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January 22, 2009

Chris Guccione


G. SIMON/C. Guccione
6-7, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. When did you feel the momentum shifting in that match?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I thought I was doing pretty well up until late in the second set. I snuck the first set out in a tiebreak, and then was going on serve in the second.
He played a pretty good game at 5-4 to break me for the set. He got on a roll then. He barely missed the ball after that, I thought.

Q. You were able to push the No. 6 seed to four sets, take one off him.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, he's top 10 in the world. It was no easy assignment out there. It was good to get a set, but I would have liked to have done a little bit better in the third and fourth sets especially.
But it wasn't to be today. He hit a lot of good passing shots in the end, was getting onto my serve a bit. It was a credit to him in the end.

Q. Did the conditions have any affect on your serve?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: It wasn't too bad out there, I didn't think. I know it's pretty windy outside, but I think it was a little bit protected in there today. It was breezy, but I didn't find it too bad at all.

Q. What do you take out of this result?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, I mean, top 10 players are always tough to play against. Obviously very happy with the first round. I played extremely well in tough conditions.
To win in straight sets over a best-of-five sets, it's not easy to do. Very happy with that. Good to be in the winner's circle again here at the Aussie Open. I mean, second round's obviously disappointing. Would have been nice to win at least a couple more matches. I'll try to continue my year and get back in the top 100 as soon as I can.

Q. You came in on second serves a lot. Is there no other way to go? Because you don't compete with a guy like that at the back court. Is that how you see it?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I can play from the back. I can play from the net. I choose to come in. That's the way I want to play.

Q. Where does this leave you in terms of your career? Are you confident to move forward and beat one of these top 10 players in the next month or year or so?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I've beaten top 10 players before. I beat Berdych in straight sets last week. Obviously I can beat top 10 players. It just depends on how I play on the day.
Today he played a little bit too good. I wasn't up to scratch. I think for sure I'm improving. I'm only 23, so I have a lot of tennis ahead of me.

Q. Is consistency the key of staying in the top 100, maybe the top 50?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, I mean, if I can play my best tennis all the time, I can be top 50 comfortably.

Q. Is someone like Simon potentially a bit of a role model or inspiration in the sense that he's 24, made this jump? You're 23.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I don't really think about it like that. I try to focus on my own game. It's good to see players make that jump. Good on him. He's a nice guy. He's a great player.
But, you know, I know I've got that sort of tennis in me. It's just a matter of bringing me out on a more consistent basis.

Q. Looking at the top 100, does it change your program in the next few months in terms of your schedule of tournaments?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Where my ranking's at?

Q. Yes.
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Not really. I think I'll go and play a few tour events in America. I might have to play the quallies. I feel like I can do well there and get a few points under my belt.
Then I think we've got Davis Cup about a month after the Aussie Open finishes. You know, I mean, it would be good to get a win there also.

Q. What is the situation with your coach?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Peter McNamara is going to be helping me out in the near future. You know, we'll see how that pans out. At the moment he's going to be helping me out for the next month or two.

Q. Where? Here in Melbourne? Traveling with you?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: He's going to come to the States with me, yeah.

Q. Obviously you still have your doubles coming up. What else have you been doing with your time off the court?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Haven't had a lot of time off the court in the past few weeks. Had Brisbane, Sydney, and I came straight down here to train.
There's not much else to do really during tournaments.

Q. Your girlfriend said she wants you to take her to Phillip Island. Will you do that?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: If we get a chance, I hope we do. On the other hand, I'd like to stay in the tournament long enough so we don't have a chance (laughter). It would be nice to get down there for a day.

Q. Getting back to Peter McNamara, how did that come about?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I contacted him a while ago and we've been talking for a while. He's been kind enough to put his hand up and try to help me out. I mean, he's here at this tournament. I'll have a sit down and chat to him, work out a few things. We'll go from there.

Q. Is the arrangement for a few months?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: At the moment, we'll see where it goes. More of a trial period for the first couple months. See how it goes from there.

Q. Is he based in Europe?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: As far as I know he is, yeah.

Q. Are you staying in Melbourne?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I live in Melbourne.

Q. First time in seven years no Aussie male has made it to the third round. There's talk about the young blokes doing well. How would you see this Australian Open? Do you think it's been a disappointment that nobody has been able to crack through the next level?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Not really. I mean, Lleyton was coming in pretty under-done. Got a pretty tough draw playing González first round. I think it was one of the best Aussie Opens with the young guys. Brydan, Bernie, myself winning a match.
You know, we have four Aussies in the second round. Just a little bit disappointing not to get on with it. Those guys are young. Their first Aussie Opens. It would have been a tough ask for them to go any further.

Q. Does it give you hope and confidence for the Davis Cup coming up?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: Yeah, for sure. I mean, Lleyton's not going to be around forever. You know, who knows how long he's going to play for. I'm always there for Davis Cup. I'll put my hand up every time. You know, if we can establish a pretty solid team, we've got two high-ranked guys, get back in the World Group and do some damage there hopefully.

Q. Any player that shows promise gets a lot of pressure. How do you view the Tomic situation? Nation seems to be expecting him to win on center court at 16. How do you view that?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: I think he handles the pressure well. From what I've heard, he's had a lot of pressure his whole life. I mean, he's been almost 1 in the world since 12s and on from there.
There's been a lot of hype, but I think he's handled it well. To win his first match here was a great achievement at 16 years old.

Q. In your opinion, with guys like we just said, guys who show a lot of promise that have a lot of pressure on them, is there too much pressure on young Australian tennis players?
CHRIS GUCCIONE: That's impossible to say. Some players thrive under the pressure, and some players don't really enjoy it. It's different for everybody.

End of FastScripts

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