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January 7, 2008

Greg Jones


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Greg.

Q. Take us through the experience.
GREG JONES: Well, of course my first pro tournament and a great atmosphere being in the hometown. Had a lot of supporters out there to watch me, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Obviously a win would have been nice for my first time. I guess it was just a big learning experience.

Q. How? The speed of match? What was the learning experience?
GREG JONES: A lot of different things. Mainly the speed of the match. A lot of time, for instance, I would be slightly out of position where I would be looking to be aggressive or make a move forward or something like that and I found myself a bit too late. He was dictating the point.
Just subtle things as well. Like when I started building a bit of momentum, he took his time and went to the towel and played like a seasoned pro. When I got down the initial break it just went so quickly.

Q. How many people exactly do you have here, if you can guess?
GREG JONES: I had about probably ten people that I knew were coming, because this is basically the place I've grown up since I was about ten. So I've been running into a lot of old friends and people I haven't seen for a long time probably a lot.

Q. Do you think it would have been easier to play your first pro match somewhere not so familiar?
GREG JONES: I think I actually enjoyed playing here for the first time because I feel so comfortable here and a lot of people were here supporting me. So I don't think that was a problem at all.
If anything, it just made me feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Q. When you jumped from the juniors, I know it's only early days, but what did you expect to find? Do you find you've learned a lot from these sort of matches?
GREG JONES: Yeah, for sure. For sure. One major thing is I can play at this level, but sometimes not for sustained periods of time. That's what I need to be doing if I want to become a Top 100 professional.
For sure that's the biggest thing, which is something that just takes time. If can get by playing a lot of matches at this level I can get used to it.

Q. What's your schedule this year?
GREG JONES: I don't exactly know yet. Just getting through the summer and taking it from there.

Q. So you're already slated to get into the quallies for the Australian Open?
GREG JONES: Not exactly sure. I think so, but I haven't heard anything officially yet.

Q. You need a wildcard.
GREG JONES: Okay. I just assume so.

Q. Will you stay here and train or will you go to Melbourne now?
GREG JONES: I imagine I would head to Melbourne as soon as possible to get used to the different conditions. That would be the best preparation.

Q. Physically have you trained as a kid on that exact court?
GREG JONES: Yeah. This is the exact place where I trained since probably ten years of age a couple times a week. That was my base.

Q. Did you speak with Wally Masur?
GREG JONES: No, I didn't actually see Wally, but the AIS coaches who have been looking after me for the past year sat down and had a bit of a chat with me.

Q. Goals for this year in specific?
GREG JONES: Well, I guess just get the best out of myself, whatever that means. In terms of specific rankings, I mean, it's not over ambitious to be saying I'd love to be Top 100 by the end of the year.
I think it's always important to aim pretty high, so that even sometimes if you fall a little bit short you've still probably achieved a lot.

Q. Kind of had quite the ranking upswing last year, too.

Q. Looking back, what would you credit to that rise?
GREG JONES: Well, for sure the Australian Institute of Sport helped me. The coaches, the physios, and a group of guys that you can practice and live with and really get along very well with. That always helps a lot.
I played a few tournaments and had a good stint overseas in Europe. Had a couple good results. Probably not as consistent as I would have hoped. That's one thing I can definitely improve this year.

Q. How did it come about that you got the AIS scholarship? How long have you had that?
GREG JONES: January of 2007, so this was my first full year with the AIS.

Q. Was the French the highlight?
GREG JONES: I think probably the French and Wimbledon, for me, were two special tournaments where I played well really. Playing in the biggest stages for me is the goal. That's the best thing. To perform well on the biggest stage is what you're after.

Q. When you're actually on the road at a tournament, what is it like having the AIS, and what you would be getting by with if you didn't?
GREG JONES: I think it just makes life a lot easier when you've got a coach who looking after you, giving you feedback, booking practice courts, and making sure you're preparing properly, recovering properly. Just simple things.
Sort of things when you're a young person traveling you've got a lot on your plate, so just subtle things like that make life easier. Then, of course, just to have a great bunch of guys around. You have somebody to practice and go to dinner with and people that can speak the same language as you.

Q. Who else are you spending a lot of your time with?
GREG JONES: Last year I spent a lot time with quite a few guys. Adam Feeny, Nathan Healy, Sam Groth, a few of younger guys, Brydon Klein.

Q. Would it have been even possible to try to make this transition and have the aspirations if you didn't have the AIS support that you did?
GREG JONES: I think it would have been possible, but it would have been a lot heard harder. I guess anything's possible, so...

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