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January 23, 2012
A. MURRAY/M. Kukushkin
6‑1, 6‑1, 1‑0 (ret.)
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions for Andy.
Q.Â Did you sense that he was struggling early on?
ANDY MURRAY:Â Well, we practiced on the court next to each other this morning.Â I mean, we both practiced for like 40 minutes.Â He had like four or five racquets, like he was trying out different tensions and stuff on the court.
I saw him like bouncing around before he went out onto the court.Â It wasn't until I went up 3‑Love pretty quickly I realized, you know, he wasn't really moving.Â And then, yeah, that was it.
Q.Â Did you sense he was going to retire at some point?
ANDY MURRAY:Â I thought it was best he retired, yeah, because it was pointless.Â You know, he wasn't running.Â The people probably weren't enjoying the match that much.Â I certainly wasn't because nothing was happening.Â You know, there's no real good points or anything 'cause he couldn't move properly.
Sometimes it's best just to stop.
Q.Â Is it difficult to keep your concentration in that kind of situation?
ANDY MURRAY:Â No.Â I mean, if I was younger probably, yeah.Â But not now.Â I mean, it can be sometimes if a guy takes an injury timeout and doesn't move for a couple of games and then, you know, starts moving unbelievably.Â I watched the match with Monfils.Â It looked like that's what Monfils was doing at the start of match.
By the end, he was running for everything.Â That can be difficult.Â But he didn't move the whole match, so it wasn't that tough.
Q.Â What does this do for your own preparation?
ANDY MURRAY:Â I'll go practice in a little bit, work on a few things.Â I'm going to try and get back on Laver after the women's match is finished because the court's a little bit quicker.
And also playing here during the day it's much faster, as well.Â Obviously the ball travels quicker through there with the heat.Â So I'll try and practice again on there in case I have to play my next match in the middle of the day.Â That's it.
Q.Â So it's not necessarily a bonus in terms of not working as hard as maybe you needed to?
ANDY MURRAY:Â No, it's perfect because you conserve energy.Â You just need to make sure, you know, today and tomorrow you hit enough balls to make sure you don't lose any rhythm.Â Because there was no rallies out there, I need to make sure I move around a little bit so I don't stiffen up in any way.
But just, you know, you can't look at it as a negative.Â At this stage of the tournament to be off the court in 45 minutes or so isn't bad.
Q.Â It's possible you might have to play during the day again here.Â Would you welcome that?Â Do you think your durability gives you a potential advantage?
ANDY MURRAY:Â To be honest, sometimes it depends who you're playing against.Â For example, Hewitt and Djokovic today, I would have thought it would have been more beneficial for Hewitt to play during the day against Novak.
Some guys like playing in the heat.Â Some guys, someone like Ferrer, I mean, he's one of the fittest guys on the tour.Â He's great in the hot conditions.Â He makes you work hard for every point.
Then he gets a little bit more on his shots; whereas in the evening it slows the conditions down a little bit, the opponent's not getting as tired, and also his shots aren't doing as much damage.
It sometimes depends just who you're playing against and whatnot.Â I don't mind.
Q.Â You've done a great preparation for the match.Â Then to go out there in those circumstances, is it a bit of an odd day for you?
ANDY MURRAY:Â Yeah, it's just boring.Â There was nothing happening on the court.Â It's like, you know, it would have been nice to have come off and been like, Ah, I played unbelievable and he stopped.
Didn't have to do anything.Â Just hitting the ball in the court and, you know, he wasn't running.Â He was making mistakes the first or second ball of the rally.Â That was it.
Complete contrast to my match with Llodra the other day.
Q.Â You'd take a few boring wins, wouldn't you?
ANDY MURRAY:Â I've got no problem with it.Â You know, it's not so much like winning boring matches.Â If you win a 6‑2, 6‑2 match and you don't have to save any breakpoints or anything and there's no ups and downs, you know, that's different.
Today there was nothing.Â There was no atmosphere 'cause there was no points.Â That was it.
Q.Â Was it a bit of a shock when he broke you?
ANDY MURRAY:Â No.Â I mean, like I said, nothing was happening.Â Wouldn't have mattered whether I lost that game or the first game because he wasn't running.
It was also tough at that time of day.Â On the far side the sun is bang in your eyes.Â You're kind of rolling the serve in to get the point started.
Also the court is quicker.Â It takes a few games to adjust.Â Hit a few balls long at the start, then I hit a few balls into the net and stuff.Â Different court, different conditions.Â That's it.
Q.Â Looks like Kei is two sets to one up as we speak.Â Can you just talk about those two guys, the challenges they present.
