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February 21, 2011

Omar Awadhy


6-0, 3-6, 10-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your reaction to the supertiebreak? It was a cruel way to lose, having come back in the second set.
OMAR AWADHY: Yeah, I think, you know, at this level you always need time to adjust. The players, the guys we played against, they're, you know, one of the best players in the world.
So from an my experience, it's always very tough at the beginning. We lost the first set very easily. You know, my partner, it's the first time he play, so I told him that I think things are going to get better in the second set.
We got a bit of luck, obviously. They're a really good team. We managed to win the set, you know. But I mean, their experience in the supertiebreak, even though we were up 5-3, they just stayed focused and were able to win. But it was a good match overall.

Q. What would you put the turnaround to in the second set? You got bageled in the first.
OMAR AWADHY: Yeah, I always think against these players, you know, if you let them have a good start, they're very difficult to play against. They just play with confidence. You know, if you just keep it a bit close, a bit tight, obviously you know the pressure is on them. No doubt about it.
So in the second set, we just started well. We kept on going 1-All, 2-All, 3-All, and then we broke at 4-3 and the crowd got into it a bit. We made a match out of it, you know. That was the best thing about it. Because the first set was no contest.

Q. Dick Norman just said that you played practically perfect in the second set; would you agree with that?
OMAR AWADHY: Well, first of all, about Norman, he's probably -- it's the hardest serve I've ever faced, even though I've played guys like Federer in practice. It was very difficult to play against him. No wonder he's like I think 38 and he's still on the tour.
Yeah, I mean, the second set everything went our way, basically. We served better, we played one good return game which we broke at 4-3, and managed to serve it out. That made the difference.

Q. Stakhovsky in the singles.
OMAR AWADHY: Yeah, that's going to be -- yeah, I think I'm going to play tomorrow. He's, I think, top 50 in the world, so it's going to be a very tough match again. With these guys you know it's always going to be extremely difficult. You just have to go in and relax basically and play your game and hope he has an off day tomorrow and just try to do your best.
You know, you can't but any pressure on yourself, because there's a big difference, you know, there is a big gap in the level between these players and us. So we just have to basically play as complete underdogs, you know, complete underdogs.

Q. Even though this was a doubles match, can you just tell us about your ambitions in singles? And how does playing a doubles match at this level help you in your singles game?
OMAR AWADHY: No, it's just that I've played this tournament a few years, you know. I just felt like before I always used to try too hard, you know, because I know there is a big difference in level, you know, between us.
This year I just thought that I'm just going to play a bit more relaxed , you know, and basically just try to be as relaxed as possible and see where it takes me. Because the problem with these guys is if you try too hard against these guys, you really want to try to do well, you don't.
So you might as well just relax and enjoy the experience no matter what the score is. Even in the doubles today, we lost 6-0 the first set, but maybe that's why we came back. Because in previous years maybe we would have tried to, like, you know, Come on, we have to get a few games. It's embarrassing or whatever.
This year, we just said, you know, Fine. Whatever. Even if it's 6-Love, 6-Love, we're just going to try to enjoy the experience. That's what I learned over the years.

Q. Can you tell us something about your ambitions in singles?
OMAR AWADHY: In this tournament?

Q. Generally.
OMAR AWADHY: Generally, I've been out for a while. Two years I think I stopped because of my knee. This is my first year back. So I'm just trying to take things slow, you know, as it comes. Just taking it day by day basically. I don't know how long I'm going to play. You never know in sports.
Just basically just tournament to tournament, you know. I feel good physically at the moment. We have the Davis Cup in the few months, which is going to be big for UE. We'll see after that.

Q. Who are you working with right now?
OMAR AWADHY: Well, the national team coach Jorge Martin. They got him from the Spanish Tennis Federation. He's coaching the national team at the moment.

Q. You have everything here in you AE, and everybody on the outside hear about what we have. But until this moment, not even in tennis and in many sports, we don't have a heroes. Only I think Mohammed Bin Sulayem, vice president of FIA. What we should have? I mean, about the tennis, what we should have here?
OMAR AWADHY: No, because what you're seeing is, how do you say it, it's like false impression people have of Dubai. You know, when people look at Dubai from the outside, the buildings and everything, they think we have so much money and why isn't it good at sports.
But if I tell you that in tennis the national team doesn't have a tennis center, you know, that will answer your question.
You know, you have countries like -- I've been to so many countries, like Bangladesh, Libya, you know, poor countries who have their own national tennis center even though they're poor, you know. They have seven, eight courts for the national team and we don't.
So it's easy for people outside to say, Oh, you know, Dubai have money; why don't they have players? I don't know where the money is going, but definitely not tennis. That's for sure. Not tennis.

Q. What we should do?
OMAR AWADHY: That's that question I think you should try to ask the people who are in charge of the tennis federation and the guys who are in charge of the Al Shabab, the sports committee.
Because I know for a fact that not a lot of money is going into tennis here. I know there's Dubai Open and everything looks great and it's one of the best tournaments int the world. But, I mean, for local tennis and for the kids, nothing going on at the moment. Nothing at all.

Q. What do you see your motivation here? You have played here so often. Do you at times feel slightly, not embarrassed, but something similar?
OMAR AWADHY: No, you know, the thing is that -- not for me, because I've been following tennis since I was a kid. I love this game. I know how difficult -- how there is a difference in level. You cannot expect to -- you know, these guys, I know how they practice is and I've seen what they do in different camps. I've seen them.
Compare it to here, and would be ridiculous to think that maybe I can compete with them. Okay, maybe something like today happens sometimes, but that's a one off. I'm the kind that I'm not concerned what other people think.
I know there is a big difference in level, and I accept that. These guys are really, really good. They practice so well. They do everything good.
Just like I told you, when I play them I just try to do my best, and whatever happens, happens.

End of FastScripts

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