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August 27, 2018

Andy Murray

New York, NY, USA

A. MURRAY/J. Duckworth

6-7, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You looked to be moving really well out there. How did you pull up and how did you feel about your movement, generally?
ANDY MURRAY: I actually felt like I could have moved better. I struggled a little bit with that earlier in the match. I don't know for what reason, it was extremely lively, conditions out there. It was a lot quicker for me, anyway, than what we have been practicing in since we got here. I felt a little bit slow at the beginning.

And then the positive was that actually towards the end of the match, I made some quite good moves. Like the second to the last point of the match, I moved pretty quickly up to the drop volley and stuff and kind of maintained my serving speeds throughout the match, as well.

So there was some good stuff, but I think I can get better.

Q. How does the satisfaction compare with other landmarks in your comeback, like beating Stan or your match at Queen's?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know really. I haven't given it a whole lot of thought. I'm happy to get through the match, obviously. I was pumped to be back playing in a slam again. Yeah, I'm happy. Happy I got through.

Q. Talking about the uncertainty playing best of five, I don't think anyone was really sure if you were going to play for sure until you stepped on the court today. What gave you the confidence that you were ready to go today?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, matches I played in Washington, the discomfort I have been feeling in my hip, you know, was a lot better than it was over the grass court season. I've got, you know, a bunch of matches under my belt, a lot more training and just a kind of better understanding of where my body is at.

So that was what helped with the decision. There was no doubt at any stage whether I was going to play or not for me or for my team.

Q. How well do you think you played? Do you think you played well or do you think you competed well or both?
ANDY MURRAY: I hit the ball a lot better than I did in Cincinnati. You know, I mean, like there was at points in the match, like, I didn't play amazing. I'm not expecting to play, like, my best tennis right now. But just in terms of the way I was hitting the ball and constructing some of the points, I felt like, as the match went on, I started to dictate more, was getting myself a bit closer to the baseline.

I think tactically, I did well and made some adjustments on the return from the first set, which is a really positive thing. I think when you haven't played loads, it can be easy to just get wrapped up in how you're actually hitting the ball rather than thinking about the strategy and what you're trying to do out there.

So I made some adjustments on the return game, and that helped me a lot. I created a lot of chances on return.

I could have done better in the fourth set. The games where I got broken, I was up in those games, I think maybe not the first game. But certainly the second game where I got broken, I was up. You know, apart from that, I don't think he had many opportunities on my serve throughout the match, so that was positive.

Q. In the grass court season, you said you still had pain in your hip. Is that still the case or is that going to be the case?
ANDY MURRAY: I would imagine it would be the case, yeah.

Q. When you played Kyrgios at Queen's, you spoke afterwards about how you felt quite emotional going into the match. Wondering if that's kind of still the case? Obviously this is a huge tournament here. Did you have those sort of feelings before the match or after the match?
ANDY MURRAY: No. No, I was actually okay today. I wasn't a little bit last night before I went to bed, but actually felt okay today. I had a good warmup, and, you know, I felt pretty calm before the match. Obviously times in the match there was a bit of frustration there, but on the whole, I was all right.

Q. You've got Verdasco next. What sort of challenge will he provide?
ANDY MURRAY: They are quite different players, really. Verdasco doesn't use as sort of much variety. Duckworth is coming into the net quite a lot and hits, especially his backhand, you know, pretty flat, uses quite a lot of slice and stuff.

Obviously, Fernando has an extremely heavy forehand, plays with a lot of spin. On the serve, kind of difficult sometimes to know what he's going to do. I have played him some times where he's been going for huge serves. And then I also played in one, he served he served like 80% first serve and kind of rolled the serve in.

Duckworth tends to serve quite a low percentage and go for his serve.

So they're pretty different players. Yeah, Fernando is a great shot-maker and someone that when he's on his game, really tough to beat. Yeah, when he's dictating, as well, you can't allow him to dictate too much.

Q. I was told that Duckworth went through five different surgeries. I don't know how many you had, one or two? Do you think tennis is as dangerous as boxing now?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think so (smiling). Look, I mean, it's a difficult one with tennis just now, because in some ways, you've got a lot of the top players that are playing longer and competing at the highest level for longer. But then there has also been periods where a lot of the top players have been out with significant injuries and surgeries and stuff over the last few years.

