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August 7, 2007

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.

Q. Now that you've had a match and a win, do you feel more confident about the future?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, I mean, I was just looking forward to getting back on the court, you know. It was 12 weeks today since I did it. I mean, the start was going kind of slow, and then the weeks just seemed to go by. It didn't feel like it was getting that much better.
You know, obviously I was able to go out there. I thought I played pretty well considering the circumstances. Yeah, I'm looking forward to my next match. Hopefully can get a bit more confident.

Q. Did you feel tentative at the start? You seemed to grow in self-belief.
ANDY MURRAY: I started pretty well. I got the break early, you know, from there played better. Didn't feel anxious at all, you know, when I was going on to the court. I just felt like there wasn't really any pressure. I wasn't putting any pressure on myself 'cause, you know, I knew, you know, it was going to be a tough match. I hadn't played for a while.
I just wanted to go and practice the things that I had been on the practice court. I thought I did that well. I came into the net a lot, served well. You know, I was just happy with the way that I played.

Q. Were you surprised to win that? You didn't hit too many big forehands. Were you surprised to win, given that?
ANDY MURRAY: No, because before Wimbledon I was practicing playing just hitting slice forehands and I was playing great. Serve-volleying, you know, I could hit every other shot fine.
I guess for your opponent, it's quite hard, as well. I mean, a lot of guys on the tour, you know, will play 90% of their shots just as a slice backhand. But, you know, I was sort of today using my backhand as a strength and kind of blocking a lot of forehands. You just have to try and find a way around it. I gain confidence in every match that I play, I can keep hitting the ball harder.

Q. Is it something that's going to hurt for a few matches or ease as it goes along?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I've been told to expect some pain. You know, but it shouldn't -- it shouldn't be so bad that, you know, I have to stop matches. I'll be interested to see what it feels like, you know, tomorrow morning. It's the first time I played two sets in a row. In practice I'd only been playing sets.
Yeah, maybe it will feel better because, you know, I was kind of doing quite -- well, hitting more forehands than I had been. Maybe it will feel a bit stiff because I hadn't done that in a while. I'll just see what happens in the morning.

Q. How does it work? The doctors say it will actually strengthen the more you actually do it in a slow progression?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it's not so much the strength 'cause, you know, obviously I had done a lot of exercises to strengthen it up. It's just, you know, you know what it's like, you know, if you have a pain in your ankle or whatever, you'll limp, but it's not really that sore that you have to, it's just one of those things where you feel a bit of pain, subconsciously you don't want to go out and swing as hard as you can.
But I've been told by the doctors and the physios I'm not going to reinjure it by swinging harder. It's just, you know, when I feel the time is right, when I need to, I'll do that.

Q. What was it about this tournament that made you decide to play whereas last week you decided against it at a late stage?
ANDY MURRAY: Just kind of in practice, the day before I was going to leave, I practiced with Stepanek, you know, I just didn't feel like I was moving right. When I was getting to my forehand, I was kind of light on it. I just didn't feel that comfortable. I had a little niggle with my knee, as well.
I just felt like it was not worth having waited, you know, 11 weeks, and then just going and hurting myself or going out and just playing a match for the sake of it. So I just wanted to give myself, you know, a few days off and get ready for this week because, you know, obviously this one is guaranteed to count for my ranking. I needed to play here.

Q. Did you consider pulling out of this one, as well?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, no, not really. You know, I'd spoken about, you know, this tournament with Brad. Both agreed I should go and give it a shot, see what happens. You know, if I can come through a couple of matches, that's great. If I'd lost in the first round, that wouldn't have been so good, but I would have had a better understanding of where I'm at.
So it was probably about time that I kind of went out into a tournament and just saw where my level was and how my wrist was and the rest of my body. You know, obviously for me the priority is to get like fully ready for the US Open.

Q. You grimaced in the first game of the second set after you hit a forehand. Was that some sort of pain?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, you get -- like I said earlier, you know, the doctors and the physios have all told me I'm going to have pain in my wrist. But, you know, it shouldn't reinjure it or shouldn't make it much worse.
It's just, you know, a process that you have to go through when you're coming back from an injury like I had. Yeah, I feel it sometimes when I, you know, don't make perfect contact with the ball, if I hit it a bit late or off the frame. But, yeah, I definitely still feel it sometimes.

Q. How much does that worry you?
ANDY MURRAY: It doesn't because the physio and the doctor said I'm not going to reinjure it. It's just, you know, one of those things that you have to deal with when you're playing. You know, each match I'm sure the pain will get less and less. The more confidence I get on it, it should be fine in a few weeks.

