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ROLAND GARROS


June 4, 2014


Andy Murray


PARIS, FRANCE

A. MURRAY/G. Monfils
6‑4, 6‑1, 4‑6, 6‑1, 6‑0


THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  You said it was going to be exciting.  Was that a bit too exciting in the end?
ANDY MURRAY:  No.  I mean, it was a hard match.  Conditions changed quite a lot during it.  It was extremely windy in the beginning, and then it was pretty calm at the end and very slow.  It was obviously very cold at the end of the match.
Yeah, I mean, he really raised his game in the third set.  I thought I played a pretty good third set.  Fourth set wasn't my best, but, yeah, it was a fun match.

Q.  Can you talk us through the conversation before the start of the fifth set?  Monfils came and said he really wanted to play and felt he tried to win too quickly because he wanted to play and stay on.  What was your view of the decision?
ANDY MURRAY:  I didn't want to stop the match either.  I asked what the situation was.  It was 20 past 9:00.  I was told we had 20 minutes left, so, you know, you could potentially play two games, two or three games in that time.  Six was the maximum that you could play.  I mean, it was so dark at the end.
Yeah, thankfully for me he played a poor fifth set once I got ahead.  But, I mean, I don't know whether the quality of tennis from him went down because of the darkness or not, but I just wanted to know what the situation was.
I didn't want to stop the match.  That's why I said to the referee when he came on, I said, Why only talking to me?  Shouldn't you be explaining to both players?  It looks like I'm trying to stop the match, so they're going to be booing me.
I just want clarification on what's gonna happen.

Q.¬† Does having a fourth set go 6‑1 against you and the 6‑0 in your favor in the fifth feel less unexpected when you're playing a guy like Monfils who you sort of expect the unexpected against?
ANDY MURRAY:  Well, the way that he played the last three or four games, yeah, for me it was unexpected, because his level in the third and fourth sets was extremely high.  He made very few mistakes.
But that's the thing about five‑set matches, is you need to do it for longer than two sets.¬† You need to do it for a longer period than that. ¬†Obviously once I got up in the fifth set his level dropped a lot.
But, I mean, he did play some really good stuff.

Q.  How did you feel physically in the fourth set?  Was it he was playing too well or were you also feeling the effects of the long match at that stage?
ANDY MURRAY:  It was tough, because at the start of the match I was the one dictating all of the points.  The third set I was still dictating a fair amount of them.
But in the fourth set, yeah, whether I slowed down a bit or not ‑ maybe I did ‑ but he put me on the defensive that whole set.¬† So I was having to do most of the running.
I don't know exactly why, but like I said, he raised his level significantly in the third set.
The fourth set, my level definitely dropped in the fourth a bit.

Q.  Your second semifinal here.  Have you exceeded your expectations a bit from the beginning of the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY:  No.

Q.  How big of an achievement is it to get to the semifinals here?
ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, it's definitely a big achievement, but that's not what I came here to do.  Yeah, my goals are different and my expectations are different to a lot of people.
I expect a lot of myself.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well at these events, and thankfully I have done okay so far.
Still hopefully a long way to go in the tournament.

Q.¬† Ga√ęl said he thought you were more tired than him before the start of the fifth set.¬† I'm wondering whether you kind of tricked him to believe that you were more tired than you were actually, and whether you did like what Ga√ęl did to Fognini in the previous match, he took advantage of the fourth set to recover a bit?¬† Was that something you did?
ANDY MURRAY:  No, I wasn't trying to trick him at all.  What you need to do is go back and watch the fifth set.  He played a bad fifth set.  That's why he lost the match.  He made a lot of unforced errors, which he wasn't making in the previous sets.  I didn't have to run at all in the fifth set once I got ahead.
You know, the point where I broke him was a good point for me.  I picked up a good dropshot, played a good shot there, but the rest of the set he made a lot of mistakes.
That was why I won the fifth set.

