Henman and Chela interviews

05-30-2004, 09:21 PM
:tape: :unsure: Q. Now you're a clay court expert, is that the reason for the Latin look, the unshaven?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I think -- I haven't been shaving the whole clay court season. It's coming through (smiling). :tape: :unsure:

Journalists and their questions...



Q. Gave us a bit of a shock at the start. I'm sure yourself also. First of all, how were you feeling health-wise out there?

TIM HENMAN: I felt good. I think I'm pretty close to, you know, feeling a hundred percent. You know, if you're going to play matches like that, you need to be able to draw on everything you've got because, you know, it was a tough match physically, but I think an even tougher match mentally.

Q. What was it at the start? The conditions, the fact he was attacking as much as you were attacking? You obviously didn't seem to get the rhythm that you had in your previous match?

TIM HENMAN: I think, yeah, I needed to make a few adjustments to the conditions. It was obviously cooler. That court was playing pretty slow.

But, you know, didn't really dictate with my style enough. Playing someone like Llodra, he's trying to do the same thing. You know, for two sets, he did it much, much better than me.

You know, he was the one that was dictating the play. He was serving more aggressively and getting forward. You know, I had to try and find a way to turn it around.

You know, his style is awkward. You know, he's got a lot of, you know, ability. He's pretty flashy, he hits such great shots, and then he can miss. You know, I think I've got to try to turn around those situations a little bit quicker. It was really two pretty ordinary sets for me to begin with, and I'm up against it.

But I certainly take a lot of positives out of it, you know, determination and the sort of mental strength that I showed to be able to, you know, get through somehow.

Q. As the match built into a crescendo, all the French crowd were going bananas about everything, it was great at the end that obviously they appreciated Llodra, gave him a great cheer, but as you were walking off, they gave you a great applause, too?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I think they're such a knowledgeable crowd. I think our styles, the two of us, our styles, is pretty rare - certainly on clay. They've probably seen more volleys in that match than they've seen on the rest of the tournament.

It's a great atmosphere to play in. I certainly had my moments reflecting on the match against Canas in Australia. You know, that was a pretty bitter pill to swallow. I just wanted to, you know, keep fighting as hard as I could to try and come away with a win.

You know, that's what I did. I've got to, you know, play better on Tuesday. But, you know, I'm through to the quarters. So there's a lot to be positive about.

Q. Following that win, where does it rate as a Grand Slam win?

TIM HENMAN: I think, you know, in terms of the atmosphere and the drama and the situation, pretty high. But I think, you know, my big focal point is my performance and my style and, you know, my commitment to my style. You know, I've really tried to -- I've really tried to emphasize that to you guys.

I think for 1 hour and 49 minutes, you know, I'm playing the wrong way. That's not a great sign, but I think it's certainly -- you know, to come through a match like that and find a way to win, I think it kind of is character building, that's for sure (smiling).

Q. Having come through that tricky game at 4-5, you had three convincing service games after that. What was the difference there? Getting the nerves out of the way in that one game?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, absolutely. I was obviously serving to stay in the match. It was pretty swirly. I was definitely pretty tight, as well. You know, your serving is a lot about rhythm, and I certainly lost my rhythm. It was, I think psychologically to get through that game where, you know, I think I served three doubles, you know, I was able to, you know, save a match point.

Again, I just had to keep -- you know, keep competing as hard as I could. It's funny, you know, the next three service games, my rhythm was very good and I don't think I was really in trouble. To win 12 out of the last 13 points really the way that I did, that's the aspect that I'll be focusing most of my attention on and was, you know, really a great way to finish it off.

Q. I think you played Chela twice on clay, Monte-Carlo, one win each. How do you approach that game?

TIM HENMAN: Well, I think in all honesty, it's a little bit more straightforward of a match because I've seen him play some of his matches this week or this tournament, and I think, you know, it's pretty obvious the way he's going to play.

He's not going to be coming to the net a great deal. Therefore, it gives me a great chance to really dictate. But I've got to commit to that. If I don't, you know, commit and I end up getting caught behind the baseline and not playing aggressively, then that's going to favor him. I need to do that better than I did today.

Q. If you can choose the surface in a match with Llodra, what kind of surface would you prefer?

TIM HENMAN: I think just a regular hard court or something. You know, we have similar styles.

Q. Why?

TIM HENMAN: Because I think on clay, it's sometimes awkward to return his serve. You know, he gets a lot of kick, a lot of movement on it. And on a hard court, you know, you've got sure-footing. You're not slipping and sliding. You know, that's the surface that I feel pretty comfortable.

But, you know, whatever the surface, I feel good about my game. You just have to, you know, deal with things as best you can on the day.

