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January 14, 2003

Jaymon Crabb


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does that rate in terms of wins for you?

JAYMON CRABB: Yeah, obviously it's my biggest win, for sure. I've played the Australian Open twice before and lost first round both times in big matches. Yeah, this was a very important match. Last round of quallies was a big match to qualify, actually get into the main draw, yeah. This is obviously bigger, yep.

Q. Were you at all intimidated by the fact that it was on that court where he's done so well in the past, gets a lot of support?

JAYMON CRABB: As soon as I saw the draw, I knew -- I pretty much knew I was going to be on Court 1. That's his court. He's done really well there over the years. I expected him to have more crowd support than me, even though we're both Australians. You know, I think I had a lot of people out there going for me, and it helped. I don't know, just the fact that I took positives, I played so many matches already this year, LA, Sydney and here. He's sort of been injured the last six or so months. He's only played two matches in Sydney I think, probably in six months. I'm sure that's what helped me, especially a set all, tiebreaker, it was very important then. Maybe the extra matches got me through that, yeah. The end of the fourth set, it helped me through.

Q. It was an advantage, you think, you didn't get a wildcard in and had to do it the hard way?

JAYMON CRABB: In the end for sure, yeah. Sometimes you get a wildcard, you're sort of just happy to be in the tournament. Going through qualifying, I really feel like I earned my place in the tournament and the matches behind me. It's tough to serve out those matches in qualifying to go on to the next match, especially the last round quallies. You take a lot of confidence from that. When I walked out there today, just sort of, you know, it wasn't like the first time. I wasn't really nervous too much serving out, I wasn't too bad. I felt confident and I knew I had the knowledge I'd done it before and knew I could do it, yep.

Q. A guy like Andrew hits about 70 unforced errors and 60 winners.

JAYMON CRABB: It is difficult. Just got to be patient and wait and wait until he misses them and just sort of run, run until he misses one. But you can't really get frustrated when he hits four winners and breaks your serve. He served those three matchpoints at 5-3, five unbelievable points from Love-40. Next game, when I served it out, he made a couple of errors. I just hung in there and waited for my turn.

Q. You must have been relieved on breakpoint?


Q. Drop volley, only went half way up the net?

JAYMON CRABB: Missed a couple of them, yeah. That was a tough game. I did a lot of running in that game, missed those volleys, let me back in. We had a dogfight after that. Once we got to 4-all in the fourth, the crowd would have started to fire up like they did. It would have been anyone's match.

Q. Is it hard to find your own rhythm when you play against someone who runs so hot and cold?

JAYMON CRABB: Yeah, I do notice that from time to time, but out there I felt pretty good. I mean, you know, we had rallies and I got to hit a lot of balls. Winners he hit were winners but, you know... The match was very similar all the time. The level went up a little bit in the end of the fourth set and maybe in the tiebreaker there in the third. So I didn't really -- I found I kept my rhythm pretty good. Just concentrating on getting my first serves in and just trying to keep the ball deep and make him hit that one extra ball every point.

Q. You mentioned a number of matches you played. How does that set you up, A, for the rest of the tournament and, B, for the rest of the year?

JAYMON CRABB: Really, I couldn't have expected a better start to the year. Adelaide I played well, made last round quallies there, then Sydney. Qualified, got four more quality matches and more points and money. Now here I've played four tough matches, and I don't know. I think I'm looking forward to the year from here. This is the best start to a year obviously I've had ever. I'm hoping to work my ranking down and don't have to go through the qualifying anymore, try to get into the main draw, get in the Top 100. Yep, that's definitely my goal for the year.

Q. How did you feel when you missed out on wildcards?

JAYMON CRABB: I always knew it was borderline. I had my chance to win one. I was disappointed not to get it, but obviously the Tennis Australia policy this year was to go with the younger guys and girls, Todd Reid and Ryan Henry and Andrew, you know. Andrew's been a top 50 player, done well, he deserves a wildcard even though he's coming off injury. Those other guys, Todd won junior Wimbledon I think, I think Ryan made semis there. I had that chance coming out of my junior year. I was disappointed but I sort of expected it, yep. That's the way it goes.

Q. Is it a good way of putting it, that you're seen as a bit of a journeyman?

JAYMON CRABB: Yep, fair enough. It's a good bunch of juniors, Todd Reid, Ryan Henry, Adam Kennedy's a year older than them. I don't think they've had a bunch come through since Philippoussis and Ilie's age group when they came through. It's exciting, Australian tennis, seems like all the Australians are playing well. I know there's been years where there's been first-round losers. Yesterday and today it seems like most Australians are going through, so that's great.

