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August 30, 2021

Andy Murray

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference


2-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: If you could, just your thoughts on the match.

ANDY MURRAY: I'd rather answer the questions, please. Is that okay?

THE MODERATOR: Fine. Questions, please.

Q. (Questions about Stefanos leaving the court.)

ANDY MURRAY: It's not so much leaving the court. It's the amount of time. I spoke to my team before the match about it and said to expect that, prepare for it if things were not going his way. So I was trying to do that.

But the issue is that you cannot stop the way that that affects you physically. When you're playing a brutal match like that, you know, stopping for seven, eight minutes, you do cool down. You can prepare for it mentally as much as you like, but it's the fact that it does affect you physically when you take a break that long, well, multiple times during the match.

Every single time it was either -- well, before my serve as well. I think when he took the medical timeout, it was just after I had won the third set. Also in the fourth set when I had Love-30, he chose to go -- I don't know if he changed his racquet or what we was doing.

But, yeah, it can't be coincidence that it's happening at those moments. I don't believe it was causing him any issue at all. The match went on for another two and a bit hours after that or something. He was fine, moving great I thought.

Yeah, it's just disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match. I'm not saying I necessarily win that match, for sure, but it had influence on what was happening after those breaks.

I rate him a lot. I think he's a brilliant player. I think he's great for the game. But I have zero time for that stuff at all, and I lost respect for him.

Q. Do you want the officials to step in?

ANDY MURRAY: Ultimately they can't do anything because the rules are there. But I sit on the player council, and we speak about it all of the time, about changing these rules, trying to make it less easy for the rules to be exploited I guess.

Some suggestions are if you take a medical timeout or a break before, let's say, my serve, that you forfeit the game. I just start the set 1-Love up. That's one thing that's sort of been discussed.

A couple of other things are like you get two five-minute breaks during a match or something, and that's it. There's various different suggestions that are out there.

Well, what do you think? I mean, do you think that that's normal? Do you think it should change? Do you think it's totally fine? I mean...

Q. He took it too far, like you say.

ANDY MURRAY: Well, that's what I feel. But if everyone else feels like that's totally cool and there's no issue with it, then maybe I'm the one being unreasonable.

But I think it's nonsense. And he knows it, as well.

Q. His opponents in Cincinnati said things about him using his phone when he's off the court, talking to his coach. Was that in your mind or are you talking basically about stall tactics?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think so. And, yes, I would have no idea if that's happening. But, yeah, I'm not accusing him of that.

He knows. The other players know. The fact that I was talking to my team about it before the match, we knew it was coming.

But, yeah, you could argue that I shouldn't let that affect me. But genuinely it is difficult, like, when you're playing such a brutal match in those conditions to have those breaks. Physically you can't stop that from affecting you. Mentally, yes, but physically you can't.

Q. Another pivotal moment in the match seemed to be towards the end of the second set when your shoes... Can you explain what happened there? Some people might be surprised that you're a high-profile tennis player with only one pair of shoes with you.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, that's my bad, but I've never had that happen in a match. The shoes I was wearing were pretty new. I've never had, yeah, issues with my shoes during a match before. Certainly never what was happening there.

The shoes got so wet that, yeah, at the end of the set, yeah, I was slipping basically and was losing balance. Yeah, that's why I needed to change after the set. And it was fine.

But, yeah, I guess something for me to learn from and in the future make sure that doesn't happen again. That was my bad. It was an important moment in the match.

Q. You just said it's so hard to stop and go with a break like that. As an elite athlete out there, describe how difficult that is and what happens? Does the body just cool down? What's the process?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it just cools down a little bit. Also, yeah, like at the end of sets or like today, if you look when it happened, they were the end of the second set. Obviously there's a lots of adrenaline running through your body. Lose a set like that, then take a long break, the adrenaline sort of, yeah, I guess wears off a little bit. That's what it feels like. Yeah, you just feel a little bit flat.

The longer the match goes on, like, seven, ten minutes after a match finishes, for example, you go into the locker room and sit down a bit, you start stiffening up a bit, as well. Certainly at my age anyway. Maybe not when I was in my early 20s.

But, yeah, there's a few things. I'm sure it affects everyone kind of a bit differently. That's how it affects me.

Q. The fact that you could play for nearly five hours with the third-best player in the world, seemingly playing with a huge amount of freedom...

