Radek Stepanek Interview - Tennis Masters Cup, Nov 12

Posted on November 13, 2008


November 12, 2008

R. FEDERER/R. Stepanek
7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I would like to know, during the game, your racquet actually was not from your sponsors. Is it something you borrowed from Djokovic? Also the socks you were wearing were from Murray. From the very beginning, you weren't able to get ready for yourself as an alternate. What do you make of it?
RADEK STEPANEK: The story is that my stuff, the whole stuff, you know, which were sended to me stuck in the customs. Until today I didn't got it, so that's why the situation is like this.
Anyway, you know, I was trying to do my best. You know, I think I played a very good match today against Roger, which was very tight. You know, it was a question of a couple of points. You know, that's all I can say.

Q. Did your contact lenses get lost, as well?
RADEK STEPANEK: I didn't even had them (smiling). I came here straight from Thailand where I was on my vacation. You know, I didn't took any tennis stuff on my vacation, so that's why they send it to me from home.

Q. Everything had arrived by this morning? It came through customs this morning?
RADEK STEPANEK: It's not still through. That's why I played with a different racquet. You know, that's the situation, how it is. So I had to deal with it.
I think I dealt with that pretty well. You know, I had my chances today, but didn't make them.

Q. Who did you borrow your socks and your racquet from?
RADEK STEPANEK: I had the racquet from Novak Djokovic, and the lady here was right, I had socks from Andy. But, you know, he's using the same ones as I do, so I asked him if he could borrow me one (smiling).

Q. As we know, Andy Roddick is getting married next year. We wonder when do you plan to hold a wedding with Nicole Vaidisova?
RADEK STEPANEK: No comment (smiling). That's too private. I wish Andy good luck. I'm happy for him.

Q. Roddick said about 10:00 this morning he phoned you that you better be ready. What were you thinking about when he told you about this?
RADEK STEPANEK: I was just, you know, surprised. He told me that he's gonna go warm up. He didn't told me he's not gonna play. He just informed me that he's not feeling pretty okay, but he will try to do his best, you know, to play in the evening.
I figured it out after his warmup, around 5:15, that he's not able to compete. The tournament director came to me and told me that Andy is not ready and that I'm in. I was getting as good as possible for my match. And, you know, that's what I was able to do today.

Q. You have played with Roger Federer four times this year alone. Do you think this year's Roger is more beatable than between 2004 and 2007 when you two played against each other four times and he defeats you each time?
RADEK STEPANEK: You know, I think for Roger this year was very tough in many ways. He started, you know, with the mononucleosis in the beginning of the year, which I know is very tough to get healthy again, to get fit, get the body right.
I think that affect him in the beginning. And, you know, once you start that way, it's very tough to get back. But I believe -- I know he lost more matches than he does usually in previous years, but that doesn't mean that he's beatable.
Definitely he was more beatable this year than the others, but, you know, he still was in I don't know how many Grand Slam finals. He won US Open. So, you know, anyway, the way he played and handled those situations was amazing. I'm looking to him as a best player of all times.
You know, he's still improving anyway in his tough situations during this year. He was able to compete on the highest level, you know. I have a great respect for him.

Q. We all know that playing with Roger is difficult because he is the one who has the most fans in the stands. How do you take your time on court? Did you enjoy your time in Shanghai being one of the alternates playing the Masters Cup?
RADEK STEPANEK: You know, always Roger has fans everywhere. But, you know, my time on court and here in Shanghai is just great. You know, for me it's honor to be here. You know, I'm enjoying time a lot here.
The chance came today to compete here. You know, for me it was always a dream to play in the Masters Cup because you're in the Elite 8 best players in the world.
You know, this tournament is just special in all ways, starting with the way they are treating us here, you know, how well everything is organized. It's just amazing.
As I said, it's an honor for me to be here.

Q. I didn't understand the story with the contact lenses. Did you play without?
RADEK STEPANEK: No, with them.

Q. But they were stuck in customs, you said.
RADEK STEPANEK: Yeah, but we've been able to find the same here. Otherwise, I wouldn't see you now (laughter).

Q. How will you go into your next match knowing you probably have no chance to qualify to the semifinal, but you still have an impact on who will qualify in that group?
RADEK STEPANEK: You know, I'm going to go to that match -- I'm going to every match to win, and definitely this one's not going to be different for me, even I lost a chance to qualify.
As I said, it's an honor for me to be here. You know, I just want to get all I have. I just want to play as good as I can and try to win even the last match.

End of FastScripts