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August 29, 2022

Andy Murray

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/F. Cerundolo

7-5, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Would you just go through the match for us, in three sets.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, it was really tricky conditions out there. At the beginning it was actually okay, but towards the end it was really getting pretty hot and humid.

You know, I thought I did a pretty good job out there. Could have closed some of the sets quicker, but overall was a solid performance.


Q. The fact that you put him away in straights, which you haven't done in a slam for five years, is that something that says something about your game or your mindset, or just one of those things?

ANDY MURRAY: I don't know, really. To be honest, yeah, I don't know why exactly that's been the case. I mean, obviously been battling a few things the last few years.

But, yeah, it's obviously nice any time, especially in those conditions and early on in a slam, to get through in straight sets. I mean, you know, he's a top player and he's probably only getting better, as well. It was a good win for me.

Q. You said you desperately wanted to get a seed at a Grand Slam. Is beating a 24 seed the next-best thing if you couldn't get that until things open up a little bit more?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, essentially I take his spot in the draw now. I mean, that's what you have to do if you're unseeded is get through some seeds. I have drawn a lot of them in the slams I have played in the last few years. Won some of them; obviously lost some as well.

It was not an easy first match, and like I said, did well to get through it.

Q. Obviously Novak's not here, Roger's not here, but Rafa is. After his abdominal injury and his great start to the season where he got within a couple of matches of three straight majors. What are your thoughts about Rafa right now in his career and his maybe big-picture legacy?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, he's clearly one of the best players to ever play. Obviously his achievements this year have been brilliant. The match to turn the Australian Open around this year was, you know, was exceptional. He was obviously unfortunate at Wimbledon. But those things happen now at the age that -- I know, having been through my fair share of injuries and stuff, you know that it's part of the sport. You know, it's unfortunate when it happens at a stage like that.

But yeah, I mean, he's obviously still one of the best players in the world on all of the surfaces, as he showed this year.

Q. That incident in the first set with the double bounce, what you thought of it at the time and the way he handled himself. Would you like to see VAR in tennis, for instance, so the player doesn't have to make that decision, that it could be done automatically, as it were?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, what he did was brilliant, and I don't think that loads of players on the tour would have done that. Fair play to him. And I said that to him at the net. You know, he didn't have to do that either.

And also, I think in those situations it's sometimes difficult for the player who picks the ball up to know exactly but the player who is receiving the ball, they know almost immediately. The ball when it comes with topspin in those situations, it's almost always because there has been a double bounce or the ball has been hit into the court, creating the topspin. You know immediately.

So when the ball came over, I knew that it had bounced twice, which I had obviously said to the umpire. Yeah, I think there is an argument for it to be used in those situations, for sure.

But for me it was clear, and like I said, he didn't need to do that. Yeah, fair play to him for giving me the point.

Q. You talked a lot before about the cramping issue. Physically, how did you feel out there today? You said it was very humid.

ANDY MURRAY: I did well. You know, mentally it's not easy going into a five-set match in those conditions after the way the last few weeks have been for me, and I did well.

I did well physically and mentally to put that to the back of my mind and find a way to get through. So I was really happy with that.

Q. I wanted to ask you about the match tonight involving Serena Williams. Curious whether you pay any attention to that tonight, given what the significance could be for her? Wanted to ask you your thoughts on her significance and importance on the court and off.

ANDY MURRAY: I don't even know what the time is. But, yeah, I mean, depending on when I get back, yeah, I'll probably watch a bit of it.

And then, yeah, I mean, I have spoken about this, I'm sure all of the players have been asked about it the last few weeks a bunch, but, yeah, what she's done, her achievements in the sport, obviously incredible. She will go down as one of the best tennis players to have ever played, if not "the" best on the women's side.

You know, I think also what her and Venus have done is, when you combine the two, is even more remarkable, really, and probably unlikely we will see something like that again from two sisters. I think it's really cool that they are playing doubles together. I think that will be really nice.

But, yeah, she's obviously had a massive impact on the sport. You just need to hear, like, I have seen some of the interviews that a lot of the players have done about her to realize that.

Q. Obviously you and Serena both have this incredible willpower, this drive, played doubles together. If the tennis gods said, Hey, Andy, just give us one story that's fun or interesting about Serena, could you share something with us?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, she made quite a few funny comments when we were playing doubles together, actually, sort of jokes that I wasn't really expecting. I didn't know her particularly well. I mean, we had spoken to each other and stuff obviously before we went out to play mixed, but I didn't know her that well. That was something that was actually, it was really nice for me, because I was nervous playing with her, obviously. I hadn't played loads in the buildup to it.

