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August 15, 2006

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was a lot harder than last week.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I knew it was gonna be hard. You know, last week Tim served badly and, you know, still really close second set. He had a set point last week and missed an easy volley. Time before that I won 7-6 in the third. So I knew it was gonna be difficult. Conditions here are much quicker, which suited Tim's game a bit more. But it was a good effort to fight my way back from a break down in the third.

Q. Your passing shots seemed to be the key. They were outstanding. Did you feel that, and did you feel your serve also improved?
ANDY MURRAY: My serve was good today. My passing shots at times weren't so good, but when I needed them in the third set, they were pretty solid. I hit one really good one in the last game at 15-30. Tim played a slice on to the line and hit a good forehand pass, and also to break him I had a good backhand pass as well.
So, you know, it was maybe a little bit more inconsistent than last week for me. I didn't feel as comfortable on the courts because it's quicker and the balls last week got more -- they got bigger so they slowed down the more they got used. But here they got much quicker. It was a completely different match.

Q. You were good when it mattered.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, you know, the important stages, you know, I dug pretty deep because I could have let my head get down after I got broke at 5-3 in the second set, you know. And then I managed to break him straight back to win the set. When I was a break down, you know, I knew I had the game to break but, uhm, Tim was serving much better so I knew it was gonna be difficult. But I did come up with some big shots at the important stages.

Q. How are you feeling week after week? Are you getting a bit tired?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I feel a little bit tired. I think, you know, it's normal. I played I think ten matches in eleven days, and then, you know, had a day of travel getting here, and obviously it rained yesterday. You know, I managed to get an hour practice in, but it was different conditions today. Didn't feel as comfortable during the match.
But, you know, considering I was feeling tired, I did well to fight hard.

Q. At this point do you feel like you're playing the best tennis of your life?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, I think that's pretty obvious. You know, I made semis of my first Masters Series. I got to the fourth round of Wimbledon, which is second week of a Grand Slam for the first time. Obviously made the final in Washington where, you know, didn't drop a set until the final and, you know, I played some really good tennis.
I feel much more comfortable in doing things that I wasn't doing as well earlier on in the year, I'm doing them much better. You know, coming into the net a little bit more. First serve's a little bit harder. Today was a bit different because I didn't feel so comfortable on the ball, but like last week, I'm playing much more aggressive than I was earlier on in the year.

Q. Was there a breakthrough moment for you some time this year?
ANDY MURRAY: Not really. I think it was more a mental thing. I wasn't really enjoying myself, you know, once I stopped working with my coach. It was tough being on the tour -- although it wasn't that I wasn't enjoying myself because I was on my own, it's just I think because I wasn't winning too many matches and I lost a lot of tight matches within the space of two, three months, I think that's why I was, you know, maybe not enjoying it as much as I was at the start of the year.
But, you know, things have changed now. I feel much more comfortable with Brad with me. You know, he's changed a few things. He just makes me feel a bit more comfortable about my game.

Q. Did you find it hot?
ANDY MURRAY: It was hotter than last week but it wasn't as hot as Washington. It is quite humid here, but last week was -- here -- last week was the hardest sky ever to serve in. I couldn't -- it was so bright that I couldn't find the ball in the sky. Here, it's much easier because a little bit of cloud, it's not quite as bright. But it's definitely more humid than last week.

Q. Growing up, what did Tim Henman mean to you? Did you idolize him in a way?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, of course. He was a guy that I looked up to. I watched him for maybe eight, nine years when I was growing up, playing at Wimbledon. And, you know, still when I come off the court having won against him it's, you know, a little bit surreal. He's one of the - regardless of what people say because he hasn't won a Grand Slam - he's one of the best tennis players of the last ten years, and that's 100% sure. There's no denying that. You can't argue with it, if you look at his statistics. Tim is someone that I've looked up to immensely. To win against him means a lot.

Q. Knowing the pressure he faces every year at Wimbledon, have you started to feel that? You kind of know what you're getting yourself into with that?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it depends. If you worry about what other people think and what other people are going to say, you know. Right now, I'm not really too bothered about what people think, about what people want from me because, you know, I have high expectations of myself. I want to win a Grand Slam. You know, I know that there's going to be pressure on me, but, you know, I'm expecting to win a Grand Slam so I'd be disappointed if I didn't.
You know, I think everybody in Britain does give you big support. Although some people might say it does bring extra pressure, you have to look at the positives and the negatives. They give you great support at Wimbledon, and always a lot of expectation; you just have to deal with it and get on with it.

