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INTERVIEWS

March 17, 2007


N. DJOKOVIC/A. Murray

6-2, 6-3

An interview with:

ANDY MURRAY

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is it kind of right to assume that you were paying a bit of a price for last night today, physically?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, I mean, I didn't know how I was gonna feel really till I got on court. And I had a bit of an unprofessional decision on my part to have gone on. You know, I guess the older you get, the more you learn that it's not always about just going. And, you know, I wanted to go out and try and play and maybe see if I could, you know, see if I could move okay.
And then, you know, obviously after the first couple of games, I kind of realized, you know, that when you can't change direction, and when the movement, which is generally the best part of your game, is missing, it's quite hard to play.
So, you know, hopefully I'll learn for next time that it's, you know, best to be cautious rather than, you know, going out and playing the match.

Q. The trainers tell you about the damage that you've done to yourself and whether you could do anymore damage if you played.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, that was the thing. I spoke to the trainer, he said you're not going to do more damage by playing. You know, I got him out on the court, and it was one of those things where, you know, if I didn't go on the court, you know, that would have been fine. But when I did go on, I might as well have played the match, because it's not like it was gonna get worse.
He said to me when he came on, that, you know, I've done everything that I can. You should try and be playing. You've got the tape, you know, on your ankle and the brace, so you're not gonna do more damage to your ankle. Unless you -- and unless you, you know, do one bad move in your hips, you know, it's not going to be worse. But it was a pretty tough ask, you know, when you've got an ankle and knee and hip problem to kind of, you know, move well out there and not really be cautious. And I was a little bit scared to move.

Q. What exactly is the diagnosis on the ankle?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, it's just -- it's like a slight strain, just behind the, you know -- not the front of the ankle just behind it where I did it -- at Queens, when I hurt it there. You know, I was lucky I had the brace because it would have been much worse if I didn't, you know.
I'm happy it's nothing too bad, because, obviously, when I've had ankle problems before, I haven't been able to walk. And then, obviously, today I could kind of run in a straight line, but when I when I was able to change direction, really feel like I had much strength.

Q. Which bit hurts most and which bit are you most concerned about sort of going forward?
ANDY MURRAY: I'm not concerned about any of them, because it's not like, you know -- you tend to get concerned if it's a problem where you feel like you can't, you know, walk on it or if it's a shoulder and you can't lift your arm above, you know, your shoulder. It's just, you know, they take two, three days, four days to heal, and, obviously, I didn't quite have that time.
So I'm not concerned about anything in the long-term, I just hope that I'm going to be ready for Miami.

Q. How bad did you feel when you woke up this morning?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I actually didn't -- I didn't feel tired. It's just every single place that I moved to, whether it be my elbow or, you know, roll onto my side and it was the cut on my knee, it was just like I felt pretty uncomfortable. You know, none of them were, like, really bad. It's just, you know, when you have of four or five small injuries, and it's kind of difficult to compensate on one leg or the other.
So, you know, I didn't feel terrible when I got up this morning. It was just, you know, everywhere I kind of put my arm or my leg, it was kind of bruised somewhere.

Q. Have you ever felt that beaten up after a match?
ANDY MURRAY: Probably not. I've obviously had like injuries that have hurt much worse than that. But in terms of it being, you know, your full body almost, it's -- you know, I haven't felt like that before, and I guess I probably never will again. It was one of those kind of freak incidents where I kind of landed on all of my body.
So, yes, it's -- I felt, obviously, worse in one particular place, but in terms of the whole, on the whole, didn't feel great.

Q. On the plus side, though, Andy, would you not say it was a week of progress, despite the happenings of last night and today? Would you say it was a progressive week for you?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, obvious. I mean, to get the semis of a Master Series, it's great. And, unfortunately, I couldn't give 110 percent today, like I normally do.
I beat two guys in the top 10 who have been playing very well this year. And, you know, I'm getting close to the top 10 now and don't have too many points to defend. So, you know, I put myself in a good position do that soon. And, hopefully, I'll be ready for Miami, and get a couple days rest and a few days hard work and I should be feeling good.

Q. Andy, can you talk about the play Novak Djokovic, how he's been coming up. You're both kind of on your way up. Can you talk about his recent success and comment on his play.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, he does everything, you know, pretty well. He moves good; pretty big first serve; you know, hits the ball pretty solid off both wings; passes well. He doesn't really have one in particular weakness. You know, he finished last year really well. And, you know, also the middle part between Wimbledon, U.S. Open time, he won a couple tournaments and made a final.
So he's been doing really well, and I think with that match, he went into the top 10. So it's great for him that he's managed to do that. I'm sure he'll be around for a long time.

