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June 17, 2021

Andy Murray

London, England, UK

Queens Club

Press Conference


6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Felt like a decent test against a very good player. How much information have you gained in the last three days about where you are physically with Wimbledon not far ahead?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think obviously I need to improve. I actually felt my movement was actually quite good for both of the matches. And all of the numbers and stuff, well, certainly from the first match we got, you know, in terms of the speeds I was moving at on the court was pretty, we were happy with that as a team.

Obviously I haven't seen that for today's match yet, but, you know, I think I made some good moves on the court. My tennis today was not very good. Yeah, that's the thing that I'll need to improve the most rather than I think the actual, like, movement around the court. Then obviously try and get -- there is still a slight niggle in the groin, and try to get rid of that discomfort between now and Wimbledon.

Q. I'm guessing you won't pick up another set of matches at Eastbourne? Just rest and practice?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I haven't spoken to my team about it. Obviously need to make a decision this evening probably.

Yeah, it was a difficult one, because ideally I'd like to play some matches. I felt like today that that sort of showed my lack of matches. You know, I came out a little bit tense. You know, I did create a few chances on his serve. You know, he served huge, to be fair to him, behind his first serve, but I still created a few breakpoints, a few 15-30s, got to deuce a couple of times I think as well and had some second serves and stuff.

Yeah, I just didn't play that well. Obviously against the top players you're not going to get loads of opportunities on the grass, you know, especially when someone is serving like that. You know, you need to be right on it. I wasn't today.

So I would like to have more matches, but at the same time, you know, with the bubbles and everything, it's tricky. So I'm not sure if I will try and do that or not. I'll need to speak to my team. But I would think it's unlikely.

Q. Whether or not you play next week, you're clearly going to be practicing. How do you manage the groin injury in that time? How do you manage and try and improve it while at the same time trying to stay active on court? I mean, from a layman's point of view with groin problems, quite often it's best to rest for a couple of weeks, but I guess that's something you can't be doing?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's a slightly complex issue in that, you know, still not entirely sure what the problem is. Couple of things potentially. You know, with tendons, for example, like you have a tendon injury, you need to load it to get it to adapt, but you can't like load it like so many days in a row, because if you do that you can irritate it and flare it up and it sets you back. So you need to load, load, back off a little bit. Load, load, load, back off a little bit.

So there is a little bit of that potentially if it's coming from the tendon. If it's something else, then, you know, like I said, structurally there is nothing wrong, so then it becomes more about managing the discomfort. You know, that's, I guess, you have to be a little bit reactive each day and then, you know, I need to be playing points basically. I need to be doing that.

I played two sets in preparation for this event. You know, it's not very much when you haven't played matches since March. You know, I do feel like I genuinely have been hitting the ball well in practice, but then like today when you're under a bit more pressure and stuff and you're having to make very split-second decisions when you're on the court, if the guy is serving 140 miles an hour, like, it's difficult to prepare for that.

You just need to be on the court with the top players, and that's what I'll try and do the next week, ten days, get out there and play with them as much as possible. But then, you know, with the mindset or the thought that I need to manage the groin a little bit, as well. It's a bit tricky.

Q. How impressed have you been by the other lads, Jack, Cam, Dan, getting to the quarterfinals? First time we have had it happen here at Queen's in the Open Era. How impressed have you been by their level of tennis? Will you go home now to watch Scotland/England rather than stay in the bubble another day?

ANDY MURRAY: I won't be going home to watch Scotland/England. I will be going home to spend time with my family. That's why I will be leaving the bubble. I want to see my children and my wife.

Yeah, I mean, with the other guys, I mean, Dan's obviously been doing exceptionally well for quite a long period now. Did very well last year as well and the year before and has a game that suits the grass.

Cam has had a fantastic year so far. You know, he's getting better all of the time. I have practiced with him quite a lot and spent a bit of time with him over the last few years, and, you know, he works exceptionally hard. He's a very, very fit guy. Has a really good attitude. I'm happy for him, you know, how well he's doing.

And then Jack, Jack's one of probably the best young players in the country, and again, I have spent quite a lot of time practicing with him and training with him. You know, he's got a big game, you know, big lefty serve. He moves well for his height.

Yeah, he's going to do really well. I mean, he's had obviously a couple good wins here. Be interesting to see him and Cam tomorrow, but, yeah, it's great he's able to get these matches now at this level. It has been difficult with the pandemic to obviously move your ranking up, and there has not been as many tournaments, so when he has been playing, he's been playing at slightly lower level. Hopefully with the points he's getting this week, you know, will give him the opportunity through to the end of the year to play in more challengers and compete at a higher level, which is really important at his age. You know, a lot of the young guys kind of missed a year of that, really. Yeah, good for him to be out here playing at this level.

Q. I wanted to ask you briefly about Berrettini. You mentioned his big serve. He had a very good grass court season a couple years ago, and from what you saw of him today being on the other side of the net to him, do you see him as a really big major contender at Wimbledon?

ANDY MURRAY: I don't know really. I think from the serving perspective, yeah. Like I said, he has a huge serve. Obviously I played against him a couple years ago and seen his matches.

