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August 12, 1996

David Wheaton


Q. Tell us about the beginning of the year.

DAVID WHEATON: I just actually a little bit injured at the beginning of this year for a couple of months. I was out. I had an Achilles tendon problem; just was never really healthy. I think a lot of times I really wasn't 100% prepared to play. Just physically and mentally just because I didn't know how much I was going to be able to do and -- but I think now I am starting to feel a lot better physically and mentally. I think that if I can continue to play well and just play my hardest out there and play aggressive that the mental side will come back, I think, too.

Q. You have had -- I guess started in 1994 with some nagging injuries. You missed some time with the hip. Did you have some injuries --

DAVID WHEATON: Beginning of this year. March and April I was basically out. Lost quite a few points. My ranking dropped a lot and then when I came back, I haven't done anything spectacular. I have won a match here and there, but hadn't done anything that would warrant my ranking going back up a lot.

Q. Does it just take a balance of getting through a match or two to just to keep building that confidence when you play deeper in the week, I guess, you would gain what you had?

DAVID WHEATON: Definitely. I mean, the difference on the Tour between winning and losing is very small differences now. It is just each match is really closely contested, I think, and I think the player that is stronger mentally, usually is going to win those real close matches and I think just a few times this year, either for concentration reasons or just physical reasons, I just haven't been able to pull through in some close matches. Lost a lot of three-set matches and just got to sharpen up a little bit.

Q. In that time off, because although you hit that great stretch where you were up around 12, you have been consistently notice 30s and 40s last couple of years and just those points you lost defending --

DAVID WHEATON: No, I mean, I think when I went up to 12, I played really good year that year. I was in the 30s and 40s, and I think that is pretty good, actually being in the 30s --

Q. I am just saying the injuries --

DAVID WHEATON: Yeah, I was injured a little bit here and there, but I think -- I haven't been plagued by injuries my whole career, anything like that. I had a few year here and there. I just think that, you know, the computer is very accurate on where you are going to be ranked depending on your performances, so for the -- I think last year at this time I was ranked 25 or 30, so I have dropped quite a bit. It just matters how you do and who you beat and just for a while there I wasn't, you know, this year I just haven't had as good results as I had in past years.

Q. Is this a situation where you are already a direct entry into the Open?

DAVID WHEATON: Actually I am in the qualifying this year, so I am probably going to have to play qualifying next week.

Q. That has to be the first time for --

DAVID WHEATON: Since 1988, yeah.

Q. So obviously as many matches as you can get this week under your belt, to get ready for that?

DAVID WHEATON: I think so. I think that is kind of what the plan is. If I can play some more matches, that would be great.

Q. Are you playing doubles this week?

DAVID WHEATON: Yeah, with Ken Flach. We have played a little bit since Atlanta. We played a few tournaments; got to the finals of Atlanta; played Wimbledon. Then he got hurt a little bit. Now we are kind of teaming up a little bit for this tournament and U.S. Open.

Q. Was today's match a good test for you because you kind of pushed a little bit there in the second set?

DAVID WHEATON: I think so. I think as long as if you are pushed, it is great as long as you win. You don't want to get pushed so hard you lose. I think definitely he was serving for the set so that was -- I was happy that I was able to break him back and get tiebreak and win it. I thought I played just a little bit early in the second set for -- kind of the middle of the second set didn't play as quite as consistently aggressive as I have been playing in the first set, but I was happy to win just overall.

Q. Did you know much about his game before?

DAVID WHEATON: I think he is about my age, but I have never really seen him play - either played different tournaments or so forth. He has got a good forehand and he is able to hit a lot of winners from different areas of the court, so I had to stay away from that side.

Q. How about your background playing Woodbridge? I know you have probably run into him before.

DAVID WHEATON: Few times. We have had some very close matches. It will be a tough match. We were about the same age grew up in the juniors together. I know his game well. He knows mine. Looking forward to a real battle because he is a good competitor.

End of FastScripts...

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