September 2, 2005
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. At what stage in the match did it become quite apparent that you needed to step up and be a little bit more aggressive with your groundstrokes in order to make any headway?
ANDREW MURRAY: Probably when I went a set down. He was playing pretty well. It was pretty windy. I wasn't timing the ball so well at the start. Then second set, I don't think I played that badly. I didn't play so well in the tiebreak, but I did okay in the second.
Q. How would you sum up the match as a whole?
ANDREW MURRAY: I didn't start off well, and then from second set to fourth set, I thought I played pretty well. I fought hard. It's not easy coming back from two-sets-to-love down when you're playing someone who's playing as well as he is. In the fifth set, when I got broken, I ran out of gas. I got a bit tired after that. I think coming back from two-sets-to-love down mentally is pretty difficult. And because I played so many tournaments, I found it difficult after I got broken because I've been working really hard the last nine, ten weeks.
Q. When you called the trainer, was that the first twinge of cramp or had it been coming on before that?
ANDREW MURRAY: I hadn't really felt it. I just felt it a little bit when I went to play the ball. I didn't actually really get any cramp after I saw the trainer. I couldn't move. Mentally, I lost it after I got broken. I just got really, really tired, completely drained me of everything.
Q. How much did you enjoy the match? Seemed you were enjoying the challenge of it.
ANDREW MURRAY: I didn't really enjoy it, the start, the first set. I was playing badly. He's quite frustrating to play against because he doesn't make many mistakes. He hits the ball -- he doesn't hit the ball very hard, but he plays pretty close to the lines and you end up going for shots that you shouldn't. But from second to fourth set, I enjoyed it a lot. It was a good match. I think the crowd enjoyed it as well.
Q. Can you give a reason why you started so slowly?
ANDREW MURRAY: No. Well, I didn't want to start slowly, it just happens sometimes.
Q. After the schedule you've been keeping, might it have been that it's been such a long time since the Pavel match?
ANDREW MURRAY: No.
Q. Used to playing every day or at least every other day.
ANDREW MURRAY: No, I don't think it was that. I think I just got tired. It's more mental than anything. It's quite difficult after 10 weeks to play two five-set matches in a row, like mentally to go through everything in the Pavel match, then to go two-sets-to-love down not playing so well, then to come back, then to start the set badly. It's pretty difficult. Physically, it's really, really tough.
Q. How does the disappointment compare to what you felt against Nalbandian?
ANDREW MURRAY: I'm not as disappointed as what I was after the Nalbandian match because I proved to myself in the first match that I was fine to go five sets. But hopefully now, because my ranking's getting higher, and hopefully for Australia, I'll be able to plan my tournaments better before, because I think it's kind of normal after 10 weeks, after playing a five-set match, then to play another tough one, to get a little bit tired. Hopefully when Australia comes, I'll be able to sort of only play two or three tournaments before in the lead-up to a Grand Slam instead of nine or ten.
Q. Can you sum up how you feel about the achievement of qualifying and winning a round here, how you feel your US Open has gone?
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, I think it's been pretty good. I played well in qualifying, but I had a pretty bad shoulder during the qualifying. It still hurt a little bit in my first match, but today it was fine. It's a pretty good effort, expecting a wildcard, then getting told a few days before that the qualifying starts that the US Open didn't want to give it to you, Wimbledon didn't want to do a trade. Mentally, that was pretty tough as well. I think I did well coming through and then winning my first five-set match. I didn't play that badly today, apart from the first set. He's playing very well. He came through qualifying, as well. He won against Ferrero in three sets. I don't think I did a bad job today, and I'm pretty happy with what I've achieved here.
Q. When you sat down and discussed the match with Mark Petchey --
ANDREW MURRAY: I haven't discussed it yet.
Q. Before the match, what did you discuss as far as strategy was concerned?
ANDREW MURRAY: I'm not going to say. I'm not going to say. I just had to go out and do what I had to do. I could have played a little bit more attacking at the start. But I think during the second set, I was playing fine. It's just difficult to play against somebody like him. I've never played against somebody who plays like that before, because he's pretty small. He actually serves pretty hard for his height. He doesn't put that much on his groundstrokes, but he hits really close to the lines. I was trying to concentrate on what I was doing more than him.
Q. You said it was mainly a mental issue. Do you feel physically as if you did a lot more running today than you did in the Pavel match? Seemed you covered a lot more ground.
ANDREW MURRAY: I didn't feel like that during the match. The rallies were probably a bit longer than the Pavel match. Obviously, he's more consistent than Pavel. But I don't think I did that much more running. It's just the points were probably a bit long.