You know, he has that big weapon, and that always gives you opportunities in matches, especially on this surface. Usually Wimbledon is slightly slower than the courts at Queen's.

But, yeah, he has a big game. Just, yeah, depends how well he can return and how his groundies hold up right at the highest level, because I wasn't playing at the highest level today. He serves huge and it's obviously very tough to break him, but, you know, he's going to have to do well on the return games and, you know, that's something that I think so far is something that at the top, top level has maybe held him back a little bit.

Yeah, that's something that he'll need to improve if he wants to win one of the majors, I think.

Q. Obviously you certainly made clear this week that it's not necessarily about winning slams or whatever for you. You love playing. You just love being able to step in the court. I wonder, does that mindset waiver at all after a defeat?

ANDY MURRAY: What do you mean, in terms of that mindset, waiver in terms of what?

Q. Because obviously you were quite emotional the other night after the win. I'm sure you're feeling good about winning a match as well. But after a defeat, this stage of your career, second round of Queen's, do you become a bit more despondent, or do you still feel that, you know, you're happy enough to play?

ANDY MURRAY: My immediate feeling and the thing that when I get into the locker room after a match like that, you know, as I was telling my team, like, these are the things I want to improve. These are the things that will need to get better, like, if I want to win those matches and be more competitive.

I'm not sitting in the locker room after a match and going, Oh, you know, that was a shame that, you know, doesn't really matter, and, you know, I'm just happy being out there. I'm not happy losing 3 and 3 to Berrettini today. Like, I want to be doing better than that, for sure.

So, no, my sort of application and desire to improve and work on things off the back of matches and learning like from today is still there, yeah. And let's see. Let's see what happens if I get the opportunity to play more matches and get the chance to play him potentially in a few weeks' time.

But trust me, it's not easy, not easy going out there and playing and competing when you have not played loads in the last sort of three years. It's my second grass court match since 2018. I played two practice sets in the buildup to the tournament, and I'm playing a guy who is serving, it felt like a majority of serves in the 140 miles an hour on the first serve. It's tough.

Yeah, I need matches. I need to practice at this level. Yeah, I'll keep trying.

Q. I'd be curious to know your thoughts on Nadal's withdrawal from Wimbledon and the Olympics. Also about Roger Federer from yesterday in Halle where he was incredibly despondent with his performance and how you think that could affect him going into Wimbledon.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I don't know exactly what Roger's situation is, but, I mean, I know from my own experience that it's not easy, you know, coming back and playing, you know, after such a long period out, when you're used to playing at such a high level pretty much every time you step on the court for like -- well, for him, it's probably been like 20 years almost, you know, at the top of the game, and to come out and not be playing that way and probably seeing the shots you want to play and just not being able to execute them, you know, playing some of these guys that are -- you know, Felix is another guy that has a huge serve and goes for his shots.

You know, you're kind of wanting to get into a bit of a rhythm and it's not happening, so it can be hard. Yeah, it's extremely frustrating. I understand why it would be frustrating for Federer, but I'm sure he will work it out.

You know, it's different playing at slams. It's not the same as competing at the other tournaments, and certainly I don't think for the other players, like stepping on court with somebody like him at Wimbledon will be different. Yeah, I think he'll figure stuff out.

And then with Rafa, obviously it's a shame, shame for him, shame for the tournaments. Yeah, like still like this year is hard. With the bubbles and everything, you know, you need to be right into it and be prepared to sort of go through that for -- a lot of the players are finding it difficult. Some of them obviously went through it through the whole of the or most of the clay court season, you know, so then potentially having to go through that at Wimbledon and then doing it again, like, in the Olympics and stuff, like mentally for everyone is difficult.

I don't know if he has any physical issues either. He obviously had, looked like he had some issues at the end of the match with Novak potentially.

But, yeah, I think hopefully when things sort of open up again, I think over in the States it's looking like we will be playing in front of like full crowds, and maybe won't be, the bubbles and stuff are not going to be as strict, and I'm sure more of the players will be more committed to more tournaments I think.

Q. You mentioned earlier about Berrettini's return. How do you feel the return of serve as a shot has evolved over your time in the sport?

ANDY MURRAY: Did you ask how the return has evolved since during my time in the sport?

Q. Yes. And like in terms of how much people practice it now compared to in the past and how effective it is. Like Federer a few years ago said he never practices return of serve. Just curious.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, so I mean, I have always practiced it a lot. My opinion is that the level of returning has gone down, but the serving, feels to me like the serving has improved. So I don't know. There might be a little bit of that, like some of the guys -- well, like a Berrettini, he's obviously got a huge, huge serve.

A lot of the younger guys seem, the tennis players seem to be getting slightly bigger a little bit, maybe slightly taller than the sort of 6'0", 6'2" that most of the guys are up at the top of the game for the last 15 years have been. I think players are getting slightly taller.

The serve is becoming, you know, more maybe a little bit more dominant in more of the young players coming up. But then so maybe the return hasn't got worse. Maybe it's just a little bit more difficult, because the guys are serving, you know, are serving bigger. I'm not sure on that. I have not given it that much thought.

But I'd say more of the young guys coming up, their strength tends to be the serve and not the return so much.

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