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August 26, 2008
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
S. QUERREY/T. Berdych
6-3, 6-1, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. So many matches, so many men's matches, seem to be fighting for just one serve and a break. In this match you started off with two quick breaks. Did that throw you off in any way? Is that a different sort of mentality starting the match?
SAM QUERREY: A little bit. Today was like one of the first times -- it might have been the first time ever I chose to receive when I won the toss. I think it was the first time ever, and I broke that first game.
I think I'm going to start doing that from now on. I don't know. I think sometimes it's easier to kind of -- that first game can you kind of swing freely, and if you lose it, you lose it, you're on serve again.
But it's kind of strange to start off, because I broke him the first game and the third game, and then he broke me the fourth game, I think.
So three out of four breaks those first four games is odd, especially with us. We both have pretty big serves. But I don't know. You just have to just stay with it. That can happen.
Q. What did you sense on the other side of the net? Was there any sign of an injury or anything like that?
SAM QUERREY: I don't think so. I thought I just...
Q. Just played well?
SAM QUERREY: Just played really well, really smart and really well. I think, you know, tennis is a lot about momentum. I just kept it going.
Q. Can you put this win in perspective, how big it is in your own mind in terms of your own development?
SAM QUERREY: It's a big one. Last three or four tournaments I've gone out pretty early with tough players, so it's nice, especially at the Grand Slam in your own country, to get off to a good start.
Hopefully I can keep playing like that in my next round and hopefully win again and keep going.
Q. Are you still working with Gil?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, somewhat. I haven't been in a while just because I've been home for a week in the last three months, but... Yeah, when I have time I'm trying to go over.
Q. So you go to him?
SAM QUERREY: Yes.
Q. As opposed to him coming to you?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I haven't since April and May, but that's just because I've been on the road pretty much every week.
Q. Is that work of benefit during the season, or do you see that mostly as an off-season deal or when you have longer breaks?
SAM QUERREY: You know what? I'm not sure yet, because we just kind of started in April. So we kind of have to see what exactly it's going to turn into.
Q. What's so special about Gil Reyes?
SAM QUERREY: He's been around a champion like Andre Agassi for 20 years and he knows what it takes. He knows what you have to do to get to the level of being the best player ever.
I think, you know, when you're around someone who's worked with or has any involvement with, you know, one of the greatest players ever, you know, that's going to kind of rub off.
Q. You take a pretty relaxed attitude to your career. You weren't pushing it, you weren't rushing it, setting goals or anything. What's it been like for you in the past year? Are there times when you sort of look at the rankings and say, I should be doing better, or I'm doing better than I thought?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah. Early on I was doing better than I thought. I didn't think I was going to go up in the rankings that quickly, but there's definitely been parts to the year where -- I think I'm like 54, maybe.
Earlier in the summer I was ranked 37, so you want to be ranked up there in the 30s, because it makes a difference for the end of the year.
You get into Paris and Madrid, the two Masters Series, and it would be nice -- for me, ideally I'd like to start the year next year in '09 seeded for the Australian Open. That's kind of my goal for the end of the year.
Q. Do you have a favorite story you could share with us about something special, something from the Olympics? It must have been quite an experience to go there.
SAM QUERREY: Yeah. I mean, it was really cool, especially going, staying in the Village. They almost built like an oasis in the middle of Beijing. For us to get to our dorm or whatever you want to call it, kind of had to walk through the -- this pathway. Then you zigzagged on this path through like a waterway, and then you went under this overhang with misters and had to step across these steppingstones over a creek to get to our dorm or apartment.
So it was kind of an adventure just to get to the apartment. It was cool. I stayed there with James and Robby and Lindsay Davenport. The four of us were there and it was fun. There every afternoon you go down to the common room, and have all the U.S. athletes would be down there hanging out watching the other sports and talking to each other. Everyone would go over and eat lunch or dinner together.
Q. Did anyone think you were a basketball player because of your height?
SAM QUERREY: I'm sure some did.
