January 21, 2023
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
R. BAUTISTA AGUT/A. Murray
6-1, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Andy, bad luck. Another epic battle tonight that unfortunately didn't go your way. How much did you enjoy the support of the crowd out there?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, the crowd were amazing in all the matches really. I mean, they always are here. They give great support to the players. I think Aussie sportsfans in general, yeah, love it when the athletes that they're watching give 100%, and I certainly did that the last few days. They responded to that and gave amazing support.
I played in three amazing atmospheres. I'm very thankful to them for that. Great memories.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How much did tiredness and lack of sleep from the previous match play a role in this match?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it's impossible to say really. It's impossible to say how much. But, yeah, doesn't help.
Q. Can you just give us some insight how you shaped up since the Kokkinakis match, how you slept, how you felt the next morning, how you feel now?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I slept from 6 until 9 the morning I played the match with Kokkinakis, which obviously isn't enough (smiling). Then I had to come in here. I had about seven or eight blisters that I had to have drained and then he put this liquid in to dry it. I had to come in in the morning to give that time to settle.
Then I went back to the hotel, slept for a few hours, and then hit for, like, 15 minutes yesterday. Yeah, just the ice baths, saw my physio.
Yeah, actually, I mean, my feet didn't feel great. My legs were actually okay. They weren't too bad. But I was struggling with my lower back. That was affecting my serve. That was really the main thing that I was struggling with today.
Q. What are your emotions? Obviously I'm sure you wanted to go further, but at the same time that was an amazing effort, great atmosphere, everything you play for I guess.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, how do I feel right now? Yeah, I mean, lots of mixed emotions. I mean, I feel like I gave everything that I had to this event. So I'm proud of that.
That is really, in whatever you're doing, all you can do. You can't always control the outcome. You can't control how well you're going to play or the result. You can control the effort that you put into it, and I gave everything that I had the last three matches. I'm very proud of that.
But, yeah, I'm also disappointed because I put loads of work into the beginning of this year and was playing well enough to have a really good run, have a deep run.
I think even tonight I'm competing against a guy 20 in the world, you know, and it's still very tight considering the circumstances. I feel like, yeah, I'm disappointed because I feel like I could have gone quite a bit further.
Q. You told us a couple nights ago about the sacrifice you put in pre-season to get into this kind of shape to be able to compete. Are weeks like this enough to make that sacrifice worthwhile, to validate it? Did these three matches, these experiences, memories, moments, is that enough?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I think obviously you never know exactly when the end is going to be. I would like to go out playing tennis like this, where I'm competing with the best players in the world in the biggest events and doing myself justice.
There were maybe times the last year or so where I didn't really feel like I was playing well, and I didn't enjoy the way that I was playing. Yeah, those sacrifices and that effort that I put in allowed me to get through those matches and play at a high level that I think was entertaining for the people watching.
I felt good about the way that I was playing. It's more enjoyable for me when I'm playing like that, when I'm coming into a major event and really believing that I can do some damage.
But, yeah, I can have a deeper run than the third round of a slam, there's no question about that. Obviously draws can open up for you. I need to also help myself with that. If I was playing at this level last year, I probably wouldn't be ranked 50, 60 in the world. It's up to me to try and change that.
Q. What are you most satisfied about in terms of your game and the improvements you've made compared to last season?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I think my movement here was really good. That's something that at times hasn't been great the last 12, 18 months. It's really important for me. When I move well, it allows me to play the game style that is most effective for me.
I finished a lot of points up at the net during this event, which was really positive. Someone sent me a screen-grab. I think of all the players that were playing, I'd finished the most amount of points up at the net and finished a lot of points with winners.
I believe if you count the aces and stuff in the winners' column, I wasn't serving loads, but from the back of the court and up at the net, I was doing pretty well there.
So, yeah, there was a number of things I was pleased with in my game.
Q. We've seen you play through physical constraints a few times. It did look quite agonizing tonight. Was it as painful as it looked from outside?
ANDY MURRAY: Serving was the thing that was giving me the most trouble. I mean, my back was uncomfortable. I couldn't really extend on my serves. I couldn't hit a kick serve. I couldn't really sort of extend my back on the serve to generate much power on the first serve. Wasn't able to really drive up to it. That was the thing that was uncomfortable.
Once I got in the rallies and stuff, it wasn't really too bad, to be honest. I've felt worse on the court than that. It was just the serve, especially like after I got up from sitting at the end, change out the first couple of serves, didn't feel good.
Q. Leaving aside the time you finished the other night, do you think the sport needs to do something to cut down the length of matches so that somebody who does play consecutive five-set matches in the first couple of rounds isn't so severely penalized for the way they're feeling for the rest of the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, to me, I mean, long matches can happen. Obviously I do think that the courts, they're not slow here. Like I said the other night, courts are a pretty good pace. But it has been cool in the evenings and stuff, so that can obviously slow things down. The balls certainly after a couple of games were playing very slow.
But, I mean, I'm sure if you went and spoke to some sleep experts and sports scientists, et cetera, the people that actually really know what's important for athletes to recover, they would tell you that sleep is the number one thing, that that's the most important thing.
Finishing matches at 4 in the morning isn't good for the players. I would also argue it's not good for the sport, anyone involved in it. I do think there's some quite simple things that can be done to change that.
I think the US Open went to playing two matches in the day session. That would stop the day matches running into the night session starting too late. I think that's quite a simple one that you could look at. You'd still get quality matches during the day. The people who bought ground passes would get to see more of the top players, which would be excellent for them.
I think if you did that, you could also potentially bring the night sessions slightly earlier, as well, like 6:00 or 6:30. That time, those few hours, can make a difference to the players. I think that's something that's probably worth, yeah, considering moving forwards.
Q. How long do you sort of expect it to take for you to fully recover from the efforts of this week? What are your plans tournament-wise going forward?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, next tournament I'm entered in is Rotterdam. Planning on playing Rotterdam and Dubai.
I mean, how long it takes to recover? I mean, I don't really know. I don't have an injury, which is good. Yeah, my body obviously has had a lot of load and stress go through it these last few days. Yeah, I'll need to take a bit of time to recover.
But because of the Davis Cup week, Rotterdam would start three weeks on Monday, so yeah, that should be more than enough time for me to recover, I would think.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports