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June 9, 2008

Chris Guccione


6-4, 6-7, 7-5


Q. He made you work for it, but you got through okay. Happy with that?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah. Always good to get through the first match on grass for the year. Pretty happy with the way I played. Yeah, I mean, it was a tight last game there. It was good to get away with that one.

Q. You've had a lot of trouble with him in the past. Why?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: He's a good player. You know, he can play at a very high level. His game sort of suits mine a little bit. He's got really good returns, pretty good serve, hits the ball very flat and hard to the corner, tries to make you work for it.
You know, I think he's a great player. I'm expecting him to move up the rankings a little bit.

Q. How do you feel in terms of your form on grass compared to this time last year?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Definitely a better player. You know, I think I'm serving better, volleying better, definitely moving better. That was one of the things I've been working on. You know, I think even returns and groundstrokes, they're coming along as well.
If I put it all together on one day, I feel I can beat most guys out there.

Q. Going into Wimbledon, obviously we're looking a bit further ahead, that has to put you in a good mindset.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, you know, all these tournaments are important to me on the grass. Wimbledon's a big one. But having a good result in these, in Queen's or Nottingham, helps the ranking a lot.
I'm focusing on one tournament at a time. But, you know, when Wimbledon does come, hopefully I'm playing pretty well.

Q. Robby Ginepri next up.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I haven't seen the draw. Is it Ginepri?

Q. Yes. You've played him once, but that was a few years ago.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, I haven't played Ginepri for probably four or five years. I'll see how we go there.

Q. Interesting to match yourself up against him again?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah. I mean, he's a solid player as well, very good returns, hits the ball hard from the back. It's not an easy match.

Q. Lleyton has been through a lot on and off the court. When I mention Lleyton, what's the first thing that comes to your mind?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Fighting spirit, great competitor. I know him quite well now. Great guy off the court. Once he gets on the court, he wants nothing but to win. It's a great quality. I mean, I think he's definitely a lot better than his ranking suggests at the moment.

Q. You say he's a great guy off the court. Earlier in his career a lot of players didn't get along with him. What makes him a great guy?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: He's just really friendly, very down-to-earth. He's great to all the younger guys, helps them where he can, hitting practice and stuff like that. Just really supportive, very friendly to all of us.

Q. Australia has a great tennis tradition. Lleyton is the standard bearer for the past five, 10 years. Must be a difficult thing.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I can't say from experience. I assume it's pretty difficult, all the pressure of always being up there. I think he's handled it very well during his career. I mean, he's still ranked I think 30 or 35 at the moment.
I don't think he's close to being done. Hopefully he can get right back up there.

Q. Do you get a sense of how his hip has been bothering him. I know during the Davis Cup he played with it. Do you have a sense of how fit he is?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Not really. We don't really talk about how fit he is or what sort of injuries he's got. I didn't see him play this morning, but I know he won. Obviously he's playing pretty well.

Q. During the Davis Cup, did he pay for the flying transport of a cystic fibrosis sufferer?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, flew him down to Townsville. Yeah, he had a hit with all the guys. I had a hit with him for about 15 minutes. It was good fun. Great to see Lleyton getting involved in that sort of stuff.

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