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January 14, 2008

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you make of it all?
ANDY MURRAY: Didn't start off great. He dictated a lot of points early in the match, and then I managed to get myself back into it.
I think he got a little bit nervous serving for the first set. Then I played a really bad game to drop my serve at 5-All. Got a little bit unlucky with the first point off the tape, then didn't start the second set well. Got behind straightaway.
But, again, had some chances to get back into it. Hit a couple of silly shots.
Then obviously in the third, felt like I started to play much better, started to have a lot of the chances. Obviously won that set easily. I don't know if he was getting tired or not.
And then at 6-Love, 1-Love, breakpoint for me, hit a good passing shot, hits a reflex volley onto the tape and over.
It was a pretty big point in the match. I think if I'd managed to break him there, I could have, you know, gone ahead. That would have been eight games in a row, and I was feeling good on my serve. So that was a pretty big point.
But, you know, I had a lot of chances in the fourth set. I think I played the better tennis in the fourth set and should have won it. But I made a few mistakes there I shouldn't have made. Found it quite difficult at the end.
I don't know if he was -- seemed like he was cramping at 5-4. And then he came out and hit a 210 serve, ran six, seven balls down, was hitting jump smashes and chasing every dropshot down. I don't know how bad his cramp was or whatever was wrong with him.
You know, I definitely felt like I deserved to win the fourth set and felt physically I was probably in better shape than him going into the fifth.

Q. Normally you make very good decisions on court all the time. Today you seemed to not make the right decisions all the time. Was there any reason for that?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think at the start of the match, he put a lot of pressure on me, rushed me quite a lot. Came in and was running around, hitting his forehand really well to my backhand, coming to the net, put a lot of pressure on me.
Then I started, because he was dictating all the points, I was trying to, you know, dictate some of the points myself. Made some mistakes that way.
But I don't -- you know, a couple of silly shots here and there. You know, there was the dropshot I hit early in the second set when I had breakpoint that I should not have hit.
But, I mean, I thought I started to pick my game up after the first two sets. But I don't think it was just down to decision making. I think, you know, I got myself back into the match. You know, it's just a few points here or there. You know, he got a couple of net cords, which didn't happen. I don't think it was only down to decision making why I lost.

Q. In the first set he won 20 of 37 points at the net. You won 6 of 14. Did you allow him to take the initiative in terms of aggression? Did you stay back too much?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, at the start of most matches, I like to try to get into a bit of a rhythm. You know, the return's normally the best part of my game, and I didn't return that well in the first set. I was leaving a lot of them short.
You know, his game is to run around, hit forehands, rush the net. He did that really well. I didn't pass well at all, you know, really the whole match. I didn't really hit any winning passing shots and I wasn't getting much angle on them. I was pretty much hitting them straight up the middle to him.
But, yeah, I mean, I started to play better at the net towards the end of the second set and the third set. But the start of the match, he definitely was dictating most of the points.

Q. One of quite a long line of players that won Qatar, then crashed out here early. Are you satisfied that coming down here sort of six, seven days before is early enough?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I think -- did Federer not win Qatar a couple years ago and then win here? I don't know. Then before that, did he not win and then make the final?
I mean, I don't think there's too many guys that -- you know, Ljubicic obviously lost in the first round last year, but I don't think that it's anything to do with not getting to Australia early enough. I mean, six, seven days of preparation. You know, trained in the hot conditions. It's not like I've been stuck indoors, you know, for a long, long period of time, then coming out into this heat. That wasn't really a problem.
I mean, I played three practice matches and was playing decent in the practice matches, and then over here when I was hitting balls I felt good. I don't think that it's anything to do with winning -- I don't think winning a tournament is going to affect your preparation for a slam.

Q. So you felt physically great out there today?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I thought I was much fresher than him at the end of the fourth set. Like I said, you know, before, I worked really hard on my fitness.
But, yeah, it was nothing to do with the physical thing why I lost the match. You know, it was just a few points here or there, I think a couple of bad decisions, you know, a couple of net cords here and there, that was the end of it.

