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June 13, 2007

Alex Bogdanovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Alex.

Q. When Jamie was a set and a break, what were you thinking? He was really pushing himself, as well, shouting.
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, he was. To be honest with you, I'm just happy to get through the match. I feel like he played a great match, and I think he was better throughout the whole match, to tell you the truth.
I didn't play well today. I didn't serve well. Wasn't aggressive. He was moving from side to side. You know, I was really struggling. Set and a break town, not a lot -- I just felt like if I hang in, if I get my chance, take it, see what happens.
You know, kind of felt like after I won the second set, that was kind of the turning point a little bit.

Q. You must be pleased. There's been quite a few instances where you haven't been able to claw your way back, but obviously you were able to.
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, obviously I didn't play well today. But, I mean, for me to get positives out of the match, I dealt with the occasion pretty well, just to turn the whole match around like that when he was the better player throughout the whole match. Six months ago, a year ago, I felt like I would have crumbled after the first set because nothing was going my way, I wasn't playing well. I just felt like I needed to stay in the match, you know, stick in and see what I can do.

Q. A much bigger occasion tomorrow, isn't it?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. I'm going to have to raise my game quite a lot tomorrow. Obviously, Andy Roddick, I'm looking forward to it. I think I really wanted to kind of -- I had a lot of pressure going into this match because I wanted to win, give myself a chance against Andy. I know Andy pretty well. We practiced a few times in Tampa, Saddlebrook. He's a great player, a great guy. I think I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. That kind of goes against what you were saying a couple days ago, about being in the present, seeing a point, seeing a match for what it is. You were looking ahead to another opportunity, were you?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, I mean, during the match. Obviously I think what helped me was I stayed calm throughout the whole match. Even though I wasn't playing well, a set and a break down, I feel like I didn't panic. It was just giving myself a little chance. He tightened up. I tried to play one point at a time there. I played a good tiebreak. I took a toilet break. I felt like things were starting to turn around a little bit for me there.
Obviously before the tournament, I look around, you see where you were in the draw, if you win a few rounds. When you're in the match, I'm talking at the present time, you try to focus on the next point coming.

Q. Six or 12 months ago you said you would have crumbled. What do you put this steady resolve down to? Have you worked on anything in particular in the last year or so?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: As I said yesterday, trying to play point by point. It's not easy. It's normal to have all these different thoughts coming in. Like said, I had thoughts after being a set and a break down, I had these thoughts thinking, "I'm going to have to do something different here or I'll be in the changing rooms in like five minutes." That comes in. It's just about trying to change that negative thought into a positive one and get onto that next point. What am I going to do in next point?

Q. Battling it out point by point?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: I think I did well to battle through today. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. How much of that is down to the influence of the guys you've been working with?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: A lot. I think Peter has helped me a lot mentally. I think it does help to have a team that actually believe in you, even though on bad days it doesn't matter. You try to keep working hard, play point by point. If they believe in you, if Peter believes in you, you believe in yourself, you feel more confident out there.

Q. How many hours a day are you doing these days, Alex?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: It all depends. If I'm preparing before a tournament, I have a week training, I'll probably do like three hours of tennis and maybe an hour and a half in the gym.

Q. That's considerably more than you used to do?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, a little bit more. Sometimes I would play straight three hours, sometimes I would split it up into one hour and a half. But it all depends how I feel. After the third day, I've been training a lot with Brad, he believes that quality is better than quantity. Some days I would just do one session of two hours, then gym in the afternoon, kind of keep it there, come back the next day, maybe increase it or decrease depending how my body feels.

Q. The situation at the moment, you can solve problems better under the new system where you have better support or someone like Brad to go and hit with. Do you feel you're much better at problem solving?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, a lot better. I feel like even if things don't go well, try to stay positive behind it, try to work things out. Okay, even if I lost today, I didn't play a great match, but it's not the end of the world. You go back on the practice court, try to get the things right, then try to look forward to the next one.
But it's all about trying to kind of stay in the game, trying to get through that match, tough ones like this. I remember Paul telling me when I was in California, you know, I want to see you win matches when you're playing badly. When you're playing well, we all know you can beat good players. It's when you're playing badly, if you can win those, those are the most important matches.

Q. When was the first one that actually happened, when you played poorly but still got through?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, I mean, when I won the challenger in the States, it was tough conditions. To be honest with you, I didn't play well until the semifinals. It was just about getting through the matches early on. Paul said, you know, after I won the match, I told him, I didn't play well, I couldn't do this. He said, it doesn't matter, it just about getting through the matches because that's what's going to make you a better player.
The level like today, it wasn't great tennis, but I managed to get through it. On good days when you're playing well, you can beat good players.

Q. Is a Brit playing a Brit in a big tournament in Britain still almost tougher than anything?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: I think it is.

