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February 23, 2023

Andy Murray

Doha, Qatar

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/A. Muller

4-6, 6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you expect from your match against Lehecka in the semifinals?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, he's obviously started this year very well. I practiced with him once during the grass court season last year, and it was clear that, you know, he has a huge game. He serves big. He's a very clean ball striker.

I don't know why, but a lot of the Czech players, the best Czech players, are like that. Yeah, he serves well. Hits big from both sides. When he's on and he's confident, you know, he plays very well.

Today, you know, I saw some of the match and he was behind, and all of a sudden it clicked for him and he played great, you know, the rest of the match.

Yeah, I'll need to try and find ways to break up his rhythm and make it difficult for him. Yeah, he's playing very well this year so far.

Q. How did you turn this match around? Because in the first set it looked like this was going to be maybe a struggle more physically and you found a way to go through.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I was quite tentative in the first set. Even though I got off to a good start, I think it was more, you know, I was making a lot of balls but, you know, he was missing a little bit, and once he found his rhythm, you know, making balls wasn't enough against him.

You know, he's solid from the back of the court. He moves well. Makes a lot of returns. You know, on courts when they are slow like this, you can't just leave the ball in the middle of the court. You end up having to do a lot of running. I was finding it physically very challenging at the beginning.

Then at the beginning of the second set, I started to take more chances. I was going for more on my shots. When I did that, I felt like I was controlling almost all of the rallies from there, you know, just with a few extra miles an hour on each shot that I was hitting a little bit more depth.

Then I was able to get to the net quite a lot and put a lot of pressure on him that way. Yeah, I played really well the last two sets, but the first set -- you know, it was just that balance for me of playing offensive and aggressive enough but still being true to the way that I play the game, which is not just belting balls around and making mistakes and stuff, but in the first set I got that balance wrong. I was just making too many balls and not taking enough chances. That allowed him to control the match at the beginning.

Q. Using slice was part of the initial strategy or it was a change in the middle of the match?

ANDY MURRAY: I think I was using it from the beginning. You know, maybe I used it better at the more appropriate times. I felt like at the beginning I was having to use the slice, so he was forcing me to do that.

But as the match went on, I was using it when I was in either neutral or offensive positions, so it was my choice to play it, whereas at the beginning it was more defending and, you know, that was then allowing him to control the points.

But when I was able to use it to change the pace of the point and give some variety to him, you know, when I was in a good position, it worked really well.

Q. I wonder if you are keeping the stats of the average time you spend on court, because it looks like you don't love yourself, because you're spending so many hours on court.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I think obviously like today I could help myself more by starting the match quicker, but also, you know, if I look at also like some of the players that I have played against this year, you know, they're not easy matches.

Zverev, granted, he's coming back from injury, but, you know, still a very difficult match. Sonego, I think in these conditions, can play very well. I think the other night he played a solid match. Berrettini in the first round of the Australian Open, like, that's never going to be easy.

Yeah, like I said, obviously I would like to have quicker matches, but, you know, sometimes, it happens this way, and I'm sure that's not going to continue throughout the rest of the season. It's just a period that I'm going through where the matches are difficult.

But with each of these wins, I'll build more and more confidence and, you know, hopefully continue to start the matches a bit quicker, a bit better because of that. I'm sure some easier or quicker wins will come, as I'm sure there will be the occasional loss that's quick, too. Yeah, it's just one of those things the way that the matches have played out to start the season.

Q. This new version of yourself, more confident, you were telling us the other day, plus your experience, how much you think will help against young players that are experiencing first time these deep runs at tournaments?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, the experience can work both ways. Obviously it can work to your advantage at times, but I also remember when I was 19, 20, 21 years old, and you have no scar tissue, like, from making mistakes in big moments or losing tight matches.

I think when you're young, it's quite easy to play freely. Sometimes the more experience that you get, you know, when you've lost tight matches or had difficult experiences, like that can also play a part. So there's positives and negatives. You obviously need to try and use the positives as much as you can.

I feel like when you're confident, it's easier to do that. Right now I feel that way, so in the crucial moments, in the critical moments of the matches, I'm using my experience well, and that will help me against the younger players. But there has also been times in the last couple of years where, you know, I have had some really rough experiences, you know, really struggled a lot with my game because of that, and, you know, those experiences didn't necessarily help me in the matches. So it can work both ways, because the young players will tend to play a little bit freer, I think.

Q. How much of a desire is for you to win another title in this stage of your career?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I want to win multiple. I mean, obviously I'd love to win one, but I have goals to achieve more than that.

Yeah, I'm putting myself in a position now, you know, to do that going into the last couple of matches, and granted, the players who are still in the tournament, it's not going to be easy.

I feel like these last few weeks are a step in the right direction, and if I continue to play and compete like I am just now, I'll have, you know, not just one opportunity to win a title, but I'll have more chances to do that in this last stage of my career.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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