August 16, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How do you feel about your game, the way you're playing?
GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I was pleased with the way I played today. I thought, you know, it was first match coming back from Montreal. Obviously having five matches, it was a good week. I mean, Tursunov is a very good player, he's very dangerous. First game I lost my serve, he hit four return winners from 30-Love up. You know, managed to get the break back. Just pleased with the way I served and competed tonight.
Q. Did it cross your mind that he was the one that put Tim out of Wimbledon?
GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I don't really think about those things to be honest with you. It's just another match out there. Obviously he's a dangerous player. I mean, the way I lost my serve the first game, as I was saying, at 3-All the guy hit four return of serve winners on me clean off four first serves. He is dangerous, he is streaky, but I stayed the course and was pretty strong mentally. From that point in, when I lost the first set 6-4 losing my serve, I was not going to lose my serve again. That was the key for me.
Q. Did it take you a while to adjust to the conditions today?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it's hard always when you come from one week where you've done really well to come to another week. I mean, the conditions are slightly different, but the ball's still flying a lot. It's very, very fast out there. And, no, he's a dangerous opponent, so very pleased to get through. It's kind of similar to last week's first-round match.
Q. Yeah, you dropped the first set. Seems pretty normal, doesn't it?
GREG RUSEDSKI: That's all right. Get more experience when you get older.
Q. The seeding, is that becoming bigger and bigger for you?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I think I get seeded no matter how I do now anyways because Canas is out, Joachim Johansson is out, so that puts me already up to 33. Massu's lost all his points from the Olympics; that puts me up to 32. Then there's another few guys that are going to drop some points. I should get a seeding at the US Open no matter how I do this week unless some -- like two or three people have a phenomenal week.
Q. Say you do, how reassuring is that?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, it's always nice to get seeded at a major. It means you miss Federer and Hewitt and Roddick in the first round. I might actually get a decent draw at a Grand Slam for once now. It's been a few years.
Q. How big an achievement is that for you, to be seeded this time?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think it's -- a lot of people after Wimbledon, you know, they saw I played such a good match, but I'd lost 10 out of 12 matches to Top 10 guys and the other two to one guy 15 and 18. So I had some rough draws. The only one that was a bad loss was Saretta at the French Open. Apart from that, everybody else was a top player. But, you know, I kept working, kept working. All the work I put in in November and December has finally paid off. Now I'm reaping the benefits and getting the confidence winning matches after matches. You know, I made the choice to go to Newport. After I lost at Wimbledon, I took one day off and got there the next day. So I've had a pretty good run this summer - I think 14 wins and 4 losses. So there's not too many people out there that can say they've had such a good run.
Q. Tursunov was very hot and very cold. Did you try to play the percentages a bit more because of that?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I think what the key was for me was serving the corners and just waiting for the mistakes really. I think the one game I didn't serve the corners so slight, he hit four return of serve winners to get that break, as I was saying. I didn't do anything wrong that game. But then I was disappointed the way I dropped my serve after getting a break back at 5-4. From that point in I really just focused on my serve, and that was the key. You know, with him, you just got to expect he can make some phenomenal shots. And then he hit that trick smash on me, so he can hit some shots like that, too. You kind of get the ups and downs. But he's a really talented guy, really good player. He's dangerous.
Q. Were you pleased with your focus and concentration after all those hard matches last week?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, it's always tough. I mean, like Andre, I think he pulled out just because, you know, he had such a long week last week and as he said he wanted to rest. It's hard to bounce back as quickly. I mean, I'm not Rafael Nadal, 19 years old and bouncing off the walls every two seconds. The older you get, you got to be more selective. It comes down to focus and knowledge out there. But physically I felt good, and mentally I was very happy with the performance.
Q. That said, are you set to play New Haven allegedly next week, or is that in --
GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I'm gonna see. I mean, the thing with --
Q. The Open's, you know, coming up.
GREG RUSEDSKI: The advantage with New Haven is I'll get a bye in the first round; they start on Sunday. And it's also playing with the Wilson ball, which it's always nice to get a few matches under your belt with that ball. Because you'd rather not show up at the US Open trying to experiment with the change of ball, which is a tough thing. If I go deep this week, you know, it's going to be a hell of a tough effort to go a long, long way, but I'll try to do my best there.
Q. Is it going to be crowded in the locker room with three Brits in there?
GREG RUSEDSKI: That's great. I mean, I'm happy to finally see, you know -- we've been waiting for a third man all these years. I think Andrew, he had a fantastic week last week winning the tournament in Binghamton. You know, he's got a tough match against Dent. Hopefully he does the same thing as me and gets back and wins it in three sets because I think he was down a break when I left.
Q. It's level.
GREG RUSEDSKI: Perfect. Maybe he'll do it in two so he won't work as hard as me. But it's great to see him doing so well because being part of the Davis Cup team with Andrew and myself now, the rest of the young guys, it's good to see someone taking over from us and doing well. I like his attitude, and he's the best 18-year-old I've seen we've had in a long time, especially from Britain.
Q. Have you been able to give him any particular advice about Masters Series events?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I think he's pretty much a free spirit. He just goes after it and doesn't really care who he's playing. Whether he's playing No. 1 or 200, he just wants to win every time. I'll have a chat with him. You know, I think Mark's doing a good job with him traveling. I think everything's going well. He's going the right direction. I mean, if he has a good week here, he can be very close to Top 100, which is very good for an 18-year-old. Maybe he can continue his progress.
Q. Having been on the court for so long...
GREG RUSEDSKI: Don't make me feel that old, please. "Sooo" long.
Q. ...but maintaining your focus and everything --
GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think I've had a tough last two, three years. My 2002 I was nearly back to the top of my tennis and, you know, I had a lot of things to come back from, injuries and different other areas. So, you know, I'm trying to make the most of it. I've had a year and a bit where I've been really healthy now. Trying to make the most of it and I'm still enjoying it. So just going to keep playing, keep doing it, and keep going as long as I can because it's better than being in the real world (laughing).
Q. What about your second-round match?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. I haven't played Lleyton in a little while. I think he leads the series something like 6-3 or something like that; 5-3, something like that. But we always have a close match. He doesn't particularly like lefties, so we're both going to be really up for the match. I'm excited and looking forward to it. The pressure's on him, obviously, but I've been playing very, very well, so why not.
Q. He's going to have a pregnant wife on his team.
GREG RUSEDSKI: What?
Q. He's going to have a pregnant wife on his team.
GREG RUSEDSKI: What do you mean?
Q. Watching. She's going to be there supporting him.
GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think -- didn't they already have the baby? No? Well, good. Good for him.
Q. I saw it on TV. That's the only way --
GREG RUSEDSKI: I can't -- you're asking me strange questions here which, you know, I've had a long enough match today, you know, after getting a flight (laughing). Well, good for him. What can I say? He just got married. I know he got married and they're expecting the baby but they haven't had it yet. What can I say?
Q. You did very well against Lleyton a couple of years ago.
GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, 2002.
Q. You seemed to have a way of beating him then. Can you draw from that?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, no, I know what I have to do out there. Obviously, you know, you've got the two different players. I mean, he loves a target but, you know, he doesn't like the lefty target as much as he likes the righty target. But he's a great player. You're not going to get anything for free out there. But, you know, I'm pretty match tight at the moment and I know what I have to do out there. I'm not going to give it to you, 'cause then you'll write it in the press tomorrow and then he'll know what I'm doing. So I'm gonna keep my mouth shut on that one (laughing).
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.