Monday, August 25, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Thoughts on that, Andy?
ANDY MURRAY: I thought it was pretty decent. Didn't lose my serve the whole match. I thought he played pretty well for, you know, about a set and a half. He was hitting his forehand really hard and making me do a bit of running. It was a decent test and I came through it pretty well.
Q. Did you step up, or did he just kind of go off the ball a little bit?
ANDY MURRAY: I think a little bit of both. It was quite tight. You know, the end of the second set, and then I think once I won that, it was going to be a long way back for him. And obviously I felt much more relaxed, you know, after I won the second set and started to return a bit closer to the ‑‑ stepping a little bit closer and coming forward a little bit, and being a bit more aggressive.
Q. Did you enjoy the last point?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was good. Yeah, it was one of the better shots I've hit this year, but yeah, it was a nice way to finish.
Q. Is there a mindset when you play in the first round. I'm just watching the match with Nadal and he had a little scare. Is there kind of a pressure on the prohibitive favorite against the underdog? Nobody wants to be embarrassed in round one. I'm curious what goes through your mind when you step out on court?
ANDY MURRAY: I think before you get out on the court there is always maybe more nerves, the first round. Maybe the second, third, fourth round, you get used to the court.
Yeah, like you say, no one wants to go out in the first round. But actually once you get onto the court and you play sort of four, five, six games, you get more comfortable and, you know, you relax a little bit. I was lucky I got off to a good start today and, you know, calmed down a little bit after that.
Q. Did it hurt when the ball hit you?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really. It was only like a 90‑mile‑an‑hour serve. I think it's probably the first time it's happened in a match, where I was hit by a serve. I can't remember being hit by one before.
I nearly got hit a couple of times actually. I couldn't really see his serve that well.
Q. You didn't take it personally?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really.
Q. It's important, Andy, just to sort of get back to winning ways and somewhat back to the way you ‑‑ I know it wasn't as challenging as Cincinnati, but just to kind get back on the winning road?
ANDY MURRAY: Umm. Yeah, I mean, you know, I'm feeling really confident just now regardless of what happened in Beijing. I feel I'm hitting the ball well. You know, I feel mentally strong and physically I'm not tired, so, you know I want to do well here, and today was a good start.
Q. You're one of several who have taken a victory over Roger this year. In the past several years there's been a feeling he's almost unbeatable, and that's come out in many, many, many press conferences. The last few days we had a chance to talk to James Blake and Andy himself, and many others, and they described maybe a little bit of a different atmosphere this year, maybe a sense that, you know, that any number of players could take this championship. Do you feel a little different this year in that respect?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think that's ‑‑ I think even though Federer was still the favorite for Wimbledon, I think, you know, there was still guys that had a chance of doing some damage there. You know, and I think this is ‑‑ you know, it's really exciting for tennis I think for the first time in quite a while.
You know, there's obviously quite a few guys that have the potential to win it. You know, I'd still say Federer is one of the favorites, but in terms of being unbeatable, I think that's the mindset that isn't great if you're going on the court believing that you can't win against someone. You know, it's not really going to happen, and I think it's taken a few of the top guys, you know, to see Federer lose to, you know, lower‑ranked players to start believing they can win against him. I'm sure it's been tougher for Roger this year than it has in the past, because he's lost to players that he's beaten, you know, sort of four, five, six times a row.
Q. James said he felt Roger really hadn't lost anything. He just feels that tennis has just progressed and players have progressed and gotten better. Would you agree with that assessment?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I said that a month or so ago. It happens in all sports, when someone sets the bar that high, you know, that's not going to happen straight away, but, you know, over sort of three, four, five years, guys have caught up and realized that's the level they're going to have to get to if they want to be competing for Grand Slams, and I think this year has been another ‑‑ the time, you know, and I still think Federer is playing great tennis, but I think just the mindset of the other players has changed because he's lost more this year than he has in the past.
Q. Would it be correct to sort of view you this year or in your own mindset as previously you believed you could win a Slam like this. Now you know you're equipped to win a Slam like this?
