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June 24, 2009

Alex Bogdanovic

James Ward


A. BOGDANOVIC & J. WARD/D. Martin & J. Scherrer
6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Q. Alex, much better this morning. The mood must be much brighter than yesterday?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Great day. I felt like we both had a great match out there, and you know, I'm really happy.
To be honest with you, yesterday I know I lost, but you know, I took a lot of positives out of my match yesterday.

Q. Is it nice to put a bit of a smile back on the face of British tennis?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Well, definitely. As I said before, I go into every match trying to win, trying to do my best. You know, and today we played a great match. We returned well, served well.
And, in fact, like coming out today, I might start playing more doubles and take on a doubles role and try to play just doubles. And singles, who knows, you know?

Q. Are you going to celebrate tonight?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: No, not really, because I'll be back maybe playing on Friday again.

Q. That's something you've just thought about since today's match, focusing on doubles more than singles?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, like today I had a lot of fun out there, and I just realized I can play good doubles. I think I need to work on a few areas, but I'm serving good, returning good. I've got good hands out there. So I think I could be a really good doubles player. I think I might start that route.
And singles, who knows. Play some quallies of ATP events and see what happens, but maybe try and concentrate on doubles.

Q. Do you want to be partner again?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, why not? It worked well today, so looking forward to Friday.

Q. With Andy and Elena's victories today, with a bright note on a really disappointing day, how much did yesterday hurt you, you know, at the home tournament and you've seen yourself and a number of other Brits go out? That must hurt quite a lot.
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, I mean, every time you lose it hurts, but I think you've got to remember that it's the biggest tournament in the world, the best probably tournament in the world. But this is not where it ends, you know.
It's disappointing, but maybe next week those guys go out there and win a tournament, and their year starts in maybe in two weeks down the line.
In tennis, the good thing is the season is so long that your year could even start in November. You could have a great week in November, you know, win the tournament, and that's where it really starts because it's an ongoing thing.
I think a lot of people are concerned about just this one tournament, and they don't realize that you have so many tournaments around the world.

Q. Do you think you've been made a bit of a scapegoat for some of the problems in British tennis?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, I mean, definitely I think I was British No. 2 for a while, and obviously I'm easy to criticize because I'm next after Andy Murray. Every time you lose, people are going to say, Yeah, he's not going to win another match, this and that.
But you know, it doesn't bother me. As long as I keep improving, I keep working hard, I know I'll be back here and giving it another shot.

Q. But Andy himself last night said it wasn't good enough. Not specifically Andy and you, but the gap between him and the rest of the guys on the world stage. Was that a fair comment from Andy?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, I mean, definitely. Obviously we all would like to win matches. I think everyone -- the LTA, you know, have been supporting me, have been supporting all the players. You know, AEGON, the sponsorship, a lot of money is going into this.
So I think for the future it's good, because they're starting with young guys. For us, obviously they're helping us, as well.
I think you have to look at the long prospect. I know Andy Murray is probably one of the best players out there. He could even win Wimbledon in the next couple weeks.
But definitely there is a gap, and obviously what we have to do is keep working hard and try to, you know, break into the top 100 and close the gap.

Q. Whose fault is it, do you think, that there is this gap? Is it the players behind Andy, that they're not doing it? Or is it the fault of the LTA for not investing their money wisely?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: I don't think there's no fault on the LTA. From my perspective, the LTA has been really supportive. You know, they've invested a lot of money in me and so forth. Not everyone can be Federers, Nadals and Murrays, you know. I think that's basically it.
You know, I know I'm a talented guy. Here I am. I work hard, I put the hours in, and I've lost eight times at Wimbledon. I can't ask anything more from me except just to go out there and keep working and keep setting my goals and do my stuff.

Q. You talk about the future, but year after year across the board, there's underachievement here at Wimbledon, first round exits and so on. There must be something fundamentally wrong with the system or the players.
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: No, I mean, it's easy to criticize the system. I think everyone dwells on, Oh, it's the system. At the same time, I think the money has been spent on the juniors now. I think the key is to get the youngsters involved with tennis, because, you know, turning -- we all kind of -- I'm 25 now. My junior days are over.
So, you know, I think the key is to concentrate on the juniors and try to make them not to make the mistakes that I did, myself, and everybody else around us, and to work as a team rather than just always find the negative, and, no, we can't win a match.
We have tournaments two weeks down the line, we have US Open coming up. You know, we can do well.

