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August 7, 2006

Philip Bester


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was this experience like for you, even though you were up against a more experienced player?
PHILIP BESTER: It was a great experience for me, very special. I'm left with a lot of motivation to get better every day. To be able to play on center court like that against the No. 6 player in the world really means a lot to me.

Q. What did you learn from playing Blake?
PHILIP BESTER: I learned I still have a lot to go to get better. I saw what it's like to play against a top player, which obviously I dream of being one one day. Like I said, it's just left me with a drive to get better, improve, and one day start beating these guys.

Q. How big a deal is it for you to be in a tournament of this prestige, with your family and friends back home in Vancouver watching?
PHILIP BESTER: You know, it's a big deal. But the way I like to look at it is that it's just another tennis match. It's a great opportunity to be playing at night on live TV, prime time, throughout North America, having my friends and family watch me.
But at the end of the day, I just feel that it's me on the court doing my thing, and everything else obviously is included.

Q. What sort of goals are you setting for yourself ranking-wise?
PHILIP BESTER: Actually, I don't really necessarily like to set such goals to an extent to where I really focus on them. In the back of my mind, I would like to be about top 200 at the end of this year, work my way up there, and then other than that I usually like to focus on process goals which are going to get me there possibly one day. I seem to handle those a lot better.

Q. How were the nerves before the match? Would you have preferred to return serve on the first game?
PHILIP BESTER: It was actually something that my coach and I talked about, whether to return first or serve first. I decided I usually serve first when I play because I feel it's an advantage to me. Especially let's say if I lost my serve, there's a big gap not serving first, it would be 3-Love rather than 2-1. Mentally just in general, that's a big edge there.
When it came to nerves, obviously I wouldn't be human if I didn't have any nerves (smiling). I seemed to handle them pretty good on the court when it came to playing and just doing my thing out there. You know, a few butterflies before the match. But other than that, I thought it was pretty good.

Q. Did you happen to hear what he said after the match in his postgame interview?
PHILIP BESTER: Yeah, actually I did hear that he did say something. He also said something to me at the net, best of luck in the rest of my career, I have a long way to go. It means a lot to me to hear that from such a great player. It's another addition to inspire me and motivate me to get better and believe I can make it one day.

Q. Have you ever played on that big a court, the depth perception just being in front of that many people, how did that feel?
PHILIP BESTER: Yeah, you know, my parents actually built one in their backyard (smiling).
It was great. I mean, I practiced Davis Cup last September when we played against Belarus, we played in the same stadium. I practiced a few times in Miami. Obviously when you put people in the stands, it's a completely new thing.
I hope in the future I'll have many more of those opportunities. Like I said, it's great. It doesn't get any better than this.

End of FastScripts...

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