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May 16, 2017

Andy Murray

Rome, Italy

F. FOGNINI/A. Murray

6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's often said that the worst luck you can have in tennis is coming up against Fognini when he's in that sort of mood. Was there much you could have done tonight that you didn't do?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I'm sure there were a lot of things I could have done better. You know, obviously he started the match extremely well, for sure, and then, you know, mid to end part of the second set, you know, there were a few opportunities there.

But, yeah, he was -- you know, he was taking the ball early, you know, hitting the ball close to the lines and dominating most of the points.

And then second set, you know, towards the end he starts making a few more mistakes. I was getting into it a little bit, but I wasn't doing enough to -- you know, I wasn't creating enough chances on my own. You know, normally during matches your opponent might give you a few opportunities with some errors, and obviously you hope to create a few yourself.

That certainly wasn't the case today. The only chance I really got was when he was making errors.

Q. You said after Coric that nothing had really worked. It felt like some things were working tonight. It felt like you were actually playing better than that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I definitely felt a little bit better than there, but, yeah, still not close to where I would like to be, obviously.

You know, I felt like after Barcelona I would start to play better, and the last two weeks have certainly not been as good as Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. Even the match I lost in Monte-Carlo I did actually feel like I played some good tennis.

You know, I messed up the match a bit in the third set, but I did actually play some good stuff.

The last couple of weeks has definitely been a struggle, and, you know, a long way from where I'd like to be.

Q. Big-picture question. Being No. 1 so far this year hasn't matched your results or you haven't had as good of results as you did last year. Is that unrelated to the ranking? We have seen this a bunch in tennis before, and Kerber is having a rough time at No. 1, as well. Is that independent from the rough stretch you are having, or is being No. 1 and what it took to get to No. 1 last year adding into what makes it difficult to do your best right now?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I personally don't think it has anything to do with it, but I get asked about it every week. I don't know how I'm supposed to continue answering the question.

For me, it's no excuse. You know, I have been in the top few positions in the ranking for literally ten years, and I felt like maybe if it happened when I was younger that it might not be something I would be able to deal with as well, but it certainly is not something that I'm thinking about, you know, the four weeks or even when I have been struggling. And also, at the beginning of the year I played fine. You know, the first three events, you know, maybe weren't perfect, but had a final, a win, tough loss in Australia, but I just feel like I'm not playing well.

I don't think it's to do with the ranking, but I get asked about it every week. Somebody obviously thinks that.

Q. Does it feel materially different to you to come to these tournaments week after week as No. 1, as being top one in the draw than it was to be 2, 3 4 for so many years? Is that a different feeling?
ANDY MURRAY: It really doesn't, to me. I'm not lying. That's just how -- that is how I feel. I'm just not playing well, and I don't think it's to do with my ranking. I mean, the last couple of weeks, you know, they have been tough and I haven't played well.

You know, I think sort of that Indian Wells and maybe like Monte-Carlo, you know, the injury and stuff was more understandable.

But the last few weeks, there is no reason for it from my end. I'm just not playing good tennis, and I need to try and work out how to turn that around. I believe I will. And I need ideally quickly, because there are some pretty important tournaments coming up.

You know, I still feel like I can do really well in those events. I need to turn it around quick.

Q. I know it's soon after the match, but what do you think you'll do now in terms of Ivan coming over, when you'll head to Paris and where you'll practice, et cetera?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, there was some stuff after I finished in Madrid saying, like, something had changed with my schedule or with Ivan's schedule. Total nonsense. The plan was for Ivan to come over Sunday. He was going to fly in to London and we were going to travel to Paris together either on the Monday or the Tuesday. And then obviously, depending on how I get on in Paris, hopefully it goes well, you know, he will be there for the majority of the grass court season. Obviously if it goes badly, then maybe he goes home after the French for a bit.

Yeah, I would think fly home tomorrow morning and then spend a couple of days at home and get to Paris early to, you know, get myself the best chance to get used to the conditions there and prepare as well as I can.

Q. You say that you're not playing well, but at the same time, do you feel that you are not as quick as you were sometimes? For instance, I was surprised, seven dropshots and you didn't even move, like if you couldn't see them.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, definitely movement the last two weeks has not been good. I felt like I moved decent in -- you know, in the beginning of the year I was moving well. I moved pretty well in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, but the last two weeks I haven't moved well.

You know, Fabio did play some good dropshots, but like you say, I wasn't actually making a move or a step towards the ball.

You know, that's not a good sign, so that's something, like I said, the last two years on the clay, that's been a huge improvement for me. My movement has been a big help, you know, last couple of years, but certainly the last couple of weeks that's been a problem. So I need to address that.

Q. You have improved so much in the last few years, but do you see that clay is a little bit more -- you know, you might have to make a few changes? Are you prepared to do that? I know you're not having a good clay season, but are you prepared to do that this year or next year? Is that in your Bucket List, I do want to win Roland Garros?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, definitely this year it's not been good, so I'd want to make some changes from how this year has gone, for sure. The last two years, I mean, I played really, really well on the clay. You know, there was no reason why playing like that was maybe, you know, a few things getting a bit better, I wouldn't have a chance to win at the French Open.

I know a lot of people think I have got no chance of doing anything at the French after the last couple of weeks, but, you know, I do think I can. It's certainly not going to be easy. I'm going to have to work hard these next ten days and really, you know, prepare very well, make the most of every single day, and then really work my way into the tournament. It's going to be tough, but I do think I can still do well there.

Q. On the French Open, you spoke at Indian Wells and before that about Maria Sharapova, thinking she should earn her way back all the way. Wonder if you agree with the decision not to give her a wildcard.
ANDY MURRAY: Honestly, I have spoken about this every week for 15 months. It's killing me. I've got no interest in discussing it anymore.

I'm having struggles of my own. I said the last five, six months the tournaments do whatever they think is best for the tournaments. Some of them decided it's great that, you know, she's come. The French have obviously decided they don't need her to be there. You know, that's it.

But I don't know why I get asked about this every week. I don't get it. I have answered the questions...

Q. It's just that it's a news event today.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, but every week there's a new event. Because next week will be Wimbledon wildcard and then Eastbourne wildcard. It's like -- I have made myself clear. The other players, you know, some of them have, some of them haven't.

Yeah, the French have decided what they want to do, and that's fine with me.

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