Q. Is it uncomfortable at all to play Tim? You've watched him, he's probably helped you, given you advice.
ANDY MURRAY: I don't particularly enjoy it, to be honest. It's not, you know, like -- I don't feel satisfied at the end of a match having won against him. It's just, you know, one of those things that you have to do. It's your job. You know, I don't like having to shake Tim's hand at the end of the match having won against him. You know, it's difficult to explain, but I don't want to have to play Tim in tournaments. It's just a difficult match to play because of what he means to me.

Q. Now you might have to play Roger.

Q. How do you see that one?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think obviously not gonna win. But, you know, he showed last week that he can play some bad sets - well, maybe not bad sets. But, you know, like everyone goes on court and tries to raise their level when they play against him. You know, I'm sure he's so mentally strong now that he can come back from -- his level's normally so high, he maybe dropped it a little last week, but every time it mattered he picked it up.
So I think the conditions he'll like here. It's kind of quick. The balls move fast. So I think it's going to be a difficult match, but one that I'm definitely looking forward to.

Q. Is it a nice match? No expectations, just play, go for it?

Q. Do you put pressure on yourself for that as well?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, you don't -- you have to go out there with a game plan; not, you know, go in there just expecting to get blown away or lose. You have to go in there and try your best to win although you know it's difficult, but have a game plan going into the match and try and use it as best as you can. You know if you do, then you can get close, and maybe the luck's with you on the day and you can maybe get a set.
But, you know, it's not worth going on the court against him if you don't believe you have a chance of winning.

Q. Did you say, "I'm obviously not going to win"?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I'm not -- I'm not -- I mean, every -- if I was to say I was gonna win against Roger Federer, then 100% sure the headlines in the paper tomorrow are, "I'm gonna win against Roger Federer."

Q. You have to believe you have a chance?
ANDY MURRAY: What's the point in going on court if you go on expecting to get beaten easily? You have to expect that, you know, there's a slight chance that he might have a really bad night or the luck's with you and you don't miss a ball. You know, if I went on court and played perfect for two sets then, yeah, of course I've got a chance. But, you know, to play perfect against someone like Federer is near enough impossible. You know, he's only lost to one player this year. I'm gonna have to play the best match of my life to have a chance of winning.

Q. Does it ever come into the back of a player's mind when they're on a good run but feeling tired, with the US Open coming up they need a good rest, if you were to lose, it doesn't mean that much?
ANDY MURRAY: I think players, guys that want to play well at the Grand Slams will say that the most important thing is to peak for them. And if you're feeling tired, then, you know, maybe not play if you're feeling like that so you can get a good week of practice in the week before. I definitely considered not playing here but, you know, I felt like this was a, you know, Masters Series, it's an important tournament for me, and I felt like it was best to give it a go.
But, you know, the week before the U.S. is definitely very important and that's why I've chosen to take the week off instead of playing in New Haven.

Q. What have you been putting your hands in?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I was told that pickle juice is the best thing for it. It's actually cleared up quite a lot, you know. The skin's still -- you can see. The new skin's starting to grow in and it's white. It's still pretty weak, but the blister is actually gone and it's not painful. I just need to be careful that it doesn't happen again. I need to get rid of all the hard skin.

Q. What's the pickle juice? Gherkin juice?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, pickle juice. It's like -- we went into, uhm, I think it was a Jewish deli, and they basically had some pickle juice in the freezer there. Gave me some of it. I had to have my hand in it for five minutes, so it wasn't the nicest feeling, but it has definitely helped.

Q. Were you surprised at that, that you were led into a deli?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, yeah, a little bit. I wasn't expecting to have to put pickle juice -- I never heard of anyone putting pickle juice on them. It was either that or weeing on them was the other thing that I was told that you can do. Some of the, I think, baseball players do that, or that's what I was told, but I wasn't too keen on that.

Q. Is it in a jar?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I basically went in there with a water bottle and - is that what you call it, like a sports bottle with the lid on it? They filled it up. I just put it in the ice box that you have in the room and just held my hand in it.

Q. Is that here or in Toronto?
ANDY MURRAY: That was Toronto.

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