Yeah, the fact that she was, I felt like she had a good sense of humor, anyway, and cracked a few jokes certainly early in the partnership helped me quite a lot.

I can't share them in here, because they were of that nature (smiling), but, yeah, I thought that was cool.

Q. Ivan Ljubicic today posted a tweet with a list of different rules for the coaching they are introducing here. He was saying that it's probably going to be very difficult to police because if it was difficult to police before the hand signals, within these parameters they're putting right now, it's also difficult to police. Have you looked at that list? Are you using the coaching? Do you think it's difficult to keep it within the exact rules that have been stated?

ANDY MURRAY: I haven't actually looked at the exact list of what it is. I had it explained to me by one of the ATP officials. I don't know if the rule is different here, as it's an ITF event, but I don't know if the coaching rules are much different.

My understanding was when you are down at the same end as your coach that they are allowed to coach you, that it's not supposed to be a conversation, and that so long as it doesn't disrupt the flow of the match that it's okay.

From the far side, I mean, I don't know what the rule is, but I don't have hand signals and stuff with my coach or anything, anything like that. Yeah, I mean, today Ivan said a few things to me when I went over to get my towel when I was down his end. But the coaching rules are always going to be difficult to police.

The one that I don't really understand is why, like if you have a break in the match, there's like the heat rule, for example, where you have 10 minutes or something that you're not allowed to be coached during that time. I feel like you should be able to if you are allowed to get coached during the match.

But apart from that, yeah, it's going to be quite hard to police it.

Q. Obviously Ivan Lendl has had an enormous impact on your career throughout the years. In this current phase of your relationship, how has it changed or has it evolved? Is he bringing you something different to you?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I think it's changed in terms of the way we have gone about sort of practicing and training. I mean, that's more out of necessity to sort of protect my body and stuff a little bit as I'm older. He obviously went through that himself in his career. As you age, you tend to adjust to the way you go about your training methods and everything.

But apart from that, no, nothing much has changed since the last time we worked with each other. They're very clear, sort of simple points that he makes, and he's very clear on the way that I need to play and go about matches if I want to get back up to the top of the game again.

And, yeah, that hasn't changed in the last few years.

Q. On the Ivan thing, I thought I spotted him a couple of times saying, was it just, Well played, or Come on, or was it actually some kind of technical advice he was offering?

ANDY MURRAY: There is nothing technical. Some tactical but definitely nothing technical mid-match. Well, I definitely don't think that's the time to be doing anything technically or thinking about technique during a match.

But, yeah, he was giving me some tactical advice more in terms of, you know, to see -- because my opponent was also struggling a bit physically. I think sometimes when you are in those conditions, it's quite easy to focus on yourself and how you are feeling. But just to sometimes have a look down the other end and see how your opponent is getting on.

You know, he was trying to get me to keep moving him around the court, because, you know, Ivan felt like physically he was struggling. I tried to do that certainly at the beginning of the sets. Managed to get a good lead because of it.

Q. You are next up against Emilio Nava. How much do you know about him? Does it give you a lift to know he went five today against Millman?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I actually hit with him a couple days ago, so it was good to get on the court with him, because otherwise -- I saw a little bit of his match today, but actually being on the court with someone and feeling their shots is helpful when you don't know loads about them.

Yeah, I will look at some of the video and stuff from the match today. Yeah, I certainly know a lot more than I did a few days ago. That's for sure.

Q. Frank said afterwards, someone asked about your movement, and he said obviously he might not move as well as he did when he was younger but he was really surprised by how well you read the game. He felt like every time you hit a shot you were already aware of where he was hitting it. Do you feel you read the game better now than maybe you ever have, or is that too hard to quantify?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think that that's changed much. I think that's always been, yeah, a strength of my game and something that, yeah, I have always been able to rely upon.

Yeah, I mean, I don't read every single shot, but once you start to play more matches, get a bit more comfortable with your movement, you know, which I do feel like now I'm moving a lot better than I was at this time last year, I've got more matches under my belt, so I'm starting to see things a little bit easier on the match court, that, you know, when you combine the two, it makes quite a big difference to my movement.

Yeah, I think I moved pretty well today. I don't think, you know, it was that easy for him to get the ball by me, and he's a big hitter of the ball. He has a big forehand.

Yeah, managed to defend pretty well today.

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