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January 14, 2003

Joseph Sirianni


MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Exciting times.

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: Very exciting times. I don't know what to say. I'm just thrilled, excited to get through finally. It's the third attempt. It's just a great feeling to get through.

Q. When you had the break in the third set, you knew it was a possibility. Were you fighting to keep it out of your head?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: I was. I was. But stayed strong. I guess I got through. I mean, it was great. Great feeling.

Q. You were here in '99 and 2000. Were you close either of those two times?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: '99 I played Zabaleta, lost 6-3 in the fifth. 2000 played Squillari, lost in straight sets. Today, I won in straight sets, so it was great.

Q. What is it like to be able to play most of your tennis in Melbourne, no one more hometown than you?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: Thanks to all my spectators. They got me three in the last game. Family. I do play overseas, as well. I won this wildcard and proved to myself that I can play, can play with the big guys.

Q. What now?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: Not sure. I haven't thought about it. Just going to have a bit of fun with this feeling. We'll just see what happens.

Q. It must have been hard at times keeping the crowd out of your head. They were pretty full on.

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: They were. They were. Thanks to all my friends. It's just great. It's just great hearing all that support. You don't really hear it often, especially when you're overseas, being a Victorian. All that stuff, it just helps a lot.

Q. How many friends and family were out there?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: I don't even know myself. Probably about 40, 40 or 50.

Q. Is it right you played junior tennis on a team with Philippoussis and Fletcher, Anstey?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: Yes, very true.

Q. Chris Anstey.

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: Yes. I still keep in touch with Chris Anstey. He's in Russia playing basketball. Dustin Fletcher, he was there today. We still keep in touch.

Q. How often do you talk to them?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: I spoke to Dustin yesterday a couple of times. E-mail with Chris Anstey.

Q. Do you talk tennis?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: No. Just about everything. He's in a little village in I think it's called Perm (phonetic). Minus 20, minus 30, something like that. He'd like to be here.

Q. Did you give yourself a chance going into the game? Max was the overwhelming favorite.

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: I did. It's been a great preparation with my coach Larry. With the Australian Open camp we had before leading up, it was great. Great lead-up. I thought I could win. It was a great opportunity. Max, I think he's a Top 50 player. I just played well, just concentrated well. I'm just thrilled.

Q. How important was it for you to start well?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: Very important. I was nervous in the first game, especially when I was serving first. To get through that just calmed me down, calmed me down heaps. Just went on there.

Q. Did you feel the crowd starting to get more involved? People were coming from everywhere.

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: From everywhere, yeah. Throughout the whole match, they've been fantastic. Especially towards the end, just sort of cheered me on. They helped me heaps.

Q. Do you sort of feed off the feeling in the tournament that the Aussies are doing well?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: Exactly. I mean, we've all done well. I'm not sure how Ryan Henry went. He did win the first set.

Q. He got beat.

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: Oh, really? You know, Jaymon Crabb, everyone is playing well, all the Aussies are playing well. I think it's because of the lead-up we've had. Australian Open camp, it's been great.

Q. Do you think you can keep it going? You said you wanted to get a good start to the year. Obviously, that's important.

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: Very important. That was my goal, to win my first round. From here, I'm just having fun. I mean, I love playing. I'm not sure who I play next. It's probably Gasquet, 16-year-old, great player. Just see how we go. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year. I think it might be a good year for me.

Q. When you played against Dustin and Chris, how did you lob them?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: High, with a lot of topspin. It was very difficult, very difficult. A few of them did get over there.

Q. Before playing Max today, you played with Krajicek. Was that good preparation?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: It was good. Krajicek, similar games, both serve-volleyers, great preparation. Coach there just telling me what to do. I warmed up with Novak, as well, today.

Q. What part of your game did you feel was the difference today?

JOSEPH SIRIANNI: My passing shots and returning. I did get a few returns down low. He popped them up. That's where I got the second chance to actually pass him. I think my backhand was probably the best today.

End of FastScripts….

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