Saturday, 15 October 2016
A. MURRAY/G. Simon 6-4, 6-3
Q. Another good win.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a tough match today. Probably hardest one I had this week, because, I mean, conditions, it felt unbelievably humid on the court. I don’t know if that’s because the stadium was more full and therefore it was warmer.
It was tough. Lots of long rallies. And, yeah, I think it was a lot of kind of ups and downs. He went up a breaker in the first set and then kind of came back at the end of both sets.
It was hard. A lot of long games and I was behind on a few of my service games, too. It was a good one to get through in two sets.
Q. The race for No. 1, was it on your mind at all at some point today?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, obviously following the matches so you’re aware of what was going on. My goal is not to try and reach No. 1 this year. I’d have to win pretty much every match between now and the end of the year. And Novak would not have to win hardly any. So it’s not in my hands.
I want to try and get there, but I don’t think doing that by the end of this year is that realistic. So I just want to try and finish this year as strong as I can. Maybe give myself a chance at doing it the early part of next year.
Q. Novak seems a guy who is lost at the moment. Do you have any advice for him at all?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t think he needs advice from me, to be honest. I spoke about it earlier in the week and in Beijing.
I do think that after everything he’s achieved and the kind of dominance that he’s had, it takes so much effort and work to be, you know, making finals almost every single week for two years. I mean, it’s a really, really hard thing to do.
And, you know, it’s maybe normal if he’s mentally a little bit tired or, you know, trying to find the next thing, you know, for him to achieve after what he did at the French Open, as well.
So I do think it’s pretty normal, and I’m sure he will get it back. But it’s just normal to have, you know, a period after what he’s done the last few years where he’s maybe not as dominant as he was.
Q. That said, 18 out of 18 sets won in China so far, if you had to say one thing that’s gone well so far here, what is it?
ANDY MURRAY: I think I have responded pretty well every time I have been in tough situations or gone behind in sets. I have got myself back on level terms fairly quickly.
You know, in some of the matches like today obviously went a break down early, was a break down early against Ferrer. You know, Kyle had set points, one or two sets points against me. I played some good tennis in those moments.
When I have been behind, I think I have done a pretty good job of getting myself on level terms fairly quickly and not having too many serve lulls in the matches that have lasted that long.
Q. Simon said you have become a match to him physically, the main improvement you have made since a couple of years. Do you agree with that?
ANDY MURRAY: I think definitely physically I’m better than the period where I was having the problems with my back. I mean, there is no question about that. Some of the movements I have been able to make especially to my backhand side I’m a lot sharper so I’m not concerned about hurting myself or being in pain. That’s something that’s helped a lot.
But, you know, today was hard. You know, physically it wasn’t an easy match. And both of us, I’m sure, were feeling it.
But, you know, my movement, you know, when I have been fit and healthy has always been maybe the biggest strength in my game, my ability to get balls back in play in difficult situations. And for a little while, you know, some of the matches when I played Gilles like in Acapulco I had just come back from my surgery and I was struggling with that.
Maybe Rotterdam last year, I think it was last year we played in Rotterdam, but still it took me a long time to feel good again after that. No issues. It’s made a big difference.
Q. Bautista Agut, you have beaten him in straights. Once on grass, once on clay. What’s it going to be like against him tomorrow?
ANDY MURRAY: I have not played him on hard, so I’m not sure. The surface is pretty fast, and I think because of his game style he hits the ball very flat, you know, on both sides. That’s not typical for a Spaniard. I think that helps him.
Yeah, he looks to dictate a lot of the points with his forehand if he can. He has a classical swing. It’s not like a lot of the guys I have known. A lot of topspin, very clean striker of the ball.
He moves extremely well. Doesn’t have the biggest serve but places it well, and he’s a very good mover, so it will be a tough match, for sure. You know, I need to play well.