October 3, 2020
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, yeah, we did really well. I think we played a really good match from start to finish. We knew it was going to be really tough against those guys, very good team and very competitive, always bringing a lot of energy to the court.
But I think we did a really good job. Did well to hang in at the start of the third set after letting the second set kind of slip a little bit and, yeah, super happy to win.
Q. How are you finding the clay this year, given that you're playing on outside courts without a roof? Are you finding it quite difficult to slide with it being so wet and damp underfoot?
JAMIE MURRAY: Not really. I mean, doubles I wouldn't say we're sliding loads anyway. But I think the courts, I don't really find them heavy like compared to normal years. I think it's just more obviously the weather's a lot colder, balls are heavier, but the actual court surface is fine, like most years.
You're just obviously not getting the bounce on the ball or the reaction off the ball when you're hitting it. But actually for me it's been good because I feel like I've got a lot of time on the return, can use my different shots. Actually, I think for the style of game that I play, coming forwards it's not easy for the baseline guys to kind of create power on their shots because, one, the ball's not bouncing very high at all so they're having to lift the ball all the time, plus that ball is heavy, plus it's 12 degrees.
So I actually think in these conditions my style of play actually is working out well for me, I think.
Q. After you were talking last week about there not being really a system in singles, I mean the other side of that obviously is there is a system in doubles, and we still got two quarterfinalist teams. So I know it's no chestnut but can you talk about Louis and the contribution he made to that?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I mean it's all -- well, it's his teaching, how he sees the game, his philosophy on the game. All the boys that are coming through are taught that certainly when it comes to sort of positioning, movement, creating uncertainty for the opponents.
He has his principles and stuff. Obviously I think from very early on for me, I mean I had a lot of success early, obviously I've been able to play at the top of the game for quite a long time now. I think for the other boys coming through, I think they obviously see something that works and believe in and see that you can have success with that.
They have gone through that process as well, and we have got a lot of guys playing at this level of events now.
Q. Earlier in the week Andy was criticized by Mats Wilander for taking a wildcard for this particular open. Wilander claimed that Andy should not be taking wildcards at the expense of perhaps lower-ranked players. What is your reaction to that and was that unfair to single him out for that criticism?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I think Andy is well within his rights to accept a wildcard at a tournament. I mean, he obviously came here wanting to compete in the event and try to do as well as he can.
Obviously he didn't have any matches going into the tournament and then he played Stan Wawrinka in the first round, another guy who has got three Grand Slams and loves playing on clay. So it was a bit of a disaster draw for him. I think that was unfair criticism.
Of course, Andy didn't play his best match in the tournament, but nobody when they accept a wildcard into a tournament is going in thinking that they're not going to play their best match.
He's a champion, been at the top of the game forever, three Grand Slams. I don't think he has to prove anything to anyone.
Q. You got to the final of all the other three slams, so how much has doing well here sort of been a goal of yours?
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, been a big goal for me. Yeah, I mean Grand Slam, whether it's here or Australia or Wimbledon, whatever, the motivation is always there to try to do well.
I feel like now I'm kind of in a, you know, I feel mentally ready to go and do well again, play well in these tournaments and try to win these events. Yeah, I mean we are here in the quarters, we battled really hard, we won three tough matches.
But two weeks is a long time. You know you're going to have to battle at some point, and that's what we have been doing. Conditions not easy. Really excited to be in the second week. Quarterfinals now, like anything can happen.
Q. How have you managed to or have you done anything in particular to keep your energy levels up, your spirits up? And you say two weeks is a long time. It's even longer when you're sort of locked in a hotel room and not really able to do what you're normally used to. What have you done to keep everything bright and breezy?
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, like to be honest, I can't speak for other players, but for me being here, like, feels quite sort of lethargic and just like tired and stuff like that. I think just because probably more to do with the weather than anything else.
It's cold, it's been raining a lot, gray skies every day except from maybe the first set of our match today. So you're not waking up in the morning and it's like inspiring you to go out and do stuff.
