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March 30, 2004

Vincent Spadea


THE MODERATOR: Vince has now won 10 of his last 11 matches in the season. He moves into the quarterfinals and will take on Agustin Calleri.

Q. Did you notice Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe watching you tonight?

VINCENT SPADEA: No, but I just saw him like 30 seconds ago. He said, "Good match, well played. Way to step it up in the second set."

Q. What enabled you to do that?

VINCENT SPADEA: The first set I was a little tentative. I was just trying to feel the ball out. You know, the night atmosphere. You know, it was a pretty energetic crowd, you know. I wasn't really hitting the ball clean. I was actually afraid to hit the ball, and that's not a good thing against Paradorn; he likes to tee off. I just remember the last time I beat him, I was just grinding the ball. He kind of made a lot of errors. But you can't expect a guy to do that two times in a row. So I learned that in the first set. Then I just stepped up my game, tried to hit the ball more aggressively, use my backhand down the line, started teeing off on some forehands, some returns, and served fairly solid the whole match. So I think that made the difference when I started playing some offense and forcing him to take the ball out of his strike zone.

Q. When is the last time you've been on a roll like this, I mean, that you felt this good?

VINCENT SPADEA: Couple weeks ago in Scottsdale (laughter).

Q. Before that (smiling).

VINCENT SPADEA: Well, probably last year in Indian Wells or in Monte-Carlo, I strung -- Indian Wells I strung together six matches, including two qualifyings, four main draws, went to the semifinals there so... Had a little bit easier road just because I had some straight set matches here. I've had four three-setters, if that's accurate.

Q. During this roll, are you starting to hear from people that you haven't heard from in a while, or do you get the feeling that you're starting to...?

VINCENT SPADEA: Well, I mean, I haven't really been, like -- I mean, I've been in this tennis atmosphere. It's not like I've been getting all these phone calls. I'm not really that attentive with my cell phone during these weeks. I'm just trying to focus on my ins and outs of the NASDAQ here, just getting in, getting my job done, going back to the hotel and recovering for the next match. So, I mean, you know, I guess some different things happen when you win. But, you know, I've had that happen before. I expect it probably happening sooner than later. But I haven't been distracted or anything.

Q. Get any sense of people treating you at all differently or reacting at all differently around you in the locker room? Is there more of a respect factor there than before or...?

VINCENT SPADEA: Any time you're winning, I mean, people are going to be more respectful of you. And, you know, I just -- I think that I'm showing people that whether I'm playing great tennis or not, I'm always there to compete well and give somebody a tough match. So I think that, more than anything, is being said or known.

Q. One thing Patrick talked about was legs, "for example legs" versus 29-year-old legs. But having four three-setters here, do you think you've shown you obviously have the endurance?

VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, I mean, my five-set record is pretty good, actually. So, you know, I've played pretty well at the French Open in some five-setters. I don't think fitness or, you know, speed or something is really lacking because of my age. Maybe it's just whatever my limitations are in general. But I think I've shown that my fitness is getting better and my speed is up there with anyone, you know. I mean, I don't think you can, you know -- you probably wouldn't say that as much in other sports so I don't think you should say it in tennis, you know, as much either. But, I mean, maybe he's thinking about the fact that the other guy has been resting and I'm playing here.

Q. Playing a lot.

VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, maybe.

Q. The last point was one of the longest rallies...


Q. Yes.

VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, that was more just... That wasn't really -- that was more of a fun point for me. I was just looking to either hit a winner or keep the ball deep and see what he was going to do. I was feeling really confident. 5-2, 40-love, it's not like I was letting up. It's no sense trying to get heroic or erratic, but at the same time, I felt in control of the point, too.

Q. What about playing Calleri next? Most people probably thought Agassi. How do you feel about him as your next opponent?

VINCENT SPADEA: Calleri? I've lost to him in the past. I beat him the last time we played in Madrid, Tennis Masters Series, in three sets, which was indoors. So, I mean, obviously he's a big shot-maker. He's got a lot of weapons. He played a great match today. But tomorrow or whenever we play is going to be a different day. He has to keep hitting those same shots. Maybe I can show him something that I did last time and use that to my advantage, knowing that I beat him the last time we played. But either way it's going to be a tough match for both of us. It will be a quarterfinal match. We'll be looking, anxious to get through.

Q. Were you able to watch any of the match?

VINCENT SPADEA: I saw it on TV, yeah, this afternoon. Yeah. It's, you know -- I thought Calleri was hitting his big shots and maybe Andre didn't look like he was expecting that to happen or something like that maybe. You know, I don't know how many times they've played, but it's probably been a while. Every time you play a guy, you know, people improve. I mean, even Paradorn improved from the last time I played him. So that's why no matter what your record is against a guy, you got to be ready. Because in the conditions, this surface, the circumstances are all different. So you can't expect to just roll over people. Today was an example with Agassi and the other guy.

End of FastScripts….

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