June 27, 2022
Wimbledon, London, UK
A. MURRAY/J. Duckworth
4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Andy, good win today. Tell us a bit about the match.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, he started the match well. Had a few chances in the first set. Didn't get them. Yeah, I think maybe didn't return as well as I would have liked. I was creating opportunities on return. But when I got the chances, wasn't able to take them.
But then as the match went on, my return improved. And with that, the match turned. So did well to turn it round.
Q. The underarm serve, was that preplanned? Spontaneous? What do you say to people that perhaps don't want to see that at elite tennis?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, he changed his return position. That's why I did it. He was standing very close to return. He was struggling a little bit on the first-serve return, so he stepped probably two meters further back. As soon as I saw him step further back, I threw the underarm serve in.
I personally have no issue with players using it. I never have. Certainly more and more players have started returning from further, further behind the baseline now to give themselves an advantage to return.
The underarm serve is a way of saying, If you're going to step back there, then I'm going to possibly throw that in.
Q. The sport is changing, isn't it, adapting?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, but I don't know why people have ever found it potentially disrespectful or... I don't know. I've never understood that. It's a legitimate way of serving.
I would never use an underarm serve if someone was standing on the baseline because I think it's a stupid idea because they're going to track it down and it's easy to get. If they stand four or five meters behind the baseline, then why would you not do that to try to bring them forward if they're not comfortable returning there? Tactically it's a smart play.
No one says it's disrespectful for someone to return from six meters, whatever, five meters behind the baseline to try to get an advantage. So I used it not to be disrespectful to him but to say, If you're going to step further back to return the serve to give yourself more time, then I'm going to exploit that.
Q. Do you enjoy the scheduling, last on on Centre Court? Last year you played the three matches here. They all became night session matches effectively. Today we had the situation where the roof was closed. Do you mind playing in that slot as it potentially extends the length of the match and takes you quite late into the evening?
ANDY MURRAY: There's certain things I like about it and some I don't. Usually it's a really good atmosphere. But then obviously they moved the start time a half an hour later. They also have added the interviews on the court after the matches. The time between matches today was 20 minutes.
Yeah, there's not loads of time. I mean, we probably could have played for more time before they shut the roof. Obviously they don't want to be closing the roof at 4-All or 5-All in a set. They want to try and do it, you know, at the beginning of sets.
Yeah, it's not that. Yeah, it's not that easy, changing conditions like that, and also having breaks like that, potentially key points in matches. I would much rather play outdoors. I prefer playing outdoors when we can.
Yeah, I wish there was a way of finishing the matches outdoors more often because it's tricky stopping for 10, 12 minutes in the middle of a match at important stages. It kills the momentum a little bit. You cool off a little bit, as well.
Again, it's a change in conditions.
Q. Wondering how the ab is? You seem to be serving and moving well. Are you pain-free or are you still having to protect it?
ANDY MURRAY: It felt fine today, to be honest. The last few days when I've been serving was fine. I went to get a scan, an ultrasound scan on it on Saturday after my practice just to see how it was progressing. It was all clear for the first time on the scans, which is really positive.
So, yeah, I wanted that kind of for my own peace of mind to know that the injury has healed. Obviously I still need to take precautions and still do some rehab and protect it when I can.
In the match today it was absolutely fine.
Q. You hit 35 winners, only 14 unforced errors. Is the way you're playing, the way you played in Stuttgart, have you recalibrated your sights for this tournament? Do you think you can make the deepest run since 2016?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know about that. Certainly I'm in a better place than I was last year when I played here. In terms of like pain, certainly in a better place than I was in 2017 when I played here.
But, yeah, I don't know about having a deep run or not. I've got a pretty tricky match in the next round against Isner. Yeah, I'll need to be on it for that one if I want to get through it.
Q. You sort of on court said you hoped to be back in a couple days' time on the same court. Do you take it for granted that you'll be on Centre Court or do you worry now your ranking has dropped, John Isner with his booming serve, might not be the match Centre Court wants?
ANDY MURRAY: Look, I'll play on any court. I really don't mind. Wherever they decide to play me is fine. I'll deal with that. I feel very lucky and fortunate that I've got to play, I don't know how many times, but a lot of times on Centre Court throughout the years. I love playing on that court. I feel very comfortable on it.
Yeah, if I get the chance in a couple of days, that would be great. But if not, they are all tennis courts, same size at the end of the day. Yeah, I'll go out there and compete as hard as I can regardless of what court I'm on.
Q. You have one of the best records against big servers of all players. I'm wondering what is it like to return Isner's serve? What has helped you with kind of that challenge?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don't know exactly why my record is as it is against those guys. They're obviously very tough players to play against because of the nature of how the matches go. You're not necessarily always in control of them. You can go four or five service return games where you're not getting any opportunities. There's not always lots of rhythm in the match, so it's difficult.
But for whatever reason I've always played well against them. The matchups have been good for me. Yeah, I played well against John in the past. I don't think I've ever played him on grass before, so there will be different challenges.
He's played well here before. He was very close to making the final a few years ago. Yeah, I'll need to play really well and certainly return a bit better than I did tonight if I want to get through that.
Q. Obviously it was disappointing for you not to be able to play Queen's after getting injured in Stuttgart. However, did that mean you got more time to spend with Kim and the kids back home than you normally would ahead of Wimbledon? If so, could that be a positive factor in your progress in lieu of a bit more match practice on court?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really in terms of like the time spent with them. Maybe a little bit more, but not much. I was training most days, as well. So I probably didn't spend that much time at home.
Look, that's one of the nice things about playing the grass season, is being around your family and your friends. I get to see my mum and my dad, which I don't for large parts of the year.
Yeah, obviously get to see my children, as well, which is not the case for the majority of the season. And my wife (smiling). Yeah, I can't miss her. I'll get in trouble for that.
Yeah, I mean, that's one of the things that I've loved about playing at home. I'm staying some nights in a flat here, but just spending time in your own home, in your own bed, it all helps.
Q. It's good to see your results are getting better this year, especially that you feel less pain than in the last year. When compared to your prime years, due to your body, which parts of your game are maybe not working as well as in your prime or you can't execute as well as you would want to?
ANDY MURRAY: I'm probably not going to give that away in here (smiling).
But, look, there's definitely some things that this year, for example, you can look at the data and statistics yourself and find that. There's some things I've not been doing as well as I would have liked.
But yeah, I mean, in terms of like hitting the ball, my ball striking, my shots haven't changed much. But I did for a number of years play really not much tennis. I think, like, in the 2016 year I played something like 80-odd matches. In the five years after that, I think I played literally the same amount of matches in five years that I did in that one year. You can't replace those matches. It's so important to be in those situations, like key moments, 4-All, 5-All, break points, playing consistently against top players and winning against them. You can't replace that.
I missed a lot of that in the last four or five years. It's only been really this year and the end part of last year where I got consistently, was in good enough shape to compete regularly on the tour.
Now that I've been competing regularly, I got a good training block between Miami and the grass season, my game is starting to feel better and better. Hopefully that continues through this year.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports