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March 26, 2022

Andy Murray

Miami, Florida, USA

Press Conference


6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy?

Q. Obviously to come back, the ranking went down and you need wildcards to get in. You're going to face a lot of tough opponents like in the first and second rounds. Is that frustrating to you, or do you still welcome the challenge to be tested by the best?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, that's one of the reasons why obviously it's important to try and get your ranking up, but at the same time, like, I have also played enough in the last sort of five or six months, I have had enough matches that I'm kind of, you know, prepared for that.

But, yeah, my level of tennis is obviously not right now where it needs to be to win matches like that. I think today there was some good signs on the court, but the two sort of key things in tennis is serve and return, and I didn't do either of them particularly well. Against Dano, I think certainly in the first set served extremely well and also in the important moments. I didn't do that.

But, yeah, with my ranking where it is, obviously there is the chance to play top players early in the tournaments, which obviously makes it more difficult to have deep runs, but, you know, still possible. You know, you need to beat them.

Q. What do you feel Ivan will bring to you this time around? Obviously you had some of your greatest results with him in the past, but on this third occasion, what would he bring to the equation?

ANDY MURRAY: I think probably some clarity over the right way to play and the right way to practice. I don't feel I have been practicing the right things probably for 18 months or so. It's difficult to sort of undo that, you know, in the space of a few weeks obviously. Hence, you know, one of the reasons why I'm taking a big period of training to try and, you know, change some of those things and hopefully get my game into a place where it's, you know, more competitive against the top players again.

In the past, I think, you know, the way that I have played and I guess the way that I've practiced as well has allowed me to play a little bit more offensive at times and, you know, a little bit more pace on my ball. But there is some technical things that sort of allowed me to do that, and I have been practicing the opposite of that for a period.

Yeah, that's kind of obviously what I'm hoping. You know, we did a few days of practice before coming here. Some of the things that, you know, we worked on, even though it was just a few days, I think I made some improvements.

I do feel like I played better here than I did at Indian Wells. But, yeah, it's going to take a lot of work, because like I said, it's been quite a while that I have maybe not been doing the right things on the practice court, and it takes time to maybe change some of those habits.

Q. The four majors have now aligned and are going to play a super-tiebreaker at 6-All in the final set. Wondering what your thoughts are on that. Do you think the time has come now to abandon three-out-of-five sets, best-of-five sets, and go back just to two out of three?

ANDY MURRAY: I think it's good that all of the slams have the same rules. It's always a bit harsh on some of the players, like, I saw a few times at the Australian Open players celebrating at the end of the matches, and it's a pretty bad look for tennis, but I don't really blame the players, because the rules were changing, you know, every major.

When you're in high-stress sort of moment like that, you're not necessarily sort of just concentrating on the scores or the score that you're playing or whatever the rules that you're playing.

In terms of three-out-of-five sets, it's a difficult one. Like I said, as a player, like, I have always enjoyed it, I think it was good, but I personally wouldn't sit and watch four-and-a-half, five hours of tennis. Some people like that. So, yeah, I guess a lot of it is down to what the fans want and what they like as much as the players. I don't know what the fans' preference is, to be honest, so I'm not sure on that one.

Q. (Question off mic about Masters 1000.)

ANDY MURRAY: They changed that just as I was starting out, and obviously, you know, when they were doing that, I don't know, some issues maybe around some of the clay court Masters, you finished on a Sunday playing best-of-five sets, and then they had the 64 draws back then and then they were asking the players to play again on a Tuesday, which wasn't great. Then after that, they changed it to best-of-three, 48 draws for the, you know, a lot of the Masters Series.

Yeah, I think a lot of that is going to be changing again I think with more two-week events and stuff. So more days off and maybe more time between the finals of the previous week.

So I don't know if that's something they are considering, going back to the five-set finals or not. Some people, I have heard the argument, say, All the best matches are best-of-five sets, but I think that a lot of that is because they are at the slams and they are the biggest tournaments and maybe the most memorable matches for that reason.

Obviously if you say all of the best matches are five sets, then you just take away every women's match that's been played for however long, which is also not right.

So, yeah, I don't really know is my answer, but, yeah.

Q. Skipping the clay court season like you're planning on, players used to do that more in the '80s and '90s, hasn't been done during your time in tennis. What advantages do you think that will give you during grass? Do you think it's something more players would consider because it's kind of gone out of style in recent generations?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think maybe as players are maybe getting older and maybe prioritizing, you know, specific like parts of the season where maybe they can feel they can be more successful, for me, the last two years, you know, I had the problem in Miami last year and then tried to play on the clay and aggravated the problem. Then was very close to missing the grass season.

Even not till a few days before Queen's, I couldn't know if I was going to play. Yeah, when I played on the clay after the US Open the year beforehand, you know, it didn't feel great either.

So it was just more a decision that me and my team took because, yeah, I feel like my chances of doing well on the grass are higher. You know, it was maybe the right decision to skip it. Then, like I said, I do also need a period of working on my game and improving some things and try and get some better habits ingrained.

You know, if you play a whole tennis season, it's quite difficult to do that because there are so many tournaments and it's extremely long, especially with Davis Cup now. Yeah, seemed like it was the right decision for my body and for my tennis. Yeah, I think players will probably do it a little bit more if they're playing longer in their careers maybe to preserve their body a little bit.

Q. (Question off microphone.)

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, so I'm going to train the next three or four weeks here on the hard courts and then go home and start practicing on the grass probably two, two-and-a-half weeks before -- there is a challenger in Surbiton, which I may play, and then, yeah, hopefully be busy after that, try and get a lot of tournaments in through the summer.

Q. It's been five years since you played anybody ranked at Medvedev's level. Did you learn anything? Were you surprised? Can you compare back to the top four and his level now? What did you think of his game?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, he has a very different style to a lot of the players that I have played against, and certainly I think kind of maybe how the game has gone, like a lot of players are looking to dominate a lot with their forehand.

He almost plays more with his backhand like from the middle of the court, which is different, hits a very flat ball, whereas more of the players now are playing with topspin, a lot of racquet-head speed.

You know, I think the one thing that's probably changed in the last five or six years, probably like the guys have got a bit bigger but they are still moving extremely well. I think maybe five, ten years ago, players that were sort of Dano's height, they were still very good players but not quite moving like he does. Zverev is also a very good mover for his height.

But, yeah, I still felt like in the rallies and stuff I could hang with him, and, you know, I didn't feel like from the back of the court I was getting like really outplayed. I'm sure some people will think otherwise, but for me the difference felt like in the serve and the return, you know, he makes a lot of returns back from where he stands, as well, which like I said today, for me, I didn't. That's a big strength of his. You know, even from back there he's very successful and makes it work.

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