June 30, 2018
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you tell us, have you decided yet whether you're playing?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, unless, you know, in the next couple of days I don't -- I wake up and don't feel good. I mean, through all of this, you know, I have to view it, like, very much day by day, just as a process. I'm practicing, like, a high level, a high intensity every day with some of the best players in the world. That's really positive for me as part of getting better, to compete again.
I spoke a little bit about it last week. You know, in other sports when you come back, you don't tend to come back and be competing against the best in the world immediately, like, for five sets or three sets, whatever. You would build up a little bit, play 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and so on.
I'm just trying to right now keep building, practicing with these guys, then hopefully pulling up each day and obviously competing in the matches, which went well I think the last couple of weeks, in Queen's and Eastbourne. So far here that's also been the case, which is good.
Q. Is there a particular physical movement or action that is still most difficult for you with the hip?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, there's certain things that are still tricky and things I'm still trying to work through. These things are significantly better than what they were a few months ago. That's for sure. But, you know, again, it just takes time.
You sometimes in practice might feel really good, and then you get on the match court and you're pushing yourself, like, a few percent harder. You know, you notice other things that you're maybe struggling with, as well. You know, you learn a lot from competing.
Q. I watched some of your final practice this afternoon. At times you seemed persuasive with some of your shots. Did you feel that you were all there this afternoon in your practice or... What were your views on it?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I'd like to be playing better. I mean, I've not been practicing that long. Like I said, I'm competing with the best players in the world. Of course, you notice things that are maybe not quite where you would like them to be or where you remember them being, like, a year ago.
But in terms of being there, I was there, yeah. I was trying my best in the practice, although not maybe playing as well as I would have liked.
Q. In the past you've been chasing your goals, winning slams, getting to No. 1. How difficult is it to stop when the issues of your body, maybe now you're even more cautious?
ANDY MURRAY: I think in the past that's something that I would have maybe taken for granted a little bit. Whereas right now, with where I'm at, my recovery, I'm very aware of how I'm feeling each day, very aware of how my hip is. I chat to my team lots about it. I'm spending lots of time, you know, working with my physios and stuff, trying to get stronger and those sorts of things.
Right now I need to be very maybe 'cautious' is not the right word. I need to be mindful of how I'm feeling on a day-to-day basis. I have to take it that way. Right now you can't say for 100% certainty when you only started competing 10 days ago how you're going to feel after every match and each day.
So I need to be very open with my team about that and let them know exactly how I'm feeling, which maybe in the past, you know, sometimes things are a bit sore, you just kind of get on with it, whereas now I need to be smart with that.
Q. You didn't stand for reelection to the player council, is that correct?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah.
Q. What was the thinking about that? Do you broadly support this idea of Novak's player union to represent your interests?
ANDY MURRAY: The reason for me not standing again was because I'd done it for two years. I enjoyed it, learnt quite a lot during that period, but also some of the meetings were, you know, six, seven hours at a time, often coming right before slams and stuff. A lot of the decisions and things we discussed in those meetings, felt like we were spending lots of time discussing them every single time we would meet. Yeah, that was a bit frustrating.
In terms of the player union, I've had absolutely no involvement in that at all. Have had no discussions with Novak or anyone about that.
I certainly think there's flaws in the way that the tours work, whether that be with Davis Cup or scheduling. I think things would improve a lot if all of the tours got together and sort of worked a bit closer with each other. I think that would help a lot.
But, yeah, in terms of a player union, I think there's a long, long way to go before something like that would get agreed upon.
Q. It was not that long ago where you thought you probably wouldn't be here. What does it feel like to be back here with a very good chance?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I'm pumped obviously because, yeah, I mean, four or five weeks ago, I didn't know whether I'd be capable of competing at a level I'd be happy with. I think the last couple of weeks, you know, has been beneficial. I don't think in the matches I was sort of -- I don't think I played amazing in the matches, but I think I've done well, considering the opponents, the level of the guys that I've played against.
Obviously Wimbledon for me is obviously special for a lot of reasons. I always want to, you know, be here competing. It feels a little bit odd coming into the tournament this year. Normally like at this stage I feel really nervous, lots of pressure, and I expect a lot of myself around this time of year. I've always loved that and enjoyed that in a way. It has been difficult, but enjoyed it, whereas this year it feels very, very different.
Q. It's 10 years now since the 2008 final between Nadal and Federer. Where do you think that ranks in terms of the best matches you've ever seen? As a player at the time, did you feel that match raised the bar?
ANDY MURRAY: It was a brilliant match. In terms of best matches you've seen, it's so difficult to say that. I think because it was a Wimbledon final, because of the two players that were competing in it, and the way that the match finished and everything, there was the rain delays and stuff.
I was actually here in the stadium watching that match. I got tickets with one of my friends to watch. I left after one of the rain delays. I went home and watched the end of the match at home.
Yeah, it was obviously a brilliant match. In terms of the best matches ever, I don't know how you decide that. But between the two of them, between Rafa and Roger, probably the best match they've played.
Q. Did you feel that it raised the bar in terms of what you had to reach for?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. Really, I don't know. I feel like you learn more about where you need to get to by competing against yourself rather than maybe watching. I've luckily had the chance to compete against both of those guys and I've learned loads every time I've done it.
Q. When you spoke for the first time before Queen's, you said you had zero expectations. Now that you've spent a bit of time on court, what are you expecting from yourself here? Do you think second week is a possibility?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don't know. I don't know. Because how am I supposed to tell you how I'm going to feel if I play for four hours in the first match? I can't answer that question honestly.
I mean, I wouldn't expect to play worse tennis than I have. I would expect my level of tennis to improve than where it was at Queen's and Eastbourne because of the matches. Again, like I said, getting to practice with better players.
But in terms of how I would fare, how I would do in the tournament results-wise, I have no idea.
Q. You're playing Benoit Paire, a tricky first round to play. How do you see that match?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think, like, in the past, he's spoken about it, I'm pretty sure, that he didn't enjoy playing on the grass. Last year he obviously had a decent run here, had a couple of match points against Roger in Halle a couple of weeks ago. I think with his game, as well, the ability that he has, his athleticism, I don't see a reason for why he shouldn't play pretty well on the surface.
But, yeah, he's a tricky guy to play against because of his style. He does hit a lot of dropshots, he serve-volleys. He's unorthodox with his shot selection and stuff. He can be quite up and down, too, at times.
(Cheering noise in background.)
I can't believe I'm missing this match. It's like 4-2 or something (laughter).
Q. It's 3-2 France.
ANDY MURRAY: Should we just go (laughter)? Well, yeah.
Q. You said on a number of occasions, you'd like to carry on playing so both your daughters can see you playing. You have had quite a career where you achieved everything you can, maybe more than you anticipated. Was there a point during this long process of recovery that you thought perhaps not playing again wouldn't be so bad because you would have had the best of both worlds; you achieved everything you could, but then spend the next few years watching your kids grow up, not be away for 30 weeks?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, there's a balance of that. Obviously, I would want them to watch me playing where I'm physically capable of playing properly, at a level that I'd be happy playing at. I'm not just going to keep playing for four years or three years if I don't feel like I can play, I'm in pain, I'm not enjoying it.
I mean, I'm saying that based on the hope that I'm physically good and healthy, all of those things. I mean, if I had to stop tomorrow, yeah, I mean, I'd be pretty gutted with that because I still love playing, I love the sport. I enjoy, you know, watching it. I enjoy the traveling. There's nothing about it that I kind of -- that I'd be looking forward to sort of giving up really.
So, yeah, I want to keep playing as long as I can, providing I'm physically capable of doing that, I'm not in a lot of pain and discomfort.
Q. You talk about your physical recovery after the matches. Has it improved after the match at Queen's and the two at Eastbourne? Did it improve each time? Is it a bit worse again?
ANDY MURRAY: No, the worst I felt was after the match with Nick, but that was also the longest match that I played, and it was the very first one. I would expect to feel a bit better probably after the first one.
Again, it's just difficult to compare because no two matches are the same. The match against Stan was an hour and 10 minutes. It was less than half the amount of time. The match with Kyle was an hour and 30, an hour and 40 minutes. Still an hour less.
Yeah, I mean, I felt okay after those two. The match with Nick, as I said, I didn't feel great the next day. But 48 hours later, I was fine.
Q. You played Nick recently. He says that he feels best prepared for Wimbledon than he ever has. What do you think his chances are? Do you feel maybe there's something different in how he's acting or playing?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, difficult, very difficult to say. I think there's absolutely no reason why, with his game, and the way that he can serve. I mean, I think at Queen's, I'm pretty sure I'm right in saying this, he served in the two matches after he played me I think he served over 30 aces in back-to-back matches. It's incredible to be able to do that nowadays because the courts are not unbelievably fast. He's not just doing that on his first serve. He's hitting huge second serves as well.
If he's able to focus for three, four hours at a time, do it over the space of two weeks, there's no reason why he can't compete. If you're getting that many free points with your serve, they're just aces. So 30 aces, let's say in a two-set match, 24 points to win a set, that's not including the ones that guys just touch and get a racquet on, you don't actually have to win that many points, you know, and play that many long rallies and stuff.
There's no reason why he couldn't have a really good run here. But the mental side of the game, you know, is huge and extremely important. He needs to prove that.
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