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March 22, 1997

Julian Alonso


JOE LYNCH: Julian Alonso has defeated Tim Henman for his second consecutive ATP Tour victory, a qualifier here, had not won a Tour match before this week, and is now into the third round. We will start in Spanish and hope a translator arrives in a few minutes for those speaking English.

(Spanish interview)

JOE LYNCH: Cecelia will take my seat now and translate for a few questions in English.

Q. Could you translate the last answer?

INTERPRETER: He asked if after winning today, he has lost respect for top players. He said that he never loses respect for anybody. He treats all the players the same way. He never will lose any respect for anybody on the court.

Q. Can you ask, how surprised is he to have won. What did Pato tell him, if anything, about how to play Tim?

INTERPRETER: He says he has been working very hard lately with his coach. Just when he finished the match, he was surprised, but now after a few minutes have gone, he realized that he can do that. He realizes he can defeat players on that level.

Q. How did Pato tell him to play somebody ranked 16th in the world? What sort of game did he tell him to play?

INTERPRETER: He didn't really use any special strategies; just go out there and play his best. Didn't have any plan.

Q. How much of an inspiration is it to people like Julian and the other young Spanish players, the way that all the Spanish players already on the Tour already seem to be doing so well?

INTERPRETER: It gives you a lot of confidence, the fact that you see them, you know them, you see they're doing well. Because you know and play with them, you see that you can do it also.

Q. How difficult an opponent was Henman?

INTERPRETER: He said it was very tough for him because he's not used to playing with players like Tim that go up to the net constantly. He knew that he needed to be very focused. That's what he did, and it worked.

Q. Has he ever had his serve timed, and if so what's the fastest?

INTERPRETER: He hasn't played on a court with the machine, so he doesn't know.

Q. Is there any one of the Spanish players that he particularly bases his game on, that he sees as a role model or idol or anything?

INTERPRETER: Emilio Sanchez. He says he has always been everybody's idol in Spain, so that's his, too.

Q. When did he start playing and how, why?

INTERPRETER: He started playing in Canet del Mar (phonetic), his hometown in Cataluna. He started when he was eight because he was a little bit heavy. His parents wanted him to exercise, so he started playing tennis.

Q. How far is that from Barcelona?

INTERPRETER: 45 minutes drive, like 60 kilometers.

Q. Why tennis and not soccer or some other sport?

INTERPRETER: In his hometown, soccer, the teams there were not that good. He had better access, it was easier for him to get to a tennis court, so he started playing.

(Question in Spanish)

INTERPRETER: He was asked if his parents play tennis. He said, not really, that his father actually played, only on Sundays when he doesn't work.

Q. What major tournaments has he played before Lipton?

INTERPRETER: Last year he received a wildcard in Barcelona, and he lost against Moya in the first round. After that, he played a qually in Oporto and made it to the draw, also lost again to Moya in the first round.

Q. What's the highest ranked player he's faced before today and also the highest ranked one he's beaten before today?

INTERPRETER: Joe has the information, but he says he really doesn't know if he has played Top 20 players.

JOE LYNCH: About 55 in Barcelona last year.

Q. This is his first ever tournament on a hardcourt, is it?


JOE LYNCH: Anything else? Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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