A. MURRAY/J. Nieminen 1‑6, 6‑4, 6‑1, 6‑2
Q. Perhaps you could just talk us through how you were feeling at the start and then at the end.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, first of all, it wasn’t the same thing I had before. I was absolutely fine yesterday in practice, no problem, went to bed and I was fine, and I woke up this morning, was ‑‑ couldn’t put any weight on my left leg.
I practiced. It was okay. Not great, but it was okay. Then, yeah, before the match, yeah, I wasn’t feeling great. Talked about not playing.
And then right at the beginning of the match, again, I was okay. I don’t know if, you know, it was nerves, adrenaline, whatever. It wasn’t too bad.
Then after I got up from the changeover at 3‑0, it was really, really sore. And then obviously was struggling a lot for, you know, about an hour, hour 15, hour and a half. Then it started to feel a bit better.
But still not great, but just kind of gritting my teeth and try to find a way of turning the match around, because I was few points probably from stopping around ‑‑ in the middle of the second set.
Q. What did make you go on then when you were thinking about it? Was it just a determination not to quit, or could you see that he was firing, you know, a few balls away and things?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, he didn’t really at the beginning of the second set. It was just ‑‑ yeah, I guess. I don’t know. I don’t know what it was. I just didn’t really want to stop the match.
Then at the end of the second set I started standing up at the change of ends, and my back started to loosen up a little bit.
Then, yeah, it got actually quite windy on the court, and he started to make a few mistakes at the end of the set. I know what it’s like playing against someone who is not really moving much. Not always the easiest thing.
Then he made some mistakes at the end of the second set, and it was his fault for letting me back into the match, because I didn’t do anything special. I just tried to put some balls back in. Then, yeah, that was it.
Q. You travel with a very experienced full‑time physio who works on you every day. Between you, do you have sort of an idea how it can happen that you can just through apparently sleeping in the wrong position, or whatever, you can, you know, wake up with this problem that’s such a threat?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it’s like a back spasm. Everybody ‑‑ I mean, anyone can get them at any stage. It can happen. I mean, obviously I had the problem with my back for a number of months. Then, yeah, maybe sometimes muscles are doing too much work, you know, because you’re a little bit weak in that area. I don’t know.
But my physio is one of the best. No doubt about that. His advice before the match was that by playing you’re not going to do any permanent damage, so go out and give it a go. See how it feels.
Then obviously it didn’t feel good. So they were telling me to stop, and then I just kept going, and then it started to feel a bit better.
But, yeah, it’s one of those things, you know, you can wake up sometimes with, you know, a cricked neck or sleeping in the wrong position or whatever. Because I was absolutely perfect yesterday. I had no problems at all.
Q. How confident are you that you’ll be able to carry on in the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I’m going to try and carry on regardless, whether it’s a bit sorer tomorrow or two days’ time, I’m going to carry on.
I just try and do all the right things to recover as best as possible.
Q. The advice that you got from Andy Ireland, was it that you wouldn’t necessarily be doing any more damage to it by playing? Will that be the case, do you think, in two days’ time?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I mean, I have no idea what will happen in two days. But if it’s something like a spasm, it’s not like you’re doing major damage. You know, it’s just a really, really tight muscle.
Yeah, that was the advice that he gave me. Obviously it was tough for quite a large period of the match, so, yeah, I just went with the advice that I got given. We discussed it before I went on. That was it.
Then I just tried to play and tried to come back and, you know, the combination of him getting a little bit nervous and me moving a little bit better at the end of the second set, you know, changed the match.
Q. Is it just a case it’s not in your nature to give up? I mean, you just wanted to keep going rather than just say, Oh, I’m going to just chuck it?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, like I say, you know, I didn’t really feel like stopping. But, you know, I was still only a few points away from stopping the match.
You know, it was ‑‑ there’s a point where it becomes ‑‑ it doesn’t really make that much sense to ‑‑ make that much sense to keep playing.
Yeah, I mean, like I say, him making a few mistakes and getting a little bit nervous and me feeling a little bit better, and then that was it.
So I just decided to keep going. Obviously it turned around dramatically.
Q. You say you were a few points away from stopping. What stage of the match would that have been?
ANDY MURRAY: I thought about by the end of the first set, and then ‑‑ yeah, just early in the second, around that period. I don’t know the exact score at the time. But, yeah, it was around that period, end of the first set, and then when I played a couple more games. Then I was thinking, you know, whether to keep playing or not.
Yeah, that was it. I’m happy I did.
Q. I know each individual match is different and the circumstances vary. But can you draw on past experiences here? Because you have had some fairly dramatic matches in this stadium. Can you draw on those perhaps to give you an extra incentive to want to keep going?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think, you know, if you’ve been sort of in, you know, physical pain before ‑‑ you know, last year, you know, the match in the second or third round, whenever it was, yeah, I mean, I wasn’t playing great. I was barely moving on the court, and my opponent got nervous. I was just swinging and made some shots.
That helped. And then, you know, I was two sets to love down in the next round not really moving and then I just started to feel a little bit better.
So I guess past experience probably helps, but today was even different, was even different to last year, because I couldn’t barely put a serve on the court. It was like serving at like 60 miles an hour sometimes.
Q. You seemed to be getting more and more uncomfortable towards the end of the match, fourth set, looking at the expression on your face. Did you sort of feel you had to finish it off in four? Do you think you could have gone five? What was sort of the immediate reaction when you cooled down after the match?
ANDY MURRAY: The thing was basically I wasn’t nervous until I got into a winning position, because I couldn’t believe I was there. And then when I had the chance to win, I was ‑‑ I guess it was like 4‑2, I had like Love‑40, three second serves, I shanked two of the returns because I was a little bit nervous. I was like, I can actually win this match now. And then, yeah, starting to stretch wide and trying to chase every ball down, and, yeah, it was painful.
But it feels like it did when I woke up this morning. It didn’t ‑‑ when I finished the match, it didn’t really feel that much worse. It didn’t stiffen up so badly.
Again, a lot of that’s due to the people that I’ve got around me doing their job and making sure I did all the right things as soon as I came off.
But, you know, I don’t know how that’s going to feel in a few hours when I go back and relax and also when I wake up in the morning.
But, you know, I’m taking all the right medication and seeing the doctor, and I will do the best I can.
Q. Given everything, how satisfying a victory was that?
ANDY MURRAY: I didn’t find it that satisfying. I just couldn’t believe I had won.
I guess when you’re in that position, especially in a Grand Slam, yeah, emotionally it’s pretty challenging, because you’re only one or two points away from having to stop.
Like I say, I couldn’t believe I was in a position to win at the end of the fourth set, so I was starting to get a bit, you know, edgy.
And, yeah, I just couldn’t believe that I had won when I finished the match. Yeah, rather than it being satisfying, it was just quite emotional.
Q. You seemed to be hitting the ball reasonably well, even if you weren’t moving well. Does that give you encouragement for the rest of the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: I have been hitting the ball well in practice. Yeah, like today I just wasn’t moving particularly well. Yeah, but, well, I will see how I feel in a couple days. I’m hitting the ball just fine.
Q. Just to make clear, this is separate from the other back injury you’ve had since December. Are you confident you’re not damaging that one?
ANDY MURRAY: No, the thing ‑‑ like I was saying, it’s a different, completely different to what I had beforehand.
But the two could be connected, because it was very close to each other. Like I say, if you’re a little bit weakened in one spot and you’re overcompensating using other muscles, if they’re working too hard, then, yeah, that could cause them to spasm or whatever.
But, no, I’m not doing myself any actual damage by playing with what I have. I have had all the best advice from some of the top surgeons and physios. I’m confident that I’m doing the right thing.
Q. A question away from your body. You have been on Twitter; you’re off Twitter. What’s your thinking behind that and where are you now with all of that? Are you on? Are you off?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I just do it sometimes when I feel like doing it. I don’t think you can ‑‑ I mean, like anyone, you can decide when you want to say something on ‑‑ yeah, depends what certain people might use it for, I don’t know, to promote things or, you know, some people like to do it just to give their opinion on things. Some people like to do it to interact with fans or with friends.
Yeah, I just use it for whatever and whenever I feel like it.
Q. What do you like to use it for?
ANDY MURRAY: Whatever I feel like. It’s not ‑‑ I didn’t decide when I set it up that I was going to use it for one thing or the other. I mean, it’s ‑‑ I think for me, anyway, it’s a fun way of sort of connecting with friends, friends and fans, and then, yeah, sometimes if there’s something that you read or hear and someone said, you know, it’s a way of having your own voice, I guess.
Q. You touched on it, but were you surprised that a player of his experience didn’t change the game, didn’t make you pay for the injury that you clearly had?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I’d say I was fairly surprised.
Like I say, I couldn’t believe I was in a winning position at the end of the match. I mean, if you watch the end of the second set, I did put more balls in the court, but I wasn’t exactly hitting winners and moving unbelievably. He started making mistakes, and, like I say, the wind did pick up a little bit. That might have contributed to it.
But, yeah, I was very surprised to be in that position.
Q. Do you have any concerns that you might be jeopardizing your chances for Wimbledon or looking further ahead by carrying on play?
ANDY MURRAY: No. It’s a completely different thing to what I had beforehand. So if it was the same thing, then, yeah, I would be really, really concerned about Wimbledon and obviously the Olympics.
But so long as, you know, what I’m getting told by doctors and the physios is, you know, if it is just a muscle spasm, then, yeah, that’s nothing to be overly concerned by.
But they are, when they happen, very difficult to shake off, especially, you know, when, you know, it’s early morning. It takes a bit of time for your body to warm up and stuff.
So, yeah, I’m not doing any permanent damage by finishing a match like I did today.
Q. Last year you rolled your ankle and you fought through it. Today you had back issues and the crowd was really into it, pushing you. Have you had the feeling you were having a different relationship with the French crowd, they’re more into your matches, that maybe you have become one of the favorite here?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. Normally I have had ‑‑ apart from obviously when I play French players, I normally got pretty good support here, here and Bercy. I do like the French crowd, because they’re very passionate, and also, you know, they don’t like it when, you know, someone isn’t giving their best. You know, I think they’re pretty knowledgeable. They can see that.
Yeah, I’ve always had a fairly good relationship with the French crowd.