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March 12, 2006

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy, please.
Q. Andy, would it be fair to say that he was tremendously consistent out there, very hard to do anything against him? He just got most things back, didn't he, and was very rock solid almost?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I -- I don't think I played my best match today, but I gave 100 percent, and I think that's all you can ask for. I said other day I'm not going to play consistently my best every week because I'm too young, but I fought pretty hard and he hardly made any mistakes. And it was tough to get the ball -- I was struggling a little bit with the conditions. It was -- I didn't feel like I could go for the ball too much. And when I was, it was almost working against me because he was just standing right up on the baseline and just hitting it into the corners.
And I had to do a lot of running today and it was tough, but I thought I did okay.
Q. He's one of those players, he's not very flashy, so maybe people who didn't know much about tennis wouldn't understand what makes him so good. Could you just talk about why he's such a good player and why he's so difficult.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, he's got -- he's got a pretty solid serve. It's not huge, but he's quite consistent, second serve is difficult to attack, which is pretty important in the men's game now. I think he's got some of the best ground strokes. He stands right up on the baseline. He moves great, and even if you get good depth, he keeps the ball deep, hits it's close to the lines, and you have to hit great shots to get it past him.
And today, I didn't hit too many great shots. But I fought hard. I put a lot of balls back, and, yeah, I mean each rally I felt like I was having to make eight or nine shots for him to miss, and, you know, I worked in the second set. It wasn't great in the first set, but I did have a few chances in the service games.
The third as well, I had a lot of chance at 4-3, I was Love-30, I played one shot which I think at Love-30 played a little slice which was -- which was a mistake. But, you know, I'll learn from it. And I think he's one of those players that will be around the top for a long time because he doesn't give away any cheap points.
And I was saying the other day, you know, sometimes having the slice and stuff is tough because I do have quite a lot of shots and it's tough to know when to use them. You he has, you know, three or four really good shots. He uses them all the time and he doesn't have to think so much on the court. He just hits the ball to a great length and into the corners and that's what makes him so tough to beat.
Q. So you can learn a lot from a match like that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Well, I learn every time I go on the court now. He's No. 5 in the world and I mean he had a pretty solid start of the year. He made quarters in the Australian, had a pretty tight match with Federer. He's beat even Greg pretty comfortably. I think he beat Tim in Australia the year before. He's really solid.
I'm happy that -- I didn't play my best, but I fought my hardest. It wasn't good enough today, but in one or two years, hopefully I'll be a bit more consistent and play better more of the time and I'll win against these guys in the tight matches when I'm not playing my best.
Q. How long does it take to put what you learn in these matches into practice? Is it something you have to go work on for a few weeks and practice or is it something you move on quickly?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think it's things necessarily I have to practice. I think it's just learning from some of the shots that I was hitting and when I have to -- when I have to go for it, when I have to layoff, when I have to hit the slice, when I have to play the top spin. And it's just, the more matches you play against those guys, the more you learn.
You know, I'm happy that I've won a round in the Master Series, I'm 18 years old. I've had chances to win against the guy who's No. 5 in the world and I'm just going to keep improving. It's not -- it's not going to happen over night, but I think in a couple of years, everything should click into place.
Q. For those of us that don't remember that point, could you just very quickly summarize what happened. Did he hit a winner off your backhand or what happened there?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I was in quite a good position in the point. I had kind of had a backhand that was not mid court, but it was quite a high ball, and instead of maybe going back deep with a backhand cross court, I tried to play short slice to bring him into the net, which he's not so strong up at the net. And I didn't quite hit it well enough and he managed to dictate the point from there. He hit backhand cross and then I started doing the running and he ended up hitting the forehand down the line on the point.
And it's just things like that where it's a really tough shot to play that one. Maybe at that stage of the match when he's just missed a couple of balls I could have just hit it back deep and waited for him to make the mistake instead of playing a complicated shot.
Q. Andy, for any young player, winning their first ATP tournament is always an important milestone, landmark. What's been the one thing in the week since you won San Jose that's surprised you the most and what's the major impact or the biggest change after winning the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: In my game or --
Q. Just in your life.
ANDY MURRAY: Nothing's changed really. I've been in America. I've been in America for the three weeks after that and there's no -- I've not really had too much hassle. I think back home it might have changed a little bit, but I've not been there to see it so I can't really say too much.
If I go home now, I might see a difference, but, my life's not changed too much and I don't think it's going to change a lot no matter what I do this year.
Q. But it did give you a lot of confidence?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. You know, I won against Hewitt and Roddick there, and they were pretty tight matches. I know that I can come through those matches against the best players now, which I'd had a lot of tight matches the year before and not won them.
