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January 18, 2022

Andy Murray

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/N. Basilashvili

6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4


Q. You have obviously achieved quite a bit in your career with Davis Cup and Grand Slam titles. How proud are you of this phase of your career, given obviously there was a point where you thought it was all over, the fact you're still able to perform at the level you have over the last couple of weeks?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, there has been certainly parts of it, since I started playing again, I have been, yeah, really pleased with. There has been, yeah, other parts where I feel like I could have done better. But yeah, I think like winning matches like today and competing against, you know, guys that are around, I don't know exactly what his ranking is, 20, 25, something like that, yeah, I'm proud of that.

It's not easy. Yeah, I put a lot of work and effort in. Also even since the operation had, you know, various issues, as well. Kept going and, yeah, days like today make it worthwhile.

Q. How did it feel stepping back on that court and how many memories did you get of what happened out there three years ago?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I would like to say that there was loads, but that wasn't the case. I mean, I practiced on it a couple of times when I was here, basically when I arrived in Australia, I practiced on it a couple of times. And yeah, it felt like it always felt on that court.

I like playing on it. It was always a brilliant atmosphere on there. And, yeah, I don't think much about what happened three years ago. I know you'd probably like me to say something different, but that's the truth.

Q. There were a lot of great rallies in that match. Second service game, he framed that second serve. Have you ever seen anything like that before?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I did the same thing on that court once as well myself, so mine was on a first serve though. Did he do it on the first serve as well? I don't know. I can't remember. But I have seen it. It seems to happen here a little bit more often when it's slightly overcast, but the sun is kind of -- it can be really tricky to see, it's very, very bright. Yeah, it's not always that easy to see out there when it's like that.

But yeah, I did the same thing myself once when I was playing Feli Lopez on that court.

Q. Can you talk about your next opponent, Taro. I think you played him in Davis Cup years ago.

ANDY MURRAY: Taro Daniel? I actually didn't know who I was playing. But yeah, I think I played him once in Davis Cup and, you know, he's always kind of around, has been around sort of the top 100 and, you know, qualifying at slams.

Yeah, he's a solid player, moves very well. You know, no big weaknesses in his game. And, yeah, I think he qualified here, anyway, but, yeah, it will be a good test for me to see how I can sort of back up the performance of today.

Q. You were obviously moving really well today. Over the past three years, at what point did you realize you would be able to continue to move as well as you are right now?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, again, I probably around like when I played the tournaments in Asia at the end of 2019, I was moving well in some of the matches out there, and others not so well.

Then obviously when I won the tournament in Antwerp I felt like I moved well. But then, you know, I had some setbacks after that, and I've had various different issues around that sort of hip/groin area which has affected my movement at times. It's not like I've always moved as well as I have in Antwerp and I have not always moved as well as I did today. There has been tournaments where that certainly hasn't been the case even, you know, a few months ago.

Yeah, the direction is to try to maintain that, and the best way for me to do that is staying healthy for a long time. It's not as easy for those things just to come back as quickly as they used to when I was younger. So if I miss like a period of time without playing or training, it takes a little bit longer.

Q. Great atmosphere out there today. There was a lot of noise that I think sounded like booing. I don't actually think it was booing. I think it might have been some sort of Cristiano Ronaldo reference. Did it sound like booing to you? What was your thought process on it at the time?

ANDY MURRAY: Initially, I thought it was, because there were some people booing during my practice yesterday. I have no idea what for (smiling). Yeah, so originally that's what I thought it was.

But then yeah after a few times it was like, No, they're doing that, I think it's like "Siuu" or something that Ronaldo does when he scores. And, yeah, it was incredibly irritating (smiling). Yeah, I think that's what they were doing.

Q. You've not had a straight-set win at Grand Slams since your hip surgery. They always seem to be roller coasters. Is there a part of you that just wants to win straight sets, normally, not go four hours and five sets at this level?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, obviously that would be ideal. You know, obviously in some of the matches that I have played, I mean, I wouldn't expect, even if I was playing at my peak, necessarily to win in straight sets. Like a match like today against someone who is in the 20s in the world, it's always going to be difficult. And then, I don't know if it was Tsitsipas or whatever matches like that.

But yeah, obviously would be nice to have some quicker ones, and maybe had the chance today to win that one in four. But, yeah, didn't get it.

Obviously it would be nice to win matches slightly quicker. But again, that's where I have had this discussion with my team and stuff and we were talking about trying to, you know, shorten matches and ways to play quicker points and stuff. It's like it's difficult to get the balance, because if right now I'm playing like 20 in the world level tennis, then, you know, if I'm playing anyone that's sort of in the top 50, those matches are going to be very, very competitive and difficult to win.

You know, if you start sort of trying to play a different style of tennis and try to shorten points and everything, and you maybe make a few more mistakes or maybe don't break serve as much, that also can prolong matches, as well. So, you know, playing my game style but playing it at a higher level I think will give me the best chance of shortening matches. When I look back at a lot of my matches in like 2015, 2016, like I was quite sort of efficient and clinical, like when I had opportunities and when I was, you know, ahead of guys, I'd finish them off quickly.

Right now, because I'm not quite playing at that level, you know, the matches are maybe a little bit tighter. So hopefully if I can continue to improve my level, I'll be able to shorten some of the matches.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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