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March 2, 2012
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
A. MURRAY/N. Djokovic
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions, please.
Q.Â Wonderful result.Â What was the difference between the two of you?
ANDY MURRAY:Â I mean, the first set I served well very well and was aggressive when I had my chances.Â Then I think the beginning of the second Novak started trying to go for more shots, you know.
And this is why the match in Australia was so important, because, you know, the last couple times we played each other‑ in Rome and there, even though I lost the match ‑ I think I made it incredibly hard for him.Â I fought for every single point and made it really, really tough.
I think tonight in the second set he started going for more and making mistakes because of that, because it's tough to always grind out matches.Â I think that was the difference.
You know, he started putting pressure on me at the end the match.Â He was coming to net quite a lot, and I got nervous when I was serving it out.Â But I did really well to regroup after that.Â At 5‑All I played a really good game.
And that was how I saw the match.Â It wasn't an amazing standard.Â I still think I could've played better as well.Â I'm sure Novak feels the same.
So that's actually a good sign for me that maybe not playing my best, best tennis I could still win against him.
Q.Â Your service was pretty extraordinary apart from that one game.Â Can't serve much better than that, can you?
ANDY MURRAY:Â I served very well tonight, yeah, but I can serve better by my second serve for sure.Â It's tough against him because he's obviously a great returner.Â You want to get free points off your first serve, and then on your second serve often you're going to be the one playing catchup.
I think both of us last year behind the second serve we were the top two in the world.Â So that's normally a big part of our matches.Â Both of us return the second serve pretty well.
But I got loads of free points off my first serve, so was maybe able to make him work a little bit harder off his first serve than he was on mine.
Q.Â You said you got nervous.Â What kind of thoughts were going through your mind?
ANDY MURRAY:Â Well, I don't know.Â I mean, sometimes serving for a match that's no problem; sometimes it can be tough.Â You know, the way the first two points went, you know, that's when you're like, Oh, God.Â Like you want to try and get free points if you can.
But, yeah, I mean, the first couple of points in the game are normally pretty key.Â I played two poor points there, and that didn't help.Â He probably sensed I'm a bit nervous or made a few more balls.
You're was just trying to concentrate and not get ahead of yourself or not worry too much about that game.Â But it's much easier said than done.
Q.Â Because that's always been such a strong point of your game.Â Is it just the fact that suddenly you realized, Bloody hell, that's the world No. 1 over there?
ANDY MURRAY:Â I think the thing is a lot of times it can depend on the match.Â Today, on my serve he barely had a chance.Â I mean, one game I think at 3‑2 or something, 4‑2 in the first set he had a couple of break points.Â Apart from that, I don't think he had any.
A lot of times when it's going smoothly, smoothly, smoothly, and then all of a sudden you're serving for the match and you lose the first couple of points, and you're like, Oh, God.Â You're not used to playing those really tough games.
Yeah, it's obviously a big match any time you play against the top guys.Â I mean, everybody gets nervous.Â I've seen Novak get nervous a lot.Â It's happened to Rafa against Novak a lot last year, and Roger against Novak a couple of times in big matches as well.
It's not like it never happens.Â I managed to hang in at the end.Â That's the most important thing, when you do get nervous and blow a chance, you stay strong and win the match.Â I did that.
Q.Â At that stage, did Rome last year come to your mind at all?
ANDY MURRAY:Â No.Â I'm sure if I had lost it would have done.Â That's not what you're really thinking about.Â Yeah, Rome last year was a match that I should have won.
Again, when you're playing against the top returners as well, you know, that obviously makes it harder to serve out the match.
When Roger lost against him at the US Open, you saw a couple of returns that he hit.Â It's not like you can just pop the serve.Â You need to go for it.Â If you miss them, then second serve he's going to try and attack.
So it's tough, but just managed to get the win.
Q.Â About the final, if it's Del Potro, you haven't played him since I think he made his comeback.Â You've got a very good record against him on hardcourts.
ANDY MURRAY:Â Yeah, I always quite enjoyed the matchup against him.Â He's playing really good tennis just now and he's very confident.Â He's getting back to his best, I think.
It was always going to take a while because he missed the best part of the year.Â It's good that he's back playing great tennis again, because he can win against everybody when he plays well.
Q.Â You said on court that you prefer Roger though.Â Did you say that on court?
