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January 13, 2006

Igor Andreev


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Igor, please.

Q. You played good tennis. Is there a particular reason for that?

IGOR ANDREEV: Well, everybody tries to play good tennis, you know. That's why we are practicing, you know. Well, I think I had good preparation for the season. Like I'm just getting more experience this year, you know, and just try to grow in my game. My first final in the hard court outdoor, and so it's feeling like something new. I'm really happy now that beginning of the year I start really well, you know, because every final is big result, you know, for me. Tomorrow I just have to keep this playing the same way I was during the week and just give hundred percent.

Q. Where did you prepare, in Valencia?

IGOR ANDREEV: Yeah, I practice in Valencia already for seven years. Actually it's going well, and I'm really happy there.

Q. Did you think you would make the final? Is this a bit more expectation than you thought, getting all the way through?

IGOR ANDREEV: Yeah, well, if you look at the draw, you know, before the tournament starts, it's really, really hard. Lot of good players. First match I played against seed No. 4, Gasquet, and actually I was thinking just if I could play well this match. And, you know, it went well. Then with every match you play, you get more confidence in your game. Like the matches were long, so you remember that, how to fight, how to fight for important points. And, you know, if you go out of the court as a winner after the long match, it gives you much more confidence and you just believe more and more in yourself.

Q. You made four finals, was it, last season. You won three.


Q. How do you explain that? Obviously, you've gone up. Is it more practice, a certain shot?

IGOR ANDREEV: Well, I don't know, it's different. Sometimes you get in the final, and you like just achieve one thing and just go there and try to enjoy. But sometimes when you go there and try to enjoy, it doesn't work. So you have to go there like for war, you know. You have to fight for every ball and just, you know, take all your chances. That's the only way how you can win. So maybe that was the small but very important thing, you know, that change - try to change.

Q. Has this boosted your expectations now for the Australian Open?

IGOR ANDREEV: Well, I saw the draw and I have really tough match against Spanish guy, Almagro. We played like last year I think three or four times and I think he won twice, I won like one or two times. We have always very long matches, you know. And, well, it will be interesting, you know, to play him five sets. Well, I'm playing well now. The thing that if I could recuperate my power, you know, like if I will feel well physically so I can -- I think I can do well in Australian Open.

Q. The final, can you talk about playing Nikolay, if you happen to play him.

IGOR ANDREEV: Well, they're both really great players. Nikolay is very solid baseline, you know, running for all the balls. I mean, is gonna be really tough, but I think the important thing that I'll have to be more concentrate on my game, you know, and just to try to do well what I can. And then we'll have some -- speak about some tactic with the coach, you know, just prepare some things. Well, hopefully I can do well.

Q. If you play James, what happened against him at the US Open last year? You lost.

IGOR ANDREEV: Yeah, I lost three straight sets. Well, a lot of things happened. Maybe I wasn't playing really, really well. I think he was like playing in the United States, you know, he just want it too much, you know. He played really well. Well, I was -- also I had some problems with the knee, I couldn't maybe move so much really well. But, no, tomorrow is gonna be different game. I think now I'm playing much better, feeling better physically even that I played three sets. But I think it's okay. Tomorrow I'll be hundred percent to give good fight.

Q. With Nikolay, are you surprised what he did last year?

IGOR ANDREEV: Well, I think the result of good work he's doing because he's very hard worker, you know. He's practicing really hard. He was -- I think if you saw him like practice and you saw him every day, you just can believe that he can play really well tennis, you know, and go into the top 10 as he did. I think it's just he has a character. He want to be there. He has game. I mean, he has everything to be top 10 player.

Q. You played doubles with Nikolay; is that right?


Q. Do you learn more playing alongside someone than playing across the net from them? Do you think you learn more about their game when you actually play doubles with them?

IGOR ANDREEV: Yeah, well, of course some things you can see how he's doing, like return the serve maybe. Well, but actually it's just couple of things, not too much that you can. But maybe it helps you, you know, just to see the game little bit different, like see some new things that you can also use in your game.

Q. With Marat out for the Open, do you feel a bit more pressure being the second top-ranked Russian?


Q. Yeah, with him being out of the Open, do you feel more pressure being the second top-ranked Russian?

IGOR ANDREEV: Well, actually, no, because it's just -- no, you have to concentrate on your game, you know, and just try to do like what you can and just do as good as you can and don't think about all those things that happening around.

Q. Was it hard to keep focused today given the three-hour rain delay?

IGOR ANDREEV: Yeah, yeah. It's hard but, I mean, if you want to win, you have to just forget about all this. Both players are in the same situation so if it's hard for me, so it's hard for him also. So, I mean, I just try to, you know, relax little bit and then after I got on the court, you know, have good warm-up, try to keep my serve; I couldn't. But, I mean, then it worked for the third set, and I was just really happy that I could continue playing and finally win the match.

Q. How did tennis start for you? Was it always tennis or was it ice hockey, was it basketball or something? How did it start?

IGOR ANDREEV: Well, it was tennis. Just start in like one group, you know, for health, like playing twice a week. And then bit by bit I just like it. I was doing not bad. I starting to practice more and had some good results and then like this, it keep going. I'm happy with that.

End of FastScripts….

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