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September 27, 2020

Andy Murray

Paris, France

Press Conference


6-1, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Whenever we have seen you recently, there has been intensity on the court, motivation, you fire yourself up. You seemed quiet today, not that sort of same intensity. Was there a reason for that? Were conditions quite a struggle out there?

ANDY MURRAY: The conditions actually weren't that bad. I think early in the day it was tricky when it was raining for the players, because it's not just that the court gets wet and it's quite unpleasant to play in, but when the covers at the back of the court get wet and the balls are rolling into them, it really makes them very heavy when there is moisture on the balls, which makes it quite difficult to play.

I mean, this evening was cold and slow conditions, but it wasn't like particularly windy and it wasn't too bad.

But, yeah, I mean, I was trying to, over in the States, was getting quite frustrated in my matches. It was something that was brought up to me, and I tried to sort of keep my emotions in check on the court.

I don't know whether that affected me in any way or not, but that was probably why it was quieter than usual. I was trying to be a little bit calmer on the court.

Q. If you could look at the last couple tournaments and the big picture, would you say that today was just, you could chalk it up to a tough draw, first time at Roland Garros in a while, and you still feel overly positive about the way you're tracking in terms of progressing on the Grand Slam level?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, today I wouldn't see it like that. I think in New York, the second round physically I just wasn't as recovered as I would have liked to have been, and Felix played a great match.

Today was, yeah, obviously an extremely tough draw. Even if I played very well, you know, it would have been no guarantees that I win that match.

But I also didn't play well. You know, I served like under 40% first serves in the court, which that's just not good enough, really, against anyone, and especially someone as good as Stan. You want to be serving in the 60%, that sort of region. And, yeah, you won't see many players serve under 40% the rest of the tournament. That's just not good enough.

From there, that kind of allows whoever you're playing to kind of dictate more of the points. Yeah, that was clearly what happened out there tonight.

Q. Obviously you have been through so much, so many challenges. You're used to playing these big matches at these big events on the big stages. How hard is it to rationalize a defeat like that?

ANDY MURRAY: Don't know, really. Obviously I have just come off the court. I mean, I need to have a long, hard think about it. It's not for me the sort of match I would just brush aside and not give any thought to.

There is obviously reasons behind a performance kind of like that. You know, I think that's probably in terms of scoreline, I might be wrong, but I think that's the worst defeat maybe of my career in a Grand Slam. I'm not sure if that's the case.

So, yeah, I should be analyzing that hard and trying to understand why the performance was like that.

You know, I don't feel like the conditions are an excuse for it. I don't feel like that's a valid reason, maybe to not enjoy the matches as much when it's like that, but not in terms of it shouldn't affect your performance in any way.

So, yeah, I'll need to have a long, hard think and try and understand what happened.

Q. I'm wondering what your program is for the rest of what's left of the season? Have you thought as far ahead as Australia yet?

ANDY MURRAY: The Australian Open?

Q. Yes. What your buildup plans for that would be.

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I know tournament-wise I'm going to try to play as much as I can between now and the end of the year. The plan is to play in Cologne, the two tournaments there. Which I think they start the Monday after the French Open finishes. Probably the only positive of today is I will get more time to prepare on the indoor hard courts for that.

And then, I mean, we don't know exactly what the rules are going to be for Australia, but it's looking like you'll have to get there very early to prepare for that. As it stands, I wouldn't make the ATP Cup team, but my understanding is they are looking to put an ATP event on in Australia the beginning of the year, so that's currently what I would be doing.

I'd like to play in the ATP Cup because I was supposed to last year, and it looked like a great event. Yeah, my plan is to for sure go to Australia. I just don't know exactly what the exact situation is in terms of what date we would have to go, because by the sounds of it, it's pretty early I think. You'd have to go like mid-December.

Q. Obviously it's fairly early stages in terms of playing Grand Slams again in singles, but by the way you're talking just now, would it be fair to say that you might even have to sort of re-evaluate the way you play at the age of 33 against fairly high-ranked opponents, best-of-five sets?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it's something I have looked at, for sure. But I mean, it's a difficult one, because the way that I play, like, if you consider like when I play my best tennis or when I played my best tennis, I know what that looks like. You know, it's not going around blasting balls and serving and volleying and stuff.

That isn't how I play the game. If I do, let's say, you know, you start serve/volleying and returning and coming into the net and things like that, it has to be successful. Otherwise it's getting the balance right when you're out there playing.

To totally change the way you play the game is hard (smiling). It's hard to do that. Even since I came back from the injury -- like, if you take the matches I played in Asia, for example, and then look at Antwerp, which is where I feel I played, obviously because I won the tournament I would say it, but where I played my best tennis, I was hitting my backhand like four or five miles an hour faster there than I was in the Asia trip. You know, I didn't change the way I was playing. I just took my backhand on a little bit more and played the same way. And it was successful.

It's more about getting the most out of my, you know, my game. I don't think it's going to be that easy for me to change it at this stage in my career, even though it's something I have considered and looked at.

But, yeah, when I played my best tennis, that's being an offensive baseliner, and that's what I need to make sure I was doing. But like tonight if you serve at 38% and you mistime a bunch of second-serve returns, it's hard to play that way.

So, yeah, I need to play better to allow me to play the right way, I think.

Q. When you talk about the way you served today and talking about mistiming those returns, do you put that down to just your lack of matches? Are there any physical restraints as a result of the hip problem? Why do you think it is?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I haven't served like that. That's nothing to do with my hip obviously in terms of movement. I would assume I was moving a bit better before I had a metal hip. It would probably be fair to assume that.

But like mistiming returns and serving at 38%, that's got nothing to do with that. That's something I'll need to look at with my team and see why I was missing them, where I was missing them. I don't know if I was missing a bunch in the net. If that's the case, generally it means that you're maybe not using your legs enough or you're tossing the ball a little bit low.

I don't know. I'll have to have a look. But for me, that's nothing to do with, you know, my hip. And there has been matches where I served well since I came back. Yeah, that's not a physical issue.

Q. Wimbledon this year had talked about not wanting to have an event if they couldn't have fans. Now that you have played in a couple of fanless Grand Slams, I'm wondering, thinking like nine months ahead or so, if it still doesn't look like a full-fan possibility would be there in 2021, what would you want Wimbledon to do?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I think the events that have gone on so far, the ones I've been involved in, have been pretty successful. I guess it would be up to -- well, for me, the fans. If the fans are enjoying watching it and they are getting good TV ratings and things, then that would suggest people would still like to see tennis and watch the major events.

For a player, for sure it is not the same playing without fans, but I'd still way rather be playing the event than not. That's for sure.

Yeah, I would like to see Wimbledon go ahead regardless of whether there is fans or not. But, yeah, we'll see what they decide.

Q. When you consider what you just said about the way you're playing and even have thoughts about changing your game, et cetera, and I ask this with full respect, do you think you can get back to the best tennis that you have ever played to those levels?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, from a physical perspective, again, I mean, I wouldn't expect to physically be the same as what I was before I had the operation. But in terms of like ball striking and in terms of my strokes and stuff, I mean, I don't see why -- there is no reason that I shouldn't be able to do that from a technical perspective.

There has been matches that I have played since I came back where I hit the ball well. I mean, I know it wasn't the best match at times, but Zverev was a couple of points away from winning the US Open, and I won against him the week beforehand.

It's going to be difficult for me to play the same level as I did before. I mean, I'm 33 now and I was ranked No. 1 in the world, so it's difficult with all the issues that I have had.

But, yeah, I'll keep going. Let's see. Let's see what the next few months holds, and I reckon I won't play a match like that between now and the end of the year.

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