Re: Grab the sunscreen and the bong, it's time for Kooyong.
9 January 2008
Q. Andy, you were looking pretty good out there today. You must be happy already with the way you're hitting the ball. Can you take us through it, what you did since the Davis Cup win and how you prepared for this?
A. I didn't have that much time off. You know, we kind of finished Davis Cup on Sunday, and then the next Tuesday I was playing in Marty's event. I played a couple of charity events throughout the next week and a half or so, and so I wasn't training per se, but I was still hitting balls. And then about a week before Christmas we started just doing a lot of physical training pretty much all day, and then after Christmas we were down in Hawaii for about 10 days just to get used to the heat, and Jimmy was down there and we had some other players down there, so it has been good, you know. We've been able to kind of focus on what we've had to.
Q. You didn't have to spend too much time on court today, but how did you assess what the court surface was like?
A. I mean, it's pretty much, I think, what everybody has been saying. It's a little grittier, the ball is getting a little bigger as a result of that, but it is a normal slow hard court. I don't see much difference between this and, you know, like a Washington or something like that. I know it is a new surface, but it kind of feels the same as anything else.
Q. Is the bounce as high as it used to be?
A. Yes, I think so.
Q. At Kooyong you have got a fairly good record here, but how important is it for you to prepare for the Open?
A. It's very important, because this is where I'm getting my matches, and I think traditionally a lot of the players who have played here have done well in the Aussie Open. I have played pretty consistently throughout the year, so there's nothing wrong with playing three matches against guys in the top 20 before a big event. It's ideal.
Q. You are going for a hat trick. A lot of people are preparing for the Open, but there is a bit at stake for you. You obviously want to win?
A. I think everybody wants to win, but if I'm sitting here saying I've even thought about winning three times in a row, I haven't really, you know. You kind of use the event for what it's worth, and it's a great event to help prepare, but, you know, I think we're all here for the Australian Open.
Q. With that and the preparation that it offers you, how difficult will it be - David Nalbandian has pulled out today - for him to go out without this sort of practice going in cold on Monday?
A. David has been able to do that before. He doesn't play a lot of tournaments throughout the year, so I think that's a good thing for him. He's not a guy who plays 30 weeks a year. That being said, I think in order to know, to be able to predict on how he's going to be, I have to know a lot more about his injury. I just heard about it about 5 minutes ago. So it's not going to be ideal but, it's just a matter of if he can manage for the first one or two rounds at the Aussie Open until you find your form, and he's a good enough player to figure that out.
Q. How do you assess your form today? How do you think you were hitting the ball?
A. I was pretty happy with how I hit the ball today. I was consistent, I returned pretty well, and I thought I managed the match pretty well. I didn't make any stupid errors, and that's key.
Q. You said you've been working out physically. Are you doing more of that than in the past or basically the same?
A. No; I mean, I've always done it. I think I had to manage my schedule a little bit last year. It's a little bit different having played a Davis Cup final, I didn't maybe play as much in the Fall. I think if you play a full schedule and then you have a three-week turnaround, it would have been a tough ask, and I had to kind of do what I thought was the best, and so far it has worked out as far as scheduling. Thank you.
* * *