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March 23, 1995

Mats Wilander


Q. What happened to you?

MATS WILANDER: I not sure what happened. Suddenly I think that I didn't change that much. I mean, I didn't start missing or anything. I think he was just playing unbelievable for five games. He was hitting some unbelievable returns and not hitting the lines, but hitting very close to lines and I think it was more of what happened to him, I think. I didn't feel like I played worse or that I got nervous or anything. I think if I could replay it, I suppose, maybe I could have gone for a little bit more. But at the same time, I kept playing the same game as I did the previous two sets and it seemed to be working, so I was lucky to be up 5-2 and he was lucky to come back.

Q. Did you feel tired or anything like that?

MATS WILANDER: No. No, please. It is two points. Seriously, it is two points that he hits one centimeter inside the line compared to being one centimeter outside the line. These are the margins that make the difference when they get down to quarterfinals and semifinals or finals. And unfortunately, for the loser, these things happen. But the margins are so small when you get to that point and they were on his side today, I think at the end.

Q. When he starts to come on like that, did his shots for your type of game just pack a little bit too much power?

MATS WILANDER: Yeah. I mean, when he is on, like he was the last five games, I am not hitting enough winners to -- I suppose to put him away. If I had Pete Sampras' serve, then obviously with two chances, I could have most probably put him away even if he would have been playing unbelievable. With my kind of game, yeah, when he gets on a roll like that, I mean, last five games is basically what happened in the first set. So I think the match was just his in the beginning and then mine for most of it, and then his at the end.

Q. Are you surprised with yourself to play the way you are now? You made the semifinals; are you pleased?

MATS WILANDER: Yeah, I am surprised, yeah, very surprised. I mean, I have been playing a little better the last few weeks than I have during last year. I had a few good weeks last year, but not as steady as the last few weeks, so I am surprised. At the same time, I mean, I have realized that I don't -- you don't lose that much in two years or three years that it is impossible to come back. Basically, what you lose is a bit of confidence at tight situations at 5-All, whatever, so I am surprised that I am playing this well now. But I am not surprised that eventually I was going to play this well. I didn't think it was coming now. I would have been surprised whenever it would have come, so...

Q. Did you feel that he was just overpowering in the beginning or did you feel you had a slow start? Maybe you were expecting to play a lot earlier than you did?

MATS WILANDER: I think that it -- yeah, it was a bit of a let-down to be waiting around for that match before. I think it was a let-down for everybody. I think, the crowd sounded exhausted about the time we started playing. At the same time, as I said before, I mean, he hit so many shots that were basically unreachable in the first set. He hit so many forehands. My tactic was to play his forehand and he hit so many down the line they were clearly in, but, you know, it is a matter of 2, 3 centimeters; and in the second set he was missing those shots and the second set is what I was expecting from the beginning, and it didn't happen. He was just on a roll in the beginning. I must have been playing a bit short. In the first set, he was just too good.

Q. You used that forehand crosscourt; you went to his forehand a lot in those last five games; when you went to the backhand, you won those points.

MATS WILANDER: Well, I think maybe I played his forehand a little bit too much at the end. I played his forehand most of the match, much more than his backhand, but I suppose at the end I could have played maybe a little bit too much to his forehand. His forehand is the shot that breaks down usually. He doesn't miss too many backhands. He misses backhands when -- when he gets so happy that the ball is over there that he can hit his backhand; that is when he misses, I think I played pretty much the way I wanted to play. I was just unlucky or just not good enough at the end.

Q. Speaking about power, did you try to play with a wide body racket or --

MATS WILANDER: Yeah. I am not going to win any matches with power - I realize that. Yes, if I could play the same kind of percentage tennis that I am playing now with a wide body racket, yes, I would be probably much better. But I can't. When I play with a wide body racket instead of getting more power, I am missing more, and my game is to counterpunch just, you know, stay in the rally and wait for the right moment.

Q. Are you using the same racket you used to do?

MATS WILANDER: No, I used to play with a Rossignol. Now it is a Fisher. A lot of players actually use the racket that I am using now.

Q. So you have probably moved into the top 100 probably won't have to rely on wildcards as much. Is that a big relief?

MATS WILANDER: It is a bigger relief that I don't have to rely on wildcards every week, but I mean, there is obviously still-- I think you need to be top 60, maybe to be nearly be sure to be in every tournament apart from obviously, Bercy, and a couple of the big ones and I am not there now. I guess if I won today, I would have moved closer to that point. Yeah, I mean, it is great. I don't need a wildcard for the French. I don't need a wildcard for Wimbledon, so yeah, it is good.

Q. Are you planning on Wimbledon? Last year you didn't plan on it.

MATS WILANDER: I am planning on going to Wimbledon, yes.

End of FastScripts...

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