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August 24, 2006

Xavier Malisse


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The game that closed out the second set, that was a difficult one. Was that the key game in the match?
XAVIER MALISSE: I think so. I mean, if I lose that game, it's 5-All. Mentally, you know he's got the edge over me.
It's never over till you hit that ball. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn't. It's probably the key. I think it could have been over -- I mean, not over quicker, but I was Love-40 up in the first game of the third set. If I could take that game, then I think I really got it going. Just like the game he should have had at 5-4, I should have had the first game.
You got to stick with it, just try to grind it out.

Q. What do you think the difference was for you in the final two sets after you lost the first?
XAVIER MALISSE: I think I made less mistakes. In the first set, I tried to hit it too hard, tried to overpower him. He stands back there. He's got good defense. I think I played a little smarter, took a little pace off, more angles. I think I served better for sure in the third set. I found in the third set he was a little tired. I felt like if I could make him run, I could see it a little bit. I was tired, too, but I did feel like I could run during the points and make him fight for his points.

Q. Is the ability today to adjust on the fly, change your strategy, is that something maybe you would not have been able to do four or five years ago?
XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, probably. I feel like the last two or three years have been good. I've been more consistent, not giving away matches. Like you say, if it doesn't work out, then you try a different plan during the match. That comes with experience. If you play a lot of matches, you know sometimes you have to change to beat your opponent.
I feel like the last two or three years I've really been -- it's just been my game with the experience mixed. It helps. Definitely feels a lot different than when I was 20 than when I'm 26 now.

Q. The last set you won the last four games. Did you get a sense at that point you were definitely in control?
XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, once I got that break. I didn't play good on breakpoints in the third set. I held back a little bit kind of waiting for a mistake instead of going after it. He missed the overhead on breakpoint at 2-All. I felt like the most important game of the whole match at that stage was to hold it at 3-2. I came out with a good service game. After that, I felt pretty comfortable. On top of that, he was tired.
From 4-2 on, I felt good. I felt also like I had to put the hammer down at 4-2 and try to take advantage of him being a little tired. I missed two overheads maybe in the match on key points.

Q. You're 1-0 against Calleri.
XAVIER MALISSE: I think we played four years back at the US Open.

Q. Your thoughts about him.
XAVIER MALISSE: He's been playing well. He was injured for a while, I think two or three months. Since he's gotten back, I think he won the tournament, played finals somewhere. Obviously he's playing well. He's feeling it.
The match we had, it was very close. I think it was 6-2 or 6-3 in the fifth at the Open. I think we have the same game a little bit, controlling the backhand. If our serve comes through, it's pretty tough.
I'm just going to try to keep playing my game like I've been playing it the last three matches, just see how it works out.

End of FastScripts...

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