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January 15, 2008

Alun Jones


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's been a while coming. Did you start to doubt that this might ever be?
ALUN JONES: Yeah, I'm just fortunate I was given another chance by Tennis Australia.
I knew it was coming. I was in pretty good form. Had a lot of matches leading into it. Yeah, pretty happy with the win.

Q. Pretty much as well as you've played. How would you rate the actual standard?
ALUN JONES: Yeah, I've been playing well lately, and, like I said, had a lot of matches. So I felt pretty confident coming into today.
I didn't know much about my opponent. I knew he was going to be there all day and not miss. He was definitely a tough guy to beat.

Q. Is that confidence coming from the fact you played so many matches or you changed some aspects of your game?
ALUN JONES: A lot of matches is the key, I think. Uhm, definitely I played a lot. I played seven matches in Adelaide and four matches in Sydney. I didn't have to do too much training in between, so I was ready.

Q. Did you play the challengers before Christmas?
ALUN JONES: Yeah. I played the three challengers.

Q. I think you told me your result.
ALUN JONES: I went two quarterfinals and then I won the last one.

Q. In?
ALUN JONES: In Burnie.

Q. And the shoulder?
ALUN JONES: Yeah, had a bit of problem with the shoulder during the Australian Open playoff. It was just a bit of tendinitis. Yeah, it's absolutely fine now. It's been good for a couple weeks now.

Q. Did you start the playoff at all?
ALUN JONES: Yeah, I felt it in the first match I played. I lost that match and I pulled out afterwards.

Q. Did you always think you'd get a wildcard?
ALUN JONES: No, I didn't. You know, I'm 27 years old and you don't expect anything really. You know, what helped me really was I was the first Australian out of the main draw. The last six months have been pretty good for me.

Q. What's the coaching arrangement at the moment?
ALUN JONES: I'm working with we call him Stinger, Shannon Nettle. He works with Peter Luczak as well.

Q. Through the AIS?

Q. Was there a point today where you felt you had it, or did you not think that until you got to matchpoint?
ALUN JONES: No, I didn't think that at all. I was two sets to love up last year, as well, and ended up losing in five. You know, I was struggling a little bit, as well, today, because he was a tough opponent. Long rallies. Really happy I got it in the fourth set.

Q. Know much about him?
ALUN JONES: Didn't know much. I expected -- I think he plays on the clay courts throughout the year a lot and I'm chasing hard courts, so we don't really cross paths too often.

Q. Did you sense de'ja vu at all when you were two sets up?
ALUN JONES: Yeah, I wasn't really thinking about it too much. I was just trying to concentrate on my match. You know, I was feeling it out there. It was a really tough match. I'm hurting a little bit now.
But, you know, I had a lot of support towards the end, and they really got behind me in the last set. That definitely helped me.

Q. That crowd support, what did it do for you?
ALUN JONES: Yeah, that last set, definitely. It's good. Great support the whole match. Definitely the last set they helped me out and really got behind me and got me home.

Q. Some of these guys have been coming to the Australian Opens with you since 2001. It's been a journey.
ALUN JONES: Yeah, they love it. They dress up. Big occasion for them. They enjoy it. I finally gave them a win, which is good.

Q. We asked Joe Sirianni in Adelaide if he was doing something different to have this sort of lease on life. He said he was drinking three glasses of red wine each night before he went to bed.
ALUN JONES: That's true. I've seen him do it.

Q. Have you introduced anything sort of a bit whacky into your routine?
ALUN JONES: Not really. Actually at Burnie he was playing the doubles final. He told me that, so I had one glass of red wine with him that night. I ended up winning Love-1, so...

Q. Some frustration with line calls early on. Suppose if you had Hawk-Eye you would have used it.

Q. Did that sort of play on you at all?
ALUN JONES: No, not at all. It happens. I think the crowd made it -- you know, they start making a bit of noise, as well. But that's just normal. It happens. I'm sure it went against him, as well.

Q. Very intimate, that crowd. Does the pressure build on you?
ALUN JONES: It does. It does. You know, you use a lot of nervous tension out there 'cause, you know, you got a lot of guys behind you. I definitely feel it, the little bit of pressure, extra pressure. But now I finally got that win at home, and it's a great feeling.

Q. So is the feeling what you imagined it would be, all these years of buildup?
ALUN JONES: It was a big relief, I think, when I finally won the match. I don't know, just felt like a weight off my shoulders, big relief. You know, I've sort of calmed down a little bit now. Pretty relaxed again. Now I'll just be focusing on the next match.

Q. Will you watch a bit of Kiefer and Ferrero?
ALUN JONES: I've actually played Ferrero here before. That was my first Aussie Open. Played him I think back in 2001. Kiefer, I've seen him on TV. Both tough opponents. I'm not sure when they're on. I'm sure my coach will have a look.

Q. Good feeling around Australian tennis. Chris made the final in Sydney, yourself, Sirianni. Do you feel something special?
ALUN JONES: Pretty good start yesterday with the girls. Three of them won. One of the young girls, as well. It was kind of a good start.
Glad I was able to get a good start for the guys today. I think Sirianni is probably in the fifth set at the moment. Hopefully he gets out of line there. Smeets, I heard, lost. So hopefully we can build on that and everyone has a big day today, with the guys.

Q. How do you attribute your improvement in the rankings, the training support you've had and finance support? A bit of vindication for that support?
ALUN JONES: Yeah, for sure. That's been great support. Hopefully it continues this year. Haven't heard anything yet about the AIS this year, but hopefully it all continues (smiling).
I think, you know -- definitely think I can be top hundred by the end of the year with the support of the AIS.

Q. Albert changed his shirt about three times. Are you on limited rations of shirts?
ALUN JONES: Yeah, I'm still buying it from Rebel Sports. I only use one. I don't sweat that much, so I don't change shirts.

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