Q. If you're the favored Brit.
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Definitely I think it is. It's always going to be like that. I felt pressure. He might have felt pressure when he was a set and a break up because he wanted to win, I wanted to win. But that's what makes tennis pretty fun. I'm sure I'm going to bump into him a lot more times, going to play a lot more together. He's a great guy, a great player coming upwards. It's good to see people like that kind of pushing forward.

Q. Playing Andy Roddick, does that inspire you?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Obviously I know Andy. He's a great player. I know tomorrow I'm going to have to play some great tennis if I want to stand a chance. I think it's possible. I just feel like I've got to serve well. He's got a big forehand, he's got a big serve. I've got to just try to play aggressive tennis.

Q. Your experience at Wimbledon a couple years ago when you were first up, can you draw on that, remember what that was like? In a sense, playing a big player on a grass court.
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Definitely. I mean, when I played Federer, that has helped me a lot. I felt like I was a better player last year when I played Nadal. This year I'm a better player. Hopefully tomorrow I'm going to come up and try to play my best tennis because I will need to. Andy's a great player.

Q. Peter was saying after the doubles last night, you really got a lot out of that. He could be accused of being biased, but he said you were the most accomplished player on the court. Can you tell us what Marat said to you?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: No, I think you get an extra bit of motivation playing with Marat. He's a really cool guy. Really relaxed, chilled out. I don't play much doubles so I was pretty nervous going into the match. I was asking him, What side do you play on, serves, do you cross? He said, Don't worry, just play.
I did play some good doubles yesterday, which is really good (smiling).

Q. If you play well tomorrow and maybe get a decent run on grass, be it next week, Wimbledon, how much of a message will this be to John Lloyd in terms of there's a big match on grass in September?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Definitely. I think John was out there watching today. I think I spotted him in the crowd (smiling).
Yeah, it's about him trying to believe in me, I guess. That's what it's about. I know I didn't play Davis Cup -- the last few matches, I didn't play very well. The occasion got to me and stuff. I feel like if he also helps me, believes in me, that's a step forward. I can also believe in the captain.
Every match I win, even if I play badly, is going to send him a message I do want to get into the Davis Cup team, be a part of that team.

Q. You are available for selection?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, definitely, without a doubt. Obviously it's going to come down if he believes in me, if I'm good enough. Obviously the doubts, I didn't play well the last few Davis Cup matches, but I'm definitely always going to be available if he needs me.

Q. Do you feel there's still some attitudes that maybe people have to you or about you that you still have to change?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Well, you know, it's all been the last few years when I was also a junior and stuff. They said I was talented, but it was this attitude type of thing. I think lately it had nothing to do with that.
I think Brad pulled a whole team behind me. Peter has been unbelievable. He helped me a lot, especially in the mind. I remember reaching a point where I got really down when I was with the LTA. Before Roger came in, not many people believed in me. That's really tough. If they don't believe in you, you kind of start doubting yourself. Everything keeps going downhill.
When Roger came in, you know, he was great to kind of change things around. I remember he phoned me up like the first day or second, when he got the job, he said, Look, I believe in you, I think you're a great player, we want to try to break that top hundred, we believe you can do it.

Q. Greg had a bit of input as well?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Greg has been fantastic. Every time I see him, we play, he tries to give me positives. Just positive around me when I'm down. It's really important to have these guys around, especially when you're not playing well, you had some bad Davis Cup matches, that can always kind of ruin you, kind of destroy you.

Q. Do you think you're mentally better prepared for this game than you have been in the past against the bigger players?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. I'm mentally a better tennis player. Also physically I'm stronger. Just the most important thing is I'm just getting better every day. That's what's most important.

Q. Without the change to Roger, do you think you could have ended up in another cul-de-sac?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: It was tough, yeah. Obviously it was tough because, first of all, you need money to play the sport, find sponsorship. I'm really thankful as well. Bank of Canada has helped me when I was kind of down. They supported me just to travel, to have a coach travel with me. Without their help, it would have been difficult. Roger came in, offered me help. It was fantastic.
I don't know, you know, because when you're not playing so well, things are not going well, it could be pretty tough. As you know, a lot of people have retired this year. I don't want to do that because I still love and enjoy the game.

Q. What happened in the end after Australia? You were saying everything is positive, things looking up. All of a sudden it just finished.
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Well, in December we went to Tampa. We trained for like three or four weeks. We headed over to Australia. Annabel, his girlfriend, had a baby. It was always going to be difficult for him to travel with us, with me week in, week out. Annabel, she was a young girl. To stay home with the baby was always going to be difficult. There were a few problems in Australia because she wasn't in Australia. She was like, I miss you, you need to come back home. I felt like it was tough for him. The distractions was a little bit there. I felt like I needed a change.
He has helped me a lot. Without him I wouldn't have made my best ranking when I was down. I felt like I needed to move on, have someone who has been kind of been there and can offer me a lot of help like Peter.
I phoned Paul up and asked him if I could -- if Peter could help me out.

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