Q. Gave you a good test.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a tough match. He takes the ball very early, hits the ball very flat compared to most players on the tour. And when the ball is between, you know, his hips and his shoulder, he hits the ball extremely well. He's got very good timing. Yeah, he made it tough.
Q. Was it an advantage practicing with him, that you know his game so well?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don't know whether it's an advantage or not. Sometimes, you know, when you play someone in a match you never played before, sometimes things you do on the court may surprise them a bit at the beginning of the match and vice versa; whereas today there's not really as many surprises. They know the things you do well. They know the things they can try and exploit. That's it.
But, I mean, he's a good person to practice with.
Q. Good situation to be in going forward? You've had a decent match today, but you must be very optimistic about what lies ahead of you.
ANDY MURRAY: I just focus on the next match. I'll need to play better than I did today.
You know, Gaël and Gilles are both tough players. They do extremely consistent. You know, Gaël is probably the best in my opinion athlete that ever played the game. When he's injury free, he's a very tough guy to beat. And Gilles the same. He's caused guys lots of problems before. You know, he pushed Roger to a very tough five set match here a few years ago. He's getting closer to the top 10 in the world. He had his own injury problems as well.
Both tough matches, and I'll need to play better than I did today.
Q. After the match you mentioned you hadn't been hitting the ball as well as you'd like in practice. When that's happening, how can you get your form back? Is it something that just comes back, or is there something you can do to rediscover it?
ANDY MURRAY: By playing matches and winning, that normally helps. All of the courts at the slams play differently normally. You know, very rarely do you get two courts that play exactly the same.
So sometimes when you switch courts, you know, from match to match, that can throw the rhythm off a little bit. And also, you know, I haven't played a match on the outside courts. I've practiced on them, but players have said they're extremely fast courts, as well; whereas the show courts tend to be a little bit slower. So that can sometimes play a part in it.
But, you know, we hit enough balls and practice enough that that shouldn't be a huge issue or maybe at the beginning of the match, to get used to the court again. But normally you find your timing by practicing a lot and then getting used to the conditions and the tournaments you're playing.
Q. Have you been doing all the practicing here on site? Somebody said they saw Ivan at Kooyong the other day.
ANDY MURRAY: I practiced there last year on my off days, I practiced at Kooyong. The year before I did a similar thing until the second week, because then it becomes a bit easier to get practice on Rod Laver or on the Hisense, whichever court you're playing on.
That's why we choose to practice over there, because it's quiet. You know, we can get on a big court. Sometimes when you practice on smaller, tighter courts, it can feel different, as well.
You just try and find the best solution for you, whatever's easiest.
Q. Are those court conditions, the pace...
ANDY MURRAY: Pretty slow over there. It's also extremely windy at Kooyong, as it always is.
Q. Roger talked about the year end Championships, maybe he'd like to see the courts speeding up in general on the tour. Maybe the fans would like to see more volleying. What are your thoughts as a fan and a player on the courts?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, to be honest, I don't know exactly. I think from most of the people I speak to, they enjoy watching the game the way it is now. Maybe there's not much variety in the styles of play, but there's a lot of reasons for that. I don't think it's just the court surface. I think, you know, the strings, the balls have definitely slowed down. I think rather than necessarily changing the court speed, speeding the balls up can make a big difference as well.
Sometimes variety in the courts is good. I just think it's important for the players in advance to know what the speed of the court is going to be. Sometimes, at some events, one year it's lightning quick, and then the next year it's been one of the slowest courts on the tour. It's impossible to prepare for that.
Provided everyone knows what the speed of the courts are likely to be, then I think it's fine to make some adjustments to that.
Q. You enjoy going forward personally?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's something that isn't particularly easy to be because of the speed of the players these days and how good guys pass. But it's something I work on daily in practice.
You know, if there comes a time or surface where you need to do it you know, I played Nalbandian in Paris when it was extremely fast, and I played serve and volley for a majority of the second set and third set of that match because that was what the court needed.
So it's something that I practice.
Q. Just on your game, what is frustrating you most?
ANDY MURRAY: Nothing's frustrating me. I won in straight sets my first three matches. Every player wants to hit the ball well every day if they can. But the reality is it isn't always going to happen.
So, you know, I'm aware I'll need to improve. But, you know, you also don't necessarily want to be playing your best tennis the first round of a Grand Slam or of any tournament. You want to try and improve as the matches go on.
Yeah, I'm sitting here happy that I'm through to the fourth round having not having played my best tennis today. Hopefully I'll improve for the next one.
Q. You talked about being encouraging of more blood testing in tennis. After seeing the Armstrong interview, have your views on that evolved further?
ANDY MURRAY: Not really. I only saw the first part of it yesterday. Everything that everyone knew already was just kind of confirmed. That really hasn't changed my stance on it. I think it's something that all sports are now trying to improve their doping controls and make it better, you know, make sure that every sport's as clean as possible.
If that's more blood testing or the biological passports, you know, that's something we need to do and improve in tennis, as well.
Q. When Novak was here yesterday he said he'd only been blood tested once in the last six or seven months. Can you tell us how much you've been blood tested over the past 12 months.
ANDY MURRAY: I'd say four to six times every year. I mean, I'm not sure exactly how many. The last time I had a blood test done was in Paris. And then once every year I do my own sort of blood testing at the end of each year to make sure you're not low on iron, you know, or vitamins or whatever just as a checkup really.
But, yeah, I'd say four to six times a year.
Q. Are they all out of competition?
ANDY MURRAY: No, no, they're not. I mean, it depends what you classify as 'out of competition.' If you get tested three days before a tournament starts, I would say that's out of competition.
Yeah, I mean, I know after Wimbledon I got blood tested last year, after the final of Wimbledon. I got blood tested in Paris I think both times, after the French and also after I also got blood tested here last year I think when I lost to Novak.
Yeah, but I wouldn't say the majority of the blood tests we do are out of competition.
Q. Was Del Potro's defeat today a bit of a surprise to you?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I would say it was a surprise. He was the favorite for the match. But, you know, often there's surprises in Australia, at this event. It's the first tournament he's played this year.
Chardy, when he plays well, he's a very, very tough guy to beat. He serves huge. He takes a lot of risks. He has a big forehand. He's a tough, tough guy to play against.
I saw a bit of the match before I went on for my match. Chardy looked like he served extremely well and was very aggressive.
Q. For a while it looked like you were holding your shoulder. Is that all okay?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was just stiff. I would say my first five, six service games, but in the warmup for the match as well, yesterday when I was practicing. But I felt fine pretty much after the first set.