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September 3, 2006
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. Had to dig deep there, didn't you?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I knew it was gonna be a tough match. You know, he's really tough to play against. Doesn't give you too much rhythm.
You know, after the first set, I didn't have breakpoint until 4 3 in the fourth, and my return is normally the best part of my game, but I was hardly winning any points on his serve. You know, you can see how the momentum changed in the match, or he feels, you know. He's so confident until the end of the fourth set, you know. He misses a few balls that maybe he shouldn't, I play a couple of good points and break him, and then I win 6 I won seven games in a row.
You know, I knew it was gonna be tough before I started, but, you know, he fought until the end. It was obviously quite tough to concentrate because he was getting angry with the umpire. It was a quite a long delay after that point penalty. It was pretty tough.
Q. There was a point penalty at 15 30?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it was Love 15, I hit a backhand, I missed the return long. He hit the ball over the fence for the third time. He got a point penalty.
Q. It wasn't the racquet?
ANDY MURRAY: He got a warning for breaking his racquet.
Q. I see. The point penalty was hitting the ball over the fence.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, for the third time.
Q. You've had a great few weeks, a great year. Where would you rank this one today in your top five, top three?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of wins?
Q. The opponent you're playing against, coming back.
ANDY MURRAY: I think Federer, number one. Roddick at Wimbledon, two. I've had quite a few that have been, you know, good matches. Like I was 6 2, 5 Love up against Ferrero and stuff. You know, he's probably in my top 10 wins this year for sure. He had a really good summer. To win in five sets, come back from two sets to one down against him is a pretty good effort. Yeah, it was a pretty good win.
Q. You pumped your chest. Was that to Brad there?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah.
Q. What did it mean to you to win that match, you pointed to him. Describe what was going through your mind.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I've done it after all my matches. He's going through a difficult time right now, you know. I want to try my best to, you know, make him proud.
You know, today was, you know, one of the saddest days that I've had in tennis. I mean, before my match, or 20 minutes before I went on, you know, I saw Agassi play his last match. I was genuinely really upset before I went on to play. I find it quite difficult to concentrate because I didn't realize how much he meant to the whole of tennis and to me growing up until I saw him play his last point.
You know, he was obviously in a lot of pain with his back. It's a shame that he's finished, but he did it in a nice way. It's just unfortunate that he hurt his back.
Q. Were you in the locker room when he came back?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah.
Q. Were you one of those that applauded him?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think everyone who was in there did. I'm not gonna lie, but I think 50%, 60% of people in there were probably in tears as well and were holding it back. I know I was. It was really, really emotional. It was just you know, the speech that he gave at the end of his match, and, you know, it just shows how he was struggling to keep it together. But, you know, he made sure he got through the whole speech without stopping. You know, it was pretty special end to his career.
That I won today, in some ways it's a good thing and some ways it was a bad thing, him stopping. It's something, I'm happy that I was around when he stopped playing and got to see the best of him.
Q. Are you somehow inspired by it?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think so. I fought really hard today. Yeah, it's just hard to explain. I was upset before I went on court, but at the same time, you know, it's like you almost feel when you have the whole locker room, you know, applauding you when you finish playing tennis, then you know that you've achieved something great. I think there's very few people that, you know, would have had that done to them before.
You know, I'd love that to happen to me, but I'm not gonna say I'm ever gonna come close to doing what Andre did. He's someone that's inspired me. I'm sure all tennis players would love to have the respect that he has from all the players, you know, and the fans. Everybody loves him anywhere he went. He's huge.
So, you know, it did inspire me a little bit today.
Q. What did he say to you guys in the locker room? What was the gist of what he was saying?
ANDY MURRAY: He just said, you know, I think there was probably a two three minute applause. He stood up and said, Guys, there's no better he said, there's no better applause than applause from your peers. Thanks.
He sat down. He was obviously upset. I mean, who wouldn't be when, you know, finish playing your last match? Especially one you know you can't finish maybe how you would have liked. But the whole way he went about everything today was pretty special.
