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June 24, 2008

Xavier Malisse


X. MALISSE/D. Gremelmayr
6-3, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Xavier Malisse.

Q. Andy Murray is currently on court. There's a chance you may have to face him. Can we have your thoughts on a possible showdown with him.
XAVIER MALISSE: I'm looking forward to it. My goal was to win the first round and then play Andy, you know, possibly. You know, I'll be on a big court. Of course, all England will be behind him.
But I've been in similar situations. You know, I've played him before. It was in Belgium. Yeah, I think I like his game. It's not winner, winner everywhere. You know, of course it will be tough and he'll be the favorite. But I feel like I'm playing well.
You know, hopefully I can give him a tough match and come out on top.

Q. What is your record like against him?
XAVIER MALISSE: We just played a challenger like two years ago, I think. Just when he started coming up. But it was 7-5, then he stopped. Besides then, I don't think we've ever played.

Q. What do you think the pressure is like for a guy like Andy Murray in these two weeks?
XAVIER MALISSE: I mean, it's got to be huge. Like every year the way Henman had to do it, and he played unbelievably well under the pressure. You know, he's still so young, so I think he has to learn. You know, he's played a couple Wimbledons, so he knows how it is.
I think once you're busy with the match, he just focuses on his game, and it's just a big bonus that everybody's cheering for him.

Q. You must be very confident now.
XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, I feel really good. I played well. I served well. You know, after not playing for a couple -- you know, I've only played two matches in a month or two. Yeah, I'm really happy. A good win. The strokes went well. I'm looking forward.

Q. This November, Nick Bollettieri is going to have a 30th anniversary of the facility. I'm sure you're probably going to be there.
XAVIER MALISSE: November, possibly, yes.

Q. What do you know about the whole 30-year history of this academy?
XAVIER MALISSE: I'm not really into history. I mean, I feel like it's where tennis started. All the pros went there. Agassi, everybody went there. Now it's changed a little bit, but there's still a lot of pros.
Yeah, I don't know too much about it. I can only tell you about the last 10 years there. But, I mean, for me it's been a great experience and a great academy. You know, I can say nothing but positive things.

Q. When you arrived there for the first time, was there any way to feel what it was like when Agassi and Jim Courier were there?
XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, definitely. I mean, there was a group. There were 10 guys. We had a coach, Fritz Nau, who always traveled with Agassi and everybody. No, yeah, we knew perfectly everything that was going on. I think Kournikova just left. You know, everybody had just left and there was a new group that came.
But now it's I'm not going to say more businesslike, but it's a lot more -- well, a little bit. You know, not that many pros. But, I mean, if you look at it, Stepanek is there, Haas, Mirnyi. Jesse Levine is coming up.

Q. If you had to remember one memorable story or anecdote about Nick, what would it be?
XAVIER MALISSE: Well, I think it took about two years for him to remember my name. I used to color my hair all the time. He just called me the guy with the different hair. You know, even when I played Sampras, I came back and they made a speech. He had to call me on court and didn't know my name. You know, Nick and names, it's not very good.

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