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INTERVIEWS

March 12, 2007

J. BENNETEAU/J. Blake

6-2, 7-6

An interview with:

JULIEN BENNETEAU

THE MODERATOR: Can we have questions in English first.

Q. Sure. Well, looks like Indian Wells is becoming graveyard for the champions, first Federer last night, now Blake, what do you think?
JULIEN BENNETEAU: It's just this year maybe the top seeds, it's tough for them. I think in the men's -- the men's tennis, everybody -- almost everybody can beat everybody, so we were used to see Roger win everything. And for the first time maybe since a long, long time ago, he lost the first round. So it's maybe a little bit weird for the people, and then for us.
But after him, we knew that there are a lot of good players that they can beat the players in the top 10 or top 20. So I don't know what to say.

Q. Well, you know, just follow-up: The old President Bush who was playing golf here, serious, he fainted this morning in Palm Springs because of the heat. Are you hot on the court? Is that maybe the heat that kind of affects the people when they play?
JULIEN BENNETEAU: Yeah, maybe, but we are used to playing with heat conditions. But this afternoon was very, very heat, and maybe it's tough for some people. But I don't think that James or Roger, Roger played late yesterday and, for us, it was nice on the court because there were a lot of shadow and it wasn't so hot. The match before, Roddick and Rochus the match before them, it was very hot. For our match, it was okay.

Q. You got off to a very good start today. Did you feel like he was moving sluggishly or did you just feel like you were hitting very well?
JULIEN BENNETEAU: I didn't expect to start like this, to reach 4-Love, but I saw that he made a little bit of -- more mistakes than he used to. So I tried to stay in my match, to play the best I can. And today, I'm very happy with the way I play all the match, from the first part to the last.
So for me, it was a full match, a very good match. And that's for him, I think he made more mistakes than usual. But maybe I force him to some shots and to miss some shots that he does not miss normally. So for me, a lot of it -- I think for him it's not a good day for the tennis, but for me, it was a good one.

Q. Same thing in the tiebreaker. You got off to a --
JULIEN BENNETEAU: Yeah, I played very well at the tiebreaker, and I went to the net, like, three or four times in the tiebreaker, and I think it was the key to win this match because I had some opportunities before and I didn't take it. So against this kind of player, it's not -- I cannot -- we cannot let opportunities go like this, so when I was like 6-5 down, I said to myself, "Okay. I can stay with this one in two sets, go into the tiebreaker, and then win it." Then I was -- at the very beginning of tiebreaker, he made -- the first part, he made a double-fault, and then I could win my first two points on my serve, so I went, like, 3-Love up very quickly. It was very good for me.

Q. Do you think the old time net rusher is totally out of the game now?
JULIEN BENNETEAU: The old time what?

Q. The -- as in former days, serve and volley.
JULIEN BENNETEAU: It's tough for them now, I think, because a lot of players done very well, a lot of players have good passing shot, and to play, like, serve and volley on this kind of surface -- on the indoors, yes, you can. This kind of surface all the time, every point on your serve, I think it's tough.
It's always difficult to play against, like, this kind of player who makes every volley, because they put you always the pressure on. But if you can hold your serve and then the score is for them, it's a little bit more difficult than for other players.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions in English.

Q. The best I've seen you play. Congratulations.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

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