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June 24, 2003

Jamie Delgado


MODERATOR: . Questions for Jamie.

Q. Topspin lob on the run.

JAMIE DELGADO: It was a great shot on set point. I was pretty pumped with that. I was happy with that.

Q. Generally speaking, did you play as well, if not better, than you might have expected under such circumstances?

JAMIE DELGADO: Yeah, I mean, to be honest, the last couple months I've started playing better than I have been. I was feeling good, you know, I was nervous the last time I played him on there. I had a feeling I was going to, you know, put up a fight, you know, hopefully have a few chances.

Q. Did you feel you had him rattled sometimes? He didn't look very happy.

JAMIE DELGADO: Yeah, I mean, obviously in the fourth, a little bit unlucky to lose my serve in that set. But, you know, once it starts getting close in sets, then, you know - like what happened in the third - things can happen. So I was just hoping to get, you know, a little bit further on without losing serve in the fourth. But, you know, for sure, it wasn't easy for him at that stage.

Q. What did you learn from the last time you played that you could take into this game that you felt worked?

JAMIE DELGADO: I remember last time I could have maybe been a bit more aggressive on certain balls. I thought today I did that better than I did last time. You know, I think still there were a few that I could have, you know, had a go on today that I didn't. But, you know, I'll learn from it and keep building on it. I've just got to step up to the plate and make things happen against someone like that.

Q. Did you see much changes in his play between this time and last time?

JAMIE DELGADO: No. I think he's playing about the same. You know, obviously he's a top player. He puts you under pressure the whole time. You know, how he played today, that's what I was expecting, yeah.

Q. Is there a sense of intimidation when you meet up to walk out to the court? Do you suddenly think, "It's him"?

JAMIE DELGADO: Yeah, I mean, I don't know how old he is, but when I was like 13 and stuff, I used to watch him play. You know, it's almost like this, the US Open and stuff. Actually to see him, think it's my time to play against him, for sure it makes you think. But once you get out there and start getting in the match, you forget about that. But definitely the first time you see him, you think, "That's Double A."

Q. Why don't we see more British players have success at this tournament, given the tradition in this country, prestigious place?

JAMIE DELGADO: On the grass?

Q. Here on the grass, here at Wimbledon.

JAMIE DELGADO: I mean, to be honest, I think us English players -- I think most people think we play on grass a lot more than we do and are at an advantage. I know we don't play on grass more than anyone else. I think everyone's on an even keel to start off with. I wouldn't necessarily expect for them to sort of beat everyone.

Q. Kids here are playing on hard court mostly?

JAMIE DELGADO: Yeah, they would play just on the same. We practice throughout the winter indoors hard court. You know, it's four weeks of grass a year for us, just the same as it is for everyone.

Q. Can you talk about Andre's game at 33? Does he surprise you having such a high level right now?

JAMIE DELGADO: Yeah, he's unbelievable, isn't he? The times that he's been at the top of the game and then dropped and then managed to get it back is unbelievable. You know, I think he's playing as well as he ever has done. I mean, he's going to be right up to win this tournament possibly. Yeah, it's amazing.

Q. What changed in the third? After the second set you really looked down and out.

JAMIE DELGADO: In the second -- I had a problem with my back in the last week, and I think it started going into spasm. I don't know what was going on. I just tried to loosen up. Back loosened up. You know, I got better with that.

Q. No danger of you pulling out or defaulting?

JAMIE DELGADO: At one stage it was a little bit -- you know, quite painful. It sort of eased off.

Q. You're right now?


Q. In the second set is when it started troubling you?


Q. How do you take this forward? Your test now is when you're not in the spotlight, playing in some far flung place where no one is watching. How do you draw on an experience like today when you're almost playing anonymously elsewhere?

JAMIE DELGADO: I have to look at it that I pushed Agassi to what I did today. You've got to take confidence from that. Until you've actually pushed guys like that a little bit, you know, the belief -- I think today's match will help me a lot in my belief to feel that I can compete even with someone like that.

Q. Given that British players don't have that advantage, at the same time when Tim comes along, there's all this pressure, do you think it's just extraordinarily tough for a British player because all of a sudden there's this immense pressure to do so well here?

JAMIE DELGADO: Yeah, I mean, in this country obviously this is the biggest tournament. The pressure for someone like Tim is huge. But I don't think because he was born in England he has a grass court game. I think that's just the way he plays tennis, regardless of where he was from.

Q. How did it feel to play on Centre Court?

JAMIE DELGADO: Oh, it's unbelievable, just what you always dream of. It's just as good as your wildest dreams, I guess.

Q. As you move forward from here, what kind of support system is in place for you, some of the other British players, as you try to make a name for yourself? Is there a national support system for you?

JAMIE DELGADO: Yeah, the LTA will hopefully help for me to make the next step up. You know, there's a few of us in that boat. Hopefully they can help us out.

Q. Is it very extensive or do you have to finance a lot of your own?

JAMIE DELGADO: Yeah, we finance all our stuff. But they can maybe help with a coach or training facilities, that sort of stuff.

Q. What's the mood like in the British ranks now? David has been in place, what is it, three months. Has it changed? Is it a more optimistic scene?

JAMIE DELGADO: Yeah, I think so. A lot of us have been talking. There is a buzz between the players at the moment. David is a guy we all get on well with and feel we can approach any time. You know, I think it's been going well. I think it's going to be good. You know, we feel we can approach him at any time. I think that helps a lot.

Q. Personally, your ranking has been nudging 100, now you're down mid 400's. It would suggest it's going the other way for your game. Are you still confident that under David's overall banner, you can climb back up?

JAMIE DELGADO: Yeah, I know I can be better than that. You know, I have been struggling. But, like I say, the last couple months I've been working hard and things are starting to come together a little bit. I've still got another six years, seven years to play tennis. I'm going to, you know, make the most of those years.

End of FastScripts….

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