September 7, 2008
Q. What was your attitude going into today?
ANDY MURRAY: It was tough. There was a lot of things I had to deal with.
Change of court was just tough, you know, a very different atmosphere
It was quite windy out there as well. Obviously yesterday the conditions
were pretty heavy, very humid.
Today it was very windy on the court. The ball was flying through the
air a bit more. I just had to try and stay calm.
I thought I was playing well enough to win the match, but I knew Nadal
was going to come at me. There was a few sort of ups and downs even
though it was a very short time we were out on the court, but I managed
to come through in the end.
Q. Was there a certain frame of mind you had knowing that you already
had a break that you were facing that third set?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I think once he ‑‑ the momentum, even though
I had two sets, I would have much preferred to be in my position than
The momentum was kind of with him a little bit in the third set. He held
serve easy the first couple of games, and I don't think either of us
dropped a point maybe the first couple of service games.
So, you know, I just had to try and stay aggressive, you know, stay
focused. I knew, because of the wind from the far side of the court from
where we came out, it's much easier to return from that end, and I knew
I was going to have some chances, so I had to just try and stay focused
Q. Could you talk a bit about the swings of emotion and I guess your
thought process after that second game of the fourth set?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. You know, obviously I had a lot of chances to break.
There was only ‑‑ I think there was only one point where I really had,
you know ‑‑ it was maybe a couple. I don't know how many breakpoints I
had, six or seven.
He only missed one first serve in those points, so, you know, even
though I had break chances, he played well on them and I missed a couple
of shots that I maybe shouldn't have.
I thought that, you know, even though I got broken the following game, I
still kept my emotions in check. I knew I was going to have chances to
get back in the match and I obviously did.
Q. Did it make you more nervous or much more at ease having to sleep on
the match last night being up 2‑Love?
ANDY MURRAY: I slept absolutely fine yesterday. I didn't feel nervous.
You know, going out into the match, I was in a good position.
You know, it was just like I said earlier, it was very different to
yesterday with the completely different court, different conditions. You
know, and that's I think the first time, maybe second time on ‑‑ since I
been on the tour when I've actually had to come back the following day,
so that was tough for me.
Q. The crowd was a little bit more Nadal in the beginning. I guess they
didn't want to see a 15‑minute match coming out here. Did that do
anything for you? Did that fire you up at least, the crowd being against
you and then for you in the fourth set?
ANDY MURRAY: No. You know, if I was a spectator today, I would have
rather watched more tennis as well. You kind of understand why they do
it, but the atmosphere was still awesome.
They know tennis here. When there was good points, they applauded for
both. Obviously they wanted to see more tennis, which was fine by me. By
the end of the match, I thought it was pretty even, you know, and
obviously finished off well.
Q. How would you describe how the pressures and the attention in Britain
have prepared you for the toughest of situations playing the likes of
Nadal and Federer and being in your first Slam final?
ANDY MURRAY: For me, that didn't really have much to do with it. The
things that prepared me for these situations was when I went over to
train in Spain when I was 15 and sort of, for me, it was much tougher
being away from my family for a long time rather than, you know, whether
people expect me to win Slams or winning Wimbledon.
That was much tougher for me, and I did that from a young age. When you
put in the work off the court, and, you know, I have said this many
times in press conferences, when you go into matches and physically you
put the work in and you've worked really hard, you don't have any
excuses when you get on the court. You just think about tennis.
In the past I maybe did think about pressure because I hadn't worked
maybe as hard as I should have, but now that's not the case.
Q. With that in mind, with all the work that you put in, you were just
cracking balls left and right today. Talk about match point and what
your mindset was going up to that dropshot.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, it was probably maybe only the second
dropshot he'd hit in the match. I was quite a long way behind the
On these courts, you're going to get a chance to get to the ball unless
you hit a great dropshot, because obviously the bounce is really high. I
just had to keep my head down and watch the ball, and that was that.
Yeah, I didn't feel particularly nervous. I just felt like I was hitting
the ball well. I was in a great position.
Q. Just talk about playing Roger, because you've got a winning record
against him. Does that give you a bit more confidence going into
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I've played well against him in the past. I think a
Slam final is different to the match that I played against him before.
You know, he's obviously won, you know, over 30 matches in a row here,
you know, so he's obviously going to be feeling confident going in.
He's got loads of experience in these situations and it's something new
for me. I know I'm going to have to play great to have a chance of
winning, but I've played well the last couple of weeks.
Q. Do you have another level to rise to as well as you've played lately?
And secondly, have you ever heard of Brigadoon?
ANDY MURRAY: No to the second one, and I don't know. I mean, I played
well enough to beat the No. 1 player in the world over two days, and
I've beaten Roger in the past.
I think it's more I have the tennis to compete with those guys. I just
have to make sure I do it for three out of five sets rather than for a
set and a half, two sets.
