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Andy Murray, Tennis Masters Cup, November 14, 2008
   

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TENNIS MASTERS CUP


November 14, 2008


Andy Murray

SHANGHAI, CHINA

A. MURRAY/R. Federer
4-6, 7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you enjoy playing in the match, and how much has it taken out of you?
ANDY MURRAY: I won't know how much it's taken out of me till tomorrow. But, yeah, it was a great match. You know, so many sort of twists and turns. The first set was relatively straightforward for him. You know, but the second and third set, kind of never knew what was gonna happen.
Then that tiebreak in the second set was some amazing points. You know, had that feeling that it was, you know, going to be one of those matches where it's gonna go right to the wire. You know, I was glad I pulled it out.

Q. Out of all the points in the match, is there one that vividly sticks out in your mind now?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of like a key point in the match, it probably wasn't the best one out of the lot. But 4-3 in the tiebreak, must have been a 25-, 30-shot rally. There were a few exhausting points in that rally, but that one that got me 5-3 ahead.
Both of us were a bit tired. I think he made an unforced error on the next point. Was probably trying to finish the point quickly. That was a key point for me.

Q. Roger used a lot of slice shots and dropshots in the court. How did you take on his tactics today?
ANDY MURRAY: Every time I play against him I come up with a slightly different game plan, 'cause if you play against him the same way each time, he's gonna figure out how to play you. You need to try to change some things.
You know, he obviously tried a few different things. He came to net a little bit more today. He used some more dropshots than normal. You know, they worked well, but the things I did differently worked also.

Q. The crowd always seemed to be with Federer; seemed unfair to you. Would you make some comment on that?
ANDY MURRAY: I thought the atmosphere was awesome in the match. I think it makes the result even better for me that most of the crowd wanted him to win. It's understandable: he's won here three, four times, all of his achievements. Doesn't really surprise me that the support was with him.
It was just a couple of times it was tough in between the first and second serves. You know, there was a lot of noise. But apart from that, I thought the crowd were very good.

Q. Did you go out there with a kind of live-for-today mentality and shut out of your head knowing which player you would face if you lost?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, I didn't. I didn't care if I played Djokovic or Davydenko. Both of them are 7-6 in the third when they played a few days ago, so they're obviously playing a similar level, you know.
But I was playing against Federer. I wanted to win. I said that the other day. I'm not going to go over against him and let him beat me easily. Psychologically a win like that is going to be huge for me next time I play him, especially in big matches.
Although I'm going to probably be a bit tired tomorrow, a win against him in a match like that, you know, is worth as much - maybe not as much - but similar to winning the Masters Cup. He's one of the greatest players of all time, so it meant a lot for me to win that one.

Q. After eight match points, what kept you going, and what is your next goal?
ANDY MURRAY: It was tough after that game, you know, where I had all the chances. But he played some great, great tennis to save most of them. But I was having more of the chances than him.
I just had to try and stay focused, because, you know, I felt like I had the upper hand at that stage. You know, stayed mentally tough and broke him the next game.

Q. Talk a little bit about Roger Federer. There was a point like when Pete Sampras reached a point in his career where he wasn't considered by the other players invincible, they felt he was beatable. Is Roger at that stage now, that the players feel he's still great but he's much more beatable than in the past?
ANDY MURRAY: I always feel like all the players are beatable, you know. I never felt like any of the times I played him that I couldn't win the match. Always thought that it was possible.
He's still playing great. I mean, he's No. 2 in the world. Nadal's had one of the best years in tennis over the last 20 years and he's still not that far behind him. You know, so he's maybe lost a few more matches than normal, lost to guys that, you know, he doesn't normally lose to.
But, you know, it's not totally surprising. I mean, he's normally losing like seven matches a year, which is ridiculous.

Q. Do you think one day you will be like an ambassador of tennis like Roger Federer?
ANDY MURRAY: Not to his level, I wouldn't have thought. You know, but, yeah, I'd like to -- I'd like to hope that in the future I could, you know, do a good job for tennis, not just in the UK but around the world. You know, I have to do a lot more winning before you can sort of put yourself in that position, I think.

