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August 13, 2018

Andy Murray

Cincinnati, Ohio

L. POUILLE/A. Murray

6-1, 1-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You pulled out of Washington and then Canada. How's your prep been here and how did you feel out there today?
ANDY MURRAY: Today's start of the match was not good at all. It was a pretty bad first set, and then after that, you know, got a little bit better. Managed to hang in a little bit in the second set. I lost the first service game. I was 40-15 up and was quite a long game, that one. And then had a few little chances on his serve as the set went on but wasn't able to take them.

I physically felt okay. You know, it's quick conditions here. You know, it's pretty fast. Obviously when I played Washington, slightly slower, also played a couple of matches in the evening there, was quite slow, whereas here obviously quite lively. And I feel like he was a little bit sharper than me out there. I maybe wasn't reacting as quickly to some shots I would have liked.

Q. How do you feel you're sort of shaping up for best of five at the US Open?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I kind of need to see once I'm in that position. I have played, well, four, you know, three-set matches and a couple long ones in Washington. Although I didn't feel great, I managed to get through them.

Hopefully with another couple of weeks and training, you know, and I'm still, you know, quite early in this process, I think that's the seventh match I have played, so, you know, hopefully each week feel better and I can keep working on things.

You know, after Washington, you know, took four, five days off the tennis court and was doing a lot of training, a lot of rehab. So hopefully, like, as the year goes on, there will be more for me to get a little bit more consistency like on the practice court and on the tennis court rather than just now it's sort of been kind of compete, you know, take some time away from the court to work on the physical side, and then sort of, you know, build up for a few days before the tournament. So that's something else I'll need a bit more consistency on the tennis court.

Q. Obviously before coming back you must have prepared yourself in some way to tell yourself, yes, it will be a process, things like that. In reality, now that you have played seven matches over the past few weeks, how difficult has it been for you or how maybe easier has it been than you would have expected in terms of actually going through that and maybe losing early and not being able to play several matches in a row, having to make the decision in D.C., for example, that kind of stuff?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it has been hard. And also, you know, some of the matches that I lost, as well, you know, like today, although it wasn't the best tennis match, you know, it didn't feel like I played a good first set at all, you know, I only lost four more points in the match than him. You know, it was tight.

He's a top-20 player. You know, I lost against Nick, and that was another really close match, as well. So although, you know, obviously I would have liked the results to have been a bit better, you know, the matches and the guys I have lost against have been three top-20 players and wasn't far off winning two of those matches.

So there has been some positives there. And if I can improve by kind of 10, 15%, you know, you turn a lot of those matches around, as well.

So, you know, I think also as the year goes on, maybe some of the events a player is maybe not as strong maybe later in the year, so draws can be a little bit different. But, yeah, you know, you need to try and string more matches together. But, you know, it's tricky in these events. You know, if you're not seeded, you play top, top quality players early on.

Q. What do you make of the 25-second service clock?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think it's been pretty good. I mean, there are a few things that creep up every now and again during the match. If, you know, there is -- as a player, like, you might see somebody moving in your eye line, umpire doesn't see it, clock keeps running, and you're sort of waiting for someone to sit down or, you know, little things like that.

But overall I think it's been pretty good. I haven't heard any of the players say they kind of feel rushed, because, you know, once it's starting, once the score is called out, really it's 25 seconds from the score but it's really more like 30 seconds, so you've actually got quite a lot of time.

And it helps the players a lot too, because before, you had no idea how long you were taking and you're going off kind of what the umpire is telling you; whereas now you can see it for yourself. You can speed up or slow down depending on how you're feeling.

Q. After playing Nick, you said that the day after you felt terrible and the day after that you actually felt a little better. Is that process getting easier, seven matches in, that you don't feel quite as bad after a match?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, in Washington, I played, like I said, I played three two-and-a-half- hour-plus matches and, you know, obviously I came back from the first one and won against Kyle, you know, a couple of days later. Then after the match against Kyle, came out and played three hours the next day, so that's certainly improved.

But like I said, it's just going to take a bit of time, you know, and I need sort of that consistency on the tennis court. Right now I'm having to balance -- you know, the weeks when I'm off playing I'm still spending 70, 80% of my time working on the physical side and the rehab and a lot less on the tennis.

Hopefully, as the year goes on, that flips the other way. And then, you know, when I'm on the court probably 70, 80% of the time, my training, hopefully my tennis will get better.

Q. Regarding Davis Cup, a bunch of countries still say they are undecided including LTA hasn't officially landed on yes or no. How would you like to see that vote go? How would you like to see that proposal accepted or rejected?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't really know. I don't think having like two team competitions six weeks apart, I don't see that as being a positive thing. But, I mean, the ATP and the ITF are not working together on it, so it's obviously most likely both are going to end up having, because if the ITF, I guess if they waited, you know, to take a little bit more time over things and the ATP go ahead with their event the beginning of the year in Australia and that's a big success, then that's very negative for the, you know, for the ITF.

So one thing I think is for sure is that Davis Cup needed to change, because pretty much all of the players that I have spoken to love playing Davis Cup, but then lots of players don't commit to playing it. So that would suggest there is something not right, whether that's a scheduling thing, you know, the fact it comes after slams, you know, changing surfaces, you know, like is straight after a slam. And normally the Grand Slams come at the end of quite an intense stretch.

Like here you've got Washington, Cincinnati, Canada, US Open, you should really be taking a break after that, but then switching surfaces potentially and playing a few best-of-five-set matches on a new surface is not really great for the body.

I do think something needed to change, but there is obviously quite a significant change. But I also -- I mean, I have said this many times, I'm also not against it. I don't see why you can't make a change, and if it doesn't work and the players don't like it and the fans don't like it, you can always go back. It doesn't have to be permanent.

But something needed to change. I think if it was every couple years maybe would have been a good start potentially. But who knows what's going to happen.

Q. Kind of an off-beat question here, but a lot of views on that roller-coaster ride you had with Nick. Do you usually try to sneak over to Kings Island when you're here? And whose idea was it to Instagram it live?
ANDY MURRAY: I think he wanted to take a video. But that's the first time I had been over there. A lot of the times when I'd come here, I'd arrive quite late from Canada, so, yeah, I had never done it before. It was fun. It was pretty intense (smiling). Yeah, I enjoyed it. It was good.

Q. Just back to the Davis Cup thing, are you surprised that the ITF didn't consider including Fed Cup and the women in this whole thing, especially considering the size of the investment? Just wondering your thoughts on that. And also if you're considering playing another tournament before the US Open at all.
ANDY MURRAY: I won't play before the US Open.

Yeah, I mean, I guess so. I mean, I think a lot of the kind of Davis Cup changes have been forced a little bit through what's been happening with the ATP's team event. So I don't know. I don't know if they're happy about how Fed Cup has been going. I don't know if the women have been complaining about how Fed Cup is run. I don't know if the participation has been as big of an issue as it has been in the Davis Cup.

I know they have a slightly smaller World Group which probably helps things a little bit, as well. But, you know, tennis has issues because you have so many different bodies. It's so difficult to sort of keep everybody happy. It would be a lot, lot easier if everyone worked together to come to, I don't know, maybe a slightly better solution sometimes; whereas it feels like everyone is always looking out for their own interest as opposed to the interest of tennis as a whole.

So I think if everyone did that, things would probably get done a bit quicker and it would probably be a bit more positive for the sport.

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