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August 24, 2020

Andy Murray

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/A. Zverev

6-3, 3-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Andy Murray joins us after his three-set win over No. 5 seed Alexander Zverev. Questions, please.

Q. I just wanted to know, because obviously next week you'll be playing best-of-five-set matches, at the end of that match just now, are you feeling like you could go another two sets if needed?

ANDY MURRAY: Don't know, really. I don't know. I was moving pretty well at the end of the match. Definitely had some lulls in there, like drop-off in intensity, a bit of energy at times. It was ridiculously hot at the beginning of the match, like unbelievably hot and humid.

Yeah, I mean, I was wearing a heart rate monitor during the match. I checked afterwards. I mean, I was pushing it hard especially the beginning of the match, and then once the sun went down and things, it was actually fine.

I think I would have got through a five-setter, yeah. I think I would have done -- it would have been tough, for sure, and there would have been moments -- I don't know. Like if I went down in the fourth set, I would have thought about conserving energy and stuff, but, you know, with it being, like, a short -- well, it's not a short set in the fifth, but that potential 12-10 and stuff, it's a tiebreaker, I think once I saw the finish line, that would help, as well. I mean, I did pretty well, I think. I think I did all right.

Q. How satisfying was that win, given who you were playing, given this was just your second match of the year and everything you have been through, as well?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, obviously it was a big one to get through, I think. If I put myself -- if I had lost the match from being 4-1 up in the third, you know, having opportunities and kind of the way that I played to go down, you know, from 4-1 to 5-4 was obviously not very good.

Made some bad mistakes. Stopped moving my feet. You know, probably a bit of nerves in there, a bit of fatigue. And, yeah, just of bit of rustiness, as well, I think from not playing and having to close matches out against top players for a long time, it would have been a tough one to lose.

Yeah, I was satisfied obviously to get through it, get a win against a top player after having not played for such a long time.

Yeah, get another opportunity to compete tomorrow, and that will give me a good idea of where my body is kind of at. Tomorrow see how I feel. I will expect to be tired, but if I can push myself, I will try to push myself hard tomorrow regardless of the result, that would be -- I said before the tournament started I wanted matches. You know, I got two pretty competitive matches in tough conditions. Obviously have another one tomorrow. Kind of been just the week that I wanted, really.

Q. It felt like the first set was the best that we have seen you play in quite a while. Did it feel like that to you?

ANDY MURRAY: In the third set?

Q. First set.

ANDY MURRAY: Oh, sorry, yeah. It wasn't that bad, the third set (smiling).

No, I think that the first -- yeah, I felt like it was a good level. I felt like I was striking the ball clean. I was moving well. Tactically I thought I played good stuff in the first set.

And, yeah, I was happy with how I played. Yeah, definitely in patches during the match was really good and at points, yeah, it wasn't so good.

I mean, yeah, I guess I should probably be expecting that a little bit because of the lack of matches and especially against, you know, high-level opposition and, you know, different conditions. I need to expect that.

But in the first set, yeah, I played some really good tennis. And at the end, you know, sport is about finding a way to win even when you aren't playing your best. And I did that today.

You know, that's a good sign. If you can beat someone who is ranked in the top 10 in the world not playing your best, that's good.

Q. The other day you were talking about your time off and time when you have gone through all these struggles. You essentially said patience was the quality that you learned. In any way, does that translate to between the lines out there in a tough match that had lots of different turns, especially at crunch time? Did that help at all?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I'd like to say it did, but I don't think that that's something that is new for me. You know, if I look back at my career and the matches and stuff I have won from -- matches like that, basically, you know, I did it a lot during my career.

You know, that's one of the things I have had the opportunity to do, I think, during these last kind of few years, especially this year, reflect on things at times and look back at, yeah, experiences that I have had on the tennis court.

You know, that's one of the things that I would have learned, I guess, by looking back at my matches is that, you know, I found ways to win, you know, against good players when I have maybe not necessarily been playing my best tennis.

You know, that's something that's helped me my whole career, and hopefully it will keep happening moving forward. Ideally I'd like to play shorter matches and win matches quicker. But it's nice if you are in that position to be able to look back on previous matches and experiences and know that you're able to come through them and turn them around.

Q. I'd like to know if, in this situation in this condition, you are somehow surprised about yourself. Did you expect that you could do so well already so quickly against players such as the one that you have just beaten?

ANDY MURRAY: It's a good question, because if you watched my practice sets and stuff and the buildup to the tournament, you would have said no. I was getting belted by everyone. And that had also been the case kind of when I have been playing practice matches and practice sets back home. Couldn't win one (smiling).

But practice doesn't really matter. It's what obviously you do on the match court. Yeah, sometimes I think like outwardly if you looked at me, like if you're watching me on the court and you're watching from the stands, like you might think that, you know, I get really down on myself and that I'm very negative, and I think outwardly I definitely am.

But I think inside me like I have a very, very strong self-belief and know that I can win matches like that. Although it doesn't always appear that way when you're watching me on the court, I always believe, even when outwardly it seems like I might be flagging or being negative or whatever.

Q. So you trust always yourself, whatever is the situation?

ANDY MURRAY: I trust my competitive instinct, yeah. I think that's a big strength of mine. I haven't lost that yet. I think once that goes, that's probably when it's time to, you know, for me to call it a day.

But, yeah, I still have that, like, that desire and that fight to, yeah, to try and win matches and compete and get the most out of myself.

Q. I would like to know if you have any feeling it was an advantage for you to have played a game already while Alex has not done so?

ANDY MURRAY: Can you repeat the question? Sorry.

Q. I would like to know whether or not you think that it was an advantage for you to have played a match already on the courts prior to this match today while Sascha has not done so, like you have been in a better flow or rhythm?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think like it can help obviously playing matches, and, yeah, winning matches is positive.

I mean, he did get to play a doubles match I think yesterday, or I don't know if it was yesterday or the day before, but to get used to the conditions and whatever.

I don't know. Ask all of the guys who got given the byes in the tournament if they would rather have a bye or play their first-round match. I don't know what they would say, to be honest. But, you know, for me personally, like if I'm looking at what my goals for this trip are, it would be to, one, to be healthy, and then two is to get matches in before the US Open. Having that opportunity in the first round to get another match in is great.

So now I know I'm guaranteed at least three matches, which if you had a bye and lost the first one, then you only get one going in. So that's not ideal, but, yeah, I'm happy with getting three matches, for sure.

Q. Dan Evans lost. Going forward to the US Open, how do you assess Dan's chances next week? Do you think being a seed will help him in that area?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, being seeded helps. I think he will also be seeded inside the top 25 maybe? I don't know if he just makes it inside there. I'm not sure. It would be pretty close, but I think he might just make it inside there, which helps, which means you would avoid the top eight players in the third round.

And, yeah, I think the courts here are quick. I think, as you saw against someone like Rublev who is a top player, you know, caused him all sorts of problems. Obviously got the win against him.

There are certain game styles that will be a little bit trickier for him because of the conditions. So if he gets, I don't know, gets a good draw, you know, he's got an opportunity to do really well. I mean, obviously Milos is a top player. His ranking is probably not reflective of his ability. I think he's a better player than where he's currently ranked. But Rublev has been one of the top players this year, and Dan took him out yesterday.

So, yeah, he's got the ability to do very well, I think, on these conditions. You know, there is just some game styles his game will work really well against and because of the conditions that some players will find a little bit trickier, I think.

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