Q.  Have you ever played in darkness like that?  Was it in terms of your career slam matches perhaps the most undulating in terms of scoreline?
ANDY MURRAY:  I mean, I don't know how much longer we played tonight than I did in the Kohlschreiber match, to be honest.  I don't know exactly what time we finished today.

Q.  About the same.
ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, and I notice the days have started getting longer just now.  So, yeah, it was pretty dark when I played against Kohlschreiber, as well.
In terms of the scoreline, I don't know, to be honest.  I mean, the fourth set obviously for me was a disappointing set.  But like I say, I played a pretty good third set, as well.  I played some good tennis in the third set.
But, yeah, when it's a 6‑Love set in the fifth that's obviously ‑especially the way the match is going as well ‑ that was a surprising part.

Q.  How much can you take out of the match that you had with Rafa in Rome into the semifinals?
ANDY MURRAY:  I definitely learned some things that in that match.  Yeah, I mean, it was quite clear in my head, as well, what was working and what wasn't.
It was obviously different conditions here and a different court, different balls and stuff.  When we played in Rome it was extremely cold.  It was raining and it was wet.  I have been told it was meant to be 25 or 26 degrees on Friday.
So conditions change, which makes a match slightly different, as well.  But there are some things I learned in that match that hopefully I can use to my advantage on Friday.

Q.  Is there a difference going into this semifinal with him because you are, like him, a Grand Slam champion?  You know how far you have to go to win this sort of thing.  Does it give you a mental sort of hardness maybe you didn't have back in '11?
ANDY MURRAY:  Well, yeah, I mean, I have obviously know how to win these tournaments now; back then I didn't.  I was trying extremely hard, but I had never done it.
So, yeah, hopefully that will give me a little bit more confidence and belief when I go on the court on Friday.

Q.  This is only your second Grand Slam after back surgery, so do you feel that physically you're ready to compete with Rafa over five sets on clay?
ANDY MURRAY:  We'll find out on Friday.  I don't know.  I mean, it's a tough question to answer, but I have done decent here so far.  I have played some long matches, you know, and come through them.
But the most important thing now is just to recover and be as fresh as I can for Friday.  Like I said the other day, give 100% of what I got on that day and see how it goes.

Q.  He obviously likes it if it's hot and sunny, so would that play into his hands, do you think, if the conditions are like that, or you'd like that too?
ANDY MURRAY:  I don't know.  I don't know.  I mean, I have played in all conditions during my career when it's been wet.  I played him when it's been wet and heavy.  I have played him when it's been sunny and hot.  I have played him when it's been windy.
Yeah, I don't know who that favors.  But, you know, I don't know if it's for his game, but for his body I know he likes it when it's warm.

Q.  Going back to the Fransen conversation, was there not part of you that was thinking he was so good in the fourth set that there would be a case of getting off now and coming back in the morning?
ANDY MURRAY:  No.  I just wanted to know what the situation was, because I believe in that situation both players should be made aware of what time you're going to play until, and then you stick to that time.
If the umpire said to stop at that point, I also think it would have been a decent decision.  Because, like I say, the level of tennis at the end was by far the worst in the match.
So I don't know if that's‑‑ like I said, I don't know if that was to do with the light and why he struggled a bit at the end, but, you know, for tennis players, your eyes are extremely important.¬† When you can't see the ball properly, it's tough to play.

Q.  Do you consider it the toughest challenge in tennis, playing Rafa here?
ANDY MURRAY:  It's definitely one of them.  Yeah, for sure.

Q.¬† Does any part of you think it's a little odd in 2014 a world‑class major event like this can still be at the mercy of daylight, that lights should be something they would have?
ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I mean, obviously for the players, from a player's perspective, in that situation obviously it is better to finish the match than to have to come back the next day.
You know, it was the same earlier in the tournament for me against Kohlschreiber.  It is tough to come back in the middle of a fifth set or towards the end of a fifth set.
From a player's perspective, it would obviously be better if you knew when you got on the court when you were going to finish ‑ unless obviously it rains.
Yeah, most of the clay court events, they play night matches and have night sessions in Madrid and Rome.  Yeah, it would help.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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