Q. What did you feel about your serve today? He was hitting a lot of big returns, wasn't he?
ANDY MURRAY: At the start he was, yeah. Then at the end, you know, he started to miss a little bit more.
It wasn't the best I served, but I've definitely served much, much worse than that. I don't know what my percentage was. But, you know, I served a few aces, not too many doubles. I got, you know, the double-fault I hit at 4-All in the tiebreaker was an ace if it had gone over, and it just hit the tape.
So, no, I mean, he returned well at the start, but I don't think it was, again, down to my serve why I lost the match. It was down to, you know, a couple of bad decisions and some bad passing shots that cost me.

Q. Is there anything you can take out of this match that will help you in the future?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, of course. You learn from -- these are the matches that I think you come back from, you know, the best. You learn a lot from them. You know, there's some things that I'll do differently, you know, the next time I'm playing a slam or the next time I'm playing against him.
But, you know, again, I don't think it's the end of the world. I mean, worse things could have happened to me out there. You know, again, it wasn't I feel I got completely outplayed at the match. I didn't feel physically I was the worse player.
You know, that sometimes happens in sport. You know, you play a fairly decent match and you don't come through. And that's what happened.

Q. Is sort of the sense of disappointment magnified because everything had started so well, the season, you had such a good training session in America, feeling good about yourself? Does that sort of heighten your disappointment?
ANDY MURRAY: No. You know, I felt worse a couple of years ago when I lost in the first round here and got absolutely smoked and physically was in bad shape and stuff.
So, no, I did all the right preparation, you know, worked very hard on my game, you know, and I've improved a lot of my shots. I'm obviously disappointed that I didn't win the match. I would have wanted to win more than anything. I gave it my best effort out there. But, you know, you can come away from matches feeling less disappointed if you've, you know, given it everything you've got, you've prepared properly, you know, and you feel that you've improved as a tennis player.
But I'm obviously disappointed, but it's not the worst I've felt after a defeat.

Q. Where would you like to be in 12 months' time ranked?
ANDY MURRAY: I want to stay in the top 10. That's something that is obviously tough to do, and at my age is a really good effort, you know, if you can stay there. Be among one of the best players in the world. Again, I want to make sure I'm physically fitter than I was this year. I want to make sure that my game is better. Apart from that, there's not much else I can do.
I think I've showed, you know, by winning four tournaments in the last few years that I've got the potential to challenge for Grand Slams in the future, but, you know, still a little bit of inexperience, you know, in that match showed today. The more Slams I play and the more big matches I play, I'll learn from them and won't make the mistakes that I did today.

Q. How much is that streakiness hard to play against?
ANDY MURRAY: He's been like that since the juniors. The most important thing is to get his serve back. He's obviously got a very good serve. You know, I didn't make enough returns at the start of the match to then, you know, have a chance of really breaking him.
But obviously when you're serving, it's difficult because he'll run around and try and smack some forehands. Some of them will miss by a few meters and some of them will be clean winners. There's not much you can do about it.
But I didn't put enough returns in court with enough depth to sort of let his inconsistency be a problem at the start of the match. It was only till the end when I started to do that.

Q. What do you think of Jamie's qualification here and he got a set off Karlovic in terms of Davis Cup coming up?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it's obviously great to qualify for a Grand Slam. You know, it's not an easy thing to do. Jamie's one of the hardest workers that I know. So obviously he deserves it. I didn't see any of the match today, but I think Karlovic is a decent draw for him, you know, a guy that you got a good chance of winning against.
Yeah, he obviously played him close. But it's a whole different ballgame playing against Argentina on clay in the Davis Cup. It obviously is going to be good for his confidence and stuff, but it's going to be a completely different match when or if he plays against someone like Nalbandian on clay.

Q. It's obviously early days to reflect. What do you think you'll do now, between now and Buenos Aires?
ANDY MURRAY: Go home, take a few days off to relax, see some of my friends, and then start training. You know, I don't know when I'll go out to Buenos Aires or not. I'm going to have a lot of travelling to do the next few months. I'll spend a fair amount of time back in the UK and then after I feel fresh and ready to start practicing and working hard again, then I'll do that. Whether that's in three or four days or a week and a half, two weeks, I don't know.

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