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June 24, 2008

Chris Eaton


C. EATON/B. Pashanski
6-3, 7-6, 6-4


Q. How does that feel?
CHRIS EATON: Pretty good. Pretty good, yeah. I mean, you can't compete with that feeling.

Q. How does it compare to Uzbekistan?
CHRIS EATON: Yeah, slightly better. Slightly better.
No, it's fantastic. I mean, this is a dream come true. To actually win my match, yeah, it's phenomenal.

Q. Obviously you were playing well. How much were you lifted by the support?
CHRIS EATON: It's unbelievable. I mean, when you just first walk on there, they were shouting, you know, giving it everything. You can't not give it everything yourself. It's amazing how well they can lift you.

Q. Six games to play to get here? You played prequalifying.
CHRIS EATON: Yes. This was my seventh. This was my seventh match, yeah.

Q. Did you honestly think you had a chance of winning today?
CHRIS EATON: Yes, I did. Yeah, I mean, you know, I saw the guy. Maybe he's not the most comfortable on the grass. But the way I was playing, the way I was serving, I knew I definitely had a chance.

Q. Could you talk us through your day. You went on quite late. Were the nerves kicking in early morning?
CHRIS EATON: Early morning was fine. To be honest with you, it was actually probably the most frustrating day because there was that match that -- yesterday I went to bed thinking I was third on. They put a match on to finish, which made me fourth. That match went 10-8 in the third, a women's match. Then another match was meant to finish; it didn't. Took a long time. It was actually getting a bit tedious. I just wanted to get out there, give it my best.

Q. Talk us through your day.
CHRIS EATON: I got up, just drove to the National Tennis Centre, which I get transport in, because my house is a little bit too far away. Had a little practice at 12:00. Played a few games. Threw a rugby ball around with my coach, James Davison, had a bit of food, then went out to see my parents, my family. They're here. Went to say hi, soak up a bit of the atmosphere. The rest of the day wasted away because I was trying to relax before my match.

Q. Did the match go in a blur or can you remember most of it?
CHRIS EATON: No, I can remember quite a lot of it. There were times when I was holding my serve easy I didn't and I wasn't quite getting a decent hit on his serve. Those games were flying through without really noticing the match. You wake up a little bit at 4-All, 5-All. No, it's good.

Q. A point when he got slightly angry about the call. How did you feel when that was going on?
CHRIS EATON: I mean, everybody can do that. Everybody has the right to do that. The line calls, you can all have your own opinion. If he thought it was that bad, then he can complain. I knew he was sort of a little prone to having a go at the umpires and stuff. I just let him do his thing. Hopefully it would sort of annoy him enough to give me a little sneak.

Q. What were you doing during last year's Wimbledon?
CHRIS EATON: That's a good question. I was injured. I played quallies, lost second round. Yeah, I hurt my back then and I was out for two months I think.

Q. Lying on your back when you were injured?
CHRIS EATON: No, no, no. I was just doing rehab and stuff. It wasn't a bad injury. But it was one of those ones if I didn't sort it, it would keep going. I thought, it's not worth it.

Q. Can you tell us about your normal life. You've been to some pretty far-flung places, not picked up a lot of money. Must be quite a hard grind for you.
CHRIS EATON: No, it definitely is hard. Playing on the futures circuit, it's very hard. There's no glamour. There's nothing. You just got to get out there, motivate yourself. There's no atmosphere. You just got to fight for every single point, fight for every single match. Hopefully you end up here.
Obviously my hard work's paid off for me.

Q. What was the atmosphere like in Uzbekistan?
CHRIS EATON: Pretty dead. Yeah, it was pretty dead (laughter).

Q. What's the place like?
CHRIS EATON: It's all right. Felt safe. You got to be pretty careful with the food. Actually when you figure out what you can eat, is fine. Hotels were fine. Just not to sort of England -- not to what you'd normally see in England.

Q. They didn't know you out there?
CHRIS EATON: No. I don't think many people knew me here (smiling).

Q. Was this game a bit easier in that the crowd were there, the surroundings, lifts you, rather than going to place like that?
CHRIS EATON: Yeah, definitely. I mean, it's not so much the crowd lifting me. When you play at Wimbledon, it's Wimbledon. It's the biggest tournament. It's the one that I like the most. There's no problem with getting yourself up for playing at Wimbledon.

Q. Is it right that you might have restrung your own racquet this morning?
CHRIS EATON: Yeah, I did. We just have a stringing machine at the National Tennis Centre. I always string my racquets there. I know exactly how the racquet's going to come out. Yeah, I thought I may as well do it myself, then I know exactly what I'm getting.