Q. How do you assess the whole of the last three months, going right back to the Stella Artois and before?
ANDREW MURRAY: I was happy with what I've done before Stella. I'd never won an ATP match. I was about 380 in the world. After this week, hopefully I'll be around 110, getting close to the top 100, which is what I wanted to do at the start of the year. I've learnt a lot about myself the last three months and about my tennis, what I need to work on. I'm going to do that when I get the time off at the end of the year. But now I just want to get into the top hundred and then I'll be happy.
Q. Are you going to play another tournament from here or are you going to take a bit of a break?
ANDREW MURRAY: You mean from now until...
Q. After here, do you have anything planned, next week, for example?
ANDREW MURRAY: No. I was going to play in Turkey next week, but I pulled out after my match. My shoulder was obviously bothering me in qualifying and in my first match. I didn't want to have to fly back there and end up hurting my shoulder before Davis Cup. Need to get a bit of a rest. Then after that I think I'm going to try to play some of the ATP tournaments in Asia.
Q. Where will you go to rest up?
ANDREW MURRAY: I haven't decided yet. I might go home. I've not been home since like the 30th of December. I'm actually here for a few days. I'll just have to decide. I've not really thought about it that much yet.
Q. Did you say you'll probably do the Asia swing?
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, after Davis Cup, yeah.
Q. And then the European indoors?
ANDREW MURRAY: I'll see. It depends what my ranking is. The cut for one of the Masters Series qualifying -- do you mean Paris and Madrid?
Q. Maybe Basel, Vienna.
ANDREW MURRAY: No, I think they're the same time as the Asia tournaments, I think.
Q. Basel is in between Madrid and Paris.
ANDREW MURRAY: I might play Basel. I'll just have to see what my ranking is, see how I've been doing, see how many tournaments I've been playing.
Q. Do you know Djokovic at all.
ANDREW MURRAY: Yes.
Q. What do you know about him? Are you surprised he's had some success?
ANDREW MURRAY: No, I'm not surprised at all. I think he's a very good player. He's the same age as me. He's got a really good game. He works very hard. I got on with him very well. He's got a very good forehand. He fights very hard. I know he won against Ancic today. Hopefully he can go on and do well. I think it's good for the game that a lot of the younger players are starting to come through and do well. Hopefully he'll go on and win a couple more matches.
Q. Are you going to do some more regular weights to try to bulk up a bit?
ANDREW MURRAY: I might do. It's not that easy when you're injured for six months at the start of last year with a knee problem, then you get told it's best not to do weights. I did six months of upper body weights. I mean, I wasn't allowed to do anything on my leg for four months. When I came back, weights was the worst thing for it. Because I grew a lot at the start of the year, I couldn't do any. Then obviously I played a lot of tournaments. I think I'll have to sit down and speak with my physio, with Mark, and decide what I need to work on in the gym because it might not be that. I mean, some people just fill out naturally. If you ask Nadal how often he's in the gym, he's going to tell you never. I don't think everybody has to go in the gym.
Q. You've played now your first two Grand Slams, Queen's, Newport, won some challengers, what do you think you've learned most from this period, since you turned pro, in effect?
ANDREW MURRAY: Well, I learned I could cope with playing with guys that are in the top hundred in the world and I'm good enough to get there. It's never that easy. I always believed I could do it, but this gives you an extra bit of confidence when you win matches in Grand Slams and ATP Tour tournaments, and you beat some guys that are in the top 50. Obviously, I got close against Nalbandian and against Johansson. I now believe that I can go on and get into the top 100. Hopefully I'll be able to do that by the end of the year.
Q. Have you thought about any goals beyond that?
ANDREW MURRAY: No. I said first I want to get into the top 100, then you need to see how your game's going to develop because you don't know how good you can be until you start competing in the ATP tournaments week in and week out. It can be pretty difficult to start because you get a couple bad draws against seeds, you lose a first few rounds, it's not great for your confidence. I want to get into the top 10 in the world, that's my ultimate goal. A few people have said I've got a good chance of getting there. I think if I keep working like I have been and playing like I have, I've got a good chance at that.
Q. Is there one thing McEnroe said to you yesterday that stuck with you?
ANDREW MURRAY: He said a couple things to me. You can ask him, it's probably better. But he's a lot of help. It's great to have somebody like him supporting you, someone like him who wants to work with you and wants to help any time he can. Pretty happy. I think he was commentating on my match today. He might have said a few more things about me after that.
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