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June 24, 2008
A. MURRAY/F. Santoro
6-3, 6-4, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: First question for Andy.
Q. Did you enjoy that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was good. When he broke me back in the first set, you know, it was a little bit nervy for a couple games.
But once I won that first set I felt pretty comfortable. I moved well. Let's see, I won a majority of points behind my first serve, and, you know, a lot on the second by the looks of it.
But, yeah, overall it was good. I dictated a majority of the points and there were some great shots in there, as well. So it was good.
Q. Was there a temptation to play it just for fun as opposed to concentrating on getting ahead and winning as straightforwardly as possible?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really. It's first round of Wimbledon. I mean, it's fun to be out there, but I'm not wanting to just play fun points to keep everyone happy. You know, I wanted to obviously just win the match as quickly as possible.
Had a little chance early in the third set to break and missed a couple of shots that were probably going for winners. I missed them just out and struggled to break him after that, but I was happy with the match.
Q. How did you feel beforehand? Did you feel any nerves going out there?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, whether it's nerves, excitement, I don't know. You have that. There's that buzz going into, you know, any slam.
But to play on Centre Court for the first time, you know, in a couple of years, you know, it's obviously a little bit more special maybe.
Yeah, I was excited to get out there. And once I settled into the match I felt like I played really well.
Q. It's obviously very entertaining to watch slices, lobs and dropshots. Do you think it's possible to do that against some of the players you might face later? Is that just a one-off today?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I probably hit about 50 winners in the match, so...
If I hit 50 winners in matches against players that are better than him, I think I'm gonna come out on top majority of the time.
You know, against him, there's a certain way you have to play against him. You know, I'm not going to play like that in every single match. But, you know, when I did have the chance to go for the ball I went for it and hit a lot of winners. You know, when I had to mix it up and be patient, I did that well, too.
You know, I was just happy with the match as a whole.
Q. Having waited so long to play this match, is there some sort of relief to get it out of the way now?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, I don't really look at the match as sort of getting them out of the way. You want to enjoy your wins, you know, in slams, and especially playing on Centre Court in front of so many people against, you know, a tough opponent.
You know, he's beaten a lot of top guys and given, you know, some of the best players in the world a lot of trouble in slams in the last couple of years.
So, I mean, I don't look at it as sort of getting the match out of the way. I'm just happy to come through.
Q. Was the atmosphere on Centre Court how you remembered it two years ago, how the crowd got behind you? Did you feel any difference at all this year to two years ago?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, I mean, I personally didn't feel that much difference. You know, the support that I had, even in the Davis Cup as well when I played - we played on Court 1 - was great, too. Whether or not there's any difference between a couple years ago, I can't really remember.
You know, the atmosphere on the court today was really good, especially at the end of the match.
Q. How different is the surface on Centre Court compared with the practice courts here or Queen's?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it's an awesome court. I mean, I don't feel like it's that slow, the court. I think the balls are slow, but the actual court itself, I don't feel like it is.
He obviously serve and volleyed quite a lot during the match, to good effect, and came forward. I think both of us came forward well.
I think you can play pretty much any way on the court. I don't necessarily think that it's that slow in comparison to any of the other tournaments.
Q. As a player who can sort of drive people mad with frustrating them, is it a good workout mentally for you just to keep your focus against somebody like Fabrice?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, I didn't really get angry at all during the whole match. You know, yeah, I felt pretty relaxed out there. Yeah, it's good too play against someone like that, because you need to be very patient.
You know, it's obviously going to be different going into the next match because, you know, Malisse is a completely different player. But, yeah, I guess mentally it was a good workout.
Q. 135 serves. That's become a key weapon on grass. Getting over 130 as you're doing now, what has brought that about? Is it just hard work?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I do a lot of chin-ups. I started doing them with a 20-kilo weight attached to me, around my waist, as well. You know, that's probably contributed to that a little bit.
I served as big as 137 at the US Open before. Obviously, Wimbledon's a little bit slower. But, yeah, I've worked on my upper body strength the last year or so.
Q. Can we expect you to get as muscular as Rafael Nadal then?
ANDY MURRAY: You've not seen me with my shirt off, so... (Smiling).
I'm probably not gonna be as, you know, big as him. But in terms of definition, yeah, I think I'm up there. I measured my body fat at Queen's, and I was 6.5% body fat, which is not bad.
Q. Was it a conscious decision to do that, though? Because you obviously decided to muscle up a bit to get more power.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Well, when I was sort of 16 and 17, I think you need to be careful not to do too many weights, you know, because you're obviously growing a lot. Your muscles and your bones are still developing, and it's easy to sort of develop stress fractures or chronic problems.
I kind of eased off that a little bit when I was around that age. I spent a lot of time on court and not as much time in the gym. Now it's kind of reversed a little bit. Now I'm getting in the gym, you know, a lot of the time and maybe not spending as much time on the court as I used to.
Yeah, it's definitely been something I've tried to work on a lot.
Q. You really notice a difference in a physical way since the last time you were here two years ago?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, you know, the last -- yeah, the last couple of years for me, you know, my five-set record has got much, much better. You know, I'm lasting much longer out there on the court, and that's something that I always felt like, you know, needed to improve. I feel it's much better now.
Q. Has your weight gone up?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I put on -- in November/December time I put on four kilos, you know, which is quite a lot.
Q. Sheer muscle, effectively?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think just muscle, yeah (smiling). Yeah, and I want to put on sort of three, four more kilos, and then that will hopefully be my weight for the rest of my career. Don't really want to get above sort of 86, 87 kilos.
Q. How many of these chin-ups can you do before you collapse?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I did -- I mean, I actually missed out. I was supposed to be doing my maximum chin-up test last week, and I didn't get round to doing it. But with the 20-kilo weight I do three sets of five. You should try it. It's pretty rough (laughter).
Q. Can you talk a bit more about Malisse. He obviously has had some great performances. He's still dangerous, isn't he? He can produce some very good tennis.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, he's really talented. He's had quite a lot of problems with injuries over the last couple of years. He actually had a problem with his wrist, I think, too. But I practiced with him quite a lot in Bollettieri's.
You know, he obviously trains there, and has done pretty much all of his life. Yeah, he's a very talented player. You know, probably isn't playing as well as he was when, you know, he obviously made the semis here.
But, yeah, definitely a dangerous opponent. Yeah, he can play very well on grass.
Q. You called for the towel after each and every point. Is that a mental or psychological thing? Is it superstition?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, I play pretty quick in between the points if I don't take the towel. I'm normally sort of the one waiting for the opponent. You know, I think when you're playing over a five-set match, you know, it's good to just take, you know, like 5-, 10-second breaks after each point where you towel down, catch your breath, get ready for the next point.
You know, I don't do it after every single point. But normally when it starts to get close, I'll take it a bit more so I can get myself relaxed for the next point.
Q. What did you say to Santoro at the end?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I said it was an honor to play against him. For me, he's always been my favorite player to watch. You know, he said it was really a fun match for him, wished me luck. Yeah, that was kind of it.
But, yeah, for me, I think as a spectator, you know, I think he's the best tennis player to watch. I mean, he can hit pretty much every shot in the book. You know, he also wants to entertain the crowd as well, which definitely helps.
You know, it was a nice match for me to play against. You know, he said to me yesterday when I spoke to him that he really wanted to play on Centre Court, so it was good.
End of FastScripts