January 13, 2004
THE MODERATOR: First question for Chris, please.
Q. How important is this victory for you?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: It's very important. I mean, to get a win over the No. 2 or 3 player in the world just gives me a lot of confidence. I'm feeling good going into tomorrow's match.
Q. It looked like the first game, the first point, you were nervous. But then how did you manage to play like that?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, first few points I was nervous. Fortunately, I served really well which got me a few free points. Then confidence just kept growing and growing. One thing lead to another, and I got the one.
Q. Did you expect a match like this?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I don't know. I didn't expect to serve that well, definitely. I'm not sure what percentage I served, but there were so many free points. Couldn't really pick that at all.
Q. 61 percent.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: 61? Yeah, I'm pretty happy with that (smiling).
Q. 19 aces.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: 19? Happy with that, too (smiling).
Q. Can you tell us about your background, how you got into the game.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I first started when my parents, they played a bit of social tennis. I just went down with them, smashing a few balls around, hitting them everywhere. I just loved it ever since then.
Q. Did you set yourself at a certain age to get to this level?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: No, I didn't really set any goals. I mean, I started playing 12s, 14s, just kept going and going. I started to get a few good results, the first one probably being at Wimbledon last year where I made the final, then the first ATP match that I won. Just keeps going.
Q. Does the big serve come natural, or is it something you had to work hard on?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: My big serve probably came when I was about 15 or 16. I started to really kick on in that department. It's really helped me a lot.
Q. Juan Carlos said that with your game, you're the type of player that when they're really on, they can beat anyone. So how often do you think you can play like that?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Hopefully, all the time. I mean, that's probably the best match I've ever played. I mean, I'm looking forward to tomorrow's match. I've played two more ATP matches where I played sort of similar to that, so it's good to see that I can match with all these guys.
Q. I interviewed Moya soon after you finished your match. I asked him about you, and he said that you have the potential to go high. I hope you make it.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: That's great (smiling).
Q. Do you have any kind of nickname? Can you tell us what, you know -- you're talking about your parents, but do you have a brother who's also a tennis player?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, he used to play a bit of tennis. He stopped about a couple years ago. He was just playing the satellites. He actually came up this morning to watch me play. Mom and Dad were stuck at home watching on TV, getting text messages everywhere when it got cut off. I think it got cut off at like 4-3 in the second. Just messaging my brother all the time.
Q. What's your mom and dad's name and your brother?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Brother's name is Anthony, Mom is Diane, Dad is Santo.
Q. Which suburb are they from?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Greenvale.
Q. Do you still live there?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I live in Greenvale, just traveling to Melbourne Park every day.
Q. Was there any part of the match where you were overawed by the situation, considering you were on center court playing Juan Carlos Ferrero?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, probably the start (smiling). Then, no, I felt pretty relaxed out there because I was serving so well. I knew I had nothing to lose. Just going out there, having fun. That's what I did.
Q. What about when there were a couple matchpoints that slid by, did you start to have doubts then?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, got a little bit tight then. But just go ahead, got the next point, got up 7-6 and seal it with an ace.
Q. Can you say something about Richard Fromberg and how he's helped you.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, Richard Fromberg, he's the men's coach at the Australian Institute of Sport. He's one of the coaches I work with. He's been a huge help, just someone of his -- we're the same size I think, so he knows what it's like to be on the court when he's that big. Huge help.
Q. Speaking of size, can you confirm your height for us?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I think it's 198 and a half. I think it's somewhere around 6'6, I guess.
Q. How was your career as a junior?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I started to get good results in Australia in the 16s where I won the Junior Masters, top eight playoff at the end of the year. Then first year of 18s, just like quarterfinals, semifinals here and there. But probably last year and this year are my best years so far - especially this one.
Q. Have you got good sponsorship? If not, do you think this match will help?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: My racquet sponsors are Wilson. They've been a huge help to me. I just get racquets, great racquets. Clipstringer supply me with string. Nike's been helping me out a bit. They're all great.
Q. Are you expecting bigger things now after such an important win?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Not sure. We'll have to see.
Q. You mentioned two great victories in your previous two ATP matches. Have you learned a bit from that experience where you've obviously gone down in those next matches?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, I think so. I mean, in those matches where I lost, I didn't really play badly; just a couple chances here and there which I didn't take. That's probably one thing I got to work on in tomorrow's match. When I get the opportunity, like a breakpoint or like a short ball at 30-all, just got to take them and run with it.
Q. You've beat the No. 3 player in the world. All the players are going to be looking at you now, trying to figure out where you're going. Are you ready for that sort of scrutiny?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, I think I am. Bring it on. Doesn't worry me.
Q. Do you have another coach, your own coach apart from Richard?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Just the Australian Institute of Sport, head coaches, John McCurdy (ph). Richard Fromberg is the traveling coach on this particular trip.
Q. You said that your game has really kicked on in the last eight months. Have you had a growth spurt in that time? Have you gotten stronger? Can you attribute it to anything in particular?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I've been with the AIS for the past three years, so they've been a huge help. They've been working on my fitness, consistency, pretty much everything. They're a great bunch of coaches there. Probably that's the main thing.
Q. Have you grown much in the last year or so?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Not really. Little bit. I'm not sure, actually.
Q. What size feet do you have?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: US 15. They're a bit tough to get.
Q. Is that the same size as Richard?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, we're exactly the same, yeah. He loves it.
Q. Are you still studying or anything now?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, I do school via correspondence. I just do it home. When I'm traveling, I send it in through e-mails and stuff.
Q. What's the next stop for you after here?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Australian Open. I've got a wildcard into the main draw there, so I'm looking forward to that.
Q. Into the main draw?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yep.
Q. The baseball cap, is it meant to look like that?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: No, I think it's meant to look like that, yeah. I don't mind it.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, yeah.
Q. Have you had a chance to talk to the folks?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, I spoke to my mom. She was wrapped. She was watching on TV. As I said, it got cut off at 4-3. My brother was in the crowd and they were texting all the time. She was really happy for me.
Q. How does it feel for you to finally be fussed over by the media and tennis fans?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: It's a great feeling. I mean, just beat the No. 2 player in the world. What is he, 2 or 3?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I beat the No. 3 player in the world. I'm so happy with that, it's unbelievable.
Q. What's your ambition ranking-wise over the next 12 months. What are you, 447 or something?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, depends how I go the next couple tournaments. I mean, if I get a couple good wins here, it will make my ranking like 250, 300. We'll have to see after the next couple weeks. I'm probably aiming towards Top 100.
Q. By the end of the year?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, yeah.
Q. Juan Carlos said on a day like today, when your serve is on, obviously you're almost unbeatable. He wasn't sure whether your game could make a major impact to be a consistent player. Do you think you have that all-around game?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: That's something I'm working on all the time. That's probably the one thing I do need to work on, my consistency. Today I was pretty good from the back. I won a couple big points, one at, I think, 4-all in the second set where it was a pretty long rally. I finished with a winner. I was pretty happy with that point.
Q. Your on-court demeanor is very relaxed. Is that your natural personality?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, that's just the way I am in life. Some people say it's a bad thing, but today I think it was a good thing, stay relaxed.
Q. Do you have a nickname at all?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Probably "Gooch," but Melbourne papers have nicknamed me "Mini Scud."
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.