March 14, 2003
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
MODERATOR: Questions for Robby.
Q. It went much better than the last time you played him.
ROBBY GINEPRI: It did. I wasn't expecting to lose 0-0 again. But the first time I wasn't either. It wasn't too hard to do much better than last time. I wasn't nervous and I felt comfortable out there today.
Q. On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you feel about your performance?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I thought I played about 7 and a half, 8 today. I played better yesterday. But it's kind of a different match-up, Lleyton and Marat. Lleyton just puts a lot of balls in play. I wasn't hitting my forehand as well as I'd like to today to win. But I was happy with this tournament, this week, and today as well.
Q. I've been told you have been practicing with Pete Sampras recently. Does it have something to do with your good results?
ROBBY GINEPRI: No, I haven't hit with Pete. Not since the US Open.
Q. So how do you explain these good results, the fact that you're improving a lot?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, I'm definitely improving on my game every day, trying to get stronger and fitter so I can stay out there longer, and I don't have to use bad judgment on conditioning. If I miss a ball, I can stay in the point longer if I need to. That's been helping me out a lot lately.
Q. Is a lot of it time in the gym, more doing sprints?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yeah, I'm probably only on the tennis court a couple hours a day, and then the rest I lift weights, and I've been doing a lot of biking lately. I mean, just a lot of cardio helps out, running for long distance.
Q. Are you looking forward to playing on clay this spring?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I am. I won my first challenger on clay. I'm ready to start off, my first tournament will be Houston maybe. Yeah, I think that could be the first one on clay. I'm ready to go over to France, play on the red clay over there.
Q. Do you like it?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I like it. I qualified last year. I really like the atmosphere over there. The food's great. I wasn't complaining too much last year.
Q. Can you talk about Brian Vahaly, what kind of guy he is, his run?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Brian, I think he's four years older than me. We took from the same coach in the academy. I've known him pretty much since I've been eight, nine years old. He had a great week this week, and also in Memphis a couple weeks ago. He's really turning his game around. I know he's been working hard. Off the court, he's just a fantastic guy. He's always smiling, always happy, polite. He's just a good guy to be around. Positive energy.
Q. What was he like as a junior?
ROBBY GINEPRI: He always played in I think two age groups up, so I was never really with him at tournaments. Then at practice, we really didn't hit too much because he would have killed me back then.
Q. Both were in the USTA training program. Can you talk about how that's been?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Everybody has been moving up lately. That's really good for USTA. Steve DeVries has been helping me for the last couple years. I know he's helped Brian a little, along with Scott McCain has helped out Brian. All the guys are working hard and we're pushing hard to do well. It's good to see everybody is going to the top.
Q. You're going to Miami next week?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Yes.
Q. Do you have a set practice partner? Do you arrange that when you get to the tournament?
ROBBY GINEPRI: We usually arrange it the night before. I mean, I can hit with Steve. If I wouldn't hit with Steve, he'd have somebody set practice up. He'd ask me who I want to hit with, what type of player, I'll tell him, and he'll go out and look for that.
Q. You wouldn't necessarily hit with the other American guys?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Usually we do. Brian and I, we practice. It all depends who's around, what time they play. Whoever Steve sets it up. He sets it up and I show up.
Q. Usually it's those guys unless you're playing like Fabrice Santoro and you want a different type of practice?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Right. It usually doesn't matter, but usually we try to stick with the Americans. I mean, I could hit with anybody.
Q. It sounds like you've had some success on clay. Certainly the last 15 years some Americans have won at the French. Generally there's a sense of where is the next great American on clay going to come from. Do you think there's enough training that goes on on that surface?
ROBBY GINEPRI: I don't think that we're on the clay quite as much as we should be. I think it can change. I think an American will win the French in the next four years hopefully, three or four years. I mean, the clay-courters, they're really playing well when they're at the French on the clay. But I think somebody can win.
Q. Do you think there's not enough attention paid for it when you're coming up in the Juniors in the States?
ROBBY GINEPRI: In the Juniors, I think there's only about five clay tournaments a year, even four. Not too many.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.