August 3, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Go ahead with questions.
Q. You are 2-0 against Roger now. Is this one of those cases where your game matches up well against his?
DOMINIK HRBATY: It was different time when I played him first time. He was a young, talented player coming up. Now he's No. 1 in the world. But maybe. We practice a lot of times, and he never really beat me in practice also. You know, practice different. But I knew that my game he just doesn't like too much because it's maybe too fast for him. He has great hands. Then probably he doesn't have time, you know, to get you running all over the court and making big shots.
Q. Can you appreciate the magnitude of this win considering everybody kind of assumed Roger would just, you know, be playing in a finals this week?
DOMINIK HRBATY: You know, you don't beat every day No. 1 in the world, so that's great. I had probably everybody who was No. 1 in the world except probably Moya, and I beat them so -- and maybe, yeah, and Hewitt also. So they are the two guys I didn't beat yet. But, yeah, of course you know in these kind of matches you have nothing to lose. You can enjoy the match. And even if you lose 1-1, it's not a shame to lose against this kind of player because he's No. 1 and he's supposed to win. You can only always surprise.
Q. Is that why you think you've had so much success against No. 1 guys, because you go out there with an attitude of, "I don't have anything to lose"?
DOMINIK HRBATY: Of course. I mean, these guys, for them it's big pressure. I mean, they are No. 1s because they can handle the pressure. And everybody wants to beat them, you know. Everybody wants to give his best against the No. 1 in the world. And I can tell you for sure it's not an easy one for them to fight every match with 100 percent because these guys, they play against them, they play for 110, 120. And, yeah, and the guys that they play against them, they can enjoy much more the match than the No. 1 guy.
Q. What were you thinking when you lost that first set 1-6?
DOMINIK HRBATY: Yeah, I was trying to play fast. I was trying to go -- I was trying to hit the ball soon after the bounce because then I don't give him too much time, you know, to make a good shots. And just probably didn't work out. I was maybe -- I had to find the rhythm because he played little bit different shots. He play with lob, sometimes with lot of spin. Then he change for slice. He can play flat. So I had to get used to it. And also my serve wasn't the best really in the first set. I couldn't find rhythm for the first serve. But then when I served couple of breakpoints in the second set, it just suddenly turned around and I started to play, serve much better. But anyway I think he had much more trouble with my slow second serve than with the first serve because with his such great hands, if you hit fast serve, he just put it there, the hand, and you have it right back. If you play slow serve, he has to go for it, he has to hit the ball himself. Sometimes it's much more tougher than to wait for the fast ball.
Q. Was it tough to stay focused? I think he saved four set points in the second. Was it to tough to keep focused, or did you have to keep plugging away?
DOMINIK HRBATY: You always have to keep be focused against this kind of guys because one mistake or one point, important point you lose, it can be all over. So sometimes even against these guys you have to be a little bit lucky.
Q. You seemed more excited out there than you are in here. Are you trying to hold it back?
DOMINIK HRBATY: No, no, no. I'm excited. I'm just, you know, I'm trying to answer your questions as well as I can (smiling).
Q. You beat, what, four No. 1s now?
DOMINIK HRBATY: I beat Kafelnikov, Sampras, Agassi, Federer. Who else was No. 1? Moya was, but I didn't beat him. Hewitt. And there was somebody else was No. 1 - Safin, I beat. Somebody else. There was somebody else. Roddick, I beat. So most of -- I mean, in the past couple years - I am playing since '96 - most of the guys.
Q. Where does this one rank compared to those considering he has been on a winning streak?
DOMINIK HRBATY: It was very similar before the match when I played against Roddick in Davis Cup. He also had a streak. And I knew I was just saying to myself, "Have fun, and maybe it's gonna be another guy that I'm gonna break his streak." But of course was different match. We played Davis Cup. Now it's a normal tournament.
Q. He said he was tired and there's no way he could get around being tired. Could you see that he was a little bit tired out there?
