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June 5, 2017

Andy Murray

Paris, France

A. MURRAY/K. Khachanov

6-3, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Given the start of the tournament where you were still getting over your cold and all of that, you must be very pleased with the progress of the first week and happy to be in the second week?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think today was probably the best I have played overall. It was difficult conditions. It was pretty windy out there. Wasn't easy.

But, yeah, each match I feel like I played better. I have hit the ball cleaner and started to, you know, see the right shots at the right moments.

Yeah, come a long way the last ten days or so.

Q. He's attracted quite a lot of attention. Now that you have played him, what kind of ceiling would you put for him in the future?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it's very difficult because I don't know him that well. The work ethic and the dedication and everything appears to be there. I think, you know, he's really into his tennis, which is very important.

He, in my opinion, has a very good coach. Galo Blanco, pretty much everyone he's worked with, he's helped them a lot.

He's a very strong guy. Powerful. Big serve, big shots, he has good timing.

You never know how players are going to develop. It's very difficult. But he's obviously one of the best young players in the world just now. He'll keep getting better.

But, yeah, I think by the end of this year, you know, top 20, top 25, and then from there, who knows?

Q. The two times you got broken today, you broke back straightaway. Are you in that kind of zone at the moment where you feel if something goes against you, you can just step it up a gear? Is that kind of where your mind is at the moment?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I said after the last match that what's important is what you're thinking right before the following point. Just now I'm quite clear with what I'm doing.

I played a bad game in the third set to get broken. I think second set, when I lost serve, I think he came up with some good returns, played some good stuff.

Third set, I didn't play a good game and, you know, reset pretty quickly and, you know, played some really good points the following game to get the break back and serve it out.

That's another thing that's been positive the last couple of matches. Same thing against Del Potro when I served for the second set. Broke straight back the following game and closed it out.

That's been good the last few matches.

Q. Condolences for the recent events in Britain. Novak Djokovic was asked yesterday whether he felt sports brings people together, and he said that he felt tennis does have values that people admire; sacrifice, fair play, and the like. Could you reflect on whether you think our sport does, in a small tangential way, bring people together, different cultures? Is that something that...
ANDY MURRAY: I think that's one of the great things about tennis is that, I don't know exactly how many different countries are represented here, you know, in the men's and women's events, but it's a lot. For sure, we all share, you know, locker rooms together, practice courts together. We compete against each other. For the most part, you know, the players get on, you know, very well with each other. We travel all around the world. We play in cities all over the world and different continents.

We get, you know, fantastic support everywhere we go. Yeah, I do think sport, and tennis in particular because of the nature of it, is such a global sport, it does bring lots of people together from, you know, many different places.

You know, it's one of the things I feel lucky that we get to travel around the world. It's one of the best things about this line of work or job or whatever you want to call it is that, I don't know, from 14, 15 years old I traveled -- I have been to South America, I have been to the States, I played all around Europe from such a young age. And I wouldn't have had the opportunities to do that otherwise. It's one of the things that's really nice about our sport.

Q. You are great ambassador not only of your country but in general. Do you feel appreciated in France or you don't care? They like your game, or I am an Englishman in New York?
THE MODERATOR: He's a Scotsman.

Q. Of course. Was a joke. The French people say, oh, they don't cheer for Pioline, but here do you think they appreciate your game?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, you'd have to ask them. You'd have to ask them. I mean, this year, I mean, in most of the matches I have played in front of great crowds. It's not like the people are sort of leaving the court and don't want to watch my matches.

I think, you know, sometimes obviously you play against French players. I have played many French players here. You know, the crowd is tough when you are competing against the French players here, but I haven't let that affect me in the matches. I have used it in a positive way. And then, yeah, like I said here and Paris Masters last year and during the event last year that, you know, support was good.

But, yeah, you'd have to ask them.

Q. You're into the quarterfinals of another Grand Slam. When you get into this stage of the competition and you feel like you might need to make some technical adjustments to your game, is that possible? Do you just have to accept that you have got to go with what you have got at this stage and just rely on that big match experience?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, you can't really make any technical changes at this stage. You can certainly make some tactical ones. You know, small tactical things like your court position or the height you're hitting the ball over the net. But in terms of technical things where you maybe are trying to change a stroke or anything, not a good time to do it in the middle of a slam.

You know, right now I don't want to. I'm happy with where my game's at. Everything is going pretty well just now. Yeah, I'm feeling good going into the middle part of the second week.

Q. From a technical tennis question to a football one. My colleagues in Scotland wonder if you could share some memories you have of watching Scotland/England matches maybe with Jamie or when you were growing up, any memories that stand out, either the actual matches, results, or watching Scotland against England, football?
ANDY MURRAY: One of the matches that I remember -- well, it was more the goal that I remember, was Gascoigne 's goal (smiling). I remember that pretty clearly. That was obviously unbelievable bit of skill. I have seen that, yeah, a lot over the years.

I remember that. I remember that one pretty well.

Q. (off microphone.)
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know about luck. To pull something like that off you've got to have something a bit special about you.

Q. You've got Verdasco or Nishikori next. Could you assess both of them as potential opponents?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, both obviously tough, tough players. Verdasco, one of the biggest forehands out there. He appears to have played very well in this event. I saw some of his match with Zverev in the first round. He played very well there.

Also had a pretty comfortable win against Cuevas. I didn't see that coming. Not that I didn't expect Verdasco to maybe win the match, but the scoreline was pretty surprising. He must have played well there.

And Kei, you know, obviously lost against him at US Open. He plays well on the clay, obviously.

You know, very solid off both wings, whereas Fernando, most of his danger is coming from the forehand side. You know, Kei, you know, is dangerous off both wings. Moves well, quick.

So, yeah, pretty different matchup. One pretty big lefty and a shorter right-hander. Yeah, we'll see who wins that.

Q. How important did you feel it was to say something about the recent terrorist attacks after the match? It seems like something you mentioned to Fabrice beforehand. And also did you watch the concert last night?
ANDY MURRAY: Fabrice asked me just before. I hadn't planned on it, and he just asked if he could ask me about it. I said, Yeah, of course. I didn't watch the concert. I listened to -- we had it on the radio last night, and I saw a few clips online just before I went to bed.

But it looked like it was pretty amazing. I mean, so many people there. You know, trying to have a good time in what's obviously a very difficult time just now.

But yeah, hopefully can find a solution for it, because it's been going on a long time. There has been problems everywhere. Obviously Paris has had its issues, as well. Hopefully can find some solutions.

Q. You had a great defensive lob earlier in the tournament. You had that lob in Davis Cup against Goffin. Some people say you have the best lob in the game. Could you just give a little free-form comments about the art of the lob? Is that something you practice? Do you enjoy the shot? Just talk about that, please.
ANDY MURRAY: Never practice it. Well, I mean, I don't, like, if I'm playing like a practice set or something, I'm sure I hit lobs, but I don't have my coach feed me balls that I can hit 10, 20 lobs off. Probably that and the dropshot are two of the shots I never practice, really. They are more instinctive.

But it's a shot that's, yeah, won me some big points. It's a shot I like playing. It works well against all players. When you play against someone like Karlovic who comes to the net a lot, obviously a huge guy, but you get a lob over the head a couple of times, it makes them sort of play a little bit further away from the net, which then opens up more angles.

And, yeah, if you're playing a shorter player, doesn't matter how close they are to the net, you know if you get a good lob it's not easy for them to reach it. It's a shot I like playing, and it's won me a lot of big points.

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