TENNIS MASTERS CUP
November 14, 2008
G. SIMON/R. Stepanek
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How did it feel to play with your own
racquet? You didn't play as good as last game.
RADEK STEPANEK: You know, definitely I didn't
play as well as the first match. You know, just
10 minutes before my match I was a bit in a
hurry before the match to get ready, and it cost
me the beginning of the match. The concentration
wasn't there a hundred percent the first few
games. But I was trying to fight back.
But I think Gilles played a very good match
today. He didn't made any mistakes, any errors.
He didn't give me much chances to get back into
Q. If you could use one word to describe the
week, what's that?
RADEK STEPANEK: Describe the week of what? Of my
Q. Yes, the two games.
RADEK STEPANEK: Today definitely my serve didn't
-- you mean this week?
RADEK STEPANEK: Now I understand (laughter).
You know, for me, as I said before, it was honor
to be here, to play the biggest event of the
year, playing the Masters here. The eight best
guys of the year were here. Just Rafa wasn't
You know, for me it's a great experience and
great motivation for the next year to work hard
and be here, one of the eight guys who came
straight here. For me it was an amazing week.
You know, it's definitely disappointing that I
lost both matches when I got the chance to play.
I played Roger Federer, the best player of all
times. And today Gilles played just a great
match. You know, he improved a lot this year. I
tried my best here. I tried to play my best
tennis. The conditions here for me, you know,
with all the lost stuff, waiting, all this,
wasn't too happy for me.
But, as I said, was honor for me to play here. I
was treated, you know, amazingly. For me this is
the greatest experience.
Q. In Roland Garros this year you beat Simon
pretty badly. What part of his game made him
difficult to play against?
RADEK STEPANEK: You know, I came to Paris very
well-prepared. It was in the middle of the
season. I was playing my best tennis the first
six months until Wimbledon. I was in a great
shape. To play best-of-five sets is always
different. To play a Grand Slam tournament is
But, you know, Gilles made incredible improve
since that. He's not missing much. He's moving
very well. He's making you play a lot of balls.
I think he improved his first serve a lot. He's
serving much faster than he was.
You know, I think he improved in every aspect of
the game. He's coming more to the net as he was
before. I have respect for his game.
Q. What is your schedule? Vacation or get ready
for next year?
RADEK STEPANEK: You know, the vacation was done
since I came here. So, you know, when I get back
home, during the weekend I'm going to go see my
family back in Czech Republic for two days, and
then I'm starting the preparation for new
Going to the mountains first two weeks, doing
some condition. Then I will fly to Florida to
prepare for the new year.
My vacation is over.
Q. You will celebrate your 30th birthday at the
end of this month. You're still good enough to
be ranked 20 something. What is your secret?
What is your target for next season?
RADEK STEPANEK: First of all, I'm still young
No, you know, I started my career a bit later
than most of the guys. You know, my best years
came when I was 25, 24. So I'm not that tired as
maybe most of the players in age of 30. When you
go back and you see most of the Czech players,
they played their best tennis around age of 30.
So I hope my best tennis is still in front of
me. Definitely I know that with the age you have
to take care much more of yourself. You have to
be more patient. You have to work hard. When you
see the young guys, you know how fit they are,
so for me definitely the most important thing is
to be healthy.
Throughout my career I had a couple of injuries
which always took me back, got me out of the
shape. But this year I was healthy throughout
the year, which was great for me. If I stay
healthy, I work hard, I believe I can still be
in the top.
Q. Shanghai will hold the ATP 1000 event next
year. Will you come here again?
RADEK STEPANEK: Yeah, definitely I will come
back because, as I said, I enjoyed to play here
this week, especially because this event was for
me a dream come true, you know, to play Masters
Cup. Definitely I will come back.
The way they are treating us here is amazing.
It's a special place. I always be happy to come
Q. Who will most probably win the Masters Cup?
RADEK STEPANEK: You know, definitely in the
semifinals there will be four great players.
We'll see how the next match gonna end up. I
will not underestimate Roger still to fight.
Definitely he will fight for his semifinal spot
in the next match.
So far, you know, Andy Murray looks very good.
He's playing very good tennis throughout the
whole year. He seems to me very much in the
Novak Djokovic is playing very good tennis.
Definitely it's gonna be interesting. But my
guess, I'm not going to say the name (smiling).
Q. Not every player is happy with the Hawk-Eye
system. What are your comments on Hawk-Eye?
RADEK STEPANEK: You know, I think it's great for
the spectators because they get more involved in
the game. For us players, you know, during the
matches there are a lot of very tough calls.
Since the game is very fast, to see millimeter
differences if the ball is good or out is always
I think the Hawk-Eye system helps, you know,
also the umpire and the linesmens and also the
players, you know, to keep the calls right. As
we saw today, you know, it's a question of one
millimeter which can make a difference on a big
I think that Hawk-Eye is good for our game.
Q. Did you play with your own racquet tonight?
RADEK STEPANEK: Yes, it arrived actually 10
minutes before my match, a few minutes. I was
warming up still with Novak's racquet. When I
started to serve that bad, I was thinking of
taking out his racquet and mine put back. No,
Definitely, you know, once you have your
racquet, your stuff, it's feeling better. You
know, the whole story this week was quite funny
and for me quite, on the other hand, quite sad
that I got my life chance to play Masters Cup
and don't have my own stuff.
But, yeah, I was taking the situation as it was.
You know, I tried my best, tried to play my best
tennis as I could, and was fighting till the
Yeah, you're right, today everything what I was
needing was in Shanghai.
End of FastScripts