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August 27, 1997

Grant Stafford

1997 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Straight sets. You must be pretty pleased with that, Grant?

GRANT STAFFORD: Yeah, I am happy with the way I played. I was very focused the whole match. I dropped my serve in the beginning of the third set and, actually, beginning of the first and the beginning of the third. And, then I won six games in a row in the third, so, yeah, I was happy with my performance.

Q. Over the last twelve months things have really picked up for you with your game. You seem to be far more focused with the way you are playing.

GRANT STAFFORD: Yeah, you know, I picked my ranking up last year and I have maintained it this year and I am hoping to, you know, get a little bit above 70.

Q. Any specific goals you are aiming for besides that?

GRANT STAFFORD: You know, the goals I am aiming for is basically to be as fit as I can by Australia next year. I have been working on it all year and it seems to be paying off. I have kept my ranking off and beating some of the good players, so, I am just happy with the way I am playing this year.

Q. Grant, what has been the turnaround? What has really clicked for you?

GRANT STAFFORD: Well, just, you know, just maintaining the work and just keeping focused every single week and trying to win every single match every week whether I am feeling good or bad and, you know, it seems to be working.

Q. Just getting back to the match today, were you pleased with every aspect, I mean, apart from that service game you dropped at the start of the third?

GRANT STAFFORD: Yeah, I think I served pretty well. I served a lot of aces. And, I returned very well, which I usually do. And, my volleys were good and my groundstrokes were good, so, overall I was pretty happy with it.

Q. And, have you set yourself a target over here?

GRANT STAFFORD: I think I have come up -- I will be coming up against Bruguera. I think he is up in the fifth set. You know, if I can get through there, then I think I could be on my way to a good U.S. Open. But, he is a tough customer and, you know, if he wins it is going to be a tough match.

End of FastScripts….

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