ANDY MURRAY:Â Well, I mean, Tsonga, I'm sure you know how he plays.Â He's got a huge serve, great athlete.Â Can be a little bit erratic sometimes.Â But when he's on, he's incredible.Â He's incredibly imposing.Â He can kind of dictate what's going on on the court.
I saw a little bit of the match just now.Â Kei is playing really, really well.Â Practiced with him a few times.Â He's very good.Â You know, very deceptive.Â For somebody that's not the tallest guy, he creates a lot of power from the back of the court.
He deals with pace well.Â He can slice.Â He moves well.Â He was hitting a lot of winners out there.Â He was dictating all the points from the back of the court which is difficult against someone like Tsonga.Â He's one a few long matches here as well.
Every time I saw him in Brisbane the last few weeks, I've seen him in the gym a lot.Â I think he's gotten in better shape, as well.Â He's doing well.
Q.Â With Kei, can you see what influence Brad has had with him?
ANDY MURRAY:Â To be honest, I don't think he's doing much work with him at all.Â I think they maybe even stopped around Wimbledon time last year.Â He did start doing better after that, but a lot of times the work's kind of done before then and you see the results a few months later (laughter).
But, no, I think a lot of times‑‑ I know Brad, when I worked with him and spoke to him about Kei a little bit, he was saying he needs to learn to love the gym.Â To be fair, I've seen him in there a lot doing good work.Â He's gotten in better shape.
I think that can then help with your mentality on the court.Â Because he isn't as tall as some of the guys, getting stronger will have helped his game.Â He's playing very well.
Q.Â One of the things people found pretty interesting was Ivan covering the camera to stop his face from being broadcast on the big screen.Â Was that a joke or is he camera shy?
ANDY MURRAY:Â The camera is one inch from your face when you're watching the match.Â I thought that that was a person at first, and then I saw the thing doing a full rotation with the head.Â I didn't know it was him that had done it until after the match.
But, yeah, that was just the sort of thing he does.Â He showed me a message from his wife.Â He said, Yeah, that had his signature written all over it.Â He's been doing that for years.
Q.Â Do you think it's fair there should be a camera right there?
ANDY MURRAY:Â I don't know whether it's fair.Â For who?Â For the people in the box?
ANDY MURRAY:Â In some ways, I mean, it's good.Â I think if they're going to put a camera there, they should at least use it for the benefit of the umpire or someone, if people are blatantly coaching.
There's been a few weird decisions the last few days.Â I saw one yesterday, Berdych getting a warning for coaching.Â A few others have been‑‑ the umpires have been speaking to the players saying, You need to stop getting coaching.
Yeah, I don't know how anyone knows what's getting said, to be honest.Â There's a lot of different languages out there.Â Unfortunately, English is spoken most places, so we can't really get away with the coaching.
But if the camera's going to be there, they should at least use it to stop people from coaching, I guess.
Q.Â Kukushkin is coached by his wife.Â If Kim was helping you this week, what do you think she'd be telling you?
ANDY MURRAY:Â I mean, she's been around tennis pretty much her whole life, so she at least has an understanding of it.Â To be honest, I have very few conversations with her about tennis.Â To be honest, it's not really necessary.Â You just get the, Well done, or, Bad luck.Â That's pretty much it.
I'm sure she would be okay.Â She might be better than most because her dad's been a coach for a long time, so she understands a little bit.
Q.Â Can you share how it's been working with Ivan, what you like so far best working with him?
ANDY MURRAY:Â Well, I think because it's him, you know, you're kind of like a sponge.Â You're kind of absorbing a lot of different information.Â You're asking a lot of questions and you're getting a lot of good answers, interesting ones.
You know, you take obviously all the best parts of it, and it helps.Â I mean, there's not been one thing in particular that he's said that has made a huge different.Â But there's many little things on a daily basis that just help.
I'm sure, you know, if I had no one here, no coach here, I'd be okay.Â But when you just get that little bit of extra help from someone that's been there and done it many, many times, it helps.
In terms of my game, nothing's really changed because we haven't had enough time to work on things.Â I'll do that after the tournament.
Q.Â A week into the tournament, how do you assess your own progress through the draw?
ANDY MURRAY:Â Well, I think each match got better.Â Today's match, I don't really know.Â Didn't do much.Â But I thought each round I played a little bit better.Â I didn't feel good at all in my first match.
Managed to get through, and then started serving better, started moving better.Â That's good.Â I'll definitely be fresh for the next few rounds hopefully.Â Just need to make sure I do the right things the next couple days to get ready for the quarters.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports