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July 2, 2021

Andy Murray

Wimbledon, London, UK

Press Conference


6-4, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Denis Shapovalov, at the end of the match there, described you as his hero and said it's amazing what you're doing, and you've only just started. Is he right? Do you think this week is a real kind of concrete block to build from and that you're only just getting started again?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's difficult. I mean, yeah, like I feel like I have been trying a lot the last couple years, obviously since I had the operation, you know, never really being able to get that much momentum going.

You know, for me to be able to compete with guys at his level, you know, my game needs to be spot-on, really. I mean, it would have been difficult for me even when I was playing, you know, at my best, to compete with someone as good as him, you know, or, you know, any of the top players really, yeah, if my game is not quite there.

You know, this week has been really good in some ways, but it's been frustrating too. I played two long matches, and it's really significantly more than anything I have done in the last six months really.

So if my game is not quite spot-on physically, I'm not perfect, or physically, like, really fresh, it's going to be hard for me. It's extremely frustrating, because, yeah, I feel like I put a lot of work into getting to this point, and then obviously to lose like that is tough. Being as good as he is. I don't want to take anything away from his performance. He played really, really well.

But, you know, if I'm going to put that much effort in, I want to be performing better than what I did here. Even though there were some great moments.

Q. Do you leave here feeling more or less optimistic about the future? You gained a lot of information I guess in the last kind of three weeks about where you are. Would you have kind of settled for this?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I got through, I guess, a week of a slam without getting injured. So that's positive.

There was moments of I think really good tennis mixed in with some, you know, pretty bad moments. Yeah, like I said the other day, you know, I should really have been off the court in three sets against Basilashvili. No excuse for that, you know, what happened in that match.

And you need, you know, all of your reserves, and, you know, to conserve as much energy as you can during these events. I messed up there. You know, I was a set and a break up against Otte and immediately lost three games on the spin and was the break down and then two sets to one down. It's like, those sorts of things I could have put myself in a much better position going into today.

So, yeah, it was positive that I got through the event without getting hurt (smiling), but, yeah, negative, I guess, I feel like I can do better tennis-wise. I feel like I can play better and close matches out better.

But to do that, I need time on the match court and I need more time on the practice court, and I've had neither in the last few months.

Q. I was wondering physically how exhausted you are feeling or not right now. In terms of getting that momentum physically going forward, are you now confident you'll be able to perhaps string a few more best-of-three set weeks together and feel physically fine and then get yourself ready for the slam and get your tennis there, kind of shake the rust off, et cetera?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, I think, like I said, from the physical perspective this week, it was positive. You know, I played, I don't know the exact length of the matches, but three-and-a-half, nearly four hours I think the first couple of matches, something like that. So I would assume that playing three-set matches shouldn't be too much of an issue doing that.

So, yeah, you need momentum, you need matches, like I said, to compete at the highest level. And, you know, because of my ranking and not being seeded and stuff, like, you know, you run into guys like Berrettini in the second round who is serving huge and hitting the ball huge. You're just not quite ready for that sort of pace of play.

Then again, you know, again today, you know, I guess before, like if you're ranked 3 or 4 and you're seeded and you can sort of avoid some of those players until later in the tournament you can maybe build a bit more momentum that way.

But, yeah, I need matches and I need a run of them and time on the practice court if I want to improve my game, which clearly I need to. I'm not suggesting my game is in the best place. I'm going to have to spend a lot of time on the practice court working on stuff.

Q. Do you know yet when you're going Tokyo? What will you do between now and then? How are you kind of feeling about that competition and playing in another Olympics?

ANDY MURRAY: So we fly, I think it's like, there is like a date that we're allowed to fly from. We can't fly on any other dates, I think it's like five days before the start of the tournament, whatever date that is.

Yeah, I don't know what I'll do between now and then. Obviously get some practice in. I have spoken to Joe Salisbury and stuff, and I want to spend a bit of time preparing with him, as well, do some doubles stuff, as well, to -- I've never played with him before, so it will be good to spend some time on the court together, practicing, as well.

Immediately I want to go home and see my family. Yeah, it's been, I know it's only been like a week or ten days, but when they're close and can see, like, your wife and family and stuff, they're right there on the court, then when you can't see them, yeah, you miss them a little bit more probably. Go home and see them first thing in the morning and then see where I go from there.

Q. Following up on the Olympics, the protocols and measures will be quite Draconian and suffocating for everyone involved. Are you aware of the provisions you'll be under, restrictions you'll be under? Are you able to block all that out and just play tennis? These are going to be a unique Olympics for everyone.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, look, I would rather not be bubbles and stuff, but I'm also okay with them.

Like I said, this week's obviously different, but like in normal tournament, like if I'm on a road at a tournament, the only thing I would do differently would be -- well, I wouldn't be getting the COVID things up your nose every couple of days (smiling). But, yeah, like in the evenings I would go for dinners out, but the rest of the time it's the same for me, like I'm at the hotel, at the courts, gym. I'm not really going out that much, like exploring the cities and everything.

