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October 19, 2006

Andy Murray


Q. I suppose you look back perhaps at those three break points in the first game of the second set as a chance really to establish a great deal of command there, wasn't it.
ANDY MURRAY: Sure it would be nice to get the early break. I was controlling the match. I was controlling all of the way the points were going. I was using my slice. I was mixing the pace up. I was returning his serve. He was getting frustrated.
I obviously managed to get the break at 4-3. I played a pretty bad game to get broken. It's obviously disappointing that I didn't close the match out because I was pretty much on top of him there. I honestly would have liked to have won. I served really, really badly today. When you give -- I think -- he's a very good player, obviously. But regardless of who you're playing, if you're in these sort of tournaments, if you're putting in -- I won't be surprised if I served under 30 percent of first serves today.
You're going to get tired, and you're going to have long points on your serve, and it takes a lot out of you to keep pushing up on those serves. It wasn't like he won the match. I feel like I gave it to him.

Q. How much did you feel though that he upped his game? He did improve a lot, didn't he, after that first set.
ANDY MURRAY: He obviously played a little bit better, but I think if you look at the stats, probably my game went down quite a lot. He was getting frustrated in the first set because I was changing the pace. I was keeping a good length. I was coming to the net at the right times and using a few drop shots and stuff. I changed it up really well. I just didn't keep it going.
I feel like I was playing really well up until the set at 4-3, and then my level dropped quite a lot and I never quite got it back.

Q. What about those first few games in the third set? What were you feeling then? Did you think you had a good chance of winning it?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I felt like if I kept playing like I was in the first set and the start of the second, obviously my game was matching up pretty well against his. As I said, he has a good first serve, a very good first serve. He can hit big shots from the ground. I gave him so many chances on my serve by missing a lot of first serves which is obviously disappointing because I feel like I've been serving pretty well up until this match. Obviously it let me down a little bit today.
I probably could have done with get being off to a better start in the third set. I had one little chance of getting back at a 30-30 game in the third set, but I just couldn't take it.

Q. Was it quite difficult to play one of your friends? Does it change the inflection of the match at all?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really. I'm probably going to play him a lot of times in the next 10 years. I'm going to have to get used to it. I've done it before. I get on with a lot of guys on the tour pretty well. I've obviously played Tim a lot of times and have dealt with those situations pretty well. It doesn't really change it too much.

Q. Andy, the drop off in your service level, is that something it's possible to analyze? Or is it just something that's difficult to work out? It might have been tiredness or concentration or both?
ANDY MURRAY: I served well in the first two matches. Although against Ljubicic the second percentage wasn't as good. But I looked at the stats last night, the first serve ones, when the first serve went in and I only lost five points in the match when my first serve went in.
I'd much rather have 45 percent of first serves and win 90 percent of the points than serve 75 percent and win 65 percent of the points.
I've got good technique on my serve. Maybe I need to get a little stronger. It's not something that I see as a big issue. It's just a consistency thing, like the rest of my game. I feel like the shots are there, the game is there. I think I've shown that by the players I've beaten this year. Just the consistency needs to get a little better, and that's something that I'm wanting to improve for next year.

Q. Do you think, Andy, that on reflection from this tournament you'll take more pluses than minuses from it, particularly bearing in mind the win over Ljubicic?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. It's obviously a pretty decent tournament for me. I would have liked to have gone further. But when you don't play your best in these tournaments and you don't maintain a high level throughout your matches, then you're not going to go that far. But yeah, I beat one of the best players -- well, he's the third best player in the world. He's proved that over the last couple of years, a very good indoor player. So that was good.
I think the combination of mental fatigue and also my serve not helping out too much was the reason why I lost today.

Q. You know now you've experienced so much. These are long, hard slogs these years, aren't they? Are you looking forward to just chilling out a little bit now? I know you've got a couple of tournaments left, but just getting out and having a little rest and getting yourself prepared for the new year, starting with a clean slate?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I'm not going to stray from what I'm going to do in the next couple of tournaments. My body feels okay. Mentally I'm just -- I'm struggling a little. I feel like I'm playing good tennis. My body has held up really well this year, but mentally maybe I'm struggling a little bit.
It's been a pretty long year. It's maybe my 26th tournament this week. I'm not used to playing at this high level for so long. It's not an excuse, but it's just something that happens. It's something you get used to. I'm really looking forward to next year. I'll just have to wait and see what I decide to do the next couple of weeks because I don't want to punish myself mentally if I don't need to. I'm not sure what there is to gain from the next couple of tournaments. I'm not going to qualify for Shanghai. Basel is a really strong tournament, and if I'm not in the right frame of mind mentally, then I'm probably not going to do well there.

Q. What would you say at this stage has been your most momentous achievement this year? Would you look at matches or just your general improvement from start to finish?
ANDY MURRAY: I think I'll probably look at particular matches because of the consistency this year. It's kind of been of I'll have good month/bad month, good month/bad month, and apart from after Wimbleton time is where I kind of had the two-month stretch where I played really well.
So I'm probably going to look at matches in particular. Like Hewitt and Roddick in San Jose. And it wasn't until mal fees inn and Hamburg was a good win. And obviously winning against I think maybe five guys who are either No. 1 or have been No. 1, it kind of shows me inside what can I do.
I just need to get myself stronger for next year. Mentally I'm going to be better prepared. My experience is going to be much higher. I'm going to know how to schedule my tournaments better and when and how to peak for the important ones, which maybe I didn't know how to do this year.
You probably won't see me playing a tournament before any Grand Slams or Masters Series next year because I think the most important thing is to peak for them. If you look at your Federers and Nadals, they're not doing that too often.

Q. Did Beckham have any advice for you tonight?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I spotted him before. He is one of the biggest sporting icons ever, probably. He's the sort of guy that is so polite, so humble, and has so much success and so much criticism. And to kind of be like he is, is a credit to him and everything that he's gone through.
Although he does get a lot of criticism, he was very, very polite to me. He didn't need to just come in and say hello because of who he is. But that was obviously nice to meet him. He's someone that I kind of look to, to see how he's dealt with everything because I'm probably not going to get 1/10th of the criticism or the media attention that he's had. But he's dealt with everything so well.

End of FastScripts...

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