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January 19, 2004

Chris Guccione


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. First Grand Slam match. How different did that feel from what you're used to?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Felt a bit different. It was in Australia as well, so it was a big advantage. But, obviously, Alun was Australian as well. I'm a Melbourne boy so I feel I had a bit more crowd support than he was.

Q. Were you surprised how easy it was?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Wasn't really easy. I still had to play my best tennis to get the win on the board. There was two players out there playing. I felt I played really well today.

Q. What's it like playing in front of your home crowd in a Grand Slam tournament?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Great feeling. You can't really describe it. You do anything wrong, they still cheer you on, come on, do this, do that. It's good.

Q. A real advantage do you think going into your next round?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, definitely. Even bigger advantage playing a non-Australian.

Q. You have a lot of people calling you for tickets?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, there's a lot of family and friends who wanted tickets. I ended up not getting enough. I got like 10 or 15. I'm not sure where they were in the crowd, but I'm sure they were there, buy their own tickets.

Q. Were you disappointed you were drawn against another Australian in the first ground?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Obviously, it was going to be disappointing for us, the guy that lost. But it was also a good opportunity as well for one of the Australians. We're both wildcards, so it was a big match for us to try to get through.

Q. What was a bigger match for you, winning against Juan Carlos or a Grand Slam first round?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: They're both huge. Winning against Juan Carlos Ferrero, number three player in the world. But this week, Grand Slam, best-of-five-set match, you got to win three sets. There's a lot more points involved so it will make my ranking a lot higher. So probably this week.

Q. Did you hang out around here as a kid, see some tournaments?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, I live in Melbourne so I've been here my whole life.

Q. Were you a ball boy at all?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: No, I was never a ball boy, though.

Q. Not good enough?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: I started playing when I was about 9, so little bit too old.

Q. When you started playing, who was your model for serving?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Myself. I just went out there and hit serves. I didn't really have a good serve when I was early teens. Started to develop into a big serve when I was probably 15 or 16.

Q. There was no particular left-handed server that you followed or...?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: No, no, just working with all the coaches. They'd videotape it and see if I was doing anything wrong. Then I'd go out practice it and see if I can change it.

Q. You've obviously got a pretty rounded game. Serve, big shots off both sides. Where do you think you need to go now?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Probably just consistency. I can hit the ball big but they don't always go in. Today I was really happy that most of them were going in. That's why I got the win, I'd say. Just getting more in and probably movement around the court. I struggled a little bit sometimes.

Q. Is that something you have to push yourself with, keep moving the feet?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, yeah, all the time. I have everyone telling me move my feet 24 hours a day.

Q. You start at 9. Were you ever tempted to play cricket with that good left arm?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: No, not really. I was just playing cricket and Aussie Rules just in school, having a bit of fun with it. Tennis is probably the only sport I've played outside of school competition.

Q. Happy on the inside?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, yeah. Heart's pumping. It's good.

Q. Follow the footy at all?

CHRIS GUCCIONE: Gaalong. Ablett was there when I was younger, he was God. So Gaalong all my life.

End of FastScripts….

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