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INTERVIEWS

March 14, 2007

A. MURRAY/N. Davydenko

6-4, 7-5

An interview with:

ANDY MURRAY

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that about perseverance and patience, that win?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I think it was about playing the big points better be than the guy who's No. 4 in the world, you know. And that's why those guys are there in these sort of tournaments, their game. That's why they're ranked where they are. I felt today one of the big points getting my serve, I served great. I had some big serves in the last game when I needed to, and, you know, after a pretty bad start, I came back well.
It's never about patience against a guy who's, you know, not just about that, against a guy who's No. 4 in the world, it's about me playing a really good match and managing to come through. And all these wins against these guys are all really special because I wasn't -- wouldn't have expected to have such a good record against them, and, you know, I played well today.

Q. How important is it for you now to be able to pull out the big serves when you need it?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's important. I think -- you know, I think all the best players and all the great players manage to play the big points well, and whether it was, you know, Roddick when he was No. 1 pulling out the big serves or Federer hitting the big forehands, or, you know, Sampras hitting second-serve aces, all the best players have that ability on the big points to kind of adjust up their game and, you know, believe in their strokes.
And it's something that I worked on a lot. I think, you know, today it kind of showed that I have put a lot of work into it. And against someone like him, it's important because he's so tough. He's so tough when you get into rallies and I needed to serve well and I did that.

Q. What were the differences between when you played him today and when you played him a year ago in terms of you?
ANDY MURRAY: Physically, I'm much stronger, and that's the No. 1 thing that's different. Last year against guys like him who do a lot of running, I'd be out of breath after two, three points, and I'd play some sloppy shots to kind of, you know, get my -- you know, to get my breath back and, you know, end points too quickly. And now I feel like I can run out there for, you know, two and a half hours, three hours in that heat and feel okay.
So I'm not panicking when I'm having to do a lot of running. I feel fine when I have to do it, and that's the main difference between now and last year.

Q. Were you particularly pleased at the end of the first set when you had those set points and then you broke and then you broke him back again and played such a good tiebreaker? That was the nugget of the match the way you played at that particular time.
ANDY MURRAY: I probably should have closed out the set when he was serving, but you've got to give him credit. He had some big shots coming to the net and played some points, didn't miss a first serve on any of them. So I was obviously disappointed not broke him and probably let it affect my game a bit in the 5-all game.
And, you know, change of ends, I had to think to myself I was still in it, you know. The return's the best the part of my game, and I needed to kind of rely on that at 6-5. I did that, and once I got into the tie break, you know, I served really well at the end of the tie break and that was the reason why I won.
It was important to kind of stay mentally focused even after I had that little dip, because, you know, when you put a lot of returns in play, anything can happen when guys are serving out for the set, and it's normal for people to get nervous.

Q. How hard is it to take a guy like him out of his rhythm, 'cause he can stay there from the back and hit cross-court backhands for an hour if he wants to?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it's really hard, you know, especially here, because the ball flies a lot, you know. To change the pace is not the easiest thing, you know, to keep changing the -- how quick you're swinging the racket and how high you're hitting the ball is harder than in those places.
So to get him out of his rhythm is really tough. And, you know, he surprised me a bit today at the start. He came to the net more than I expected. I just had to try to hang in, you know, maybe sliced a little bit too often in the first set and started hitting over my backhand, which is really hard to get someone like him out of his rhythm.

Q. Who do you prefer Gonzalez or Haas for next?
ANDY MURRAY: To play?

Q. Who would you prefer Gonzalez or Tommy Haas?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think it matters. I mean, I think both of them have played great so far this year. Haas has won Memphis, semis at the Aussie Open, and Gonzalez made finals in Australian Open and is playing No. 5 in the world. So either match is going to be difficult.
I don't think it makes a huge difference. Both of them are really good players. So if I'm going to have a chance of winning against them, I'll have to play one of my best matches.

Q. You played Roddick last year, beat him. You've also played him again recently this year. Is it your sense that mentally his confidence has come back. He was playing at a higher level than maybe a few months ago?
ANDY MURRAY: You've got to ask him. I don't really want to comment on why he's playing better or not, because he's got one of the best players of all time in his corner, and I'm sure that helped him. But, I mean, he's still playing like he did before, maybe a little bit more aggressive, but it's not like he changed his technique on any of his shots or anything. So it's probably best to ask him why he's playing better.

Q. Do you sense a difference in him when you've played him recently?
ANDY MURRAY: Not a whole lot, no.

Q. Outline a little bit more what you would have to do against Tommy Haas and what you would have to do against Gonzalez.
ANDY MURRAY: Against Gonzalez, you've got to stay focused the whole match and play really consistently 'cause you know he can hit some huge forehands. You know, he'll play dropshots when you're not expecting them, hit big backhands on the run when you're not expecting it, and he plays unpredictable. And you can't afford to let him, you know, get ahead in matches and just play sloppy games.
You know, against Haas, big serve, hits the ball well from the ground. I just have to go out there and play my game and try and mix it up and serve well. It's really the most important thing against them. And if I want to win, I'm gonna have to play a great match. Simple as that.

