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January 28, 2010

Andy Murray


A. MURRAY/M. Cilic
3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel after that?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it feels good. I mean, obviously had not had that long to think about it. But it's obviously quite a long match. Pretty intense. A lot of nerves and stuff in the first set.
But, yeah, glad I got to come through, obviously.

Q. The emotional lift you got and the whole crowd got from that one shot, how important was that in your own mind?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it was really important 'cause I don't want to say the match was slipping away from me, but the momentum was definitely with him. The beginning of the match I created, I think, more of the chances I had, you know, opportunity to break right away and didn't take it. And he played some really aggressive tennis after that, you know, was putting me under a lot of pressure.
But, yeah, that shot made a big difference.

Q. You said you often practice that shot. How often do you hit it as well as that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don't know. I mean, I guess when, you know, you practice it, Miles or whoever's it's with, knows it's coming because I do practice it a lot, when it goes over my head, sometimes on the backhand side, as well.
Yeah, I mean, doesn't happen that often in matches. It's come off a few times in matches, but that's probably the most important time probably.

Q. You talked about the nerves. In the first hour, I think everyone in the stadium could sense it was nerves. Is that the semifinal-itis?
ANDY MURRAY: It's tough, because before the match, you know, everyone is sort of thinking, Cilic, he's got to be tired. The start of the match for me, I felt like it was really important because, you know, if I could get up a set, you know, his head might drop.
He played obviously a lot of tennis, had a few chances at the start. Then, when I did get broken, had a chance to break straight back, you know, he had a net cord that just dropped over on one of the breakpoints. You know, a few things weren't quite going my way.
You know, I was obviously happy I managed to turn it around. Because, like I say, he started to dictate the match.

Q. How concerned were you early in the second set?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, there's a long way to go in the match. I've been a set down before in slams. You know, even in best-of-three set matches, you got a lot more time to turn it around in best-of-five. I mean, obviously I would have rather been a set up. But still a long way to go. You got time to work things out, change your game plan a little bit. And I managed to do that.

Q. What is the opportunity to play another Grand Slam final mean to you at this point in your career?
ANDY MURRAY: It's really important. I mean, after last year I had a few tough losses in the Grand Slams. You know, Wimbledon, I had a chance to make the final there. Lost a really, really tight match against Roddick.
It's nice. It's what you work for. It's why at the end of the season I go to train in Miami to try and give myself the opportunity to play in these slams. Obviously, I want to try and win one.

Q. How do you deal with the expectation building back home?
ANDY MURRAY: You don't really feel it that much. Wimbledon is a bit different, especially in the lead-up to the tournament. But when you're away and stuff, don't take any notice of it. You know, there's no newspapers that I would read over here. It's not really on the TV that much.
So just kind of avoid it, I guess.

Q. Can you give us your thoughts on your prospective opponents?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, obviously Roger's record in slams speaks for itself. He had a great year last year in them making all four finals. You know, he lost the two -- the two that he lost were incredibly tough five-setters. You know, if I'm going to play against him, it will take a special performance to win against him. But I feel like I can do that.
Tsonga, he's one of the most exciting guys to watch because of his athleticism and the way that he plays. He's obviously had great results here in the past, so...
Both obviously going to be very tough. Federer obviously has more experience than Tsonga.

Q. The TV coverage highlighted you kind of clenching at your back. Any concern there?
ANDY MURRAY: Even at the start of the tournament, my back has just been stiff. The courts, they're just really sticky. With it being only the first, second tournament of the year, you know, you expect to have little niggles. I'm sure a lot of the other players do, as well, because the season is so long, we don't have a whole lot of time off.
It's not going to be a problem in the final. It's just a little bit stiff.

Q. The buildup to this final is very different to 2008. You basically were there before you knew it because of the scheduling. Is this going to give you different problems? You have a lot of time to kill.
ANDY MURRAY: I'd rather be in this position than what happened at the US Open. I mean, you know, I played three days in a row. In a slam, that almost never happens to anyone. You know, so physically I'm gonna be in good shape, that's for sure. Just need to make sure that I practice properly the next few days, practice enough.
You know, I'm sure I'll be fine.

