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INTERVIEWS

March 12, 2007

A. MURRAY/N. Mahut

6-1, 6-3

An interview with:

ANDY MURRAY

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Another very quick, very comfortable win.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was good. I played well today. He's got a big serve like Moodie, doesn't serve and volley as much, but, you know, he's kind of tricky to play against. But at the baseline, he plays really aggressive off his forehand and only really slices his backhand. You have to play kind of consistently. You don't want to go for, you know, big shots against somebody like him. You don't want to give him chances by making mistakes, keep the ball deep against him and try and get a lot of returns in play, which obviously all of the big servers is key and it kind of frustrates them a little bit. I did that well.

Q. Do you feel like you mixed it up pretty well?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I didn't really make that many unforced errors and maybe made a few towards the end of the second set. Yes, I served well, sliced well, passed well when I needed to, and that was the key to kind of my victory and not letting him into the match.

Q. So Davydenko possibly. Just talk about that.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I played Davydenko three times, lost to him twice last year; I lost to him here in the second round. He is obviously one of the best players in the world. He's ranked 4, I think just now. Completely different match. I was into my first with him, being one of the best returners in the game, and Moodie and Mahut, obviously play serve volley. And Davydenko's strength is retrieving and, you know, hits the ball great on the run and returns really well. So it may be a different match.
And it's important for me to serve well and keep a good head out there against him because he can make you do a lot of running.

Q. Does it alter the perspective of a tournament when Roger goes out so early? Does it give the tournament a whole new kind of -- go into anything differently at all?
ANDY MURRAY: Maybe for the guys that have to play against him next, but not me. I have Davydenko in my section, who's 4 in the world, Haas, and then Gonzalez, who's made final of the Aussie Open, is ranked 5 in the world. And Haas has obviously made semis and started this year great.
So my section is not easy and it hasn't opened up because Federer went out. But maybe for a guy like Moya who's beating Canas, then, yeah, for those guys, it makes the draw look a little bit easier, obviously, you know.
But in these tournaments, it happens. There's so many tough matches, tough second-run matches, that they do open up and sometimes you get lucky and it's your section, and sometimes it's not. You just have to try and take your chances when they come.

Q. Were you surprised when you heard that Federer went out in his first match to a lucky loser?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I was watching the match, so I wasn't unbelievably surprised. Canas, you know, he's one of those guys that you have to beat. He's not gonna, you know -- he hits the ball to a really good length, doesn't make many mistakes, actually has a very good first serve, and moves well. And, you know, for a first-run match, it is really tough. On these courts, in these conditions, the ball flies a bit and your racket loses tension really quickly and it takes time to adjust.
And a guy like Canas is not the easiest guy to play on first match, so, you know, he won 41 matches in a row. He had to lose sometime. You know, obviously it happened here. But I think everybody was a little bit surprised, but I wouldn't say it was a complete shock.

Q. For many months you were famous as the last guy to beat Roger Federer. That no longer applies. Is that disappointing to you or do you welcome it?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it's not something that you really think about that much. It doesn't go through your mind. I mean, I don't really know how to answer it. It's kind of -- it was obviously great to win against him, but it's been maybe six months. I've kind of moved on from now. I'm not thinking about it anymore.
You know, my tennis has got much better. I could have easily, after that win, gone on a spell, you know, where I thought I was better than I actually was. And, you know, I'm happy with the way that I kind of kept it together after that, that win, and finished last year okay. And I've started this year well.

Q. Is there a certain amount of relief that you perhaps won't get asked about it quite as much?
ANDY MURRAY: I never really got asked about it until he got close to his record really. It wasn't until last couple of weeks where I started to get asked about it, so, yeah, I guess. I wasn't thinking about it, so it wasn't really a big deal to me. Maybe for everyone else it was, but not me.

