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January 16, 2007

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Slightly different feeling from this time last year.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was -- you know, it was good today. I played really solid. Obviously I was supposed to play on the other court and then got changed to the same court that I lost pretty badly on last year, so I wanted to go out there and kind of change that memory a little bit.
Felt like it did that really well. I played solid the whole way through the match. I could have served a bit better. Apart from that, everything was perfect.

Q. In terms of the conditions on that court, do you think the way it worked with the weather it worked in your favor in the end?
ANDY MURRAY: It was cool to play outside. I wasn't too bothered. You know, obviously the conditions were warm today. But, you know, I felt like in that sort of match, I'd be the player dictating most of the points, so therefore I wouldn't be getting as tired.
I was fine playing outside. I thought they were going to open the roof for my match anyway. Was a little bit surprised when I went on court and the roof was on. Yeah, I was fine either way.

Q. 15-Love in that sixth game of the third set, when you smacked your racquet, was that an annoyance that you probably wanted to win Love-Love-Love?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it wasn't that. No, it wasn't so much that. It's just that you have the -- the big test out there tonight was concentration. I felt like I concentrated really well until that game.
You know, obviously I didn't want to lose a game if I didn't have to. But it was more the concentration. You probably get one chance in your lifetime to win a match 6-Love, 6-Love, 6-Love. Probably hasn't happened in the last 10 years. I can't remember it happening. You know, that's how difficult it is to do.
So it was just the concentration factor. You know, I missed a couple shots I hadn't been missing. It wasn't so much that I wanted to win Love-Love-Love. I wanted to maintain my concentration, and I let it slip a little bit.

Q. Looked pretty impressive. Where do you think your game is? Can you judge from that yourself?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I felt I played well. You know, I could have served better. But I felt when my first serve did go in, you know, I was winning probably 90% of the points.
Obviously I'll play against tougher and tougher opponents, you know, my next matches. It's going to be really difficult. Mathieu has had some really good wins. He gave Nadal a lot of trouble at the French Open last year, and Verdasco has won against guys like Roddick, and you know, is a tough guy to play against.
So, you know, I know it's going to be difficult, my next match, but I feel like if I play like I did today and a little bit better, then I've got a good chance of winning.

Q. A little fellow in the crowd was giving you support. How aware were you? How much help was it?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, you try not to think about it too much. It was nice because the crowd wasn't that full, but there was still a good atmosphere. Even though it was still very comfortable, you know, still making noise and stuff which almost makes it easier to concentrate when it's like that.
I wasn't that aware of it. I was just trying to focus on my tennis. But, you know, I knew there was a lot of noise. It was good.

Q. Could you tell us a little bit about the training you've been doing in the winter period, what difference it has made to your attitude and game.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I worked hard. I don't need to go into detail. I got a new fitness trainer. I worked on pretty much everything, just getting stronger physically. You know, some weights, some running, some core work. I just feel like it's made me just stronger in general.
I go on court against, you know, the guys that are bigger than me, you know, guys that were overpowering me last year, and I feel like I can stay with them and hit the ball harder than a lot of the guys. I feel faster this year than I did last year.
You know, all the hard work is definitely paying off right now. I didn't get the chance maybe to show it today, but the conditions here are really tricky. You know, if I have to go deep into matches, I'm hoping that my fitness will hold up.

Q. You clearly feel comfortable. How does it feel coming back here second year running? Does it just feel that much better?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, more experience. You know, last year I never had been to Australia before, never mind the Australian Open. I didn't know exactly how the courts played. The crowd here is quite noisy. The Vodafone court is a strange atmosphere 'cause, you know, there's nobody on the corners of the court. It's just a slightly different feel.
Obviously this year I have so much more experience. As I said, I learned how to deal with everything better. I think, you know, what, this is my sixth Grand Slam now. You know, I feel like -- or seventh Grand Slam.
I feel like, you know, I know how to deal with the pressures much better than I did this time last year. You know, I think everybody, you look at all the juniors who play, young guys to played poorly last year, you know, Gasquet, Djokovic, Monfils, all of them won pretty comfortably yesterday.
So I think all of us are maturing. Last year was obviously difficult, but I feel like I'm playing much better this year.

