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August 31, 2009

Devin Britton


R. FEDERER/D. Britton
6-1, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Knowing who you're playing, realistically, what is your goal going into that match?
DEVIN BRITTON: My goal is to not get crushed, (laughter) and make it interesting for a little while, at least, which I thought -- I got up a break a couple of times and that was fun for the little while that it lasted.

Q. What was your mindset, because the first set passed very quickly? What was your mindset?
DEVIN BRITTON: I was a little nervous. There was a lot of people out there and it's a big stadium, but my mind -- I was trying to just think. I mean, wasn't much going on. Just thinking about how, like -- it's a big stage. I was just a little nervous.

Q. Were you overwhelmed when you walked out there? What were your first impressions?
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, it's just 100 times bigger than I've anything I've ever played in front of. It was a little overwhelming. I thought I did all right. I was pretty happy with my performance.

Q. Two quick things: Did you have a chance to hit on Ashe at all before the match?

Q. And related to the nerves, how does that manifest itself in your game when you are nervous, like today? Is it you overhit or underhit or footwork, or can you at all identify the way it affects your play?
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, the footwork slows down a little bit. I think I overhit maybe trying to compensate for the feet.

Q. Sure.
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, I think that's pretty much it.
But also, I did hit on Ashe a couple times before the match on Saturday, and you know, Friday a little bit, as well. So I got to hit on it a little while, which was nice.
It's not the same without anybody sitting in there. (laughter.) It's a little different.

Q. When was the first time you were here ever, Flushing Meadows?
DEVIN BRITTON: I came three years ago. I didn't get in quallies of juniors, so I kind of just sat around for a couple of days and then went home.

Q. Did you ever come as a fan prior to that?
DEVIN BRITTON: I never came as a fan, no. I wanted to, but I didn't ever get the chance to come up.

Q. Was there a danger of trying to think who you're playing instead of thinking about your own game?
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, it's hard not to think about who I'm playing, you know. (laughter.)
It was -- yeah, I didn't start really thinking about my own game until late in the second set.
You know, it's such a pretty game. It's fun to watch, you know. (laughter.)

Q. You've seen him obviously on TV, et cetera. In facing him, what did you think of his game? Everything you read about?
DEVIN BRITTON: He's the best. No weakness. I mean, I didn't know what to do. I was just trying to play my game and see what happens, but, you know, he was pretty controlling of the points. You know, he's No. 1 in the world for a reason.

Q. Who's the best player you've ever played before Federer?
DEVIN BRITTON: Before Federer? I played Baghdatis earlier this year. I played Benjamin Becker. I think those two are up there somewhere. Those are probably the best two I've played.

Q. And how would you describe the difference? Is Roger in a group...
DEVIN BRITTON: Just slightly different. (Laughter.) I mean, he's the best. It's a little different than those guys that were ranked 80 or 90. He's obviously got plenty of confidence right now. This is his sixth, going for his sixth US Open in a row, I think. I wasn't expecting too much out there.

Q. When did you find out about the draw that you were playing in? Who told you? What was your first reaction?
DEVIN BRITTON: Kelly Wolf, I was speaking to Kelly Wolf on the phone, my agent. She had told me at 12:00 that I played Roger Federer, because I guess we were the first people to come up.
I was just -- I didn't really believe it at first. Thought it was just a bad joke. No, and then started getting texts on my phone and I realized it's true.
I was excited. I mean, I was excited at first, and then a little bit -- just a little bummed. It's a tough opponent.
You know, it was exciting. Not many people get that experience to play on Ashe.

Q. Did he say anything to you after the match? What did he say?
DEVIN BRITTON: He just told me, Good luck with the career. You know, there's not much time to talk then, but he did say that. That was nice.

Q. When you got that break in the second set, the first break, the crowd was going wild, up 3-1, then you proceed to lose the next six games. What was going on in your mind when you get the break? What happened?
DEVIN BRITTON: I was pretty excited after the break, and I got broken at Love. I think I lost 13, 14 straight points after that. You know, I was just -- I was excited, and I think the nerves came back a little bit.
I was thinking, I'm up a break. This is awesome. Then it only lasted about 30 seconds.

Q. Is he even better than you anticipated? I mean, you probably expected him to be Roger, but was it even more impressive in person?
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, I mean, watching on TV I don't think you can really tell exactly. I mean, he obviously looks unbelievable on TV, but playing against it was even more tough, you know. It was so scarey. I was pretty scared.

Q. You play an unconventional game, especially today, depending on serve and volleying. I was specifically wondering, so you trained with Nick Bollettieri and at the academy. How did Nick, who is such a proponent of power baseline tennis, how did that work in terms of developing a serve and volley game?
DEVIN BRITTON: You know, he always supported my serve and volley game. He knew that's what I've been working on ever since I came to the academy. He always supported me. We always worked on the serve and volley.
He never tried to get me to stray away from that. He's been a great support, and it was good.

Q. Have you met a lot of people coming up serving and volleying?
DEVIN BRITTON: No, there's not. I can't think of anybody else.

Q. Why is that?
DEVIN BRITTON: I'm not sure. I'm not sure.

Q. Have you had any conversations with Taylor about it, Taylor Dent?
DEVIN BRITTON: I haven't had many conversations about the serve and volley style, but I know Taylor pretty well. We haven't spoken about that.

