June 6, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Pretty quick out there.
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, no, it was good. It was my first match on grass, and obviously I only had a day and a half practice after my French Open semi and I didn't play so well there. I managed to come out, I played a pretty good match today. The guy wasn't so good on grass, but still it was tough for me because I hadn't really got any practice in before.
Q. You played Ancic in Surbiton yesterday, didn't you?
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, I played Ancic. That was like really my first proper practice on grass. It was good to play against someone as good as him and someone who serves as well, because, obviously, the guy I played today didn't serve as well. So that was good practice.
Q. Was it just a match?
ANDREW MURRAY: We played like -- I don't know the name, but we played like first to eight games like a professional set. I lost 8-5, one break, but it was good. I got a good practice. It was very good for my returns because he's serving so well. Obviously, he made semis of Wimbledon last year, he beat Tim, so he's one of the best grass court players in the world, and I played quite well against him.
Q. There were times today when it looked like a clay court match.
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah (smiling).
Q. What is the transition like from where you're naturally comfortable to this, is it the toughest?
ANDREW MURRAY: Sorry?
Q. The transition from clay to grass...
ANDREW MURRAY: I didn't find it that tough. Because these courts here, the ball's coming quite fast on the serves, but it takes all the spins quite well. If you play a topspin, it sits up quite a lot. If you play a slice, it stays down quite low. When you're rallying from the back, it's not -- it's not really that much like a grass court really. It plays more like a slow hard court, and it suited me quite well. I don't think he really enjoyed the surface so much.
Q. Winning an ATP match, can you just put it in context as to how big a step forward you think it is.
ANDREW MURRAY: Well, it's quite important to win your first one, and it was obviously quite a big match for me. But I did experience losing a very tough match in Barcelona, and that was my first one. I felt really bad after it. I had a lot of chances in the match. Today, I had a bit more experience, I knew what the guy was going to play like. Obviously, it wasn't his best surface. It was still an important win for me, but it wasn't as tough as what some of the other matches are going to be on grass.
Q. But winning matches at Tour events is kind of what it's all about, isn't it?
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, well, that's the most important thing. You get big points here, and there's a good chance for me to bring my ranking up in the next few weeks. Maybe I get a wildcard into Nottingham and possibly Wimbledon if I win two or three matches. My ranking can go up quite a lot. That's a good start for me. Obviously, to win your first one is still, obviously, a big win for me.
Q. You're playing in England for the first time in a high-profile situation since winning the US Open Juniors. There was a big crowd out there today. Are you kind of ready for the sort of attention that may come upon you in the next few weeks?
ANDREW MURRAY: I think so, yeah. I'm looking forward to it. Because I played in some big matches before, but the crowd's never really been with me. I played, obviously, in the Davis Cup in Israel and there was a really big crowd there, but pretty much 5,000 of them were against me. And then also I played US Open final, which was a big match, and the crowd was kind of half and half. But now to play at home in front of a lot of people is good motivation for me. It really helps you. You feel like you've got a lot of people there helping you and are wanting you to win. So it really makes you play better.
Q. Lenses going off every time the ball was going to your backhand, none of that stuff bothers you?
ANDREW MURRAY: No, not really. You try to close it out. It's not really that difficult, because you just have to focus on the ball. And I suppose if you're maybe at Wimbledon, if you've got a matchpoint at Wimbledon and it's a tight match... But today it wasn't so bad because I was quite a way in front, and it didn't really put me off so much.
Q. Did you watch any of the French final?
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, I watched it yesterday. I actually -- I thought Nadal was going to win quite comfortably. And then when Puerta had the breakpoints - or, no, the set points in the fourth set on his serve - I thought he was going to go on and win it because Nadal looked quite nervous. But I think Puerta actually got pretty nervous. It was a good match, though.
Q. When you see a young player like that winning a Grand Slam in that style, what does it tell you about the strengths of young players in the game today and how tough it will be to try to emulate or get close to someone like that?
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, it's obviously going to be very difficult. But one thing you have to look at is that Nadal, for someone who's 18 - well, 19 now - is physically -- I think he's better than everybody else in the world. And I've maybe got two or three years, because my body's not developed like his, I've still got some growing to do, I've got to fill out and I've got to get stronger. Whereas I think when he was sort of 17, he'd stopped growing and obviously managed to do all of his weights, and he's huge now. He's physically very good on the court. It's going to be difficult to do what he's done. But I've got to aim for the top, and I think he's the best prospect just now.
Q. Is there a danger that people are going to expect too much from you over the next few weeks even now that you're in this country and focus comes upon you?
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, I think a lot of people will expect a lot, but it's always the same. With Tim and Greg, everybody expects them to win the tournaments that they play when they're at home, but it doesn't really work like that. Grass isn't my best surface. If I get some good draws, like my match today, then I've got a chance of winning some matches. But if I play against one of the good players, I don't really have a chance because I've got no experience on grass and playing in big tournaments.
Q. Does Wimbledon mean as much to you as it means to Tim, for instance, because that's his best surface so he targets that?
ANDREW MURRAY: I think, obviously, Wimbledon means a lot to me, but it's not my best surface so it's not going to be my best chance of winning matches in a Grand Slam. I think the US Open is probably my best chance. But, obviously, Wimbledon, you never know, being in front of your home crowd and everyone supporting you, there's a good chance that I could do well. But it's probably not my best tournament because of the surface it's on.
Q. In your more private practice sessions, do you play out-and-out serve and volley just for a laugh sometimes?
ANDREW MURRAY: Yeah, I serve and volley sometimes in practice - maybe one or two points a game, just to practice it. But when it comes to the match, I've never -- I'm never really that comfortable doing it. You never know -- if I feel like I need to change it up against somebody who doesn't return so well but is just putting the ball in the court, I might serve and volley a bit. But today there wasn't any need to, so I just kept doing what I was doing.
Q. Is there a conscious thought in your mind that you would like to do it a little bit more?
ANDREW MURRAY: I think, yeah, obviously, you have to practice, and you have to look at somebody like Federer who can do everything. You need to practice all of your shots and try and make them as good as what his are because he's -- on grass and on hard courts, I think he's much better than everybody else. And you have to look at him and try and improve all of your strokes to try and get to the top, and maybe one day do what he's done.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.