Q. We all now how proud you are of your biceps now. Can you talk about
mental muscle and whether your stronger mentality is just a result of
on‑court results or whether there's something else you've been doing off
ANDY MURRAY: Like I said, I started working with a new team at the end
of last ‑‑ the end of last year. I started to train physically way
harder, you know. The pain that you feel off the court is ‑‑ you know,
when you're running around the track is much worse than anything you
feel on the tennis court.
I go on the court now without feeling like I have anything to worry
about, because I've worked hard and practiced hard and given myself the
best opportunity to play well. All I've got to do is play tennis, which
is one of the few things that I'm good at.
Q. So the mentality follows physical strength; is that what you're
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I think when you go on the court and you haven't put
in the work off it and you haven't practiced as hard as you should have
done, there's a lot of things ‑‑ you can find excuses for why you're not
playing well or why you're getting tired and stuff.
I think that, you know, maybe in the past that was the case, but now
I've been traveling with a fitness trainer every week this year and
working physically hard off the court. It's taken seven or eight months,
but it's paying off.
Q. I heard you on court saying that this was your favorite tournament.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah.
Q. I'd like to know why is it more favorite than Wimbledon, or you did
it because you wanted to please the crowd or because you were so happy
of probably having the best match of your life in terms of importance
ANDY MURRAY: I've always loved playing at Wimbledon; no question about
that. But since I came here as a junior, you know, it was the first time
I ever stayed in a 5‑star hotel. You know, New York is one of my
favorite cities. I love it.
I came when I was a junior to watch the final of the women's singles. I
watched Clijsters against Henin, a night match, on Arthur Ashe.
For me, the atmosphere and everything that goes with the center court
here kind of suits my personality a bit more than Wimbledon.
Since I came here the first time as a junior, I've loved every minute of
it. We got to eat in the same restaurant as the pro players here. I got
to meet Coria, who was my favor player at the time. Every since I was
15, 16 years old, I've loved playing here.
Q. Obviously you play the sport of tennis for yourself. It's been so
long, decades, since a Brit has won here. Two things: What do you think
winning here would mean for British sport? And secondly, what do you
find so appealing, so funny about Will Ferrell?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, to the first one, I think, yeah, tennis in the U.K.
has had ‑‑ obviously Tim was incredibly consistent and one of the best
players for a long time. He never won a Slam.
I think that sometimes in sports it takes, you know, like with rugby
back home, you know, when England won the World Cup and rugby, it became
a huge sport, you know, pretty much overnight.
Cricket, when England won against Australia and the ashes, that went
from being a smaller sport to having a lot of cricketers became
celebrities after that. It was a much sort of cooler sport.
I just think when you have a team or someone who wins the big events, it
makes a big difference to the popularity of a sport in your country.
Then with Will Ferrell, I don't know why. He's a funny guy. His face ‑‑
I don't know. It's not ‑‑ like his eyes, I don't know. He makes always,
since I saw him for the first time, he always made me laugh.
Q. Did you see him on the JumboTron today?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah.
Q. Did you see what he did?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I saw him. He made me laugh.
Q. Do you think he was imitating you?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. And then I met him after the match, so that was nice.
Q. Are you hoping that this will take tennis in Britain to a different
level? You're making a big impact in that way?
ANDY MURRAY: Firstly, I obviously want to win for myself, for my family
and my friends and everyone that's been part of what I've done so far.
That's the most important thing for me.
Then if the popularity of tennis grows because of me doing well, then
that's great. You know, I've always, you know, tried to do bits and
pieces for British tennis when I'm back home and have the time. This is
‑‑ I think no matter what you do, how many little things you do, when
you do something big like this I think that's when the big difference
Q. You've always said that two or three years away will be your peak.
The work you did in Florida, has that fast‑tracked you to get here
quicker than you thought?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think I'll still play better in a couple years. I
think there are many things that I can improve on. One of the key things
this year has been mentally I've gotten much, much better, and that has
made a big difference. Then physically, I can still get stronger.
I think when you play more matches and, you know, get more experience in
the big situations you understand what things you can improve and what
things maybe break down a little bit and that you're going need to work
on. I'm only starting to get the sort of big match experience this year.
Q. He specializes in running guys ragged. You seemed to be, in all the
rallies, seemed very comfortable and not really pushed out of your
comfort zone. Is that anticipation, or do you feel like you're reading
his game very well?
ANDY MURRAY: Every time I played him on hard courts, I've always felt
like I wasn't getting pushed around the court. I always felt like I was
dictating a lot of the points.
His strokes, although they have a lot of topspin, if you play close up
to the baseline, they come to you at quite a nice height. He doesn't
normally hit the ball very close to the baseline. He hits it obviously
high with a lot of topspin, but it can come short.
