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June 18, 2011
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. It looks like you're going to play Monday. The weather forecast isn't brilliant. It looks as though the roof could well be closed. You had experience two years ago. You weren't that happy with the roof, as I recall.
ANDY MURRAY: No. I think what happened was that is that I got asked to say what the feeling was like compared to playing outdoors. It's more humid. It slows the conditions down and the balls become heavier.
Whether that's good for me or not, I never said that. That was just what I said. At the time I was the first one to play a match under it, and that is what the indoor court does.
And the roof, I've never played on grass before. It was a new experience for me. It was obviously great to get the match finished, if you can.
But who knows if I'll be on Centre Court or not. I'll have to wait and see.
Q. What were your thoughts when you heard Isner and Mahut would be rematched? What do you look forward to in that rematch?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, couldn't believe it. I don't know exactly what the odds were, but I think because neither of them are seeded, it's, yeah, just extraordinary. Their match last year was incredible. It's not going to happen again. It will never happen again.
I feel for them a little bit that people might be hyping the match up a lot, and it's not going to be the same scoreline.
I would like to see them play on a big court. I think they deserve it. Yeah, it is amazing they've drawn themselves again.
Q. What do you remember most from last year?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I mean, I was obviously sort of playing matches and stuff at the time. I think it took three days for it to finish, is that right? And, yeah, it's just amazing.
Like you'd go and practice and then you'd come back, and you'd be like, Oh, it's still going. Then you'd go like for lunch, come back, it's like 34-All. It's just weird. Every time you would go away and do something, you were sort of preparing yourself for the next match. They were just going for so long. It was amazing.
Q. We've asked you many times. Just checking on the ankle.
ANDY MURRAY: No, it feels all right. It feels good. Had no problems with it in practice the last few days. Been doing all the training that I wanted to do. I haven't had to stop any practice, practice like at Queen's, so it's all good.
Q. You said you were hoping the fife or six days would go quickly heading towards the Championship. Do you feel now that the curtain is about to rise, can you give us your thoughts as you return to the Centre Court?
ANDY MURRAY: It's gone quickly. I think it's been quite tough for everyone because it's just been tough conditions. Obviously a lot of rain showers on and off today is a good example.
And, yeah, I think I've got good enough practice in. I always look forward, yeah, to the start of the tournament. For me it's quite a long buildup, the five or six days beforehand.
Ready to go now.
Q. What is your reaction to the draw? Pretty much what you might have expected?
ANDY MURRAY: I'm not looking anywhere past the first match. It's not worth it. It's happened to me before when I was younger, and you lose if you're thinking about playing against Nadal in the semifinals or whoever it is in the quarterfinals.
There's tough matches everywhere, as you would have seen last year watching the tournament. You know, Rafa had a couple of long five-set matches that he nearly lost. Roger nearly lost in the first round against someone that you would have never expected him to lose to, and for someone to push him so close. I think Falla served for the match. It's not just worth it.
Q. What about your first-round opponent?
ANDY MURRAY: I know him quite well because we grew up playing a lot of the same junior tournaments. When I went over to Spain I saw him quite a lot. He's a solid, good all-around player. He serves pretty good; solid forehand. Similar to a lot of the Spanish guys, so I'll have to work hard.
Q. We have a new star at Wimbledon in Li Na who, like you, holds the hopes of an entire nation on her shoulders, albeit a larger nation. Do you have any words of advice for her?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, she's won a slam, so I should be the one asking her for the advice (smiling).
I think she handles everything really, really well. I've seen a lot of her interviews on court. She seems very relaxed, easy to talk to. It's great for the whole of tennis, you know, that an Asian star has come through and is competing right at the top of the game.
So no other advice for her. She's doing very well.
Q. How much time have you been able to spend with Darren in the last four or five days, and has it been court time or conversational time?
ANDY MURRAY: I spent a lot of time with him on the court. Every day he's been with us through all of the practices. He wasn't at Stoke Park yesterday, but every other session I've done he's been there.
Danny's spent a lot of time with him in the evening. They're both staying in the Village, so they spend a lot of time together.
Q. And conversational?
ANDY MURRAY: No, just we've been chatting when we're around. We had quite a few lunches together. I had a day off on Thursday. We met for lunch. Yeah, had a chat about things. Yeah, it's been good.
Q. With the weather forecast not great, do you think players like yourself, Roger, and Rafa might have a little bit of an advantage in that you're the guys that are going to be playing on Centre Court?
ANDY MURRAY: There's definitely an advantage to get your match finished, for sure, if the weather's not good. Yeah, it's an advantage. No more to say than that. If you can get on and get your match done, you know, you don't have to play back-to-back days. It's tough over five sets.
Q. When people are talking about potential winners, they seem to focus on the big four as you're called. Who do you think, outside of you, Roger, Rafa, and Novak can go on and potentially spring a surprise, maybe win here?
ANDY MURRAY: There's a lot of the big hitters, guys like Soderling, Roddick, Tsonga, Berdych. They're all guys that I think have got a good chance if they play their best tennis. They're all huge servers, big guys, over 6'4", very athletic. They're the sort of guys that are going to be very dangerous.
