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June 9, 2017

Andy Murray

Paris, France


6-7, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In the final set, what was the biggest factor? Mental fatigue? Physical fatigue or just an opponent who was playing too well?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, he played obviously better in that set. I lost a little bit of speed on my serve which wasn't allowing me to dictate many points on my own serve. Yeah, that was it. I mean, he obviously hit some greats shots in the fifth, but, you know, I didn't keep the score close enough to sort of put him under pressure. It's a lot harder to pull off some of the shots that he was hitting at the end if the score was a bit closer and wasn't able to do that.

Q. You played and fought for 4 hours 33 minutes so you should be proud of it even if you lost. You never surrendered. I heard you saying, Come on, when you were down 4-Love in the fifth. What was going through your mind in those moments? Were you thinking that it was too late or something?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, obviously when you're 5-0 down and three breaks behind in the fifth set you're not that optimistic, obviously. But, you know, I tried to, you know, tried to keep fighting. The 3-0 game, we were at Love-30 in that game. You know, had I managed to get a break there, you know, I think might have been a little bit different. I didn't.

And then that was it. You know, he played too well in the end.

Q. What's your assessment of your progress at Roland Garros over the last two weeks and how that sets you up now going into Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I'm proud of the tournament I had. I did well considering. You know, I was one tiebreak away from getting to the final when I came in really struggling. So I have to be proud of that.

Maybe the lack of matches hurt me a little bit in the end today. You know, that was a very high intensity match. A lot of long points. When you haven't been playing loads, you know, over four, four-and-a-half hours, that can catch up to you a little bit. So, you know, I only have myself to blame for that, for the way I played coming into the tournament.

But, you know, I turned my form around, you know, really, really well and ended up having a good tournament, all things considered.

Q. Were you able to employ the tactics you had in mind coming into the match?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think so. I mean, like I said, it was not like I was far away from winning the match. I was close to finishing it in the fourth set. You know, there are a few things that I for sure feel I could do better, I would have liked to have done a bit differently.

I feel my net game was really poor today. That hurt me on a few occasions and some important moments. You know, didn't approach well and didn't play well up at the net, you know, which against, you know, against Stan it's very important. You know, he's a very powerful guy.

So when you come forward, you need to be sharp up there. I missed a few too many points up at the net. I would have liked to have done that better.

Q. During the fifth set, just to be sure, do you think it's more the lack of matches or the fact physically maybe you got really tired after the fourth? How did you feel? From the outside it looked like you maybe ran out of gas a little bit in the fifth.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, physically I didn't feel my best at the end. It is more like, you know, I didn't have enough weight on my shot at the end of the match to, you know, to put him under any real pressure.

So a lot of the points he was -- you know, he was dictating from the middle of the court, and I was sort of, you know, retrieving and allowing him to pretty much hit the shots that he wants. And against a shotmaker, someone who hits the ball as big as him, that's obviously not ideal.

You know, whether that was down to me being a little bit slower in the fifth set or, you know, whatever it was, it was not a successful tactic, hitting the ball short in the middle of the court. Didn't work.

Q. There was a period at the end of the second and the beginning of the third where you lost seven games in a row, but you actually managed to win that third set in the end. I was just wondering what happened during that period and perhaps why weren't you able to kind of do that again when you were down?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I lost my way a little bit that period. Again, you know, over four hours, four-and-a-half hours, there is going to be periods in the match where you're not hitting the ball as well and, you know, your opponent is going to be playing well. And you need to try and ride out the storm a little bit. I didn't do that, that period of the match, again, for whatever reason.

You know, I kind of expected to have a few more ups and downs in this event than maybe I have actually had just because of, again, how I was feeling coming in. Like I said, you play matches at that intensity, I haven't played many of them these last sort of six or seven weeks. Sometimes things can get away from you a little bit quicker in those moments.

Obviously that wasn't a great period of the match for me, and, you know, that's more frustrating for me than, you know, the fifth set's maybe a bit more understandable. That period of the match was important. I did well to win the third set, considering.

Q. How far away do you feel from your best level, the level you showed at the end of last year, are you now? And what do you think needs to improve?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know how close I am to that. You know, I played pretty well, you know, these last few matches. Even when you're playing well, you're not going to win every match you play, but I put myself in a position to reach a slam final, so I'm obviously playing pretty good.

You know, played some good stuff here. How close that is to my tennis from last year, I don't know. Very difficult to say. You know, hopefully it gives me a good base, you know, to go into the grass court season.

You know, often when I have done well on the clay, I feel like that's helped me a little bit on the grass. Certainly the matches are not as physical, so going through matches like I did today is a good step for me.

But, yeah, it's impossible to say how close you are to your best level at any stage. Things change on a daily basis. I played better today than I did in the last match and lost. So, you know, that happens.

Q. For all the talk of illnesses, loss of form, lack of matches and lack of practice, this fortnight have you worked through it and done enough tennis to make yourself feel at least like your old self again?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I have been working hard in the buildup to the event. I needed to. I needed to spend a lot of time on the court, and, you know, I had to work hard. You know, I worked very hard in the match today. Same in the match against Nishikori and moments against Del Potro and against Klizan. Like, you know, the matches, not all of them were plain sailing for me. They were tricky. You know, that was good.

Like I said, I do feel like having an event like this, you know, can give me a boost, and hopefully have a strong grass court season and try to understand what worked well this event and what worked well in the sort of 10 days in the buildup and the practices. And make sure I continue to do that throughout the year, not make any mistakes with my preparation or my training, and hopefully I finish the year strong.

Q. Tough, close match today. When you look over at your box and gesture and so forth, does that somehow release some pressure? Just give you a connectiveness? Talk about that process in the heat of the match, if you would.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I spoke about it a lot earlier in the tournament. Yeah, I mean, maybe it's my way of releasing stress or, you know, pressure, whatever.

I mean, when you're playing in front of 15,000 people, there is a few people up there that are familiar faces. You know, in moments of stress, yeah, I look up to them. I also do the same when I play good points, as well. You know, Stan looks at his box all the time and points to his head. You know, players tend to do it. Rafa looks up at his box all of the time.

And everyone probably does it as a way of releasing stress or making them feel more comfortable by looking at the people that you're closest to in those moments.

Obviously, you know, sometimes it's positive. Sometimes it's negative with me, unfortunately, but that's the way it is.

Q. Considering your performance here the last four years, wondering if you feel pretty confident that this is a tournament you could win some day? And secondly on just some pretty extraordinary defensive displays from your side of the court, and particularly off smashes of his, is that something you practice or if it's improvisational?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I practice off some of the smashes, making sure -- because naturally when someone goes to smash the ball, you will hold the racquet in, like, a chopper grip and normally put up another lob if someone has a smash on top of the net.

But I do practice guys smashing at me and trying to make sure I actually hit, like, a proper shot off that. I think, like, reading where they're going to hit it, I think it's just more from years of playing and reading the game.

The high defensive lobs, I never practice that. That's just something that -- well, I do in matches. I mean, I hit a lot of them. So I practice, you know, I'm practicing at almost every match that I play. I have played almost 800 on the tour now, so it's a shot that works well for me and helps me get back in a lot of points.

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