Q. You got to know him a little bit, haven't you, over the last couple weeks with Brad and everything?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I practiced with him a couple of times. I practiced with him once at Queen's. I practiced with him just before Wimbledon. I played with him in Washington, and I think one other time. But, I mean, I've spoken to him a little bit. Brad and him were obviously very good friends, probably nearly best of friends. They spent, you know, eight years on the tour together. So, you know, I wouldn't say I know him, but I feel comfortable saying hello to him now.
Q. Is there a bit of sadness about not having had a chance to have a crack at him?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I said, you know, he's the only player that, you know, the last few weeks, that I probably would have kind of accepted losing to. You know, I would have loved to have played him before he finished, you know, but, you know, unfortunately I wasn't you know, I didn't come you know, do well early enough to get the chance to. He was coming to the end of his career as I was just starting. So, you know, the timing wasn't too good.
But he is definitely someone I would have loved to play against before I stopped.
Q. Did you think about any moment today, when GonzĂˇlez beat you in the second and the third set, that things would be difficult for you, you might even lose the match?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, no, you don't think that you're gonna lose the match, but...
Q. You knew it would be tough.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think...
Q. It was.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, if you're two sets to one down, it's tougher than being three sets to love up, or two sets to one up. So, you know, it's not the best position to be in. But when you play against someone like him, he played didn't play so well in the first set, and then I don't have breakpoint until the end of the fourth set. He starts serving really well and hitting some huge socks and gets confident, it's difficult against him because he's such a he plays with confidence. When he starts missing some balls, missing some forehands, his game goes down. But when he starts making them, he does everything well.
So I knew it was gonna be tough, but I didn't at one point today think that I was going to lose. I wasn't that close to losing today really.
Q. You seem to be standing up really well physically. How do you feel?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I feel fine. Yeah, I mean, I've played a lot of five set matches now. I'm probably starting to get used to it a bit more than last year. A lot of players get cramps; it happens. Benjamin Becker got cramps in the end of the third set today after an hour and 45 minutes. Sometimes it's through nerves, sometimes it's through physical condition, but I won my last two five set matches from two sets to love down and two sets to one down. I'm starting to get used to it.
I know I need to get better physically, but my physical condition is really not a huge problem. It's something that needs to get better like most 19 year olds, but it's definitely not a huge problem. I think I've showed, with the amount of matches I've played this summer and winning two five set matches in Davis Cup from two sets to love down and here from two sets to one down, that it's not a huge problem.
Q. You seemed to have no compunction about hitting to his forehand. Were you thinking if you went back a couple times, he'd hit it out?
ANDY MURRAY: It depends what stage of the match you're at. I served quite a lot to his forehand today because I think a lot of times he expects guys to serve to his backhand. But when you do go to his forehand, you don't want to hit it flat. You need to play with a bit of slice. When it's flat, he takes a huge swing and he hits it so well.
When you put a bit of slice on it and change the speed, he maybe doesn't return as well off his forehand. But, you know, it wasn't my game plan to go into his forehand all the time, but when you have a forehand as good as his, a lot of guys will try to, you know, play into his backhand more, and he's gonna expect that.
You know, if he hits one of his short slices and you can just, you know, hit a roll backhand up the line, he's not going to be expecting as much and you can get him out of position. So, you know, it's not like I went in there trying to play a lot of balls to forehand, but I tried to hit it there when he wasn't expecting.
Q. Fourth round looks as though it's going to be Davydenko. Your thoughts on that really. Another tough one?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, he's one of the most consistent players on tour. He's done really well in all the Grand Slams the last couple of years. At Wimbledon, doesn't play very well on grass. But he's won a lot of matches. I think he's played the most matches on tour this year. He's someone I lost against earlier on this year in Miami or in Indian Wells, 6 3 in the third. I feel like I'm playing better now than I was then. I'm going to have to play well if I want to win.
But it's a pretty, pretty tough ask.
Q. Is your mum here?
ANDY MURRAY: No.
Q. Is she coming back?
ANDY MURRAY: No.
