August 5, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Fabrice advances to the quarterfinals here for the second time, and he's also in his second straight ATP Masters Series quarterfinal. Last week in Toronto he lost to Federer. Questions for Fabrice.
Q. You started out pretty quickly in this match.
FABRICE SANTORO: Yes, I played very well the first half hour, and I think I didn't miss one ball. I was serving something like 85 percent of first serves, so had a good control in the first set.
Q. Did you expect that he would kind of settle into the match a little bit in the second set, as he did, or...?
FABRICE SANTORO: For me, the second set is -- I was more expecting the way we play the second set than the way we play the first because 6-0 is not something you waiting for, you know. If it comes, it's great. But you're not used to -- I'm not used to win a set 6-0 on the tour. But after the first set I knew that the second was gonna be different. But pretty early I took his serve and I had good control.
Q. How do you feel about the way you're playing right now? You advanced to the quarters for the second straight week.
FABRICE SANTORO: You know, winning a few matches last week helped me for the confidence. Last week in Toronto I had a very tough Thursday where I beat Ljubicic in the morning and Hewitt at night. After that day, even if I was tired, I got a lot of confidence, and it helps me for the next match against Federer or for this week in Cincinnati.
Q. Next you play either Rusedski or Robredo. Can you talk about facing both of them.
FABRICE SANTORO: I don't really have a preference, you know. I think Robredo or Rusedski is not gonna be same kind of match; one is serving and volleying, one is staying behind the baseline. So depends of the forecast, you know. If it's hot, it's better to play Rusedski. You know, I have to wait. Any way is gonna be a tough match, you know. Robredo is Top 20; Rusedski is back at his best. So in that kind of match I know that if I want to go to the semis I have to play once again my best tennis.
Q. After Federer lost in your bracket, did you feel like you had a real good shot to go a long way without him in your bracket?
FABRICE SANTORO: For me, I can't look too far in the draw. Because it doesn't matter today if you play a Top 10 guys, Top 20 or Top 50, you know that the match is gonna be a tough one and even if you play well you can lose. So I didn't watch the draw too far. I just learned this morning, I mean just now, that I'm going to play Robredo or Rusedski.
Q. With so many players these days just standing back on the baseline and hitting as hard as they can, does it make it more difficult to play your style?
FABRICE SANTORO: I hit as hard as I can, but is not hard (smiling). I think, as you said, everybody is hitting pretty hard the ball today. And when a guy is playing against me, he knows the match he will play and the ball he's going to have to deal with is going to be something different. So I would say that, for me, most of the guy I play on the tour today have the same kind of game. But for them, when they play against me, it's something different for them and they have to deal with that.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.