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January 20, 2009

Andy Murray


A. MURRAY/A. Pavel
6-1, 3-1 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you a bit underwhelmed not to get a full hit out or were you quite happy to get out of the heat?
ANDY MURRAY: A little bit of both. I would have liked to have been on court a bit longer. It was quite tricky conditions. It probably didn't feel it from the sides, but it was pretty windy on the court.
You know, both of us miss-timed quite a lot of balls. Also, from one of the ends the sun, when you would serve, was bang, in your eyes, as well. There were a few things had you to deal with out there.
But, you know, I guess if you want to do well in the tournament, it's good to conserve some energy, as well. You know, hopefully that was a good thing.

Q. How is the court underfoot? Is it really steaming?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, the thing that was tough is, you know, even when you sit down at the change of ends, you know, you're expecting to sort of go and chill out a little bit in the shade and it's roasting even when you're just sitting there. That was tough. Yeah, if you have a long point, you know, you can feel your feet burning a little bit.
But the good thing about playing on the bigger courts is there's a bit of shade at the back, as well. So if you go take your towel you can get out of the heat a little bit.

Q. Have you been out for a hit yourself afterwards, try to do something to get more time on court, as well?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, I hit a lot on the courts, you know, in the last week or so. But the outside courts are very different to the center court. They're much sort of lower bouncing; they're much tighter, as well. It's sort of a different visual, too.
So I'm not going to hit any balls, I don't think.

Q. Does that leave you a bit frustrated then, having an opportunity to have had a center court match?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not frustrated. Obviously I want to get through to the next round. Ideally, like I say, I would have liked to have played a little bit more, but I didn't.
You know, hopefully have a slightly longer match in the next round.

Q. When did you realize that he was struggling?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I knew that he had a back problem last year, you know. When I spoke to him after the match, he said, you know that it felt fine. At the change of ends after the first set, he just took like a 30-second time-out to get some hot cream rubbed on his back, and then obviously just went. He'd only been practicing for a few weeks, but obviously the difference between practice and a match is quite huge.
But I didn't realize it was that bad.

Q. Is it easier to play here for you as the big British hope, or is it easier to play Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: I think once the tournament starts it's exactly the same. Obviously the support I get at Wimbledon is awesome. You know, this is the first time I've been to a Grand Slam outside of Wimbledon where I've had sort of a lot of media attention and stuff.
You know, so it was kind of similar. It doesn't really make a huge difference once you start the tournament, no.

Q. You have beaten Djokovic, Rafael Nadal twice, Roger Federer three times in a row. Do these matches put you in a situation where you have a lot of pressure because you came here maybe the favorite player to win the slam?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, those matches gave me a lot of confidence. You know, now when I go out on the court against them I feel like I can win against them on a regular basis, which, you know, wasn't necessarily the case in the past. I'd lost to Nadal five times in a row; at the start I lost to Djokovic four times in a row. You know, so I think it's helped me.
But, like I said, the buildup, there's obviously a bit of nerves early in the match today. But once you get into the tournament you start to settle down a bit.

Q. Where do you think you've improved since we saw you here last 12 months ago?
ANDY MURRAY: My consistency, you know, in my matches has been much better. You know, haven't been going out and sort of starting off badly and getting myself behind and having to find my way back into matches.
I've been, like I say, a lot more consistent. Physically, as well. I got stronger than I was last year, which has helped my serve a lot.

Q. Following the US Open final, coming so hot into this one, do you notice there's a different attitude to you from other players in the locker room? Are they looking at you differently? Do you get any vibes like that?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, I was always quite friendly with most of the players in the locker room, so not really. Like I say, I think the easiest thing to do is to ask them if it's made any difference to the way that they view me.
But, you know, I don't feel a huge change.

Q. Ever finish anyone's career for them before?
ANDY MURRAY: Yes, actually. I beat Neville Godwin in a challenger in Manchester. That was the last match he ever played. So, yeah, I have (laughter).