Q. Your game, do you prefer playing the likes of Gonzalez, or Davydenko who gets the ball back? Which do you go on court and prefer playing?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I wouldn't say Davydenko just gets the ball back. I mean, I think he's the best returner in the game. If you look at the stats, he's the best returner in the game. He's got some of the best ground strokes. His serve isn't that great. He moves well. Doesn't volley so well. But he's got, you know, some of the best ground strokes in the world. That's why he's ranked 5 in the world. You know, definitely one of the best players and one of the most consistent over the last, you know, few years.
I don't you have to get used to playing against all types of players, and it doesn't really bother me. I mean, you have to try and concentrate on your own game, and then, you know, match your game up best against his. You know, we both return pretty well. He's probably got right now more solid ground strokes than me. I think I probably serve better. You know, maybe he moves a little bit better than me. So you have to try and work out how to, you know, get to his weaknesses and, you know, really play to my strengths.
Q. Did you enjoy the way the crowd got into it on both sides today?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's good. I mean, that's why you want to play matches like this. In Grand Slams, it's good. He gets great support wherever he goes. You know, makes it more fun for everyone involved. You know, the crowd were great the whole match. You know, I quite enjoy playing matches like that. It doesn't happen too often that you get, you know, in America, you know I mean, the crowd was so loud for him. It doesn't happen too often when you're playing another country and the crowd is rooting for you that loud. Yeah, I definitely enjoy playing in that condition.
Q. You return a ball with less pace than it was delivered with. Is that something that's instinctive, or recognized early on that's been enhanced with coaching? Is that just in the bones?
ANDY MURRAY: I've always been pretty good at that. You know, I have always retrieved balls well. Now I'm starting to work more on hitting more winners when I was inside the court. But, you know, I have quite good feel with my hands, so when I'm out of position I can use the slice and sometimes play it a little bit slower and come underneath the ball more. I can slice my forehand, play with a little bit more spin.
It's just I don't think it's something that's taught, I think it kind of comes naturally. You know how to get yourself out of difficult situations.
Q. You mentioned earlier Brad. Have you enjoyed being in New York with him? Obviously, he knows the place well. Has he taken you out to restaurants?
ANDY MURRAY: My credit card's struggling right now. I mean, he's been I said to him, I spent more money the last three weeks in restaurants than I have the last three years (smiling). Yeah, it's a little bit ridiculous. But he enjoys his food, it keeps him happy.
Q. Is that like Sharapova and Agassi and Roddick were all eating in a restaurant last night?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, night before. That was pretty cool.
Q. What do you think when a guy's hitting balls out of the stadium left and right like he was doing? Does it bother you after a while?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it doesn't bother you as long as the right action's taken. I mean, he broke two racquets in the match and hit three balls out of the court. You know, I don't know how you he probably should have got a warning. Maybe the point penalty was a little bit harsh. But the third time you hit a ball out, it wasn't like he did it by mistake; it was quite obvious.
But it doesn't bother you because, you know, you know that you're getting under their skin a little bit.
Q. Are you laughing inside when that happens? What's going on?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I don't really know what's happening. I mean, you just have to try and stay focused. He's the one that's probably thinking, you know, the wrong things at that time. You're the one who has to try and stay focused and concentrate on the next point.
Q. What was he disputing, the penalty? Is that what he was going on about?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think he was disputing the point penalty. I think he was trying to say he hit the ball out of the stadium and it wasn't like he held the ball and just whacked it out. It was like he, you know, had just hit the ball and just missed it. I think maybe he was trying to say it wasn't deliberate. I'm not really sure.
Q. You're saying he shouldn't have had the point penalty?
ANDY MURRAY: I couldn't hear what he was saying.
Q. The umpire got the score wrong, as well, didn't he?
ANDY MURRAY: He called Love 30, but he knew that the score was 15 30. I'm not sure what the rule is if you announce the point penalty and you have to say Love 30, or if you, you know, announce the score and say Love 30 and then you give him the point. Or if it's 15 All, warning, point penalty, 15 30. I don't know.
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