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An Interview With: Andy Murray

Monday, September 1, 2014

Q. You think you're gathering a little bit of championship form as you progress? Do you feel it coming together?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah. I mean, today was a good match for the most part, but, yeah, I mean, you never know, to be honest. I feel like I'm playing well. I'm going to have to play extremely well to win the event or even just to get through the next match. You never know what can happen in a couple of days. A week ago I didn't feel great at all. Obviously after the first match was a big concern, you know, and now a week later I'm now in the quarters. A lot can happen in a few days.

Q. How badly do you feel you needed this win today over a player like Jo?

ANDY MURRAY: For what?

Q. Just, you know, for your confidence and going forward. You haven't had that many big wins since last year.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, obviously winning matches does build confidence. I mean, I played against some very good players this year and lost a few close matches. How big it is? I don't really know, to be honest. I hadn't thought that much about it. But, yeah, I'll just try and take the confidence that I gained from a win like this into the next round, and hopefully put on another good performance.

Q. You seemed to be having quite a little success in the first set kind of teasing his backhand, giving him some low slices, slightly more looping shots. That seemed to kind of fall away after that. Was there any particular reason?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. You make adjustments during the match and do the best, I guess, tactics to win the match really. I mean, I could explain in a lot of detail if you would like (smiling), but basically if you -- if I was to hit 100 balls in a row to your backhand side, you would start to anticipate it and maybe start moving to that side a little bit sooner, which then creates more space into the open court and into the forehand side. I think that was the case. There seemed to be more space after the beginning of the match into his forehand side. On a few big points when I broke back in the second set hit a big forehand crosscourt winner on that point, and that was the reason why it changed a little bit.

Q. You mentioned before the start of the tournament that you thought you had been playing fairly well but hadn't been really closing out matches. Did today feel like that sort of match that maybe recently hadn't been the kind of match you were winning?

ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. To be honest, it was -- yeah, I don't know. I mean, like I said at the start of the week, I hadn't closed out those matches, whether it was against Jo or whoever. You know, it happened a few times this year, but I have also won quite a few matches this year, as well. It wasn't like every time I stepped on the court I couldn't close out a match. It was just happening from time to time - and a few times too often this year - so it was nice to win another one with no stress.

Q. Late in the match you seemed to be bending over quite a bit. I know you grabbed your back or you stretched out. Was there a problem at all?

ANDY MURRAY: I think I had a slight issue with my stomach. I think after what happened on Monday -- well, last week -- and the conditions the way they were today, I maybe went a little bit overboard with how much I was drinking at a few of the change of ends, at the beginning of the second set. Then after I went to the toilet the end of the second set I felt a bit better.

Q. The conditions are obviously difficult out there today. Bouchard struggled a little bit. Novak looked pretty exhausted. Is it especially the humidity that is really difficult to play in combined with the heat?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. It was obviously extremely humid. But like I said, sometimes depends on the day. I mean, I don't know if the conditions today were harder than they were last Monday. They felt harder. It felt more humid today. Sometimes, yeah, like last Monday I had just a terrible day. I don't know exactly what happened. I don't know why it happened. Yeah, obviously a lot of players have struggled since then. Conditions have changed a little bit from day to day. Sometimes it's been a little bit cooler but extremely windy. Today was much, much calmer, as well. There was really not much breeze at all. So, yeah, it was challenging conditions. And I think on Armstrong, as well, there's no shade on the court at all. So if you're out there for a few hours it's going to be tough.

Q. Were you surprised that with a game like Jo, as big as his game is, he hasn't been to more than one Grand Slam final? He seems to lose quite a few matches where it's a point here, point there, that kind of thing.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, maybe. I just know from experience how hard it is to win one of these tournaments. I know how hard it is to go deep in them consistently, as well, because the level of the game just now is extremely high. Yeah. I mean, he's lost to some very good players, as well. In slams he has been fairly consistent. I would say he's been unlucky with a few injuries, as well. But over five sets, you know, I would say he plays a very explosive style of tennis. He serves aces; he goes for big shots; sometimes goes for maybe too low a percentage of tennis. Over five sets and over two weeks sometimes that will catch up with you.

Q. You have played Novak obviously many times. How much confidence do you take from the two finals that you played against him?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, they obviously will help. It's more -- I wouldn't say in terms of getting confidence more. It's just having that experience of playing those matches. They were both very long, tough matches, as well. So I know that I can last those matches against him. But, yeah. I mean, I have said it a number of times: anything can happen in a couple of days. I just do everything properly and hope on Wednesday I play a good match.

Q. You get Novak in the quarters. You have had a pretty good rivalry the last few years. He's won here; you've won here; you each won Wimbledon. You get sort of, not a thrill, but you get a charge out of going against the other top players?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I think that's really why we play the game. You know, that's what you put the work in for, so that when you come to these events and you do have to play against the best players that you're ready. And, you know, as much as it's incredibly tough and challenging, the match, that's what you enjoy. You know, playing on Wednesday, Wednesday night against the No. 1 player in the world is exciting. If you aren't getting motivated or pumped for those matches, then that's when there's a problem and it's time to maybe stop.

Q. You won both the juniors and men's titles here. Do you think winning the juniors helps win the men's title, especially at a slam, especially at the same slam?

ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I haven't really looked I don't know the stats really of that particularly well. I know at the time when I won the juniors it seemed like, you know, a big deal. It gave me a lot of confidence. You know, when you see the names of some of the players that have won junior slams it does give you confidence, but I don't think it necessarily translates into winning the tournament as a senior. I know how much work there still is to be done from playing junior tennis to getting through to the seniors. You can't make that transition unless you put in a lot of hard work and a lot of hours.

Q. When you face Novak, what are the biggest tactical keys to your matches? How would you describe your respective styles of play?

ANDY MURRAY: I would say we play a fairly similar style, and I think that's why a lot of the matches have been long games, long rallies, long points, because we do a lot of the same things well. I mean, obviously there's tactics that you go into the match with, and then there's things, like I was saying earlier, that you make adjustments when the match starts. And also depends on the conditions. If it's windy, that changes things, as well, the way that you approach it and sort of shots you're going to try and hit to. So I don't know exactly what I'm going to do on Wednesday, but by the time I get on the court I'll have a good idea.

Q. Do you feel that this is a significant win and that your best tennis is not too far away?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I hope so. I mean, I don't feel like I'm that far away from playing my best tennis. You know, it's still obviously a long way from trying to win the tournament, but, you know, it's only nine sets now, three matches, and just try and take it one set at a time. You know, maybe five, six days away from potentially winning another Grand Slam. I know there is a lot of work to be done between now and then. But putting everything out there on the courts, last slam of the year, yeah, hope I can play well.

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