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January 20, 2007

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously a very satisfactory performance. Best of the week so far? Best of the tournament so far?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was good. I played really well. Found the rhythm on my serve. I served great the whole match. Hit a lot of winners today. I made a few too many errors in the first set on his service games.
Then once I started to find my range from the ground, started making him do a lot of running. I was always in control of the match after the first set.
I was really happy with the way I played. It was definitely kind of a much cleaner match. I felt like I was hitting the ball really well, that I could try some things out. You know, everything worked well.

Q. Do you think what happened against him a year ago made you step up a gear?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think so. You know, I wasn't thinking about the match last year. I wasn't thinking, you know, I want to get revenge on this guy. I was just thinking, you know, I want to get through to the fourth round of the Australian Open.
He's a really nice guy. It wasn't, you know, like it was a really bitter match last year and there was problems on the court. You know, I just wanted to go out there and play well. You know, it was tough 'cause, you know, I was in bed at this time, like 9:30 last night, and I was going on court around 9:00 tonight. It was quite tough when the days are that long.
I started the match pretty well. You know, it was good that I managed to get it over quickly.

Q. Now it's Nadal. Is that a match you wanted?
ANDY MURRAY: You know, I said that I'd like to play against him this year. I didn't expect it to come so soon. Obviously I'm looking forward to it. He's a very good player, someone that I respect a lot. Plays very well on these courts. It's going to be a good test for me to see how I do against him. If I play like I did tonight, it's going to be a close match.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about it?
ANDY MURRAY: To challenge, you know, one of the best players in the world on, you know, a big stage and see how my game matches up against him. You know, I've had the chance to play Federer, Roddick, Davydenko, Ljubicic, Robredo. I've played all those guys.
Nadal is the only one I haven't. He's someone that I have a lot of respect for. He has a good game, fights a lot. You know, I just want to see, you know, what sort of problems I can cause him, find game plans for the future when I play against him as well.

Q. Did you say on the courtside interview you didn't think you had much of a chance?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know (smiling). You know, if I play like I did tonight I'll have a good chance of keeping the match very close. You know, I feel like I have a game that can cause him some problems. It's easy to kind of have a game plan against him. Carrying out in a positive way is another thing. I feel like if I play the way I did tonight and a little bit better I have a good chance of keeping it close.
Never played on Rod Laver. Hopefully I'll react well to that sort of crowd and environment. It's going to be a good match.

Q. How did you fill that time? You said you were in bed last night at 9:30. Not knowing when you were going to play, it's not easy to get ready for the moment you're going to go on. How did you deal with the time you had on your hands?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I kind of felt like I was always going to play tonight. Here they tend to, if they play the match that's in your section, they try to play the other one.
Obviously Nadal was going to play because he was on Rod Laver. They only had four matches scheduled on Vodafone. I felt there was a good chance I was going to play regardless.
But, you know, I got here at kind of 4:00, you know, practiced, had some food, just chilled out in the morning, watched some of the tennis that was on. That was pretty much it.

Q. Two of your three matches have been played with the roof shut. I think all three of Nadal's have. Does it feel different playing with the roof shut or open?
ANDY MURRAY: As I said after my first match, it doesn't make that much difference to kind of how the court plays. The difficult thing is that obviously I'd been practicing all the time outside.
I'd come in, I mean, it might sound strange, but unless you play tennis, you can't really understand, when you throw the ball up to serve, the clouds and the sun, the blue sky's not there, there's kind of floodlights and stuff.
It's much different to serving during the day. I struggled to find the rhythm on my serve, because the first day I went and played indoors and then I played outside. Obviously then, you know, back to indoors tonight. But I practiced indoors here before my match. That's the one thing that's difficult, but it doesn't really change the way the court plays.

Q. Is there any reason why the serve was so much more effective tonight?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I said it takes time to get into a rhythm. I served well in all my matches in Doha. I had a high percentage in all of my matches there. You know, it takes time.
I feel like I have a very good serve. It's one of the best parts of my game when it's on. It definitely was tonight. It's something that I'm going to try and focus on a lot against Nadal.
But there's not one thing in particular. It's just it does take time to get used to new surroundings. Obviously playing indoors, outdoors, indoors, it makes it quite tough.

Q. Have you had a hit against Nadal at any point on the road?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I practiced with him in Indian Wells last year. Apart from that, I haven't practiced with him really. I played a lot of different tournaments than him last year.
I've obviously had a feel for how his ball is. Everybody knows how he plays. I'm just looking forward to seeing how my game matches up against his.

Q. Is it substantially a heavier ball than the other guys'?
ANDY MURRAY: It probably bounces higher. But, you know, guys like González, Tursunov, those sort of guys can really give the ball a whack. Probably comes through the court quicker. But Nadal's obviously bounces a bit higher. He's lefty, as well, which makes it tricky.
I wouldn't say it's unbelievably different.

Q. Do you recall the first time you met him?
ANDY MURRAY: I think the first time I saw him was maybe when I was 13. I think it was in France. It was like at a European team championship. I just remember watching him playing. He had kind of like a bowl cut. He was bouncing around, like he used to pick his shorts like he still does.
He played actually kind of similar to how he does now. He was saying 'vamos' after every point. It's nice to see he hasn't really changed that much.
But, yeah, it was definitely a long time ago.

Q. Quite an army built up. Every time seems to be more and more flags. Are you aware of this momentum that's gathering among the fans?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I said after my first match obviously that there wasn't a huge amount of people there, but there was still a good atmosphere even though it was kind of on late at night. It was a pretty comfortable match.
Then obviously against Verdasco, I was playing during the day. I hadn't had great support when I came onto the court. There were a lot of cheers.
Afterwards, you know, stay behind and sign autographs. There were all the Scottish flags there. I had really good support. I don't necessarily think about it that much. When you're on the court, you try and focus on what you're doing. It just makes you feel a bit more comfortable when you walk out there that the crowd's for you.

Q. Brad told us after the match he watched all of Nadal's game today. He wasn't prepared to tell us his view, but he did have a strategy, as you would expect, that he's going to work with you on. How long to those strategy meetings last as a rule?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, me and Brad, like we watch a lot of tennis together. We'll just talk. If we're at lunch or something, you know, run out of things to say, which isn't too often (smiling), we'll talk about, you know, players a lot. If we're watching matches or are around the tournaments, we tend to watch a lot of tennis together.
Obviously watched a little bit of Nadal's match today. He'll say things to me then. Tomorrow we'll probably speak about it for sort of five, ten minutes. But we've spoken about his game a lot before and watched a lot of his matches. I kind of know in my mind what I'm going to be aiming for tomorrow. But Brad might just give me a few more pointers before I go out there.

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