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January 11, 2008

Dmitry Tursunov


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel after that match? Take a bit out of you?
DMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, I mean the first set we were most of the time in the sun so I didn't enjoy the sun it as much as you would think. But then, you know, once it's initiated and cools off quite a bit and the court cools down.
So physically it wasn't as demanding as it could have been had we played a little earlier. But, no, I feel fine.

Q. And your form in that match, were you happy with the way you played?
DMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, you know with a player like Fabrice it's very hard to play your best tennis. I mean, his strength is to make you play as bad as humanly possible. With him you just got to take a win in any way. You can't really nitpick at things.
But I'm just happy that I was -- that I played the key points well enough and I was -- I wasn't trying to play outside of my ability. The few breakpoint opportunities that I had in had the second set, I kind of let those slip away because I was trying to finish the match a little too quickly.
Overall I'm pretty happy. I'm improving the way I'm playing. I try to stay within my power range and I don't try to outpower myself, which I used to do a lot when I was younger.

Q. Did you watch some of previous semifinal from the players' lounge, the Guccione match?

Q. Your impressions of the left-handed serve.
DMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, I'm pretty sure you're aware that he's got a very good serve. That's about all I can say about that. It's going to be a very difficult match and there's going to be very little playing off the groundstrokes. So there's going to be quite a bit of pressure on my serve.
It's expected that he's going to cruise on his serve most of the games, but I think just I'm going to have to try to guess a little bit on his serve and hopefully I get it right and connect with the ball.
It's expected with a player like that or Karlovic or Isner that those guys are not going to let you get your rhythm because simply you're not going be able to play out as many points as you would like to.

Q. You've never met him before.
DMITRY TURSUNOV: I mean, he never met me before either, so I think it's going to be difficult for both of us. You know, if anything, I have a little bit more experience in the finals, so...
I'm not saying that I'm going to win because of that, but, you know, it depends how he's going to feel. If he's going to be nervous or if he's not going to be nervous it can affect his serve a little bit. And considering that it's his main weapon and he relies on it quite a bit, I think, you know, if he does get a little tight and nervous it might be a good thing for me.
But it's really just a coin toss, that match, and I'm hoping I'm going to win it. But, you know, I think the better player will win.

Q. Did you get much time off? What did you do after your time off after Davis Cup?
DMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, I had a couple weeks that I was trying to not do anything and then prepare at the same time, so it was kind of a dodgy time off.
But really I had no choice because of the Davis Cup and because of the Australian Open and Doha, so it wasn't ideal but it seems to be working for me so far. I think that ideally I would love to have had a little bit more time off.
You can work on your game and your fitness, and at the same time rest and mentally get ready for the next season, but I really didn't have an option this time, so...

Q. Are you also aware that you are the first -- the last Russian to win here was Alex Metreveli in 1972.
DMITRY TURSUNOV: I saw his name up here and I was actually kind of surprised because I didn't know the tournament was that old. Now I'm aware, but it's not going to make me play any better. I can tell you that much.

Q. Do you think the crowd is going to be a factor? It's fair to assume that they're not going to support you.
DMITRY TURSUNOV: I think most of them will be on my side. Really, you know, that that's going to be -- that most of the crowd is going to be against me. Not against me per se, but they're going to be cheering for my opponent. To get upset about that would be kind of silly.
There's a polite crowd and then there's a drunken crowd, so hopefully we're not going to have too much of that. Even if we do, it's not something that you can control, so the best thing to do is not to pay attention to it and try to ignore it.

Q. Can you shut it out?
DMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, it's not like I have a magic wand and make everything disappear, but usually if you're pretty focused and your mind is in the game then most of that stuff kind of blocks out on its own.
If you're not feeling great then that stuff can affect you. It's part of your profession so you better learn how to deal with it, otherwise it's going to be affecting you quite a bit.

Q. It's a real achievement to get to the final, but is there a sense of satisfaction to get this far this early in this the season?
DMITRY TURSUNOV: I mean, like you probably heard before, it feels more like a continuation of the previous season. It's always nice to do well at the beginning of the season because it allows you a little bit more play in the way you schedule the rest of your season because you have to defend a certain amount of points.
It definitely allows me to prepare maybe a little bit more before the hard court circuit. I'm really not putting too much hopes out for the clay season, but if I do well there then it's going to give me even more flexibility with my future scheduling.
Yeah, just beginning of the season or the end of the season really doesn't matter other than that.

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