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Andy Murray, The Artois Championships, June 12, 2008
   

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THE ARTOIS CHAMPIONSHIPS


 

June 12, 2008


 

Andy Murray


LONDON, ENGLAND

A. MURRAY/E. Gulbis
5-7, 6-1, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.

Q. How are the injuries? We worked out there were three.
ANDY MURRAY: My groin and my neck, they're all right. My thumb's pretty sore. I can't really -- I tried to sign a few autographs and open water bottles, my water bottle after the match. It's much worse now than when I was in the court. My neck and the groin -- the groin I thought -- I thought I'd hurt it pretty badly when I went over, but I knew as soon as I got up that it was going to be okay.
But, yeah, my thumb's a bit sore.

Q. When did you hurt the thumb?
ANDY MURRAY: It was the point -- we had a long point where I was at the net. I was just about -- I was kind of semi-diving for it, a shot, and it went into the net. I didn't even realize I'd done anything until a couple of points later and it started to feel a bit sore. So I had a pretty red mark right on the joint. Then obviously got the physio on. Every 10 minutes I could feel like it was getting stiffer and stiffer, a little bit more swollen.
So, yeah, that was the point. But I didn't realize I'd done it when I actually did it.

Q. Are you going to have an x-ray?
ANDY MURRAY: I'm gonna see what it's like when I wake up in the morning, and if it's worse than it was, then, yeah, I'm gonna go try and get something done.
But, yeah, I've seen the doctor after the match and stuff. He thinks that I've sprained it, not broken anything, which is obviously good.

Q. Did you inhibit your movement deliberately as a precaution after?
ANDY MURRAY: I felt really uncomfortable on the court. You know, I almost felt like I just wanted to get through the match. So much slipping. The courts are sliding like a meter and a half, two meters after you were hitting shots. I know grass courts are supposed to be slippy, but they're not supposed to be, right, that bad. It's more sort of when you change direction, you expect your feet to go from underneath you a little bit, but not when you're running up to the balls, you shouldn't be feeling like you're going to slide a couple meters after your shot.
So, yeah, I was a little bit cautious after the match.

Q. A lot of players are sliding. Do you feel the courts are dangerous at the moment?
ANDY MURRAY: I felt uncomfortable on the court. Even when I played doubles in the evening as well, they were slippy. I mean, they're beautiful courts. I mean, they bounce really well. Just, you know, I mean, a lot of guys, I think maybe three or four guys have pulled out already. I don't know if it's because of the courts or not.
I didn't feel comfortable moving on them at all, which I don't normally have that problem on the tennis court.

Q. Do you think you should have come off the first sign of rain? I think it was the fourth game in the first set. Do you think you were allowed to play on and finish that game too long?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, if you look at that game, three times, I think he hit three dropshots, and I was sliding so far after I hit them. I told the umpire. Maybe even at the changeover before, I asked him if he thinks -- you know, if he thought the courts were dangerous or if they were fit to play on. He said, Well, we can't do anything unless it's raining.
So, you know, I was surprised we got back on the court so quickly because they were so slippy that I didn't think that 10 minutes was really enough to sort of dry the court up.

Q. Considering your problems, you must be really delighted in the fact that you won, played some good stuff?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a very good win. He's a very tough player, huge serve, is confident right now obviously.
You know, but I served really well throughout. I think he had breakpoints in only one of my service games throughout the whole match. You know, and I felt like I was creating more chances than him. Yeah, I took mine at the end.
So, yeah, despite, you know, the one game, you know, where I hurt my thumb in the first set, it was a good performance.

Q. When you sort of twisted and hit the deck, you hurt your groin and your neck, was there any sort of déjà vu, 'Not again,' after what happened last year? Did you think about that at all?
ANDY MURRAY: No. When I hurt myself at Queen's a few years ago, I obviously slipped. It was my ankle that I hurt. I'd never really had that sort of thing happen to me before in terms of my groin going badly.
You know, as soon as you go down like that, you know, I obviously saw the replays and stuff, and it looks really bad. First you feel a big stretch and then you're a little bit shocked and then, you know, once you get up and move around on it and you feel like it's okay, you know you're fine, you're not worried again.
But, you know, I wasn't thinking, yeah, about the past, though. I was just more interested in how I was feeling on the court.