If you can take your opportunities early in the rally to get a good
strike in, you can dictate a lot of the points.
That's what I tried to do in the past against him and had chances in
each match that I played against him but just never won the big points
and never returned well.
I said before the match I was going to have to return better to have a
chance to win, and that's what I did.
Q. You said on court you were relieved to win. Was that your overriding
emotion or your pride and satisfaction coming in?
ANDY MURRAY: I'm obviously delighted to be in my first Slam final. But,
you know, like I said at the start of the tournament, I want to try and
win it. After playing so well yesterday and everything that went on with
the rain and the court changes and stuff, you know, obviously going a
break behind in the fourth, it was, you know, almost slipping away
Then to come back in the end, you're relieved that you managed to come
through. No, I'm obviously delighted that I won the match, I mean,
against a guy who's played as well as him. He's the best player in the
world this year because he's played great tennis.
Q. If you could describe the biggest similarities and differences
between you and Roger Federer when you're out on the court, what would
ANDY MURRAY: I think we're quite natural tennis players. I think with
our hands we're pretty gifted.
And then things that are different? I think he plays a more aggressive
style right now than me. He'll look to come forward a bit more.
I think when we're returning, I play a bit more defensive on the return
games. I try to put a lot of returns back, whereas he maybe tries to go
for a bit more on his returns. Those are the main differences.
Q. Have you ever seen playing Miloslav Mecir who is playing a little bit
like you? Do you know anything about him?
ANDY MURRAY: I met him the first time at the Olympics. He was there with
Slovakian team with Hrbaty. I had never seen him play, but I don't know
if you saw a lot of the ‑‑ you get given pins from your country which
you exchange with the other athletes. He was trying to switch pins with
me because I had a couple that he ‑‑ he's been ‑‑ I think that was like
his fifth Olympics that he had been to maybe.
He was trying to ‑‑ had a Erythrea pin which wasn't very common, so I
got there pins in exchange for that one. I've not seen him play.
Q. About two years ago I was asked by some British colleagues to attend
a press conference of yours because sometimes there were some problems
between you and the media. Do you think these problems are overcome
because you're winning more, because you're talking less about the fact
that you're Scottish and not English and things like that, or do you
think this will improve?
ANDY MURRAY: I think once you get older, you start to understand how the
press works a bit better. When I first came on the scene at Wimbledon in
2005, I had done very few press conferences.
I had never played in front of a lot of people before. I was used to
playing in futures events and stuff.
All of a sudden I was the center of attention at the biggest tennis
tournament in the world. It's very different to what I was used to, so
it took me some time to ‑‑ I'm not someone who liked sort of celebrity
life. I like to just relax with my friends and family.
I don't go out my way to do a lot of press stuff. I found it tough at
the start because there was a lot of press requests and what have you.
So I had a few problems early on in my career, but I think I'm dealing
with it much better now. I think you get used to it.
Q. Given all the work that you have put in on your physical
conditioning, do you have any concern at all about the difference in
turnaround time that you've got to play this final in less than 24 hours
and Roger having had two days?
ANDY MURRAY: Ideally, I think you'd want to be in his position. I think
it's slightly better, but it's a Grand Slam final and I'm not going to
let 24 hours of rest or, you know, having to play today or whatever get
in the way of giving 110%.
I'll try my best to win the match. That's not going to be the difference
Q. You mentioned the importance of returns today. Nadal is not
necessarily known for having a huge serve, but you stayed back. Could
you describe your thinking on the return and game plan?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, with his serve, he doesn't have a big serve, but he
puts so much spin on the serve that if you stand close up to the
baseline, for me, you know, he can get it into your body.
It's quite tough to read because he moves the racquet very fast, you
know, just as he's about to make contact.
It's a tough serve to read, even though it's not particularly big. I
gave myself a lot of time and didn't get aced ‑‑ I probably got aced
once, twice today. But I was getting myself into a lot of the points,
and that's what you need to do against someone like that, you know, who
normally has to work pretty hard for his points.
If you're giving a lot of cheap ones from his serve, he's going dominate
Q. Do you feel that Roger has raised the level of his play in this
tournament, especially in the match against Djokovic, relative to how
he's played the rest of the year?
ANDY MURRAY: I didn't see him play against Djokovic that much. I saw a
little bit before I went out, and it looked like they were playing
But, yeah, I think he played well at the start and then had obviously a
tough match with Andreev. I mean, he made the final at Wimbledon, the
final of the French Open, the semis of Australian Open, and he's in the
It's like an unbelievable run, and I don't understand why everyone
thinks he's not playing well. He's played unbelievable in the best
tournaments and he's in the final for the fifth straight year here. It's
a ridiculous run. I think he's playing great. I just think the level of
tennis has got better.
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