There's also no gym at the hotel that we can use either. Everything's kind of on site. And, yeah, like for me even, like yesterday was just like... We were suppose to wait around to practice. Start raining again. We wait around like another two, three hours to hit. Then we're told we're playing first match on. We finish at 10 o'clock the other night. I didn't go to bed until like 1:00. And then we're on at 11, not even two days later.
Yeah, for me it's like keep your eye on the prize, keep your focus, do the right warmups, get body activation, even more important for us today because it was such an early start.
But, yeah, we're obviously doing something right. We're managing to get through these matches. And, yeah, it's just a situation. It's the same conditions for everyone and everyone's got to deal with that, whether that's spending more time at the courts, because you don't want to be in the room just looking at the walls all day or what, you just got to keep your mind active, be ready to go when it is your turn to step on the court.
Q. I notice that after that win today, you're sixth in the race for the O2. Rajeev and Joe are already qualified, I believe. How good would it be to have sort of two Brits in different teams, or sorry three Brits, I beg your pardon, in different teams involved in that? And are you confident that that event will still go ahead?
JAMIE MURRAY: I hope it goes ahead because I hope we qualify. Look, I think every doubles team's first goal at the start of the year is to try to qualify for the Tour Finals. Obviously this year is very different, different kind of year, and there's a lot of teams very bunched together.
I think we have played two Masters Series and a slam with half the points, and one at the start of the year, so this event is a big event for that.
Yeah, I mean obviously you want to go and play in London. It's the last time that it's going to be there as well, so there's a lot of motivation to try to get there. Whether it's with fans or not I guess that remains to be seen.
Obviously I really hope the event goes ahead, whether I'm there or not. It's the biggest tournament on the ATP calendar and our end-of-season championships. It's always been a great event and in London. And, yeah, definitely hope that it can go ahead, yeah.
Q. Going back to the seven Brits in the top 60 of the men's doubles, that's going to feed back into the things hopefully in terms of people who understand the game and who will need to contribute to it, won't it, in terms of people going into coaching or some sort of role later in their lives?
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, I mean I think from that point of view, yeah, I think in terms of like trying to maintain the production line, if you like, of British doubles players coming through and being able to play at the top of the game.
I think the more people that have the knowledge of the system that we play, whether that's players, ex players, coaches, whatever, can only be good. The more people that can spread that knowledge, teach the system, teach the philosophy principles, hopefully that leads to many more players playing at the top of the game, top of the doubles game, for a lot of years ahead, I think.
Q. Is it about the singles or is it too specific? I mean would it feed into singles too?
JAMIE MURRAY: No, it wouldn't feed into singles because, I mean, it's totally different, different skill set, different, yeah, different game.
I mean, you could obviously have that for singles in our country, you know, not necessarily Louis' philosophy. But I think it's important that at some point we say, Okay, this is what we believe in and we're going to teach that and we're going to bring our players through with these principles about the game and see where that leads.
The people that you bring in, the coaches that work with the players, they have to work to that agreement, I think. I really think that would be a positive thing for performance tennis in this country, I think. And that's not to say that everyone has to play the same way, but certainly to have those principles about themselves, I think, is important.
Q. Is this the first time in your professional career that you've ever worn tights or something?
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah.
Q. Are you wearing tights like compression tights? I just wondered if this is the first time.
JAMIE MURRAY: Yes, yeah.
Q. Is this the first time in your professional career, the first tournament that you've worn something like that?
JAMIE MURRAY: Full body, maybe. Maybe. I mean Madrid, I think maybe like Madrid can be quite cold sometimes. Monte Carlo, probably did it there, because there's been a few years there where it's like proper, proper cold. I think quite a few of the European tournaments in the clay swing in spring can get quite cold. I mean, Munich, it bloody snows there half the time that the tournament's on.
But it's fine. To be honest, if it's not quite windy it's fine to play. It's just when the wind gets up, that's when it like it goes through you and it just makes everything that much more of a battle.
But the last few days it's been really calm and even though today I think the temperature we were playing was probably like 12 or 13 degrees. Once you're out and about, running around and stuff, like it's okay.
But I think all that, you know, the compression gear like the cold gear and stuff that I'm wearing, like I think it just all helps for the body, really.
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