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January 10, 2008

Chris Guccione


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just gets better and better, doesn't it?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah. Always good to win, but to date, Lleyton Hewitt followed by Tomas Berdych is not going to happen too often.
For me at the moment it's a great start to the year, and hopefully I can keep it going and win a couple more matches here.

Q. Were you struggling for your rhythm early, or was it more that he was returning to so well that you felt like you were pushing for a bit more on your serve?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: No. I mean, I thought I served pretty well in the first set. Think I missed a couple of volleys in the game that I lost serve and one easy one on breakpoint, which you can't do against these guys or you will get hurt.
When I faced breakpoints throughout the second and third sets I played good points and held in the end, so that's what you have to do.

Q. So what's your recollection of the volley you played on match point?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, it was a pretty nice one to get. Yeah, just got a little caught out and the ball got behind me. I do play those shots a fair bit in practice.
Don't always hit them that well, but I know that I can make that shot. Seemed like the best option for me in the position I was in.

Q. How does this series of wins compare to Adelaide last year? Is this your best two back-to-back wins, do you feel, in your career?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I mean, Adelaide, to do it for the first time, I think I won five matches and that's always huge to do for the first time. But I think I'm playing a lot better this year.
As I said, to beat Alberto Martin who's been around for a long time and very experienced, and then Lleyton followed by Tomas Berdych, that is definitely up there.

Q. Did that touch volley that you made, did that really give you a big boost to get through that second set and take control of the third set?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, I don't know if it gave me a boost. I thought we were both playing pretty well and it was a high-quality match up until then.

Q. That make a bit of a difference?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, of course. It was match point. If I missed it I was out. It was a nice one to get. It's not going to happen all the time like that. After that it was just a couple points in in the tiebreak.

Q. Did the crowd help? I know just you and only you out on the court, but does the crowd help?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, they're great. For sure. For sure. After I won the second set there was a massive roar. You're ready to go and the adrenaline is going a little bit more.
I didn't get off to a great start in the second set on his service games, but I kept my game plan to what I was doing and came off in one of his service games.

Q. What do you know about Stepanek?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I haven't played him before. I've seen him play a little bit. He's a tricky player and obviously playing very well at the moment. He's got very good hands and good volleys and he's going to be tough to play.

Q. A match like this with Berdych, does this help your nerves in tough games?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, for sure. For sure. To get in situations with top players and come through, I think it's definitely a huge confidence boost. I do get nervous, but I try to stay relaxed and keep it inside and just stick to the game plan. At the moment the game plan is working quite well.

Q. Is there a reason why things are working so well?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, look, I'm not too sure. I had a really good off-season. Had about three or four weeks in Melbourne. Had a bit of tennis, but mostly physical work.
I think my movement out there today was some of the best that I've ever shown. For me that's a big part of the game, getting to the ball and getting in position. Once I'm in position to hit the ball I can match with anyone out there.

Q. What sort of training were you doing during that period?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Just a lot of physical work and on-court movement just to build up strength and speed on the court.

Q. It's obviously something you felt that you needed to do?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah. We been working on it for the last couple years but didn't have time to solidly work on that.

Q. So probably bemused that Newc's comments maybe came at the wrong time.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: He can make comments whenever he wants. He didn't know what I was doing, so from his point of view he probably saw me play one or two matches earlier in the year when I was struggling a bit. I just take it on the chin and just keep going with what I'm doing.

Q. You're bound to run into Newc at the Australian Open. Have you thought about that?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: No. Haven't thought about it.

Q. How much will this help you, having had such a good week here already, going into the Australian Open next week?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Well, it's not over yet, so hopefully I can win two more matches and get a title. Going into the Australian Open it's obviously a huge help to beat these types of players. In five sets it might be a little bit tougher, but to know that you can do it and back it up each day it's a good feeling.

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