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August 11, 2006

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.

Q. Your opponent said he thought you were already a leading player. Do you feel like already a leading player?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, well, I think the last few months, you know, it's been really good. I made fourth round at Wimbledon, first time I got to the second week of a Grand Slam. I won three matches in Newport, made semis there. Then I made the final in Washington. Now I'm in the semis this week. You know, I think my form the last couple months, yeah, I think I've been probably in the top 15 in my results.
But, you know, I had a bad two and a half, three months around Indian Wells, Miami time. Still got a lot of learning to do. Although I do feel much more confident, you know, I need to concentrate on keeping this level up because that's what the top players do. I can't now let it slip and have two or three bad months like I did at the start of the year.

Q. There were a large number of good things in that match, but it was also a heck of an up-and-down match. Did the pluses outweigh the negatives?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think to be fair I thought I was in control of most of the match. I was 6-4, 5-3 up serving. Every time I serve for it this week, I've lost my serve. Then, you know, to be fair to him, he played a good tiebreaker. But I was always ahead. I was never really behind until maybe the start of the second set, I was behind, but I got the break straight back.
You know, I felt like I was making him do more of the running. Obviously disappointed I didn't finish it off in two. It was a good effort to keep it together mentally in the third set.

Q. You said you started coming to the net against Moya for physical reasons, basically to shorten the rallies. You came to the net a lot again today, and successfully. Was that for similar reasons or tactical ones?
ANDY MURRAY: I felt pretty good today. But I think Jarkko is one of the most consistent players from the baseline. I had to try and come in at the right times, to shorten the points. I did that today. I came in well on his second serve. I got good depth on the return and covered the net. I used the drop volleys well.
I thought I did everything well at the net, bar maybe one bad volley first game of the second set where I got broken on game point for me. I missed one easy volley on top of the net. Apart from that, I was really good up at the net.

Q. At one point, I think in the third set, you held serve. You kind of put your arms up and looked at the crowd. Was it just something that, Finally I managed to hold serve?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it wasn't I managed to hold serve, it was actually that I got a first serve in. I missed I think like eight in a row, and I hadn't had an ace for about five, six service games. You know, I was missing so many first serves. That was the reason why.

Q. Can you talk maybe a little bit about the feeling among the fans, especially yesterday when Nadal went out, you might as well give the title to Roger now. As a competitor, I would think you can't look at it that way, that you always just go one match at a time and take a run at it?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, Roger's obviously the favorite. He's a favorite going into any tournament, bar some of the clay court ones where he's expected to get to the final. Regardless of whether Nadal was still in or not, Federer would still be expected to win.
Last night Tursunov took a set off him, which gives the players a bit of hope. Gasquet won against him in Monte-Carlo. There's always a chance that he could play a bad match and someone can play their best match, like a Gasquet or Malisse can serve big as well. You just never know.
But, yeah, I mean, Federer's definitely the favorite.

Q. It seems that you have problems to end the matches. Do you have any explanation?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I've never had a problem until this week, so I don't view it as a problem really. You know, if it was happening week in, week out. I made final of Washington last week and served out all of my matches there. I served out matches against Roddick at Wimbledon. It's never been a problem. It's just something that's happened this week.
I'm sure it won't happen again next week. It's just one of those things where it gets into your head. Your opponents will see that. You'll maybe fight that a little bit harder in the last game.
But, you know, it's not just being me playing -- getting really nervous and missing shots. It's just I hadn't served well all week and I've given my opponents a chance in all of the games. I think I missed all four serves or five serves today when I served for the match. I just need to concentrate on maybe going for some bigger serves instead of just trying to put it in.

Q. Were you going through any kind of mental battle to not get frustrated by the troubles you had on serve, some of the unforced errors?
ANDY MURRAY: The unforced errors? Today I don't think the unforced errors were a problem. I think the only problem today is my first-serve percentage. I think I hit maybe 32% first serves, which is the worst that I've ever, ever done in a match on the tour.
Against a guy like him, if you're giving him chances in the rallies, he's more consistent than 95% of the players out there, doesn't make too many mistakes. I thought I did pretty well to keep it together. I didn't really get frustrated, bar one or two points, which was really easy -- could have been really easy to do it after having served for it, then losing a set in the tiebreaker. I broke him in the third and started to play aggressive again.