Q. How well do you know Andrew? How much did that play into today's match?

JAYMON CRABB: I think it made a difference. Like I've hit with Andrew and, yeah, I know him. I know him well, say g'day and have a chat with him. I'm sure it made a chance with him in getting pumped up after winning points. We both respect each other. I'm sure we both stayed a bit calmer, especially him maybe. I don't know, he's normally very in your face and pumped. Maybe that made a bit of difference to him, playing an Australian who he knew. Also with the crowd, they sort of -- they didn't really get into it until the very end, for him, like normally he's got, you know, huge crowd support. I'm sure if he was playing a non-Australian, he would have had huge crowd support again. I'm sure that's a huge part.

Q. How mad is he?

JAYMON CRABB: He does some silly things out there. He goes for some, yeah, crazy shots. You have to go and watch him play. I always enjoyed watching him play when I haven't been in the tournament, yeah. He's crazy, yep.

Q. Do you have family watching you?

JAYMON CRABB: Yeah, yep. Dad and Jasmon, my sister, have been over, watched me go through qualifying, and mom came on Monday, so yep. Dad and mom and my sister are here. That's a great help to have them in the stands. They're hardly ever there. They normally come for these sort of big tournaments, lose first round, they only get to see one match. It's been great for dad to be here, three qualifying matches, a main draw match, another one coming up, maybe doubles. It's exciting, great having them here.

Q. What was your sister's name?

JAYMON CRABB: J-a-s-m-o-n.

Q. Did mum and dad have a J thing?

JAYMON CRABB: I think they do because my brother's Jaxon. I think that was dad's idea. Bit confusing when the mail comes, "J. Crabb".

Q. Your dad's Bruce?

JAYMON CRABB: Dad's Bruce and mum's Elizabeth. I don't know why they did that.

Q. Jaxon on the court?

JAYMON CRABB: He's back in Perth now. Not on an AFL this year. So three years for Eagles and a year for Port. Just going to play for Claremont in the WA this year.

Q. Did you play footy?

JAYMON CRABB: Until about 16 and unders. I love footy. I played for the school team when I was younger, Marist. Obviously dad played a lot of games for South Bunbury, a local footy team, yep.

Q. Do you talk to Jaxon most about your relative careers?

JAYMON CRABB: Yeah, we talk about it a little bit, you know, how he's going and stuff, different things. It's a lot different, you know. I thought he was a little bit unlucky at Port but he still has to rely on the coach, give him time on the field. Even if I'm not picked by a selectors, I can still go through qualifying and play. It makes it, you know, more up to me how I go. So we talk about that a little bit, yeah.

Q. Who's coaching you now?

JAYMON CRABB: Jeff Snyder. Yep, he's been my coach on and off for five or six years or seven years. He's here now. I've also had a bit of help from the Davis Cup guys, Wally, Peter MacNamara, Fitzy, all those guys. We had a good training camp in Melbourne. I don't know if you guys know that, from the 12th to 20th of December, I think they got the guys fit and ready to play. It was really good for us.

Q. Do you feel like you can sort of get a bit of a jump start over other players?

JAYMON CRABB: For sure, for sure. Trying to use that psychologically for us, you know. Climate-wise, I've been here, training, had a day off for Christmas but it's not really too bad. They're over there in freezing conditions, hitting indoors. Swirly wind here, hitting on the courts for ten days before we started playing. So, yeah, it's good to have that advantage. Plus the crowd.

Q. The fact that Pat Rafter didn't make huge steps until 23, 24, does that give you inspiration?

JAYMON CRABB: For sure. For sure. There's been a few Aussie guys - Lleyton is obviously an exception. He's a bit of a freak - Wayne Arthurs as well didn't sort of get going until a lot later on. Yeah, sort of Peter Luczak and myself are both starting to play good tennis now. Hopefully we can have four or five years of good tennis, uh-hmm.

Q. The girls talked about Alicia's win the other day being an inspiration. Obviously, Lleyton is an inspiration?

JAYMON CRABB: For sure. He's been No. 1 in the world the last two years. It's great to watch him, the fighting spirit, the way he plays for Australia. Yeah, he's inspirational, yep.

Q. Is he perhaps even more inspirational to you than Rafter?

JAYMON CRABB: Yeah, for sure, yep. The way I sort of play a little bit further behind the baseline than him, but still run balls down and, yeah, try to hang in points the same, yep.

End of FastScripts….

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