DOMINIK HRBATY: You could see that he was missing sometimes the shots that he wouldn't miss usually. But also probably if I would, you know, wouldn't win or serve couple breakpoints in the second set, then he just would get up again and maybe he would play it -- he would start to play much better. So it's always all about couple of points, and then it's, you know, turning; you either play better or the other guy start to play better.
Q. So when you got him into the third set did you think that because of what happened last week in Toronto and the week before that you'd have a good shot at beating him just because he was going to be tired?
DOMINIK HRBATY: Of course. I think the top guys, is the biggest chance for the players to beat them in the first round. Sometimes they come too late for a tournament, or they play well in the tournament before and you are not used to the conditions and you have to get, you know, used to it also. It takes for everybody couple of days. And for them, when they start to win first couple of rounds, when they go til the end, up til the end of the tournament, they just play better and better. So their game is getting better with every match they win. And so that's why probably for me was the best chance to beat him in the first round. I would say if maybe we meet in the second or third or - I don't know - quarterfinals, then he will be playing much better.
Q. Considering that he said he was tired, do you feel like the heat might have given you an edge as you moved into the third set, too, as you forced a third set?
DOMINIK HRBATY: Of course I was counting on that, that the longer we stay, the bigger will be my advantage. But also the other part is that I like the heat very much. The hotter it gets, I am more confident on the court that I will roll over these guys.
Q. What do you gain every time you beat one of these players?
DOMINIK HRBATY: What?
Q. What do you gain? You said you have nothing to lose. What do you gain?
DOMINIK HRBATY: First you gain confidence. Second, it's -- you know you can say that you played well, and you know that for the upcoming matches if you play same way you can go more farther. I mean, it's tough to say if you can get something for your tennis because one match is not too much. But if you beat them more consistently, these guys, you can say that you belong to the top because you have a game and you have probably power to be there up with them if you beat them.
Q. People wouldn't be surprised if Federer lost to Roddick or Henman or someone with a big name. How aware are you that people are going to probably say, "Dominik who?"
DOMINIK HRBATY: I don't think I am that unknown in tennis. I am there already for a couple of years. So I think for the past couple, I mean, maybe one or two years, I see that much more people recognize my name because they get used to me and to see me there. You know, if you see me, maybe if you see me first time, you don't remember my name because it's so hard to say or so tough to remember. But if you see, like, couple times a year, then you remember and they recognize it.
Q. Do you think because you practice with him so much and you play doubles together, that maybe gives you an advantage other people don't have because you know his game so well?
DOMINIK HRBATY: Yeah, for sure. It gives little bit better chances for me. Because, I mean, I can't say that I knew what kind of shots he's gonna play. But because of so many practice sessions we played, I knew what can I play against him. I mean, if I would stay so far back from the baseline, probably my game wouldn't work out that well like it did. So I knew what I have to use. And it's also, you know, everybody has different games. So maybe somebody else, he can't play just the same way as I do, so he has to find his own way to beat Roger.
Q. You said that he plays with all the pressure. Is that pressure now transferred to you in the next round because you're the guy who beat him?
DOMINIK HRBATY: I don't think so. I'm still unseeded. There are much better players in the draw. If I win, I win. If I lose, I go home and get ready for the Olympics and enjoy the Olympics. So I am not looking the way that if I am going to -- I mean, because I won today, I have to win the next round. You know, there is from Top 100, everybody is good, you know, these days. Anybody can win with anybody. If you have just one bad day or maybe even just five bad minutes during the match, you are not going to win it.
Q. What did you think when you first saw the draw?
DOMINIK HRBATY: Actually, I didn't think about it until you give me the question. But maybe it was for me much better than to play somebody unseeded. I just played much more relaxed. I enjoyed the match. Probably if I would lose against Roger, I wouldn't be so disappointed, you know. If I will lose -- I play somebody else who is not seeded and I will lose, I will be probably more disappointed and take it more personally. But this way, I was just trying to play my game and enjoy it.
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