01-24-2006, 10:13 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Re: Tournament Watch 2006....the Australian Open....
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
D. NALBANDIAN/F. Santoro
7‑5, 6‑0, 6‑0
Q. Did it take you a set to work out his style?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Yeah, almost. It's very difficult play against him because he doesn't have a normal style. In the beginning was stuff. Was windy as well, so was difficult to get in the game.
But when I break back in the first and then I save the 15‑40 in the 4‑All, everything change. I mean, I start playing better, more confidence, hitting better shots. Yeah, in that moment the match change.
Q. Must feel good to get off in three sets for a change?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, first time, yeah. I didn't spend a lot of time on court today, so I am happy for that. I am happy because I play very good. Every round, better and better. So very good.
Q. You had some long matches to get to this point. Did you feel he just ran out of petrol a little bit today?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, today was very difference than another match. Was very short. I play better than another ones. So quite good. And I feel that I am in the semis in a really good shape.
Q. You've now made the semifinals at all four Grand Slam events. How proud are you of that achievement?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Very happy (smiling).
Q. This was the only tournament where you hadn't done that. Was that a real goal of yours?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, I do quarters all the time so is not big difference. But I'm in semis now. So very happy. Try to be in the finals and try to play all the four Grand Slam finals.
Q. You seem very certain that the job most definitely is not done yet. You seem very determined.
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, I feel that I can keep going, so have to keep working, keep playing, keep focus. So it's not easy when you play very good all four Grand Slam and keep motivation.
But I'm keep going, keep practicing. And the goals, I try to ‑ that I say just before ‑ try to win some Grand Slams. So I'm ready to do it.
Q. Have you done anything different this time than the last three years that you feel that may have got you now a step further?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: No, not really. No. Always same things. Same hotel. Same routines. Not much difference.
Q. Any preparation or anything that you changed?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: (Shaking his head no).
Q. Did you feel in the third set he had almost given up and was eager to get it over with?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: I know if he started good in the third, the match can be going, and the same way as the second.
But if I didn't start the third set as good as I do, maybe was a little bit more complicated. But I start very good. I break him very quick. Play him very good.
So not much change.
Q. Do you ever feel embarrassed for an opponent whenever he's just getting beaten that badly?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Sometimes you have lucky and beat him like this, sometimes you don't. So if you can play as less point as possible, it's better.
Q. When you're winning that easily, what do you tell yourself to keep focused? What do you say to yourself
DAVID NALBANDIAN: When?
Q. When you're winning that easily in the second and third sets.
DAVID NALBANDIAN: I mean, in the end of the match?
Q. Towards the end, how do you push yourself to the line?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, you think I wish to play like this in semis and in the finals as well. So you, I think ‑‑ when I was playing, I was enjoy because I was playing very good. Try to play same level on the semis. So not a big deal.
Q. Because he plays so differently, not a power game, does it make it difficult for you to assess just how well you played today?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: What did I say, in the beginning you need few games to adapt to his game. And then I started hitting better shots. I mean, much, much angles. I have to say I played today eight and a half points or something like this, but I prefer to start at the same level. But I couldn't for his game, is not easy.
But in the moment that I find the game ‑‑ always was tough in the beginning, but when I find the game, was much easy.
Q. Could you give us your thoughts of playing Baghdatis or Ljubicic in the semis. Something about both of them?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Both tough. I mean, Baghdatis won ‑‑ beat Roddick. So he's playing good.
Ljubicic is a very good tennis player. Last year he have a very good season: Davis Cup, Masters. He played very good. He continue. He win ‑ what he won? ‑ Chennai. He won Chennai this year. So he's still playing good. It's gonna be a tough match.
But I know if I play in my level, I have chance to win it.
Q. Any preferences between those two?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: No.
Q. Did you watch Roger last night?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Yep.
Q. What were your thoughts on that performance?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: He won (smiling).
Q. Is it easier to have a game plan against players like Baghdatis and Ljubicic than against Santoro?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Yeah, it's different. They play completely different games. I have to focus on my game. If I play good, I can beat both.
Q. If you were a betting man, who would you bet on to win this tournament now?
DAVID NALBANDIAN: Me (smiling)
Bryans || Djokovic || Paire || Chiudinelli || Nalbandian || Hanley || Rojer || Nadal
Söderling || Verdasco || Wawrinka || Simon || O. Rochus || Leo Mayer
Björkman || Arthurs || Edberg || Rafter || T.Johansson || M.Norman || Aspelin
01-24-2006, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Big Blue Nation
Re: Tournament Watch 2006....the Australian Open....
Nalbandian ends brave Santoro run
Nalbandian has now reached all four major semi-finals
David Nalbandian ended Fabrice Santoro's run at the Australian Open, defeating him 7-6 6-0 6-0 to reach the semi-finals for the first time.
Santoro, playing in his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the age of 33, broke the fourth seed at 4-3.
But Nalbandian produced an array of fierce groundstrokes to break the Frenchman twice and take the opener.
From then on Nalbandian dictated the match as Santoro crumbled to defeat without winning another game.
Nalbandian will now meet Ivan Ljubicic or Marcos Baghdatis for a place in the final.
Santoro delighted the Melbourne Park crowd in the first set by taking the first break point of the match with a mesmerising series of delicate shots.
Nalbandian had struggled to work out Santoro, who plays two-handed on both sides, but he responded immediately with some powerful forehands to break back.
The Argentine broke again and carried the momentum forward to wrap up the victory in one hour and 41 minutes.
Despite the one-sided scoreline, the contest was full of quality with the players making just 32 unforced errors between them.
"Fabrice has a very special game," said Nalbandian. "It's not easy to come and hit winners from the first point.
"In the first set I was a bit nervous but when I got a bit of confidence, I started hitting harder and better.
"Now I'm in semis this year and I hope to win it."
Talk to the hand because the ears don't hear you.
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