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January 26, 2009

Andy Murray


2-6, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Clearly you're not a hundred percent. Exactly how do you feel and how did it affect you during the match?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, I didn't feel terrible at all. You know, I had my chances. He served incredible in the fourth and fifth sets. So, you know, he deserves the credit for the win.
I mean, you know, even though I didn't, you know, play my best, in the second set and the beginning of the fourth set, you know, I had chances to get back into the fourth set. Also had a chance to go up in the fifth set.
You know, he served huge. You know, he started serving like, 215 plus on a lot of his first serves. The fourth set, I think he served like 93% first serves. Sometimes you've just got to say too good, and he played better than me.

Q. The fact that he played well, does that take the edge off?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I'm disappointed that I lost. But I'll try and learn from it. I mean, more important things than, you know, a tennis match. I want to win every one that I play, but I'm not going to get down about it. I worked very hard in the off-season. It's been a good start to the year.
You know, I'll try and learn from it. Hopefully, you know, come back a better player. I mean, I think in the match, it's kind of similar to when I lost to Tsonga last year. I think I won more points throughout. So I obviously did have my chances. But sometimes guys serve too well or hit the ball too big. He played great when he was behind.

Q. Under the circumstances, what could you have done better maybe?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, well, I mean, I could have started a couple of the sets better. You know, I went behind, played a couple of poor games early in the second and fourth sets to get behind. You know, if I sort of stayed on top there, that might have made a bit of a difference.
But, you know, apart from that, you know, like I said, I did have my chances. But, you know, he just served too good for me. And, you know, the return's the best part of my game, and he didn't give me too many chances, which he had done in the past.

Q. He had a lot of breakpoints, broke you a few times. How do you feel your serve went today?
ANDY MURRAY: I served decent. I mean, like I say, the start of those two sets, I didn't serve particularly well. Apart from that, I was happy with the way that I served. I don't think that was the reason why I lost the match.
I don't know what to say. I mean, the guy's a very, very good player. Sometimes they play better than you, and he did today, unfortunately.
But, you know, I'm thinking that, you know, last year, you know, I had a tough loss. You know, this year obviously is a tough loss, as well. I came back stronger last year, and I plan to go work on my game and hopefully get better.

Q. He improved a lot since you played him last.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, his game hasn't changed so much. Before, when I played against him, you know, he made more mistakes. He's obviously confident just now. I don't know, maybe he's thinking a little bit more on the court. He definitely was serving way better.
When I played him in St. Petersburg, he double-faulted like seven out of his first nine service points or something. He's serving huge serves today. That's probably the one thing that was better today than when I played him in the past.

Q. Were you surprised how physically strong he was in the closing stages?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, again, I didn't think -- I don't think it was a physical thing why he won the match. He hits the ball very heavy from the back of the court. Because he was serving -- put a huge amount of first serves in, it was tougher for me to get inside the baseline, especially from the far side of the court where the wind was blowing.
You know, like if you watched the breakpoint, I had to escape and hustle a lot of balls back. But I just couldn't sometimes get close enough to the baseline because he was hitting the ball so heavy.

Q. You've clearly improved your fitness a lot over the last year. Do you feel you were happy with the level of fitness that you had in the fifth set?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Well, my five-set record in the last two years has been great. I can't remember the last time I lost one. You know, and, yeah, today I didn't feel like -- like I said, it wasn't a physical thing why I lost. Even after being sick for the last few days, I thought I still came through the match well.

Q. How did you find the experience of going in with so much favoritism?
ANDY MURRAY: It didn't make a whole lot of difference to the way that I played in my matches. You know, I felt comfortable from the start. It didn't make a whole lot of difference to me. You know, a bit more attention and stuff before the tournament started.
I got very good support this week, which wasn't the same in the past when I played tournaments overseas. So that was nice.

Q. Is that something you feel you have to get used to?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I mean, I don't know if I'll be the favorite for a slam, you know, in the next year or so after today. But it doesn't really bother me. For me, I play the match. If I'm the favorite to win, whatever, I play the same as I am when I'm the underdog. I try my best to win. I think I give a hundred percent in all my matches. You know, if I lose, I lose. If I win, I win.
It's been a good start to the year. Hope I can continue it.

Q. You talked about having concentration issues in a couple of earlier matches. Was that a factor in the slow starts in a couple of the sets?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, maybe. I mean, it's not been -- I mean, in the last sort of eight, nine months, it's not been something that has been an issue at all. Against Granollers, I lost concentration a little bit, and against Melzer, not really.
Again, I don't think that was the reason why I lost the match today. I don't think it was anything to do with physical, concentration or my game. He played too good for me. That's what happens. I'm not here to try to make excuses for why I lost.

Q. Were you surprised by his consistency in the fifth set, especially on serve? When you had a chance of breaking him at 2-All, he managed to keep it going. Were you surprised by that?
ANDY MURRAY: The consistency of his first serve was pretty awesome for the last two, three sets. I mean, you know, a lot of times he's sort of just kicking the serve in and putting a lot of slice on it and not going for too much. But he started to go for it huge in the fourth and fifth sets. He served very well when he was behind, which he hadn't done against me in the past.
I wasn't necessarily expecting him to serve that well because it's not something that he's known for. But when he serves like that, he's going to be very tough to beat.

Q. You said you've been sick the last couple of days. Are you saying that had no impact whatsoever on today's performance?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, if you're sick, there's some things you can't do as well as you might like. But you just have to deal with it. If you go on the court and play, then, you know, you do everything that you can with what you've got. If it's good enough, it is. If not, you know, unfortunately you're going to come out on the wrong side of the match.
But, again, if I say that I'm sick and it affected me, I know it's going to be like, Well, he's making excuses for losing. I don't feel that was the reason why I lost. I definitely did have my chances, and he played too well.

Q. How important was the sixth game when you had several breakpoints in the fifth set? Many thought you played a bit too defensively.
ANDY MURRAY: I was trying to explain earlier when I did have the breakpoints, I think he made a first serve on every one. I think he served two aces. It's difficult to be defensive when that happens. The one point where I did get in, he hit a very good first serve. My first return went to his forehand, and he just moved me from side to side. That's what he does very well.
You can't go for winners from three, four meters behind the baseline. Like I said, if I could have got closer to the baseline, I would have had a better chance. But he hit the ball too big today.

Q. You're just coming off court at the moment, but is there still anything you might learn from this?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I'll learn from it, for sure. I mean, you know, like I said, early in the two sets, you know, against someone like him who's very flashy and plays well when he has confidence.
You know, when I had played him in the past, when I got ahead, I stayed on top of him. I let him back in early in those two sets. That's the one obvious thing I could have done better.
But, I mean, I'll go and speak to my coach, the guys that I work with, and see if there's things that I could have done better, things that I can improve. I'll try and do that.
But, I mean, for me it's not a disaster. I'm still playing well. I lost to a good player in a very close match. I'll have more chances to win Grand Slams.

Q. Was it a bit weird having your former coach right in your eyeline on the baseline? Were you aware of Brad sitting courtside?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I saw him sitting there. But he was sitting there in Cincinnati when I played, in Toronto or Montréal when I played there, as well. Didn't really make any difference to how I played.

Q. How would you rate his forehand compared to Rafael Nadal's forehand?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it's tough. They both hit the ball very, very heavy. But he can hit it a bit flatter than Nadal. If you hit, you know, a shot quite hard into his forehand, you know, he can still sort of generate power and make you move. When you go big into Nadal's forehand, normally he plays a little bit higher.
But both are obviously very good.

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