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August 25, 2008

Ryler De Heart


RYLER DE HEART/Olivier Rochus
7-6, 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to win your first ATP event?
RYLER DE HEART: Feels great. I didn't think I was even going to be able to go five sets. To win five was awesome. Now I have an easy match coming up. So that's good.

Q. Why didn't you think you could play five?
RYLER DE HEART: Well, I've never played -- that's my first best three out of five. And in the qualifying I was a little bit tired in my last round in the third set, so I was thinking, you know, that feeling and then two more sets out of that. I didn't think I was going to be able to make it and I did.

Q. Can you just take us through your qualifying matches.
RYLER DE HEART: I played Nick Monroe first round and I won 6-1, 6-4. And then I played I think it's Jun Woong-Sun from Korea, I won that one in three sets, and made it harder on myself than I should have been. I was serving for the second -- I won the first I was serving for the second, and had match point. I ended up winning 7-5 in the third. Last round I won 7-6 in the third against Diego Hartfield. So a couple tough ones at the end.

Q. How did you feel in the fifth set?
RYLER DE HEART: I felt OK. At the end of the third I was getting a little bit twitchy, my muscles, a little bit, and then the fourth set I was struggling a little bit and I think I just kind relaxed and I ate some bananas and did that kind of stuff, and I felt better in the fifth. And just a feeling of "I'm almost there" helped a little bit at the end.

Q. How do you put this into context? You're 24. You're not automatic, 19-year-old wildcard guy and you qualify yourself in here.

Q. And you win a match that probably no one thought you should have won.
RYLER DE HEART: It feels great. I've been working really hard, and I've never been given anything in my life, so to earn is it is just another thing for me. I'm going to hopefully keep it going and it feels great, so...

Q. Have you had a chance to check your phone at all? I'm sure everyone is texting you.
RYLER DE HEART: I have some text messages. I have to respond. It's going to take a while to respond to everyone. There's a lot of people. A lot of my friends and family obviously they were watching online. There were a lot of people here from Illinois. I went to school there, University of Illinois. My old coach Craig Tyler was here, too. It was awesome to have everyone there. It was a great.

Q. What does 30 grand in one day mean to you?
RYLER DE HEART: It means a lot. That's more than half I made in the whole year, I think. So, like, that doesn't make sense, does it? I made, let's see, 20,000 or something.

Q. It's more than you made all year in how many matches?
RYLER DE HEART: Ah, I've been playing a lot, yeah. I've been battling out there. So it feels good. I'm not going to lie. I think I've earned it, though, so it's great. Hopefully more to come.

Q. How important was sneaking out that first set because I know it was tight kind of the whole way?
RYLER DE HEART: Yeah, yeah.

Q. And right in the tiebreaker, maybe, he gave you a few points there and --
RYLER DE HEART: I was focused on actually the first two sets because I knew if I could get up early, I've never played three out of five, so if I could get that early lead maybe he would fall apart a little bit, or at least I could get the adrenaline going if I got the lead. And the first set was big, and I then actually I had break points to go up 6-5 serving in the second, and I didn't get those. Those were two really hard-fought sets. I was hoping I could get both them, but I didn't. It still turned out all right.

Q. You're still a kid. It's early. It's New York what do you do to celebrate?
RYLER DE HEART: I actually want to go watch the Blake-Donald Young match, a little bit of that. Maybe get some of the Ashe experience. I'm a pretty relaxed guy. We just like to hang out and just chill, so I won't do that much celebrating. It's not over yet.

Q. How do you beat Rafa?
RYLER DE HEART: How do I beat Rafa? That's a very good question, I think. I mean, he's beatable. It's going to be a tall task, and I'm probably not, you know, the guy most people are expected to do that. I'm still going to go out there and do my best. I'm going to give it everything I have, and I think tactically there are some things I definitely can implement to try to give him trouble, and that's all you can do.
He's a great player. You know, no one's expecting me to win. I have no pressure and I can just go out there and go for it. He beats everyone badly, so it's not like if I get beaten bad I'm not really worried about that. I'm just going to go out there and play, so...

Q. Good luck.
RYLER DE HEART: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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