Q. In terms of Miami, how conservative are you going to be, how cautious are you going to be? Obviously you've got Davis Cup on the horizon.
ANDY MURRAY: Miami is the No. 1 priority just now. I want to get ready for that and give 110 percent there and just take it sort of day by day. I've got six days, and maybe if ask for a Friday start to play my first match. So, you know, from speaking to the physio, he thinks that I should be okay for that. And I might have to take a few days off the court, but, you know, I just -- I hope that I'm going to be okay to play, but I'm 90 percent sure I should be fine.

Q. Andy, you and Djokovic are the same age, 19 years and ten months old. He said that you know each one since you were 12 years old. When you're not injured like this, are you looking forward to your matches and creating somehow rivalry, you know, between you two and, you know, some kind of more flare in the future with him?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't look forward to rivalries, I wouldn't say. You know, we get on pretty well off the court. I'm sure we'll have of some great matches in the future. You know, we played in Madrid last year. I had my chances to win there and didn't. But, you know, I'm sure we'll play each other a lot, and I'm hoping that both of us will be around for a long time.
So, you know, I guess we'll play each other maybe 20, 30 times in our career.

Q. When is your, what are your plans immediately? You go straight to Miami? You're going to stay here tomorrow?
ANDY MURRAY: I think I'll go to Miami. I think it's best to kind of get there. I've been here for pretty much two weeks now, so you know, go to Miami. The physios will be there, maybe JP will come over, which, you know, unfortunately he couldn't come this week, which would have helped. You know, hopefully, I'll get to see him next week.

Q. When you said right at the start, Andy, that you thought it was an unprofessional decision, was it your decision alone? I mean, do you say, whatever anyone else is saying, I'm making this choice, I'm going out to play regardless of what anyone else might say?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I think, you know, because, you know, like, JP wasn't here, you know, I've worked with him for three and a half, four years now, and he knows my body really well. You know, he -- we spoke about maybe having surgery on my ankle, you know, at the end of last year, you know, because it is kind of weak, that, you know, I think maybe his, you know, his input would have helped a lot.
But, you know, since I was here on my own, I had to decide. And I didn't know till I got out on the court how bad it was gonna be. But it's kind of difficult to make that decision, I guess, on your own.
Brad's not a physio or a doctor. You know, and he just asked me how I was, and I said, you know, "I'm doing better," you know, "I'll go and give it a go."
You know, I did and it was maybe the wrong decision. But, you know, the physio here has been a great help, and you know, helped me through my match last night and taped me up and stuff today.
So, you know, I appreciate that. But it's just when you have somebody who knows your body and has worked with you for four or five years, that that helps as well.

Q. Andy, when you said a bit of an unprofessional decision on my part to go on, you're talking about going on today and not continuing last night, right?
ANDY MURRAY: Huh? Not continuing --

Q. You're not referring to your decision to play on last night despite your injury; you're talking about your unprofessional decision, then, was your decision to compete today?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, today.

Q. Right. Right. That's my question. What was Michael's advice midway during the second set when he came over and had that long chat with you? Was it any different than what he said at the start, he felt you couldn't worsen it by carrying on play?
ANDY MURRAY: I got him on, I said to him, "Look, I feel like I have to change direction. I've got, you know, no power, and I feel like I have to kind of guess, and, you know, if I did change direction, I felt like when I did push on my leg, it was gonna hurt. And I didn't have that much strength.
And, you know, he just said to me, "With the tape on and the ankle brace, you know, you're going to have to be really unlucky to sprain your ankle, and your hip is," -- you know, "it was more of a bruise from banging it on the ground. It's not going to worsen."
He said, you know, "Just keep trying, and if you want to stop, you can stop. But it's not going to get any worse."
And I just felt like, I started the match like that, it wasn't getting worse, so it's, you know, I should have finished it. But maybe I shouldn't have -- I shouldn't have gone on.

Q. Could I ask your take on tomorrow's final between Nadal and Novak?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it's gonna be a tough match. I think they played once before and Nadal was two sets up on him at the French when Djokovic stopped. Nadal's been playing really well this week, and Novak has as well. But, you know, Nadal has experience of playing a Master Series finals before. He's won, I guess, seven or eight Master Series. So, you know, I'd probably say Nadal is a favorite.
But Djokovic has been playing well, and you never know. If he plays a good match, he might upset him.

Q. Is the level you saw today high enough to beat Nadal, do you think? I know it's hard to say with an injury.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it's tough. I think it depends a lot on how Nadal plays. You know, if he plays his best, then, you know, nine times out of ten, he's probably going to win just now. You know, maybe not in the future.
But Nadal is, you know, a great player and won two slams and made final at Wimbledon. So I'd say if he plays his best, then he'll win. But if he doesn't, Djokovic is playing really well just now, has a lot of confidence, so maybe he could upset him.

Q. Just to change the subject. Have you been watching the cricket world cup?
ANDY MURRAY: No.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

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