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November 20, 2016

Andy Murray

London, England, United Kingdom

A. MURRAY/N. Djokovic

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Where does that performance rank alongside your other major final performances?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don't think that was one of Novak's best matches. I think we have played better matches together. The end of the match was exciting and dramatic. But, you know, there were mistakes from both of us.

I think I've probably played better matches. I was solid enough when I needed to be. I didn't make those mistakes. I think although I maybe made a few more mistakes than I would have liked, I think tactically I played a good match.

Yeah, it was obviously a good performance. You never beat a player as good as Novak if you don't play well. I'm not suggesting I played a bad match. I just think the two of us have played better matches than that one.

Q. You mentioned the other day you can only beat the players you're drawn against. Does it give you particular satisfaction to have clinched the year-end world No. 1 position having beaten the guy who has been the most successful player in the game over the last five years?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know if 'satisfaction' is the right word. I mean, you know, it was obviously a big, big match against someone who I've played so many big matches against in my career. That would be my main rival really throughout my career.

We played in all of the slam finals, Olympics, obviously here now, and a match to finish the year No. 1. We played in loads of Masters Series finals, as well, and are one week apart in age.

It was obviously a big match, a very important win for me. It was just a huge match to finish the year, to try and obviously finish No. 1. Obviously this is a major event, as well, and one I've not done well in in the past. So it's been a great week.

Q. How difficult was it to serve out the match? What goes through your mind? That's such a momentous occasion.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, the 4-1 game was a tough one game to lose. I was up 30-15 in that game, served a poor serve. I didn't hit my second serve well today at all. Maybe first game I served a couple double-faults. After that, didn't hit it that well.

When I got broken at 4-1, Novak definitely started to hit the ball a bit bigger. He was getting closer to the baseline. I was starting to back off a little bit. That last game was obviously, you know, a tough one. Thankfully he made a few mistakes.

But I did come up with some good serves in that game. One point in particular, I think it was maybe 15-All or 30-All, when I came forward, you know, and hit the drop volley there, that was an important point, as well.

Q. How did you feel this morning when you woke up? Did you sort of feel better as the day went on and the match went on?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I felt tired. You know, I felt tired. I slept well last night, but I didn't feel great this morning. The practice, the warmup for the match, I was hitting the ball fine, but just a bit sluggish, a bit heavy-legged.

Thankfully the first sort of seven games of the match, there was no long rallies really at all, which for us is strange. Novak came out and served great his first couple service games. I got a lot of free points off my first serve, as well.

It wasn't really until the middle of the second set when the rallies started to get extended and longer that my legs were starting to feel it. That's why it became harder, as well, to close the match out, because I knew that the longer the match went, the worse I was going to feel, and probably the better he was going to play, too.

I was lucky I got it finished in two sets.

Q. Ivan has said in the past that when you retire, it's the amount of majors you've won rather than the weeks at No. 1 that you'll remember. You're going to be No. 1 now I guess for a minimum of two months. Is the priority going to be back to winning majors or will be holding on to No. 1 be back up there with it?
ANDY MURRAY: I would like to try and stay there, obviously. It's taken a huge effort the last five, six months to get there. I would obviously like to stay there. I'm aware that's going to be extremely difficult because I had a great year this year. I only managed to do it by one match. To repeat that again next year is going to be extremely difficult.

But now that I've got there, I obviously would be motivated to try and stay in that position. But yeah, I mean, the majors are what gets me working hard and what really, really motivates me.

When I go away in December to train, I'm training with the Australian Open in mind. Because of the best-of-five-set matches, they're the ones you have to really put in the extra work for and the extra training for. That's what motivates me.

Q. Can you rank the achievement of being a year-end No. 1 among all the achievements in your career? Does it give you something extra, it being against Novak?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think it did. It's not so much the ranking. Everything that he's achieved, I have massive respect for everything that he's done, for him as a player obviously.

I think it's just maybe more the last few months because I've won a lot of matches and he's not been playing his best. But maybe in the important moments today, I was just a little bit more solid, maybe had that extra little bit of confidence, which in the past when we played each other maybe he's had. Maybe that was a bit of the difference today rather than the rankings, I think.

Q. Behind a great man is always a huge woman. Djokovic said nice words about your wife, how she handled the situation with the girl. Why do you think he said that today? Because this wife is really fantastic? Because you talk with him about this? Because it's really a great part in your success?
ANDY MURRAY: Like I said, when me and Novak speak with each other, we don't talk about tennis, rankings, the matches we play against each other. Maybe when we finish playing, that might change. But we talk about each other's families, children and stuff.