So, yeah, it gave me a lot of confidence. I know that I can win tournaments now. It might not happen every week, but hopefully it will happen once every few months, you know, if that's what I'm aiming for. And, yeah, I think I got a decent chance of doing it if I keep putting in 100 percent and trying my hardest, because when I play my best, I'm quite tough to beat.
Q. There was a suggestion, Andy, that you might take an option of going to Florida early and playing a challenger. Is that still an option?
ANDY MURRAY: No. No. I think I'll leave that one. I just feel if I was to play there, it would be okay. I didn't play too many matches this week, but it was quite a long practice week before this and a couple of tough matches. Hopefully I do well in the challenger, then I'd have to play Miami, Davis Cup after that, then all the clay court stuff. So I think it's best to take a little bit of time off.
Q. Andy, when you play soccer like you did yesterday here, was it part of kind of the preparation, having fun or killing time before the rain? What was that?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I was kind of regretting a little bit when I went onto practice afterwards because what turned into like a little kick-about ended up being like a 45-minute three-on-three. And all the tennis players are pretty competitive, so it was quite hard work. And then it looked like I might have had to play late last night, but I was quite happy it started raining.
So in some ways, it was good because if I hadn't played the football, I would have only been able to practice for half an hour yesterday. It was probably not enough, so it kept me fresh.
Q. On the ATP tour, what country has the best soccer players, the best football players?
ANDY MURRAY: Scotland.
Q. You played with the French guys yesterday. Who are the favorite guys you play when you play soccer?
ANDY MURRAY: That's the first time I played a match with any of them. Grosjean actually played very well and Saulnier as well, the two guys I was playing with. But I'm not sure. I know Nadal plays well. I played with him a little bit when we were younger, but I'm not sure about all the guys. I've not seen them play too much.
Q. If I may, just about soccer, just to follow-up, is there any time that you think that in British public or in the world there will be tennis players in Britain who would be able to match the celebrity status of David Beckham or something.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I suppose if somebody won Wimbledon five times in a row, then, yeah, I think it would be possible. But if not...
I mean, if they don't win Wimbledon, they've got no chance.
Q. "I married a pop star."
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, maybe.
Q. Can you look a head to Miami for us. I mean, how familiar -- have you played at Crandon Park?
ANDY MURRAY: Is that where they play the Orange Bowl or not? I don't know.
Q. Yes.
Q. Yeah.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean I played there before.
Q. So it's not a completely new environment?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know if it's changed. The last time I was there was when I was 12, 13, so I'm sure it's probably changed a little bit. I'm obviously looking forward to it. It's another Master Series, big learning experience for me playing that. Hopefully get the chance to go a little bit deeper if I get a slightly easier draw.
But, you know, it's tough because obviously you have to play -- you have to play against the seed in the second round, so, I mean, hopefully I'll play a little bit better than I did today. But if not, it's not the end of the world.
Q. Will you head straight out of here? Are you staying around for a couple of days before going down to Florida?
ANDY MURRAY: I haven't decided yet. I'll probably speak to Mark about it a little bit later, but, yeah. I mean I might go home for a few days. If not, it's quite a long period where I'd be away from the home because I think it would end up being about six and a half, seven weeks, and then straight onto Davis Cup after that. It's in Scotland, but I've got to stay in a hotel the whole time. Practicing in Monte Carlo for a few days before the tournament starts there, so I might go home or might take a few days off and maybe go to Miami a little bit early.
Q. So you'll stay for the weather?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it's a little bit nicer today. It's still quite breezy, but hopefully it will stay like this. It's better for the tournament I think. To be fair the people who got center court tickets, I think they should be pretty happy, Roddick is playing, Agassi, Sharapova, Hingis played as well. Then there's another good men's match on as well. The people who had tickets yesterday won't be too happy, but the ones that got them today should be pretty happy.
Q. Andy, over the last eight months it's been pretty much of a whirlwind for you, and now you're in the top 50. How are you enjoying it and is it a bit overwhelming?
ANDY MURRAY: Not really. I'm enjoying it a lot just now. Pretty tough start to the year. The first few weeks in January, I didn't play my best, but, again, I still, you know, lost my matches and pretty tight matches. But, yeah, I mean, it has gone pretty quick. I had -- although I did have about two and a half months off last year to kind of take in everything that happened, but, yeah, I'm kind of adjusting to life on the tour now. It's quite a long year and I think it's much easier now than what it was at the start of last year because -- or the middle of last year. Because I know a lot of the players now and it's much easier coming here because you don't feel like it's just you and your coach the whole time. I have other people to speak to as well.

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