So I haven't minded the bubbles and things. I know it's going to be strict in Tokyo, but I'm all right with that. It's fine.

Q. You talked about being on the practice court more. Seemed like before the tournament you were conserving your body a bit for the tournament. I was wondering what the balance is going to be for you between kind of conserving your body and getting the amount of practice I'm sure you'll want to get in on the practice court.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I'm totally pro, like, conserving your body and stuff. I have spoken and said I wish I had done more of that when I was younger. I'm pro that.

But like going into Queen's having played one practice set is really bad preparation. When you've not played matches for three or four months, you would usually want to be playing, like, lots of practice sets in the buildup to a tournament like that. You know, especially when you've not played a singles match on grass since 2017.

That's, like, there's a difference between, like, looking after your body and making sure you don't overdo it and actually just being able to sort of play with a little bit less restrictions on what you can do when you're preparing for events.

Yeah, I think I'll be fine with obviously less tennis than what I did previously. I think there's a different way of doing it than playing like four hours every day for six days in a row. But it's just getting that consistency of playing every single day.

Yesterday, for example, I didn't practice. That's something, you know, I've never really done in my career, like during slams I would always come in and hit some balls and, you know, hit some returns against a lefty serve, for example. Tried that and then obviously I come out today and I start slow. I'm then thinking, I should have practiced yesterday.

But, yeah, that's just something I'm sort of still trying to figure out a little bit with my team. But, yeah, I certainly need to be doing more on the practice court than what I was in the buildup to the grass season, that's for sure.

Q. You said you've seen the good moments through what you've done so far this week. Do you think that those good moments can now become consistent over the process of the next three, four months? Do you think that is we're now moving on to something different or coming back to where -- not where you used to be but to be able to compete at the level that you want to compete?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, the things that, like, I probably won't be able to change is if -- I don't know exactly, like, how much worse my movement is, for example, than in 2016. I'm probably not moving as well as then. I'm aware of that.

But then, like, the way that I hit the ball and stuff, that has nothing to do with my hip. You know, so I can still play like good and high-level tennis. You know, just maybe I'm not moving quite as well as I used to.

So I'm hoping that, yeah, providing I can stay on the court consistently for, you know, two, three, four months, yeah, that my tennis will get back to a high level.

You know, I'm not saying I played perfect tennis here, by any stretch, but there was moments in the match against Basilashvili where I was playing well, and the last couple sets against Otte, you know, I think I did play some good tennis there.

But, yeah, like I said, the consistency is the thing that's been all over the place, and, yeah, that's something that we'll need to change the next couple months.

Q. I just want to ask you about your coaching setup. Obviously you brought in Mark Petchey. Are there thoughts about adding another coach or how long is Petch intending on staying?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, good question. I mean, I'm not sure exactly. You know, he has some, like, TV commitments and stuff that he has kind of through towards the end of the year. But, yeah, I mean, obviously I worked with him a lot when I was younger and, you know, enjoyed it. You know, I feel like, as well, it's important that you have a break sometimes from, you know, the team that you're with for most of the year.

Yeah, I'll need to chat a bit about that with Petch and stuff. Yeah, and see kind of what we do between now and the end of the year.

But, yeah, I don't have any plans of adding any other coaches, not spoken to anyone else about that. I think two is enough.

Q. I'm curious with you saying you obviously were able to stay injury free during this tournament, despite the falls, and also having a lot of crowd back and some great atmosphere, does this tournament feel for you like a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of having been through your injuries and the sport, empty stands, restrictions and whatnot, that at least this might have looked and felt a lot more like the old days in some ways?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, look, it was great playing in front of the crowds again. I mean, I got amazing support here. Yeah, I'm very thankful for that. Something I have missed. Yeah, it kind of reminds you, as well, yeah, why you do all of the work and everything.

But then, yeah, on the flip side of that, like I said, the positive part is getting through the matches and, you know, feeling okay physically and not sort of getting injured.

You know, that's good, but then there is a part of me that feels a bit like I have put in so much work the last three months and, you know, ultimately didn't play how I would want and expect, and it's like is it worth it? Is all of that training and everything that you're doing in the gym, you know, unless you're able to like practice and, you know, improve your game and get matches and continue, get, you know, a run of tournaments, like, is it worth all of the work that you're doing?

You know, there is part of me that feels like, yes, it is, because I had, you know, great memories and stuff from this event and playing in some brilliant atmosphere. But then, also, I finished the match tonight and I'm saying to my team, I'm like, That's just -- yeah, I'm just not happy with how I played.

So unless me and my team can find a way of keeping me on the court for, you know, a consistent period of time and allow me to practice the way that I need to to compete with these guys, then, yeah, then that's when, you know, the discussions about what I do next will come in, because I have genuinely put a lot into this to get to this point, but I'm not being able to practice and prepare how I need to to perform how I would like at these events, which like I said, I'm not expecting and saying, like, I would beat Denis Shapovalov. He's a brilliant player. But I feel like I can do a lot better than what I did this evening.

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