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August 29, 2018

Andy Murray

New York, NY, USA


7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It felt like in the fourth set you went to a level we haven't seen from you since before you were injured. Was it like that to you?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of the way I played?

Q. Yes.
ANDY MURRAY: I think some of the tennis I played today was some of the best I've played since I had the surgery or since I came back. But there were also periods in the match, especially in the first set, where, you know, I really didn't play particularly well. I hit a lot of mistakes when I was up in that set. I feel like I should have won the first set and didn't.

Then kind of at the end when back was against the wall, I came up with some good tennis to make it close and interesting at the end and almost got myself back into it. You know, there were too many ups and downs for my liking.

Q. What do you think the two matches you played here have told you about your condition physically in particular?
ANDY MURRAY: I think I did quite well in that respect. I mean, the conditions -- the outside courts would have been harder than playing on center court today because of the shade. That definitely helped. But it was still extremely hot in there. Pretty challenging conditions. Certainly some of the toughest you'll play in during the year.

To sort of still be doing as well as I was at the end of the match, considering the lack of kind of practice and matches that I've had, was positive.

Q. Can you tell us what happened in the locker room during the break? I think you were overheard telling the umpire you had to tell someone the F-ing rules.
ANDY MURRAY: The F-ing rules (smiling)?

Yeah, I went for a shower. He was having an ice bath. When I came out of the shower, his coach and his -- I don't know if he's playing doubles with him, but one of the Spanish doubles players was in there chatting to him, and you're not allowed to speak to your coach. I went and told the supervisor.

I said, What are you guys doing? I mean, there's clear rules here and you're allowing this to take place. I don't get it.

Then he ran through, Oh, you're not allowed to speak.

I checked the rules beforehand, and I spoke to my team. We were clear you don't speak to your coaches whatever. They obviously weren't in there for long, but you got to do better than that. This is one of the biggest events in the world. If you have rules like that, you need to stick with them because one player getting to speak to the coach and the other not is not fair.

Q. When the extreme heat rule was announced yesterday for the first time, how were you informed? Were you emailed, sent the text? You said you checked them. Maybe someone else didn't.
ANDY MURRAY: So before the match today, we spoke about it. My coach went to ask somebody from the tournament what the exact rules were, and we got basically a sheet which gave us the exact rules.

There's not like clear definitions. I was asking, Am I allowed to look at my phone? There's nothing in there about that. It said you're not allowed to get treatment, like, from the trainers. You're not allowed to speak to your coaches and stuff.

But I'd asked if I could look at my phone, because it's the first time we've ever done that. This never happened to me before. Just wanted to have, like, a clear protocol for what I was going to do in the 10 minutes.

Said, You can't look at your phone.

They were supposed to print something off for me, for my team, that I could then look at, which I didn't get. It wasn't a big deal. I was planning on having a cold shower, drinking a little bit and changing. It goes pretty quick when you do that. Not easy to get changed and showered, get some fluids down you in the 10 minutes from when you finished.

We didn't leave the court immediately either. Yeah, something new. But on center court, like I said, it wasn't actually too bad. The actual heat, it was humid, but the heat was actually all right.

Q. That is the USTA's rule since the ATP leaves it up to tournaments. Do you think the ATP should have a strict rule so everyone knows the rules so stuff like that doesn't happen?
ANDY MURRAY: Stuff like what?

Q. People not being aware what they can and cannot do during the 10-minute break.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, the players and teams should know. I'm not blaming Fernando and his team. They probably weren't aware that that was the rules. They certainly weren't trying to break any rules. It shouldn't be for the player that's competing against him to have to go to the supervisor. If I hadn't said anything, they would have been chatting, chatting about the match, giving tactics and stuff.

I shouldn't be in that position in the middle of a match at a slam having to make sure they're doing their job.

