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August 30, 2003

Radek Stepanek


MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Radek, did you have the injury before today's match?

RADEK STEPANEK: No, I didn't have the injury, but I already felt the pressure in the back a little bit already three, four days. But, you know, today when Lleyton give me the -- I was returning his serve and he give me the second shot and I have to turn for my forehand, I felt that the pressure in that moment was too big. Since that time, it was getting worse and worse and worse. I decided, you know, to -- I call the trainer. But I couldn't really move well. So I just gave up and...

Q. At what point in the match did you really feel it go? Was it late in the first set or early?

RADEK STEPANEK: Yeah, it was in the first set, 4-1 or 5-1 for him. I don't really remember that. But since that, it was getting worse and worse. I feel it pretty much when I have to went for the forehand return. Then I knew that something is wrong. That's why I called the trainer and he try to treat me for three minutes. But the next game, I played, I played two or three points and doesn't have a sense to follow the match because I was not able to compete on this level.

Q. When do you think you'll be able to play again?

RADEK STEPANEK: You know, it's too fresh now, you know. I just finish the match. I went to the hospital for some MRI and X-rays. Now, I need to get back home. I'm trying to think about how I'm gonna handle the back trip home. Then I'm gonna -- I need some time, you know, to think about what I'm gonna do next.

Q. What did the doctors say to you at the hospital?

RADEK STEPANEK: No, I just went there for the MRI and X-ray and the doctors, they are just seeing now the pictures. What is important also to hear from more doctors than only from one, you know, what they think about it and if they see something in the pictures or no.

Q. Forgive me for showing up late. It's a back problem?

RADEK STEPANEK: Yeah, it's a lower back.

Q. Did you suffer it in the match today?

RADEK STEPANEK: I felt it for three, three or four days. But I was okay. No problem. It didn't bothering me. But today, was -- I was done.

Q. Can I also ask how you thought he played compared to when you played him in Australia last time.

RADEK STEPANEK: Yeah, I think, as I said, Lleyton was three years No. 1 player, winning Slams, winning Masters. So is playing -- I felt -- my feeling from that first set is that, you know, I think he's hungry again for the big matches and for the titles, and I think he played pretty well. We gonna see how he's gonna do in the next matches.

Q. Sorry. Are you standing because you actually can't sit?

RADEK STEPANEK: I can sit, but it's more comfortable for me to stay.

Q. So it's actually painful, as you're standing?

RADEK STEPANEK: Yeah. Actually, not now because I have the left part of my body is relaxing. But if I have to sit then get up, it's easier for me to stay.

Q. When will you fly home?

RADEK STEPANEK: I'm gonna fly tomorrow.

End of FastScripts….

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