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January 14, 2003

Ryan Henry


MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Must have been a great experience for you today.

RYAN HENRY: Yeah, it was a really good experience, being given the opportunity to play at the Aussie Open. Yeah, I really enjoyed it out there. I learned a lot of valuable things from it.

Q. I guess you were very grateful to get the wildcard opportunity.

RYAN HENRY: Yeah, really grateful. It's awesome for your tennis to be put on stage like that, having to play under pressure. It's something that I really enjoy doing out there. A bit of a tough match-up today, but I played okay.

Q. You come from a really good group of boys, don't you?


Q. Do you think you're spurring each other on?

RYAN HENRY: Yeah, couple good guys, Todd Reid is coming along. It's good when you have some guys pushing you. Gooch made a final of a tournament the other day. When you have a group like that, you sort of all push each other along. When someone does a bit better, you want to do better yourself. It just raises the standard of everyone.

Q. Are you planning to play senior schedule here or mix it up?

RYAN HENRY: Yeah, I'm out of Juniors so I've got no choice now. I'm just going to play, yeah, the satellite and some Futures events, trying to get my ranking up so I can eventually play bigger and bigger tournaments.

Q. How was the crowd?

RYAN HENRY: Yeah, crowd was awesome today. Everyone got behind me and supported me a lot. It was good. It sort of helped me out in the fourth set when I was struggling a bit. And, yeah, I broke back. It was really good. It was awesome atmosphere.

Q. Was that the first best-of-five set match you ever played?

RYAN HENRY: Yeah, it was the first one. It was a different sort of experience. I won the first. Usually when you win the first, you think, "I got a good chance here of winning the match." In a five-set match, it's a lot different. You got so many more opportunities to come back, and he took them today.

Q. Will you need to work heavily on your fitness, transferring from three sets to five sets?

RYAN HENRY: Yeah, I need to work on my fitness a fair bit, yeah. A lot of the guys playing the Slams have got a little bit better fitness because they're used to playing the five-setters when they're playing the Grand Slams. Something I've got to be prepared to play, the full five sets. I've got to do a lot of work on that.

Q. What would be a great year for you? What's the goal for the year?

RYAN HENRY: Goal for the year would be to be in the 100s ranking-wise. A good year would be to start off well at a satellite, maybe have a Future win or two to get my ranking up to play challengers. At this stage, I want to do well in the challengers so I can get inside 200.

Q. You were one of the young guys who flew across to Adelaide, is that right, to warm up Lleyton?

RYAN HENRY: No, I wasn't actually.

Q. It was Todd?

RYAN HENRY: That was Todd.

Q. Have you had a chance to have a bit of a hit with Lleyton?

RYAN HENRY: Yes. When I was the orange boy at Davis Cup in Adelaide, I practiced with Hewitt a couple times, and the other guys as well. It was a really good experience.

Q. What does that feel like, hitting against the world No. 1?

RYAN HENRY: Yeah, it's a great honor to do that. He sort of shows holes in your game, things you got to work on more than anyone else. It's good to get a reality check every now and then.

Q. Off court, I understand that you like surfing and golf, is that right?

RYAN HENRY: Yeah. More surfing than golf. Whenever I'm home, I like to surf a lot, whenever I can. Golf, I sort of play maybe once a month average. Not a great golfer. Yeah, I enjoy the surf.

Q. In your aspirations, you say long-term Top 10 as well as a bit of Davis Cup.


Q. Is it the team aspect of Davis Cup that makes it so appealing to you? Australians, with Lleyton playing, seem to be leading the way compared to the US. How do you feel about Davis Cup and the team environment?

RYAN HENRY: The team environment is a big part of it, but also playing for your country. It's a bit different. You're playing for so many people. You're playing huge matches in front of all your home crowd or an away crowd. It's something awesome. You know, it helps out Australian tennis. The team atmosphere is really good, as well. You're bonding with all the guys, too.

Q. Lleyton has had a big part in cultivating a lot of the younger guys' interest in Davis Cup. Do you think if Lleyton Hewitt hadn't played Davis Cup, you would have been as keen to play yourself?

RYAN HENRY: No, hasn't changed too much. No, Rafter was always really passionate about Davis Cup, as well. But in the end, it's just an honor to play for your country. It's just a step up from just playing tournaments for yourself.

Q. What sort of a process is involved in getting you to the Davis Cup? Is it dependent upon yourself? Are you already having discussions with a number of people with regards to the possibility of Davis Cup?

RYAN HENRY: Haven't got much of a chance, no.

End of FastScripts….

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