Q. And your favorites athlete that you met there?
SAM QUERREY: I didn't meet him, but he was probably the funniest thing I saw. There was this guy, I think he's from Great Britain, playing badminton. Stocky guy. We were watching him on TV and he won, and I was with James and Robby. We were eating lunch and he walked into with a sleeveless shirt like he was the man of the Olympics. Like 20 minutes later like this power walk badminton guy. So kind of funny.
The other thing I thought was weird too is the gymnasts are so much smaller than you actually think. On TV they're small, but when they walk in packs, looks like a group of second graders. They look about 14 and they're about 4'8".
Q. Have you played a guy who plays somewhat similar to you? A lot of power? Big serve and stuff? Do you like playing a guy like that?
SAM QUERREY: I don't really have a preference. I guess -- I don't really mind a huge serve. Since I'm a tall guy, if it gets up, sometimes it's more in my zone than with the little guys. So I don't mind playing against a big server really.
Q. Did somebody ask you to compare it to Koubek last year?
SAM QUERREY: No. That was tough. Koubek played well last year. Played well against me, and had a really good match against James at night. That was tricky.
It's tough. He's a little guy, lefty serve, it stays wide, he can slides you wide. I prefer returning off a right-hander any day.
Q. Seems like you met a guy Berdych, who's improved his whole career until this year. He's sliding back. Meantime, you seem to be pushing up. You're higher in the points race, ranking. You're kind of crossing paths very similar to you in a way.
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, hopefully I can go on the next couple of years and have a career like he's had so far, because I think he's been top 10 so far and won a Masters Series and gone deep in multiple Slams. So hopefully I can have some results like him.
Q. Seems like all this talk about American tennis there's an urgency, you know. I hear about people in the game wanting to see an American ascend to a certain level. How much is a player of your age and where you are in your career, how much do you feel that urgency?
SAM QUERREY: I can feel it a little bit. It's kind of tough, because for the last -- not the last three years but before that, since -- I mean, 1970 to 2005, America pretty much had a No. 1 ranked player. Someone who was always running to win a Slam.
We haven't had that the last couple years. Andy and James and Mardy and I, John Isner, we're all working hard, and hopefully we can get to the point where it could be like it was 10 years ago and we could have three guys in the top 10.
I don't really feel any pressure by it or anything.
Q. Do you feel like you've learned a lot this year so far?
SAM QUERREY: Definitely. I'm learning more and more as my career goes on.
Q. Did you see any of Donald's match with James last night?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah. I watched three-and-a-half sets. Donald was playing well.
Q. Did you expect it to take this long for him to sort of come of age and play a match like that against a top player?
SAM QUERREY: I didn't -- didn't really think about it, but hopefully he can play, keep playing like that and put some more wins on the table and, you know, get his ranking into the top 10.
Q. Is it safe to assume you've seen your draw for the next few rounds?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I know now I play the winner of Devilder, from France and another guy. I know they're playing right now.
Q. That being the case, is it hard not to sort of play this what-if game and look at points and prize money and just sort of spin us out a few rounds?
SAM QUERREY: You kind of look -- it's hard not to look at two, three, up to the third round, really into it. But, you know, you always kind of look at it and kind of know who you're going to play if you win.
But points and prize money, I don't really look at until later on in the tournament.
Q. Is this one of the best matches you've ever played today?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah. I'd say this is one of the three best matches of my life.
Q. What are the other two?
SAM QUERREY: The other two? Probably against James Blake last summer, and another one might have been against Moya this year in Monte-Carlo.
SAM QUERREY: Gasquet, too. C√£nas in Vegas.
Q. What's been the greatest moment of your career and the most painful moment so far?
SAM QUERREY: Greatest moment is probably winning the Vegas tournament. The most painful, I lost a challenger last -- or last summer in Great Britain to this guy James May, and I remember he beat me. One ATP point. I was at like 60, and after he won he called his mom while I was still on the court and said he won(laughter.) So that was probably the worst moment.
End of FastScripts