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June 25, 2005

Dmitry Tursunov


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Talk about your level today. Tough first set, but you managed to right your ship.

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, actually, the first two sets were pretty shaky. I was really -- well, I guess I was nervous. I was really tight. And I think Alex was tighter even more than I was in the first set. I was up a break. But really the way I got up, I got up a break on him, the way he leveled the match, really, you know, he gave me his serve and I gave him my serve back. I just happened to give one more break than he did in the first set. He was up one set to love. It's like when I started playing a little bit better, started being a little more aggressive and hitting more through the ball. So I stopped shanking at least. You know, he gave me a really -- he gave me a pretty big gift in the 11th game of the second set. I was down Love-40 on my serve, and I got back. You know, tiebreaker anything can happen. I happened to win the breaker. After that, I went to the bathroom, kind of looked in the mirror, slapped myself a couple of times (laughter). It seemed to work. I started playing better.

Q. Why the nerves? You were out on Centre Court. Is it the same type of thing, you follow up the great victory, tough to keep up the same level of concentration?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: I'm not quite sure what it was. I was very surprised. That's the same question I was having. Against Tim, the first set against Tim, I wasn't nervous, but I wasn't serving well. I was serving, every time I'd try to go down the T, it kept going down the middle of the box. That was the only thing that really bothered me in that match. With Alex, however, I mean, pure nerves. I mean, I couldn't hit the side of the barn the first two sets. You know, I was lucky enough to where he didn't play so great either. But, you know, I think both of us had problems with the nerves. You know, I happened to deal with it a little better than he did.

Q. How does it feel to get to the second week of Wimbledon? You've got to be feeling, for all you've been through injury-wise, pretty good?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Definitely. Obviously I'm hoping the next couple of matches I'll play better than today. But, yeah, sometimes -- in two weeks, you can have some bad days. Everyone talks about it. But I think I felt it firsthand today. I'm lucky that I got through.

Q. How excited are you? Is it exciting or are you just trying to keep an even keel because you know you have another tough match today against Grosjean?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, I'm definitely excited. I haven't gotten this far. But, you know, I'm not going to go out and celebrate. I'm going to try to look forward to the next match.

Q. So you're still living in Roseville?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Yes. I'm based out of there. But I haven't been there for about three months now.

Q. Because of the constant travel?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Right. My coach lives in Palm Springs, so I went a week earlier for Indian Wells there. I stayed in Indian Wells, then I trained in Indian Wells before.

Q. Are you working with Jose again?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Yeah. I've been with him for the last few years.

Q. He comes up to Sacramento?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: He comes up to Sacramento once in a while. Because Indian Wells was there, you know, I stayed there for four weeks extra. From there I went to Houston. From Houston, to Europe.

Q. What has he done for you that's been so good? What do you like most about Jose?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, first of all, he can tell me how to deal with the problems I'm having right now because he's been there. I think at a certain point, there have been cases where coaches who have never done well got a player to Top 10. But I think in my case it's pretty important to have someone who can tell you how to deal with problems that I'm having. He's been through all of these matches. He's been through third round of Grand Slam. He's been nervous. He can help me out a little bit more than Vitaly. I'm a firm believer that every coach is good for a certain stage of the player's game. You know, Jose would never be able to coach a beginner as well as someone might. Vitaly has been through the middle of my career, I guess. Without Vitaly, I wouldn't have gone to this stage where Jose would be able to help me.

Q. Was it difficult to maintain your concentration after the excitement of beating Tim Henman in the previous round?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: I wasn't thinking about that. I think I was expecting myself to do better. After beating Tim Henman, of course you have kind of in the back of your thoughts, Alex Popp, Tim Henman, there's obviously a difference in the rankings. Even though you realize each player has their strengths, weaknesses, in men's tennis, everyone is fairly even. I think it still was difficult for me to -- you know, maybe I was expecting myself to steamroll over Alex, not logically, but somehow in the back of your mind you still think, This one should be a push-over compared to the other match. I think that had a little bit of effect. Plus, you know, I obviously got excited after Tim's match. You know, you want to build upon that. Once you come out, miss a couple of shots, you think, Uh-oh, something is wrong, something is not working. I think a mix of those things.

Q. Obviously the ranking points are important. What does it mean to you in terms of the exposure and money you'll make this week?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, I didn't make any money other than the prize money. That's always good. Hopefully I can buy a new stereo for my car. You know, other than that prize money, I don't think there's any sponsors knocking on my door.

Q. Do you think there might be after this?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: I think it's changed. Maybe a couple years ago it would have happened. Now I'm 22. By prodigy standards, I'm pretty old. Neither fish nor fowl. I'm not an up-and-comer and I'm not a veteran either. It's very difficult for me to understand why I wouldn't have a sponsor. Technically there are a lot of people who get free clothes, like Justine Henin's husband, he gets sponsored by adidas even though he doesn't play tennis. I guess to them it means more in terms of exposure. I guess I'm not a big enough exposure for certain companies.

Q. Are you working with an agent?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: I do have an agent. Again, I don't think -- just in case if that's where you were leading, I don't think that agents can make money if there's no one to pay the money. But, yeah, I have an agent.

Q. Are you with one of the big agencies?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: No, no. I was with them. Things weren't working out too great. I decided to stay with my agent, a father of Vitaly Gorin.

Q. Do you get anything for free, your racquets?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: I get my racquets for free, yes. I only have two actually, believe it or not. I've had some problems with the racquets, the weights and balancing. I do get those for free.

Q. You only have two?


Q. How did that happen? Did you break some in the prior few weeks? What happened there?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: I'd broken a couple. I think that also the stick that I'm using is a pretty hard one to get.

Q. What is it?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: It's a Prestige, but it's a slightly different weight and balance. They never have those in stock. It's very difficult to get. It kind of has to be way in advance. You have to call them up. Essentially what a player should be doing is they should have their racquets before the tournament. They shouldn't expect them to show up during the tournament.

Q. What's going to happen if in your next match you happen to crack a couple frames by mistake and you're into the quarterfinals?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, Jose has a racquet (smiling). It's a Prince. No, I'm trying to stay away from those mistakes right now. It never helps cracking racquets. Once in a while, you blow off the steam. A couple of tournaments ago I wasn't playing too great. I did that. Now I realize that I only have two. Try to stay away from the fences.

Q. The annual question, what is your status with citizenship with the US? Still up in the air?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Yes. It's in the works.

Q. Is it any further along than last year?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: I have no idea. It's something a lawyer would answer. I've stopped a long time ago asking those questions. It's something if it happens it happens.

Q. Got to be frustrating. You've been doing it for two or three years?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Actually, it's been since -- ever since I came over. So it's been 10 years. There has been some mishaps with applications. So now I guess maybe there's some sort of red flag along with my portfolio. It's more difficult for me to get it than, let's say, for someone who just shows up. Yeah, I mean, I've missed two or three tournaments this year because I couldn't get the visa for the country. I do get fined for that, surprisingly. It's not really my fault, but there is a firm rule that says if you're entered into a tournament, you miss it without pulling out at a certain time, you do get fined.

Q. So you're traveling under a Russian passport?

DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Russian passport. I stay in America with the visa. It is frustrating, but what can you do?

End of FastScripts….

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