home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 27, 2004

Vincent Spadea


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Vince, obviously you had a game plan today and it seemed like you really...

VINCENT SPADEA: I did (smiling)?

Q. You tell me. Did you?

VINCENT SPADEA: Well, yeah, obviously I had a game plan. Every time I go out to play, I have a game plan. This one just had to be a little bit more specific. I tried to execute it as well as possible because I was playing a player who has a lot of weapons and he has a lot of raw power that he doesn't allow you to make a lot of errors or leave room for error in your game plan. I just wanted to make sure I served well, kept the ball deep even though the wind was real tricky out there. I was trying to keep some balls to his forehand so at least, you know, he won't get grooved on his backhand because he has that screaming-down-the-line backhand and that can really hurt you and put you on the run. Obviously, his serve is a huge weapon. So my return, I just wanted to try to stay aggressive on, at least show him that I wasn't afraid of it.

Q. Can you just talk about what it means to beat him here. He's been off to a really good start this year, too. Just also with the Davis Cup situation up in the air, just all those things together, what a win like that at this time means to you.

VINCENT SPADEA: Well, it's just a great win, because, you know, I was up a set and I was up a break, and, you know, he's a champion. He's not a player who gives you a lot of room. I kind of gave him some room to breathe. I was even up in the tiebreaker a little bit, and kind of I thought I was a little too aggressive, which is not a bad thing. So that kept me positive for the third set. And to pull it out when he was serving that well, it looked like it was gonna be another tiebreaker if I could have kept holding serve because he was just starting to ace me and really step up his service games. But coming off a tough, long match with James Blake and, you know, having a day to rest and then coming back for a good win like this is just great timing after the momentum I had from Scottsdale and just overall how my year's starting to evolve a little bit. But Davis Cup time is coming up, like you said. That just puts my name more in the open to be chosen or just to see what the captain, you know, has in mind. But at least I know confidently that, you know, I'm doing my best for myself, and at the same time, if I was to represent my country, I would, you know, prove worthy with the results that I'm having right now.

Q. Let's talk about that momentum for a second. You seem to be a player that thrives more on momentum than other players. How does it feel in your body right now, when you get in tight situations? Do you feel more loose?

VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, you feel more loose. You feel like there's -- there's like a necessary way to win, and even though you might feel nervous, you might feel like maybe playing tentative, you know, like, the game theory is to hit the ball aggressively, use the weapons that, you know, you've been working on, and to -- and just to go out and do that instead of hoping or playing not to lose, which are natural things that come into your mind right away. So basically, you know, the win in Scottsdale, you know, derived from something like that, where I knew that in crunch time if I wasn't aggressive, if I wasn't going for the shots that I know I have, then I probably would have lost there. That kind of carries over into more wins when you have that mentality in tight situations especially.

Q. And was the Blake match good practice? Did you find yourself almost in the exact situation today?

VINCENT SPADEA: The Blake match is just very strange. He was up. We had a long tiebreaker, we had a long rain delay. It was a crazy wind. I mean, very abnormal even for Key Biscayne. It was just a real kind of ugly tennis, I thought, for like a little -- for just at least a set or so. And, you know, I found myself down a set and he was serving for the match. So it was kind of one of those things where I kind of escaped, you know, dodged a bullet there. But, you know, I have to give myself credit for not giving up in the last couple points and yet, you know, he was ready to outplay me throughout the match until that happened. So, you know, basically I'm happy that I got through that. It made me tougher for matches like this, you know. At least gave me tiebreaker practice.

Q. How about overcoming that overrule on matchpoint? Even Marat said it was clearly in.

VINCENT SPADEA: Is that what he said?

Q. Yeah. Is that mental toughness?

VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, it's that inner confidence, just that underlying feeling that, you know, I'm not going to worry about putting the blame on somebody else if I lose this match. I'm going to go out swinging. I thought he had a bad call, you know, against him earlier in the match. Things like that. So if you're going to be fair to yourself and fair to the match, you know, you sort of -- I mean, even if that was an unfair call and it was a pretty tight situation. But I got over it. I probably would have said something to him afterwards if I had lost the match, you know, probably just to be a little bit more selective of when he overrules. Because even though I did win the match, that probably still wasn't necessary to overrule on the far sideline, especially when the -- I told him, a lot of umpires themselves, the wind is interchanging so much. It can go from being one gust in one direction to the next. The ball is really not just in or out until it's actually landed, contacted the surface. It can give you a different illusion.

Q. Win or lose, you never seem to have any easy matches. Why is that? What do you make of that?

VINCENT SPADEA: Well, I don't know. I just feel like, you know, I got to play better after I win the first set. I have to improve more things. But, I mean, I've won, you know, several matches this year straight sets. You know, my first two matches in Scottsdale I won pretty convincingly in straight sets. My first -- I beat Saretta last week 6-3, 6-2. I beat a couple guys in Auckland, New Zealand. I beat one guy 6-1, 6-2. I don't know how factual that is. But I think if you look at some great champions, you find more than 50 percent of their matches are probably won in three sets. It's actually a good sign that I'm coming through when I really need it. It's like not everyone's just like, you know, Serena Williams (laughter).

