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July 10, 2017
Wimbledon, London, England
A. MURRAY/B. Paire
7-6, 6-4, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How does it feel to play tennis on a Manic Monday?
ANDY MURRAY: The same as most days really. Obviously, you know, in the slams, all of the days feel maybe a bit different to some of the other matches and days that you play during the year because these are the biggest events and the ones that you want to perform your best at. So you feel maybe a little bit more pressure.
But I don't feel much different today than I did last Monday.
Q. You talked a lot before the tournament about your lack of grass court preparation time, concerns about the hip pain. Do you feel more confident now than you did a week ago about your ability to give of your best all the way to Sunday if it goes that far?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, like I said at the beginning of the tournament, I'll be able to get through seven matches if that's what I have to do. Obviously I want to try to get to the final.
And, yeah, I've done a good job so far here. I mean, today was by far the best I hit the ball, the cleanest I hit the ball. I was happy about that. Last couple of days, practice has been really good, as well. I didn't feel great during my last match. I didn't feel like I played so well, not loads of rhythm in the first two matches.
I definitely felt better today. You know, that's positive moving into the last few days of the tournament.
Q. What did you make of the scheduling of the women's matches, particularly the fact that Kerber, the No. 1, was out on Court 3 against Muguruza?
ANDY MURRAY: I wasn't paying loads of attention to the scheduling outside of my own matches. But, you know, it's pretty much always been the case here, you know, that you got two men's matches and a women's match on the Centre Court. I think that sometimes varies, you know, on the other courts.
Obviously I think ideally you would have two men's and two women's on Centre, potentially starting the matches a bit earlier would allow for that, I think. There's also situations I think like at the Aussie Open where there's three women's matches, two men's pretty much every day on the stadium court, as well.
Need to maybe find a way of allowing for an equal split of the men's and women's matches across the tournament rather than just looking at one day. If there's better matches on the women's side than the men's side, you can flip it. If there's better matches on the men's side, then that has to go first, as well.
But I don't make the schedules. I don't create them. It's not up to me.
Q. I think you mentioned coming off court that his backhand is probably better than his forehand. Most people are the other way around, aren't they?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it's just more the way that he -- some guys might have, you know, better backhands than forehands. But most players generate more power and try to hit their winners off the forehand side just because it's a little bit easier. You tend to have a little bit more power on that side.
But he doesn't. He hits the ball bigger off his backhand side. He has great timing on that shot, great feel. Most guys move around their backhand to hit forehands. He moves the other way. So it's quite rare to see that. It takes a bit of time to adjust to that.
So yeah, had to play maybe slightly differently than maybe I would against some other guys.
Q. If you had to pick the four most unorthodox players in the draw, they would have been probably the four you played consecutively. What did that do to your rhythm? Are you getting it now?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think the first couple, you know, it's really difficult. I mean, Dustin and Sascha played quite differently to Fabio and Benoit, in terms of length of rally and stuff. Benoit still hit quite a lot of dropshots, but nowhere near as many as Dustin. I think the first three games he hit nine or ten dropshots.
The last couple of matches have been better, you know, in terms of longer rallies to feel how I'm hitting the ball. Today, like I said, felt a lot better than the last match.
Q. Back to the scheduling question. Every day on Centre have been two men's matches and one women's. Five of the seven days Court No. 1 has been the same case. If it were the opposite, would you have felt that it's fair for the men?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I don't think anyone's suggesting it is fair. I'm not suggesting that it is.
I do also think that is the case - I could be wrong - at the Aussie Open. I think on the center court it's three women's matches and two men's matches every day. Is that right? I think so, just because of timing, as well.
Like I said, it would be much better if there was four matches. You know, you have the two men's and the two women's, obviously.
But, like I said, I'm not the one that decides the schedule. When you start at 1:00, and you can't play under the lights, you have a very limited amount of time. Like the other day when I played Fognini, we had hardly any light left. The matches were not particularly long that day, and we almost ran out of time, you know.
So maybe starting the matches a little bit sooner, a little bit earlier in the day, and splitting them between the men and women. It's not the hardest thing to do.
Q. There were a lot of sporting heroes watching from the Royal Box today. You seemed to sort of interact with them at the end. Billie Jean King, big names in sport watching you play.
ANDY MURRAY: I knew some of the boxers that were there. I've met them quite a few times. Been to some of their fights. Stay in touch with them a bit during the year. So, yeah, I mean, it's nice when people from other sports come to enjoy your one.
Matt Fitzpatrick, a golfer, I met him a couple of times as well. He was there watching today, which was nice. Yeah, it's cool to get to chat to them about their sports. There's sometimes a crossover between the different sports. I like that. It's one of the nice things about what we do, is getting to chat to people that we watch on the TV about what they do.
Q. Benoit said after the match, the same way as Dustin Brown, played a lot of dropshots to test your movement. After two or three, he indicated you were moving like a rabbit. No matter what's going on fitness-wise, once it happens, is it instinctive movement, because you did it so often today?
ANDY MURRAY: I'm moving well. I didn't feel like I moved that well against Fabio. But the first two matches and today, I felt like I moved really good. I certainly feel like I've been tested in that department a lot because the guys I've played against have done a lot of forward movements. I've been pushed around the court quite a bit. I've moved well.
Today certainly that was one of the most pleasing things about the match, was that I felt like I was able to track down a lot of his shots. I came up with some good shots on the run and made it difficult for him to hit loads of winners past me. That's a big part of my game.
