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January 26, 2011
A. MURRAY/A. Dolgopolov
7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What's the most difficult thing about playing him?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, he's just unorthodox, very different to how most guys play. Obviously it's tough to get into a rhythm. But he's also a very, very good player, definitely not someone to be underestimated. He's had some very good wins this week. He had a good week last week. I'm sure he'll give a lot of players problems in the future.
So, you know, he was very good.
Q. That was your toughest match of the tournament so far. Were you happy with your game, how you overcame his unpredictability?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I mean, I played well. I wouldn't say I was necessarily in trouble at any stage. I was ahead in most of the sets. Getting ahead early in the fourth set made a big difference.
But I thought I dealt with his game well. It was, yeah, just difficult to get into a rhythm. Did quite a lot of running. He won a lot of free points off his first serve. You know, it was a tough match. I thought I dealt with it pretty well.
Q. Where is your game compared to when you played here last year?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think I'm hitting the ball bigger than I was last year. You know, I think a lot of the things, you know, can be quite subtle differences. I don't think there's any major change. I don't see many major changes in any of the guys really at the top of the game. But you just try to become more consistent, have less weaknesses. I think this year I'm a little bit more solid.
Q. How do you brace mentally when you see who's left in the tournament? There's a lot of great players left.
ANDY MURRAY: Great players left. Yeah, some of the best of all time. So it's exciting to be part of it. You know, I hope I can come through. But I'll just be focused on my next match. I'm sure they'll have a really good match tonight. Rafa and David are both great competitors. They're both in unbelievable shape. It will be a very tough match.
Q. Rafa spoke the other day in the early days of his career not really feeling like he belonged. Did you have a breakout match that you can think of?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, actually when I played Rafa here, I think it was in 2006, maybe. I could be wrong. 2006, 2007. Yeah, it was five sets. It was probably the first time I played against one of the best players in a Grand Slam and made it very tough for them. It was a great match. So that was probably the first time I felt like I could go on and compete with them in the big events.
Q. How do you feel now compared to then?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I feel just way more experienced. I know how to deal with playing deep into Grand Slam events now, how to get prepared for them mentally and physically. It's something that I'm a lot better at.
But, yeah, I mean, it's always -- you know, it's always very tough when you come up against those guys. You need to be on your game physically and mentally if you want to beat them. So that will be the case in the next match.
Q. I read some article which says maybe when you were 13 or 14 you played Rafa in a junior tournament or something. You lost. That's when you decided to go to Barcelona. Is that a true story?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I actually didn't play against him. I never played against him until we were both on the tour. But I was playing like a team competition. Yeah, we were playing racquetball. I just asked him who he was practicing with in Spain. He said he was practicing with Carlos Moya, who was like top 10 in the world, and I was practicing with some guys that if I told you a name, you wouldn't know who they were. So that was really why I decided to go and train over there.
I went over when I was 15. I think it was a good decision.
Q. You made it to the semis pretty smoothly. Do you feel you have an extra gear that you haven't used yet?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, you have to wait and see. You know, I've played very, very well. When you play against the best players at the end of the tournament, you know, you need to play your best tennis again to give yourself a chance of winning.
So, yeah, I just have to wait and see how I respond when I play against them. But I have played very well so far.
Q. Do you feel like the pressure is off given that Roger and Rafa are Roger and Rafa and Djokovic is in such good form? Do you think this is a time that no one is putting the pressure on you?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I think there's pressure. I mean, you know, I'm sure the next match might be a bit different to today, the pressure. But, you know, I obviously want to try and reach the final, and if I get there, go on to win the tournament.
Unless you've been in those positions before, you know, you can't explain what the pressure's like. You expect a lot of yourself. You want to perform your best right at the end of the event. I'll be putting pressure on myself to play well.
Q. Does the burn get greater to want to win one the longer the time goes?
ANDY MURRAY: I think it's still the same as when I first was giving myself chances to win slams. It's still exactly the same as it was then. But it's not something that I lose sleep over. It's something that I work very hard towards, the reason why I train hard, you know, train away from home in December.
But, you know, this is obviously for me what my job is. You know, tennis is very important to me. If things don't go well on the tennis court, I've got very good friends and family to fall back on.
Q. You were talking to yourself a lot out there today and gesturing. What were your thoughts? What were you saying?
ANDY MURRAY: I was trying to get myself pumped up. It was very slow, cool conditions out on the court. You need to make sure you're moving your feet a lot when you're out there. And, yeah, because he's a very unpredictable player, you can't switch off. He goes through periods in matches where he plays great tennis, and you have to sort of hang on a little bit. Then he can go through periods where he makes some mistakes.
You need to sort of urge yourself to play a solid, sort of stable match, not make too many mistakes, and in the end hope that, you know, he'll make a few more mistakes than you.
I was just trying to get myself as focused as I could for the whole match.
