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January 20, 2022

Andy Murray

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

T. DANIEL/A. Murray

6-4, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Tough luck, Andy. How much did the week in Sydney and five sets in the first round against Basilashvili influence your performance today?

ANDY MURRAY: Don't know, really. I felt all right today physically. Pulled up pretty well from the match, yeah, the day afterwards. So, yeah, from that respect I was actually quite happy with how I felt considering the situation.


Q. Taro obviously played very well today, probably one of his best-ever performances. Just how tough did you find it to sort of counter his speed and reactions?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I felt like I got myself into good positions on the court. I made way too many errors today.

Yeah, you know, there is maybe some reasons for that, but, yeah, I mean, he was solid the whole match. Didn't give me too many errors. Which, to be fair, was what I was expecting from him. He moves well, and he's very consistent. He doesn't give matches to you.

Yeah, you know, lost a few games that maybe I shouldn't have. Yeah, wasn't able to turn it around today, but he definitely was solid today. He moved well and deserved to win. But I was expecting him to play that way.

Q. Was it extra frustrating for you because you have been playing so well, made so much progress and played so well last week?

ANDY MURRAY: I'm really, really disappointed. Very frustrated. And, yeah, tough loss for me. That's for sure.

Q. On a different subject, can I ask you about the COVID testing here? Have you been happy with how much players are being tested? Zverev was saying he thought there maybe is COVID in the locker room because people maybe aren't testing themselves.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, ultimately, that comes down to responsibility of the players, and, you know, I have been testing myself. I don't know if -- my coach has recently had COVID. My physio is testing himself every single day on the, I don't know, whatever you call them, rapid flow tests. So yeah, it's ultimately, I guess, the responsibility is upon the players to be testing themselves.

And, yeah, some will do that and some won't unfortunately.

Q. There are no certainties, but is the plan to definitely come back next year?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, yeah. But not if I do what I did tonight too often this season. You know, this is a really important year for me for a number of reasons, and I want to perform well in the big events. For me, tonight is not good enough in that respect. You know, making second round of slams is not something I find particularly motivating. I want to be doing better than that.

Yeah, depends on how I get on this year results-wise and how I perform in the big events.

Q. After losing to Shapovalov at Wimbledon last year, I believe you said something like, Is it worth it? I mean, given the standards that you set for yourself at slams, even now, you're a five-time finalist here, does it become harder to go again after something like this happening?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, like... (audio stream lost.) ...getting better.

You know, I have recently changed racquets, which, you know, for me it's not an excuse for losing today, but I also, I have to factor that into maybe my performances for a couple of months. You know, everyone I have spoken to around testing and changing racquets, that it does take a bit of time to gain confidence in it, so I have to bear that in mind a little bit.

However, yeah, the reason for changing racquets is to improve your performance and to do better obviously, in the bigger events with time, and that didn't happen this week. So, you know, that's frustrating for me.

Q. What's the minimum you want to achieve this year to convince you to carry on and come back here next year?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it depends. Like obviously if I lose in the second round of a slam and I lose to Djokovic in five sets or something, you know, it's different, a different situation. Obviously I'm not, you know, seeded and stuff just now.

I'm far away from that, which makes things difficult, you know, in terms of like I've played Basilashvili a couple of times and Stefanos at the US Open, and that makes things challenging, as well. You know, that's where I like the rankings. It's not something that, again, that's not what motivates me but moving up the rankings and getting seeded in tournaments helps, you know, give you the opportunity maybe to build your way into a tournament a little bit and maybe not have to come out and start playing really well straightaway and find your game a bit.

So it depends on, yeah, many things, the situations. But obviously, you know, a performance like tonight is not, like I said, is not something I find motivating at this stage. I'm not sure I've lost a match to someone ranked outside 100 before in a slam. I don't know. I don't think I have. So from that respect it's not a great loss for me.

Q. A tweet you sent last night about Naomi Osaka being a clean ball striker. What was it watching her that made you want to comment? What is it she does that's so special that you see?

ANDY MURRAY: I just think that, yeah, when she lines up to hit a ball, she never looks like missing to me. She always looks like she's in total control of the power that she's got. And, yeah, obviously if she's having to, you know, move loads or whatever, that's different, but when she's sort of in control of points, I don't see many of the women that are able to kind of counter her speed of shot and her ball striking, especially on hard courts.

For me, when I watch her, yeah, I just think she's a great ball striker. Yeah, when she's on, I don't think there is too many of the women that can hang with her game really.

Q. You mentioned on court in Sydney your family, and you were obviously a little bit emotional at that point. This is the first time you've been to Australia for a couple of years, after spending a few years at home more than you would have done previously. Has it been more difficult or different at all being away this time?

ANDY MURRAY: It's not been different to how it has been the last, whatever, 18 months, two years. You know, I spoke about this the other day. Yeah, I would rather not be away from my family for five, six weeks at a time, but, you know, I still also love to compete and play tennis.

Yeah, there is a balance there that you need to have. So, you know, I get to go home now and spend some time with them. My family has been a bit sick the last week. So, yeah, obviously when that's the case, you also want to be there to help and feel like you're contributing.

But, no, I don't, like, when I said the other day, it's harder leaving home when you know you've got four children and stuff than what it was when I was in my mid-20s. But, yeah, I still, like when I'm here, I'm able to focus well on the tennis and that process.

I don't even know what the beginning of the question was or if I have answered it. But yeah, it's tough leaving the family.

Q. Just wondering if you know exactly what your schedule is the next couple of months and what you're aiming to do?

ANDY MURRAY: I'm planning on playing Doha and Dubai next. And, yeah, that's what I'm planning on. Obviously I'll go home now and have a little bit of time off. Then, yeah, that's what my next tournaments are scheduled to be.

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