Q. Changing the subject slightly, going back to the match itself. Conditions were tough, four sets, long match. It's hard to judge, but you did appear to be in discomfort and pain at times. How painful was it to come through another four sets, and how physically are you now?
ANDY MURRAY: It was a tough match for me physically because of the conditions and, you know, having played over three hours the other day. Like this is still quite early in the process for me. I lost -- I'm not even going into that.

Like, your body and things, you know, like your hands, you build up callouses from playing a lot, and never get issues with blisters and stuff on your feet and things. These are all things that your body sort of protects you against when you've been playing a lot. And when you haven't, it's just like little bits and pieces that come up.

Like I say, it's still quite early in this process for me. I did all right. I chased balls down right to the end of the match. I wasn't giving up on points. It wasn't the most comfortable I felt on a tennis court. I got through it and fought right to the end.

Q. I think Serena talked about kind of trying to be nicer to herself in this whole process. Obviously I know it's different. But how hard is it to be patient when you have such high expectations?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's difficult. I mean, I didn't have any expectations to sort of win this event. But then when I come off the court and sort of made some of the mistakes I did in the first set, which potentially could have made the match very different, if you win that first set 6-3 in 35, 40 minutes, the end of that set was quite long, I think it ended up being about an hour, the first set. It can change things.

I get frustrated at that. I was trying to play more offensively, and I made more mistakes than I usually would. So it's difficult sometimes to get the balance when, you know, you haven't played as much matches, haven't practiced as much as you would like. It's difficult to always make the right decisions when you're on the court, playing more offensively. Something I did a lot more when I was younger.

It's something that is going to take a bit of time getting used to again. Certainly cost me a few points today.

Q. You got to the top of the game, then serious injuries and surgery. In your own mind do you feel you can really get back to the top or are there doubts?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think there's for sure doubts about that because you just don't know. I mean, when I got the injury, I was ranked No. 1 in the world. 12 months later, you know, things completely changed.

You just don't know exactly what's round the corner. If things keep going smoothly, physically I continue to improve, I believe that I will get back to competing for the biggest competitions because there's no reason why I couldn't. But you don't know. You know, you don't know. When you continue to build up and start playing more tournaments, you don't know how you're going to respond. If that's the case, that makes things a little bit more tricky. Because of the path that I've been on the last year with the sort of many, many ups and downs, trying to come back, it not quite working, then ending up having the surgery and stuff. I think it's completely normal to have those doubts.

Q. Did the comebacks of DelPo, Novak and Roger help you out? Is that something in the back of your mind, the other players have made pretty solid comebacks, as well as Rafa?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, all injuries are different. Some are a lot more serious than others. Some parts of the body are even more difficult to come back from. So I prefer to look at my own situation and try to make the best of that. Obviously some of those guys, Juan in particular, has had a number of issues with his wrist and found ways around that and come back. But it took him obviously a very long time.

The other guys, yeah, they've had some issues. How serious they are, it's impossible to know. A lot of them have come back. I want to be part of that.

Q. If Serena wins tonight, she'll be playing Venus in the next round on Friday. Over the years, what have you appreciated most of the matchups between Serena and Venus?
ANDY MURRAY: I think both of them are great athletes. I think they both move extremely well. I think that's, for me watching them play, is kind of the outstanding thing, is their movement.

Obviously Serena's got a great serve, they both hit the ball big from the back of the court. I think it's more, for me, the way they cover the court. They're both fantastic athletes. They're still moving extremely well. Maybe not as well as they were a few years ago, but they're still two of the best movers, in my opinion, on the tour.

Venus covers a lot of ground. She has very, very long strides. Serena is sort of a very strong, powerful mover. That would be the most impressive thing for me.

Q. Have you thought much about the dynamic of sisters going up against each other on the grandest of stages so many times?
ANDY MURRAY: Have I given it much thought?

Q. Yes.
ANDY MURRAY: It's incredible what they've done. I mean, amazing really. Obviously there's been other siblings that have had fantastic careers in tennis, but none anywhere close to what they've managed to achieve. I'd be surprised if anything like that ever happens again.

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