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October 2, 2019

Andy Murray

Beijing, China

A. MURRAY/C. Norrie

7-6, 6-7, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I think a lot of people watching will wonder how did you go from being in the second set where you looked exhausted to churning out a brilliant third set like that.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, the good thing about tennis is that you can change strategy and tactics. I think if you watched the end of the second set, pretty much the whole of the third set, I tried to keep the points short. I started coming to the net a lot more. My feeling was that the average rally length went down by quite a few shots.

In the third set, I didn't really feel like out of breath after any of the rallies, whereas in the middle of the second set, you know, I felt like there's three or four games where we were playing a lot of long points, but he was also dictating the rallies. He's a very fit guy. He's playing quickly between the points, as well. I was finding it really tough physically.

So, yeah, I did the right thing and started to shorten the points, kind of didn't make it a physical battle, which it was midway through the second set.

Q. Two tough battles in two days. How is the body holding up for now?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I'm tired. I just had a sleep before coming. I mean, I'm really tired. That's the first time I've had to do that since I came back. I spoke a little bit about that yesterday, that it's something that I need to kind of get used to again, especially playing at this level and that intensity.

It was a good step for me. It's great that I won the match. Whether I'd won or lost it, I was able to come out the following day and be competitive and play some good tennis. But obviously I'm happy I've got the day off tomorrow to recover.

Q. Another tough win. Both matches you have played here are highly intense. How important are these two matches to you and how important is it for you to play at a high level consistently right now?
ANDY MURRAY: I think the matches were quite different. Yesterday's match physically to me didn't feel particularly demanding. It was 7-6, 7-6. It didn't feel like there were that many long rallies, long points.

Today was opposite to that. Berrettini also has a very big serve. There's quite a few short points on his service games. Today it felt like in a lot of the games, like I said, there were a lot of long rallies, long points. Today's match was physically for me significantly harder.

But, yeah, like I said, it's good for me to get all types of matches right now. Playing back-to-back days against quite different opponents, different game styles, playing lots of tight points, tight sets, they were both very close matches, it's what I need just now and the end of the year.

Q. All the efforts you had to go through in Zhuhai and here, would you change the schedule of the end of the season or are you still going to stick with what you had planned?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of the tournaments?

Q. Yes.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I'll see a little bit with my team after Antwerp, sit down and have a chat with my team about what it is I want to do between now and the end of the season. Obviously there's Davis Cup in the middle of November, as well.

This year, although I've not been playing, it's been tough. It's been a full-on year of, like, rehab. It's not like I had sort of six, seven months off.

I need to make sure I get some breaks in there, as well, to kind of recharge, spend time at home with my family. Yeah, I'll see.

My plan just now is still to play through Antwerp, then hopefully, provided I'm selected, play in the Davis Cup.

Q. You were playing an extremely high level in the third set. What did you do mentally after losing the second set tiebreak, expending so much energy to fight back? What did you do mentally to reset into the third set?
ANDY MURRAY: I knew the only way I was going to win the match was if I kept the points short. That was what I tried to do.

I mean, I served relatively well at the beginning of the set. He didn't play a good game at the beginning of the third set when I broke him. From there, that allowed me to sort of relax and go for my shots a little bit more because I had a lead. So that helped.

And, yeah, I think that was the biggest difference for me. I decided, like, if I want to win, I have to go and take risks and come to the net, try and finish the points quicker, which I did. I did that well at the end.

Q. In the quarterfinals you will play with Dominic Thiem or a Chinese player, if he can defeat a top seed. This player also played in Zhuhai and has defeated Edmund here. Have you watched his match, and could you talk about his impressions.
ANDY MURRAY: I played him in Shenzhen last year, as well. I played him in the first round there. I think he pulled out in the third set at like 3-1 or 4-1. He was cramping. It was really humid there. We played quite a long match.

Yeah, he's played well. He was very unlucky not to win against Seppi last week. I think he was up 6-2 in the third set tiebreak. Obviously had four match points, five match points, something like that. Seppi came up with a couple of unbelievable shots at the end to stay in that one.

I didn't see any of the match against Edmund really. I think I was playing that day. Maybe I was playing at the same time. I didn't see that much of it.

But he plays well. He's a big guy. Serves well, goes for his shots a lot. Should probably be ranked... Well, I think he can play better than what his ranking is. I think he showed that the last couple of weeks with his results.

Q. This is a more general question. I'm not sure if you agree with it. When I've watched men's tennis in the last year or two, there tends to be a trend of guys standing back a long ways to receive serve, Thiem, Nadal, Zverev, Medvedev, others I'm sure. It seems as a result, guys can spin in a second serve. There's not tons of guys standing up high in the court, really attacking the second serve. As a good returner yourself, I don't know if you've thought there is an opportunity to be aggressive on a second-serve return, hit a winner, be more aggressive, send a message. Is that something you try to do?
ANDY MURRAY: Maybe it's a flaw of mine, but I always return second serves inside the baseline. I always have done. I think it's been a strong part of my game. Maybe it's good to have the option to go back and have that variety, but it's not something that I've practiced or really tried.

Lots of guys are doing it now. Strategically it's a different way of playing the point. I find I have quite a short, compact swing on the returns, so I can stand inside the baseline, and I don't take big swings.

The guys you mentioned, like Thiem, Rafa, Medvedev - Medvedev maybe doesn't have the biggest swing on the backhand - but those guys, what they do is, although it doesn't appear they're being aggressive on the return, they step back, hit the ball very high. What they're trying to do is they're trying to push you back off the baseline, then they move in after their first shot. Whereas for me, I'm right on the baseline from the return.

The positive thing about being inside the baseline is if you hit a good return, you take time away. If you hit a bad one, you're in a terrible position. You need to make sure you hit that return well.

If you stand back, there's a little bit less pressure. You need to hit a good return. As a server, I think I prefer if guys stood back. It's a little bit less pressure when someone's standing back. It does allow them a little bit more time to use their kind of big swings, then they try to be aggressive on their second shot.

It's just a slightly different way of going about things. The guys that do it have been successful. I prefer to just return the way that I have been.

Q. Three years ago you won your first-time China Open title here. Right now you reached another quarterfinal. Could you talk a little about this tournament in terms of the vibe, venue, player reception.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I like the conditions here. That helps. I think as the tournament goes on, you tend to get better crowds towards the end of the week. Last couple of days in terms of, like, atmosphere, it's been not as good as you would like. I think because of the celebration, the holiday, I don't think so many people have come the last couple of days.

I've always liked it. Playing in Asia, we get looked after very well. The tournaments are always very well-organized. We get to stay in nice hotels. We're looked after extremely well.

There's nothing to complain about from a players' perspective. I don't know if I'm complaining about it, but I'd like it to be bigger crowds and nicer atmospheres. That normally comes as the week goes on.

Q. Last week in Zhuhai Alex De Minaur said he got a lot of gifts. He shot a video to show his hat. I'm not sure if you have checked that video. So far what gifts have you gotten that impress you the most?
ANDY MURRAY: What gifts have I been given? I got given the other day like a fish fossil. That's what it was, wasn't it? It was really, really old. I don't know how old. I got given that. Was that yesterday after my match? Maybe on Monday after my practice. Yeah, it was just pretty thoughtful. I've never been given that before, anything like that.

I did see the video. It's not the case at any of the other tournaments we play at, when we play in Europe and stuff, the fans don't tend to give gifts. Here, most years you get given a few things to take home.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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