March 18, 1999
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
GREG SHARKO: Tell us how you played today.
VINCENT SPADEA: I was pretty pleased with what happened today. I played that guy actually in the Australian Open. It was a little bit of a closer match. Today's match was close, nonetheless. I just was hoping that my service games would elevate from what they were last week, and they did. I still need to get it to the level it was at. But I'm feeling pretty sharp in just about everything I'm doing. He's a tough player, that guy, even on hard court. He hits a heavy ball. I handled it pretty well.
Q. Do you believe that there are certain places where you play and have success, and there's almost like an unconscious advantage coming back to that place because you've done well there in the past?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yes, I think so. I think it comes to a point where you become a player where it doesn't matter where you're playing. For me in the past where I've had my ups and downs, Miami and the Lipton has been a big up. I've had definitely I guess you would call it a subconscious focus that you don't realize. It seems to come out year in and year out at this tournament.
Q. With the exception of the Raoux match?
VINCENT SPADEA: You always talk about that match. I've never lost to that guy here. That was the French Open.
Q. That's right, it was.
VINCENT SPADEA: Paris (laughter).
GREG SHARKO: Thinking of the Battle of Boca.
VINCENT SPADEA: I beat him also one time 6-Love, 6-2 in Pinehurst. You know what I mean. What goes around, came around.
Q. Success at the US Open?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yes, US Open. There's sometimes when you just have to buckle down and different things happen, the small factors.
Q. Do you stay down here or do you go back home?
VINCENT SPADEA: I go back home. Go back home every day.
Q. How do you feel about playing Yev in the second round? Would you rather catch him early at his first match?
VINCENT SPADEA: I don't analyze that part of tennis too often where I'm going to play a player, what part of the draw. It's virtually the same player no matter which round it is. You just have to go out and play top-level tennis to beat them.
Q. It really will be kind of a grinder if he's on his game. Sit back there and grind with you on the court.
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah.
Q. What do you have to bring to the court that day? A little more patience than usual?
VINCENT SPADEA: Well, just be as precise as I can be, make sure I don't let anything bother me that doesn't need to interfere. It's just a matter of being on my game. I think it's the same for him. We've had some close matches in the past. They're different conditions, as well, being at this tournament, the surface, the weather, whatever else comes into play kind of gives it its own result.
Q. Have you played him recently?
VINCENT SPADEA: I think the last time I played him was at the Canadian Open. I think so. I don't know. I lost to him at the Australian Open 7-6 in the third or something. It was like a really weird match.
Q. You've always been known for good eyes, you see the ball well, return the ball really well. Do you think you're at an advantage over some players under the lights?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah.
Q. Going back to the Kafelnikov match at the US Open, for example.
VINCENT SPADEA: I don't know. I don't know how to answer that.
Q. Do you feel like you've had more success at night on a percentage basis maybe?
VINCENT SPADEA: Well, it's possible, yeah. Being an American, playing American tournaments, they have a lot of night sessions. In Europe, they don't have hardly any night sessions or late matches under lights. So I think that's an advantage that almost all the tournaments in the United States that I've always been involved in from day one. Am I going to play at night or something? What's your point?
Q. Maybe you might end up playing him at night.
VINCENT SPADEA: Last year I beat Rafter at night, I beat Kafelnikov at night.
Q. When the shoulder aches or throbs, whatever, is it usually because you're overhitting your forehand or serving? Where does the pain start?
VINCENT SPADEA: It's a little bit of both. It's when I've overworked it and done too much. Usually it's on the serve.
Q. How is it now?
VINCENT SPADEA: It's a lot better.
Q. Feel it out there?
VINCENT SPADEA: No, I didn't feel it fall. I haven't felt it in a week or so. If I keep taking care of it, if I just stay on schedule where I don't go out in a practice session and do the wrong thing, playing matches in a tournament is good for me, and playing practice matches against other players. I mean, it's stuff you've done your whole life, so you can't get out of your range or element where you're overusing it.
Q. Do you feel like you're hitting the serve as hard as you want to?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yes. I mean, I had a few serves out there around 120, in/out, which is what I've always served at. I'm not worried about the velocity of it. I'm serving without fear, just subconsciously playing my game. That's the key thing with injuries, is not having it in the back of your mind. If it's in the back of your mind, there's no point in being out there.
Q. Are you icing it, massage after each match?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yes, icing, massage, whatever feels right. I'm not on any pills or anything. I'm as natural as it gets right now. I don't even have to use sometimes the other machinery to make myself feel better, which is the idea.
Q. Are you training off days up there or down here?
VINCENT SPADEA: I'm not sure. Probably down here. Probably a little of both. Maybe like one session each, if I have a full day off.
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