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May 2, 2022

Andy Murray

Madrid, Spain

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/D. Thiem

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. First match back on clay for two years. Can you share your thoughts about how it went and how you felt back out there?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think it went well. I thought I moved very well. Served well. Yeah, apart from maybe one little sort of dip at the end of the second set when I was up 40-Love in the 4-3 game, I think I played a very solid match, didn't give too many free points.

I played smart tennis, I think. I used the serve and volley a little bit, used a dropshot, used different heights. Yeah, I did well considering, you know, when I did play, I think I only played one match on the clay two years ago, and before that, it had been another few years. So I have hardly played on this surface for a really long time. Considering, I thought I did well.

Q. I wonder how you have seen Domi's game today. You have played him several times. What was your impression, especially from his forehand? Seems like he's got some troubles folding his wrist. Is that what you see too?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, so I don't know because I haven't spoken to him about it, but I also had a wrist problem in 2007, I think it was, something like that. It's difficult when you try to come back from that, because, you know, the pain that you feel like when you initially hurt it, like mentally it's very difficult to, you know, let go of the wrist.

I think at times tonight he did, but there are certain shots that are clearly a little bit more difficult, like when the ball is low and you know you really have to use your wrist to get the ball up and down, or sometimes when the ball is coming fast and quite high, you know, you need to use your wrist a lot to bring the ball down. Yeah, that shot was certainly inconsistent.

Like I say, at times he hit it well, but there were certainly specific shots that usually he would make. The rest of his game, I mean, you know, he's still serving well, has a fantastic kick serve, was hitting his backhand very well. He's an excellent mover.

I felt like I served well tonight, you know, but he didn't make as many returns maybe as usual, but I do feel like I served well, and it is difficult returning here.

Yeah, it's not easy coming back from such a long time, and I hope that it's just sort of a mental thing that he will get through with more matches and that it's not still something that is causing him pain or discomfort.

Q. How long did it take to get it out of your head when you had problems with your wrist?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, the problem was that I, at the time, was sort of a little bit getting made to play by my coach at the time when I probably wasn't ready, and I started playing again when I felt like I couldn't play topspin and I could only hit the forehand flat, and then it became difficult to sort of break that cycle.

I was probably not in pain with it after five months, but I certainly changed, at that time I was changing the technique that I was using to try to avoid having the pain, but obviously with time and, you know, playing matches and the strength and everything coming back and the confidence coming back, then, you know, it was better, but it took me quite a long time.

I have no idea exactly what his injury was or if it was similar to mine, but, yeah, wrists aren't easy.

Q. Three breakpoints, you saved them all. You had three breakpoints in favor. You hit two. You seemed pretty confident in those crucial points today.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, that's something that maybe in the last little while I haven't done particularly well, but I felt very clear about how I wanted to play tonight. I have worked really hard the last four or five weeks, probably longer than that. Sort of before I went to Indian Wells, I felt like I was starting to become a little bit clearer with what I wanted to do and was therefore maybe more engaged in the practices and believing that I'm doing the right things.

Yeah, I feel like in the important moments that helps when you have a clear head and clear thoughts. You know, from that side, like mentally, I did really, really well tonight. I'm really proud of that side of things.

You know, my attitude and my energy on the court was really good. Yeah, try and keep that going.

Q. You seemed extremely happy at the end. I was just wondering if you felt you had to make a point on this match? What was going on through your head to show so much emotion in the end?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, no, I mean, I put in lots and lots of work, you know, this last little period. You know, I wanted to go out and put on a good performance.

Yeah, I mean, obviously I have had some doubts and stuff, you know, about my own game at times over this last period, but, you know, I do feel like I have started to play some better tennis, and I'm definitely moving better and moved very well tonight.

That's a really important part of my game. Allows me to concentrate on the strategy a little bit more when I'm out there. I was just really happy all around with how I competed, how I played, how I moved, how my body felt.

Yeah, like after such a long time of playing on clay, like, I didn't know if I was still necessarily capable of playing at that level on this surface. That's why I was happy.

Q. I heard an interview you did after the match, you said you got a chance to hit with all the top players here. Wondering how are those practices going for you, and do you feel that in practice you are playing at the level with these top players?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it's great for me to get to practice with them, like I practiced with de Minaur yesterday. I played sets with Shapovalov, Dan Evans, played a set with Jack Draper.

I'm probably one of the worst practice players on tour (smiling). I remember my coach in 2016, which was my best year on tour, sort of statistically and stuff, he was, like, I think you maybe won one or two practice sets the entire year.

I have never played well in them. I don't win many of them. You know, I try my hardest, you know, but it's just not quite the same. I play much better in matches.

You know, for me, it's really important to be on the court with them so they can push you physically in a way that players that are ranked lower cannot and also will test your game in ways that other players can't.

That's one of the reasons why I wanted to come and play matches on the clay was not just like a match like this evening or that I will get tomorrow, but just being around the top players to test my movement, test my shots and my game and see where it's at.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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