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June 15, 2021

Andy Murray

London, England, UK

Queens Club

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/B. Paire

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We could see how choked up were in your on-court interview. Can you explain to us why that victory was so important to you?

ANDY MURRAY: No, not really. I mean, I just really want to play. Like I said, I have not really had the opportunity to do that the last few years. You know, when I have, it's been pretty fleeting.

Yeah, first singles match I got to play on grass in three years. Not a lot of stuff has happened in that period, as well. It's not like, you know, a whole lot has gone on. Yeah, I was just happy to be out there playing, doing well.

You know, obviously I said before there is obviously a lot of doubts as well like when you haven't hardly played, but then, you know, like I kept saying, in the back of my mind and in practice and stuff, like I put in so much work and have done so much good stuff, like in practice, you know, I'm really proud of what my attitude has been like in terms of feeling the various setbacks and everything and kept going.

Yeah, that's probably what it was. I mean, it's obviously difficult to put a finger on one thing exactly, but lots of things that went into it.

Q. What does your day off, if that's not the wrong expression to use, look like these days? Will you need to spend a lot of time tomorrow rehabbing? If you do have a session on the court, is it likely to be a fairly light one?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, obviously I have to be a little bit reactive sometimes as well. Today's match was not like particularly taxing. Like physically there wasn't lots of long rallies. You know, I had to run up to quite a lot of dropshots and stuff, so there was a change of direction of things, which was good.

But, yeah, just focus a lot on the recovery. I really don't feel like I need to practice loads, because I have done lots of practicing and I'm hitting the ball really, really well.

So, yeah, it's about trying to get matches. The best way of feeling sort of fresh from matches, like yesterday, you know, I had a very light practice, but I had done quite a bit of point play like the four days beforehand. Usually probably the day before a match I would like to do a little bit more, but speaking with the team and stuff, it's all about just trying to feel as good as possible for the matches physically and then just trusting, you know, all of the work that you have done, which I have done a lot.

Q. What was the feeling as you walked out onto the court just before the match? It's obviously a place you have played many, many times. Was it kind of more nervous than usual, trepidation, excitement or what?

ANDY MURRAY: I was really nervous today, yeah. I felt nervous this morning. I was excited as well.

Yeah, like I said, there is doubts and stuff obviously before going out there, but pretty much as soon as the first few games we played, the focus becomes less about your body and your hip and more about the match and trying to win and stuff.

I felt pretty calm on the court, really. Yeah, like, grass is a very natural surface for me. It's one I feel very comfortable on. Once I got out there, I actually felt good.

Yeah, the buildup to it, there is obviously nerves and stuff. Yeah, I was laughing to myself, you know, went to the bathroom like half an hour before the match, probably like the fourth time I had been in about 45 minutes (smiling). Yeah, I was just laughing, because, you know, I still get nervous obviously before I go out to play, but, you know, you have to remind yourself in those moments, yeah, like, just to trust yourself, and so, yeah, I was definitely nervous.

Q. You have said quite often over the past couple of years how much you enjoy competing and you just enjoy playing. Was there a moment during your recovery or as you have still been recovering that you sort of had that realization that, like, you really just miss being out there and you love the sport as much as you do?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I can't remember one point in particular, because there have been many, but, yeah, you do a lot of reflecting and stuff during times like that.

Yeah, you know, I spoke a little bit about it the last few days. I just, yeah, I just wish like, you know, when I was coming into these events and stuff and tournaments, like 10 years ago, I was more, like -- I don't know. I always stressed a lot, I always got quite stressed out before these times of year. I was very focused on my tennis and stuff.

Yeah, I just wish I had appreciated, like, the small moments and stuff, like walking back on the grass court for the first time, like off the back of the clay season, just enjoying those moments. Then, yeah, celebrating wins and enjoying them more than probably what I did.

I think tennis, I think when you're playing top-level tennis, it is difficult sometimes to do that, because you're always on to the next match. If you win a tournament, you're right on to the next tournament, and Wimbledon is right around the corner and stuff.

It's hard, but, yeah, just I wish I had enjoyed those moments more and stuff. That's why like today, for example, yeah, I like speaking to my team and speaking to my family and stuff, yeah, just wanted to go out there and enjoy it and just be myself. I did that. I enjoyed it. I get another opportunity tomorrow.

Yeah, I'm always sort of telling myself, and maybe it's not the best mindset, but each match could be my last one, you know, that I play now. I want to make the most of every match that I play and each tournament that I get the chance to compete in.

Q. You mentioned before that when you play in matches you're not thinking about your body. I was wondering, has that been the case in your recent matches? Have there been other matches where you haven't only been focused on winning?

ANDY MURRAY: I think when I came back from the hip resurfacing, yeah, certainly I remember when I played like Gasquet in Cincinnati, I was thinking a lot about my hip. You know, mainly because it had been built up to be a big deal and my first match back on a singles court and I didn't know how it was going to be. So, yeah, then I was thinking a lot about my hip.

But say in recent months and tournaments, it would depend. Sometimes, for example when I played, you know, Felix at the US Open, like physically I felt terrible. I'm thinking a lot about my hip in matches like that or my groin, and when I played Stan at the French Open and stuff, I didn't feel good. So there have been matches, yeah, where physically, like, I have not felt -- the pain has been like too much that I have not just been able to play through it, and then it becomes a distraction and affects your performance and everything.

So, you know, today was not one of those days. You know, although I had some discomfort in the groin, it was manageable and not affecting me enough to affect my performance.

Q. Evo talked earlier about how the Europe Championships have helped in terms of sort of filling in the time in the bubble, because I'm sure it's a bit of a nightmare for British players, not being able to stay at home, stay at designated hotels and stuff. Obviously you're away from your family. I'm sure it's not a holiday or anything like that, but has it given you something else to fill the time?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, a little bit. I mean, it's tough I guess to, like, a lot of the guys that are here, the British players are into their football, so like in the evenings and stuff, we're watching the football in the hotel together, big group of us, which, you know, obviously it's fun.

Yeah, obviously I would like to be staying at home with my family and everything, but again, like bubble, or not like I'm enjoying it. You know, I'm here to compete.

Usually when I'm at tournaments I would go out and go to restaurants and stuff in the evening, but I'm pretty much hotel, courts, recover, gym, et cetera. You don't do a whole lot of other stuff except in the evening. It's not a huge change for me from how I would usually go about things at tournaments, but, yeah, certainly in the evenings there is, yeah, something for all of us to do together to enjoy, and yeah, have a little bit more fun than just being in your hotel from 6:00 at night until 9:00 the next morning or whatever. It was not a pleasant day for the Scots yesterday.

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