We chatted at length this year quite a lot because obviously I became a father the first time. We spoke about the difficulty in keeping the sort of balance in your life with the family and the traveling and the work and everything.

So, yeah, I mean, I think both of us have been with our now wives a long time, pretty much since we were like 18, 19 years old. We met each other's wives together at that age, as well. We've known each other a very long time. Regardless of what some of you may think, we have a good relationship.

It's not always easy when you're playing on court in the biggest matches with a lot at stake, but we've always got on well with each other, each other's teams and families.

Q. We tend to define men's tennis by the foremost players of the generation. We've had Pete Sampras eras, Roger Federer eras. How excited are you of the prospect of making this the Andy Murray era?
ANDY MURRAY: I never thought about that. You know, never given that any thought at all. I'd obviously want to try and achieve as much as I can these next few years because I'm not going to be around forever. I'm not going to be able to play at this level and play this many matches into my mid 30s.

These next few years, obviously I want to try and make them the best of my career, yeah, try and win as much as I can. But it's going to be tough because as you get older, you know, the young guys are going to keep improving and getting better. There's some really good young ones now.

It's going to be hard, but I'll try to keep going.

Q. I wanted to get your thoughts on the state of the game right now. A lot of the players have said they like the position of the game right now. The numbers seem to be up for viewership. Federer and Nadal are coming back next year. Young talent coming up. Talk about where the game is right now.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, this year I think has been hard in some ways because of Roger and Rafa missing large parts of the year. They have massive fan bases, the two of them, not just for everything they've achieved on the court, but because they're obviously charismatic guys and are very, very popular. That's been tough this year.

But I hope these next few years are exciting. If the two of them can come back and be healthy, then some of the younger guys who I think are going to be great players, a few of them are really exciting personalities, as well, with exciting games.

I think it's in a good place just now. It would be better if the two of them were fit.

Q. Right after your Wimbledon win, some pundits and even the general press started calling you the best British sportsman ever. Are you aware of that? What is your take on the subject?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, I mean, I've been asked about it a few times since then. I have no idea. It's always a possible question to answer.

I mean, in tennis terms, in terms of my achievements over the years, I'd say I'd be the best tennis player from the UK. In terms of athletes, we've had many great athletes across a number of different sports.

It's impossible to say. It depends what your preference is really, what sports you like, which sports you think are the hardest.

Q. We sat here yesterday talking about this match. You were reflecting on the fact it wasn't enough that you haven't beaten top five players, then beat them, not enough you haven't beaten Djokovic, now you've beaten Djokovic. How important is it to you personally to have done that? How important is it to have shown all those people, I can do it? Second question, where is the party tonight?
ANDY MURRAY: Were you wanting to join again (laughter)?

No party tonight. I think we'll go out for dinner tomorrow night. I haven't been home for the last few nights. I've been staying in the hotel. So we're going to go home. But I think tomorrow with the team, we'll definitely go out for dinner, then see afterwards what happens.

I think for me, because obviously it's a matchup that over the last couple of years I lost a lot of the big matches against him, you know, this one was a big match, I managed to get over the line, it was tough at the end.

Mentally that will, again, give me a boost going into next year, as well. But, no, it was more for myself really. Yeah, it doesn't really matter what anyone else says. It's kind of how you feel inside.

I'm also happy for my team, as well, because they put a lot of work into getting me ready for these matches. I've lost a lot of them over the years. It's nice and I'm happy for them that I managed to win a big one like this.

Q. This year you became an Olympic champion, Wimbledon champion, and the ATP World Tour Finals champion. How do you feel? How can you compare the feelings of the three different championships? Also, what would you say if you had some suggestions for Chinese tennis fans, because you also won the Shanghai Masters this year?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, all of the big events I won this year, they're different. The Olympics felt really special I think because of the way the match was. It was a really, really hard match, tough match against del Potro in the final. That one felt the most satisfying. It was a big week for me, that one. I got to carry the flag at the opening ceremonies, which was incredibly special, and something I didn't expect to ever get the chance to do. Then, yeah, to finish with a gold medal, again, was great. So the Olympics for me in terms of one match would have been the most special one.

But they're different. Right now to finish the year like this, this is the best possible way obviously to finish a year. I've often finished years on a bit of a downer after here because I hadn't played that well. But the last two years have finished well with the Davis Cup and now this.

Then with Chinese tennis, I didn't really understand the question.

Q. Chinese tennis fans, what do you have to say to them?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I had great support there this year when I went to play. It was really nice. Always in Shanghai I had, yeah, good support. Yeah, hope they enjoyed my tennis this year and I'll see them over there next year.

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