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November 20, 2019

Andy Murray

Paris, France

GREAT BRITAIN 1, Netherlands 0

MURRAY/Griekspoor 6-7, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Who would like the first question?

Q. How are you feeling physically, Andy? In terms of the turnaround for tomorrow, is there a case you might want to take a break?
ANDY MURRAY: It probably depends a little bit on how things go, really, today. I think the good thing about us playing on Wednesday-Thursday is that we should have a good idea exactly what it is we need to do to go through, or close to. We'll have a fair idea.

But, yeah, it was a tough match. And physically, yeah, I mean, I told you guys I wasn't feeling in the best shape coming in, and it showed a little bit in the match.

Q. I think you said on television after you didn't really know too much about his game and you'd actually prepared to play against van de Zandschulp. Can you explain a bit more about that, because it seems surprising you wouldn't have prepared possibly to play Griekspoor.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, maybe that was -- you know, that was our bad. You know, we certainly had enough -- it's not like we hadn't looked into his matches and stuff. It was just in terms of watching him play. Which I think, you can obviously look at stats and stuff, but I think actually watching a player's technique and how they prepare for shots and things gives you a better idea. And I did watch a little bit before the match.

But it just wasn't loads because obviously found out at 10:00 it was changing. I had watched a bit of van de Zandschulp playing in the last week or so. And Griekspoor had also been injured. You know, we did discuss last night that they might make the change because I didn't see loads of the match yesterday against Kukushkin but I heard van de Zandschulp didn't play so well.

With the early start and stuff and only finding out at 10:00, there's just not loads of time in the morning to look at lots of stuff. And, you know, that's what's different to what we usually have on tour. Yeah, not something -- well, I'm sure we'll maybe do a little bit better with that as the tournament progresses.

But, yeah, I didn't watch a whole lot of him, a whole lot of him play before the match.

Q. Andy, when you've had a lot of matches like this, where you've come back from sort of difficult positions, were there points today where you thought like maybe you wouldn't have enough today to be able to come back?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I was obviously in difficult positions in the match today. I think like 5-4 in the third, 15-40 -- sorry, 15-30, you know, and obviously was down in the tiebreak and stuff, so it's getting pretty close there.

But, you know, I've found a way to win matches many times in my career when I've not been playing well. You can draw on that a little bit. You know, I came up with some really good defensive shots at the end of the tiebreak and found a way to win.

You know, tennis, when you're playing really well and stuff, it can be quite straightforward. You know, going into a match where you don't know your opponent really, you know, wasn't feeling particularly good going into the match, either.

But it is about finding a way to win, and I did that today. And I'm proud of myself because it would have been easy to have lost that.

Q. Andy, you mentioned before that you had said before that you weren't feeling that good physically coming into this. Was that a result of taking that break after Antwerp or had you not felt good? You've been here for a week practicing, hadn't you? I just wonder why you didn't feel as good as you might normally do.
ANDY MURRAY: Because it doesn't -- you know, like when I was 25, it's quite easy, like after a couple of weeks of practice, you know, physically you -- I don't know -- it's quicker to sort of get going whereas now it takes a little bit longer. When I first step on the court after two weeks of playing, I'm a little bit more careful.

I've also made quite big changes to the way I train off the court as well, which, you know, I think contributes a little bit to that in terms of taking a little bit more time to get going. And also, you know, the weight and things like that, that's my fault. I've never had that in my career before. Something as you get older you need to keep a closer eye on, which I won't put myself in that position again. I'll make sure when I do have breaks, I'm more careful with what I'm eating and, you know, look at that.

But, I mean, if you're weighing 4 or 5 kilos more than you're used to, that is probably going to affect how you feel moving around the court and stuff. You go in the gym and lift a medicine ball up that's 5 kilos up, it's pretty heavy. So I need to do better with that.

And that's my fault, that's not anyone else's responsibility, but I think that that can contribute as well.

Q. Andy, at the very end of the match in the interview, the final interview, you said you were happy with the environment and the support from all Great Britain. If I understood well yesterday, in the press conference you said it was a big question mark, the fact that being in a neutral territory is going to be like a cold environment. So maybe also the fact that the arena was more like 2,000 people helped because in the main arena maybe it wouldn't be that good.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, look, I don't always think the size of the crowd really matters that much. It's more like if you have a full stadium, like playing in front of 3,000 people when it's full and they're into the match, is a lot better than playing in front of 6,000 in a 15,000-seat stadium.

The atmosphere is much more intimate on a court like that today. The atmosphere was brilliant. There's no -- I can't say anything else about it unless you're trying to find an issue with the event or the competition you could say that, you know, it would be nice if it was in a bigger stadium or whatever and there would be more people there.

But I was quite happy playing in front of that amount of people that were I think all into the match. And, you know, I'm happy that a lot of people came from Holland and from the UK to come and watch it. That was really positive.

Q. Andy, logistically, when is the decision made about tomorrow's singles? Is it over dinner tonight? Is it first thing tomorrow how you feel? Would you be prepared to step aside in the interests of the team if you feel perhaps you wanted to have a rest and just give you that extra time to recover?
ANDY MURRAY: (Smiling.) Of course. It's not if I want to have a rest. It's like what is the best thing for the team. I mean, I could say, Yeah, I want to play tomorrow's match right now, and I have no idea of how I'm going to feel in the morning, which would be stupid.

You know, I would imagine we'd have a conversation tonight with Leon as a team and then potentially make a final call on it in the morning. But I'm not the captain, it's not my choice or decision when or how, you know, Leon decides to go about discussing that with the team. He might already know right now what it is that he wants to do. And you know, we'll wait to hear.