If I'm struggling and not moving well, it affects my performance maybe more than other guys who don't rely on their movement as much.
Q. Your service speeds are a bit lower than previous tournaments. Are you having any physical issues on the serve, or is more you're going for placement?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I'm not trying to place it more. I do think most of the players seem to be down a bit this year. I don't know if the balls are a little bit slower.
I could be wrong, but my second serve speed seems fairly decent, you know, around what it usually is. First serve speeds certainly was a little bit down in some of the matches. I'm not sure exactly why that is.
We've checked a few of the other players. They've also been down on the first serve speed this year a bit. I don't know if that's to do with the balls, if they're slightly slower this year.
Q. When we were all getting excited about having players in the third round, you said, Come back to me next week if I've got any company the middle of the second week. How pleasing is it for British tennis to have two people in the quarterfinals, a man and a woman, for the first time since '73? What difference, if any, do you think that will make to the way you feel as you approach the business end of this tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: I think it's great. I think Jo has done -- it's not just about this tournament, but over the last 18 months, two years, has done great.
It's important to have various different role models in the sport, players competing for the biggest events. I do think it makes a difference to the interest in the sport, because a lot of people who follow tennis in this country won't enjoy watching me play. It's true, you know.
So it's great if you have someone like Jo or Kyle or whoever it is, just different players to follow. People like different game styles, different personalities. That's important.
It's great that she's doing well. Hopefully she keeps going the next few days.
Q. Kind of a similar question. You said it might feel a bit calmer when you were asked about it last week having someone else sharing the spotlight. Is that how you feel at all?
ANDY MURRAY: I was saying it's possible. I mean, I'm in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. I don't feel calmer this year than I did in previous years. I'm still pumped to get out there regardless of whether there's other British players playing the tournament or not.
I'm here to try and do as well as I can. Now that I'm in the quarters, obviously I want to keep going further. Yeah, I don't feel much different just 'cause there's another Briton in the draw just now.
Q. Do you feel like you're getting stronger match by match as you go through this tournament? You said at the beginning that you get stronger as you progress through the tournament. Are you feeling that way?
ANDY MURRAY: I said, yeah, today I felt that was the best I hit the ball. I felt like I moved well. Maybe I could have served a little bit better behind my first serve, but was very effective on the second serve. That was good.
Yeah, hopefully in a couple of days I'll feel better again. But today was much, much better in terms of how I hit the ball, how clean I was hitting it, how aggressive I was able to be on the ball. My timing was better. I felt like I hit way more winners from the back of the court. Like against Fabio, I hit three or four in four sets. It's not easy to win matches like that. It's really hard when you're not hitting many winners, not getting many free points.
Today I felt like I did. I don't know what it says on here. Yeah, I hit 25 winners total, which is a lot better than it was the other day.
Q. What are your feelings about reaching a 10th straight quarterfinal and also about the specific challenge of Sam Querrey?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, obviously getting to the quarters again is good. But Sam, you know, he obviously likes the conditions here. He played really well last year. He's had some good wins here, some tight matches as well. He'll be confident going in.
Obviously a big serve. Goes for his shots. Very aggressive player. So I'll need to, you know, like today, I maybe played one or two service games in the first set that weren't the best. Against him, you can't really afford that. He's not an easy guy to break. When he's ahead, he can serve well. He's a good frontrunner. I'll need to make sure I'm serving well and, you know, not letting him dictate too much.
When he's standing up on the baseline, hitting forehands, dictating, he's a very dangerous player.
Q. Andre Agassi says he's not being paid by Novak Djokovic to coach him. He said partly so he can be on an equal footing with him, he likes that feeling. In your experience, when you pay a coach, can it be difficult sometimes between coach and player? Maybe the coach doesn't feel like he can say some things, some harsh words, when he needs to?
ANDY MURRAY: I definitely think that can be the case. It's possible. But, I mean, as a player, it's not always easy to hear, like, the truth. Certainly for me, as I've got older, it's become more the case that if I don't feel like I'm getting that from the coach, whoever it is that I'm working with, then it's pointless. You're basically wasting your money.
It's much better that you're paying guys to help you, and to tell you, you know, what's actually going on. It's possible that you have disagreements with that. Obviously coaches and trainers and physios, they're not right all of the time. But you want them to tell you things that you might not necessarily want to hear. It's the only way to improve and to get better.
I think when you're younger, it can be a little bit harder to hear some of those things. But I think as you get older, you learn it's really important that the people you have around you are telling you the truth, not just telling you the things that you maybe want to hear.
Q. Very abstract question. Neuroscientists say at your level when you're playing, the ball travels so fast that you don't have time to process any information from the point that the ball gets to the net and then gets to you. Were you aware of that? Does that strike you as weird?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I've been asked when you're playing, what you're thinking, like in the middle of a rally. When you're playing your best, what are you thinking.
Actually, I feel like I play my best when I'm not thinking. I've told many coaches that. I do think that's the case. You're relying on instinct. That's why practice and repetition is extremely important, so when you're out there in a tight moment, you don't want to be overanalyzing, thinking too much. If you are, that's when things start to go wrong, especially technically.
Yeah, I think the less you're thinking on the court, the better. I think that you can, like when someone hits the ball, there is time to think stuff. But it's often that when you are, it's not good, it's bad stuff.
I don't know if I'm explaining myself well. It feels like it's making sense in my head. I don't know if the words are.
Yeah, it's not an easy one to explain. But I certainly have felt that I played my best tennis the less I'm thinking during the points.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports