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June 21, 2005

Xavier Malisse


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English for Xavier, please.

Q. That was probably a bit harder work than you were expecting.

XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, but I made it a little harder because of myself. He played really well on the serve and volley part, and he didn't miss many volleys. He -- good backhand volley, a little more mistakes on the forehand volley. But it was tough, you know. He does a lot of body serves, and should have made some more returns, take some more risks and put it back in play because he's got a good volley. You know, from the back I just made a couple stupid mistakes and that's why it took five sets, you know. I didn't -- I served -- my serve went up and down, went good the first set, went down little bit, second, third, went better fourth. You know, it was just a little bit up and down today and just made it a little harder than it should have been. Was up and down today. Just made it a little harder.

Q. Is that because it was grass?

XAVIER MALISSE: Well, it's tough. Yeah, little bit. He's got the perfect grass game and, you know, it's tough. You don't get any rhythm at all. It's just, you know, return and one shot and, you know, comes in on your second. So it's just tough because, as you know, been practicing two, three weeks, it's all hitting -- not many people come to the net like that all the time. It's just surprising.

Q. You seemed to get frustrated by the chip backhands.

XAVIER MALISSE: A little bit 'cause, you know, some of them -- they're really good, but some of them are just floaters that are not hit well. On grass, sometimes it does it. It's just a little frustrating because, you know, I was hitting the ball so well before I came on court today and I felt really good. Then all of a sudden you get no rhythm and your game goes away a little bit. That's why I got a little upset.

Q. Do the British players tend to get inspired by the surroundings as well?

XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, well, it's hard not to get inspired. You know you're at Wimbledon, it's perfect weather, you're playing in it, and you've got all the fans behind you. You know, of course they're gonna do better than if they're - I don't know - somewhere playing a tournament with 10 people watching, you know. When we play sometimes, there's not many people. So it's a lot more motivating for them and just makes it harder on the guys that have to play them.

Q. Is that what made it more frustrating for you? I noticed there were a few...

XAVIER MALISSE: It's a lot tough because people talk to you and say bad stuff and you can only ignore it for so long. But, you know, that's just part of the game. I don't really have a problem with it. I like to play. Even if it's against me, I don't really turn against the crowd. I like it when there's a good atmosphere.

Q. What bad stuff?

XAVIER MALISSE: Well, some people in the corner. You know, everybody -- you get it all the time. Just saying stuff to get in your head, you know, so...

Q. Can you elaborate on what they actually said to you?

XAVIER MALISSE: No, I'd rather not. Sorry (smiling).

Q. Does that wind you up or does that put you off or does it inspire you?

XAVIER MALISSE: In the beginning it's a little frustrating, but then at the end you can only show those people back by winning the game, trying to get back. It does inspire a little bit because it's not, you know -- I just don't think it shows too much respect, but that's just people, you know. They're on the grounds, so they can just say or do whatever they want to say. It's just up to us to have known from the past that I'm not supposed to talk back, so...

Q. Does that happen in tournaments elsewhere as well?

XAVIER MALISSE: Sometimes, yeah. You get it everywhere, you know, people that try to get in your head. It's just part of the game. It's in every sport like that.

Q. Is this the most boisterous crowd, though, Wimbledon? Like excited? Do you get the most chat from the crowd at Wimbledon than anywhere else?

XAVIER MALISSE: No, I like it here. I think the fans -- I mean, I've played good matches here, and I think the fans real why I know tennis, you know. You don't hear too many cell phones and all that, that stuff. You get it every tournament, people talk. It's just part of the game. But I like it here. I think people appreciate good tennis.

Q. Was it really bad, though, the stuff that was said to you?

XAVIER MALISSE: Oh, yeah. But, you know, if you had a couple beers with this heat, some things comes out, you know (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

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