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March 22, 2007

Vincent Spadea


Q. Robby said he wore an outfit like that at a sixth grade dance.
VINCENT SPADEA: That's funny because I had him in mind when I was designing it. I wanted to impress and dress (laughter).

Q. Did you expect it to go that easily?
VINCENT SPADEA: Not necessarily, no. You never expect a match to go like that. But you work towards it and you hope for an easier day in the office, so that's what I got.
I earned most of it. I didn't make too many errors and I had a pretty good performance, more so good than his bad. But I think I imposed myself in different ways, from serve coming in to even the groundstroke points.

Q. Would you say that's the worst Ginepri has played against you?
VINCENT SPADEA: He looked frustrated. I think I kind of surprised him early a few times with a few surprise attacks and a few big serves. He usually returns a lot of balls. That's one of his best shots.
I beat him here one time in convincing straight sets, not quite as convincing as that, but I think I had something to do with it.
Yeah, he definitely didn't play with confidence today. You know, he's still in the Top 50. You can't take anything away from him or me, really, after that match.
But a bad day in the office for him and a good one for me.

Q. Your defense out there, that seemed to frustrate him, also, just getting one more ball back.
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, I think I played defense at the right times and made him hit those tricky drop volleys that were low and overheads that were swirling in the wind. I think it had something to do with it, you know, bad conditions today.
Definitely it's a mental obstacle. So I handled that better and I played defense through that type of circumstance, and he kind of -- he didn't follow through on some of those last couple put-aways.

Q. Do you like playing in bad conditions, because you seem to do pretty well in them?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, I grew up in south Florida, so I think I've seen my share of windy days. I was born in Chicago, so that was a mental enhancement.
Then obviously I like to play in these kind of conditions. It's always raining off and on. I just work with it, you know. It's just perseverance. These are just things, trying to get in the way.

Q. You're one of the oldest players out here. How does that feel?
VINCENT SPADEA: It feels pretty good. I mean, I feel like I'm still strong and still pretty fit, and I think I'm doing some things better than I used to. Maybe I'm not as naïve or as obviously inexperienced in these kinds of settings on the court.
The new names pop up and you always have to be ready for a new guy. But fortunately I've played Robby before. I feel great. You know, there's a few injuries always, but --

Q. Do you feel older like just when you see these younger guys that are much younger than you, like 12 years younger or something, probably don't have much in common with them?
VINCENT SPADEA: It's really just a fight against myself. It's like I have to be able to want to practice hard, get in the locker room, do my stretching, fight to do every little detail, and I know if I've accomplished that I'm ready to play and win.
Regardless of the names on the other side of the net, I think I'm competitive until there's a level one day when it just won't happen, like it did a lot of players.
But I think it's just to challenge myself, just go out there, prepare the right way, practice that extra amount and not worry so much about the competitors, because they're all just -- you know, they're all just new, hungry and innovative players for the moment.
But I've seen the moment come and go. So it gives me almost a better feeling when I can accomplish to struggle and strive for that extra detail in my tennis life.

Q. What about Nalbandian?
VINCENT SPADEA: I don't think I've ever beaten him. Maybe once.

Q. How many times have you played him?
VINCENT SPADEA: Two, three times.

Q. Baseline?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, that's a tough match obviously. But this is one of the toughest tournaments tour. I think maybe -- I mean, Grand Slams are obviously difficult, but where do you play Top 30, 40 players every match?
You know, I just played a guy who's about 45 and he was much higher just recently, and here's a guy who's been in the Top 5 or 8 the last seven years.
In order to make the semifinals or quarterfinals I had to beat Safin and Krajicek and Srichaphan when he was in the top. You've always got to beat top players. Nalbandian is a tough player. He's obviously done a lot of tennis. Recently I haven't seen him win any big tournaments. I think he had a very slow start, for him obviously. I've got to be ready for a very tough match obviously.

Q. Do you feel like you still have your best match in you even at your age? Do you feel like your best is still in you when you play?
VINCENT SPADEA: I mean, yeah, you always hope for that. That's why you're out here. You're always reaching for that extra note, that high note that you can maybe -- you've never gotten.
There's always been several great milestones here, but why not just post another one and it might actually exceed everything else.
Every day is a new day to accomplish something, and until I can't run anymore or don't want to -- I'm Italian-American. Look at Sanguinetti, 36 or 35.

Q. Talk about your outfit.
VINCENT SPADEA: My outfit is just a statement of my individuality. It's just an expression that I enjoy fashionable wear. You'd be surprised, people who wear Dungarees and old-school-like uniforms, I look at it as sort of an object of ridicule, as well. You know what I mean?

Q. What's on the hat?
VINCENT SPADEA: I don't know, this is actually not my own design. This is like a very accomplished designer in his own right.

Q. Are those letters?
VINCENT SPADEA: It just proves sometimes the lack of knowledge sometimes. Like I'll say, This is my hat. People will say, I don't like it. Well, someone actually did something in the world of fashion.
Same thing with my raps. When I rap, I tell them it's one of the big stars, and they go, That was hot. But then I'll do one of the hot stars' raps, I'll just copy it and say that was mine, and they'll say, That wasn't tight. What's up with that?
It's all how you accept it. I win this tournament, you're looking at me like I'm a superstar. So I've got to go out and do it.

Q. Where do you get that hat, though?
VINCENT SPADEA: I bought it in Los Angeles, Melrose, Holler.

Q. You still live in LA and Boca?
VINCENT SPADEA: I live in Boca Raton, Florida. LA is just a place to pick up a Zagat and a map, enjoy the stars for a few minutes.

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