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January 31, 2004

Michael Llorda

Fabrice Santoro


THE MODERATOR: English questions first.

Q. Were you doing an audition for "The Full Monty"?

FABRICE SANTORO: It was not a bet or anything like that. The only thing is, when you play with a young guy, you have to assume it.

Q. Was it spontaneous or something you planned?

MICHAEL LLODRA: Yeah, spontaneous.


MICHAEL LLODRA: Just for fun, you know, sometimes.

FABRICE SANTORO: He's very spontaneous, no? Don't you think?

Q. Michael, you were very emotional after the match. What were your thoughts as you had your head in the towel?

MICHAEL LLODRA: No, it was very difficult for me because last year I lost my mom. We lost couple times in final last year. I would like, you know, to prove to my mom I be there. I think that's all it was. Very emotional. It was good.

Q. What is it like to beat the Bryan brothers in a Grand Slam final?

FABRICE SANTORO: I think, I mean, it's good to win a Grand Slam. That's all. Doesn't matter who you beat. At the end you have the trophy, and you are the winner.

Q. What is it about the Rod Laver Arena, you've only played Grand Slam finals here?

FABRICE SANTORO: I mean, if there is one court I will never forget when I stop my career, it's probably this one, because I play one Davis Cup final against Lleyton and Pat, 2001, and three Grand Slam final. So it's pretty important matches.

Q. What was the turning point in the match, do you think?

FABRICE SANTORO: You know, when the first set is very long, you are a break down, you come back, you are a break up with your serve, at the end, you know what's going to happen in the breaker is big. You're not sure to lose if you lose the breaker or win if you make it. But you take a big advantage. That was probably the key point.

MICHAEL LLODRA: Ball de break.

FABRICE SANTORO: 5-4, 15-40.

Q. Mike Bryan just said you're the best doubles player France has. Does this prove something to the French Davis Cup selectors?

FABRICE SANTORO: I was expecting that one from the French side, but not on your side. Did they pay you, or what (laughter)? I think I don't want to speak about my double level. I think together we are either one of the best team or the best team in the world. You know, at least one of the five best team in the world, that's all, together. That's all I can say. And it's sad that we won't play together next Saturday.

Q. Will you continue to play Grand Slams with Fabrice, or will you change now because of the Davis Cup?

MICHAEL LLODRA: No. No way. I'm going to play all the tournaments with Fabrice. Davis Cup is different, you know. But, no, I'm feeling good on the court with Fabrice. I think we can win another Grand Slam. So, no, I play with Fabrice. It's okay, huh?

Q. Fabrice, the news you had about Davis Cup this week, did that make you more determined to win here? What were your reactions leading up to the match today?

FABRICE SANTORO: Many things happened during the week. The first thing is I was sick in the middle of the tournament. I played one match with a lot of fever. Michael has to do all the job to win the Round of 16 because I was feeling very bad on the court. And then the Davis Cup came. And, once again, he was there to help me, to support me. As I said on the court, he was there during the match, but before, after the match, because he knows better than anybody how you feel when you're out of the French team because he had this situation before.

MICHAEL LLODRA: Many times (smiling).

FABRICE SANTORO: But at the end you don't play to get the revenge, but you feel happy to have been strong enough to go over that.

Q. Do you feel the door is closed on you now for your Davis Cup future?

FABRICE SANTORO: I (agree?) that it was not so far even now. As I said, it's tough to think today that next weekend we won't be together on the court. It's sad for me, and nobody will be winner at the end. Everybody's losing in this situation.

Q. How will you celebrate tonight then?

FABRICE SANTORO: You know, as a team, we are a couple of friends here. We have a good dinner - and probably more. Because the trip back is very long, you have to be able to sleep in the plane. But Michael has to be ready in two days to practice, which I won't have to.

Q. He won't drink so much?

FABRICE SANTORO: I take care of him.

End of FastScripts….

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