Q. Canas was asked how he beat Roger yesterday and he laughed and said, I don't know. What do you think the game plan is for beating Roger? I think in the past, you said just play your normal game. But what are your thoughts on the approach to take?
ANDY MURRAY: I said before, if he goes out there and plays one of his best matches, there's a great chance you're gonna lose. But if you go out there and play a bad match you're gonna lose. You have to play well and give him a chance to lose, you know. If you go out there and are making mistakes off the first balls and you're not putting first serves on the court and you're, you know, going for shots that you shouldn't be going for when you're out of position, you know, just really playing like you don't believe, then it's really tough to win against him.
You have to play like you have a chance at winning and just -- you watch how Canas played yesterday, I know Federer didn't play his best match, but the guy hit the ball high, deep, and didn't give him a chance, Federer, to get to the net that much. And that was why he won, because he gave Federer a chance to lose.

Q. Who's the favorite in this tournament now that Roger is out, in your mind? Is there one?
ANDY MURRAY: There's a few guys that have got a great chance of winning it, obviously. Nadal on these courts and this sort of heat is going to be tough to play against. You know, Roddick, Roddick's playing well again. Davydenko, obviously.
I mean, there's quite a lot of the high seeds left in it. I wouldn't say there's one in particular, but there's a lot of guys that have a good chance of winning.

Q. Would you put yourself in that bracket as well?
ANDY MURRAY: I'd say I'm one of the favorites to win, you know. I take a lot of the guys, like Haas, Gonzalez, and Nadal, Roddick, you know, in front of me. You never know what happens in these sort of tournaments, you know. Draws can open up. And as I said, you just have to take your chances.
And I've played well so far. I'll just try and focus on my next match.

Q. You've had the good fortune to work with Brad now for a number of months, and one of his attributes, of course, has been one of the best talkers in all of tennis. What have you learned about American sports from Brad over the past months?
ANDY MURRAY: I kind of had to start learning for myself because it's, you know, I never really followed -- I don't really like American football. It kind of takes too long. Basketball I actually like. I went to a couple matches and I really enjoyed it.
So, you know, obviously Brad speaks about American sports a lot and I started following it. I know a lot of the players now. I can't -- it's kind of -- it's easier -- it's better in tennis because there's more stats to learn. I'm quite into that. And I started learning about a lot of the players. So it wasn't -- Brad wasn't really teaching me about the sports. I was kind of having to learn to make the stuff that he's saying interesting. Because at the start, it was a little bit, you know, I was kind of like "Okay. Whatever. I don't know what you're talking about." But now it's a bit better.
THE MODERATOR: Two more.

Q. When he and Graybow were working with you up in the Bay Area, did he introduce you to Davis or -- Baron Davis or Mullen or any of the Warriors?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I met Chris Mullen. I trained a few times over at the Warriors training facility with Mark, and obviously not -- Mark's very professional when I'm training, but, you know, when I was there, a few of the guys were leaving practice and stuff, and I met quite a few of the players, but didn't meet Baron Davis.

Q. Do they know what a great tennis player you are?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think so, no. They didn't seem very interested in tennis.
THE MODERATOR: All right.

Q. Does Davydenko make you play more offensive, his style?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I guess it depends how the match is going. I think you have to start off, well, for me, anyway, playing my own game, using my slice and angles and trying to bring him into the net a little bit. But every match I play against him, I've had to change tacks a little bit throughout. But I guess sometimes against him, you have to play more aggressive, because when, you know, you do give him chances to dictate, he can make you do a lot of running. And obviously in these conditions, it's not the best thing to be doing. See maybe tomorrow, I'll have to play a bit more aggressive.

Q. What if it's not Davydenko and it's Hernych?
ANDY MURRAY: I played him once and lost against him in my first ATP match, so it's been a long time since then. He's had a couple of good ones. Obviously beating Tim and Calleri. I probably expect Davydenko to win, but if not, it's going to be a tough match against Hernych, but one I'd go into the match being favored, obviously.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

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