Q. How much of a distraction was it, Federer clearly having a problem with his back?
ANDY MURRAY: Not really, 'cause to me anyway it didn't seem like it hampered his movement too much. I mean, he still seemed to be serving well. He just maybe was trying to finish the points a little bit quicker.
But, you know, if he was sort of limping and stuff and was struggling to move, then it might have been, you know, hard for me because, uhm, you know, everyone says when a player's visibly injured, you know, it's tough to keep your focus.
But when I saw the way that he was playing after the injury time-out, I didn't really have a problem concentrating.

Q. Roger said if he pulled out this match, the worse player would have won. Would you agree you were the better player on the court?
ANDY MURRAY: So he said what?

Q. He said if he would have won that match, he believes that it would have been the case that the worst player on the court would have won the match. So he considered you the better player on the court. Do you agree with that?
ANDY MURRAY: I had a lot of chances, but both of us had a lot of chances. He probably made some more mistakes than me. I mean, I thought he played some great stuff, as well - especially when he was behind.
I don't really know.

Q. What happened to your finger? Does it hurt?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it's fine.

Q. Will it affect tomorrow's match?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think so (smiling).

Q. Did it feel like a great match to you? Is it one of the better matches you played this year?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, in terms of the result and stuff it was great. I didn't finish too long ago. Like I say, I know by this sort of drama, the ups and downs, it's probably, you know, along with my match with Nadal, where I had to deal with the sort of rain delay and stuff, you know, this one, obviously with him having a slight injury, you know, I heard he was sick, and also having all the match points and all the chances that I did have, you know, that made it even better for me.
In terms of the quality of tennis, I don't know, 'cause you don't really feel it when you're out on the court. You kind of have to watch it back a little bit to get that feeling. But there was some awesome points.

Q. Will you eat tonight, or what will you do about eating or sleeping?
ANDY MURRAY: I've already ate. I had some pasta and some chicken. Already had a massage. Just get back to the hotel, sleep as long as I can, you know, try and get well-hydrated before the match. Just see how I feel in the morning.

Q. I noticed you were taking some pace off the ball, especially in your first two service games of the second set. Can you talk about how that fit into your strategy as a whole today.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, against him, he's got some of the best strokes in the world. If you give him the same shot all the time, he's going to get into a rhythm and start hitting the ball great. So tried to use some slice, get the ball high up to his backhand a little bit. You know, sometimes some slice down the line to his forehand. Just try and keep him off balance a bit, because when he's dictating the points, that's when he's most dangerous.

Q. Later in the second set when you started missing the backhands into the net, first serves, was there a point when it stopped being technical and started getting in your head? How did you turn that around in the third set?
ANDY MURRAY: It was never technical. Just sometimes you miss shots. It happens. You know, I'm not perfect. He started to play better. You know, I missed a couple shots I maybe shouldn't have. Think I still had a set point, maybe a couple of them, but it didn't really get in my head too much 'cause after we got in the tiebreak, you know, I stayed strong mentally.

Q. Just as you promised two days ago, Roger was knocked out for the first time in seven years. Do you think this could be a sign for the younger generation to emerge on big stages like Grand Slams and Masters Cups? Roger lost three Grand Slams this year. It never happened before.
ANDY MURRAY: So there's been a slight change with Nadal becoming No. 1. I just think right now tennis is in a good place. You've got guys like Federer, Roddick that have been around for quite a long time at the top. But then you've also got Djokovic, Nadal, myself, Simon is new, Tsonga's new.
There's a lot of new guys coming through, as well, and it's very competitive. So no one knows how much everyone's going to improve, but I think it's a good time for tennis.

Q. It's your first time to get into the Masters Cup. How do you feel about your first match and your first semifinal? Do you feel nervous? What do you think about your chance to win the championship?
ANDY MURRAY: It depends. I'm probably going to be a bit tired tomorrow. It depends physically how I feel. If I feel good, then I have a good chance of winning. If not, then it's going to be tough.

End of FastScripts


 

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