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January 17, 2003

Wayne Ferreira


MODERATOR: Questions for Wayne.

Q. You've done it before. Did you feel you could do it even when you were down in the fourth set?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Actually, I think after the first two sets, I didn't think I had very much chance. He basically beat me pretty fair and square. I tried lots of different ways to get back in the game and didn't do it. And he gave me the third set. After he gave me the third, it looked like he was starting to get a little lethargic and a little slower. I guess basically the middle of third I basically thought I had a chance. Even though I was down a break in the fourth, I was having much more chances and I was getting close and I felt like I was the better player. So I think the third set was pretty key.

Q. Do you think you have an edge with all your experience against a young guy like that, who's never been in that sort of situation before?

WAYNE FERREIRA: I think experience definitely helped. I was just talking to his coach afterwards. You know, he's got a great serve, Mardy. I just managed to get a lot of returns back. From the experience and being young, he didn't change his game and start serving and volleying, which if he had done that, it would have helped him a lot. I was just floating it back and getting into the point. He wasn't as used to the ball coming back on the return. There's aspects of the game that I changed which helped me, and there were aspects he could have changed that could have helped him a little bit too. Maybe that's just a little experience, I guess.

Q. Do you feel you played better in the heat?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Wasn't really that hot. We played later in the afternoon. The heat was pretty much gone. That, to me, wasn't a factor. I'm not sure how it did with him. He looked like he was getting a little tired towards the end. He did have a tough match against Moya, he lost, maybe that was affecting him. For him, that was great.

Q. How do you relax off the court when you're not playing tennis?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Taking it pretty easy. I haven't really been doing much of anything. I did play a game of golf on Tuesday after my first round. Maybe now I might not do that anymore because it is exerting a little more energy than I'd like to. Just maybe go watch a couple movies, practice in the afternoon, kind of stretch the day out. Nothing really of interest. It's actually kind of boring.

Q. Still the best player on the tour?

WAYNE FERREIRA: I'm struggling a little bit on the golf. I'm getting to that stage where I'm in a stalemate. I'm trying to work on it a bit.

Q. How much do you reckon he was set back with that blow-up in the first game of the last set?


Q. Yes.

WAYNE FERREIRA: Well, obviously looking at the score line, it looks like quite a lot. I think he was pretty frustrated. He felt he had me the whole time through the match. He had me especially in the fourth set and basically gave it away. Even though I did play well, he kind of gave it away. I think he was more frustrated in the fact that we were in the fifth set. I think he knew once I won the fourth set, it was going to be very difficult for him because I was getting a lot better and he was obviously tiring and getting a lot worse.

Q. What goes through your mind when you see a guy melting down like that?

WAYNE FERREIRA: It's great, absolutely fantastic (smiling).

Q. Prettiest thing in tennis?

WAYNE FERREIRA: The best joy you can get actually.

Q. Do you know Ernie Els?

WAYNE FERREIRA: I've met him a few times, yes.

Q. Imagine he's pretty big at home.

WAYNE FERREIRA: Big is an understatement. I think he's huge. He's probably the most popular or the most -- I wouldn't say recognizable, but the best athlete we have at this stage.

Q. How much time do you spend in northern California?

WAYNE FERREIRA: I live there permanently.

Q. All the time now?

WAYNE FERREIRA: All the time, full-time, yes.

Q. Last year, you had a great tournament, but ended on kind of a bad note. Is that going through your mind this year?

WAYNE FERREIRA: No, no. You know, I felt, like I do now, great. I was really in good form. I was very unlucky. In the morning in my warm-up I hit one serve that just ripped my stomach muscle. You know, obviously it was disappointing. I'm not going to think about it. I don't want it to happen again. That injury has happened to me four or five times over my career, so it's kind of a difficult thing. But I don't think it will come back. Hopefully not. But at my age, getting older, playing a lot, you got to I guess expect certain things like this sometimes.

Q. What do you do to combat getting a stomach injury?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Nothing I can do for it, absolutely nothing. Something that takes about three weeks to a month to heal. There's no short recovery period for it at all.

Q. I know you've been asked this about a lot of young players, but do you think he's got a chance to go on and have a big career?

WAYNE FERREIRA: He's improved a lot, very much so. He's got a good game. He's got a lot of game. He's got a great serve, great backhand. Forehand, can work a little bit on it. I think maybe when he plays more and gets a little more experience... He could have worked a little bit more on the serve and the volley and changing it up a bit. He got a little bit stuck in a stalemate there, not changing it up much. He has things to learn. I think he knows he has to do that. He has improved drastically. I played him last year, and there's a significant improvement in his game.

Q. If you play Philippoussis in this environment, what would that be like?

WAYNE FERREIRA: It would be great. Best place to play him.

Q. Why?

WAYNE FERREIRA: It's enjoyable, you know. Obviously, it will probably be a center court match, which is always fantastic to play. It will be a great environment. There will be a lot of people. Nice to beat Australians in Australia. It would be perfect for me. It's why I play the game, for enjoyment and fun and situations like that.

Q. Do you prefer to play him in the day or at night?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Well, I'm really fit. It's part of my game. I last very well in the heat. I'm used to the heat. I think it might help me a lot. You know, the factors are obviously very different at night, the way the ball comes through. It's probably a little bit slower. If I play Mark, it might be better to play him at night, a little slower, might help. Either way, I'll just take it and do the best I can in it.

End of FastScripts….

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