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August 2, 2008

Andy Murray


A. MURRAY/I. Karlovic
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You seemed to have the knack of getting his serve back better than most people.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I played him three times now, and every time I've broke him. I broke him I think four times today. I broke him three times at Indian Wells. Then San Jose I think I broke him three times as well.
You know, he's obviously got a great serve, but I've read it well in the past. Today I did the same. Although I was reading his serve good, you still got to come up with passes because he volleys well.
You know, I hit some great lobs and passing shots, which is why I managed to break him so many times.

Q. Is it harder to receive that serve in these quick conditions?
ANDY MURRAY: It depends. Some of the serves are harder to return in these conditions, but if you get a good racquet on it it comes through so fast off the court. If you make good contact, it's tough for him to get into the net as close. Sometimes when he plays on clay he'll serve and he'll have a bit more time to get into the net.
Here I and managed to get a lot of returns down to his feet. Just depends which serve he hits.

Q. Does the height that it comes from have any impact in the whole thing? Does it feel different because of that?
ANDY MURRAY: No. Well, when I practice returning I get my coach to serve from just behind the service line, you know, so I get used to the ball coming through at that height.
It also obviously improves your reaction and stuff. You know, my coach isn't here just now, but when we're training in the off-season and stuff I do that just to make sure that I'm sharp on the return.

Q. You're bound to go up to your highest ranking of 6.

Q. Do you take pleasure in that, or is it a little too far ahead of the US Open to do so?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think it's great to get as high as that. You know, the beginning of the year a lot of people were asking me if my new setup was going to work and questioning if it was the right thing for me to do.
I think my results showed that it took a little bit of time but that it's paying off, and I'm enjoying myself much more on court. I'm much calmer, and obviously my results have got better and better as the year's gone on.
The clay court season, for me, was the best one I've had, even though it wasn't great. From my standard, on this surface, it was good, and so far it's been a strong season. Hopefully I can keep it going.

Q. To reach your first Masters Series final, what does that mean to you?
ANDY MURRAY: I said yesterday, I mean, I don't think there's a huge difference between a semifinal and a final, but to win it would be huge. You know, I've won five tournaments and couple of, you know, million dollar tournaments, but none obviously as big as a Masters Series.
So I'm going to have to play against one of the best players in the world to win it. You know, I feel like I'm playing well enough to do it.

Q. How is your energy level playing a lot matches last week and this week as well?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's tough, but Djokovic and Nadal are in the same position. You know, Nadal has played a lot of night matches, which obviously helps here because of the heat. I played most of mine pretty much in the heat of the day around midday and just afterwards.
That's been tricky, but physically I felt fine in today's match. Also, it's hot, but not too taxing because the points are relatively fast.

Q. You appeared to move pretty well on the court today. Did you feel a little more energy than yesterday?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think yesterday the first set I wasn't moving well, but by the end of the match I started to move much better. Some days it happens. You wake up and you just don't get going, and some days you feel great.
It's about finding a way to come through the days when you're not feeling that well. When you play great it's easy to win matches, but it's hard when you play and feel like I did at the beginning of the match yesterday. The most important thing is to turn it around.

Q. How is your knee feeling?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's fine. You know, I've been making sure I got ice on it after every match. You know, it hurts sometimes after matches, and I just need to try and make sure I do enough stretching to make sure my quad is loose so it doesn't put any extra stress on the kneecap and I won't have too many problems.

Q. Very good performances. In three of the four matches though you've gone behind at the start. Is it something that's worth analysis or just something that happens?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, it's the first time this year it's really sort of happened to me where I've been getting off to bad starts. Like I said, it does take, for me anyway, in these conditions, regardless if you play in them, a few days, and each day I've been playing against sort of different styles of opponents as well.
You know, you go out and play against someone like Moya playing from the back of the court and moving around to hit big forehands, and today Karlovic serving at 130 and looking to come to the net. Just takes a little bit of time to adjust to the game styles.
Once I've done that, I've actually played really well.

Q. Were you surprised that the lob was so successful?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, you have to hit them very well. But, you know, he does get very close to the net when he comes forward, so it's very hard to hit a passing shot to his side because he's got such long arms and he's so close to the net and cuts off the angles. Sometimes the lob is the best option.
In the past on some key points I've managed to pull it off against him, and today was the same.

Q. Did you watch him play Federer? And if so, did you develop a view of Federer and what his state is?
ANDY MURRAY: Federer is -- I mean, he's still playing fine. He's not playing as well as he was. I mean, he's been unbelievable for the last five years. He's still playing great.
But like I said, it's always going to happen. It happens in every sport. When someone sets the bar so high, guys find a way of, you know, creeping up behind you. Nadal is obviously now going to take over his No. 1. Djokovic has won against Federer quite a few times. I've beaten him a few times.
A lot of young guys that are just improving. He's still playing great, I just think tennis has got stronger.

Q. Back to the return for a second. I notice that you start pretty far back and come forward before you split. Is there thinking behind that, or is it just natural?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, a few guys start forward and move backwards. It's not -- i don't think that's really to be advised. You get no momentum at all. I think if you do sort of move into your split step you get a little bit more explosive when you move out of it.
If you get onto the return you can get a really good hit on it without really having to do too much with the racquet. You just see it, and your momentum really gives a bit of extra pace. I've always returned like that, and it's worked well for me.

Q. Did you figure out the prize you're going to give Roger if he ask you for advise how to beat Ivo on this cort in Cincinnati if you play next year?
ANDY MURRAY: No, and I'm sure he won't come to me for advice about tennis any time soon. First time he's obviously lost to Karlovic. But, yeah, I thought Federer maybe deserved to win the match anyway.

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