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September 27, 2019

Andy Murray

Zhuhai, China

A. DE MINAUR/A. Murray

4-6, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We know it's cruel for you to answer questions this late tonight, so thank you first. But what I really want to know is what makes you keep trying to go back to the court after the long injury. I know it's very difficult and I want to ask you, do you imagine this result? I mean, whether you win or will now come back to your top form again.
ANDY MURRAY: I think I probably -- the reason for trying to keep playing is maybe the last sort of couple of years that I was playing I wasn't really enjoying it. Tennis has obviously been really good to me over the years and I've been fortunate to have competed at the highest level for a long time. And the way that I was kind of finishing was not maybe how I would have liked. It felt like it was worth giving it a shot to see how far I could go on the comeback to maybe finish in a slightly nicer way, maybe in a bit of a better place, physically and mentally, and it seems like that's been a good decision.

Q. Obviously it wasn't the result you wanted, but when you can play like that for nearly three hours does that put to bed a few doubts in your own mind of what you can achieve?
ANDY MURRAY: My feeling tonight was that at points I played very well, but I didn't feel like I was able to sustain my level. The second set I dropped and also in the third set, in comparison to the first set, it was a little bit scrappy, there was some good points in there, some good stuff, but for me physically I was struggling and I could play one or two good points, but then I was trying to finish the points a little bit early and shot selection then goes down when you're tired and trying to finish the points quickly, especially when you're playing someone like Alex he's extremely fast, so there's certain players you maybe can get away with that against, but not him, he always makes you play extra balls.

So I thought I did well to hang in and had chances at the end, 4-3, 30-all point I made a poor decision to come into the net on that point, which cost me. But in terms of the level that I was playing at it was good, but I just wasn't able to sustain it for long enough, which at this level you need to.

Q. You obviously still relatively new from having the surgery and still kind of getting to know your body again in a way. What have you learned about yourself physically in these, through these two pretty grueling matches here?
ANDY MURRAY: I think that my movement is much better than it was about six weeks ago, eight weeks ago when I was competing, that was the main thing. It's nice to finish a long match like that and not have pain in my hip and problems sleeping and stuff afterwards. So that's nice, it's not something that I have to worry about as such.

Yesterday was the first time in my entire career that I didn't practice the day before a match. I was tired after the first round and tried to sort of rest and recover as much as possible, so that was something that I have done differently and I'm trying to maybe look at just other ways to give my body a bit of a break and a rest when I can, which is maybe something in the past that I wouldn't have done, I would have been in the courts yesterday practicing and stuff.

So some things I'm trying to do differently to work out what the best thing is for my body just now. But I learned that my hip held up well after two pretty long matches. But the rest of my body is just tired, which is I guess normal. With the amount of tennis I played recently, it's not really been loads and at this level playing two and a half hour matches is tough and it takes time to get used to that.

Q. You were of the fast movers on the court yourself before getting injured. Could you talk about the feeling facing an opponent with that kind of speed tonight?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean obviously it makes finishing points more difficult. There's certain things that you can do to, I guess, someone that moves extremely well. You can sort of do things that -- I know being a fast player that there's certain shots that you can play and certain things that you can do to someone who is quick that maybe against other players wouldn't work so well. Like playing back behind them rather than always hitting into the open space. Quick players, once they're stretching for a ball, tend to move very quickly to the open court, but sometimes you can use the ball like back in behind them, which can throw them off a little bit. But it's difficult because you just don't get many free points and when the conditions are quite slow like they are here it makes for long rallies and long points and that was something that I was ready to do it to a point, but then at some stage sort of my level dropped off a little bit and he capitalized on that.

Q. As you said, you had some streaks of brilliance in your game. Where do you think your game right now is the good points and where do you like to improve for the next match for the next tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: I think just being able to sustain my level for longer and I think hopefully that comes with matches, so whether that's just being physically a bit, I don't know, a bit more match-fit. I think mentally as well, the more matches that you play you get used to playing every single point and putting a lot of, I don't know, a lot of emphasis on each point, which may be something -- in practice points, don't mean as much, it's easy to make bad decisions in practice and there's no consequence to that. Whereas, you go on the match court, you lose serve quickly like I did at the beginning of the second set with some bad mistakes and it can throw momentum away. Whereas, in practice it doesn't matter as much. So they're the things that I would like to do a bit better.

I think in terms of how I'm hitting the ball, I think I was hitting the ball very well, but just maybe better shot selection, mentality could be better and then obviously the more matches that I play physically I'll get a bit better as well.

Q. Now you're going to Beijing. A few days ago you talked about low expectations and now you have two high quality matches. Does that mean that you can raise your expectation a little bit for Beijing and Shanghai?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean I could do it, but I probably won't. I think that's not meant as any disrespect to this tournament, everyone in the field play extremely well and I respect all of the players.

But the level in Beijing is a little bit higher in terms of the quality of players, so I'm not playing Top-20, Top-30 tennis right now, I'm probably playing Top-70, Top-60, sort of level. So it's not going to be that easy for me to win matches there.

However, I can still make a few improvements in the next couple of days. I think, what, it's Thursday night, so I'll get a chance to rest from this week the next couple of days and then hopefully get a couple of good days practice there in Beijing and wait and see what happens with the draw. There's a lot of good players there and I could play a Top-10 player in the first round and I wouldn't be expecting to win that match right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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