Q. What mistakes were they?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: I mean, mistakes just all around, I guess. I mean, specifically I can't really tell you what mistakes, but we all make mistakes. The key is just to -- you know, we need to accept that we made mistakes, everyone around us, and just to move on and not to just get the negative.
I think every time you're negative you're never going to go forward.

Q. You said yesterday you'd be back next year in the singles. The LTA have said you probably won't be getting your wild card next year. What's your reaction on that?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, I probably won't. I have many chances. My goal, as I said, is probably I will concentrate on doubles. I could be -- you know, if I can get into the doubles -- I haven't been playing much doubles all year-round, and I need to start playing that, get my ranking up. And with singles, I'll see.
Obviously if my singles ranking is high enough, I'll be back for qualifying.

Q. Do you think it's fair you won't get another wild card?
ALEX BOGDANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. That's fair enough, for sure. I've had my chances and didn't -- unfortunately couldn't take them. Now it's just up to me to work hard and get up there, you know, by ranking.

Q. James, is it demoralizing for you seeing what's happened to some of the more experienced players, maybe lack of role models within British tennis?
JAMES WARD: What players?

Q. Tennis players above yourself in terms of age.
JAMES WARD: Well, there's only Josh and Bogo, so, no, not really. I'm doing my own thing. I'm working hard. I'd say I've got a little different route from Bogo and from the other British players, and I think it's starting to work for me.
I'm not saying I'm suddenly going to be top ten next year, but that is the plan in the future. I'm working hard to do it and going about it my own way. Moving up the rankings steadily, and the next goal is to be top 200 and then top 150.
It's difficult to suddenly go from 200 to 50 in the world within one week, unless you do win Wimbledon. But if you're moving up steadily, I don't see what the big problem is.

Q. And you feel the foundations are there with the National Tennis Center and the players and the coaches to sort of make up for the mistakes that Alex was talking about?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, definitely. There's been a lot of money pumped in, and that's what you need, people to understand how much it does cost to travel around the world. And if you don't have a big sponsor, then it is expensive, and sort of you have to base your schedule around where you sort of can afford to go and where you can afford to stay and things like that.
So it is difficult, and people don't see it. They just focus in on Wimbledon like the biggest tournament of the year and how much money the players get and this, that, and the other. But it's not like that the rest of the year, especially for my ranking of players.
Same as Alex. Obviously the top 50, top 100 players are coping well, but they've deserved it.

Q. Do you think the players get an unfair crack of the whip in that the expectation is too great on them from the nation at large?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, I think it is. The problem is, is everyone focuses just on Wimbledon. It's what Alex said before. People do forget that you do play another 50 weeks of the year, you know. They just worry about Wimbledon the two weeks, and the rest of it is as if it doesn't matter.
If you don't do well at Wimbledon, suddenly you're rubbish, and that's not the case. Suppose if Andy loses this week, then he'll be slaughtered, as well. Everybody is in the same boat. It's a lot of pressure, but he obviously deals with it better than other people.
For me, it was my first Wimbledon. Court 1, played Verdasco. He's 7 in the world. I'm 204, 207 in the world right now, so there's 200 places between us.
If I dealt with him and beat him on Court 1, I'd be No. 7 in the world, so...

Q. What do you think your potential is?
JAMES WARD: Obviously I want to be sort of a top 50 player, and I've gone sort of 600 places in the last two years. I think my progress is steady. I'm not saying I'm moving unbelievably fast or slow, but I haven't gone in the wrong direction.
My ranking is going up and up, and I'm working on things in my game that are only going to improve, and had some good experience recently as well. In the last sort of eight months, I've been playing well, especially through the challengers. Won the first challengers tournament, and last week at Eastbourne was my first ATP main draw, as well. Not always as bad as everyone else makes out.

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