Moderator: (9:49 AM ET ) Hello, Radek Stepanek will be with us in a momentarily, at the top of the hour. Send in your questions and chat with Radek!
Radek Stepanek: (9:57 AM ET ) Hello this Is Radek and welcoming everyone to the chat. Let's get this going...
Anna W. (NYC): You've such a cool style on court. Are you the one choosing your outfits?
Radek Stepanek: (9:58 AM ET ) my outifts i choose myselft. the company that does the line, so I choose my outfits myslef.
Peter, Melbourne, Victoria: Hi Radek, Congratulations on your win last week against James in the final. How do you think you will go in the US Open series?
Radek Stepanek: (10:00 AM ET ) Definiteoly give me a lot of confidence for future tournamets. but it is just the first week on such a long tour and I will do everything I can to finish high on the US Open Series. This is a huge step forward for me.
Wayne (Pinedale,WY): With you coming back from injury and winning LA on Sunday, how do you feel and are you going to play in Washington before the Masters Series in Montreal and Cincinnati?
Radek Stepanek: (10:01 AM ET ) Washington is different because it is hot and humid and more demanding physically. Im in Florida training to get ready and Im looking forward to Washington.
Ian honolulu, HI: Hi, people in the tennis world always thought you were a doubles specialist, are you going to stop playing doubles and start concentrating on singles or still do both?
Radek Stepanek: (10:02 AM ET ) Ive played doubles the last six months becuase I missed six months and i neeeded some extra matches. Most remember me as a doubles player because I started my career as a doubles player. I would like to change and focus on singles more now.
Scott (Hamilton New Jersey): It's great to see you playing again at your level. I have one question, how did it feel to do the "worm" like that on center court?
Radek Stepanek: (10:04 AM ET ) it feels great. I did it when I won my first tiele in Holland last year and this was my second title. It feels such great in front of such a supportive crowd in LA.
Rebecca, Durham: Do you have any rituals that you practice before a match, like eat the same food, wear the same shirt?
Radek Stepanek: (10:05 AM ET ) Yes, I am superstitious. When I keep winning I keep doing the same thing. In LA I went to the same sushi restaurant and had the same breakfast and I will wear the same style of shirt. You can say Im superstitious, yes.
Fernando (Cleveland): What is your goal for the U.S. Open?
Radek Stepanek: (10:06 AM ET ) The biggest goal is to stay healthy the whole summer and play all the tournaments. We still have five weeks before the Open but I would like to continue to play at this level and see where that can take me at the Open.
Dan (New Hampshire): How much longer do you plan on playing?
Radek Stepanek: (10:07 AM ET ) I would like to play as long as my body is fit. I started later so my body isnt overused. I love the game and competition and as long as my body is willing I will play as long as I can and as long as I have the game to compete.
Mark, Virginia: In your opinion, do you think Rafael Nadal will overtake Roger Federer as the No. 1 player in the world by the end of NEXT season?
Radek Stepanek: (10:09 AM ET ) Very tough question. From the last month my feeling is that Nadal is closing on Roger. They had a very tough battle at Wimbledon where Roger is unbeatable and Nadal pushed him to the limit. If it is going to happen this year or next it's hard to say but Nadal is getting closer.
Paskewich, SD: Do you think you can get back into the Top 10 in the world?
Radek Stepanek: (10:10 AM ET ) Once Ive been there so I have the ability, but after such injury it takes time, patience and hard work. If I didnt believe that there would be no reason for me to play. I know what I am capable but I just need to be patient and do some hard work.
Grant (Toronto): How difficult has it been to come back from the dislocated disk in your neck?
Radek Stepanek: (10:12 AM ET ) For me it was very tough because the neck injury took all my feel, touch and power from my right hand. I didnt know if I was able to play again. My doctor helped me to find a way back. It was tough but I am happy im back. It took me six months to get back and I need to play a lot of matches and slowly feeling my body is getting back to where it was before but I still need some time to get back to 100 percent.
ray, denver, co: How did you hurt your neck? Are you back to 100%?
Radek Stepanek: (10:13 AM ET ) I was standing still, waiting for practice when I felt somebody put a knife in my neck. It came out of nowhere. Ten days later I woke up and I couldnt feel my right hand and your muscles started to atrophy because there was no life in my right hand, especially my fingers.
Eli Samaha : Did you read Blake's book before your match to gain some pointers about his weaknesses? Did you use any of it against him in the final (like how he broke his neck; how did you use that to your advantage)?
Radek Stepanek: (10:14 AM ET ) No I didnt but like a lot of players I will buy it because I know what he went through with his neck injury and know he went through.
Radek Stepanek: (10:15 AM ET ) I have my doubles parnter and several Czech players. The tour is one big traveling family and we seem to get along very well.
Abid, Vancouver BC: What is your favorite tournament to play?
Radek Stepanek: (10:16 AM ET ) Rotterdam and LA, where I won my two titles! The Slams, everyone looks up to them. Playing in Miami is great as is Viena.
Katya (Moscow): If you could have any other's player best shot, what would it be?
Radek Stepanek: (10:17 AM ET ) I would take Pete Sampras' serve because he was able to get out of trouble with his serve and it made his life on the court much easier.
Djole: If you were not a tennis player, what would you be?
Radek Stepanek: (10:18 AM ET ) Tough question because I am happy what I am doing, but when I was younger I wanted to be a hockey goalkeeper.
Carlos: What do you think about the players who are still playing on clay in Europe during the US Open Series?
Radek Stepanek: (10:20 AM ET ) Every player has his own favorite surface. For me I can play on all surfaces, so for me it doesnt matter. Players who like to play on clay, I think that is why they are staying in Europe and they want to use the time to play on their favorite surface, which is understandable.
Inge, Austria: What are your best memories off and on the court?
Radek Stepanek: (10:21 AM ET ) We had a funny story in Rotterdam when a naked guy ran on the court during the trophy presentation. In every tournament you have so many stories. In LA, I met Wayne Gretzky and that was an amazing five minutes with him. Those are the things I will remember for a long time.
Abid, Vancouver BC: Being on the road, and having such a busy schedule, how hard is it to spend time with Martina?
Radek Stepanek: (10:23 AM ET ) When two players have a relationship, everyone has to be preofessional.We try to spend much time together and doing well and are in tournaments together. We make the best of our time together. It's a differnet life than usual because people go to their jobs and come home in the evening. Our job is different and that is just what it takes.
Abid, Vancouver BC: Who's your favorite goal tender in hockey? Is it Hasek ?
Radek Stepanek: (10:24 AM ET ) Definitely it's Hasek. And my favorite player is Jaromir Jagr, who was with me at WImbledon and at Roland Garrros. We had a great time.
Kenneth: Was Lendl your favourite player when you were a kid?
Radek Stepanek: (10:25 AM ET ) Lendl, definitely. Im luck enough that I met him here in the US and we are good friends. He was the first player who brought a lot of attention to what he did off the court and I have a lot of respect for him.
Radek Stepanek: (10:27 AM ET ) thank you for the time and the questions and all of your support. I hope to see all of you out on the tour. Take care.