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March 16, 2010

Andy Murray


A. MURRAY/M. Russell
6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can it sometimes be tricky playing a player you haven't played before?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's always tough, but, I mean, in these tournaments all of the guys are really good players. You know, when he's had to I guess play up a level, you know, he's had some great matches with some of the best players.
You know, I was expecting a tough match, and I came out and started well and that was key. But, yeah, it was always going to be difficult because you don't know their patterns of play and the things they like to do on the court.
You know, I have not really seen him play, but for someone with his game style and stuff, he played very, very close up to the baseline, which I wasn't expecting.
You know, I had to do a lot of defending because of that.

Q. Is that just a nice one to get under your belt? Get in straight sets?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a tough match. You know, a lot of long rallies. You know, the thing that was good about that match is a lot of long, tough games. You know, my serve, when I was down, I played well. I saved a lot of breakpoints and played well on a lot of 30-All points.
I don't think I lost my concentration necessarily on the game when I got broken, but, you know, he had breakpoint; he had a great backhand. You know, when I got on with the dropshot lob, ran back - and it was a really good move - I hit another really tough shot.
So, you know, I would have liked to have won, closed it out there 3 and 3, but I did well to stay composed at the end.

Q. What happened when you ran into the net?
ANDY MURRAY: The net post is stuck, stuck to the court, and I jammed my foot on the net post. It was really thin, but it's, yeah, pretty solid metal.

Q. Did you hurt yourself in any way?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think I'll be okay. I just kind of -- you know, you get it a lot on the hardcourts anyway, when you -- a lot of the players they have sort of the top of their big toes are black (laughter.)
I've got that, unfortunately.

Q. You've had your share of injuries at a young age, so has Rafa. Do you attribute that to his style of play or your style of play or just the rigors of the tour? Maybe a little bit of both?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think I have really had many injuries, you know. You know, I had one wrist injury when I came on the tour, but nothing that's kept me out for more than sort of three or four months.
You know, the tour is tough now. If you look at the start of this year, for example, you know, a lot of guys would be withdrawing. You know, sometimes it's freak injuries, but I don't think it's -- you know, it's not so much the game style. It's more how long the season is now and the little rest time.
You know, Del Potro's, hurting just now; you know, and I know Davydenko has been hurting, as well. Roger was sick after the Aussie Open. You know, a lot of guys were struggling.
That's just kind of what happens now, because we have to work so hard to get ready for the beginning of the year, and you do not really have any time off apart from sort of after Wimbledon.
You've got five weeks before the next batch of big tournaments.

Q. In the case of Rafa, who has had, you know, some extended time off, do you attribute it to his physical style of play or...
ANDY MURRAY: He does have a very physical style of play. But, look, he was No. 2 in the world when he was 17 years old; he's now 23, and he's been at the very top of the game for, you know, 17, 18, I mean, like six, seven years now. And a lot of players -- not many guys stay that close to the top for such a long time.
You know, he did mature physically earlier, but, I think it would be natural for him to stop playing a little bit earlier than someone like Roger who developed a little bit later on, you know.
But he's just been at the top of the game winning matches for so long that it's normal he's gonna get some niggles and some injuries.
But he still had a very long career at the top of the game, and I'm sure there will be around for at least the next four or five years.

Q. I'd like to ask a little bit different question. We in the media are always judging all of the players. I'd like to sort of switch the cards or switch the picture. What are your gut feelings? What are your thoughts in general on the job that the media does overall in terms of the big picture?
ANDY MURRAY: Worldwide or...

Q. Yeah, telling the story of tennis, promoting it, it being fair or not so fair.
ANDY MURRAY: I think, you know, tennis in the last few years it's been -- you know, if you look at sort of all of the sports, it's been very positive. I think, you know, you've got one of the best rivalries ever, you know. The sportsmanship is good.
You know, I'm sure some of the tabloid media would rather there were a you know, few more sort of rows and arguments and whatnot amongst the players.
But I think that in general, you know, it's been pretty positive. We're seeing some of the best tennis, you know, ever.
I think the one thing that is -- and it's not just the media. It's kind of general public, as well. It's difficult to get across how hard, you know, the players actually have to work and how many hours they spend on the practice court and how many hours you spend on the physique and in the gym and, you know, actually how long the season is.
It's a long, long, tough season. It's not just, Oh, you get five weeks off at the end of the year. We don't have five weeks off. We are training, working really hard and, you know, trying to get in the best shape possible for Australia.
And it's normal that, you know, you're gonna get tired, gonna get some niggles and injuries, because we don't have much time off in comparison to all of the other sort of leading sports. So I think that's one thing from the players' side we do talk about a lot.
So unless you are actually doing it, it's very difficult to understand how tough the sport is.

Q. And last week, Andy Roddick on the one hand complained that maybe the coverage of tennis in the United States is not that great, but maybe it wasn't so good to have reporting where they say at 4:15 you took a gulp of Gatorade. Do you think that sometimes there's too much in any way, or in your case, or not?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think, you know, people generally think that -- I can only really speak in, you know, from being in the UK -- that, you know, people think that, you know, there's so much pressure on all the players at Wimbledon and you know, tennis doesn't really get covered well in the UK.
But, you know, some of the tournaments we go to outside of the UK where there's 12 to -- you know, there used to be more before the crisis -- we could have up to like 20 journalists from the UK traveling to the big tournaments.
In the UK, I think it does get covered very well, you know. You just have to go, you know, a few pages in from the back, you know, to read it. So it's I'd say in the UK tennis is covered very well.
I mean, people sort of view tennis as being quite -- well, they view it negatively in the UK, I think.

Q. When you're playing a match, is it a positive experience, a match like the one today? Are you enjoying it? Is it sort of more neutral, this is what I have to do, or are you thinking, boy, I wish I didn't have to do this?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, that's what I have to do. You know, I'm sure all of the players would say, you know, the most satisfying thing is winning tournaments. You know, you have to win the first few rounds to do it, and you have to work hard and fight really hard at the start, you know.
You see Novak, you know, had to fight hard yesterday; Roger had to do the same a few days ago. You know, we need to be on our game early in the tournament, and that can sometimes be difficult mentally if you have to do it week in, week out.
So that's why I'm sure the players are like slightly getting frustrated out there. But as the tournament goes on, you start to feel more comfortable and start enjoying it more.

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