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February 25, 2023

Andy Murray

Doha, Qatar

Press Conference


6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations on an amazing week. When you broke back in the second set, you thought you could make another great comeback?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I would say I had some of the momentum with me, and I really didn't play a good game at 4-All. I was up 40-Love in that game on my serve. Yeah, I didn't play a good game to get broken there and had a little chance in the last game.

But, yeah, just didn't quite play well enough tonight. Made a few more mistakes than what I would have hoped for. I got off to bad starts in both sets, which obviously, you know, doesn't help. Most top players play well when they're ahead. You know, I gave him the opportunity to do that by not starting well enough in the sets.

Q. I wonder if, after an enormous career as you had, playing for the emotion you had in these weeks is enough, or you set any other goals for the rest of your career or for this year?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I have goals. You know, I think it's important to have goals and targets and, you know, some of those goals are different to maybe what they were five, ten years ago. But I, yeah, still have ambitions of winning tournaments and having deep runs in major events, you know, winning a certain number of matches in my career. I'd like to try to get to 800 match wins, which, I don't know, I think I'm like 75 away from that.

Yeah, there is little things that you can do to keep yourself, you know, to keep yourself motivated. Yeah, I also, like, part of it is seeing how far I can go with, well, the physical limitation that I have. You know, like I didn't know how much I was going to be able to play or if I'd be able to compete at this level again.

So now that I know that I'm able to, I want to see how far that can go, because, yeah, it's a challenge and something that, you know, I'm proud of the results that I'm having, yeah, with a large physical limitation.

Q. Obviously Daniil is a great player, but from your point of view, what makes him so difficult to beat or at least hard to play?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, he has a different game style to how most players play now. Obviously some players return from quite far behind the baseline, but I think he's probably the furthest and does that consistently. Most players might return there sometimes but change the position a little bit, but he returns from very far back.

Most of the players that do this are returning and playing with a lot of topspin. He does the opposite. He hits the ball very low and flat over the net, which is different.

He also often, like when the ball comes through the middle of the court, I think pretty much maybe there is only one or two players, like Benoit Paire maybe does this where they run around the forehand to hit backhands, but it's rare to see that. Most players are looking to play with their forehand in the middle of the court and play with sort of heavy topspin to push you behind the baseline, whereas he is moving the other way and hitting the ball very low and flat.

Yeah, he doesn't hit the ball extremely hard, so often you're working with not so much pace on the ball. You have to generate the power. But because he moves extremely well, it's difficult to, you know, to finish the points against him.

You know, one of the ways of doing it is by coming up to the net when you get the chance. It's not so easy to pass from very deep in the court, but today he did a pretty good job of that. He came up with some really good passing shots at times, and I maybe came in on some of the wrong balls.

Yeah, he just has a different game style to most of the guys, and he's a great athlete, as well. You know, he moves extremely well.

Q. Just wondering how you were feeling on the court today after all the hours you spent on it this week. What do you plan to do next week? Are you trying to do the same in Dubai?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, actually I felt okay physically. I mean, after some of the long rallies, like, you know, my legs at times were feeling a little bit heavy, but I felt okay physically. I just maybe -- yeah, the one thing I'm reflecting on now, I didn't feel like I maybe used the crowd as much as I could have done, or after the good points, like, had maybe as much energy as I have in sort of recent times and probably wish I had done that a little bit more, because I feel like when I'm expressing myself like emotionally like that's when I play my best tennis.

So maybe part of it was because I was always sort of behind. I didn't have so much momentum in the match.

But, yeah, probably could have done that better. But physically, considering everything, I was quite happy with how I felt.

Then, yeah, I'll speak to my team about, yeah, about next week, because the last time I played five matches in a row was in Stuttgart in a week, and this is a shorter tournament, because you start on the Monday, finish on the Saturday. So I played five matches in six days. Maybe today's one was the shortest, but four of them were pretty, pretty tough matches physically.

So at my age and with some of the issues that I've got, I do have to be mindful of those things, and I can't just, you know, just keep going until something happens.

You know, I need to be a bit smarter with that. So I'll chat to my team and see how I feel tomorrow. I'm flying to Dubai tomorrow. Then, yeah, we'll see where we go from there.

Q. You face Hurkacz now in Dubai. Do you think what you did this week gives you confidence in your game?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I mean, I played Hurkacz a few times on the tour, and, you know, I have actually felt like I played like it's not too bad a matchup for me. Obviously he's a great server and he moves very well for a big guy.

But, yeah, I don't feel like it's too bad a match for me, and obviously with having been playing outdoors in these conditions, I think maybe he's in the final of Marseilles, which I'm assuming the final will be tomorrow, it's a quick turnaround for him as well. Yeah, should be a good match.

Q. At the end, Daniil made some comments about the match balls. Do you have any comments about those, about the match balls being used? He said some players have complained about the match balls.

ANDY MURRAY: Oh, really? I didn't hear that. I mean, I think they are the same balls that we were using at the Australian Open. I mean, when they're new they are extremely fast, but very quickly they become very slow.

Yeah, I mean, they are the same as we have been playing the last couple of months. Generally on tour now we play with very slow conditions and slow tennis balls, so it's nothing new.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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