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February 23, 2022

Andy Murray

Dubai, UAE

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium

Press Conference

J. SINNER/A. Murray

7-5, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How was that feeling today? Frustration? Tiredness?

ANDY MURRAY: No tiredness. Yeah, frustration obviously. Again, didn't feel like I played a good match. Had some opportunities at the end of the first set, at 3-4, Love-30. No, 4-3 up, Love-30 on his serve, missed three of the next four returns. Certainly the first two were very makable.

Then, yeah, the game I got broken at 5-All, I think I missed all four first serves in that game. Then, yeah, responded poorly to that mentally.

Got down a break early in the second. Yeah, mentally was not great from that point. Crucial part of the match, a little bit of adversity, and I didn't respond well to it.

Yeah, I'm going to have to fix that, work on that, and hopefully do better next tournaments.

Q. It was so hot out there. Do you think this played a factor in your performance today, considering you played the first match in the evening?

ANDY MURRAY: To be honest, I think it will affect all of the players. The conditions yesterday were actually quite cool, as well. It would have been completely different for Jannik as well today because the conditions were super fast today.

Yeah, when it's like that, it's obviously not that easy to play out there in terms of playing great tennis. It's not easy to control the returns. You're rewarded for serving well, which I didn't today. That was a bit of a factor, as well. I served, like, under 50% of first serves, which is poor. When that's a key part of the game in conditions like this, that doesn't help.

Yeah, fast conditions today. But I think that was the case for all the players because it was actually quite cool yesterday in practice, so...

Q. You referenced the other day you wanted to sort out your coaching situation as quite a high priority. Can you tell us, have you spoken to anyone or reached out? Are you putting the feelers out? What stage are you at with that process?

ANDY MURRAY: I've spoken to a couple of people. Yeah, I got some stuff lined up post Miami. Not for the Miami, Indian Wells stretch. Yeah, I still need to find someone to cover that time - obviously someone to cover a majority of the weeks.

I have someone in the short-term who's going to help me through until the grass season. Yeah, you guys will be hearing about that in the next few days, I'd imagine.

Q. I'm doing something on Felix Auger-Aliassime. You played him recently, the week he won the title. Would you mind sharing what you see that has improved significantly in his game or what stands out?

ANDY MURRAY: What's improved the most? Yeah, I mean, difficult for me to say. I've not spent loads of time on the practice court with him. The first time I played him, physically I was not able to compete properly.

I felt like he returned very well when I played him in Rotterdam, which I feel like he was sort of more known for big serving, going for his shots from the ground.

Very solid returning in Rotterdam. I think he returned well all week there. That's something that for me probably seems to have improved.

He wins a lot of points with his first serve. I think, like, the stat on the tour was behind Isner and Opelka, he had the most first serves, when they went in, most unreturned first serves, which is a little bit surprising. That's obviously a strength in his game.

If he can make lots of returns in court and in play, he's going to give himself a chance in a lot of matches. Certainly felt like his return was very solid that day.

Q. I wanted to ask you about the incident in Acapulco with Zverev, your thoughts on that. I apologize to be asking you this. We always put you in this sort of position, but I wanted to know your thoughts.

ANDY MURRAY: Look, it was not good. It was dangerous, reckless. Yeah, I mean, I obviously understand lots of players, athletes across lots of sports, can get very frustrated. Certainly me, myself, I've not always acted in the way I would want on the tennis court. I'm certainly not claiming to be an angel. I'm not perfect myself.

However, when you're ripping your tennis racquet right next to the umpire multiple times, yeah, you can't be doing that. I know obviously one of the British guys who was playing, as well, a bit dangerous. It's graphite flying off the racquet, as well.

Yeah, was not good.

Q. I wanted to ask you a more general question. There's been a little bit of talk online about this tournament in Dubai, how the men's side prize part is five times the size of the women's. This used to be a tournament that had equal prize money. I wanted your thoughts on that one. That seems like quite a big backwards step.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, so I don't know what size the women's tournament is.

Q. 500.

ANDY MURRAY: It's a 500? Obviously that's a big step backwards, so it's not great.

There has been tournaments on the tour, like the Washington event, for example, with the different size events, the prize monies are different. I've also played the tournament in Brisbane for the men, which is a smaller event compared to women, and the prize money is flipped the other way.

But, yeah, I mean, obviously if they're the same size events one week apart, that's quite a big discrepancy.

Q. You're inching close to the 700th victory. When you get to that number, do you think that will ease a bit of pressure on you, you can collect yourself more and focus on the game? Is that pressure on you at the moment?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think so. I mean, obviously it's something I want to achieve. Unless something went horribly wrong in the next six, eight months, I will get to that number.

But, yeah, no excuse for some of the performances I've had recently in terms of how I've been playing. I need time on the practice court. I need, like I said, consistency in terms of the things that I'm working on, consistent messages. Yeah, mentally need to be a lot tougher than what I have been in some of my matches recently.

So, yeah, like that's something I obviously can work on. The coaching situation, obviously my plan is to have that sorted as soon as possible. Then the performances, I believe that will come by right mentality, doing the right work on the practice court. Yeah, hopefully will turn that around.

Yeah, those situations, like I said, at 4-3, Love-30 at the end of the first set, just need to capitalize on those opportunities. I need to. There's been a number of matches in the last few months when I haven't done that. Yeah, needs to get better.

Q. Emma Raducanu had a retirement today. Any advice on what you can give her on that transitional period?

ANDY MURRAY: Not really, to be honest, no. I don't think that I'm necessarily the right person to be giving advice on those things. She has her team that she's working with, that she will trust to help her through those moments.

Yeah, if she wanted to know my advice, I'm sure she would message or speak to me and contact me, and I'd be more than happy to chat, but I'm not just going to dish out advice on that.

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