March 23, 2003
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You look like you were just getting to everything, you had an answer today for everything he threw at you. Can you talk about that?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, I don't really know what to say about today's match. I couldn't have played a better match. James kind of got off to a slow start, which kind of helped me out. But we've played a lot together, and I know his game well and he knows mine. Luckily, today was my day.
Q. Didn't look so lucky, Robby.
ROBBY GINEPRI: (Laughing).
Q. He was coming back and everybody was saying, "Okay, here comes James."
ROBBY GINEPRI: Uh-hmm. I was happy to squeak through the first set even though I was up 5-0. But playing James, you can never count him out because he fights for every last shot. He's a great competitor no matter what the score is.
Q. Sort of a discouraging start to the year there. You were in New Zealand, had a matchpoint on Novak. Didn't make it. You've suddenly come on very nicely.
ROBBY GINEPRI: I really don't have an answer for that, but playing Novak and losing the matchpoint and being up, I've had a lot of matchpoints against kind of about 30, Top 30 players. I haven't been able to quite close the deal out. But finally it's coming around, and I've had a lot of confidence coming off Indian Wells last week. It's been helping me through this tournament, and hopefully the rest of the year.
Q. Are you able to play freer when you're able to play someone that's within the Top 30? Do you have a feeling you have nothing to lose?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I try not to look at it like that, but I know I don't really have anything to lose, I just go out there and concentrate every point and hopefully good things will come my way.
Q. Is it more satisfying to play somebody you really like?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Not really, because I look across the net and, you know, I'm trying to beat James, but I also see him as one of my close friends, so it's kind of hard. But, you know, we're only going to be out there a couple hours, so I think we can put the friendship behind. You know, after the match, we'll be like we were. But not too close, though. After the match, I don't think he wanted to talk to me, but, you know...
Q. What about before the match, in the locker room and stuff like that?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, we were friendly. We would talk to each other. Not too much, but we weren't going out of our way to not say "hi" or...
Q. You practice together, do you?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, we actually practiced at the beginning of the week not knowing that we were going to play each other.
Q. Have you ever won sets off of him very easily like that before?
ROBBY GINEPRI: One time we practiced together and I was up 5-0. I lost the set 7-5, so that was kind of in the back of my mind when I was up 5-0 today. He could have easily broke me at 5-3 because he was up 40-love and it could have been a whole different story.
Q. Michael Chang was saying yesterday that in the beginning when he and Pete and Andre were all starting that they were very, very friendly. As they all started competing against each other for tournaments, it got more difficult. Are you worried about that?
ROBBY GINEPRI: It's really not in my control, I don't think. Because I'm always going to be their friends. I think they'll be the same. I don't really see us going different ways because, I mean, we've grown up together, we've practiced and hung out. I just -- I wouldn't see that happening, but if it does, then I'd be upset about it.
Q. In general, at a tournament like this, would you prefer to play best-of-three or best-of-five?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Since I've never played a fourth set or fifth set because I've either won in three or lost in three, I guess two-out-of-three. But the finals is three-out-of-five.
Q. It's two out of three for TV this year.
ROBBY GINEPRI: Oh, it is? I did not know that. Okay.
Q. It's a different strategy, I guess. Strategy comes more into play when you have a shorter match. Two-out-of-three, you can't really afford to stumble too much?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Right. Once the first set's over, there's only either two more sets left, so you got to buckle down and hopefully get the second set. If not, the match is done if you lost the first.
Q. Did you see Patrick after the match?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I haven't seen him since he came. I think he came in last night.
Q. Does this match have "pick me for the Davis Cup next time" written all over it?
ROBBY GINEPRI: You have to talk about Pat about that. I'm just playing. If he chooses me, he chooses me.
Q. What are your feelings about Davis Cup?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I'd love to play for our country. It's always been a dream, as a little kid. Hopefully, I can. But I'm just, you know, out here trying to do the best I can and whatever happens, happens.
Q. What's your surface of choice?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I like hard courts, yeah.
Q. What's your goal for this year?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Well, my goal at the beginning of the year was to get Top 75 before the French, so I've done that. I really haven't set any other goals besides that.
Q. You have an unusual name. What's the origin?
ROBBY GINEPRI: It's Italian. My dad's from Luxemburg.
Q. Can you talk for a minute about your possible opponents next round?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, Clavet, he's an older guy. I don't know too much about him. He had a great one against Hewitt. I just caught the tail end of that match. Hyung-Taik, we actually played last week in Indian Wells. He was up double break in the third set and I squeaked out of that match. So either of those guys is going to be a tough match for me. They both make a lot of balls.
Q. How are you feeling right now?
ROBBY GINEPRI: It really hasn't sunk in, I don't think. Probably later tonight I'll look back on today. I'm pretty happy. It was kind of hard to feel really good after the match because James is close to me and our lockers are side by side. So when I came in, he went over there, I didn't even go straight to my locker because I didn't really want to be around him because I know how he's feeling. It's just -- it's tough playing each other. But it's the game and you got to play it.
Q. What's your clay court game like? Are you looking forward to Paris?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I'm definitely looking forward to Paris. I've kind of been training for it over the last couple months and getting ready for three-out-of-five, so...
Q. What do you think would be the key to playing well there, doing well there?
ROBBY GINEPRI: You just got to be in the best shape of your life and be willing to stay out there for four, five hours and just making every ball.
Q. Was there any one thing today that clicked to make your game so good?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I served really well at times. Big points, I needed a good serve, I came up with it today. I returned really well. James didn't serve as well as he could, which helped me out a little. I put pressure on him at the right time and just everything was rolling my way today.
Q. Going out on the Stadium Court, which is more expansive than the other courts, is there a perspective feel that you have to get used to out there because there's so much room behind the baseline and on the sidelines?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, at first when I started playing, every time I walked on the big Stadium Court I was like, "Whoa, this is big." Deep down inside, it's the same court as the one in somebody's backyard or the courts I grew up playing on. So I know it's the same amount of space and everything's the same. That it's the same height. So I just got to remember that and play.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.