Q. To do that and come up with a victory, where does that fit into your growth as a player?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I've come back a lot before from a set down. But I think in these sort of situations, when I've never been to the semifinals of a Masters Series before, I'm playing a guy who has got much more experience than me, it shows that I believe in myself and that I can go on to win matches even when I've had a bit of a setback. I put it behind me today pretty quickly, whereas maybe a couple of years ago when I was playing in some of the smaller junior tournaments or in the smaller ATP tournaments, I might have struggled to do that. But now I feel much more comfortable when I do have a setback that I can come back and win the match.

Q. What were you thinking after being shut out in the second set tiebreak? You were able to come back and break early.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think I won 50% of my return games today, so I knew I was going to get a chance to break him. It was more just focusing on my service games. I managed to hold my first service in, get in front in the set. Obviously I broke him and held right up until I think 5-3, I served for it, or 5-2. You know, I didn't feel like I had to change my game at all. It was just concentrating on my service games, not giving any cheap points away, you know, really concentrating on breaking him early in the set because he had a tough match the day before, 7-6 in the third. I think he played for over two hours. I felt like if I could get ahead, I'd get more chances to break him in the match.

Q. How do you feel about playing Gasquet?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's going to be difficult. I think he is one of the best upcoming players. He's very talented. He's got really nice groundstrokes. He's got a great cross-court backhand. He volleys well. He's beaten Federer. That shows that he's obviously a great player in the making.
He's had some good wins this week, so it's going to be a tough match. I'm going to have to play my best match of the tournament if I want to win against him. But I feel like I've got a good chance. We've never played each other before. There's normally a few more nerves when you're playing against one of the younger guys.

Q. When Jarkko caught the ball in the middle of the rally, called for an electronic review, was that unsettling? What is your overall opinion of the instant replay this year?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it happens a lot on clay when guys stop during the rally. Twice last week when I was playing, I kind of finished the point. I asked the umpire to challenge it. He told me that I was too late to challenge it. He didn't challenge for maybe 10, 12 seconds after he kind of caught the ball. He started walking back to the baseline. He looked around at the umpire and challenged it. I just wanted to know whether he was allowed to take that long.
It wasn't really unsettling. I just wanted to know to clear up the rules because some umpires want you to do it straightaway as soon as it happens and some give you a little bit more time.
It was a pretty tough challenge because it put us into a tiebreak. I couldn't see any space between the line and the ball.

Q. What is your overall opinion of the effectiveness? Players are doing a lot of challenges, but the stats so far say they're more wrong than right.
ANDY MURRAY: I think it's always going to be like that because when you have two challenges and you've got an extra one in the tiebreaker, if there's a serve which you are not a hundred percent sure of, the umpire calls it good, you just want to see, then players will just ask to see in case it was out or in case someone missed it. The players don't always think when they're challenging it that it's definitely in or out. They just want confirmation of the call so they can put it to the back of their head.
I think the fans enjoy it, and that's the most important thing.

Q. Do you think other Grand Slams will adapt it? Wimbledon is probably the last to adopt something.
ANDY MURRAY: Really, no (smiling).

Q. Do you expect other tournaments might follow?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, French Open, I don't think they need to do it because you have the mark there. Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me. I think the US Open are doing it this year. Australian Open are doing it. Actually, I'm not sure if they're doing it, but I've heard they might do it next year. The only thing that I have a slight problem is it's quite expensive and you only have it on one or two courts. It's a little unfair on the guys that are playing on the outside courts.
As long as the fans are enjoying it, I think that's the most important thing. Most of the fans are coming to watch the big matches on the main courts.

Q. You talked about Gasquet as one of the up-and-coming players. You're in the semifinals of a pretty significant tournament. Do you view this as an opportunity to make a bit of a mark against another guy with whom you're competing in terms of the same kind of class?
ANDY MURRAY: I think -- I mean slightly. I think if one of us was to win 1-1 tomorrow or 2-1, then psychologically if we were to play in two years' time in the semifinals of a Grand Slam, might have a little bit of a bearing. But if it's a close match, I don't think -- right now I'm only 19, he's 20. We both got a few more years of really big improving to do.
But, yeah, I think it's not the be all and end all, whoever wins tomorrow, if we play in a big match, you know, in a Grand Slam, it's not going to change the outcome of that match really.

End of FastScripts...

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