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January 15, 2008

Peter Luczak


\ THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. How do you rate that win with others that you've had?
PETER LUCZAK: Uhm, every win I guess at the Australian Open is a pretty special and pretty good feeling, especially when you get a chance to play on one of the show courts with the crowd behind you.
Probably wasn't some of my best tennis out there, but now I'm pretty happy to be into the second round.

Q. Are the show courts like your home ground almost?
PETER LUCZAK: It feels like that, especially when the crowd get into it. You know, especially Margaret Court. Seems like the atmosphere out there is pretty, I don't know, pretty electrifying.
Had a chance to play on center court a couple years ago. You know, it was a great crowd in there, but just different sort of atmosphere.

Q. How many times have you played on center court?
PETER LUCZAK: Just the once.

Q. On Margaret Court?
PETER LUCZAK: I'd have to say six or seven, yeah. That's just a guess.

Q. You got off to a great start. How important was that?
PETER LUCZAK: Yeah, it was a good start. I think I was up 5-Love, ended up winning the first set 6-1. He definitely lifted his level in the second. It was just game for game. No breaks in the second set. He played a good tiebreaker. Probably played a little bit defensive, a little bit tight, but he played well and won it 7-6.
In the third I got broken early. I thought I got one bad call, but I got back into that game. Then after that I broke him back straightaway. I think that was probably the turning point, breaking back straightaway. I started to loosen up and play a lot better.
I got on a roll. I think I won that set 6-3. I got to 4-Love. The nerves came in a little bit at the end there. He got back into it to 4-3. Thankfully I closed him out.

Q. Were the nerves a new feeling? Expecting them to come?
PETER LUCZAK: You never expect them to come. They just sort of hit all of a sudden. I did feel the nerves, but I think at the same time I still stayed well in control of them.
You know, Scott Draper said, If the nerves come, that's good. Take it as a positive. I think that's what I tried to do. I said, This is really great. If you're not nervous there's probably something wrong.

Q. Did you expect that you and Alun would get through? Did you talk about it at all?
PETER LUCZAK: We had a bit of a hit up on court 9 out there for about 45 minutes. I think -- I don't know, possibly might have been both favorites going into the match because they're clay specialists, I guess.
I don't know, it's just great to get through. Good mates with Jonsey, so I was happy for him. I think it's a nice feeling going out there knowing that a couple other Aussies have won.

Q. I think David Nalbandian looms in the next round. What are your thoughts about that matchup?
PETER LUCZAK: It's going to be a tough match. He's a great player, great ball striker. You know, he reads the play so well. I think he anticipates probably as well as anybody, especially on return of serve. I've played him once before. That was on clay in Munich. I think it was maybe 2005. Lost that match.
But this time I'll be on home soil, so that's going to be nice. You know, I think anything's possible, especially with the crowd behind me. I'm feeling good. I just can't wait to play.

Q. Probably have a chance to put your hand up now. Prefer to play on Margaret Court or one of the show courts?
PETER LUCZAK: I really do like it out there on Margaret Court, especially with the fans going crazy out there, especially late in the day. I think they might have had a few drinks, so it's nice.
Put the opponent off a little bit. It's probably not fair, but I guess that's happens to us when we play overseas.

Q. Are you going to have nothing-to-lose attitude, be a bit cavalier, take a few risks?
PETER LUCZAK: I think so. I think that's the way I play my best tennis, when I go out there knowing, you know, I've got a tough opponent, crowd's behind me. I've really got nothing to lose. I think I'll play a lot more freer in my next match.
As I said earlier, I just kind of want to get out there and enjoy it.

Q. Do you think those matches where someone play plays sort of like yourself where the people who are supporting you principally supporting Australia. Is it a little bit like some of the Davis Cup matches that you play against in other countries?
PETER LUCZAK: I think it's very similar. I think the crowd's a bit more vocal at the Australian Open than other Grand Slams, definitely more than Wimbledon or the French Open. It's great having those Aussie supporters.
It does really seem like they really get behind the Aussies. We don't have that many, I guess, playing at the moment. So, you know, every Aussie who's out there, they really get behind them. It is a big advantage to us.

Q. Do you think that's the reason why you haven't been past the first round other than here?
PETER LUCZAK: Possibly. Possibly. I've probably had more opportunities playing here. Over the last four or five years, I've been lucky enough to get wildcards. This year I didn't need one. The a lot of the other Grand Slams I had to go through quallies, so that makes it a little bit tougher.
But it's definitely a reason why I've done better here than other Slams. Maybe because I prepare a little bit better, as well. You've got November, December, I'm normally training pretty hard. I'm staying at home, got family and friends at home. It's definitely a nice feeling.

Q. Have you set yourself any goals for the year?
PETER LUCZAK: To tell you the truth, not as yet, especially not ranking goals. I know it's a cliché, but just taking one match at a time. You know, I think that's what you got to do. I probably will, after the Australian Open, sit down with my coach and set a few goals. But as of yet, I haven't, no.

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