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Men's Singles Semifinal Round Post-Match Quotes

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May 25, 2008

Men's Semifinal Post-Match Singles Quotes

#1 Somdev Devvarman (Virginia)

#1 Somdev Devvarman (Virginia) def. #8 Alex Clayton (Stanford), 6-4, 7-6 (3)
On his match today...
"I feel like Alex is a great player. He is only a freshman and he has a long way to go. To be honest, he had a lot of chances in that match, and he came out really well. I have to give him a lot of credit for being a great match. At the same time, I fought really hard, and that is maybe why I came out on top. I served really well. Other than that, today was a really good match, very competitive all the way through. I am pretty glad I came out on top in the end."

On being down 3-1 in the first set...
"He was serving 3-1, 40-15 if I recall right. He made a couple of errors, I hit a couple of good shots and found a way to break back in, and before I knew it I was serving for the first set. I found a way to win that set."

On getting closer to the title...
"To be honest, I get nervous before every tennis match. You obviously feel a few nerves before every single match. I felt like that my first round, my second round and today, and I am sure that it will be the same tomorrow. With that being said, every time I step on the court I don't think about my streak, I don't think about what record is on the line, I just think about who I am playing and how I can find a way to beat them. I think that is why I have done pretty well this season, and I have my last college match tomorrow. I am going to come out with the same attitude and leave it all on the court."

On his pre-match ritual...
"I joke around a lot with my coaches. We aren't nervous or tense, just messing around, playing some games or something like that. When I get on the court, I like to listen to calm music to get myself relaxed and keep myself in the moment as much as I can. It is really enjoyable right now. I am really having a good time with my senior year and I have one more to go."



On comparing last year, and preparing for tomorrow's match...
"Last year I had a really tough three-set match in the semifinals against [Illinois'] Kevin Anderson. It was also very hot, and I am glad to be done in two today. Other than that, I have always taken pretty much every match the same way, big or small. I try to hydrate, keep myself calm and relaxed, and try to go out and perform at my best level at every single match. That isn't going to change from last year, and hopefully I'll do the same thing tomorrow."

On tomorrow's match...
"I think being a senior and No. 1 in the country sometimes could go both ways. A lot of people have been at the top of the game in college tennis. I try to treat every single opponent the same way, whether I am playing a guy unranked, or No. 1 or 2 in the country. I treat every single person and match the same way, with the same amount of respect."

On the team tournament...
"It was definitely the toughest moment of my tennis career, the hardest moment I have ever had to deal with. I am so passionate about my teammates, the whole tennis program, and we really wanted to win a national championship. At the end of the day, I am always going to look back and not have any regrets because I knew that we played as well as we could. It has definitely helped me stay focused for singles and doubles matches. We have no regrets at all. We left it on the court, and if I could do it again, I'd do it exactly the same way and hope for a different result. Because I have no regrets, I find it easier to deal with. Every time I walk off the court, win or lose, I have no regrets about the way I played."

On his opponent tomorrow...
"Whoever you play, you have to be ready. Either way I am just ready to play a good match. I have a lot of respect for what they have accomplished. I am sure I am going to have a good match regardless, and I am excited."

J.P. Smith (Tennessee)

J.P. Smith (Tennessee) def. #9-16 Andre Begemann (Pepperdine), 6-2, 6-4
On that match...
"First I got off to a good start, I broke (his serve) early in the first game. Then I held serve throughout the set and ended up breaking again to secure the set. Which was good. Then in the second set I got off to a bit of a slow start. I lost a lot of easy points on my serve, like I wasn't doing during the first set. Then at 4-all in the second (set), I managed to hit some really good returns and then get the break and then serve it out."

Talk about playing for a National Championship tomorrow...
"You know I hadn't really thought about it. If you told me at the start of the week I'd be in the final, I would have thought I wouldn't. It's good now, I got one more match to go, it's going to be a tough match. I am playing the No. 1 player in the country now, Somdev (Devvarman). He's been here before; he won it last year and was in the final the year before. He knows, I guess, the situation and expectation that comes from the final. I'm looking forward to it. I am playing the best tennis right now, which is good. Hopefully I can get one more done."