Q. How much of a concern is the thumb?
ANDY MURRAY: I'm pretty concerned about it right now. You know, if I can't, you know, sign autographs or whatever, then I guess it's not great.
You know, it's not really affecting my gripping too much. But it's more the sort of little things that you don't realize you're doing on the court. When I'm trying to, you know, spin my racquet in between shots, like pretty much all of the guys do, that's hurting it. You know, sometimes when I'm throwing the ball up to serve, it's a little bit sore at the start of my service motion.
But I didn't feel it too much during the points. It was more when I was finished. I guess that's 'cause I was thinking about it more. But, yeah, pretty concerned about it.

Q. So how do you rate your chances of playing tomorrow?
ANDY MURRAY: I have no idea. I'll wait and see what it's like when I get up in the morning. You know, when it's something like that, a sprain, it tends to be worse the next day. You know, like what happens with your ankle, you can play on for a few games and it just starts to get worse and worse.
Depends if it's affecting my gripping or not. Because I can play through the pain, you know, if it's not affecting my gripping. But if I can't hold on to the racquet properly, Roddick is hitting 140 mile-an-hour serves, that's probably not the best thing for a spread, I guess.

Q. Have you made any representation or complaint to the referee about going on so quickly or the state of the courts? Are you planning on doing that?
ANDY MURRAY: I guess, yeah, I'll probably have a discussion with a couple of people. But I got the supervisor on. Yeah, I told them when I fell over, hurt my groin a little bit, I asked if I could see the supervisor 'cause I didn't feel like the court was fit to play on at that stage.
He said, It's not raining, there's nothing we can do about it. I can kind of understand that. But I think just before Wimbledon, the player's health is obviously very important.
You know, it's a tough one 'cause I was considering stopping the match. I mean, if you have three problems in one match and you're still having to go out and try and play when the court's that bad, you know, it's a tough decision to make.

Q. Has anyone explained why the courts are so damp? Shouldn't normally be like this.
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't know. Because in the past, Queen's, I mean, the courts have always been a little bit slippy right at the start of the tournament, but after a few matches they're fine. Yeah, I haven't really spoken to anyone about why they're worse this year. I don't know if it's 'cause there's been more rain than normal, you know, the courts -- you know, they're quite soft, and normally they're a little bit harder.

Q. Did you at any point have a chance to speak to Gulbis about it? Do you know what he thought about the courts?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I spoke to him a little bit when we went off the first time. I just said to him, The court's so slippy. He was like, Yeah, I know. When I fell over the second time, I said something. I didn't really know if he replied or not. But I'd be surprised if not all the players thought the courts were too slippy.

Q. You mentioned Andy's serve, the prospect of three sets of 140 mile-an-hour serves on that thumb. Is that going to be a major consideration?
ANDY MURRAY: I'm not really bothered as long as I'm not going to do it more damage. I mean, if I speak to the doctor tomorrow and, you know, I have an ultrasound or an x-ray before the match, and he says I can't do it more damage, fine, I'll try to play through the pain. But if it's something that is sort of restricting, if it's sore when I'm gripping the racquet, then I guess I'm going to be making it worse by, like you say, gripping a racquet for three sets.
I just have to and wait and see what it's like when I get up in the morning and make a decision.

Q. Have you had a problem like that before?
ANDY MURRAY: What, with my thumb?

Q. Yes.
ANDY MURRAY: No, never. Yeah, first time I've ever had anything wrong with my hand really.

Q. So it's sort of difficult to assess how long it might take to get better?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, everyone thinks it could be worse in the morning. But, you know, it tends to ease off a little bit.
Yeah, I just need to wait and see what it's like maybe if I warm up before the match. You know, it might start to loosen up a little bit, I don't know. I'll just speak to the doctor in the morning and see.

Q. Did you say you thought you might come off at some point? Is that what you said there?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I spoke to the physio. He said, you know, Do you want to go on? I said, I'm not really that sure because I just don't feel comfortable at all on the court. You know. He said, Well, yeah, it's your call. I'll play for a few more games, see how everything's feeling. You know, wasn't feeling great, but it was feeling okay. You know, so I just thought I'll try and get through it because I felt like I was playing better and better. You know, I just started to take my chances.
Yeah, it wasn't that hard a decision for me to make once I felt like my groin and my neck weren't too bad.