Q. I think you set a bit of a record today by challenging the very first point of the match?
ANDY MURRAY: Oh really.

Q. I think it was an all-time first?
ANDY MURRAY: I won, so...

Q. You won. Is that a sense of, right from the word go, your focus was so good today? I mean someone could have, you know, might have of seen that and not been quite sure and immediately you knew it was?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean it was close, but you kind of get a feeling, and, you know, a lot of times when guys challenge, you know, like in the last game, I knew I thought the backhand was in, but it was like, you know, I wasn't expecting to have to challenge on the next point.
There had been three challenges in two points. You know, I think a lot of guys, when they're really sure on one of them, they're gonna challenge, and, you know, I knew it was first point. And I wasn't going to waste one because I saw it wide, and I feel like I have pretty good eyes and my challenging is pretty good.
But, you know, there are times when players do lose them a lot, is when they're just looking to see at the end of serves because there's no point in just saving them up. And, you know, you've seen a few times in the last few weeks the Hawkeye's -- the mark has showed out and called it in, you know. It's worth the chance maybe, trying to get the Hawkeye to make a wrong call or something. You know, it happens sometimes, so, yeah, I was focused this time.

Q. Do you think the Hawkeye is wrong sometimes?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it is wrong. I mean, it's happened twice, I think, now, where the mark at -- once at the Australian Open, I think, Mauresmo was playing, and once when Nadal was playing in Dubai, where the mark has showed that the ball landed out and Hawkeye says that it's in.
You know, it has made mistakes, so I think the best thing to do to see if it's correct all the time is to, you know, use it on a clay court where there's ball marks.

Q. Is it possible part of the ball hit the line and it didn't leave a mark, and that's what the Hawkeye is recording?
ANDY MURRAY: No, because basically it sort of -- the line's here and the mark is like this (indicating). You know, it's saying that it's like this far out, but then Hawkeye, you know, when it comes up, it says in when it's clearly not.
So I don't -- I think it's got to be the machine that's wrong because every ball leaves a mark, and it doesn't -- you know, a ball just doesn't miss half of its mark out.

Q. Do you see that as a problem?
ANDY MURRAY: Not really. I mean, it's pretty accurate most of the time. It's not -- you know, it's only happened twice and it's been going maybe nine months. I mean, they're making less mistakes than the umpires do, so it's definitely not a problem.

Q. Do you think that your umpire should be able to overrule the Hawkeye if the ball clearly shows...
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, yeah, it's no question. It's stupid. It's stupid not to be able to.

Q. You said the other day that you're not home enough to allow the pressure of what people are talking about back home get to you, but have you sought counseling or have people given counseling about not letting the pressure get to you? Has Tim Henman said anything, family, friends, just to avoid a lot of that?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, I've never -- it didn't bother me at the start. It was just kind of hard to concentrate because, you know, I was young and it all happened really quickly for me. And I got a lot of media attention, you know, after I did well at Wimbledon and Queens. I think everyone would say it's difficult, you know, when you get that much sort of attention and had to deal with things and you're maybe not used to it.
But I've not really had anybody that I've spoken to about it that much. I think everybody deals with it differently. And, you know, regardless of what some people say, you might feel that -- you know, some people might want to be more reserved speaking to the media. Some might want to speak out more. Some, you know, just want to be theirselves, and, you know, everybody deals with things differently.

Q. Where do you fall into those three?
ANDY MURRAY: I guess I just try and -- try and be myself. You know, you learn as you go along, there's some things you can and can't say, and, you know, when the right time to maybe say something is, you know. Obviously during Wimbledon time, you don't want to say something that might, you know, get taken the wrong way or make a joke, you know, that people could take the wrong way. It's just about knowing when you can and can't say things, and I think I've learnt that pretty well.

Q. So does that mean, bottom line, you're not going to talk about your mom's cooking anymore like you did at Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: I'll speak about my mom's cooking. It's still not very good, so I don't have a problem joking about her cooking, you know. It's other things I need to be careful with.

Q. Has your comfort level grown with Hawkeye? Is it fair to say that?
ANDY MURRAY: My comfort?

Q. Has your comfort level grown with using Hawkeye?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of?

Q. Well, when you first had, you know, the first time you went on court, it was new, you didn't really know when you were going to challenge? I mean, like some players now are stopping in the middle of points when they see a ball, whereas in the past, they weren't comfortable to stop the point if they thought it was out. They'd continue to play.
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, I've -- I mean, I guess, you know, some people it takes a bit of time, you know. But a lot of guys who, when they do feel a ball is, you know, when there wasn't Hawkeye, was good or it was out, you know, it got called the other way, would ask the umpire what they thought. So now, instead of asking the umpire, just ask to challenge.
So it's not -- it's not really made a big difference. And, you know, I think it's just a nice thing to have because we still play a lot of tournaments that don't have it. But it doesn't really make that much difference.

Q. If the guy in the chair can overrule a Hawkeye, why even have it?
ANDY MURRAY: Sorry?

Q. If the chair umpire can overrule Hawkeye, why have Hawkeye there?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I'm only saying he can overrule it when the computer shows that the mark is out and it calls the ball in, then he can overrule. If the mark is out, they shouldn't be able to overrule it, if -- you know if it says that it's in and the mark is in. And if the Hawkeye calls it out and the mark is out, they shouldn't be able to overrule it, but if the mark is out and it calls it in, then, yeah, of course, he should be able to overrule it. You've got to have it.

Q. Did you and Brad have a certain strategy today to take pace off? And you're hitting a lot of roofing balls. It seemed like Davydenko was having trouble with that slower pace?
ANDY MURRAY: Against a guy like him, he hits the ball so clean from the back, it's important to try and change the pace. You hit the ball the same speed to him all the time, he's not going to miss, like a ball machine. So you've got to try and do something to upset his rhythm. And whether it be slicing, trying to bring him into the net, you know, playing high balls, hitting some fast balls, it's just, you know everybody -- everybody will play differently against him, but that's just the way that, you know, I found most effective.

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