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Andy Murray, US Open, September 8, 2008
   

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Andy Murray

US Open

September 8, 2008



Q. Pretty tough to stop a legend while he's playing like that?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, he played great today. You know, I didn't really have any chance in the first set, but I had an opportunity in the second set to go up a break, and a few opportunities. And one of them, he actually missed a backhand, which should have been my game, I think for me. It would have been ‑‑ not necessarily would have won the match or anything, but it would have given me a bit of confidence. I wasn't really ahead in any of the sets.

That made it tough, but, no, he played great today, and missed very few balls. Didn't give me too many chances.


Q. What's your overriding feeling after the match? Obviously disappointment, but do you have some pride having got that far?

ANDY MURRAY: I'm disappointed right now, you know. I wish I could have done a few things better, and given myself a few more opportunities, but, you know, I'm sure tomorrow after a few days, whenever it sort of sinks in ‑‑ it's obviously been a very good couple of weeks. And I'll try my best to work on my game, work harder, and hopefully come back and do better next time.


Q. Do you feel the deck was stacked against you? You had that match with Nadal, obviously the No. 1 seed Sunday. Now, no real rest while Federer was very much rested for this match?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, like I said yesterday, you know, ideally I would have preferred to be in his position, but I don't think that was really the reason, you know, why he won the match. You know, if he played like that, I was absolutely fresh, I'm sure it still would have been a very tough one for me to win.

But ideally, yeah, I would have liked to have a day off.


Q. You were flexing the knee at certain points. Was that an issue?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I have problems with my knee sometimes in matches, and it wasn't anything that had any bearing on the outcome of the match.


Q. Did losing those break points in the second set and thinking it looked clearly like you missed that shot, did that affect you later on? How did you put that behind you?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was tough at the time, but I also, you know, I think after he broke me in the first set, in the first game of the set, I had pretty much all the chances, you know, in that second set up until when I got broken at 5‑6. So, you know, even after that game, I still had maybe a Love‑30 game, 15‑30 game. And I was having some chances, but I just couldn't take them.

But, yeah, I mean, partly my fault. I didn't challenge the call.


Q. You moved to No. 4 in the world, but do you feel a different player after this experience of this fortnight?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I think, you know, I've been getting consistently better this year. Each month I've been making improvements. You know, my results have got better. My rankings been moving up steadily, and, you know, obviously this being my first big Grand Slam. You know, I won Cincinnati, which was my first very big tournament.

And, yeah, I mean, a lot of things have gotten much better, but these are the tournaments that I think all tennis players really, really want to win.

You know, I didn't do it tonight, and I'm going to have to work very hard to do it some day.


Q. Was there something in particular that he did better or differently than in any of your prior matches against him?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, he made very few mistakes. The times I played him before, he had given me a few free points. I also served pretty poorly today. And the time I played him before, he didn't have any break points the whole match against me. And today I missed a lot of first serves, and he was able to dictate the points on my second serve, especially on the end when the wind was blowing into my face. He came in quite a lot when I was down at that end, and they made the differences.


Q. Just on the Hawk‑Eye system, do you think there is a case for extending its use, so it should be used all the time on every shot and every point?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, I think it works pretty well the way it is. It's just sometimes, you know, as a player in the middle of a point, if there's a shot very close to the line, especially on a big point, it's rough to stop the point, even when you're still in it, just to have a look.

And I do think now the only difference is that umpires don't overrule calls at all anymore, which, you know, I think which sometimes they maybe should, because when you ask them, they always say it was very close, you know, to challenge it.

That's the only difference with Hawk‑Eye, but I think it works pretty well the way it is now.


Q. As you were gaining momentum in the third set, you were getting some tremendous ovations from the crowd. What does that kind of support do for you either at that time or even as something you take with you as you leave here?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, the support that I got in my last three, four matches has been awesome. You know, the noise they make here is so, so loud.

It's such a big stadium. It was absolutely packed today, and, yeah, I mean, when you're sort of a kid growing up, you watch those sort of matches, and, you know, you don't really get a feeling for what that sort of support is going to be like.

You know, I was very, very lucky the last few matches that they enjoyed watching me play, and hopefully next year I'll get the same support.


Q. Roger's on 13 Slams and he's one behind Sampras. Do you think he can overtake him?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it depends. I mean, he had a great year this year, lost a couple of tough matches. I mean, he's I think 27 now. He's probably got at least four years left, you know, right at the top, I think.

It depends how much everybody else improves, I guess. He's still playing great tennis, but, I mean, I wouldn't be surprised at all if he did overtake Sampras.


Q. What can you learn from the experience of your first Grand Slam final, irrespective of how the actual match went, but just the circumstances?

ANDY MURRAY: Um, well, I think the most important thing for me over the whole two weeks was physically I was good, you know, even against Nadal. You know, I had a long match with Del Potro, as well. And I also had a lot of tough matches. Physically for seven matches I was pretty good. I can still get better, but that's something that in the past might not necessarily have been the case, and, you know, that for me is a very good experience. It's a nice feeling to know that you can last.

It comes down to the tennis, and I believe that there's so many things that I can improve on and work on, and that's exciting for me.


Q. Mats Wilander was telling me he felt he became a better player for even losing matches, even Grand Slam finals. Can you see the logic in that in any way?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Like I said, I know mentally now that I can get to a Slam final and physically. The only thing it comes down to is the tennis. You work harder, you know what things were breaking down, what things need to get better, and you go work on them.

I hope that, you know, this would be the start of big things for me, but I'm going to need to put a lot of work in.


Q. You said on court that you felt Roger was the best of all time. If you had to boil it down just to one or two things that really allowed him to step up and be a player, what are those one or two things?

ANDY MURRAY: It's tough to say, I guess, that someone is outrightly the best player of all time. I mean, Sampras is obviously great, as well, and had some unbelievable runs, but I think ‑‑ I mean, I was looking on the ‑‑ I was watching on the TV when he was playing against Andreev, and it came up and said when he won the first set and matches and Slams, he's won 144 matches and only lost 4. And he's only lost in his whole career I think, you know, 23, 24 matches in Slams.

You know, in the big tournaments, he never has early losses. He's been so dominant, you know, in terms of ranking for the last five years, even when I think Nadal might get very close to winning the same amount of Slams as Federer and Sampras. You know, even when someone as good as him who is right behind him, you know, he's still a long way ahead in points, and it's only been until this year that Nadal has caught up to him.

So I think that sort of five years of dominance, the runs here and at Wimbledon, winning five in a row, and even at the French, he's definitely a better clay court player than Sampras. He's coming up against I think the ‑‑ well, definitely the best clay court player of all time in Nadal. That's why I think that, you know, there's a very strong argument for him being the best player.


Q. In your to‑do list following these two weeks about what you want to do in your game, what would be the first couple of things at the top of that list which now need attention?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I'll speak to my coach and my team about that. I just want to go relax for a few days and take my mind off tennis, and then I'll analyze, you know, because, I mean, there's a lot of really, really good things these couple of weeks.

I think, you know, the biggest thing for me is that, you know, when I'm serving above 65% on the first serves, and, you know, hitting them 125 and above consistently, and I'm very, very difficult to break. And when against the top players when that doesn't happen, you know, they get chances, and they're going to take them.

So that's the one thing that I'll point out, that definitely when I serve above 65%, I win the majority of my service games.


Q. Would you tell us the gist of what you said to him up at the net at the end of the match?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, he told me that it was a great tournament for me, and I said that, you know, I agreed with everyone that he's had a terrible year (laughter.)

Making the semis of Australia, final of the French, the final at Wimbledon, playing one of the best matches of all time winning a gold medal, and obviously winning the US Open.

I told him that he had, you know, a phenomenal year, regardless of what anyone said. I had a lot of respect for him, and that was it.


Q. In the third round we asked you and you said you expected to be in the final, and that's why you weren't smiling and really jazzed about your early wins. How much did that help you today, that you expected to be here?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it wasn't necessarily that I expected to be here, it was more that it was my goal to try to win the tournament.

You know, once you actually get to the latter stages of these tournaments, it is ‑‑ you know, I played Del Potro, he hadn't lost for however long, Nadal, No. 1 player in the world, followed by Federer, and right now I'm not really expected to win all of those matches.

So it just helped me sort of stay calm, overnight, even when I was playing Nadal and I was up a couple of sets and went overnight. I didn't get too excited about things, and just stayed relaxed, and that helped.


Q. Obviously you came here for the trophy. You're going away at 21 with a check for a million dollars. Does it seem slightly unreal?

ANDY MURRAY: That's about 10 pounds, isn't it? (laughter.)


Q. Does this seem unreal to you that somebody's going to give you that amount of money at 21 years old?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I would never have even thought ‑‑ yeah, I mean, a million pounds is ‑‑ sorry, million dollars is so much money, you know, for someone my age, or for anyone, for that matter. That's the biggest check that I've ever had, you know, by a long shot. Hopefully I'll have a few more of them.


Q. Your first Slam. How big of an arena is Arthur Ashe for you to play that first Slam in?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, for me that's my favorite court. I remember watching the women's final when I played the juniors here, and it was packed, then, also. Awesome atmosphere at night.

It was tough, you know, because it was absolutely packed tonight. You know, but to get the opportunity to play against Federer in a Slam final in front of that many people, I don't think, you know, it gets really any bigger than that in tennis.

So it's going to be a great experience for me, and, you know, next time I'm sure I'll deal with the situation a bit better.


Q. When you won in 2004 here, did you see Federer play in the final?

ANDY MURRAY: I didn't. I didn't see the final, no. I saw the semifinal against Henman, but not the final.

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