But, I mean, I imagine we'd chat about it tonight with the team and then potentially a final decision in the morning.

Like I said, it can also be influenced a little bit by what happens in the rest of the matches today as well.

Q. Just what you've been saying about the preparation and even yesterday when you were having a bit of fun in the press conference. Have you taken this first match, the whole team, a little bit lightly?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I wouldn't think that that was the case. I mean, we arrived here, what, a week before our first match, which I think, you know, everyone considered that to be pretty early. That would be earlier than any of the team would arrive for any tournament barring maybe a Grand Slam you might get there a bit earlier.

We arrived here early, we got lots of practice here. There is a bit of a difference practicing like on the bubble in the practice courts in comparison to the stadium. They are quite different in terms of how they play.

And you know, from my side, like, I knew going into the match that I didn't feel good, so I was nervous this morning beforehand. And when you've played for 14 years on the Tour, I know how this sport works. It's really difficult. Some guys in Davis Cup can step up and play well.

And you know, based off of the stats and stuff that we had, he played completely differently against me to what we had on him, which we'd also discussed, if someone is trying to cause an upset, you know, they're going to go for it. And a guy's serving 180 kilometer an hour second serves makes things difficult.

So no, from my end, I certainly didn't take -- I was taking the match very seriously today. Maybe when, I don't know if you have children yourself, but when you have a child, yeah, maybe that becomes your priority for a period of time as well, and maybe I could have got on the practice courts sooner. But I also had an issue with my elbow as well, which contributed to me having to take a couple of weeks off the court as well.

But no, I wouldn't say we took -- I've taken the first match lightly. And I don't know what the score is just now. Dan has started the match pretty well. But everyone's prepared good and I feel like that's one of the things that Leon has been very good with throughout his whole period as captain is getting us together as soon as possible to get ready for the matches.

Q. Andy, a question away from your match and just to get your opinion. Yesterday, Canada gave the USA a walkover. But the result is going through 6-Love, 6-Love in the USA's favor. Do you think something like that should happen in that way when you consider that on the tour a walkover is not considered into a player's records or head-to-head, or anything like that? What are your thoughts? Because that potentially could give the USA a little bit of a leg-up for a spot in the quarters.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I don't think that's good. I think that when we spoke in here yesterday, I was saying I felt like one of the positive things to the way the group stages work is that all of the matches are live, there isn't any dead rubbers.

So where Canada may have felt that that was a dead rubber in theory for them because they were already through, that could have implications to all of the teams potentially that might finish in second place.

And, you know, I believe they also would have had two days off as well after that so I think they should have played the tie.

Q. Andy, when Rafa was here yesterday he looked quite stressed and sounded very stressed. He said the kind of pressure that he's experiencing in this tournament is quite different to what he's experienced in the past in Davis Cup, just because of the format and the best-of-threes and stepping on a court when Spain was down 0-1. I'm wondering for you, do you see the kind of pressure in this format differently and if you can describe it?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, again, that's where best-of-five allows you to maybe start the match a little bit freer, you know, especially at the beginning of an event, you know, the margin for error is pretty small. And best-of-three especially, conditions here are pretty fast as well.

So, you know, it is difficult. The best-of-three format allows some guys to go out there and play a little bit more aggressively than they would normally, and it's a bit easier to sustain that over potentially, you know, just two sets. So, yeah.

Like I said, players are getting changed one hour before the matches and then obviously, you know, you're playing against a different team the following day with quite different players, game styles. It's difficult. There's not a lot of margin for error, which maybe makes the matches more exciting and a little bit more unpredictable. But, yeah, maybe a little bit more stressful for the players.

Q. If Dan Evans wins his match, he is leading the first set, can you talk about his improvement in 2019 as a player, as a man, and the troubles he's been through? What you've made of his rise up the rankings this year, if he ends up guiding Britain to that first victory?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, the stats are still the same regardless of whether he wins or loses the match today. One match doesn't change what he's done the last year.

I mean, I think he's right now fully dedicated to the sport. When that happens, good things happen in terms of your results, your consistency. I think your love of the game, you probably feel like you deserve to win some matches as well, which maybe if you're not putting your best effort out there in training or preparation, you know, you can go in, you know, maybe just not expecting as much of yourself and maybe feel like you don't deserve to do so well.

All of the practices and stuff I have had with him, he's been extremely focused, he's working hard. You know, he's got a good team of people around him, which started with Dave Felgate, who's obviously very experienced, and now he's back with Mark Hilton, who when he first made his breakthrough before the ban he was doing well working with Hilts.

So, yeah, I mean, he's fully invested in the sport now. And he's always had brilliant talent in terms of his hand skills and his variety and what he can actually do with the tennis ball. So you mix that together with, you know, the right attitude, right work ethic, and good things will happen.

Q. I want to ask you about the future. I guess this year was not easy --
ANDY MURRAY: I missed -- the future?

Q. Yes. In less than two months we are in a new year, Olympic year. What is your New Year's resolution and if you expect to compete at Tokyo and maybe claim a third Olympic gold medal? Thank you.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I would love to compete in Tokyo for sure. You know, I've really enjoyed playing in the Olympics. I've always enjoyed a team environment and competing for my country. Always really enjoyed that. So yeah, I would love to play in Tokyo.

And then my New Year's resolution, I mean, if at the end of 2020 I feel healthy and my body feels good, I'd be delighted with that. That's what I'd like for next year.

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