Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Matches don’t get much better than that, do they? Especially when you win?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously difficult to know — I can’t remember everything exactly that went on out there, but there was definitely some unbelievable points in that second-set tiebreak. You know, obviously we both missed a couple of shots, but in general, I think the level was extremely high.
He was hitting the ball so hard tonight, I mean, from both sides. Any time he had the opportunity, he was ripping the ball and made it really, really tough.
Q. Why is he so difficult to play? You have had some wonderful matches over the years with him.
ANDY MURRAY: He serves well. He’s not the tallest guy, but he has a very good serve. You look at his second-serve points won, you know, which is always a crucial stat, he’s always in the top 10, 15 in the world at that.
He uses the angles of the court extremely well. He plays — you know, he can play with a lot of spin. He’s got a really quick hand. So if you leave the ball sort of sitting there, he moves you off the court.
You know, a lot of guys tend to hit through the court a little bit more and a bit flatter, but he’s able to, you know, with his forehand and his backhand use the angles a lot, which makes it tough and you have to do a lot of running.
You know, he’s quick. He’s a smart player, and that’s why he’s been — we were saying the other day, he’s been top 30, top 40 in the world for like 10 years. I mean, he’s really, really tough to play against. Tonight was no different.
Q. Do you remember saving seven match points before?
ANDY MURRAY: Never. And I have never played a tiebreak that long ever. Not in juniors, nothing even close to that, I don’t think.
Q. 31 minutes and 6 seconds tiebreak.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, and what was the score? 20-18? So that’s — yeah, 36 points. Yeah, I mean, — yeah, obviously a long, long tiebreak (smiling). And, yeah, like I said, I’ll probably never play another one like that again. I mean, I have been playing on the tour for 11, 12 years now, and nothing’s been close to that.
Q. You have won Grand Slams, you have won Davis Cups, you have won lots of matches, but after a match like that, do you get a special sense of achievement?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, they can be very important matches to get through, you know, ones like that. You know, I could have obviously easily lost tonight, but, you know, the way that I played when I was behind will give me a lot of confidence, you know, after — you know, it was a tough start to the year, and to get through a match like that, you know, against a guy who I think played very, very well and played really well, like he didn’t throw it away in the tiebreak, you know, I really had to earn it, is, you know, it was big for me.
And, yeah, I want to try and keep that going now. But yeah, I mean, it’s obviously a special match to win because of how it went.
Q. The dropshot, was that just an instinct shot? (Question about saving match points.)
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, probably. I mean, that was probably the worst decision I made in the whole match. Look, I mean, it obviously paid off, and, you know, I wouldn’t advise — like, if I was coaching someone, I certainly wouldn’t tell them to try a shot like that off — maybe when the ball’s a bit higher, it’s easier, but it was off a slice, and I was running around the ball. It was literally, like, the most extreme angle possible, as well.
Yeah, I mean, there’s obviously a lot of luck involved in that shot.
Q. When did you realize that you guys forgot to change sides in that tiebreaker?
ANDY MURRAY: I realized at 16-All. I thought we shouldn’t — yeah, we shouldn’t be changing ends at that time, and the umpire said that he forgot, and also his machine didn’t recognize it. I mean, I don’t know if the machines are made to go that high, because it doesn’t happen very often (smiling).
Q. This was obviously a rewarding match from that point of view coming through a tough battle, but do you get the sense of enjoying it as you’re playing, or does that just comes afterwards?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it comes afterwards. In the moment, it’s not — yeah, like when you’re match points down or playing a tiebreak like that, you’re just — you’re trying to concentrate, and it’s not — you know, you’re not getting enjoyment in that moment.
Obviously it was very rewarding to come through a match like that and obviously very pleased to get through it. I would have been very disappointed if I’d lost the second set, but also, I didn’t feel like I was playing badly.
I played a poor tiebreak in the first set, but apart from that, I mean, I felt like I was playing pretty well and he was playing, you know, really good stuff. So I’m much happier with how I’m playing just now.