Q. You have spoken in the past as you get into tournaments about maybe looking too far, restricted you, made you nervous. You've been guilty of that. Was there any of that in the first couple of sets, stopping you from doing what you wanted to?

TIM HENMAN: Perhaps that had a small part to play, first time in the 16's in the French. You know, I definitely, you know, wasn't really moving particularly well. And I was just being reactive rather than proactive. I felt like I was just -- I was trying to, you know, play each point, but it was him that was the one that was dictating the play. You know, that's something I really need to avoid because that's not my style.

But, you know, again, I certainly didn't play my best. But just to win a match of that nature I think, you know, is a very, very positive thing. Sure, there's some negatives, but I think it's important to, you know, push those aside and really focus on the positive aspects.

Q. I know it's a big, big ask, but you're in the quarterfinals. Can you do it? Do you think you could do the impossible?

TIM HENMAN: Which is what (smiling)?

Q. Win the French Open.

TIM HENMAN: I talked about that yesterday, didn't I?

You know, I'm playing well. It's totally the wrong way to approach it. If you start thinking down the road, then you're not going to concentrate on your job. And today, you know, there wasn't a lot of clarity in the first two sets. You know, that's the challenge.

So, you know, who knows what's going to happen. I need to play better on Tuesday. I need to be more committed to my style. And if I do that, and I lose, then I don't have any complaints. But if I, you know, don't play the right way, you know, that's when you feel like you'll let yourself down.

Q. There was a smash he got back in the fifth set. You got into trouble on that serving game. Did you think that was a fluke?

TIM HENMAN: It was a fluke. It was a turning point of that game. You know, what could I do about that? You know, sure, I would have liked to have won the point. But did I do anything wrong? No. I hit two great smashes. He charges in and makes a one-in-a-million shot. It was. It was a big point. First point in that game. I ended up losing my serve.

You know, I think it's emphasized on clay. Sometimes things like that happen.

You know, when I hit -- when was it, Love-15, the game that I broke, I hit the running forehand. Probably catch the outside edge of the line. Half a centimeter here or there, and that one went my way.

Q. Now you're a clay court expert, is that the reason for the Latin look, the unshaven?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I think -- I haven't been shaving the whole clay court season. It's coming through (smiling).

Q. The match you had with Ferrero here on the Saturday last year, would that be kind of the biggest challenge of a real clay court guy, or a Chela? Did you learn anything from that match playing against the best last year?

TIM HENMAN: I think for the set that I played, the set that I won, rather, against Ferrero, I played my style. You know, I played it very well and I won it. But I think 12 months ago, you know, I couldn't maintain that level for three, four or five sets. But certainly, you know, my game has improved dramatically I think - certainly on this surface.

That's going to be the challenge on Tuesday. I'm going to have to play very well for a long period of time. But I think I'm capable of that.

Q. Why couldn't you continue it? Mental or physical?

TIM HENMAN: Probably a combination of the two. Yeah, I wasn't good enough to sustain that level. But I've been doing it more and more in practice. I'm doing it better in some matches. You know, I'm going to have to do it well on Tuesday.

Q. There are so many close matches this year. I think not only you but other great champions saved match points. What do you think of that situation?

TIM HENMAN: Again, on clay, I think there are so many players that can play to a really high level, and certainly on the men's side you look at Safin, a couple of his matches, you see Clement and Santoro. The difference between winning and losing is so small, you get guys competing so hard, you're going to get matches of this nature.

I've certainly lost a few of these in Grand Slams. I think that adds to my satisfaction of actually coming through today. It couldn't have got much closer. You know, I won some important points at the end. It's a good one, good feeling.

05-30-2004, 09:23 PM

Q. How did you live this moment?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: I'm very happy. It's a very special moment for me. It's the first time I am in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament. I started being nervous in the beginning of the match. I was playing too short, and he was giving me everything back.

At the end of the first set, I started playing better. I played my shots. I hit the ball deeper. I was able to take the initiative and go forward towards the net.

Q. Did you feel the pressure? It's 3-1, Love-40, you had a chance? It was the first time you were in this position?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: Yes, indeed, it was the first time, it's true, that I was able to remain calm. I tried not to be nervous. I tried to play every point. But in the last game I had a double break. I was up. But at 3-1, Love-40, at that moment I played bad. Then it was 3-2.

I was very nervous, because I had the impression I was losing the match. It was escaping me. But after, I was able to go up again and I felt a bit better.

Q. You were nervous because you were playing on center court in front of the crowd against you, at this level in the tournament?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: Yeah, it was a bit of all of that. When I was on the court, I was not thinking I was on center court. Even after four sets, I was just there to win. I really wanted to reach the quarters.

