home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 2, 2002

Xavier Malisse

WIMBLEDOM, ENGLAND, X. MALISSE/G. Rusedski 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Xavier Malisse. First question, please.

Q. When you were young, you went through all those crazy things - the colored hair, the people telling you how brilliant you were going to be, had a future that couldn't miss. But it did miss for a while. When in your life did you decide you needed to become a more serious tennis player, nothing would be handed to you?

XAVIER MALISSE: Well, I think I missed '99 and 2000 a little bit. Then at the end of the 2000, around October, I told myself I've got to give myself a shot at it. Everybody was talking and saying I had talent, but I wasn't really working hard. So I think about October 2000 I started practicing more. I went to Florida on November, December and practiced a lot. 2001, I had a different mindset. You know, just tried to do something different, too. I had to play quallies, got through the quallies three, four tournaments. I think it all started there, you know. Started off well, then, you know, it was down for two years, then, you know, since the beginning 2001, everything's been going really well.

Q. How did you sleep last night? How did you handle this situation, which was I think pretty new to you?

XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, I've never had this before. It was a little bit tough. I mean, you're thinking about it. Obviously, I was thinking about more when I get up than when I went to bed. Yeah, it was different. But, you know, there's two players. It's the same for him, I was thinking. So it didn't really bother me. Once I got out on the court, it was just all about tennis again. But, you know, I slept fine.

Q. Would you have liked to continue yesterday evening? You seemed on a roll.

XAVIER MALISSE: I think I played really well in the fourth set. It was getting a little colder, so his serve, I could handle it a little bit better. Of course, you never know what was going to happen yesterday. I could have lost 6-Love, I could have won. You never know. You know, it's just how it is, and you got to accept it. I think that's what I did yesterday.

Q. Could you go through that crazy point yesterday, the between the legs, how it ended? Disappointment.

XAVIER MALISSE: I think it was a good rally. Took a little dropshot; I don't know if you'd call it a volley afterwards; then he lobbed. Well, I had no more chance. The only chance I had was hitting it hard. It clipped the net a little bit. I saw it on TV at night. I don't know. I'm not going to say much.

Q. Would you like him to call that on himself?

XAVIER MALISSE: Well, I don't know. I don't know the rules for that. Obviously, he touched it twice. I think he even tried to hit it afterwards, too. But then he seen it was going over. I couldn't get back in time. I could understand he didn't see it, but it's easy to see in slow motion. But in reality it looks like one motion. It all goes quick. You know, it's just a call. I just was arguing. I needed a little time because I was tired. I knew I wasn't going to change the call, but discussed a little bit to get my rest helped.

Q. Have you forgiven the umpire?

XAVIER MALISSE: I mean, forgiven? I don't know. I mean, it's the way it is. You know, it's not my call. You know, it doesn't change. His mind is set, it's set. You just keep going. Yeah, I've forgiven. That's the way it is. Everybody makes mistakes. We do, they do. Sometimes one's worse than the others. You've got to accept it.

Q. You think these results on grass are because you use instincts, on the other surface you have maybe too many options, have to think too much?

XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, maybe. Because, like, I played Kafelnikov. My first two matches were baseline rallies, which I feel good on my other matches. Blanco, he started coming in more. With Greg, I think it gives me a target that I have to pass him. He comes so much to the net. Yeah, maybe I concentrate more because I need to hit the shot. You know, I feel good on all surfaces. Maybe I wasn't expecting to get to the quarters. But, you know, I feel good on grass, and every match is going better and better. So everything is going well.

Q. You must wish you could play against British players every week.

XAVIER MALISSE: How that is?

Q. You have a good record against British players. Beaten Tim twice in the year. Have we done something to upset you?

XAVIER MALISSE: No, no. It doesn't matter which nationality. I think you go out there and just give it a shot, you know. There's a lot more years, though. They can get back at me, as well.

Q. What gave you the edge over Rusedski, do you think?

XAVIER MALISSE: I knew on breakpoint if I got it back, he would get a little tight, and that's what my plan was, too. Sooner or later, he gets a chance or I get a chance. I knew if I got it back in play and moved around, then he sometimes takes his eye off the ball, looks at the play, where he's going. That's exactly what I did. I got it back in play, and he missed an easy volley, which he normally would always put away. You know, I think that's one of the main reasons.

Q. Is that the pressure of Wimbledon or is that part of his game that all players think about is perhaps suspect?

XAVIER MALISSE: I think it's the pressure, you know. Maybe I would do the same. I had a lot of pressure on the last game. I hit two balls that I shouldn't miss. You know, it's just the pressure. It's one set, everything or nothing, to go to the quarters. You know, everybody's going to be tight. It's I guess the one who handles it.

Q. Can you go through your coaching situation, how you got from Felgate?

XAVIER MALISSE: I started with David in I think March 2001. With David, it was perfect. Everything was really well. He brought me to 30, 27. He taught me a lot about the game mentally. But David chose to go. You know, he hadn't seen his kids in 10 years, traveling with Tim. And he wanted to be with his family which, you know, you've got to have respect for that. So it was time for me to look for somebody else. I was a little bit with myself. I think in January I started with Dean. It was working great, but he just had a baby who was five months old. He also wanted to be a lot with his baby. For me, I need a coach who is full-time with me, every tournament. You know, everything was working well, it just wasn't the right timing. Then I think asked Craig. I've known him from Bollettieri's. We've talked as friends. Obviously, he knows the game, on grass, too. We started at Queen's. You know, this is -- you know, in the beginning, new personalities have to fit off and on the court. You know, it's going perfect. We're the same type. He helps me a lot on the court, helps improving my game. He's very calm, too. I think off the court, we really get along. You know, we laugh a lot, we understand each other. So I think this is looking really good.

Q. Has he been coaching anybody since Martina?

XAVIER MALISSE: I think a little bit Pierce at the time. I don't know, all women. So, you know, it's a little different. But I have a ponytail, so it looks like a woman (laughter).

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297