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, look, I mean, I've said it a lot over this last few months, that I know I'm capable of playing that tennis. I need to spend time on the court, getting the chance to play against these guys. Ultimately when I get on the court with them, need to prove it. I guess tonight I proved some things to a certain extent. Obviously didn't win the match tonight.

From a physical perspective, I thought I did quite well. Would have liked to have done a little bit better physically at times. But there was also other circumstances that were not helping that either.

Overall I did well tonight, but I'm really, really disappointed, really disappointed after that, frustrated, all those things. Really disappointed.

Q. Did you come out a bit feeling that if you got over the line, you'd be in good enough shape to come back and win on Wednesday? I know you don't know till the morning. You came out of it with no obvious physical issues.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, look, physically I felt pretty good on the court in terms of, like, my body lasted pretty well. I was chasing balls down right until the end. Yeah, obviously I have no idea how I'm going to feel tomorrow yet. I would imagine I'll be pretty sore afterwards. I would imagine he would be, as well.

Yeah, that's the tough thing about slams, is that matches like that are really tough on the body. I've obviously not had a particularly long year. For a lot of the guys that have played many matches, it can be tough to recover from at this stage of a season.

But, yeah, I'll find out I guess -- I'm not going to get to find out because I don't get to play another match. Maybe in two days my body feels okay. But if I had to go and play five hours again, or three hours in the heat, maybe my legs would be fatigued. But I don't get the opportunity to find that out now.

Q. On the ATP's recent announcement they're going to review the sexual abuse policy. Do you have thoughts about that as a member of the council?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think it's a positive thing. I've spoken about it a couple of times this year. Obviously it was something that needed to change in terms of how some of the situations have been handled I think this year. Yeah, just didn't really feel like the sport had much of a sort of stance on it really. So, yeah, I guess that's a step in the right direction.

I think is there like an independent body looking at it or something?

Q. (No microphone.)

ANDY MURRAY: So, yeah, let's see what their suggestions and recommendations are at the end of that. Yeah, hopefully there is a policy in place at the end of it.

Q. Your serve, which has increased in miles per hour. Also during the other hard court tournaments. What have you changed about that, if anything?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I made some technical changes after Wimbledon because, yeah, I felt like at Wimbledon I'd lost -- not just at Wimbledon, but it's been the case this year I'd lost some pace on the serve and was not getting that many free points. I made a technical change to it, which seems to have helped with the pace and certainly have got more free points on my serve this summer than I was at Wimbledon and during the grass season, and at the beginning of the year.

But the courts are also quick here. The conditions have been hot and lively. That could have helped that a little bit. But I did make a change after Wimbledon, and it seems to have helped a bit.

Yeah, just wasn't able to serve consistently tonight I guess in the fourth and fifth sets. I lost a little bit of speed. Maybe that was down to a bit of fatigue and stuff.

But, yeah, I served quite well the matches that I played over here.

Q. Back on the bathroom breaks. Do you feel like the sport in general is just kind of slow to react to things like this? God knows we've been writing about bathroom breaks in umpteen matches for as long as I can remember and we're still talking about it and there's no guideline. Do you feel like that's the feeling of tennis, it takes a long time to address these things?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, just do something about it. Speak about it all the time, and nothing ever gets done. Same things keep happening.

But, yeah, if people don't care enough about it to change, then that's fine. Look, I'll speak to my team about it. I'll listen to what, I don't know, fans, players, and everything are saying about it. Maybe I'm being unreasonable. Maybe I'm overreacting to something because I lost the match.

But, yeah, right now sitting here I feel like it's nonsense and they need to make a change because it's not good for the sport, it's not good for TV, it's not good for fans.

I don't think it's a good look for the players either. I'm sitting in here after a match like that against one of the best players in the world, and rather than talking about how fantastic he is, how good he is for the game, how great it was for me that I was able to put on a performance like that after everything that's gone on the last four years, but I'm sitting in here talking about bathroom breaks and medical timeouts and delays in matches. That's rubbish. I don't think that that's right.

I said to Nicola, I don't want to do press tonight because I know I'm going to sit here and it's going to seem like I'm just smashing him. Yeah, that's annoying for me because sounds like sour grapes because you've lost a match and everything.

I would have said the same thing if I'd won, I promise. It was nonsense, and he knows it.

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