Q. Does the role of tennis' grim reaper sit easily with you then?
ANDY MURRAY: I wouldn't say that just yet.

Q. He was playing his 39th Grand Slam. Do you feel any compassion for someone who finishes after a long career like that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it's obviously tough. You know, I saw Tim go through a similar sort of thing. He had a lot of problems with his back towards the end of his career. He was sort of kind of hanging on and was in a lot of pain when he was playing, but tried to play through it.
I think because the game has got so physical now, towards the end of a guy's career -- even Agassi when he played his last match at the US Open, he was obviously in a lot of pain, as well. I think it was his back, too.
So it's obviously tough for all of the guys. But it's obviously nice to try and play the Grand Slams one last time and enjoy them rather than stopping at a smaller tournament. Yeah, it's a shame it had to finish like that.

Q. What will you do the next couple of days? How do you prepare for the next one?
ANDY MURRAY: Similar to what I did for this one. I'll probably practice maybe a bit longer tomorrow than I did yesterday. I think it's meant to be a bit cooler. Maybe hit for an hour and a half, two hours, you know, get a lot of fluid in me, eat a lot, just try and relax, watch some of the tennis, not spend too much time here.

Q. Are you a good sleeper?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I would have liked a few more hours in bed this morning, to be honest (smiling). You know, I prefer playing a bit later in the day. But I've been getting up early because of the jetlag anyway, so...
It wasn't too bad today.

Q. Do you enjoy the fact you're actually in the center of the tour right now? You're most talked about, maybe even more than Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don't think it's a terrible thing, you know. I don't even know how to answer that question. Sorry (smiling).
Obviously, with people talking about you there comes an extra bit of pressure, you know. But sometimes, as well, it's good. The other players are expecting you to do well, maybe go on the court with a bit more respect for you.
Maybe if they come close to winning sets or matches against you they can get a bit nervous. So I think it works in a few ways.

Q. Do you feel you're equipped to cope with it over a two-week period?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I'll have to see. I've trained as hard as I could and prepared very well. But, you know, when it's as hot as this, I don't know. I think you just got to trust the work that you put in, you know, is good enough.
I just have to wait and see 'cause, you know, when it's this temperature, I mean, I think everyone's going to feel it. You just have to try and make your opponent do more running than you.

Q. On the heat, you've always done pretty well when it's hot. Do you actually like it when it gets hot because you feel you can handle it better than others?
ANDY MURRAY: I just think when it gets hot, with my game style, you know, because I change the pace of the ball, you know, I'll hit some dropshots, bring my opponent to the net a little bit, you know, maybe try and frustrate them a little bit.
I think the hotter it is, the easier it can be to sort of restrict your opponents. The natural thing to do when you're a bit tired is to go for shots when you're a bit out of position, try to shorten the points. Obviously that works to my advantage.

Q. In days gone by you used to wear a cap indoors, outdoors, day, night, whatever. On a scalding day like today, you didn't have one on. What was your thinking?
ANDY MURRAY: I used to always wear a cap for matches, and didn't used to practice with one really at all. I wanted to get a bit more sort of continuity in what I was doing. You know, I just felt like when I was playing, if I had really long hair I would still wear a cap because it would obviously get in my eyes. But when I'd keep my hair short, you know, I don't think - for me anyway, it doesn't make a huge difference. Even when the sun's there, the cap doesn't really protect you that much.
I don't know, it's just something that I changed. Since I stopped wearing a cap, I've played much better.

Q. Some people are saying you could be No. 1 during this year. Are you thinking of that? Is there any extra pressure?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, I'd obviously love to be No. 1. I'm sure all players would at some point in their career. But, you know, I'd want to try and win a slam first. I think that's, you know, the next step for me.
But if I play well the first six months of this year, I don't have a whole lot of points to defend. So there is a chance that I'd do it. I'm going to have to play like I did for the second part of the year last year. I'm going to have to do the same in the first part of this year, try and be very consistent.

End of FastScripts

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