Q. Did you see any of Alan Mackin's match? You must have some sympathy for him having to play in that heat, especially against a South American.
ANDY MURRAY: No, no sympathy. I think you got to deal with the conditions. It's not an excuse. It's the same for both players. You know, I didn't get the chance to see it because obviously I wanted to stay at my hotel. Obviously it wasn't on the TV, but I was watching on the live scoring on the Internet. Looked like he was kind of in there in the first two sets, maybe didn't take his chances.
But it was definitely a good experience for him, you know, one that he'll learn from. Hopefully he'll get a lot of confidence from qualifying for a Grand Slam for the first time, you know, and hopefully it will pick his ranking up.

Q. Any sympathy for a guy who is on the other end of 6-Love, 6-Love, 6-Love?
ANDY MURRAY: 6-1 (smiling).
I mean, when you're on the court, you know, definitely not. But when you come off the court, obviously you're happy that you won. I mean, I can imagine that it's pretty tough to take, losing like that.
While you're on the court, you just have to try and concentrate on your game and not kind of let that affect you. Obviously I'm happy I won 6-Love, 6-Love, 6-1. It's not the nicest feeling after a match is finished to kind of have won like that, winning 17 games in a row.

Q. What can you say to him at the net when you shake hands afterwards?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I don't normally go into too much detail when I finish matches or speak to guys too much. I just said, Bad luck. That was pretty much it. There's not too much you can say. I didn't really say too much to him.

Q. When you've spent most of the day preparing to play outdoors, even though it was going to be at 7:30, it still likely to be pretty hot. Is there a little extra tension when you suddenly find yourself playing indoors, cooler, conditions aren't what you possibly have been preparing for?
ANDY MURRAY: You just have to deal with it. I mean, it's the same for both of you. You know, I play pretty well indoors. Although it doesn't really feel like a normal indoor tournament or an indoor match because it's such a big stadium. You know, the roof's so high it doesn't feel like it.
Normally indoors the ball flies a little bit more. It still kind of feels like you're playing outdoors, just obviously without the wind and the sun in your eyes. It didn't feel to me like it changed conditions that much. Although it was obviously colder in there, it still feels like you're playing outdoors.

Q. Of all the courts you played in the world now, which would you say was your favorite court?
ANDY MURRAY: Centre Court at Wimbledon probably. It's just a different atmosphere to any of the other ones. I haven't played on Arthur Ashe yet at US Open, which I'd love to do. I'd love to play a night match there. So far, Centre Court Wimbledon's definitely the best one.

Q. Was Vodafone here, after what happened last year, was that one of your least favorites?
ANDY MURRAY: No. It wasn't one of my least favorites. I mean, you know, probably Court 19 at Washington or something I'm sure is worse than playing in front of kind of 8,000 people (smiling).
You know, obviously I didn't have the best memories because of the way that I played, the way I dealt with everything. But obviously now I quite liked it tonight. I don't have a problem with it.

Q. Federer said before the tournament started that you and Djokovic could be two guys who could emerge as potential winners of a Grand Slam this season. Do you think you have the game all set for that, be one of the contenders?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I'm not going to say I'm going to be one of the contenders. I've never been past the fourth round of a Grand Slam before. You know, this year I'd like to do better than I did, you know, at all the Grand Slams.
Obviously I'm happy I got past the first round here, because obviously last year here I played pretty badly. I'm happy I won my first round. I'd love to do better at Wimbledon, the US Open, and obviously French Open, too.
In terms of winning a Grand Slam, it's a huge jump between fourth round and winning it. I'd like to keep improving. I hope in two, three years' time is when I'll be consistently kind of being a contender for Grand Slams.

Q. Seeing our sports reputation has taken a bit of a kicking down here as of late, do you follow cricket at all?
ANDY MURRAY: I kind of know what's going on. I know what's going on in most sports. I like the 20-20 games, but I don't really like watching a test match. It's not the most fun thing to watch, I don't think (smiling).

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