Q. Can I just clarify when you asked to speak to the supervisor, was that in the first set or after you did the groin?
ANDY MURRAY: That was the groin, yeah.

Q. Start of the third set?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah.

Q. How big a blow do you see this overall with Wimbledon in mind?
ANDY MURRAY: It's not a blow.

Q. How big a problem might it be then?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I'm guessing it's gonna be fine for Wimbledon, which is the most important thing. The next couple days might be a bit tricky. But, yeah, I don't really view it -- I don't see like it's going to hamper my preparations for Wimbledon too much.

Q. In broad terms, you're feeling good about the preparations for Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Well, I mean, you know, I've had a few doubles matches, obviously a long match today, a few games against Grosjean, which would have been nice to have played a full match. But, yeah, as long as I can, you know, get sort of four or five competitive matches before Wimbledon, you know, not have any niggles, hope all these things clear up, then, yeah, I feel like I'm going to be prepared pretty well.

Q. Who is your doubles partner and how did that happen?
ANDY MURRAY: He's my best friend from Spain. He's ranked No. 4 in the college system in the States. He plays Davis Cup for Venezuela in doubles. Yeah, we used to play all the time at juniors together. Yeah, he made the decision to go to university when he was 19, which I think was a very wise move 'cause it's tough to know whether you're going to make it in tennis at that age, if you're not a hundred percent certain. He's going to have a business finance degree. He's got a year and a half left at college.
So for me I think more kids from the UK should consider doing that 'cause, you know, the facilities over there are great. You play a lot of matches. You get a very good education at the same time. That would be my advice to a lot of the younger guys playing here 'cause, you know, not too many of them have been coming through. I think that it takes the pressure off you a little bit.

Q. There's almost no college graduates on the tour any more. I think John Isner is the only one.
ANDY MURRAY: Ben Becker, James Blake went to college.

Q. There's very few.
ANDY MURRAY: There's fewer than there was in the past, that's for sure. You know, it still can be done. But obviously in this country, we've not had the best success with guys making the transition from the juniors to the seniors. You know, maybe it gives them a few more years to sort of mature, you know, learn a bit more discipline. I think it's a very, very good move because I think that it proves even though there is fewer guys coming out of college, I still think even if there is three or four, it still shows that you can make it into the top hundred, make a living out of tennis even when you're done with your education.

Q. You've had quite a few injuries in a fairly short time. Do you take it as being par for the course or do you think you're especially unlucky? Looking further ahead, do you think, If I have this amount of injuries at this rate, it will hamper my progress in the long-term?
ANDY MURRAY: Firstly, I don't think I've had a lot of injuries. Since I've been on the tour, I had one bad wrist injury. Before that, I hadn't had any problems for, you know, the year and a half that I was on tour beforehand. I've had little niggles that have kept me out for the odd week here or there, but nothing that's really hampered my progress too much except the wrist injury. You can't stop yourself from falling over on court, so...
If it was major problems that were going to keep me out for a long time, then I'd be a bit worried. But, you know, the wrist thing has been the only serious injury I've had since I've been on the tour. You know, it's not really made much difference to my progress.

Q. Mats Wilander said some nice things about you having the softest hands, softest touch of the ball since McEnroe. Did you hear that? What is your reaction to hearing it? Did you do anything as a youngster that sort of gave you that touch?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was obviously nice to hear. I think I've got quite nice hands, as well (smiling). But, yeah, I mean, when I first started playing, my mom will tell you better, but, you know, I wasn't any good at tennis, didn't have good hands at all. I did loads of sports when I was younger, and that kind of probably helped me with the coordination a little bit. But there was nothing specific that I really did that would have helped me with that, I guess.

Q. Did you ever see the film The Mighty Ducks?
ANDY MURRAY: I've heard about it. I didn't see it.

Q. They used eggs to catch with hockey sticks to develop soft hands.
ANDY MURRAY: I definitely have not seen the movie and I didn't do that (smiling).

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