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November 15, 2006

Fabrice Santoro

Nenad Zimonjic


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English or Chinese, please.

Q. (Through translation.) This afternoon's game, this hard-fought match, can you give us your comments on this.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I have to say that we played six times against Polish this year. Every time it was quite difficult match. We lost the first one that we played in Australia, but the rest we won.
Today we had chances to win in straight sets. I played couple of loose points at the game 5-4 - actually, two really bad mistakes - and that gave them a chance to get back into the match.
Now we have to obviously see what's gonna happen, you know, in the next match. The best-case scenario for us would be that Knowles-Nestor, they win, and then the winner of the match against Bjorkman and Mirnyi will decide the spot in the semis.
Anyway, even that is gonna be difficult because we are 2-4 against them this year, so we can only wait. No matter what happens, we're gonna try to win the last match in the group. Maybe it's gonna be the last match of this season, but I hope not.

Q. What happened in the third set? It was hard-fought, and then it just basically opened up for you. Any thoughts on that?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I have to say that we used the chances that we had in the bad game that I played in the second. It was second game of the match. I have to say I was really disappointed that didn't close the match, you know, so it was little bit frustrating to, you know, still be on the court.
But, anyway, I was hoping to win and to finish the match, you know, in our favor. I thought they were playing very good the longer the match was going. They have a big game, so they're always dangerous.

Q. If you were in bad condition, what would you tell your partner?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: You just try to support your partner whatever works the best, you know, for him.

Q. If you want, can I get your answer?

Q. Okay.
FABRICE SANTORO: Oh, it doesn't matter who's playing well, who's playing a little bit, I mean, not very well this day. We have to be a team and just try to be positive even when we are in trouble.
When I'm playing bad, he's here to support me, and if he's in a bad day, I'm here to support him. We have to try to be positive and take the chance when they are there.

Q. (Through translation.) Any comments on the doubles reforms so far? What do you make of it?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I have to say it's always very difficult competition here for me. This is the second time that I played in the Masters Cup. Last year I think the quality of the matches was really high, and you are playing against the top eight teams. So I think there are no easy matches.
Obviously, it's very nice if you win your first one and then you keep going, but this year for me was a little bit different experience, you know. We lost the first one and now it's 1-All. Hopefully, we have a chance.
But I have to say that the quality is quite good. Maybe we're not at our best at the moment, that's for sure, but hopefully we're going to improve in the next match.
FABRICE SANTORO: The question was what do you think of the doubles reforms.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Oh, the reforms (smiling).

Q. But it was a good answer.
FABRICE SANTORO: The answer was just perfect. We can change the question.
(Question and answer translated.)
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Okay. At the end of last year we really had no idea what's gonna happen, which format we're gonna use. We tried with this one that we've been using this year. It's two sets, no ad, and super-tiebreaker. It was very difficult for us to get used to this in the beginning. Definitely we had couple of bad results in the super-tiebreaker. But at the end of the year, we improved that. So I have to say there is no really effect on the game that much.
The benefits that we get is maybe to be scheduled more on the center courts, hopefully more on the TV in the future, which I think it's very important, then also a lot of singles guys are playing, you know. I think all the percentages are a little bit higher, so those are good things.
I think no matter which format we use, always the best players will be on the top.

Q. (Through translation.) In order to have this kind of coordination and also teamwork that could possibly work on court, do you guys do things off court together? For example, do you go out to activities? Particularly, for example, if you guys go out to have dinner together, who is gonna pick up the tab?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: (Pointing to Fabrice.) He's making more money, so... (smiling).
FABRICE SANTORO: Well, I mean, it's very important to have fun with your partner on the court and out of the court. So far our relation is great in both ways. We go for dinner sometimes. We are supposed to go to the circus tomorrow night maybe.
FABRICE SANTORO: We're supposed to do it. Yesterday morning we were supposed to go shopping, but I was sick so I stayed in my room.
Sure, we can have fun out of the court and not only during the match. Any time, you know, when you are going through tough moments in the court, it's important to be close to your partner and to know how he's gonna react and how you can help him.
THE INTERPRETER: Who is picking up the tab?
FABRICE SANTORO: Two days ago it was me, but tonight it will be him (smiling).

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