Q. From the experience of Roddick, did you learn things from that that you could apply today?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, not really. I mean, obviously the Roddick match was, you know, one that I definitely had chances to win it. You know, it's so different playing on the grass against someone like Roddick. It comes down to a few points each of the sets, whereas against Marin or most of the guys, you know, you can break serve more often and it's not just, you know, you feel like if you have the right tactics and the right game plan, you know, you can dictate what happens in the match.
Against such guys like Roddick or Karlovic, it just comes down to a few points. I didn't really think back or learn that much going into this one from the Roddick match.

Q. I think there's a general perception that you were extremely nervous in your first slam final. Can you describe your feelings that day?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I was obviously nervous. I mean, you know, as everyone is going to be. But, you know, it's tough. I mean, I'd had a tough run through to the final. You know, it just all came around so quick, I didn't have that much time to prepare myself for it.
Whereas this time's obviously going to be different. Hopefully I'll play better. I'm sure I will.

Q. You only lost one set so far. Could you be feeling better going into the final?
ANDY MURRAY: This is the best I've played at a slam, I think, you know. Obviously the match against Rafa was great. Tonight, the majority of the match was great, as well.
But, yeah, I feel good. Physically I'm going to be fresh for the final. You know, just comes down to who plays the better tennis on the day. It's my job to do that.

Q. Is there any extra motivation for you to know that you could be the one to break a long Grand Slam drought for Britain?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I'd obviously love to do it. It's not really the only reason, you know, that I want to win a slam. I want to win it, you know, obviously for the people that I work with, for my parents and stuff, who obviously helped me when I was growing up, then doing it for British tennis and British sport would be excellent, as well.
But, you know, the pressure that I feel doesn't come from the people that are around me. They obviously are happy with anything that I do. But, you know, I want to win for them first.

Q. And what would it mean for Scotland to you?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I think it would obviously be huge. I mean, never really been any tennis players from Scotland. You know, the support that I've had from back home has been great. You know, hopefully I can do it.

Q. So much time between now and the final, is there a danger you might play the match too many times in your mind?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know who I'm going to play until late tomorrow night, so I'm not going to be thinking that much about it until I know who I'm playing against.
It's nice. I'm happy to have days off. After, like I said, last time I played three days in a row. This way works out much better, I think.

Q. When you bring off the kind of shot you did bring off in the second set, then in the final game of the match, the crowd really is loving it, how do you feel out there?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it feels great. I mean, when it happens and you're ahead, you get obviously adrenaline rush at the end of the match, very close to finishing it off, I -- I didn't feel like I had the match won, but I felt pretty relaxed in the last game. So those moments are great.
You know, they don't happen that often, so you've got to enjoy them.

Q. You told us yesterday you like to enjoy any match you're playing no matter what the stakes are. Do you think you'll be able to enjoy the final, considering how important it is?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, the thing is, I mean, when you look back at the US Open final, you know, definitely when I look back at it, you obviously enjoy the experiences. It was a huge low if you don't win. But I can imagine the high that you feel when you win a Grand Slam is incredible.
So, you know, I'll try and enjoy it as best as I can. But I'm sure, regardless of the result, when I look back in two, three, four years' time, I definitely will have enjoyed it.

Q. Do you have a preference?
ANDY MURRAY: It's tough. Obviously, both are obviously great players. Federer's record in slams is amazing. You know, everyone knows he's one of the best players ever. So, you know, it would be incredibly tough to beat him. But if I was to win a slam against him in the final, it would make it extra special.
I guess the pressure's gonna be on whoever it's against. But it's a little bit different. If it's against Federer, I think he would be expected to win. If it was against Tsonga, I would probably be the slight favorite.
So both are going to be tricky.

Q. Is there a danger you could end up playing the occasion rather than the opponent?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it's my job to make sure that I play against the opponent and not let that get, you know, in the way of my performance. There's obviously going to be a lot of pressure out there and nerves. But I think I'm old enough now and experienced enough now to be able to deal with it well.

Q. You played in some amazing stadiums. Where does Rod Laver Arena rank against the others?
ANDY MURRAY: They all are different. The match against Nadal I played here in 2006 was the best atmosphere I played, you know, and absolutely loved it. No, it's great. I mean, all of the slams, they're all different. But the atmosphere in all of the center courts is amazing. It's definitely up there.

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