Q. Do you always do it yourself?
CHRIS EATON: Yeah, unless I'm abroad, in which case I'll give in a few and see how it comes out.

Q. How many racquets did you take out there today?

Q. Will you restring them again for the next round?
CHRIS EATON: I'll probably restring one. Maybe after doubles tomorrow.

Q. Was that the real you today or you lifted by the crowd? Looked like you meant business. Is that you or you rising to the occasion?
CHRIS EATON: No, that's me. If you've seen my quallies matches, that's been me throughout the whole of quallies. That's how I am on court always, even in those strange places. Just sometimes I don't play that well.

Q. Did you have a chance to see your mum and dad yet?
CHRIS EATON: No, I haven't. I'll see them after this.

Q. I know you're not in it for the prize money. How much have you earned in your career? How does 27,000 compare to what you've earned so far?
CHRIS EATON: Yeah, it's a lot. It's a lot. I mean, I don't know how much I've earned so far. It won't have been 27,000. But it's great. It's gonna help me travel around, play the tournaments I want to play, fund my life. It will be great.

Q. What car do you drive?
CHRIS EATON: I drive a Vauxhall Astra with duct tape on one wing mirror.

Q. What are your own expectations now and how much are you inspired by the rise of Andy Murray?
CHRIS EATON: What Andy's done is fantastic. I'm really happy for him. It is great to have someone who is from my country, doing well. Yeah, you can always just sort of feel the lift from what Andy's doing. There's a little atmosphere, especially where we train. There's a bit of atmosphere when Andy does well. It lifts the players. It's really good. It's really good.

Q. Does he talk to you about your game or anything?
CHRIS EATON: Yeah, I talk to him a little bit. We don't tend to talk tennis.

Q. Has he given you any kind of advice?
CHRIS EATON: Not that much. I don't really know him that well. I think the last thing tennis players want to do when they come across each other is talk tennis really. Just sort of relax, have a friendly chat.

Q. You don't hit with him at all?
CHRIS EATON: Yeah, I've hit with him a few times. Yeah, it's really good to hit with him. Whenever I play good players, I seem to raise my game.

Q. There's a Davis Cup tie here in September on the grass. Anyone that can serve aces like that one would assume comes into contention. What are your thoughts on the whole situation?
CHRIS EATON: I mean, there's nothing I can do about Davis Cup except keep playing, you know, the way I'm playing. I'm just concentrating on Wimbledon right now. Hasn't even entered my mind about Davis Cup.

Q. Can you tell us about yourself, when you started playing? You still live with your parents?
CHRIS EATON: Yeah, I live with my parents in a little village called East Horsley, quite near Guildford in Surrey. I started playing when I was six. But that's just because my family is really sporty. I started taking it really seriously when I was 12, 13. I've just been training hard ever since.

Q. If you had a choice, would you go back onto Court 3 or No. 2 Court or would you like to try one of the show courts?
CHRIS EATON: I'd love to try one of the show courts, to be honest you. It would be a great experience. I don't mind. Put me anywhere. I just really enjoy playing tennis at the moment.

Q. What other sports were in the equation when you were a kid?
CHRIS EATON: Cricket. Cricket was a big sport. Yeah, it's pretty much my favorite sport at the moment.

Q. To what sort of level?
CHRIS EATON: I chose pretty early. I chose at about 13, 12 or 13, that I wanted tennis. I enjoyed it the most. Decided, because I was a batsman at cricket, it was a bit too risky. You have one bad day and you're out for the day, sort of standing in the field. Yeah, tennis excited me a bit more.

Q. What are you going to do now to make sure this one victory at Wimbledon isn't the last we hear of you and it's not a flash-in-the-pan sort of victory for you? What's your plans?
CHRIS EATON: Not that much is going to change. I work as hard as I can every day. I'm just gonna, you know, try to keep riding the high confidence that I've got at the moment and that will just keep taking me through these matches. Yeah, I mean, if the next tournament I play, I'll just try to do exactly the same thing I'm doing here, focusing on what I'm doing, working hard in the gym, working hard on the court. Hopefully it will continue.

Q. Could you give us your initial thoughts about your second-round match? Your opponent is quite a hothead, Mr. Tursunov.
CHRIS EATON: He's got some firepower. Obviously I've seen him quite a lot on TV. Yeah, it should be a great match. I mean, I just need to concentrate on what I'm doing, keep serving well, and I can put some pressure on the guy.

End of FastScripts

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