Q. Not including this tournament, you've earned $14 million in your career. Royal Bank of Scotland is one of your sponsors. Do they manage your money?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I do bank with them, but they don't manage it. I have an accountant that does that.
Q. Do you invest in property in Scotland?
ANDY MURRAY: I do invest in property, not in Scotland. I do invest in property, yeah.
ANDY MURRAY: Where? I have a place in Miami. I have a place in London. And then a few sort of projects in central London, as well. But, yeah, I'm pretty conservative. Don't make any bad decisions.
Q. Do you feel the support you have here? Seem to be a lot of people on your side.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, there's a lot of Scots here, a lot of Brits here. Actually, most all of the years I've come, I've had very good support. And, yeah, it does make a big difference in your matches when it does get tight or, you know, when there's a bit of sort of, I don't know, where the atmosphere's a little bit flat, and there's a group of guys that sing all the songs and stuff, get everyone into it. It does make a big difference.
Q. Did you go and see Billy Connolly last night?
ANDY MURRAY: I did.
Q. Did he make any reference to you in his act?
ANDY MURRAY: No, he didn't.
Q. Should he have?
ANDY MURRAY: I wouldn't have minded. I don't mind people making jokes about me. It's not a problem.
Q. Can you compare the win against Rafa at the Australian Open last year against the loss at Wimbledon to him?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of?
Q. How you played.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, the surfaces are very different. But, again, I mean, I was up a couple of sets and a break when he stopped. Like at Wimbledon, it was a lot of close games. Both of us had chances in both matches. It just comes down to who plays them a bit better.
I played better here and he was better at Wimbledon. It wasn't a huge difference in the way the match went. They were both pretty close. You know, hope I can play another good one in the semis.
Q. You've talked about having a lot of British support here. Do you think you're starting to win over some of the neutrals in Australia?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don't know. But the support I've had in all my matches has been very, very good. I'm sure it won't be if I play against Rafa or Roger. I'm sure the majority of the crowd would be behind them.
But, no, I have good support here. I'm happy with how it is. I don't need any more or less.
Q. And what about Dolgopolov? Do you think you're going to be encountering him at this stage in tournaments in the future?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, with his game style, he's going to give a lot of guys problems. He might be a little bit inconsistent from time to time. But when his game's on, I'm sure, yeah, he'll get deep into Grand Slams and the big tournaments just because of how tricky his game is.
Q. Most people say that the depth in men's tennis is always increasing. In most slams maybe all four of you four guys at the top are in the semis. What is your explanation for this? There is still quite a big gap.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don't know. I mean, Novak's consistency has been very, very, very good the last few years. Yeah, Roger and Rafa obviously speak for themselves. They play their best tennis at the big moments.
You know, I think the depth is very, very strong in the men's game. But I think, as well, because it's become very physical, it's also difficult throughout the whole year, because it's a long one, to play your best tennis the whole year. So I think sometimes, you know, guys like Roger and Rafa, they have losses in those events that maybe Roger didn't have before because I just think the game's become very physical. It's tough to sort of peak the whole way throughout the year. That's probably a reason why they lose a little bit more than they used to.
But the depth is still very strong. You know, the guy I played today was ranked 45 in the world. He's a lot better than that. He's a very, very tough guy.
Q. Does that give you the confidence that you can beat these guys in front of you at any given time?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think I've played well against Roger, Novak and Rafa. I've had a lot of close matches with Rafa. I've had a lot of good wins against Roger. I actually haven't played Novak for quite a long time. But, I mean, I think everyone does beat everyone. I think Roger and Rafa have been better in the slams. That's something that me and Novak want to, I'm sure, try and change.
You know, Novak managed to beat Roger at the US Open last year, and I managed to beat Rafa at the Aussie Open. Hope that changes this year.
Q. Yet at the 02 when you played Rafa in the semi, you sat in your chair as long as he sat in his chair. You weren't standing up at the net waiting for him. Are you going to adopt the same policy? Every other player appears to spend half an hour hanging out in the corridor or in the chair.
ANDY MURRAY: Yes, I mean, I played him a lot of times. There's no point in getting yourself ready and waiting. So when they ask you, Are you ready to go, I always take three or four more minutes. I just warm up like a little bit later than I normally would. Yeah, I always stay in my chair until he's up and about because, well, that's just the way it is.
But I don't mind it at all. I don't really notice it. But it's just something you're ready for before you play against him.
Q. Do you think he's playing mind games with his opponents or that's just what he does?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think that's what he does. I think he's done it since he was very young. I think he's very particular. You know, I just saw him getting ready for his match, you know, just now in the locker room. You know, he takes his time over everything, doing the grips on his racquet, doing the tape on his fingers. You know, he has the things with his bottles on the court. That's just the way he is.
I'm sure, even if he didn't do that, he'd still be an unbelievable player. I don't think it makes really a huge difference at all. I don't think he's playing mind games. But if you can reverse it a little bit, then you might as well try.
End of FastScripts