"It was a thrill to win the first
match of the year vs. Malisse and Muller. They had more opportunities than us. On a few occasions, my partner (Igor Kunitsyn)
hit some wonderful returns for us to break back in the match - and also when we were down in the Match Tie Breaker. He really
pulled us through.
In the second match, we played well and won the first set. But in the second set, we lost my serve
in the second game - and this was the first of 4 consecutive breaks of serve. We fought back to 3-3, but unfortunately lost
3-6. In the MTB, we got down early but were not able to fight back successfully as we had the match before. Rajeev and Harel
played too well.
I have fond memories of Auckland. It is the tournament that Marius Barnard and I won my first ATP
title in 2001. They have a photo of us up on site. I had to stop by and look at it. We both have huge smiles on our faces,
and it did bring another smile to my face.
In our first round match, Yves Allegro and I were playing very well. We
won the first set comfortably, and were ahead 2-0 in the second set. Unfortunately, we lost our serve (I made 2 volleys that
were not as good as I was hoping for) and Hernandez and Montanes were back in the match. From then on, they raised their level.
My partner and I fought hard, but lost a 2nd set TB and MTB.
In Melbourne, Robert Kendrick and I got off to an excellent
start. We were up a break and I was serving 4-3. Unfortunately, we dropped my serve to love. We saved two set points at 5/6,
but were not able to win the TB. Then in the 2nd set, Ventura and Granollers-Pujol broke my serve in the first game. Unfortunately,
Robert and I never had a break point in the second set. Our opponents played well, but Robert and I felt that we should have
finished the points better when we had the chance." Jim on the beginning of 2008