Video version in the link: http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/int...087822927.html
An interview with: TIM SMYCZEK
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Q. What was that like for you out there?
TIM SMYCZEK: It was pretty cool. I mean, obviously it was pretty disappointing to lose, especially being up a break in the fifth. But, yeah, you know, I can't wait to come back next year. It's a really cool feeling. You know, like I said, couldn't be much more disappointed right now, but, you know, these are kind of the types of situations that you dream about. I mean, it was pretty cool to be the last American in the draw, male, for a day. But, you know, got a little taste of it. It's where I want to be. Can't wait to do it again.
Q. What was that like, being the last American guy?
TIM SMYCZEK: I mean, just 'cause of the schedule, I was later in the week. But, no, it was a cool feeling. You know, got a little taste of maybe what John or Sam or Andy went through for so many years, or James sometimes just a little taste. Love to have more of it.
Q. What in your mind did he do well or you not do well in the fifth set?
TIM SMYCZEK: He came up with some amazing shots, like some passes. You know, I didn't feel like I played a bad game to get broken back, but maybe one or two loose errors. He just came up with some stuff, I think. Before I knew it, we were back on serve after I missed like a mid court forehand. But, you know, I had a chance to break the next game, I think. He served his way out of it. I might have missed a return, too.
Q. Were you surprised he could hang in there? He played two five setters coming in.
TIM SMYCZEK: I think he's considered one of the fitter guys on tour. I was a little surprised that I won the third set so easily 'cause I did think then he showed signs of slowing down. But he came right back out and he was as good as ever, so...
Q. You were talking about having another chance to break. There was one point I think you were down to one challenge where it looked like I think it was a backhand might've caught the line. Do you remember if you thought about asking for that one?
TIM SMYCZEK: I don't remember.
Q. It was 4-3, two breakpoints, and it was the second one.
TIM SMYCZEK: I think I missed a backhand a 15-40. As soon as I hit it, I thought I missed it. So I don't know if I should have challenged. Did you think it was pretty close?
Q. You only had one left. It was sort of a tough one.
TIM SMYCZEK: You know, I think at deuce he hit an ace wide and I thought about challenging. I realized I was down to my last challenge.
Q. Didn't cross your mind then?
TIM SMYCZEK: No, not on the backhand. Felt like I missed that one.
Q. Obviously it's not on you that you were the last American in there. Since you are, do you go around thinking about American tennis very much or are you just doing your own thing?
TIM SMYCZEK: Yeah, not really. I talked about this with Doug a couple weeks ago, and I told him then that I think, you know, at the very top of the game American tennis is a little bit behind where it has been in years past. I know we got really spoiled with Pete, Andre, all those guys, and Andy for so many years. But, you know, I think it's also a really exciting time because there's five, six, seven guys that are hovering right around 100 and have a good chance to make a big breakthrough. You have Harrison back in the top 100, you have Sock who is doing really well, and a bunch of guys just outside. I think you can look for American tennis to be on the upswing again real soon. And John and Sam, you know, I think John fell out of the Top 20 for a week; now he's at 13. Sam will be back there soon. He's too good a player not to be. I think we're in a pretty solid place right now.
Q. This is the first time there's not been an American man in the fourth round of a Grand Slam ever.
TIM SMYCZEK: This year, yeah. You know, I think it's tough being judged by just the Grand Slams. 'Cause if you look at it, John has had an unbelievable summer. He won Atlanta; he finaled Cincinnati; he finaled Washington. He just had a rough match third round against Kohlschreiber here. I think to be judged on just the Grand Slams alone isn't quite fair. But I do understand Grand Slams are what makes a career. I think you can expect that to change next year.
Q. What were some of the new experiences for you being the last American guy here?
TIM SMYCZEK: I never heard somebody yell out from the stands, You're our last hope. That was new (smiling). But it really happened pretty fast 'cause those other guys just lost yesterday, so...
Q. Were you feeling any pressure out there? Didn't look like it.
TIM SMYCZEK: I don't think so. Played second round and this round guys ranked ahead of me, guys that have been into the second week of slams before. I didn't feel pressure like that. I mean, maybe when I got broken back in the fifth I might have felt a little pressure, but not so far as that I should dial it back a little bit. Early on in the first set, I was just working points and playing real consistent with him, and he was killing me at that. I knew that to win points I had to not necessarily play higher risk but, you know, maybe big targets, up the pace a little bit.
Q. What was it like to have the entire place cheering for you?
TIM SMYCZEK: It was really neat. You know, I never had to step up to the baseline with goosebumps so many times. Like I said earlier, I got a taste of it. I can't wait to come back again next year and do it because it was a really special feeling. You know, I used to hear James and Andy talk about how playing Davis Cup was one of the greatest experiences of their careers. I didn't quite get that before. But I think now, you know, it's a pretty special feeling to have everybody behind you like that.
Q. Not to pin it on you again, but you see some positive signs. It's fair to say we're sort of hitting bottom here and the only way is up.
TIM SMYCZEK: Yeah, for sure. I've, this summer, been up a break against three or four guys and lost. You know, gonna take a couple days off and maybe take a step back and think about some things and just really take the positives. I think it might be hard to think about them right now, but I think there are some. But, yeah, I'll definitely take a step back and analyze.
Q. I was talking a little bit more about American tennis, men's tennis in general.
TIM SMYCZEK: No, no, I mean, I think John is 13.
TIM SMYCZEK: Oh, 17. Okay. Well, 17, 13. I really don't. I really think we're in a good place. I think that you can expect some guys that are ranked around 80, 90, 100, to really make a jump later this year and in the early part of next year. You know, I think John and Sam are really going to come back in a big way.
Q. How did this tournament make you reassess yourself?
TIM SMYCZEK: I saw a stat earlier that there's something like 10 guys in the third round that are over 30. Does that sound right? I mean, I think I'm not a young guy anymore, but it's really inspiring to see some of these players play their best tennis after 30. Hopefully my body stays healthy. That might be an opportunity for me to extend my career and hopefully my best tennis is ahead of me.
Q. Fall schedule?
TIM SMYCZEK: Got a couple weeks off and then those challengers in Northern Cal. Then I'm not quite sure after that. Either play some of the tour events in Europe or the challengers, the indoor challengers.
Q. Will you eagerly be awaiting the rankings next week?
TIM SMYCZEK: No, I actually I'm pretty sure I didn't, because I was defending a qually and won a round last year.
Q. There's no rankings this week, so you have to wait.
TIM SMYCZEK: Yeah, no, I mean, I got a couple weeks with no points coming off. Good chance next few weeks, I hope.