ANDY MURRAY:Â Well, yeah, because you don't get a chance to play against guys like him that often.Â I like to play against the top, top guys.Â Not the not that Del Potro isn't, but, yeah, I like playing against Roger because it's a good opportunity for me.
I'm sure when I finish playing, they're the matches you look back on and see how you got on against them and remember them well.
So I haven't played him for a year.Â I didn't play him at all last year because of the rankings were always in different halves of the draw.
So don't get a chance to play him that often right now either.
Q.Â It was a long time ago, but do you ever reflect on the first‑round match you played against him, and what do you remember of it now?
ANDY MURRAY:Â Yeah, I remember it because I think I was 10 or 11 in the word at the time.Â I turned up on the day they did the draw, and they're like, You're playing Roger in the first round.Â A lot of the guys were coming up to me and saying, Nice draw.
Then obviously winning against him‑ he's got a very good record here; he likes the surface ‑Â so it was a huge win for me.
Yeah, so, I mean, any time you can win against him it's good for the confidence.Â I think after Dubai that year I went on to do pretty well in Indian Wells, Miami, too.
So it's always a good opportunity to play him.
Q.Â Given the streak that Novak had last year and unbeaten this year and the way you outplayed him, does this count as one of your best wins, even though you said you could play better than that?
ANDY MURRAY:Â Well, I mean, you know, I'm sure that a lot people are saying that Novak didn't play his best or he can play better.
You know, but the fact that he didn't lose until the French Open last year shows that it's not that easy to win against him.Â He's played a lot of matches last year against the top guys when he was tired.
You know, I think Roger beat him one time last year maybe I think.
ANDY MURRAY:Â Yeah, Roger beat him once and Rafa lost to him a lot of times last year and at the start of this year.Â So it's not been easy for guys to win against him.Â He lost very few matches through the first seven, eight months of last year.
I'm glad that I managed to win against him.Â It will do the confidence no harm, that's for sure.
Q.Â Just talking about your approach of overcoming the nerves, should we expect a mentally tougher Murray this year?
ANDY MURRAY:Â Well, I mean, I hope so.Â I think each year you want to try and improve parts of your game.Â That's something that I tried to improve a lot last year, especially a lot after the Indian Wells Miami period.
I struggled, and it took a lot of hard work and courage, I think, to come back and have the year that I did.Â It wasn't an easy period for me.
So, you know, I've also had a lot of tough losses in my career, too.Â To come back from them hasn't always been that easy.Â I think it's big for me that after Australia this year I've come back and had a win like tonight.
Hopefully that will set me up well for the year.Â Like I said, confidence in tennis and almost any individual sport is so important.Â A win like tonight will do that no harm; therefore, mentally I'm sure I'll be stronger.
Q.Â You talked about the Australian Open.Â Obviously it was a tough loss.Â Maybe talk about the lessons you took away and how you applied them tonight.
ANDY MURRAY:Â I think the thing you learn after a match like that is how much you need to sort of suffer on the court to win matches like that, and also how important it is.
It wasn't just the Australian Open, but the match in Rome last year was brutal.Â It was over three hours and we finished really late in the evening.Â They're tough matches to lose, but because you gave 110% and fight for every single point, makes it very difficult for the‑‑ well, not that it makes it more difficult for Novak, but each time you go on the court against players they know that this isn't going to be easy and you're going to try and win every single point, every game.
That's why those matches in Rome and the Australian Open were so important.Â Even though I lost 'em, I'm sure Novak knows if he wants to beat me, he's going to have to fight 110% and play long, long points.
That's why you need to go in against the top guys every time with that attitude.
Q.Â You're the sort of bloke that does watch a lot of tennis, even when you're not involved in it.Â A year ago with where you were sort of the state of mind, did you watch the Dubai final last year?
ANDY MURRAY:Â It was Novak against Roger; is that right?Â No, I think I was actually flying to Indian Wells that day.Â So, yeah, didn't see it.Â I remember seeing the result.Â I think would have been‑‑ I'm sure I was flying that day because I didn't see any of the match.
Q.Â Were you watching tennis the proceeding days, or was it a question of, Oh, I don't want watch this?
ANDY MURRAY:Â I mean, after Rotterdam, yeah, I wanted to just put the racquet away and not really think about tennis too much.Â I don't remember watching really much tennis at all in the buildup to Indian Wells.
Yeah, I went over to Miami actually and practiced before going on to Indian Wells I will.Â Yeah, I don't remember watching any tennis at all between Rotterdam and then.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports