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Andy Murray quarter-final

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Andy Murray speaks to the media following his quarter-final defeat 6-1, 7-6, 6-2 by Grigor Dimitrov. 

Q.  In his post match Grigor said he could tell something was wrong even in the warmup.  Did you feel that as well?

ANDY MURRAY:  No, I didn't.  Right at the beginning of the match I had breakpoints in the first game.

But my start to the match was poor.  I started the match badly.  And I think that gave him confidence.

You know, I should have done a better job at the beginning of the match of making it tougher for him, and I didn't manage to do that.  Also, when I got back into the second set, the end of the set, you know, that was my opportunity there.

He'd been up in the set a break and I'd come back.  Momentum was starting to shift a little bit.  Couldn't quite do it.

Q.  In your reckoning so far ??? I mean, you haven't had time to analyze - would you say you lost today and he won or he won outright?

ANDY MURRAY:  He was the better player from start to finish.

Q.  So in that case you lost the game today and why?

ANDY MURRAY:  I certainly lost the match today, yeah.  I don't think I won it.

Yeah, he played better tennis than me for the entire match.

Q.  What tactics, if any, did you discuss with Amélie Mauresmo in advance of the match?

ANDY MURRAY:  I'm not going to go into details of what my game plan and tactics are, you know, for any of the matches that I play.

Whatever the tactics were, I didn't execute them as well as I would have liked.

And also, your opponent can do things in the match that you're also, you know, not expecting, or hitting the ball in certain places which doesn't allow you to do exactly what you want on the court.

He did a good job of that.

Q.  Can you describe the difference between the pressure this year and last year, defending champ, and how that might come into play whatsoever in a match like this?

ANDY MURRAY:  No.  To be honest, I handled the pressure fine.  I mean, I started the tournament well.  I was playing good tennis.  Today was a bad day, you know, from my side.  I made many mistakes, unforced errors, and then started going for too much and taking chances that weren't really there.

I think I hit maybe one backhand winner the entire match, which isn't normally what I do ??? especially on this surface.

So it was a tough day all around.

Q.  Only four players have successfully defended their title in the open era after winning it for the first time.  Now that you've actually gone through that whole experience yourself, can you identify with why that's such a small number?

ANDY MURRAY:  Well, to start with, I mean, it's an incredibly difficult tournament to win.  You know, quite a lot of the players that have won have come back and won the tournament in the future.

But, yeah, to win, you know, any tournament back to back, never mind a Grand Slam on a surface like this which, you know, rests sometimes on a few points in a set, you know, it's not always going to go your way.

So I would say grass, you know, it's a tough surface to do it on.  But I didn't feel like that had any bearing on the outcome of my tournament.

Q.  Is this the toughest loss of your career, would you say?

ANDY MURRAY:  No.  Toughest loss of my career was losing in the final here in 2012.  But I need to go away and make a lot of improvements in my game.  I've lost a couple of matches in the last few slams where I've lost in straight sets and, you know, played poorly.

So I need to have a think about things, what are the things I need to improve, and get myself in better shape and work even harder.  Because everyone's starting to get better.  The younger guys are now obviously becoming more mature and improving all the time.

I need to make some improvements to my game.

Q.  We saw Kim looking understandably upset running into the clubhouse.  What did she say to you?  Have you seen her yet?

ANDY MURRAY:  No.  I've not seen her.

Q.  How would you describe Dimitrov's game and what your appraisal is of his potential?

ANDY MURRAY:  It's very hard to know what someone's potential is because, you know, there's a lot of factors involved in how someone's career goes.

But he plays well on all of the surfaces; he moves well; he's a very good athlete; he has variety in his game, which helps him play on all of the surfaces.

Yeah, he's a talented guy.  He has a talented hand, so he can dig himself out of tough situations and points.  You know, when you think the point's won, he can come up with some great shots.

Yeah, I don't know his exact potential.  It's impossible to say.  But he's obviously made some big improvements over the last 12 to 18 months and he's getting better.

Q.  When you talked about the younger players coming through, when you see what happened to Nadal last night, do you think that gap is the smallest it's ever been?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, maybe.  Again, I mean, like I said, obviously if guys are improving.  You know, and I'm saying that I don't feel like I have improved so much since Wimbledon last year, I think I've played some very good tennis but also some ordinary stuff at times.

Yeah, if you play against a player, you know, like a Kyrgios or Dimitrov or Raonic and those guys and you don't play very well, it's tough to win those matches now; whereas before maybe when they're younger and a bit inexperienced you can still find ways to come through them.

But now that they're getting more experience and improving, it's tough to do that.

Q.  Do you believe your best tennis is yet to come?

ANDY MURRAY:  I don't know.  But if I'm going to play better tennis than I am just now, the only way to do that is by working even harder than I have before.  Getting in the gym, getting stronger, becoming physically better.

But, yeah, the only way that I can improve is by getting myself on the practice court and working harder than I have done in the last 12 months.  Hopefully that will help.

Q.  With what you said about Dimitrov being young, did the performance ??? with no disrespect ??? make you feel a bit old out there today, that he's coming through like that?

ANDY MURRAY:  No, I don't feel old.  I mean, like I said, I still played some very good tennis this tournament.  I've had a good run here at Wimbledon over the last few years.  Obviously it's disappointing for it to end like that.

But, you know, now we'll see whether I can come back stronger and come back better.  And, yeah, no one knows, but I'm going to try.

Q.  How will it work now with Amélie?  Would you like to carry on working with her?

ANDY MURRAY:  We'll sit down and chat about that maybe tomorrow or in a few days.  But, yeah, it has to come from both sides.

I've really enjoyed the last couple of weeks.  I've found it good fun.  I found it calming.  Tactically, you know, I feel like the chats have been good.  Also the direction that I would like my tennis to go in.

So I hope so, but we'll need to sit down and chat.

Q.  What feelings did you have on court when things were going so badly for you?  Is it so tough to react, to find a way?  What were you thinking really?

ANDY MURRAY:  Well, you try to find a way to get back into the match, whether that's tactically or just through getting into longer points and fighting, making more balls.

But, yeah, the frustrating thing for me was the amount of mistakes I made today.  Because even when I wanted to get into longer rallies I was missing shots.  I was unable to make him work as hard as I needed to to get back into the match.

But, yeah, that's what I was trying to do.  Couldn't seem to get my legs in the right place to hit the right shots all the time.

Q.  On this court you've had an incredible run.   Do you think in a certain way at certain point it's just the nature of sport that there will be an off tournament?  Can you reflect on this incredible run you've had on this court.

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, the last few years here have been very important tournaments in my career, and also for me as a person, as well.  So, you know, obviously I'll look back on them fondly.  I have very good memories from that court out there.  It's a special court for me.

Yeah, I mean, you can have bad days as an athlete.  You don't win all of the time.  Sometimes you just have to take it on the chin and move on.

But, yeah, when you don't feel like you played as well as you can, that's disappointing and frustrating.  Yeah, that's happened a few times in the slams over the last year, so I'm disappointed about that.

Q.  Many were struck with the dignity you showed in the aftermath of this defeat bowing to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.   What was going through your mind at that point, and did you mention to Dimitrov, Do you want to bow to the Royal Box?

ANDY MURRAY:  We spoke about it before the match and we were given the instructions to bow.  It used to be a tradition always.  Now it's changed unless there's royalty in there.

But, yeah, that's something we talked about.  I made sure to remind him when we were walking off the court, because I can imagine for him ?????? it was the first time he's been in the semis of a slam, so just to make sure that we did it when we walked off.

Q.  Did you feel this morning at all that it might be a flat day, or was it out of the blue to you?

ANDY MURRAY:  It's not necessarily about being flat.  The fire was still there.  My game was just not where I would have liked it to be.

I hit the ball well in practice the last day or two.  I hit the ball well, fine in the warmup this morning.  That wasn't a problem.

Yeah, I just played badly today.  I'm disappointed with that.  Obviously, you know, I have to have a think about maybe why that was.  But often I think people overanalyze things and look at things in too much detail.

I just didn't play well today and he played much better than me from the beginning to the end.  That's not going to add up to a good day at the office.

Q.  Rafa said yesterday he was looking forward to going to the beach.  What are you going to look forward to be doing in the next few days?

ANDY MURRAY:  I don't know.  Yeah, for me, like I said, I need to make some improvements in my game.  I need to get on the practice court soon, because now there's time before the next bunch of tournaments to do that, to make improvements.  You know, it's not often in the year you get that much time.

But I'll also need to have a think for a few days about how it is I'm going to go about that, how it is I'm going to go about improving and trying to get better again.

So, yeah, I'll definitely take a few days away from the court.  Probably won't be on a beach.  I'll then start practicing fairly soon.

Q.  Can it be any comfort to you that nothing will ever change what you did last year?

ANDY MURRAY:  Well, yeah.  I mean, I think when I look back on my career, when I finish playing, that's something I'm always going to be proud of winning Wimbledon.

Yeah, it was, you know, a very hard thing to do with all of the pressure and expectation of such a long time without a British man winning.

So, yeah, I'm happy I managed to deal with that pressure and come through it.  It wasn't easy at times, but I managed to do it.

But, yeah, you know, I still want to try to win more.  I don't want to think so much about that right now.  I need to think forward and not backwards, and getting motivation from somewhere to try to get back to the top of my game.

Q.  You spoke a minute ago about a day at the office.  Are you enjoying playing tennis at the moment?

ANDY MURRAY:  The last few months, yeah, I've really enjoyed it.  I've enjoyed being on the practice court.  I've enjoyed, you know, especially the last few weeks with Amélie.  It's been different.  I've enjoyed it a lot.  That's the most important thing.

In terms of moving forward, I think when you stop enjoying practicing and training, you know, and traveling, then you have to have a think about what you actually want to do with yourself.  Because, you know, you don't want to make yourself miserable when you're doing something that you've loved since you were a kid.

But there's been periods where I've struggled, but right now isn't one of them.

Q.  You seem particularly philosophical after that.   Are you still 100% confident in your own game, and would be looking to go on and try to win the title here in the future?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, when I stop thinking I have a chance of winning these tournaments I'll stop playing tennis.  This is what I play for.  I love these events.  You know, I've had a lot of hard losses in them in my career, but also with some big highs, as well.

Yeah, this is obviously one of the hard ones.  But, you know, I need to gain some motivation from it.  The only way for me to, like I say, to get better or win these tournaments again is to make improvements because other guys are getting better now.

Q.  Did you come into Wimbledon with these concerns with areas you would like to improve, or has this loss focused your mind on that area?

ANDY MURRAY:  I mean, you always look for improvements.  But, like I said, there's not that many times in the year where you can change things in your game or try to make big improvements, because, I mean, the tournaments go on all the time.

For me this year, coming back from the surgery, I haven't had as much time training as I would have liked.  I was always trying to get matches in and get match???sharp, as well.

But, look, I played very well the first, what, four matches.  I played very good tennis.  I played a high level.  Then today wasn't like that, so it's disappointing.

But I feel like if I hit the ball, struck the ball like I had done against Anderson in the round before, the match could have been a lot closer than what it was.

Q.  Your mother missed the first section of the match.  Did you notice?  Was that a factor?  Is that the first time she would have missed any portion of a match that you've lost at Wimbledon?

ANDY MURRAY:  No.  It's hard - well, maybe it's not hard.  It's nice to have two sons playing at Wimbledon.  I am when we were kids she would have never expected that was going to happen.  Sometimes with the way the schedule works we play at the same time.

My mum tries to watch both of us and support both of us equally.  It's not just about whoever's playing on the bigger court or whatever.  It's about supporting your kids.  That's what she was doing today.

Q.  Now that you're out, will you watch the tournament?

ANDY MURRAY:  No.  I mean, I'll watch the final probably.  But, yeah, there's not one person in particular that I would like to win the tournament.

Q.  Over your career have you gained most motivation from victories or defeats?

ANDY MURRAY:  Well, I gained a lot of motivation when I lost in the final of Wimbledon in 2012.  But, yeah, I mean, after the US Open I was pretty pumped and motivated because, you know, it took me such a long time to do that.  It was nice to feel what it was like to win one of them.  I gained a lot of motivation from that, too.

But the reality is you lose in most tournaments that you play.  You don't win even 30%, 40% of them.  In tennis, most weeks you end up being one of the losers.  Sometimes it's in the final; sometimes it's a bit earlier.  You need to be able to deal with defeats and move on from them.  That's what the best players do.

Q.  I was wondering how you found the crowd on Centre Court?  Do you have a message for people who gathered on Murray Mound, as well?

ANDY MURRAY:  The crowd have been great the whole event.  It was obviously nice for me to come back and play the first match on Centre Court on the opening Monday.

Yeah, I mean, the crowds have been packed from the beginning.  The support's been fantastic.  You know, obviously not everyone can get in to watch on the Centre Court, but I know there's many more people out there that have been supporting and have been behind me.

I appreciate it.  It always makes a big difference.  That's why I love coming back here.

Q.  Can you explain what it was like carrying the weight of public expectation throughout this fortnight as defending champion.

ANDY MURRAY:  It's no different to any other year that I played here, to be honest.  I was very nervous before the first match.  I was quite open about that, you know, after I played it and the buildup to it.  I was nervous about that, coming back and playing on that first Monday.

In terms of the expectation, the pressure, for me it was no different to any of the other years.  You know, for me anyways, it's affected me in a positive way, if anything, over the course of my career.

Q.  You had a very good first week.  Did you ever believe that you would go all the way to the final?  Did you have that belief in you when you started?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah.  Well, because of the way I was playing, yeah, I felt like I had a good chance of doing that.  I was moving well.  I was hitting the ball good.  Yeah, I had not used up much energy.  I had beaten some tough players.  I had played well in my last match, too.

So, yeah, there was no reason for me to think ?????? I'm aware of how difficult it is to get to the latter stages of these events and to win them.  I'm aware of that.  But I felt like if I played well, I would have given myself a good opportunity.

Q.  You played so well on Monday; today you say you didn't play well.  How can it change so quickly?

ANDY MURRAY:  It's a high-skill sport.  So your timing is slightly off, you know, that can make a huge difference.  When you're playing team sports, you know, one player ?????? five players have a bad day, and, you know, six players in football can make a difference.

In an individual sport, you know, you can wake up and the ball doesn't feel as good on the racquet as it did two days beforehand.  That's just the way this sport is.  That's one of the things that makes it extremely challenging.  It's one of the things I enjoy about it.  You never know how you're going to feel when you wake up.

But, you know, obviously for me I'm just disappointed that today was one of those days and I wasn't able to find a way to get better during the match.


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