You know, whether that can be avoided or not, you know, who really knows? You know, it's a physically very challenging game. I mean, you need to do as much stuff away from the court, you know, in the gym to kind of get your body kind of tough enough and robust enough to deal with the demands of the sport.

Q. How many have you had?

Q. You were obviously playing on a brand-new stadium. Pretty striking look. A little bit of noise, maybe. What were your thoughts about it?
ANDY MURRAY: I think it looks great. I think it's a bit easier to play on than the old Armstrong. It's a little bit more sheltered from the wind, although, you know, you can get a breeze in there. It's kind of before it used to swirl a lot in the old Armstrong. Now it's sort of, it blows but tends to go in one direction.

Also, it's shaded from quite early on in the day, which is nice for the players and also, I think, the people watching, as well, for the fans.

I like it a lot. I think it's nice, big improvement.

Q. Do you feel like during the points you're trusting your body more now compared to the first two matches? When you first came back, maybe some doubt as to see how to turn wide? You're out wide and have to turn quickly, maybe there was some doubt there how the body would react?
ANDY MURRAY: I think, I mean, it's a lot easier to move on hard courts, as well. I think generally coming back from a hip surgery and going on -- is grass unstable? I don't know. It's slippery, for sure. You have to be a lot more careful with your movement. Whereas here, you can sort of trust the surface a lot more and, like, really ram your foot down and know, you know, your foot it's not going to go from underneath you.

The hard court's definitely helped with that, with the change of direction stuff. But my movement still needs to get better.

Q. You said you weren't thinking of yourself as a contender coming into this tournament. Any change today, or what would it require for that to change?
ANDY MURRAY: What would it require? I would have been able to train and practice a lot more than what I have done. I would have played more matches in the buildup to the tournament. I mean, there's many, many things that I would have wanted to change to be considered a contender.

I don't think anything changes after today. I think I'm still just taking it one match at a time. Yeah, I mean, this is the first time I have played four sets in 14 months, so, you know, I just have to wait and see how I pull up tomorrow. Hopefully I feel good, and take it from there.

Q. It's been a long time since you have been in this situation at a slam. At this stage in your comeback, what will you do tomorrow that will be different to the way you would normally use a rest day during a Grand Slam?
ANDY MURRAY: Significantly lighter practice. Sometimes on the off-days at slams I would hit for, like, an hour and a half. In my opinion, it's too much. You know, it's something that I certainly won't be doing in future. I will be keeping my practice on the off-days much lighter, and, you know, conserve as much energy as I can for the matches.

I think what you've kind of got going into the tournament, obviously you can make improvements, but I feel like that happens from the matches that you play and growing confidence from winning matches and getting used to the conditions rather than it being something that you can make a kind of drastic change during, you know, during the event on the practice court.

Obviously if there is something in the match that is really not working well, you know you can spend a few more minutes on that. But I'm not going to be having sort of intense, long practices during a Grand Slam ever again.

Q. How much rehabbing do you have to do on your hip sort of day in and day out?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of time?

Q. Yeah.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, at tournaments, it's a little bit different. I mean, it would be less. Depends if you count, like, ice baths and stretching with physios and time on a massage bed.

But like last week when I was rehabbing after Cincinnati, I was in, like, two-and-a-half hours in the morning, and then, like, an hour and a half in the pool in the afternoon, and then on top of that, treatment, which can be anywhere from two to three hours. Pretty intense, yeah.

Q. You were speaking before about the differences between Duckworth's game and Fernando's game. How much are you going to sort of think back to your success against Fernando versus focusing on just improving yourself each day with that match?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, there is stuff that, like today, when I'm chatting to my coach, or last night and before the match today, there is things that, you know, I want to focus on, like longer term. That's going to be beneficial for my game, you know, like a game style that I would like to be playing.

And, you know, it's quite clear the way I'm trying to play. But then also you go into the match with tactics and a game plan, you know, to try and make it as difficult for your opponent as possible.

So it's kind of a combination of the two. There are certain things I want to be doing on the match court every match that's going to hopefully give me a better chance to get back to where I want to get to.

But you need to go into matches with a strategy. Otherwise, you know, it makes things a bit trickier.

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