August 16, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Robby Ginepri, coming off his second win in about a month over a Top 10 player.
Q. How did you think your serve was playing out there? You jumped off to a lead early on.
ROBBY GINEPRI: How was my serve playing?
Q. Yeah, how were you serving? You jumped out to a pretty early lead. You broke right away.
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, I served pretty well the whole match. High percentage of first serves is always good. It helps you get on the ball, get on the next shot. He came out a little slow. I won the toss, elected to receive. But if I usually win the toss, I choose to serve. But just being in the locker room for so long, was a little slow, so didn't want to get broke first game like he did.
Q. What did you do during the rain delay?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I was playing Golden Tee. It's a golf game upstairs. I won, by the way (smiling). Beat that guy over there (pointing).
Q. Puerta seemed like he was picking up at the end of the first set. How big was it to be able to pull off that tiebreaker?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, waiting around for so long and having a tough first set, it could have gone either way, and it was nice to get through it. I was playing, you know, pretty sturdy tennis the whole first set and going for my shots when I was there. You know, it rolled over into the tiebreak, which was a good sign for me.
Q. I know you try to take one match at a time, but I'm sure you can't help but look at your bracket. All the seeded players except Safin are gone. Agassi is out; Puerta. Do you feel it might be opening up for you, make another nice run at a hard court event?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Hopefully, yeah. I haven't even looked at the draw; I usually don't. Just look at who I have to play and deal with that. It's gonna be a tough next round against David.
Q. You've beaten so many Top 10 players, including Federer. Your ranking has been I guess as high as 25. Yet a month or so ago it was down to 100. Who are you? Where do you see yourself? Are you a guy that can consistently beat these guys, or are you a journeyman that occasionally can beat them?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Oh, I'm Robby Ginepri (smiling). Come out here day in, day out and work my butt off. So whatever happens, happens. I'm giving 110% day in, day out. I know I can beat these guys, it's just a matter of time and confidence and playing up to my capabilities. It's a tough game, you know. Some weeks you're not feeling up to playing, but you got to swallow that and move on and just get over the hump of those bad days. That's what was happening the last year and a half to me, I was just letting those days get at me. But now I'm playing strong.
Q. What caused that? Did you have any injuries?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Not really. Just lack of motivation, I think. I worked so hard to get to 25 in the world and then I kind of thought that was good enough for me and took a step back and just had too much down time, wasn't working as hard to get there. Now I'm starting to work as hard as I was - I think even harder than before - and it's paying off.
Q. So you did back off?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, I wasn't working near as hard as I was to get to 25 in the world. I just slipped to 100, and it was a reality check. So I think -- I know a lot of guys drop in the rankings once or twice, but hopefully it's just one time for me and I'll stay up there for long now.
Q. When you got to 25, you didn't think, "I could break Top 10 here"?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Well, at that time I kind of got hurt. I had wrist surgery, which kind of delayed a couple months. But it's really not like you're thinking about dropping in the rankings, you just know everything's going so well and you hope to keep it going.
Q. So where do you think realistically by the end of this year you could reach? You're at I think 58 right now.
ROBBY GINEPRI: Right. I mean, I'm just trying to win matches right now. I don't really set a goal except to work hard every day. I hope I get Top 15 by the end of the year.
Q. You said you went to 100. Was there a particular tournament or time you remember where you looked at yourself in the mirror and said, "I got to really get going here before I let this slip away on me"?
ROBBY GINEPRI: It was pretty much after Wimbledon. I had a pretty bad fall -- I mean spring over in Europe, not winning many clay matches and didn't do too well on the grass like I expected to. So after that I kind of started gearing up again and getting focused for the hard courts coming up.
Q. Is there any part of your game that's stronger now than it was back then, something that you've really been working on? Also, anything that stood out to you when you made that run?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I think I'm serving a lot better. I think I'm playing a lot more consistent, waiting for the right shots. I feel I'm wiser on the court than I was two, three years ago. I feel like I know the game better.
Q. When you're 50, 60 in the world, you're not guaranteed to get into some main draws. Is that kind of hard, waiting, hoping to get a wildcard? Is it difficult to deal with that part of the game?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Not really. It is what it is. If I'm not in, I'm going to have to qualify to make that tournament.
Q. Is there anything to the hard court season like you just sort of expect -- I mean after Wimbledon, you just sort of think, "All right, this is probably the time I'm going to get going, the hard courts," or was it just coincidence?