Q. With or without Li Na's advice, how is this tournament different for you from the others because of the pressure and the weight and the expectations?
ANDY MURRAY: It's not. It isn't different. Everyone asks me every year. It really isn't. The buildup to the tournament is. The four, five days are a little bit different than what I'm used to. But once the tournament starts, it isn't.
You get obviously the support on the Centre Court, and on the other courts that I play on. I've always had really, really good support. It makes a big difference. It's just nice being able to go back home and watch the same TV that you always watch and stay in your own bed.
It's way more relaxing in many ways than a lot of the other tournaments.
Q. Do you think there's a favorite for this tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I think, you know, you've got guys obviously like Roger and Rafa who have so much experience of playing in the slams and going deep into the slams, that I think experience-wise they would be head and shoulders above everybody else.
But Novak this year has played unbelievably well, so he'd be up there. And then, yeah, I think there's, like I said, a bunch of guys that are very dangerous and have a chance to win.
Q. Do you think you're getting closer to them?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, this year Djokovic has definitely improved a lot. But I felt like when I played against him in Rome, you know, I was very close to winning it. I served for the match, so I had my chance there.
Obviously the French Open was a good tournament for me, and also Queen's. So the last few months have definitely been closer.
But to get ahead of him in the rankings, I can't have two or three months like I did after the Australian Open where I didn't win a match and wasn't playing well at all. So I need to keep the consistency I've had the last few months up for the whole year.
Q. What would it mean for you to win a Grand Slam title? Can you point to a thing or two that has to go right specifically here for you to take that step?
ANDY MURRAY: You need to play your best at the end of the tournament, that's for sure. And, yeah, that's what I work towards. That's, you know, why I play tennis now, is to give myself a chance to win these tournaments and be competing for them each time I play in them.
So, yeah, it would mean a lot. For all the players that have won slam titles and all the guys that have come close to winning them, it's a great feeling to get to the latter stages of them, but it's tough when you just fall short.
That keeps giving me the motivation to keep doing the training and working hard to do it.
Q. Given how well you're playing now - all four of you at the top - and given this surface, how strong would you say the top four seeds are at this tournament right now compared to maybe any other you've played in?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think this surface, I believe there's less players that play well on grass than on the clay and hard courts now, and I feel like we've played good tennis on the grass in the past. Last year I think Roger was the only one not to make it through to the semis, and that was a huge surprise.
So I think this year, you know, everyone's playing really good tennis, and I think there's other guys, you know, outside of the top four that are playing really well, too. So I think tennis is in a great place just now. I think it's going to be a fun tournament; definitely going to be some surprises.
I wouldn't be surprised if there were guys outside the top four who made it through to the semis.
Q. Do you think you've got a bit down on yourself after the Australian Open, and is that what contributed to your poor form, or was it more technical issues?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it wasn't technical issues. That wasn't the problem. It was, yeah, more mental state, sort of getting yourself in the right frame of mind for the matches and also for the preparation for the tournaments. You know, getting a real plan of what you're going to work on.
You know, I felt maybe a little bit like after the Australian Open I thought, Well, I need to change a lot of things in my game, change the way I was training. That wasn't really the case. I made some changes to my coaching setup after the bad run in the States, and that's definitely helped.
I'd been thinking about it for a while, but I think it's natural when you work so hard to try to achieve something. You don't quite do it, you know, you sort of question the work that you're doing, your game, what should I do to improve.
But when you actually look back, you're not that far away from doing it. It's very minor things you need to change.
Q. Do you think with the surface here, Roger and Rafa both had tough matches early on, do you think it makes upsets early on more likely? Do you think you need to be more focused in the early rounds than in other tournaments?
ANDY MURRAY: I just think the court's slow now. So a lot of the guys that weren't playing well on the grass four, five years ago I think are playing better. There's a lot longer rallies, so it gives the baseline players a lot more chances to cause upsets.
That's why guys like Falla last year had a good chance against Roger, because he was able to rally from the back. The court was slow. You know, especially if the weather stays like this. When it's cold, you know, it's one of the slowest courts in the year. That isn't an exaggeration.
Q. Along those lines, is that something that helped Nadal here have the success he's had over the last few years? Were you surprised at all at how quickly and how much success he was able to have?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I'm not really surprised by his success. He's one of the greatest athletes ever, not just in tennis. So you find a way to adapt to the surface and the changes. I mean, maybe didn't take him as long to adapt because the court surface is slower. Maybe 10, 15 years ago it would have taken him a bit more time to get used to it.
But every year he tries new things; he's improving things; he's returning closer to the baseline than he used to; he's serving a lot harder than he used to; he's made technical changes to his serve; he's found a way to play great tennis on this surface.
But it doesn't surprise me because he's a great athlete.
Q. Can you give us an indication of how you'll spend tomorrow? Will you get a practice in? How will you take your mind off the last hours before you come to work on Monday?
ANDY MURRAY: For sure watch some TV on Sunday. I'll probably watch the end of the golf. I'll practice for an hour tomorrow, have a chat to the guys before I leave here about, yeah, just the tournament, you know, how we're going to approach it, make sure everyone's mind's in the right place.
Just go home, chill out, not think about the match until Monday morning.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports