Andy Murray’s first career Grand Slam title defense ended today at the hands of Stanislas Wawrinka. The Swiss No. 2 overpowered Murray 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to ease into his first career Slam semifinal.
Murray, who has won two of the last four Grand Slams, suffered his earliest loss at a Major since the French Open last year. Giving credit to how well Wawrinka played, here’s what Murray said to the press immediately after the loss:
Q. Very tough day. What went on today?
ANDY MURRAY: I thought he played great. That was the hardest part of the match. 5-4 game in the first set was important game. I had a chance to close it out; he had quite a few chances. I made a few mistakes. But I mean, for the most part I didn’t create break point chance, so he served well. He hit a lot of lines, was going for big shots, and he played too well.
Q. You haven’t looked particularly comfortable all tournament. Have you felt like you sort of haven’t been able to find your rhythm or your best tennis?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, when it’s breezy conditions I think everyone takes a bit of time to feel comfortable on the court. But I don’t think I was playing poorly. I got to the quarterfinals of a slam, which isn’t easy. I mean, I would have liked to have played a little bit better, but, you know, I have had a good run the last couple of years. It’s a shame I had to play a bad match today.
Q. Was it his game? Your game?
ANDY MURRAY: I just said he played great. He hit big shots. He passed extremely well. He hit a lot of lines on big points. He served well. That was it. He played a great match.
Q. Does it make it harder when the guy keeps points so short? Was it one of those where you can’t get any kind of rhythm?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, it wasn’t that. I mean, I thought there was a fair few long points, but I didn’t get into enough return games, which is disappointing for me. That’s normally something I do pretty well. I always give myself opportunities to break serve, and I didn’t today.
Q. Has it been a little tougher perhaps than even you imagined to come off down from the kind of mountaintop of Wimbledon and get everything right, all the focus right after that big high?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it’s not so much about focus. You know, when you work hard for something for a lot of years, you know, it’s going to take a bit of time to really fire yourself up and get yourself training, you know, 110 percent. You know, that’s something that I think is kind of natural after what happened at Wimbledon. But I got here. I mean, I have been here nearly three weeks now. I practiced a lot, and played quite a lot of matches, as well. So I gave myself a chance to do well because I prepared properly.
Q. Was there anything about the whole experience it was a new experience, defending a big title like this that perhaps it took you by surprise or anything about the whole thing that…
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don’t think so. I would have thought maybe beginning of the tournament would have been the case. But, I mean, I think that had zero bearing on today’s match. You know, it was my fifth match of the tournament, so, I mean, I thought I handled it okay. It was a new experience for me and something that was good to go through, and I will learn from that for next time.
Q. Did he throw anything tactically at you that you weren’t expecting?
ANDY MURRAY: He served and volleyed a few times at the beginning of the match on some quite big points. On 30-all points and maybe a couple of deuce points, he did it. Apart from that, no, he just hit the ball extremely well today. So it was difficult to dictate too many of the points. And, you know, when he had the wind with him, he served very well and got the first strike in on the rally. I had to do a lot of defending from the far side of the court.
Q. Do you think the last 12 months have been more physically taxing or mentally taxing on you?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it’s been challenging both ways for different reasons. I mean, physically I played some extremely tough matches in that period. You know, mentally, as well, it was very challenging for me to play you know, Wimbledon, the last few games of Wimbledon to you guys may not seem like much, but to me it was extremely challenging. Mentally, in terms of the matches I played, I mean, with Novak in Australia, last couple of years we have had some big matches here obviously. So, you know, a lot of work goes into not just those matches but the work you do to get yourself ready for them, as well. Yeah, that’s tough.
Q. How difficult has the scheduling of your matches made it for you?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t really want to get into that. You guys can see for yourself how the schedule worked out. Yeah, when you play the first round over three days, it’s tough.
Q. You have been incredibly consistent, as you said, at reaching the latter stages of Grand Slams. Does that make this more disappointing? How much does it motivate you?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I don’t know. If I’m meant to win every Grand Slam I play or be in the final, it’s just very, very difficult just now. With the guys around us, it’s very challenging. Like I say, I have played my best tennis in the slams the last two, three years. I mean, I lost today in straight sets, so that’s disappointing. I would have liked to have gone further. But, look, I can’t complain. If someone told me before the US Open last year I would have been here as defending champion having won Wimbledon and Olympic gold, I would have taken that 100 percent. So I’m disappointed, but, you know, the year as a whole has been a good one.
Q. First Grand Slam semifinal for Stan. When you see the way he played today, can you see him as a contender for these titles now?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. I know how hard they are to win. I have reached quite a few semis and finals before I did it. I don’t know the answer to that. You’ll find out in the next few days I guess.
Q. Do you think Davis Cup might be a good challenge for you now in two weeks’ time, a good change from the Grand Slam scene?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. I mean, again, I’ll see in 10 days or so, but, you know, I need to take a few days’ rest and then get practicing on the clay courts and hopefully we can win the match.
Q. Just to clarify, aren’t any kind of underlying physical issues you have been keeping quiet?
ANDY MURRAY: No.
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