ANDY MURRAY: You know, I mean, I think a lot of things go into, you know, having the ability to win a Slam. You know, talent gets you, you know, to a certain level and then the hard work starts to kick in, and if you're not putting in the hard work, you're not going to get the opportunities to win a Grand Slam. I think that's something I've learned since I first came on the Tour, that, you know, your talent can get you to a certain level, and I've really stepped up my workload off the court and, you know, started traveling with a fitness trainer, and I think that's the big difference in my game, and the reason why I have the potential to come through and win a Slam.
Q. Can you talk about your Olympic experience. Not so much on the court but the atmosphere and what it was like to compete in the Games.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it was something different to anything I'm sure all of the tennis players have experienced before. You know, so many great athletes around you. You know, I didn't leave the Olympic Village at all from when I arrived, and it's a little bit strange, sort of ‑ there's no cars, you know, and you don't hear any planes. It's like no noise in the Village.
I really enjoyed meeting all the other athletes and started collecting these ‑‑ you know, you get pins from your country. And you go and you speak to the other athletes and switch pins and stuff, and that was one of the highlights to me. I got to speak to people from the Cook Islands, British Virgin Islands, and I collected like 120 pins.
Q. I know you are a fight fan, did you get to see any of the boxing competition?
ANDY MURRAY: After I lost I went to watch boxing and badminton. I saw a couple British guys fight. I enjoyed that.
Q. There's a contrast between no cars and no planes and New York, what is it about playing here that you really enjoy and what is it you feed off?
ANDY MURRAY: I've just always loved being in America. I think the people here are very upbeat. You know, they're always have been really helpful and I love the courts. And also the atmosphere, it's just a bit different to all the other Slams. I enjoyed playing here as a junior. It was the first time I stayed in a five‑star hotel, and, you know, I really enjoyed the way I got treated as juniors here, and it's been my favorite tournament since then.
Q. I don't know if it's Gabashvili or Llodra at this point, but could you just talk about both of those players and have you had much experience with Gabashvili?
ANDY MURRAY: I know him really well. I've known him since I was 12 years old. And also when he used to train at the academy I was at in Spain. He still lives there, but trains at a different academy. He hits the ball really hard, both sides, doesn't have too much variety, but if he's playing well he's a tough guy to beat.
Llodra is really talented. He played really well at the start of the year and hasn't had too much success lately, but tricky, serve volley, lefty, I played him once before in Metz and won quite comfortably, but I think he's playing a bit better than he was when I beat him.
Q. Anne won today. Very rare to have two Brits in a Slam.
ANDY MURRAY: The girls have been doing really well in comparison to the past, and as far as the results of the qualifying and I think both Mel and Bally, both had chances. I think Bally was up a couple breaks, maybe, in the third set. And I left when Mel was up in the first set of her match. It's getting better slowly, but yeah, it's great that she won her first match and I'm sure that will move her ranking up and give her some confidence.
Q. Will you be taking some pictures at the end? Can you tell us what that was about?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, got a camera, it's from a charity called "Right to Play." A lot of the athletes had the cameras in Beijing and you basically, you take pictures and charity takes your best 10 pictures at the end of the year and auctions them off and the money goes to the charities. So I'm just trying to get some different ones.
Q. Tim Henman used to say he felt the weight of the whole nation on his shoulders. Do you feel that way or is it Andy Murray playing for Andy Murray?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I play for myself, and I work, you know, really hard off the court to try and get the rewards in these tournaments. You know, in the past I felt nervous coming into the bigger tournaments, but, you know, now that I've started to work really hard off the court, you know you go into the matches with sort of no excuses, no worries. You just go on the court, and just to play tennis, and, you know, that's one of the few things that I'm good at, and it's worked out much better for me this year.
Q. Was there a moment where you became aware of this, you were now at "no excuses, no worries" period? What have you done? When did you first feel like that?
ANDY MURRAY: It was the start of this year in Doha. You know, I spent about four or five weeks out in Florida training. That means being away from your family for obviously that period of time when, you know, you could be at home, you know, training in really hot conditions and, you know, going in the gym a couple of times a day, you sort of ‑‑ it's a complete waste of time going on the court and, you know, finding reasons why you might lose the match and what have you. You know, you just go out there and fight for every single point, because, you know, that's a complete waste of time putting the work in if you're not going to use it out on the court. And it's really been the first time early this year when I felt really good going on the court physically, and it's something that, you know, it's nice to sort of show that you're in great shape, because I think it sends a message to the other players.
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