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Australian Open - R16
Post Match Interview

Pete SAMPRAS defeated Slava DOSEDEL
6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

Q. How much better was that than the last match?

A. I felt a lot better. My range was much better and I felt I had a pretty good rhythm out there. I worked on a few things yesterday and it paid off today.

Q. What did you work on?

A. Keeping the ball in the court. That's a start.

Q. How?

A. Just getting into a rhythm in my practice and being a little more deliberate with what I am trying to do. I was a little bit slower playing outdoor. I had a little bit more time, the balls were getting a little bit more fluffier, which was nice, and I struggled, as I said before, with Black and today I was a little bit more focused on what I was trying to do and felt a little more comfortable playing today.

Q. How much did you practice for yesterday?

A. Not that long, 45 minutes, but I just wanted to make sure I got into a good rhythm out there.

Q. How well do you know Chris Woodruff and are you surprised that he has come this far?

A. I'm not surprised. I know Chris pretty well. He's been on some Davis Cup teams as a practice partner. He has a good game and plays very well on these courts. I'm not surprised. I've practised with him over the years and he has a good backhand and serves quite big. He is having a great time.

Q. Are you over this phobia about the court now?

A. No, it's still - it is what it is. There's nothing we can do about it. We've just got to play. I wouldn't call it a phobia. It's given me some problems so far in the tournament, but I'm still around.

Q. Are you surprised to see Andre and mark playing so many baseline rallies?

A. Not necessarily Andre. He stays back and plays out there. Mark had a little better chance if he came in a bit more, but Andre is not easy to come in against.

Q. When you were two sets down against Black, did you decide the only way out of that match and to win this tournament was to play serve volley the whole time?

A. I was playing serve volley up until that point being down two sets, but I think my back court play at that stage of the match was very erratic and it pretty much was that throughout the whole match. You know, I am going to serve volley serves this whole event, pretty much depending on who I am playing and how I am playing. You have to take advantage of the court.

Q. How do you manage to keep yourself focused on the match in front of you, you know the match with Andre might be pretty close?

A. I have been doing this for many years and it's a big match and you prepare and you eat at the right time and just go out and play.

Q. Just the routine of it all?

A. Yes, you get into a routine.

Q. Would you like to comment on the line calls today? One was obviously out that much. Were you disappointed with a few of them?

A. There's always a couple here and there that are missed. The ball is travelling pretty quick and it's easy to miss them, but there was one I thought was long. There's nothing you can do about it.

Q. What was said back at that point?

A. He had a few too many beers.

Q. What was said?

A. I questioned the call and said, "It was in", or something like that and he said "No it wasn't".

Q. A little cold and windy out there today?

A. Yes. The gust was definitely there and that's why I hit a few doubles throughout the match, blowing good in one direction and it's not easy to play when it's that gusty and it gets a little bit cool. It's always a little gusty playing here in this tournament.

Q. Are you uncomfortable serving and volleying on both serves? You're a pretty good baseline player. Would you rather have the option of staying back?

A. Yes. You guys have seen me play a lot over the years. I like to stay back and hit a few balls, but I am treating this a bit like Wimbledon. I came in on both serves there. Hard court and indoor tennis over the past couple of years I have been more aggressive in coming in a little bit more on my second serve and here I have no choice but to.

Q. How much of the Philippoussis/Agassi match did you watch?

A. A little bit, not much. I saw a couple of games and it seemed like Andre was pretty much in control throughout the whole match. That's what I heard.

Q. You rate 68 per cent of your first serves. Is that where you want to be?

A. I'm pleased with that. As far as I am serving where I am aiming I can keep it in the mid, high 60s. I can't complain about that. I hope I can maintain that.

Q. The speed of the court and the balls, are you surprised to see Arazi going so far? Can he be a problem for Andre or not?

A. He's got a chance, not a great one. We all have a chance out there, but I am a little bit surprised, but he is proving. He plays well on all surfaces and he's got good hands and good wheels and I don't think he will beat Andre, but it will certainly be an entertaining match.

Q. What chance would you rate him against you?

A. I don't know. I can't comment on that. It will be a good match.

Q. What dangers, if any, does he present for you?

A. His return. He's got a good return serve and he fights very hard and he's got good ground strokes and he will come in when he has the opportunity to. He's got a good overall game, but his focus is his backhand. He's got a great backhand.

Q. When you go to the edge of the ledge like you did in the last match are you pretty confident that makes you harder and better for your next match?

A. Yes, maybe it woke me up a touch and to be down two sets and be woken up, but I realise that my game isn't quite where I want it to be playing against Black and today I felt a little bit better out there, a little more comfortable, and that's all you can ask for the second week. This is where I raise the level and I hope it happens this year.

Q. When you raised it at Wimbledon last year and Hannover so dramatically, had you ever done it so dramatically before?

A. Over the years I probably have, through Slams and through tournaments. I played some bad matches and those are the matches you need to find a way, but I have always had the ability to not play well one day and come out the next day and play great. You can't rely on that every tournament, but I have done that in a number of majors.

Q. How annoyed were you with the loss of the third set then?

A. I was a little annoyed. He came up with some huge returns and, boom, all of a sudden we are in the fourth set, but I still felt like I was hitting the ball okay. I just needed to get a little better rhythm on my serve and I was not panicking by any means. I felt I was still in control of the match, even after I lost the third.


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