Q. How much did you miss being away? Must have been anxious to get back.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, obviously, you know, I'd rather be on the court than not. You know, I hadn't really had a break for a long time where, you know, I got to do other things.
Yeah, obviously it's hard for me to miss the French and Wimbledon. But at the same time, you know, you have to try and look at the positives. You know, I got to get much stronger in my upper body and did a lot of, you know, core exercises and weight training. You know, I got to spend much more time with my friends and family than, you know, I would have done if I was traveling. That was the good things that came out of it.
So, yeah, I was obviously looking forward to getting back on the court. But, you know, I knew it was an important injury and I just had to be patient with it.

Q. Do you have a feeling of happiness? Are you happy to be back in your job, back among all the tennis players?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, of course. You know, I'm not saying that I was really feeling bad about coming back on the court. I'd been, you know, more than anything, you know, just looking forward to playing matches instead of, you know, training every single day because that's the hard thing, and I'd been doing that for, you know, pretty much 10 weeks.
I was looking forward to playing matches. Yeah, I got to see a lot of the guys that I get on with that I hadn't seen for a while. That was what I was looking forward to.

Q. You talked about improving your ranking. Since like the top two spots are practically untouchable right now, how do you feel as a player?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't feel like they're untouchable. I feel, you know, there's a lot of young guys that are building their games for the future. Give it a couple of years when we're physically, you know, mature and mentally going to be stronger and have more experience, then I think that we should be pushing for the top spots.
You know, you've got Federer and Nadal, who Federer might be possibly the greatest player ever, and Nadal who, you know, could even surpass what Federer has done in eight, ten years. It's not like they're two chumps. They're two unbelievable players.
There's a lot of young guys that aren't physically ready to compete with them week in, week out. But, you know, give it a few years, I think we could be doing that.

Q. Both of them have mentioned you and Djokovic as guys who could make a run at them. You have a bit of a history together. Do you see it the same way?

Q. Djokovic.
ANDY MURRAY: Do we have a history together? You said we have a history together.
Yeah, I've known him since we were like 13, 14. Played quite a lot of times in the juniors. Yeah, I've known him for a long time. He's obviously playing great just now. He's been on a really good run this year, being so consistent in all of the tournaments.
He's done exceptionally well, and obviously he's getting closer to Nadal and Federer.

Q. Do you have any regrets about Wimbledon, trying to get the wrist ready to play there? Do you think you might have gotten back sooner if you hadn't pushed it?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think so because I wasn't -- you know, I was able to hit every single shot fine except my forehand. So in practice, I was practicing just playing chip-charge, slicing my forehand. You know, little bit like I did today, but obviously a bit more extreme.
I just had to decide, because I was playing great in practice, winning a lot of practice sets against the guys I was playing against, so I just had to decide whether it was worth, you know, going out and playing. I'm sure if I went and played on Centre Court, I'd want to try and hit a topspin forehand and maybe could have set myself back a few weeks.
But, no, I don't regret it at all. It gave me something to aim towards, whereas if I said, Okay, it's going to be 12 weeks, maybe I would have got a bit down on myself. But it kept me on the court working hard and gave me something to aim for.

Q. Are you going to take it day-to-day or do you already have yourself a goal set?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, I just want to play some matches and get ready for the US Open. It's been a long time, the longest I've been out on the tour for. I just want to get my match fitness back, hope my wrist gets better every single day.
No, I don't have any expectations. Just, you know, looking forward to playing again, not putting any pressure on myself.

Q. Looked like a most innocuous shot that caused the injury. Do you know how and why it came about?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, the one thing that I could think of was, you know, the day before my match, a couple of days before, I practiced when it was raining. Obviously in Hamburg, the courts are heavy, the balls are heavy. I practiced for like an hour when it was still raining. The balls got really big. Obviously, you know, doing that movement with so much -- you know, the weight of the ball felt like it was so much. Maybe that could have given it or made it really tired.
When I was playing the match, I was hitting the ball great. I don't really know exactly why it came in the match. It was just one shot. It wasn't like I'd been feeling it for, you know, a week or two in advance. It just kind of came. But that was maybe the only reason that I could think of.

Q. You've been working with Brad Gilbert for a year and a half now. How would you describe your relationship with him? And did he convert you to American football?
ANDY MURRAY: No, he took me to one American football game. It was the Raiders' opening game last year, straight after the US Open. It was a bad, bad experience. Their fans were nuts. The team lost. They were 27-0 down, and they hadn't been inside the other team's 20 yard line the whole game. I felt like, you know, every two seconds you're like this (standing up), then down, up and down. Every play you get up, it takes like five seconds. I wasn't too impressed with the Raiders.
But, yeah, I do -- he took me to a couple of basketball games. I've enjoyed them.

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