Q. What's your schedule? Are you going to stay here in New York for a few days? What other tournaments will you be playing coming up?
DEVIN BRITTON: I'll be in New York. Hoping for the mixed doubles wildcard. We didn't get in doubles. I'm just going to hang around for that, and then we'll see. I'm not exactly sure of my schedule from here on, so...

Q. You said a few things that his game was pretty out there and that it was also kind of scarey, but what are the two or three things that are the most astonishing things about Federer's game?
DEVIN BRITTON: I think he serves unbelievably well. You know, he places it well. I don't think a lot of people realize how big he serves. His forehand is just crazy. I tried to keep it away, but sometimes I just hit it there just to see it. (Laughter.)
You know, it was -- everything he does is unbelievable.

Q. So you think you're going to have some bad dreams about that forehand?
DEVIN BRITTON: No, I'm going to have great dreams about it. It's so pretty, you know. Any dream about that would be good.

Q. Does his ball feel any different than anybody else's? Is it heavier? You have a vantage point very few people actually really have. What does it feel like?
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, it's really heavy. The forehand is really heavy. You saw some of the shots I was hitting were just flying. I'm just not used to that ball.
I hit with Nadal the other day to try to get used to it, which was similar. But it's heavy. It will take me a little while to get used to it.

Q. I have to ask, what was the difference between hitting with both of them? Obviously you're playing one and hitting with the other.
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, that's pretty much a big difference -- hitting with Nadal was -- it was fun. He hits maybe a little bit heavier, but that's his style, you know. He just runs around and hits a lot of balls.
Federer, I mean, he can really drive it. It's heavy. I mean, it's just really good.

Q. When you were out there, did you ever say to yourself, I mean, this is unreal, this is a dream I'm outplaying Fed?
DEVIN BRITTON: The extended changeovers I had time to think about it. It was pretty much all I'm thinking about on the changeovers. You know, this is pretty cool. I was sitting out here on Ashe and playing against Federer. This is awesome.

Q. What has this experience meant to you in terms of developing as a better player both mentally, physically, you know, tactically and so forth?
DEVIN BRITTON: I think just playing against Roger, I mean, you can learn so much on what you need to work on, what needs to get better.
You know, it's shown me a lot of things. Obviously I need to get physically stronger, my forehand needs some work. Serving obviously needs to get bigger.
I was looking at the radar. It wasn't quite up there. I need to work on a lot of things. Everything. But, I mean, just playing out there, it shows you a lot.

Q. Is it humbling?
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, it definitely is. I mean, you know, -- yeah, it is. Yeah.

Q. Did Rafa offer any advice? What did he say?
DEVIN BRITTON: No, I didn't ask him. I actually had another reporter ask me if he gave me any advice. I wasn't thinking about it at the time. I probably should have asked him. He has a little different style than me, so I don't think I can pull that off.

Q. Was this ultimately encouraging to you, getting out there to play with the best?
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, definitely. It was so exciting to be out there. Hopefully I get the chance to be out there again. Obviously I need to develop and get -- ranking is not quite there. Obviously I hope I can build it up and be able to get the chance to play out there again.

Q. How did you set it up to hit with Nadal?
DEVIN BRITTON: He was looking for a hit and they were asking everybody, so I just kind of jumped in and said, I'll hit. So it worked out.

Q. What day was that?
DEVIN BRITTON: That was on Saturday. Yeah, Saturday night.

Q. Now that you've played against two of the best players in the world, I guess this is an interview question: Do you see yourself in 10 years being on their level or sooner?
DEVIN BRITTON: Um, I hope so. You know, I don't know. We'll see about time, but I'm going to work hard and hopefully I can become a similar caliber player as these guys. That would be unbelievable.

Q. Specifically, though, do you have any particular goals? Are you hoping to get top 50 or something like that?
DEVIN BRITTON: I haven't set really any goals ranking-wise. I'm just trying to develop my game and really work on what I need to work on. Ranking I think will come in the next couple of years, so I'm just really trying to focus on working on what I need to work on.

Q. How did you get interested in tennis as a five year old?
DEVIN BRITTON: I watched my mom play league tennis, so the local pro asked me just to hit some balls. I started hitting and I started liking it. Kind of gradually got to be more and more and more.
Kind of just went from there.

Q. What was your Ole Miss Schedule? Did you enter in the fall or in the spring and how did that go?
DEVIN BRITTON: I started in January, and I went one semester, January to May. It went very well. You know, I think I grew a lot as a tennis player there, and also as a person. School, to balance the two, I think it takes a little bit. Helps you mentally a little bit, also.
Ole Miss was a great school and definitely helped me very much for the professional level.

Q. Who is your mixed doubles partner, and when are you going to find out about the wildcard?
DEVIN BRITTON: I think we find out today. It's Mallory Cecil, the girls NCAA champion. So hopefully we have a good shot, two NCAA champions.

Q. When you broke him limb, was there a thought, Hey, maybe I can actually...
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, I thought that for, you know, 10, 15 seconds before he broke me at Love the next game. You know, it was fun for the 10, 15 seconds. It was probably the best seconds of my life.

End of FastScripts

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