home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 20, 2009

Andrei Pavel


A. MURRAY/A. Pavel
6-1, 3-1 (ret)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What's the nature of the injury?
ANDREI PAVEL: Well, call it old (smiling).
No, I've been having this problem since, well, eight years maybe. But I was traveling with a physio almost all my career, especially those last eight years. That's why I didn't play for one year, was the back.
You know, in the end of October I went to check out my back again, and it turned out pretty good. That's why I said, you know what, my dream is to say bye-bye from the court. My plan was to play those Grand Slams, my last Grand Slam, just have fun out there, and then go Bucharest, home, and just in front of my home crowd, you know, to just end my career.
But I guess, you know, it not always goes like how you planned. The pain is still there. Especially now, on the center court, the sun was so bad from one side that I had to turn even more.
Actually, like my second game serving, second time serving in the first set, I just felt it again really bad. From then on, it just got tighter and tighter. I couldn't go any further, so I guess that was it.

Q. Do you think you will return?
ANDREI PAVEL: I think so, yes. I think so. I don't want to try it again. I don't want to damage my health just for playing another tournament. I played in enough tournaments, I guess.

Q. Have you had surgeries or anything like that?
ANDREI PAVEL: No, no. I don't want to have surgery on my back. You know, what for? I'm 35 years old in few days. If I have a surgery, I going to be 36. What am I, Armstrong? No, I'm not.
I wish him good luck, though, because he is amazing, amazing guy.

Q. You worked this past year with the physio to try to get back to a playing level?
ANDREI PAVEL: I did and I did not. Something between, you know. I enjoy the family, too. I was trying to cheat a little bit, put it this way.
But I didn't come here with the mind that I will go far or something like that. I just enjoy the last times that I'm on the tour, because I did enjoy all those years, especially the last - I don't know - 10 years. I did enjoy it.
Just having so much time off, you go like, Wow, that's a very nice life. I just want to have it one more time, and it went. The practice actually was not that bad. It was pretty good. I couldn't do the same thing I was doing before: practicing really hard. I always had to after two or three days of practice take a day or two off to recover because of the pain.
But, you know, like I said, it's amazing that I play center court against Andy. You know, I thought I would play at least first round somewhere Court 18 or something like this, but...

Q. In the limited time you had on court today, what impression did you have of Andy Murray, and how different is he to the player you played at the US Open four years ago?
ANDREI PAVEL: No, I think that time he played much better, because now, I mean, he knew it was my last tournament and I didn't practice much and I'm injured. I don't think today he played -- we both didn't play any good tennis.
But, well, he's on the top of his game. I think you guys have great expectation from him. I think everybody does, and he's a guy that can handle that. But still, you have to go match by match. There are so many good players out there. It only takes one bad day and you can be out.
He's a great player - a great, great player. I felt it last time, at the US Open, an amazing match, a five-setter match with a lot of blah (laughter). But he's a good guy. I think he's going to do really, really well.
I think this year might be his year, you know. I mean, already starting in Doha beating Federer and Roddick. So why not go all the way here? You never know.

Q. Do you think you should have played, in that you didn't expect to do much, and a fully fit player hasn't been able to play because you played?
ANDREI PAVEL: It's true and not true. You know, I thought about me. I think I earned this spot for me, and I wanted to prove it myself if I just have fun just one more year.
Well, I did that a lot of times. When I was not feeling well I never went on the court. I said, I'm not going to play because I don't feel well, and I let the other players go.
But this time I felt pretty good in practice. So it's not that I went on the court, Oh, I going to stop after one set, or something like this. That was absolutely not my thinking.
But now, you know, I know, and my plan is changing now because I wanted to play another three Grand Slams and another tournament. Actually, my goal was to play really good back home and enjoy the other ones. But I think, you know, it's going to change it a bit.

Q. Did you feel bad when you had to stop?

Q. Was it embarrassing because of the crowd?
ANDREI PAVEL: Well, of course. It's not easy. It's not easy. It's absolutely not because of the crowd, it's because of me. I feel bad because I cannot play the way I want to play, the way I wish I can play, you know.

Q. Are you going to stay in Melbourne for a little while?
ANDREI PAVEL: Actually, you guys keep me here. I'm also Davis Cup captain right now for Romania. One of my players is playing right now, so I'm trying to slowly get there. If you don't mind, that would be very nice of you.

Q. Were you assured by anybody medically before you took the court today that you could probably last more than 45 minutes?
ANDREI PAVEL: Well, there's no insurance. Nobody can give you that insurance.

Q. That's impossible.
ANDREI PAVEL: Yes. And the practice is one of the proof that you have. I wouldn't start, because in February the doctor told me - and I've been working with him for so long - the doctor said, Andrei, you have to stop now.
In the end of October, I told you. I went back there and he said, If you want to have a go, you can have a go. You wouldn't be able to practice as you practiced before. But he knows me. He knows me that I enjoy the tournaments so much and I enjoy the competition very much. So he said, Andrei, have a go and you'll see.
I tried. I didn't want to regret myself that I didn't even try it. Don't tell me you didn't never do that before, too.

Q. Of course I try, yeah.
ANDREI PAVEL: There you go.

Q. What is the actual nature of the back injury? Is it a disc?
ANDREI PAVEL: No, it's not the disc. It's the L5, the vertebra. It just moved about eight millimeters in front, so it's just pinching the nerve.

Q. So it goes into spasm?

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297