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January 4, 2013

Andy Murray


A. MURRAY/D. Istomin
6‑4, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Held your serve throughout.テつ I guess that's a pretty good match if you don't get broken, I guess.
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, it was a decent match.テつ There was a few long rallies.テつ It was quite a tough time of day to play on this court because of the shadows.テつ It's quite hard to track the ball sometimes.
So it was sort of 20‑minute period where both of us were struggling with timing a little bit.テつ But for the most part, it was pretty good quality.テつ He served well for the majority of the first set, and especially well at the beginning the second.
So I didn't really have that many chances on returns, so I needed to serve well today.テつ That helped.

Q.テつ Looked like a little bit ever frustration out there in the second set getting up to the tiebreaker.テつ Step us through that.
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Well, yeah, like I said, I was finding it quite tough to track the ball.テつ I had a couple of opportunities and just mishit shots that I wouldn't normally mishit.
You want to, if you can, finish matches off in two sets.テつ I had a little opportunity there at the end of the second which I didn't take, so I was frustrated with that because I wasn't timing the ball as I would have liked.
But I managed to stay focused in the tiebreak and played a good breaker.

Q.テつ Is it particularly bad at one end over the other?テつ Is it an issue of maybe they shouldn't be scheduled at that time?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ No, I mean, it happens at a lot of different tournaments.テつ It's just the nature of playing at that time of day really.
US Open you get it basically when the sun is coming down over the stadium and half the court is in shadow and half is in sun.テつ It's hard to track the ball when it's coming in and out of different lights.テつ It's on the serve as well, you know, and the crowd, too.
So there are a lot of things that can sort of throw your eye off a little bit.テつ In tennis, a split second makes a big difference.
No, I don't think they need to reschedule matches, it's just a tricky time to play.

Q.テつ Given how much you play throughout the year for your lives, are you legitimately rusty going into every new season?テつ Do you feel like, Oh, I haven't played in forever?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Some years I have; this year I didn't really feel that way.テつ I started off my match yesterday very well.テつ It's just more rather than being rusty it's just getting the intensity back.テつ When you're practicing it's hard replicate match situations.
You don't have those nerves on the break points or 30‑All points or the end of sets.テつ You don't have that in practice, and they're the things that take a while to get back into the rhythm of playing.
But "rusty" wouldn't be the word I would use to describe it normally.テつ I play loads and loads of sets in Miami to build up for it.
Yeah, rusty isn't one of the ways I've been feeling this week.

Q.テつ Probably hurts quite a bit when you start playing matches again.
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, especially yesterday.テつ It's just different.テつ Obviously coming over here, you know, a lot players it's a long trip to get over.テつ Takes more than two, three days.テつ Takes a week, ten days before you're feeling absolutely perfect after that.
Yeah, start of the new year you have a few aches and pains playing the matches.テつ They go away relatively quickly.

Q.テつ You played Nishikori in Melbourne?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, I played him last year in Melbourne, and I think I also played him in Shanghai a couple years ago.テつ I practice with him quite a bit as well.テつ He was very tired going into the match in Melbourne.テつ He had two or three five setters in a row and was struggling a bit physically that day.
But he's playing really well.テつ He won the tournament in Tokyo at the end of last year and probably gained some confidence from that.テつ That was his biggest win to date.テつ He's obviously played some good tennis this week.

Q.テつ That semi you played against Novak last year in Melbourne, how important was that as maybe the tipping point for your faith and a bit of confidence?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, it was important.テつ I mean, the matches that are hardest to get over are the ones where you go out and don't play well and don't feel like you've done yourself justice.
That's when it's taken me a solid amount of time to get over that.テつ Like when I lost to him in the final in the Aussie Open and didn't feel like I played particularly well, I struggled for a few months after that with motivation and I was very disappointed.
Last year it wasn't the case.テつ I played finals in Miami and final in Dubai as well, and had some good wins.テつ I beat Novak in Dubai, so I played well after that.
Yeah, it was a good start to the year for me because I played not just in that match, but I played well here and in the four or five matches before I played Novak in Melbourne.

Q.テつ There was a little bit of grumbling before the Australian Open last year about the prize money and how it's allocated.

