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March 15, 1997

Bohdan Ulihrach


JOE LYNCH: Bohdan Ulihrach into his first Mercedes Super 9 final. His best hardcourt performance ever. His previous four finals had all come on clay, but I think he's now a hardcourt specialist. He has not lost a set since losing the first set in the first round against Hernan Gumy. First question for Bohdan.

Q. What seems to be the difference on the hardcourts now? Anything you've done to improve your game on the surface?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: I'm serving better now. I found a coach and over the last year. Before we were two players and one coach. We started November and we work really hard. I was missing results since last year. We were working hard. I had a little bit bad luck in the beginning of the year, sick one week. Finally I got some result here.

Q. What did your coach have you working on?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: We were working -- we like to improve baseline game and I think we already improve serve a lot and the game of serve and volley.

Q. What is your coach's name?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: The name of my coach is Tomas Petera. He was two years with Martin Damm. Then last year he was six months with Petr Korda.

Q. When the Spaniard Roberto Carretero reached the finals of the Panasonic Open, the first final of a Super 9 final, he said it would mean to him more money, more points, and more women. What will this mean to you, reaching the finals here?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: It is different because he played quallies there (laughter). For me, it means points.

Q. No women?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: No women. I have girlfriend, so.

Q. You already have a girlfriend?


Q. How exciting is this, though, for you, to be in this final?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: For me it's very important that I have no results five months, almost six months, so for me it's very important for me to make like 370 points. I will be I think close to Top 20.

Q. You beat Sampras once before, didn't you?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: Yeah, it was last year at Dusseldorf, World Team Cup.

Q. On clay?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: Yeah, on clay.

Q. So you come into this match with him thinking differently, I assume?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: It was completely different match because it was on clay. It's a surface which I like, which he hate. It was in Europe. I think all Americans, they don't like to play in Europe.

Q. How many times have you been to California before?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: I am first time here in California.

Q. What is your impression?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: It's beautiful, really nice. A lot of Czech people here, immigrants, beautiful, Paradise.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the final with Chang or Muster, what you think?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: I have no preference. Both are very good player. It will be rally from the baseline, but nothing to lose. They have to win. Both are top five. Nothing to lose.

Q. This being your first trip here to California, what did you do special? Anything other than tennis?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: I had no time.

JOE LYNCH: Your hair is very long now, too.

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: Cut it, last year.

JOE LYNCH: One year?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: One year ago I had it like this, shorter (indicating).

Q. You like it longer?


Q. The winning haircut.

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: I will cut it soon.

Q. Czechoslovakia has a tremendous tennis history. Do you have any conclusions, have you gotten advice from any of the more famous Czech players?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: I think I have not so good connection. Lendl, he moved to States. Mecir, Slovakian, now two different countries. I have only connection with Korda, he's still on the circuit.

Q. If you move into the Top 20, you would be seeded in tournaments. Will that make a big difference in the way you play the game?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: Yes, it's very different. First or second round, you are not playing, you can play against the best players, against seeded players, so it's big difference.

Q. Bjorkman wasn't able to serve and volley much today. How much of that was his own problem and how much of that was what you were doing?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: I think he was not playing so well. Maybe he was a little bit tired because he played last week, got to the semifinal. Then he played here a lot of matches. He played yesterday night, he played doubles. He played I think already 30 matches this year. He was a little bit tired. He was not playing so well. He played this year Australian Open first round, he was playing much better.

Q. Years ago when Mecir did well here, he talked about how he loved to fish, told us all about his fishing. Do you have a passion?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: When I was younger, I was fishing. I have no time now. Maybe after I stop the tennis, I will fish again because it's very good. You can relax, thinking about life.

Q. Michael Chang likes to go and fish on the golf courses out here. Maybe you can talk about that, get together?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: I played golf once in my life. It's not my game (laughter).

JOE LYNCH: But you can fish on the golf course, on the water. That's where Chang goes.

Q. What was the problem with the golf?


Q. Yes.

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: I couldn't hit the ball. That was the biggest problem.

Q. Was it moving too slowly?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: What was moving?

Q. Was the ball moving too slowly?

BOHDAN ULIHRACH: Just one meter in front of me.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else for Arnold Palmer? Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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