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June 13, 2009
A. MURRAY/J. Ferrero
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How surprised were you with the ease of that?
ANDY MURRAY: The second set wasn't easy. I got off to a very good start in the first set, and then I have been serving well all week and managed to keep the pressure on by serving well.
But the second set, I had chances at the start and didn't take them. He played some good points and some big serves. There was a lot of good, long rallies in the second set, and, you know, I managed to break him once. But it was a tough second set.
Q. Can we just establish how you end up looking like you've gone five rounds with a heavyweight fighter with blood all the way down your shorts and hands?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, it's literally the smallest cut. You can't even see it. They showed it on the screen. I just punched my strings from, I don't know, that far away, and I cut them. And because you're clenching the racquet, the blood kind of streams down a little bit, but...
Q. Where is the cut actually?
ANDY MURRAY: You can see it. It's not --
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah.
Q. You must be exceedingly pleased with the way that you're serving, you're returning, and your game has just flowed over to the grass very, very quickly. You're giving a lot of people reason to believe.
ANDY MURRAY: Believe what?
Q. Believe that you can do it, go into the Wimbledon championships after a good finals tomorrow?
ANDY MURRAY: It's not -- I mean, it's so easy, based on, you know, a few matches to just, you know, get ahead of yourself. That's a problem I think that a lot of people have in this country is sort of, you know, expecting, you know, huge things, thinking that it's just going to happen.
You know, I need to go out there and do it and make it happen. You know, any Grand Slams, you know, are going to be incredibly tough. For me, it might sound boring, and all sports people say it all the time, but I'm not looking or thinking about winning Wimbledon. I'm thinking about the match tomorrow and then preparing for the championships the best that I can.
There's no part of me that's thinking about, you know, winning the Wimbledon title. I'm sure if I get close to doing it, it might cross my mind, but a very, very long way away from doing that just now.
Q. But a professional satisfaction you are in your first grass court championship here tomorrow, final?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's been a very good week. You know, like I say, I played well, served well, returned well.
I haven't given my opponents too many chances on my service game, so when I have got the break, I've, you know, kind of, like I say, managed to keep the pressure on them. It's been, yeah, a very good week, and hopefully I can round it off with a win tomorrow. But it's going to be tough.
Q. Can you analyze the matchup against both the guys in the other semi, please?
ANDY MURRAY: Andy obviously plays great here. I mean, his record is phenomenal. He's a very, very good grass court player, one of -- he's in the top three most consistent, top four most consistent grass court players in the last five, six years. You know, obviously a very, very tough match. He's got a huge serve.
Against him, it's important for me to serve well again, and when I get my chances, to take them. And against him in the past, I've managed to do that quite well, but it can come down to a few points here or there against him. It will be tough.
And James hasn't had his best start to the year this year, but, you know, he plays well in the quicker courts and he takes a lot of risks, keeps the points nice and short and very unpredictable.
It will be tough, whoever it is.
Q. If it's Andy, I mean, a lot has been said that Andy got himself much fitter, like you did, got a bit of weight off and a new coach. Have you noticed anything different about his game in the last six months than what it was before?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, I think his game is -- you know, a lot of it is based on or his results are based on confidence. You know, because like I say, it comes down to a few big points here or there, because he wins a lot of service games easily, and he doesn't -- I mean, he returns well, but that's not the best part of his game so he has a lot of tight sets.
Maybe the new coach and the new fitness -- for me, when I started training harder, it gave me a little bit extra confidence. Maybe that's been a big difference to him. But his game style I think is still pretty similar.
Q. With Roger and Rafa not playing in a grass tournament, you know, leading up to this year's Wimbledon, people will think you've had an advantage. I'm just wondering if you feel the same way.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, for me, every player likes to prepare differently for big tournaments. You know, for me, I would always like to have a few matches under my belt on the surface that I'm going to play on going into, you know, major championships.
Roger didn't play last year and made the final. I think he skipped Halle maybe -- has hasn't skipped Halle that much. Normally the guys that play well in the sort of warmup week go on to do well at Wimbledon.
It's a good sort of, I guess, test to see where your game is at. But whether it's giving me an advantage over them, I don't know.
Q. What you said about the English country expecting huge things, what you've achieved here this week and should you win tomorrow, the expectation will be even higher. Do you think there's too much expectation, too much pressure on you going into Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, it's all a hype thing. And if you get caught up in it, then it becomes an issue.
