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March 26, 2005

Jeff Morrison


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So, how big of a win is this for you?

JEFF MORRISON: Oh, gosh. One of my biggest wins, I would say. You know, I've struggled this year up to this point. I don't think I'd won a match coming into this tournament, but had served for the match a few times and been up in some matches that I lost coming into this event against good players. Just couldn't quite get over the hump. I knew that I was close and just needed to keep the faith, and did. I think that that's showed here since I guess I've won four matches now, so it's good.

Q. He's got a huge game. He plays well on hard courts. What were you able to do to beat him?

JEFF MORRISON: I had played him once before, granted it was early last year in Australia - I think he was maybe 90 in the world - and I beat him. And, you know, typically, I match up well against guys like that because I do the same thing to them. I think today the difference was I was holding a little easier than he was, and I think he felt some pressure on service games that I didn't necessarily feel. I was able to take some cracks at some balls on his service games and really let myself play. I think that was the difference.

Q. What were you thinking when you were serving for the match? You said you've served for matches before and it slipped away.

JEFF MORRISON: I was a little nervous. You know, obviously, you try to say, "Hey, I've done this a million times." You try to say, Well, I've maybe served for the match five or six times in my life and haven't won, but I've done it, you know, hundreds of times and won it. So you try to think about the positive. I just tried to relax. My coach told me after the match that that was the first game the whole match I hadn't won the first point on my serve. I was up 15-Love in every game except I lost the first point there. I think I was a little nervous, but I just kept my composure. I knew if I could get first serves in and make him play some backhands that I'd be okay.

Q. You pushed that first ball into the net.

JEFF MORRISON: Yeah, yeah. No, I hit it okay, I just didn't give myself enough clearance. The next point I had three or four backhands and I hit a good backhand down the line. So, I mean, I was a little tentative on that one, but I hit it pretty good. Just didn't give myself enough margin.

Q. You go to Metz and have a big tournament; go to LA, have a big tournament. Why can't you do that every week?

JEFF MORRISON: I think it would be a pretty easy game if I could do that every week, I guess. My results were pretty consistent at the end of last year: Quarters, Newport; semis, LA; semis, Metz. Picked up quite a few points. I started the first of the year injured. I hurt my back playing golf, which is a freak, freak thing. I think that it takes some time, when you take four months off, it takes some time to get it back. Hopefully, my results will start to pick up again as they have here.

Q. Back to the match, when he's going on all cylinders, it looks like he could even blow Federer off the court.

JEFF MORRISON: Yeah, you know, it's different, you know. I think that he -- today, you know, the conditions here are a little blustery, the sun was in his eyes on one side on his serve. You know, he takes big swings at the ball, and I'm fortunate enough to have a serve to where I can control the points when I'm serving. I think that's the key. If he can control the point -- he gets you on a string with that forehand and you're running, playing defense the whole match. I'm fortunate enough to have games, streaks where I'm serving where I'm dictating the points and he's not getting a chance to play. Then I'm freed up to hit on his service games, which then he can't dictate. So, fortunate enough to serve really well today and to have the chances on his serve to really take cracks at the ball where he couldn't dictate.

Q. Does anyone hit serves harder than him?

JEFF MORRISON: He bombs it. I'll tell you, the thing to me that I'm impressed with the most about his serve is not the sheer pace of it, but he mixes up his spins and speeds and paces so well. He can hit the 145, but he also hits the 120 that's moving sideways after it hits the court so well. And that's what makes his serve so good, I think. There's plenty of guys that can hit it really hard, but he does everything pretty well.

Q. You were getting some pretty major action on your second serve today. Not easy to get a ball up that high on a guy 6'7".

JEFF MORRISON: One of the characteristics of the courts here is the ball does bounce high. If you do have a good kick serve, which I do, you can utilize it pretty well. No matter who you are, if you get it short in the court, the ball's going to kick up high. He doesn't like the ball up here. No one likes the ball up here. I was able to get some up there on him and make him have to hit some difficult returns.

Q. Midway through that second set, he actually went away from his big serve and started to go to a more moderately paced serve. Was it frustration?

JEFF MORRISON: Yeah, I think on that one side the sun was really bad. I think it was the toss, the sun was in his eyes over there on the one side. He'd come to the other side and serve pretty big. On that one side he was having to kick it in to get it out of the sun, I believe.

Q. What did it feel like to serve an ace to win the match?

JEFF MORRISON: I kept telling myself, All right, don't try to hit a big serve, make sure you play the point, don't give him a free one here. I just hit a 75% spinner out wide and said, Hey, if you hit a good return, you hit a good return, but I'm going to play for the volley. He was leaning the wrong way and didn't even make a play at it. It was a pretty good feeling.

Q. But how about after, like having people asking you for your autograph and everything, having to move people out of the way for you to get through. Good feeling?

JEFF MORRISON: Yeah, you know, it's been -- I've been in this position a few times in my career where I may have had a big win or done something, and, you know, it's difficult to -- the biggest challenge is to maintain the same mindset that you had before you went on the court afterwards. Hey, what got you here. What got you here, why you're here. I learned from my first experience to not get caught up in all of this and to make sure you keep your nose to the grindstone and do what got you here. That's what the most important thing is.

Q. How about your next match, your next opponent?

JEFF MORRISON: Stepanek, yeah. I've never played Radek, but I know he's having a great year as well. At this point, everyone's tremendous, and I'm going to have to play well again to compete and to have a chance to win. That's what I plan on doing.

THE MODERATOR: Any comments about West Virginia's game?

JEFF MORRISON: Go Mountaineers (smiling). The state's watching, I guess, so it's good.

End of FastScripts….

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