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January 17, 2008

Sam Querrey


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does that stack up? Is that the best one of your career?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, definitely one of them. I think that and James over the summer, and maybe Youzhny. But this one is Australian Open one of the four biggest tournaments in the world, so it might be the biggest.

Q. Can you talk about the difference today as opposed to the other two times you played him?
SAM QUERREY: Well, the first time I played him was in LA two years ago. It was kind of one of my first big tournaments, and I lost relatively close, 4 and 5. I don't remember much about that one. The other one was in Indianapolis, and I played Blake in the morning. It was 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 and I had another relatively close match, 6 and 3. And today again every set was tight.
But I just hung out there and fought hard and came out victorious.

Q. Did you feel like you got under his skin? Seemed pretty irritated.
SAM QUERREY: A little bit, yeah. I think he was getting frustrated with some people standing up or something. I don't know. It didn't bother me. But, yeah, I think I was kind of just, on his service games, some of the big points, I was just staying 10 feet behind the baseline, I wasn't going to miss a ball. And I think that started to get to him.

Q. You have a pretty big challenge come up.
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, playing Novak Djokovic. I saw he won relatively easily today.

Q. Break that down. I know you haven't had too much time to think about it yet.
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I never played him before. Watched him play many times. He's 3 in the world right now. Had an unbelievable season last year. And I'll have to play very well if I want to beat him, to serve big and just rip every ball as hard as I can.

Q. Has he done a imitation of you yet?
SAM QUERREY: I haven't seen one. I don't think you really imitate guys if they're not in the top 10. I haven't seen that yet.

Q. How do you get from sort of struggling at the challenger level to like this is a major? How do you explain that?
SAM QUERREY: Struggling in challengers, like late last year?

Q. Yeah.
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I played the one in Sacramento. I don't know. Sometimes it's hard because I've -- I play the challengers, did well, and then played the ATP tournaments for six months. And then you go play a challenger, it's kind of hard to get almost get fired up again for the challenger, which is not good, but that's just sometimes how it is.
And, you know, you've got to be -- or I have to be -- treat every tournament and every player the same. Hopefully I'm getting better at that.

Q. You had a real specific game plan for your offseason, if I remember right. Can you talk about that?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, in the offseason I had a trainer and worked out six weeks in a row, off the court and on the court, too, at the same time. I chose not to go to Davis Cup. I stayed home. It was the hardest six weeks I've ever trained, and I think it's paying off.

Q. What sort of things were particularly difficult? What did he have you doing?
SAM QUERREY: We were doing everything. We were in the gym a couple hours a day. Some days we'd go down to the beach and do beach workouts in the sand. Sometimes we'd do weights. I'd bench between 350 and 400 usually like 10 reps. No one got that, but... (smiling).
We'd really do everything. We'd do footwork drills on the court. You guys weren't impressed with that.

Q. In all seriousness, did you add muscle?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I definitely did.

Q. Feel stronger?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I could tell a difference.

Q. Which beach was this?
SAM QUERREY: We usually go to, like, Malibu. Closest one to my house.

Q. Do you feel mentally you're ready to beat a guy like Djokovic?
SAM QUERREY: I hope so. I've just got to go out there and believe I can win, try to do the right things I've been working on. You know, we'll see what happens.

Q. What is it about this tournament that you seem to like so much?
SAM QUERREY: I can't figure that out yet. You know, because last year I made third round. This year I'm in the third round. I don't know. Just one of those tournaments I play well.

Q. It's a long way to go. Does it feel good to you and feel comfortable?
SAM QUERREY: My coach is from Australia. He lived in Melbourne. So he's here with his wife and his parents and their friends. It's kind of nice, they can show me around. It's just a nice city.
I'm not a big sightseer. And sometimes when you go to Europe, you have to see the Eiffel Tower and places like that. You don't have to see anything here, and I like that.

Q. Does it feel Californian to you?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I think that might be it, too. The weather, I like the hot weather. I like the dry heat, although sometimes it can be humid here. I feel comfortable playing here.

Q. Who you hanging with playerwise when you're in the tournaments? Who do you spend some time with?
SAM QUERREY: Mostly the American guys, Andy, James, some of the younger guys, Alex Kunetzov, Scott Oudsema, Amer Delic, Robert Kendrick. You know, everyone.

Q. You guys going out to dinner together in the evening?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, went out last night. Just kind of some nights we will, some nights we kind of do our own thing. Just kind of depends.

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