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September 7, 1992

MaliVai Washington


Q. Mali, when they suspended the match last night for the second time and final time, did you put up any protest, considering the fact that the first suspension was ten minutes and --

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: I didn't protest at all. It was one of those things we both knew the court was wet. In situations like that, it can be dangerous, if one falls and turns an ankle or a knee or whatever.

Q. I mean, the fact that after the first suspension was only ten minutes, and the second time, the same kind of mist came in, it wasn't any heavier, it wasn't rain?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: It was something you couldn't help. If the court is wet, it is wet. You got to come off. I mean, I wasn't disappointed about it. I mean, I tried to look at it as an advantage of mine. I find, if we cancel the match for the night now, I can think about what I want to do, come the next day. I can think about some of the things I wasn't doing, or things I could be doing a little better. I tried to use it to my advantage.

Q. This is first time that you have been seeded here. I am wondering what difference does that make to you?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: I mean, it is a good feeling. I think it is a nice accomplishment being seeded at a Grand Slam. Especially for the first time. But you know, I try not to dwell on seedings too much, because you know, I don't know, it is just indication of where everyone is ranked. I mean, you got to come out there from the first round, from the first point, fighting to stay in the tournament, because, I mean, you see plenty of guys and plenty of girls getting knocked off. People call them upsets. It is not really an upset, because anybody can beat anyone on any given day.

Q. There are an awful lot of seeds left in the men's draw. Why is that?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: Why? I don't know. I mean, the seeds were just able to-- you know, I guess that was just the luck of the draw; the seeds were able to pull through. Sometimes you are going to have that; other times you are not.

Q. What do you remember about your match with Chang earlier this year?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: What do I remember about it? I don't know I won it, I think. I mean, it was a tough match. You know, I think -- I think I didn't know what he was going to be doing. He probably knows what I am going to be doing. I think whoever plays the best is probably going to come out on top in that match. He is obviously a good player. I am playing pretty well right now, so a lot of factors will go into winning the match, but you know, I am just going to have to get out there and play my game, play what I have done had the three previous rounds, and you know, hope for the best.

Q. Anything you have improved specifically this year that has held you to make this rise in the rankings?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: Specifically, I don't know, I mean, I have been working a lot with, you know, with Brian Gottfried down in Florida, on just my whole game, my total game, especially my attacking game. That is something I have worked with him for a while, but I just think my over all game has been improving. My physical conditioning, I think is at a peak right now. I mean, when I say peak, I feel fit, I feel comfortable, going five hours when I am on the court. I think mentally I am also a little stronger.

Q. Chang talked the other day about players that have had this breakthrough in their head that I belong with the top players. How do you feel about yourself?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: I think -- I think I agree with that, because, you know, if you are ranked 50 in the world, and you are never been any higher than that, you haven't beaten any top ten players, you don't really know exactly what you are capable of. You don't even know if you should be beating these guys, but you know, last year when I was losing, you know, last time I was sitting in this chair, you know, I just lost to Michael, in five sets, and those are the kinds of things that tell you, hey, you are almost there. Then beating Chang earlier this year and having some other good wins, you know, it gives you the feeling of belonging, and I think that it gives you a lot of confidence. I think confidence is one of the things that makes a big difference when you are out on the court. I mean, if you believe you could win, you are going to win.

Q. When you go out against Chang, you will think differently?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: Differently than?

Q. Before when you played him?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: I think I am going to be thinking pretty much the same this time. I felt I was playing good tennis in Memphis, I felt good when I went out on the court and I feel good now, so--

Q. Difficult overnight in a match like that; hard to get to sleep?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: No. Actually. I felt-- I got into bed and fell asleep about ten minutes later, yeah. I don't know, I didn't have any problem falling asleep.

Q. Harder on those of us that watched it I guess?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: Maybe. I don't know, I went to bed at 2, 2:30 in the morning, so I mean, I was a little tired. It was way past my bed time. I usually go to bed at like 8:30.

Q. This was McEnroe's, maybe, last Open here, do you have any memories of him when the first time was you saw him play or watched him?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: Do I have any memories?

Q. Do you remember first time you saw him play or first time you noticed him?

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: Let me think. Who did he beat in his first Open? Did he beat Vitas in the finals?

Q. Yes.

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: I do remember that match. What year was that?

Q. 1979.

MaliVAI WASHINGTON: I mean, that was one of my, I guess, early memories of him. He was a great player. I mean, he is still a very good player, there is no doubt about that. I mean, I don't know -- personally, I don't think it will be his last Open. I mean, is he still in the top 20 in the world, actually, I don't know, he is probably around 15 or something. I mean, he still has a heck of a lot of good tennis in him, I am sure. So, I mean personally I expect to see him back.

Q. Thank you very much

End of FastScripts....

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