Q. Have you talked to Patrick at all?

VINCENT SPADEA: I haven't seen him. I talked to him in Indian Wells for a second. Just friendliness. Nothing specifically in that direction. You know, I don't know how to address that subject, you know. There's been times, a couple -- I think at least two times where I was ranked in position to be selected, and this is going way back, before Patrick was even captain, so the process of selection is not directly, you know, towards the rankings or towards just some technical factor. I think the Olympics and there's a World Team Cup tournament, they do do that. So most likely, I have a good chance of being on those teams. And this one is just a little bit more of a feel thing, which is, you know, in their own right.

Q. Are the Olympics in your mind at all when you're thinking about ranking? Would that be a possibility? It would go by ranking. It wouldn't be Patrick's decision?

VINCENT SPADEA: I played in the Olympics in 2000. I think it would be a great opportunity if I could make the top four again. I would definitely go. The timing between the US Open and the Olympics I think is a little bit close, but regardless, I would have to look exactly at the weeks but I would be thrilled to go and do something like that. If I was gonna be selected ranking-wise.

Q. What would it mean to you to play Davis Cup?

VINCENT SPADEA: It would mean a lot. I never played a live rubber. I played a dead rubber in Spain. That was my only time, I was with John McEnroe. To play a live rubber and be a part of the team now would be a great thrill, because, you know, the team is kind of a new type of, you know, generation, and, you know, if I could somehow get into that, you know, mix, that would be -- it would show all the hard work that I've been doing to get back.

Q. The way things are going for you now, do you feel like you deserve to be on the Davis Cup team?

VINCENT SPADEA: You know, I've won two rounds here, you know. I haven't, you know, won Wimbledon or anything. I don't think there's an overwhelming fact that says I undoubtedly, you know, should be on it. But at the same time, there aren't that many Wimbledon champions that are probably going to be selected. So that tells you that if I wasn't going to be, then I should or would have been as close as you could come. But I feel like I deserve a chance, if it's not this tie, maybe I'll be ranked even higher for the next tie.

Q. How does this process affect, or does it, the relationship between maybe you and some of your peers or some of the people that would be...

VINCENT SPADEA: How does this what?

Q. Does it affect at all, I don't know how your relationships are with the other players, does it affect the guys that are close to being chosen, does this whole process...

VINCENT SPADEA: I don't think there's too much of a competitive feel there. There's no animosity or any kind of, you know, friction that, you know, we're worried about, you know, somebody getting snubbed and somebody just being named to the team. Obviously, it's a great prestige and it's a great honor to play for your country so we're all trying to play our best. I think the United States players now have a little bit better of a camaraderie than what it's been in the past. So it's good to see people are more encouraging. So if anything, it's much better and there wouldn't be any kind of issues with someone being selected or not.

Q. Today was a match where you had to be mentally tough from the start. You knew you couldn't lose your serve. You were. When you see him throwing a racquet, screaming, whatever, do you feel like, "I've got an edge now"?

VINCENT SPADEA: I mean, slightly. But he comes back and plays a solid point. There wasn't like there was that many holes to break open when he was doing it. It wasn't like it was at 40-love or I was up a break and he was starting to throw points away. It's one thing if he starts to concede some points. I think he did it once the whole match. But for me to go out for two hours and 45 minutes and lose serve once and to play at a high level in that capacity of, you know, there's a big crowd and a lot of, you know -- it's an important match for me. Obviously, he didn't look like he was trying to lose. So it was a good situation for me to be right there, even winning or losing.

Q. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of playing without a coach like Federer is, and have you ever gone without a coach?

VINCENT SPADEA: That's just -- I don't think I've ever gone without a coach. I've always been with somebody at a tournament. I don't know exactly what the situation is. There might be somebody with him; I don't know if his girlfriend's his coach. I don't know if he's stated anything. Because she's a tennis player. But, you know, obviously, whatever is working for him. You don't change a winning game at this point. He's played unbelievable tennis for the last year, and it seems like he's playing as good or better. It seems like his results get better. So, you know, obviously, you don't want to, you know, change the offensive coordinator at that point.

Q. In general, for players, what would be the pluses and minuses of going without a coach?

VINCENT SPADEA: I think back in the old days, nobody had a coach. You had legends back then. So who's really to say what the right situation is? You know, it's not like it's a team sport where you have to direct, you know, several different people. So, you know, he's confident in what he's doing. He learned a lot from maybe his past coach. And maybe he's talking to somebody over the phone or, you know, whatever system he's working with. But I think it's an advantage, whatever he's doing. I don't know if it's gonna turn out to be a trend at this point. Probably, you know, need some more convincing towards, you know, the rest of the fields. But at this point, he's doing a good job to start one.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297