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August 15, 2022

Andy Murray

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/S. Wawrinka

7-6, 5-7, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Another tough battle for you today. How does it feel for you physically?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was tough physically. I've struggled a little bit physically since Wimbledon, actually. Yeah, something I need to work out with my team in the next couple of weeks.


Q. After the cramping, you played really aggressive in the final set. How were you feeling then? How does it feel having physical issues like that?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, it leaves you with less options, certainly. Yeah, obviously you want to try and finish the points a little bit quicker.

I was struggling with that towards the end of the second set, and so, I mean, psychologically there is a feeling like you know you're close to the end of the match potentially in the second set, so maybe you are going to try and sometimes play a little bit more conservatively, because when I was getting into the return games or making balls on the return games, you know, Stan was making a few errors.

But then obviously when I lost that set and then was struggling with the cramping, like, I had no option and nothing to lose really. So I started trying to be a little bit more offensive and finish the points quicker, and actually started to feel all right towards the end of the match and managed to find a way through.

Q. This was your 37th match of the season, which is the most you have played since 2016. All season long you have talked about the perspective you're trying to keep. I'm curious, with that number in mind, what it means to you to play your most matches this year since 2016.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, you know, I felt I was feeling good like in Madrid. I felt pretty good during the grass. I got unfortunate with the ab injury, which was not bad but it was enough to sort of disrupt me in the buildup to that.

In terms of how I pulled up after matches and stuff has been the best I have felt in a really long time. So that's good. I would like my tennis to be better at times, because I'm still convinced that it can be better than where it is right now.

Yeah, there has been some good moments this year, but, yeah, it's not been easy these last few years to stay fit and healthy and, you know, play enough tennis to get matches to learn from and to build confidence and to get my body sort of physically like robust enough to compete week in, week out.

That's a positive thing that I got to play lots of matches or more matches this year. And, yeah, hopefully I can continue that through the end of the season.

Q. When you were a kid, did you know Stuart Duguid, who is the agent for Osaka and Kyrgios, who was I think coached by your mom, he said, in Scotland. Curious if you knew him as a kid at all.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I would have known him. I mean, certainly not well, but yeah, definitely knew of him and knew who he was and knew that he played tennis and that sort of thing.

But, no, I didn't know him that well. My mum obviously, if she had coached him, I'm sure, would know him much better than me. Obviously I have seen him around the tour for a number of years now, so, yeah, I would know him to say hello to and chat to, but I didn't know him that well when I was a kid, no.

Q. Wondering about people from that circle or that time on tour, whether it's him or Leon, both you and your brother, your mom, a strange cluster that's lasted and gone orbit on this tour.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I hope that it can continue somewhat in the future, but, you know, I think I give my mum a lot of credit for that, obviously, you know, what she kind of built during that time when we were growing up in terms of competitions and squads and just creating an environment where tennis was sort of fun and competitive, you know, all of those things.

You know, a lot of people, even like someone like Leon who didn't make it as a player, but, you know, my mum stepped back from coaching me and my brother when we were 11, 12 years old. She was still there obviously in the background, but, you know, gave opportunities to people like Leon and, you know, to work with us and stuff like that.

Yeah, we had obviously like even players like Jamie Baker who played in the Davis Cup for us, and Colin Fleming who, you know, did really well in doubles and also played in the Davis Cup, as well.

Yeah, she created something that had never been done before in Scotland. I hope that that can happen again in the future, but I'm not sure.

Q. Back to your fitness, is that the most difficult part for you right now, finding the right balance between playing enough to get the rhythm, your tennis where you want it to be, and not playing too much to hurt your body?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, the thing that's been frustrating for me this year is that a lot of the tournaments that I played at until -- and this is the thing that may be why I got the issue in Stuttgart -- was that I played the semis in Surbiton, and I think I played Thursday, Friday, Saturday there from, like, second round through to the semifinals, and then I went to Stuttgart and played five matches that week.

So in the space something like 13 days, I played 9 matches or something like that, and I hadn't done that since 2016. So my body was probably not used to playing that volume of matches at sort of high intensity, high level, for a long time.

It's understandable but very frustrating for me that, you know, my body might have some niggles after that. This year, like, physically I felt pretty good for the last few months, but a lot of the tournaments I have lost in the second round, so I have not had that opportunity to have a really good tournament and then maybe take a break and rest, which is something, you know, me and my team are hoping I can get to that level again where I'm consistently getting to the latter stages of events, and therefore, we will be able to plan and schedule my tournaments better. Whereas right now I'm having to play and compete to try and maintain ranking and to hopefully get seeded in the events and get into more tournaments, not have to rely on wildcards. So, yeah, it's a difficult balance.

Q. Just to follow up on that thought, you're 13 and 3 in first matches of events this season. You're 5 and 7 now in second matches. Is it as simple as it comes down to fitness? I see the first-serve percentage drops a bit in those second matches. What do you think is the difference between rounds 1 and 2?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, in some of the instances I'm playing against better players. I mean, that obviously is going to contribute to it a little bit. Again, that's if you're seeded in events or ranked higher, you potentially avoid playing better players earlier in tournaments. That's an advantage.

But, yeah, I mean, the reason I felt like I haven't won as many of those matches as I would have liked this year is because I haven't been playing well enough. Even in some of the first-round matches that I have got through, I haven't necessarily played amazing tennis and then haven't stepped it up the next match or, you know, when I have been playing against better opposition. Yeah, that's what needs to change.

There is evidence in there from -- I have talked about it a lot from the last 18 months and the players I have won against and had success against, that it is in there, but the consistency hasn't been. Until that changes, yeah, it's going to be difficult to have deep runs.

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