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Old 01-01-2006, 11:20 AM   #53
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Default Re: Kiwi interviews & articles

from HopmanCup!

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Media Conference
Transcript - Kiefer, Groenefeld, Arthurs, Stosur with Fred Stolle
31/12/2005


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(Stolle) Well, what a heart stopper that one was. The mixed doubles, thatís what the Hopman Cup is all about. The mixed doubles decide it again. It was a tough day at the office folks.

(Stosur) Yes, it was a tough day. Itís always hard to lose especially in a tie-break 10-8. Those tie-breaks can go either way, thatís the way it goes.

You guys won the first set and then the Germans switched sides. Did that have anything to do with your tactics?

(Stosur) I donít know. I kind of went off the boil a bit at the start of the second set and then found it hard to get back into it and they picked up their game. I think they ended up playing better when they switched. Maybe they will play that way from the start next time.

On the positive side though Sam, youíve got to be very happy with your performance in the singles. You came out, served particularly well. The kick serve and you played very well today.

(Stosur) Yes definitely. Iím really happy with the way I played in the singles game. Thatís something that I can work on for the next matches as well and then hopefully keep it going in the mixed doubles next time.

Well good luck. Wayne, a tough day at the office. Nicolas returned serve very well and you didnít.

(Arthurs) Thanks for that Fred. Thatís about the truth though isnít it? Yes, I had a very bad day on the serving and probably an even worse day on the returning. You get punished by someone whoís returning that well when you are not serving great. I was a little disappointed with the way I played in singles. I picked it up a little bit in the doubles. It was even more disappointing to lose it in the end.

Well, as far as the return of serve, is it a little easier when you have someone out there in the mixed doubles? You returned better in the mixed doubles than you did in the singles.

(Arthurs) Yes I certainly did. I donít have to run to the other side to try and retrieve the ball. Iím not quite sure why it is that I return a lot better in doubles, but hopefully I will pick up my return over the next couple of matches.

Nicolas put you under a lot of pressure on the return of serve. If you missed the first serve you know youíre always looking at a low volley.

(Arthurs) Yes I certainly was. He was returning very hard as well. I wasnít picking my spots on the second serve and Iíve got to be doing that against probably one of the top five returners in the world.

And how about the right calf muscle? Youíve got it taped up?

(Arthurs) Yes, I had a bit of a problem. Three weeks ago I tore a 3cm tear in it and it has recovered well and it was another spot on it that recovered quite badly in the last game of my singles. Hopefully with a bit of intensive physio it will pull up well for next Tuesday.

Well you donít have to play until Tuesday. Tough one today, but good luck for the rest of the week and enjoy the New Years Eve party tonight. And the winners, what a performance it was. To get through and win that tight mixed doubles. You must be happy with your performance today Anna-Lena.

(Groenefeld) Yes I am. To win in the mixed doubles, that was so close. We had a lot of fun today and it was a great atmosphere playing here. In my singles I was a little bit disappointed with the way I started the match. It was the first match of the year, but I think I can improve in the next few matches and I am really happy we pulled it out today. I had a good partner, like last year, I had a good partner who helped me out.

Last year you played very well in the mixed doubles and towards the end here you stepped it up a notch.

(Groenefeld) Yes, we always said have fun and go for the shots. Be aggressive and it paid off in the end. We stepped it up in the tie-breaker. Itís great to have a win in the end.

Well how about Nicolas, this is the first time he has played mixed doubles in his career if you can believe that.

(Groenefeld) Pretty impressive, yes. It is a lot of fun to play mixed and I think he enjoyed it too. It was his first one. We have two more for sure and maybe a third one. I hope we can keep it up like this.

You guys came here, youíre the bookies favourites if you want to go and have a bet on yourself, for the rest of the week, youíre the bookies favourite. You wonít get a very good price now that you have beaten the Aussies. Nicolas, a great performance today. You looked pretty trim and you came out and you played a great singles match and again in the doubles.

(Kiefer) Yes I feel physically very good. Sometimes shots are going everywhere, but itís okay. At the end of the day the win counts and I am very happy that I won my singles and it was a tough mixed now. As you said it was my first mixed in my career and 10 years on the ATP tour, I have never played mixed, so I was a little scared to shoot on the woman.

Well you didnít show that towards the end.

(Kiefer) Just match point because it was a very important one. But I tried to stay away from it. It was very enjoyable. It was nice to play with Anna-Lena and we had a lot of fun, which is the most important thing; to go out onto the court and enjoy it and that is what we did today.

You did seem to be enjoying it and thatís what the Hopman Cup spirit is all about. You had a few laughs with the crowd; you cracked somebody on the shoulder. We though it was the head, but it was just the shoulder. But sheíll have a sore arm tonight.

(Kiefer) I think she is ok. I told her, next time I take the other shoulder then she will feel much better. It is really nice. Nice people. Very friendly and enjoyable. There are great spectators here and also for Germany. Thank you very much.

The last thing I want to ask you is aboutÖ You look like your Kim Clijsters out here and in the commentary booth, on a couple of occasions, you have had some injuries but itís pretty tough to do that (splits). I saw you grab your knee at one stage. Is everything okay?

(Kiefer) Yes everything feels okay. I am 28 but I still feel young, so my legs are still running.

Well congratulations on a great effort today and youíre through to the next round and your favourites. Good luck for the rest of the week and have fun again at the New Years Eve party.

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Can somebody explain me the "crack somebody on the shoulder" reference which I didn't understand? What happened there?

On the first time reading I understood "crack" as breaking a bone and I thought, what the fuck happened? But "crack sb on the shoulder" means probably tap/touch somebody on the shoulder, right? So what was the context there that Kiwi did that?
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