, if he wins his matches and gets to the latter stages of the last two tournaments, then he'll most likely keep the No. 1 spot.

So, you know, I don't feel any differently now to how I did kind of six, eight weeks ago. You know, my goal wasn't to finish No. 1 at the end of this year. I wanted to finish this year as strong as possible, and, you know, I think there is a lot stronger chance of doing it in the early part of next year, which is what I targeted rather than this week.

Q. You're saying you feel pretty good physically. Do you prefer to be on a run like this, playing lots of matches, to playing maybe slightly fewer tournaments and practicing more? Would you rather be playing more and winning more?
ANDY MURRAY: I think obviously playing and winning matches is best-case scenario for players providing you have the correct schedule. I think if you, you know, you just keep playing every week and you're winning a lot of matches, then, you know, over time you're going to start to get tired, start to break down, and, you know, results and performances will get worse and worse.

You need to make sure that, you know, you give yourself enough rest, which I did after the Davis Cup, which maybe I didn't do over the sort of Rio through to US Open time. I would have maybe given myself a bit more of a break there because I trained hard in Mallorca before going to Rio and that stretch became quite long. I feel like I learned a lot from that and made sure I took a good break after Davis Cup and then also after Shanghai.

I'll make sure I will do the same after I finish here, as well. But I think, you know, you need to spend time on the practice court to improve things. If you just play matches all the time, that's good if you're winning, but you need to keep improving, as well. Playing matches isn't always the best way to do that.

Q. I'm just wondering, particularly now that you're on the player council, I don't know if you've been asked this in the recent weeks, but have you discussed with other players this idea possibly of Davis Cup being in a sort of one neutral venue for sort of three years? And what are your thoughts on that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I spoke about this a lot the last six, eight weeks, really. We talked about it in the player council meeting in New York. That was the first meeting that I had been to.

I wouldn't say the players were in favor of that move. You know, I think there has been quite a few things with the Davis Cup, with the players, especially the way that it's -- the times of the year that it comes in. You know, the format has been discussed quite a lot.

But certainly having a neutral venue is not one of the things that players have suggested or complained about, the sort of home and away tie. I think for us we, in theory, play in neutral venues the whole year playing on the tour.

One of the special things about Davis Cup is the home-and-away aspect of it. I played in -- some of the best atmospheres in my life have been in Davis Cup. Some of them have been obviously great at home. And when it's away, like in the final, was a tough atmosphere last year, but you remember it, you know, because of that. I think it might lose something by having it in a neutral venue.

Q. Going back to the scheduling thing, how long does it take you to recharge your batteries when you're on a run like this? You must be tired physically and mentally.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, after the Asia stretch it took five full days, so I didn't do anything on the court or anything physical.

After Davis Cup, I took -- well, I had basically eight days off but also like two straight afterwards, as well. I played the charity match on the Wednesday, so I had the Monday/Tuesday off. Played on the Wednesday, and then I didn't hit a ball until the Thursday before Beijing.

So I had kind of ten days off after Davis Cup, and I felt good when I went over to China. I didn't really play any long matches there. All of the matches were fairly quick.

In terms of like last week, I had some long matches and that's why, you know, I got lucky with John being injured, and that was not a physical match at all, and then the walkover the next day, that helped a bit last week.

But in terms of how many days, it depends. You know, sometimes after like -- after the Davis Cup match, I played against Nishikori this year. That took a while. And also after the Davis Cup tie against Argentina, that also took me a while to recover from, because they were brutal matches against Del Potro and Nishikori. They were five hours long.

Q. Can you pinpoint a couple of key reasons why you're in the best form of your career in 2016?
ANDY MURRAY: I think the grass court season was really important for me, because I hadn't won any of the major events for a long time, and I had lost a lot of tough, tough finals. That was frustrating. Especially the French Open this year was a tough one for me.

But, yeah, to kind of bounce back and win there, that gave me a lot of confidence again and motivation that, you know, if I keep doing what I'm doing and working hard, I can win the big events again, and, you know, compete with the best players in the biggest tournaments.

That was an important period for me. Obviously my team has worked very well this year, too. Obviously quite a number of new -- Ivan and Jamie Delgado, you know, Jamie I started working with beginning of the year. Ivan obviously over the grass court season we started again. That's obviously been positive as well.

Q. Djokovic said yesterday that you "definitely deserve to be in the position of being No. 1 at the end of the year" because he thinks you're playing the best tennis of your career. Is that a view you share or is it you trying not to think too much about your performance?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, I do deserve to be there, because, yeah, the rankings, a cliché, but the rankings don't lie. It's a long season, tennis season. We have a lot of mandatory events that pretty much all of the top players play in.

And, yeah, if you're ranked 1 or 2 or 3 or 4, that's where you deserve to be ranked providing you're fit. If you have six great months and then you're injured the last three or four months, you could say, oh, maybe he deserved to finish a bit higher.

This year I have been healthy the whole year, and last four or five months I have played the best of my career. So I deserve to be ranked No. 2 in the world just now, and Novak deserves to be No. 1 because of the year that he's had.

Obviously, like, he lost against Bautista in the semis of Shanghai. Final in New York. He won Cincinnati. Lost to Del Potro who is obviously playing great tennis at the Olympics. You know, Wimbledon was obviously, you know, a bit of a surprise, but, you know, he's had a great year with maybe one or two losses that, you know, you maybe wouldn't expect.

But he's had an amazing year, and, you know, even the last few months he's been in the final in New York and also won Cincinnati and the semis of Shanghai. He's doing all right (smiling).

Q. Do you remember the last tournament when you came without a coach? What was the situation like? What is the benefit you can get from this?
ANDY MURRAY: I did it the beginning of last year after Australia when -- yeah, Amélie was at Fed Cup. I didn't have the second coach at the time. I had been speaking to Jonas, but he was doing like the dancing show, and he stayed in quite a long time so he couldn't start with me.

And, yeah, so I was in Rotterdam and Dubai without a coach. And, yeah, it can be nice, because, you know, you have a bit of freedom in a way to do kind of what you want to do, you know, practice the things you want and at the times you want. You don't necessarily have to discuss that with anyone, you know, which can be nice.

It's not happened to me too much during my career, but some players have done it for quite long periods. Roger has obviously done it and was extremely successful. Kyrgios, as well, has obviously done pretty well without a coach for a young guy.

You know, so it can work, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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