But I was trying to explain that for me, I'm thinking about the match tomorrow. I'm not thinking about the Wimbledon final. I'm not -- when I get to Wimbledon I won't be thinking about the second week. I'll be thinking about the first match.
And the buildup is tough, because, you know, there's a lot of questions asked and you kind of get asked so many questions that it would be easy to start thinking ahead and letting the pressure and expectations get to you, but if you just stay focused on what your job is, once the tournament starts, that's not a problem for me, the pressure and the expectation, because I expect a lot of myself.
I put pressure on myself to play well, but only on each match, not to win the tournament just yet.
Q. A lot has been said and written about your use of the dropshot. I mean, it worked particularly well today, especially tempting him in and then hitting a lob over the top of him. Is that a real tactic now on grass? It was always thought to be more sort of a clay court tactic. Is it a real grass court tactic?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, the thing is with the dropshots on grass -- and some of the times, you know, people think it's a dropshot when I'm hitting a short slice, which is a completely different shot. You know, the ball stays very low.
So if you hit a good one, you know, the guys have to play up. You know, they can't come in and just finish the point. You're going to have a shot at pass, and I like having a target.
If I hit a good one, it works well on the grass and the short slice, as well, it's a huge part, because a lot of the guys don't enjoy moving forward that much nowadays. If you can force them to do that, then obviously it can win you some points.
Q. Are you playing as well as you have ever been coming through this week and heading towards a major championship on the grass?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, the whole year has been...
Q. I'm talking about the way that you got onto the grass. You're playing well all aspects of your game. You must be again very confident in the way that you are approaching the championships.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, like I say, I've played very well this week, and most parts of my game have felt good. It's the one thing with sport that, you know, you have to be careful with, that just because I'm playing great this week I could go to Wimbledon and play terrible.
You know, each day it kind of changes from, you know, from day to day. I hope tomorrow I'll play very well again, but you never know. I'm feeling confident, like I say. I played well and, you know, the more matches I play on the grass the more comfortable I'm going to feel underfoot and I moved better today.
Q. It seemed quite low-key today. Did you feel the crowd were on your side today or was it a very neutral crowd?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. Like I said -- I got asked the same thing yesterday. They buy the tickets. If they want to support me or my opponent, they can support whoever they want. They're entitled to.
But the support has been great for all my matches. The crowd has been absolutely packed. You know, I thought the reception I got when the match was finished was very good. I've got nothing to complain about. I'm sure it will be packed again tomorrow.
Roddick has just pulled out there, I think. He twisted his ankle in the third game.
Q. In light of that, last year there was a bit of an issue about your grass court shoes. You switched and you went I think from adidas to Nike and now you're playing Nike. Your footing seems very, very good this year. You're obviously very happy with what you got on the soles of your feet.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, very happy. Last year I struggled a little bit with the shoes. The first week here, you know -- and adidas had changed their shoes this year, but I'm playing with the Nike ones again just because I liked them last year, but from what I've heard from the other players, the adidas ones are much better.
Q. Still no deal then or anything?
ANDY MURRAY: Unfortunately not, no. (laughter.)
I wear adidas on every hardcourt tournament, and on clay and grass I wear the Nike ones.
Q. Just on the way you've been playing, how many more levels do you think you can go up to be playing your absolute best on grass?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, you never know until you need to do it. You know, maybe, you know, when the matches get tight, my level might drop and I won't play that well in the close situations, or it can get better.
You know, the better the opponent,you know, normally that's the difference between being ranked in the top 5 and in the top 20 is you can raise your level.
So I've been able to do that so far this year. But on the grass, I don't know. I have to wait and see. But, you know, I'd like to think, well, I believe in myself and think that when the moment comes when I'm going to have to raise my game, then I hope I can do that.
Q. You're playing a guy tomorrow now that hasn't played a full match today that -- I don't think Andy was, his movement wasn't good after getting here, from what we saw when we came up here. Could that be a plus or a minus for you?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think it makes it a huge difference. We're both going to have played four matches. He obviously didn't play that much today. He might go and practice a little bit more now.
I don't think that it makes a whole lot of difference. I mean, you know, if I had played a five-set match and he had played six, seven games, then makes it a little bit different because physically you're tired. My matches have been pretty quick so far.
End of FastScripts