Q.テつ Do you think the increase this year is going to make life a bit more comfortable for players ranked outside of the top 20?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, I think the problem is when they start changing‑‑ when I first came on the tour it just basically worked where the first round losers would get $10; second round, $20; third round $40, and just doubles every single round.
That seemed to work well, and no one was complaining about how the prize money was allocated.テつ They were just saying they would like more prize money.
When more prize money came in and went at the top end, the majority of the players were unhappy with that.テつ I think it's better for the tour as whole if it's balanced up a little better.

Q.テつ Do you think it'll encourage more people to stay on the tour for longer?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ I'm not sure.テつ I think, to be honest, the issues with tennis go a lot deeper than the ATP Tour.テつ The Challenger Tour prize money hasn't changed in years.テつ Futures tournaments, I don't think their prize money has changed the last 20 to 30 years.
That's what is stopping guys playing tennis early rather than the guys that are on the main tour stopping early.テつ It's the guys playing Futures and Challengers where the prize money ‑‑ you know the $10,000 Futures, that's been the same for I think it's over 25 years.
So the problem is not so much with the main tour.テつ It's the smaller events.

Q.テつ But the collective power of the players from the top down must be...
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Well, clearly not because the prize money has stayed the same.テつ I don't know if there are any plans for that to change in the future.
But on the main tour, yeah, which is something that I think obviously the players that are playing those events can help control a little bit.
Yeah, it's definitely improved over the last couple of years, which definitely helps.

Q.テつ Do you expect a realistic breakthrough from any of the younger players this year, like Nishikori or Raonic or Tomic?テつ I know there is a lot of talk about it year to year, but none of them have really made the big push like you and Roger and Rafa and Novak did at more or less the same age or younger ages.
ANDY MURRAY:テつ I think there will definitely come a moment when someone is gonna break through.テつ I don't know whether it'll be at the Aussie Open or this year.テつ No one knows.
But there will be a time when those guys improve.テつ A lot of them have huge, huge games.テつ There is also variety in the way some of them play.
Tomic, I really like the way he plays.テつ I enjoy watching him the most because he plays with a lot of variety.
Then you have guys like Raonic who are massive servers and can overpower guys.
So there is an opportunity for players to break through.テつ With Rafa not playing as well, that probably enhances that opportunity.
But have to wait and see.テつ You never know.

Q.テつ I heard that Jez lost a VersaClimber contest to Lendl; is that right?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yes, he did.

Q.テつ That's pretty amazing given Lendl's age.
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, probably an 11‑year age difference.テつ Yeah, they made the bet at the US Open.テつ I guess both of them trained for pretty much three months and then he did it I think on the 10th of December.
Yeah, well, you guys will hear about it in Australia, put it that way.テつ One of them has lost a bet.

Q.テつ So they did a half hour on the VersaClimber?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah, it kind of changed, but they did ten minutes on.テつ So Jez started ten minutes then Ivan did ten minutes, Jez ten minutes, three times.テつ Yeah, it was basically who went higher.
Ivan won fairly comfortably.

Q.テつ He's still pretty competitive, huh?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ Yeah.テつ He doesn't want to take on challenges that he doesn't know he's going to win.テつ Yeah, that was a good one.
Yeah, for his age, he's still in very, very good shape.

Q.テつ There were some quotes a while back about trying to tone down the language on the court maybe.テつ Is that going to plan?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ I don't really know, to be honest.テつ A lot of times I get asked sometimes after matches or, you know, can get picked up on the microphone or whatever.テつ No one has mentioned anything to me yet.
But the mics at the Aussie Open are all 'round the court, so we'll see.

Q.テつ Now that you've won a major, does it feel like more after role model thing?
ANDY MURRAY:テつ No.テつ Where it came from was I got asked a question.テつ I was doing an interview over the phone.テつ I got asked about swearing on the court.
I said, obviously I don't mean to do it.テつ I don't want to do it.テつ Sometimes you get frustrated and you do.
Obviously I will try to stop.テつ I didn't make any promises or guarantees that I was going to.
Then it came out that I've said this year I will stop swearing.テつ What I also said was that a lot of players swear on the court and a lot of people say a lot worse things than I say on the court in other languages.テつ It doesn't get picked up on the same.
So yeah, where I would obviously love to stop doing it, I try not to, I can't guarantee it.

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