19 janvier 2004
Sebastien, you’ve had a great start to the Australian Open. What did you think of your win against Mikhail Youzhny (6-1, 6-4, 7-5) ?
It was great for me to have won in three sets. I started the match off really well. I would have won the second set easier because I had a break point to go up 4-0. But all in all, I was satisfied with my match. It was really hot today (IT WAS BOILING!!!!). compared to last week, it was really, really hot. I think it reached 34°. But I wasn’t really disturbed by the heat. I played solidly and it was a positive start to the tournament.
Compared to how you played in Doha and Kooyong, how did you play today?
Yeah I think I played well here, but I didn’t serve too well. On one of the sides you were looking straight into the sun and on the other, you had the wind going against you. In those conditions, it wasn’t easy to serve. Otherwise, I stuck to my game plan pretty well. Compared to Kooyong, I concentrated a lot better.
How’s your back (is there some other meaning?!)?
With the tension of the first match of the tournament and the time of my match (12:30), I was a bit stiff. But it didn’t really hurt me. I was happy that I won my first match. I know Arnaud and Rainer lost, there’s always a risk of losing first round. Youzhny was a dangerous opponent. He wasn’t seeded. He’s a very solid, talented player. It was a pretty dangerous first round but I pulled though. I took it seriously and I hope I can continue with the same state of mind.
What were the tactics going into the match?
Thierry wanted me to start the match off really well. That’s exactly what I did. From 1-1 in the first set I was really aggressive and from the second set (when I started watching
) I was hitting harder and taking more risks.
Wednesday, you are going to play Jan-Michael Gambill.
It won’t be easy even though he hasn’t been playing that well this start of the season. But despite that, he’s still a dangerous player. He’s powerful, he hits hard on both sides and has a big serve. I’m going to have to return well. I’ll have to mix up my game a bit too because he doesn’t like rhythm changes.
The last time we met was in Tokyo. I won but it was a tough match.
What are ur plans for tomorrow?
I’m going to hit up for an hour. Then have a massage. I’m going to make sure I’m right physically because it’s expected to be 37 degrees tomorrow. I’ll have a bit of rest too before Wednesday.