Q. You're taking things match by match. The next match will be Llodra or Henman. It will be difficult?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: I play match by match, as you said. It's going to be an interesting round, whoever, Llodra or Henman. It's going to be a good match for me, even if it's not Kuerten or Ferrero.

Q. It's the reward for all the work you've done in your career.

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: Yes, not only did I work very hard, working hard in this tournament, but even before. I'm very pleased to reach this level.

Q. If you close your eyes, you can see that it's been a long time of dreaming of reaching the quarters in this tournament?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: I am very happy. I just can't relax because I don't have much time to enjoy it because today I will be fine, but tomorrow I will start thinking about my next match already. I won't have much time to prepare. I don't have time to relax at all.

Q. Are you happy?


Q. Maybe it's a bit early to say, but we might have four Argentinian players in the quarters.

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: It's going to be very difficult, but it's not impossible. In Hamburg, it was very difficult, and we made it. It's part luck, but why not?

Q. You are in the quarters. You're playing doubles. How can you do that during two weeks? You'll play against Santoro tomorrow. It will be difficult for you.

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: In fact, I wouldn't maybe have played the doubles if I had known I would have a very hard match with four sets. But physically I feel well. I don't feel tired. I don't know how Gaston will feel. Everything is all right and we'll play.

Q. You were recently saying you were very happy and it was maybe the best moment of your career. What is the meaning that it has for you after all the events that happened to you during the past three years? How do you feel today given the fact that you overcame all the problems?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: Well, I forgot them a little bit. For me, it was a big challenge to come back to the tour. I knew I had to show to myself and everybody else that what happened wasn't important, and I had revenge to take. It was a challenge for me.

Now I'm not thinking about it anymore because it was a while ago. I was able to make it back into the top 80. I'm very pleased when I see my career, given all the efforts I gave.

Q. Compared to former years, what changed? Are you following the same routine compared with what you did in former tournaments?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: For me, it's the same type of tournament. I mean, the same hotel. I do exactly the same things.

Q. What is the role of Gaby Marcos in your career?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: I think he works very well. My results are not only due to luck. With him I was able to reach the finals in Wimbledon, and with Massu also in the Top 10. He works very well with me.

Q. Did you dedicate this match to someone?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: Yes, to my family, my fiancee, all the team working with me, the people who love me truly. They are always with me.

Q. You spoke with Gaby Marcos after the match?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: No, I didn't see him very much. When I came off the court, I came immediately here.

Q. Did he say something?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: He just congratulated me. He will be able to assess the match.

Q. Either Llodra or Henman, both aggressive players. Do you prefer this type of player or do you prefer a baseliner like yourself?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: No, I prefer to play against a player who's attacking all the time and comes to the net. On clay, it's slower so I have more time than on cement or hard courts. I prefer that kind of player rather than the player that makes you move a lot.

Q. When Gaston won, he said that in tennis you always have to suffer. Do you agree?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: When you are playing a big match, you are suffering, it's true. There are certain moments when you are up Love-40, you lose a game, then you suffer. But for the rest of the time, you're enjoying it a lot.

Q. Do you prefer Henman compared to Llodra?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: I prefer Llodra.

Q. Llodra?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: Yes, because he doesn't have the same experience even mentally compared to Henman.

05-30-2004, 10:24 PM
LOL, Henman said the 61 times the words "you know" during that interview... :lol:

For the rest it's quite an interesting interview though.

Horatio Caine
05-30-2004, 10:42 PM
LOL, Henman said the 61 times the words "you know" during that interview... :lol:

For the rest it's quite an interesting interview though.

Not as many times as an interview with Andy "you know" Roddick, although he must come close! :haha:

Horatio Caine
05-30-2004, 10:49 PM
[/QUOTE]Q. Do you prefer Henman compared to Llodra?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: I prefer Llodra.

Q. Llodra?

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA: Yes, because he doesn't have the same experience even mentally compared to Henman.[/QUOTE]

:haha: Unlucky Chela!!! :haha:

Conan the Librarian
05-30-2004, 10:56 PM
Conan thinks jez has a slight obsession with Roddick, given the regularity he mentions him.

Horatio Caine
05-30-2004, 10:58 PM
Conan thinks jez has a slight obsession with Roddick, given the regularity he mentions him.

:haha: It's all the Americans!

05-30-2004, 11:11 PM
you really do, jez. it's a little bit scary how much you love all the American players so much :)

Anyway I think on the men's side JCF is the "you know" king and I think on the women's side Capriati and Clijsters would have to battle that one out in a never-ending "you know" 3-setter :) Andy's bad but he's not the worst.

Horatio Caine
05-30-2004, 11:14 PM
you really do, jez. it's a little bit scary how much you love all the American players so much :)