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March 16, 2008

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Happy with the way you recovered after an a little bit much a sluggish start?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I guess. I wouldn't say sluggish. But to be fair, I didn't start great or particularly well. But he hit four or five good ones off my serve and was playing into the net all the time. I didn't expect it at all.
I guess I was more sort of shocked because I haven't seen him to play. I don't mean in terms of the standard. He always plays tough. But in terms of the actual game style that he was playing, I hadn't seen that before. I was a bit surprised. Took me a few games to get into it.

Q. Were you aware he had beaten Tim in the first round of Miami about four or five years ago?
ANDY MURRAY: No, no idea. I mean, he's had some good wins I know. Had a very good record against Agassi and stuff. He's like 3-1 or 3-0 up on Agassi, nearly beat Roddick in Davis Cup about a month or so ago.
He's obviously a very good player as well, so I was expecting a tough match. I had seen him play before, and he can make it difficult because he's talented and pretty unpredictable.
It was a tough first match to play, but I was -- actually, after the first four games, I was hitting the ball really, really well, coming to the net a lot and volleyed good and returned well, too. Average start, but after that it was very good.

Q. Does experience help when you're in that situation and somebody's playing very well against you and you're sort of a bit taken aback?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I think -- I mean, my record in three-set matches is pretty awesome. You know, it has been for the last sort of year and a half.
You know, when I do get behind, I still feel like I can come back and win the match. That, you know, obviously helped. I mean, I almost got myself back into the first set as well. He was playing great and I had to change the way I was playing a bit.
I had some breakpoints at 4-2 to get back into it. He hit two net cords at one point, on the one of breakpoints, and managed to hang on in the first set. Yeah, it was definitely -- you know, when you're in those sort of situations, having been in them before, you do learn how to try to get yourself out of them and not panic. If you have to change the way you're playing a bit, you know, then so be it. But, yeah, definitely want to play more matches at the highest level.

Q. Is there a sense too that not only do you know that you have a good three-set record but your opponent knows you've got a good three-set record as well. So probably in the second they maybe just press a bit and try and do things that they wouldn't...
ANDY MURRAY: Maybe. I don't know if he knows about my three-set record. But just for me, I just try to hang in, you know, early in the set. Naturally, if guys are playing very, very well when they do in the first set, the intensity drops slightly at the beginning of the second, and that's when you can sort of pick up the momentum, build on it. I think that was really what I did in the second set.

Q. What were the conditions like out there? We've seen you practicing on the main stadium courts the last few days. What was it like out there with the wind?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, there was like no wind today in comparison to the doubles match yesterday. You know, that was an unbelievable standard considering how bad the weather was.
You know, that was -- I mean, the conditions out there were very good today. It was probably the coldest that I played here before. It was really cold for the first set and a half.
Normally the ball flies a bit here, but it wasn't flying that much purely because of the heat. But the last couple days the weather has been unbelievably tough, and today was much nicer.

Q. You've got Ivo Karlovic in the next round. What are your thoughts on him?
ANDY MURRAY: I've played him once before, and surprise, surprise, 7-6 in the third. You know, I think pretty much all of his matches are roughly 50/50 matches.
He can beat some of the best players and lose to guys that you expect him to win against purely because the match can come down three or four points.
If you can serve well when you're in trouble against him and not give him too much looks at second serves on the big points, and when you do get your own chances to really go after him and take them, because you're probably not going to get that many on his serve.
So everybody knows how he plays. It's just a matter of, you know, if you win the big points or not. Last time I played against him I managed to do it. I'll do it hopefully again tomorrow. I guess I play tomorrow.
But for me it would be much better to play in the wind like it was the last couple days, whereas today, or what the weather is like normally here, it tends to fly a bit, but it's good for his serve. Hopefully the wind will pick up again tomorrow.

Q. I know it's difficult for a 6'10" guy to sneak in anywhere, but he's kind of snuck into the top 20 without anyone taking much notice about it. Is there more to his game now than simply that huge serve? Has his all-court game not taken on a little bit of new lease for life?
ANDY MURRAY: For sure he's playing better than he was a few years ago. He's won some tighter matches. Again, he's creating a few more chances for himself on the return, and making a few more -- making a few more returns and coming to the net a lot.
Obviously when you see someone as big as him coming at you it puts a bit of pressure on you to make the passes. You know, guys are going to get nervous against him purely because you know if you lose your serve it's going to be tough to get back into the set.
He's one of the toughest players to beat. There's a reason why there are very few guys that like playing against him.

Q. Do you think the future of the game is in really tall players like him, or maybe not necessarily so?
ANDY MURRAY: I think there's more and more tall players, that's for sure: Isner, Karlovic, Querrey. Then there's a lot of guys that are 6'4", 6'5": Berdych, Safin, Llodra. There's a lot of them.
But actually, I think to be right at the top, I don't think that it's that easy to be that tall. A lot of the guys -- I think the best height to play at now is between 6'0" and 6'2". It's tough to move around the tennis court, especially in a sport like this where agility is so important.
If you are that tall it can be tough on a lot of the shots. So a lot of the guys will come through purely because of the big serves, but in terms of being right at the top of the game in the top 10, I think it's tough to just play with the serve.

Q. How would you describe the way that the British fans have embraced you? Do you feel any added pressure to win for them?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really. I mean, when I played Wimbledon and Queens and stuff I got great support, Davis Cup as well. You know, obviously I've seen what happened with Tim pretty much through his career with all the pressure that's put on him around Wimbledon and stuff.
It's definitely important for you to play well around that time. When you go out on the tennis court, I mean, you're not really thinking about that. You're thinking about how you can get the job done, and it takes a bit of time getting used to at the start. I've had pretty much two years of it now, and it doesn't really affect me that much.

Q. Are you interested to kind of see this week what Federer looks like?
ANDY MURRAY: What he looks like?

Q. On the court.

Q. I mean with the illness.
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think -- I mean, I just think quite a lot was made of him, you know, not reaching the final of a Slam for about the first time in about three years. You know, it was a ridiculous record that he had. He still made semis, and supposedly was not feeling good.
And also last year here and in Miami everyone was saying, again, Is Federer struggling? Is his form starting to dip a little bit? He came back and won three Slams last year.
So, you know, I don't really think he's playing as bad or his form has dipped as much as a lot of people would think.

Q. Sounds like you think he's kind of held to a different standard because he's been so dominant.
ANDY MURRAY: For sure. If he wins as many times as he has and to go on the sort of runs that he goes on, you know, when he does lose in an early match -- I think when I won against him in Dubai it was the first time he lost a first round match in like three years, so everyone is going to be a bit surprised. But he's come back when he's had dips in form before.
Obviously like in Rome last year. He came back winning in Hamburg. He played the French Open. And here, you know everyone was saying he was struggling, and then he made final in Monte-Carlo.
So he's -- I don't think it's going to be a problem for him getting his form back. I just think that this year might be more difficult because there's more players that have a chance of winning against him.
I said it like a year, year and a half ago, give it a couple years. Tennis could give get really interesting with Federer at the top and so many guys that are 20, 21 years old and starting to mature and play better and they believe that they can win against him, and that's exciting for tennis.

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