ROBBY GINEPRI: It's a little of both, I think. I'm always ready to play on hard courts. It's my favorite surface. I grew up on it. I think I play my best tennis on the hard courts.
Q. Could you tell you were frustrating him? He's more of a clay court specialist. He seemed to give up on some shots in the second set.
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, it was tough conditions all day today. You're thinking it's going to rain on you while you're playing out there, so you might rush a little bit more. I don't know how into it he was. He had a good run last week, got to the quarters. It depends on a lot of things. Can't answer that for him.
Q. Did his orange shirt distract you?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Not really (smiling). Blended in good.
Q. When you beat Roddick, was that a turning point even though it was in the middle of a tournament? Did you think, "All right, that's the kind of day I know I can have now"?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, it was a great day for me, great week of all. Playing against top players day in, day out that week gave me a lot of confidence. I know I can play that way, you know. I've seen it in practice, I've seen it in matches. It's just playing that way on a consistent base and doing it week in, week out.
Q. What did you do when you were at your very best that you backed off of? You said you didn't work as hard. What did you drop out of your regimen at that point, and have you put that back in?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, I wasn't going to the gym as much. I wasn't doing a lot of off-court training. I don't think I was hitting enough balls on the court. I was just kind of slacking off a little bit. But I definitely did a 180 of that situation.
Q. Did you do that because you were bored or because you thought, "Yeah, this is good enough"? Have you picked it up because you like to do it?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I picked it up, one, because I knew that the work I was doing wasn't cutting it. I wasn't spending enough time on the court working on my game. I wasn't working out in the gym. I wasn't as strong as I wanted to be. It was more of that I kind of know I needed to take the next step because I could see that the work wasn't enough and I was slipping. So work harder or stay where I'm at - it's kind of cut and dried.
Q. So when you beat a guy like this today, that must tell you that what you're doing is the right thing?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, all the work that I've been doing has been paying off after Wimbledon. It's good to see hard work pays off.
Q. Do you sense the crowds at these tournaments really get fired up when they see yourself or Blake or Fish or Dent get deep into the tournament?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Definitely. I know they like seeing the Americans play. They're out here to watch a lot of the Americans play, and also a couple of the top players. I love playing with the crowd behind me and playing in the U.S.
Q. Could you sense it today?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, it's always good to have them on your back. They were more on my side than Mariano. But that's expected - hopefully.
Q. You played Ferrer two years ago at the Open.
ROBBY GINEPRI: Uh-hmm.
Q. Do you remember anything from that match? Can you talk about how you'll match up with him?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, I'll probably talk to my coach later on, discuss what to do. I don't remember too much about it. I know we both made a lot of balls, and he's a pretty consistent player so I got to be patient and wait for the right shot.
Q. You talked about the conditions being tough. How glad are you that you got the match in? These guys out here, their play is suspended. They've got to sit around.
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, it's no fun waiting, waiting around to see when you're going to play, if the rain's going to stop. I'm pretty thrilled that the day's over for me, and just wait for the next match.
Q. Your bio says that you played all sports as a youngster and you gravitated towards tennis. What made you go to tennis?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I think the competitive sport, just one-on-one combat was the best situation for myself. I played a lot of basketball and baseball, and I just didn't like the team sports. If someone wasn't doing what they should do on the team, it was upsetting me a little too much. I had to pretty much take situations in my own hand.
Q. In this country we have so many sports. I don't know if there are fewer kids playing tennis, or there are just more people from around the world playing tennis, but there are fewer highly-ranked tennis players than there used to be from this country. Is there any special reason for that?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Everybody's working so much harder, and the field is a lot tougher than it has been in a while with the game. It seems like the people growing up today in the U.S. want to play more basketball, baseball, football. It's what they see on TV. Tennis isn't shown too much on TV, nearly as much as those sports. So maybe the kids see that and they want to look for that profession when they get old; I don't know.
Q. Your bio said you were the first one to wear a sleeveless shirt.
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, that's correct.
Q. Did you know that at the time?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Well, I knew no one had worn it, but I didn't expect it to be as big a deal as it has been.
Q. So you're a fashion pioneer?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Could say that. Didn't go into Wimbledon thinking that, but...
Q. Did you get grief from them for that?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Wimbledon?
Q. At Wimbledon.
ROBBY GINEPRI: No, they didn't say anything to me about it. Just had to see if it could get approved for the match. That was about it.
Q. Was there any special reason why you did that?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Just wearing the shirt.
THE MODERATOR: Did it have to be made special?
ROBBY GINEPRI: No, they actually had them.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.