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August 18, 2006

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.

Q. Was that just one match too many?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I wasn't going into the match expecting to win tonight. I considered pulling out when I woke up this morning and about a half an hour before I went on, but I felt like I had one hour where I could compete with him.
I had a few chances at the start of the first set. You know, if I was able to serve a little bit better and put, you know, a bit more pressure on him by winning my service games more comfortably, then it could have been a tighter match.
But, you know, was maybe just a little bit too tired today.

Q. Must be frustrating when you know that you can beat somebody like that but you physically can't quite do it?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, but at the same time, I mean, it's not a bad thing for me to have lost tonight because, you know, if I'd gone all the way to the final and then, you know, I'd want to take two, three days off anyway and then, you know, I might not be able to prepare as well for the US Open as I want. But now I've got ten days, and I'll take two, three days off and train hard for four or five days, and then I can taper down before the tournament starts. It's not such a bad thing that I lost tonight.

Q. How did you actually feel when you woke up? What parts of the body were protesting?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't -- I just -- nothing felt tight or sore. Just, you know, when I was walking up stairs or when I went on the practice court, I just didn't have any spring, you know. I couldn't move to balls that I normally can. I couldn't, you know, bend down to balls. You know, that's one of the best parts of my game, is my defense and my passing shots. You know, I couldn't obviously do it as well as I normally do.

Q. Do you take some satisfaction from the fact that although your movement was pretty limited by your standards, you still had lots of different ways in which you were able to win points?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I mean, I was probably about 50% tonight. You know, I had, you know, two chances in his first two service games. I got to deuce in a lot of his service games. You know, almost managed to come back at the end there even though, you know, I wasn't moving too well and wasn't hitting the ball that great off the ground.
So, you know, if that's me playing at about 50%, then I think when I'm playing much better than that and feeling physically better, then, you know, I'll win against him a lot of times.

Q. About 45 minutes into it you started looking really tired. Yesterday you talked about a marathon and once you get near the end, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. How did you continue even though knowing you had a long way to go?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I decided before the match that I was gonna play, and maybe wasn't the most mature decision from me, you know. I've not been in this position too many times, and, you know, better players know their bodies and how it reacts. It was just maybe better not to go on the court because maybe next time I play against Roddick he'll have a bit more confidence.
You know, it was always going to be a tough ask. I think even though I did get behind early, uhm, you know, I made the decision to play the match, and I wanted to finish it.

Q. What has this week done for you in terms of confidence and just knowing what you're capable of?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's done a lot. I think mentally it's been a big battle, and physically, as well, I think. I played 14 matches in 17 days. You know, you take any other sports people or soccer players, for example, they complain when they play two matches in a week, and I played 14 in 17 days in pretty humid conditions. So, you know, that's been good for me. I think I've showed that I can consistently play well, you know, back-to-back weeks.
You know, once I get that little bit stronger, you know, these last two days might have been a bit easier for me. You know, you never know in three, four months' time when I do start to get stronger, then I'll be able to go deep into all the tournaments I play.

Q. If you had to do it over again, would you play again or would you just pull out?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, I think, you know, now I know my body a little bit better than I did before the match because, you know, it's one thing going out there and, you know, it's another thing going out there to win the match. I almost felt like I was going out there just to try and compete and not, you know -- if you think you've only got one hour to play, you know, puts a little bit of pressure on you. You know, I did start to feel my legs starting to tighten up a little bit. You know, maybe I wouldn't play next time around.
But I'm hoping that I'm going to be feeling much stronger the next time I get into this position because I want to start working harder and getting in better shape. You know, I'm gonna be more used to it the next time it comes around because I've done it once already.

Q. Although you said that you went out there not thinking that you could win, the prospect of defeat seemed to be something that you really didn't like at all.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, you know, I don't particularly like losing. Uhm, you know, when you can't play to the best of your ability, it's not nice mentally. You know, he was getting pretty fired up and saying things across the court to me at the start of the match. You know, it's a little bit annoying to lose matches like that.
But, uhm, you know, obviously, I obviously wish that I could have won, but, uhm, you know, I was getting frustrated because it just wasn't quite possible.

Q. Looking back over these three weeks, would you have thought it was possible at the start of that time to have come as far as you have?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, well, I knew I could play good tennis against the best players, but I'd not done it consistently before. That was the one thing that I needed to achieve, and I've obviously done that. I've proved that I can go deep into tournaments three weeks in a row, and maybe I was struggling in the semifinals last week, and pretty much all of this week, but, uhm, you know, that was good for me. So, you know, I probably wasn't expecting to maybe do as well as I have done and, you know, beat a world No. 1, eight-time Grand Slam champion. Maybe wasn't expecting it to be as good as that.
But, you know, it's been a great learning experience for me.

Q. Have you planned or worked out what you've got to do between now and the US Open in detail, or not? Do you just have a general idea?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I'm gonna relax for a couple of days. I won't do anything for a couple of days. There's no need to do anything. I think I've done enough the last few weeks to earn a few days' rest. Then I'm gonna work really hard. I've got a fitness trainer coming to work with me in Bollettieri's for three, four days. Then I'm probably gonna go to US Open Thursday -- actually, Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, you know, and try and get used to the courts over there.
I'm really looking forward to it. It's a really exciting time for me. Now I'm in the top 20 for the first time, seeded at a Grand Slam, got a new coach who's, you know, definitely one of the best coaches in the world, good guy, we got on really well off the court, got a new fitness trainer, you know, who I'm gonna be working with. So I'm excited about that.
You know, I think if -- the one thing I have to look at is that, you know, a lot of my losses have come, uhm, you know, through me getting tired or physically struggling, and I want to, you know, get that part out of the way so that when I go on court there's no excuses physically, there's no problems physically, and I can just go out there and play against the best players in the world and be in good shape every time. I think when I do that, I'm gonna get into the top 10 very quickly.

Q. Who is the new trainer at Bollettieri's?
ANDY MURRAY: It's not a trainer from Bollettieri's, it's a guy that Brad uses - or Brad used - and knows very well from over in California. He's called Mark Gramble (ph). He works with some NBA players, and he works with big guys who he wants to take away body fat and put on muscle. You know, I definitely need a bit more muscle, but I could probably do with some more body fat, as well (smiling).

Q. Just to clear up, when you considered pulling out, was that due to fatigue or body cramps, just playing so many matches?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think fatigue. When you played that many matches, you know, it's almost not worth going on the court to push yourself for an hour and a half when you don't need to. You've got a tournament like the US Open coming up, and the preparation for that's the most important. It's my favorite tournament, one that I view as the biggest one in the year for me, you know, so my preparation has to be good for that. That was the reason why I was considering it, because my leg did start to hurt a little bit the end of the first set, and, you know, if I hurt it even more and I'd had to take four or five days off before, uhm, the US Open, then that wouldn't have been the best preparation for me.

End of FastScripts...

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