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June 20, 2017

Andy Murray

London, England


7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Does the fact that he was a late substitute have anything to do with how you handled him?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think so. I mean, in fact, I found out quite far in advance. I mean, it wasn't like it was just 20 minutes beforehand, which sometimes can happen. I found out quite a number of hours in advance, so I was able to see quite a bit of him online and have seen him play a few matches before.

But I don't think that had anything to do with it.

Q. What do you think had to do with it?
ANDY MURRAY: He played better than me. I mean, that's what happened. I mean, the first set there was not much in it. I made some mistakes in the middle part of the tiebreak, which, you know, gifted it to him a little bit. Like from 3-2 I served a double fault and then played a poor dropshot on the 3-All point.

That wasn't a great sort of period of the match for me there. And then the second set I had a Love-40 game. Didn't get it. Got broken soon after that. And, I mean, the game where I got broken to go double break down, there were some pretty good points in that, kind of some grass-court tennis-type points where it can go either way.

But I didn't create loads of chances, really. I didn't return particularly well. He served big. He served well.

Q. (Question about adapting to grass.)
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I have had more than enough time to get used to the conditions. I have been practicing for the last seven, eight days. You know, I mean, if that's the case, all tournaments -- all qualifiers get a couple of matches on the courts, but, you know, it hasn't made a difference in the past.

Q. Was there anything leading from your practice that made you a bit worried about today?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I have been playing well. I practiced pretty good. You know, like I say, I was happy I got a lot of time on the practice court.

You know, trained a lot Monday to Thursday, and then, you know, last few days was playing some sets. Was doing okay.

I mean, the movement first couple of matches can sometimes be a little bit, you know, a little bit slow or, you know, takes a little bit of time to pick it up on the grass, but apart from that, everything was good.

Q. Is your main thought here frustration that it was a bad day, you didn't play as well as you wanted to, or concern that there is more work to do now than you thought there was?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I said before the tournament there was still a lot of work to be done, and after the French Open I knew that I was still quite far from where I needed to be. I mean, one tournament doesn't change all of, you know, what had gone on just beforehand.

So that's why I got back on the practice court quite soon afterwards, but I was certainly feeling better in the buildup here than I was going into the French. Certainly would have expected to have played and done a bit better.

Q. How much of a blow is it 11, 12 days to go till first Monday of Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, a big blow, for sure. Obviously this tournament has given me great preparation in the past, and when I have done well here, you know, Wimbledon has tended to go pretty well, too.

You know, not ideal obviously, but guys have in the past also gone in to Wimbledon having not won lots of matches. You know, Novak a number of times hasn't played any warmup tournaments and played very well there.

You know, it has happened in the past where guys haven't done well and gone on to do well at Wimbledon. There is no guarantees that I won't do well at Wimbledon, but it certainly would have helped to have had more matches. That's always been the case for me. At this event when I've got matches, it's certainly helped at Wimbledon.

Q. Presumably, though, there is nothing about today that's changed your belief that you can win one again this year?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, like I just said, I mean, I do think that a lot can change, you know, in a short period of time. Everything was a lot better in practice. Today's match was not good, but I was much better in practice.

And, yeah, hopefully I get enough time on the court these next couple of weeks and work on some things, because I'm going to need to. If I play like that, I certainly won't win Wimbledon, but I can play better than that.

Q. How does that affect your schedule before Wimbledon now?
ANDY MURRAY: I really don't know. I haven't been in this position loads. Over the years it's happened a couple of times, but I will speak to the team, see what I do, you know, if I try and play a few matches, one of the exhibitions next week or not. I wasn't planning on doing that, but, you know, that's possible now, for sure.

But, yeah, I will chat to them probably tomorrow. Think a little bit about things tonight and then come up with a plan, but I'm not sure yet.

Q. You won't be tempted to play Eastbourne?
ANDY MURRAY: I hadn't thought about that.

Q. It was a very generous gesture of you to indicate that you would donate your winnings from this tournament to the Grenfell Tower Fund. To what extent, if any, did that add an extra element of pressure in your head, or to what extent did it enter your mind at all as you were preparing for the match or during the match?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I try to prepare for the matches all the same. Obviously I would have liked to have done well here for a number of reasons, that being a very good one, and, you know, it's unfortunate I couldn't have done better for that reason.

But, yeah, I was trying to play, concentrate on what I need to do on the court, and then that's the best way of getting results and hopefully performing well. I didn't do that today.

Q. How good a grass court player is he?
ANDY MURRAY: He moves well and serves well. That's two important things to do on the grass. A lot of guys, you know, struggle a little bit with the movement, but he's quick. You know, if you serve big, you can get free points. You know, it can be tough.

I mean, it's difficult for me to say just based off of one match. I do feel like, you know, he served well and got a lot of free points from his serve, but I also feel like I have made a lot of mistakes in the second set and gifted him a few points which, you know, I wouldn't normally do.

But he serves big and moves well. Those are two important things to do on the grass.

Q. Is there anything in particular about his style of serving that was more difficult for you today?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I returned the second serve fine. It was the first serve. You know, he has a live arm. You know, it's not the biggest serve, but it's quite a quick motion. Sometimes that can make things more difficult to pick up.

And then, you know, when you haven't played someone before, you maybe don't see the patterns of where they are going to serve and pick that up, as well.

And on the grass, if you're just seeing things like a split second late, it makes it even tougher, so he definitely serves well, quick motion, and on the grass that certainly can get you a lot of free points.

Q. (Question about changes in his game.)
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. It's a difficult one. I don't feel like loads of my game has changed, but obviously right now I'm not playing as well as I was 12 months ago. You know, most of that comes down to confidence in matches, really.

It's not so much that I have changed, you know, my serve or my technique as much. It's just when you're playing a lot of matches and winning consistently helps you make better decisions at important moments, and today the couple of times where -- you know, like in the middle of the tiebreak, I made two poor mistakes in the middle part of that tiebreak when I was ahead, and then beginning of the second set had Love-40 and missed two returns and missed the forehand way out on the next break point, and that has nothing to do with my game changing. That's just poor decisions and not hitting the ball well in the big moments.

Q. How about your mentality? Was it different in any way?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I would hope it's the same, but like I said, I mean, the mental side is important, so last year coming in I had had a great run on the clay. This year wasn't a good run but played well in the French. Yeah, I had won a lot more matches and played a lot more matches through the clay court season last year. I think that makes a difference.

Q. (Question about reaching semifinals in Roland Garros after a poor buildup to the French, comparing to buildup for Wimbledon.)
ANDY MURRAY: Like I said, I feel like I can still do very well at Wimbledon, you know, providing I do everything right these next couple of weeks. I mean, I did it obviously at the French, but there is a lot of work to be done. I need to make sure I get that work done and put the time in on the court and in the gym. You know, hopefully I will turn that around. I mean, it's certainly possible. I proved it at the French and there is many, many cases of it in the past. There's no reason I can't do well.

Q. Going back a little bit to the prize money-related question with London and a number of things that happened here recently, but when it's in your backyard and it's your home, seems like there might be an added level of distress that could be disruptive to your focus and staying on course to just focus on your game. Do you think that's a factor at all?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think so. I don't think it's fair to place blame anywhere like that. Obviously it's been a tough few months, no question about that, but when I'm playing, I'm just trying to concentrate on my tennis, and when I'm away from the court I'm just trying to spend a lot of time with my family and the people that mean a lot or are important to me. I wouldn't want to place any blame there. I wouldn't think that would be fair.

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