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AUSTRALIAN OPEN


January 25, 2012


Andy Murray


MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

A. MURRAY/K. Nishikori
6‑3, 6‑3, 6‑1


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Definitely better entertainment than the last match, Andy.
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah.テつ There was quite a few good rallies.テつ Yeah, I mean, he came up with some good shots.テつ A lot of the long points, the fun rallies he was winning, he came up with some great shots.
But I was just a little bit more solid today and probably had a little bit more in the tank than he did.テつ He played three long matches.テつ With the way that he plays, you know, he needs to play a lot of long rallies.テつ That was to my advantage today.
So it was good.

Q.テつ Do you feel you're kind of climbing step by step heading towards the semifinal?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, I mean, I was hitting the ball better today.テつ I could have served better, that's for sure.テつ I'll need to serve better in the next match.テつ I had a sore neck today when I woke up and I wasn't feeling all my serve.テつ I don't know if it had anything to do with that.
But I was returning good, hitting the ball clean from the back of the court, moved forward well.テつ So it was good.

Q.テつ Five semifinals in a row.テつ What does that mean to you?テつ You're looking for consistency.テつ You must be incredibly proud of that.
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, it's been a good run.テつ I mean, it's not easy to do.テつ It's happened often the last few years 'cause of the guys that are playing at the top just now.テつ But, yeah, it's a difficult thing to do.テつ It's good to see that I've been playing my best tennis at the slams because that's something the last couple years I wanted to make sure I was doing.
That wasn't always the case.テつ Good to see that's been paying off.テつ I've been preparing the best I could for them.テつ Thankfully the tennis has been good, as well.

Q.テつ Today your opponent said he looks at you as kind of a role model.テつ He likes to play the way you do.テつ He said he likes your backhand and your intelligence on the court.テつ Do you think you find any similarity between you and Kei in terms of playing style?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Well, yeah, I mean, I think both of us move well.テつ I think he's improved his all‑court game.テつ I think he's volleying better.テつ Saw a bit of his match with Tsonga.テつ He was volleying well.テつ I think he is a clever player on the court.テつ He's quick.
I don't mean this in a bad way.テつ The only difference is the height.テつ For me, I can get more on my serve because of my height.テつ That's of benefit to me.
I like the way he plays.テつ I practiced with him a lot when I was younger.テつ I used to go to Bollettieri's.テつ Obviously have the similarities of having worked with Brad Gilbert, as well.
Yeah, he's a very good player.テつ So it's nice that he likes the way I play.

Q.テつ What kind of advice would you like to give him?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Well, I think he just needs to keep doing what he's been doing the last five or six months.テつ I don't know exactly if he changed much in what he was doing.テつ But I said before the match that I'd seen him in the gym a lot.テつ I've seen him working hard in Brisbane, and even here as well.
He's doing well.テつ He's playing the best tennis of his career.テつ He's going to be moving, I guess, into the top 20 at least after this week.テつ So he's going the right direction.
He's come back from a bad problem with his shoulder.テつ So he's done really well to come back from that.

Q.テつ Do you put your first serving down to your neck only today, or how do you think it's been going throughout the whole tournament?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Well, I hadn't been broken.テつ I mean, the last match wasn't much.テつ But since the first set of my match with Ryan Harrison, I went nine sets I think without getting broken.テつ So I've been serving well.テつ Been getting a lot of free points with my serve.
Yeah, I don't know if it was anything to do with my neck.テつ I didn't feel great on my serve today.テつ But I'll work on it tomorrow and get the rhythm back.

Q.テつ You played in quite different conditions for all of your matches.テつ What were the conditions like today?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ It was hot actually.テつ We practiced this morning.テつ It was cloudy and cool.テつ Then when the clouds sort of burnt away, it was warm.テつ On that court, it was quite breezy, as well.テつ You always feel like there's a bit of a breeze on that court when you're down the far end.
But it was pretty strong today.テつ It was tough to dictate points from that far side.

Q.テつ You haven't had to spend too much time on court.テつ How are you feeling other than the neck?テつ Are you feeling fresh for this stage of the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, I'd hope so.テつ I mean, I haven't played over two hours really for the last few matches.テつ So, yeah, I feel fresh.テつ Hopefully that will be to my advantage going into the weekend.テつ I have to play a lot of long rallies, for sure, against the guys that are still left in the tournament.テつ So I'll need my legs to be fresh for the next few matches.

Q.テつ What have you been able to see of Novak and David?テつ Can you give us a quick preview of the two of them?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ I saw Novak's match with Lleyton.テつ That was the only match of his I'd seen.テつ He was hitting the ball very well.
David, I saw a bit of his match with Gasquet.テつ He's always solid.テつ He's always very good.テつ He never plays poor matches.テつ Obviously had the long one with him last year.テつ He's a tough guy to play.

Q.テつ Do you feel more relaxed at this Grand Slam than maybe previous Grand Slams?テつ Does it feel different?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ No, not necessarily more relaxed.テつ Just probably definitely have more experienced than I had at this point last year because I played deep in the slams the last five or six of them.
No, not necessarily more relaxed.テつ Just more used to being in this position because of the experience.

Q.テつ Do you think that will help you in the semifinal?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ I hope so, yeah.

Q.テつ With the top four having been the same for so long, you being part of that, does it feel any different for you this time having Roger and Rafa finally on the same half?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, well, it has been amazing.テつ I pretty much drew to be in Nadal's half, I mean, almost every slam.テつ I can't remember the last time I wasn't in his half of the draw.テつ It's been a long time.
So, yeah.テつ I mean, it doesn't make a huge difference.テつ Not like the match on Friday's going to be easy, because Novak's obviously playing great tennis and David's excellent, as well.テつ It doesn't change too much.テつ It was actually amazing how many times I was drawn the same half as Rafa.

Q.テつ Can you offer an opinion as to who might come through between Roger and Rafa?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Between Roger and Rafa?テつ I don't know, to be honest.テつ It could go either way.テつ Depends who plays well on the day.
Rafa's obviously got a great record against him.テつ The conditions in the evening, I don't know exactly who they would suit.テつ I mean, they played a few years ago here, and it was an epic match.テつ I'd expect it to be similar.

Q.テつ Obviously last year the final loss was quite a shattering experience against Novak.テつ If you were to play him again, how much confidence do you take into it knowing that you've subsequently beaten him last year?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Well, I've always liked playing against him.テつ And, yeah, after the year that he had, the loss didn't look so bad six months later.テつ But I'd like to get the chance to play him again.テつ It would be a good marker to see how I've improved since last year.テつ We'll have to wait and see if he gets through.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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