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INTERVIEWS

March 10, 2007

S. QUERREY/C. Rochus

6-2, 6-4

An interview with:

SAM QUERREY

THE MODERATOR: Sam Querrey, everybody.
Q. Just judging by the score, it looked fairly easy. How was it out there?
SAM QUERREY: Played well. I like playing in the heat. It's good for my serve. The ball really moves through the court. We were at 2-all, after that I just sort of gained some momentum. Won the first set 6-2; second set, broke 5-3 and lost my serve and then went on to break him. So I was kind of -- I felt like I was in control the whole time.

Q. Easier than you expected?
SAM QUERREY: No. I mean, I didn't know what to expect really, but I know he's a tough player from Belgium. I've seen him play a couple times, definitely a talented guy.

Q. You had a lot of support in the crowd today. Is there any extra pressure, the hometown?
SAM QUERREY: Not really. Those guys are all in matches that are near home, so it's kind of fun when they're out there. I like it.

Q. I didn't get a chance to see it. They said some of the people in the crowd were wearing like outfits or something for your matches?
SAM QUERREY: No. They had their shirts off and they had Samurais across their stomachs. They had red flutes and a gong and head bands.

Q. Flutes?
SAM QUERREY: One dude had a flute.

Q. What's it like returning to the desert? I know you've had success out here as a junior and you had your first win here last year.
SAM QUERREY: Yeah.

Q. What is it about the desert that you like?
SAM QUERREY: It just so nice to play somewhere close to home. It makes it so much easier, so much more enjoyable when your friends and family can come out, and it takes away the stress of traveling. So that's probably the biggest thing, it's probably why I play the best out here.

Q. How would you say you're kind of different this year compared to last year when you came into this tournament?
SAM QUERREY: I'm ranked higher and probably more consistent, just a little more confidence. I've been playing for a year now, so just confidence is probably the biggest thing.

Q. How would you assess your year so far, say if you had to give yourself a letter grade?
SAM QUERREY: A minus.

Q. A minus?
SAM QUERREY: I mean, so far. I've only -- I lost to five guys, four of them are top 10 players and (indiscernible) last week.

Q. What was your grade point in high school in Thousand Oaks?
SAM QUERREY: Grade point average?

Q. Yeah.
SAM QUERREY: About 3.4-ish.

Q. Who was the guy you lost to who is not a top 10 player?
SAM QUERREY: Evgeny Korolev from Russia. He's a young guy. He's my age. He's 19, I think.

Q. Yeah, I know who he is.
SAM QUERREY: He's ranked like 70 right now, but -- I have a knot in my shoe. He's really better than that, though.

Q. I see you're playing with your shoe. What happened with your shoe at the Australian and your dialogue with James? What was that about?
SAM QUERREY: That was so stupid. James, like I had a little hole in my shoe on the top, and James was making it sound like I had a hole like the size of a tennis ball on the bottom. It kind of blew out of proportion.

Q. A media frenzy over nothing?
SAM QUERREY: Yes. There was like an a interview on it; I had to give away the shoes. It turned into a big thing. It was nothing.

Q. Who got the shoes? Were they up on the --
SAM QUERREY: The TV guy who was interviewing me.

Q. He wanted the shoe?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah.

Q. Okay. Speaking of important objects in your life, can you talk about your VW van? Do you still have it?
SAM QUERREY: Still got it. It's in Thousand Oaks right now sitting in the garage. I don't drive it too often, but, I mean, mainly 'cause it's been winter the last few months. But now that spring is coming along, I'll probably take it out a little more, take it to the beach to practice.

Q. Has a nice vibe to it?
SAM QUERREY: Oh, yeah, everyone loves that thing. You can pack like 50 people in there.

Q. Did you see, what's it called, Little Miss Sunshine?
SAM QUERREY: Oh, yeah, I loved that movie. That movie's awesome. That's like my van, but mine's blue.

Q. The shoes, really quick, is there a reason why you picked the Boom, I think, over like the Barricade?
SAM QUERREY: I don't notice a huge difference in the shoes. I've been wearing the Booms this year. I really like them. I've also tried the ones you have on, the Accelerators. But the Booms, the Barricades, and there's one other pair.

Q. Feather?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I like the Feathers, too. They're all -- I can't really tell the difference.

Q. Recently Andy said you've a good shot to be top 30 in the rankings. Would you be satisfied with that or do you have your sights set higher?
SAM QUERREY: At the end of this year or just overall?

Q. Overall.
SAM QUERREY: I mean, it would definitely be a nice thing to have on your resume, but I want to be top 10.

Q. Do you think your chances are pretty decent?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I think if I keep working hard and having fun, you know, gain more and more confidence every tournament, I think eventually I can could make it.

Q. You talk about your confidence. Young player comes into the tour, all these names who play for years and years, it's pretty daunting situation, but then you get some wins this year, a decent tournament there. What's that process like with confidence?
SAM QUERREY: Just every match you win, I mean, if you beat a guy ranked, you know, 30 in the world, then all of a sudden, you think you can beat the guy ranked 31, 32 and so on. If you beat a guy ranked 6th in the world, then all of a sudden you think you can beat everyone who ranked 6th or higher -- or lower, or however you look at it. So I think that's kind of the key.

Q. Can you talk about your next match. I believe it's Davydenko.
SAM QUERREY: Mm-hmm. Yeah, looking forward to playing him. Ranked 4, hopefully all my friends are going to be out there, maybe I can get in his head. We'll see. It should be a good match.

Q. I haven't been to all your matches, but have you actually been able to get into people's heads and really unnerve your opponent?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah. The U.S. Open, I think they got to Gaudio. Even though I lost, they were getting back and forth. And then at the L.A. Open, it seemed like them and Spadea were kind of going back and forth.

Q. You mean Vince actually had something to say (laughter)?
On the flipside, you encounter all kinds of crowds, you know you're playing on a little back court there at Wimbledon with the crowds right on top of you to some pretty distant courts. What's the toughest crowd you've faced?
SAM QUERREY: The toughest? I really haven't faced a difficult crowd yet. I'm sure -- I'm sure there will come a point where I'm in Wimbledon and I'm playing Murray or if I'm at the French Open and I'm playing Benneteau or something. The majority of my tournaments that I've played so far have been in the United States, so pretty much I have everyone on my side.
The Australian Open, you know, the Australians and the Americans are kind of like one. And the toughest one was probably in South Korea though where I played Hyung-Taik Lee in the semis of a big challenger there, and I had everyone in South Korea cheering against me.

Q. Can you talk about the atmosphere out there today. Have you ever played on Court 6 out there? It was kind of out in the hinterlands?
SAM QUERREY: I kind of liked it out there. I though I honestly was going to be play on Stadium 2 or 3. I don't know. I was happy on Court 6. It's kind of, the crowd feels like they can get more into it and it's better if my fans are closer, so...

Q. Could you talk about Davis Cup for a minute. I mean, most every young player who's coming on strong thinks a little bit about it. Even though we have Roddick and Blake locked in pretty good, in the back of your mind is that something you'd really like to do?
SAM QUERREY: Definitely that's something I've always wanted to do. Hopefully I'll get a chance one day.

Q. I know you've had some involvement with Patrick. Is he talking to you on a regular basis or...
SAM QUERREY: Not on a regular basis, but when I see him in the tournaments, we'll always stop and say hi and chat for a while.

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