September 6, 1999
1999 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York
USTA: Questions for Vince.
Q. Frustrating evening, Vince, against a guy who is serving so well like he did
VINCENT SPADEA: Is there a question?
Q. It was a frustrating evening for you to play against a guy who is serving that well
like he did tonight.
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, he served well. It's like a guessing game on his serve. I didn't
start out on the right foot. I didn't hold serve. That was the idea.
Q. You were giving him some quick returns sometimes, some good returns.
VINCENT SPADEA: When he missed his first serve, I had opportunities.
Q. What was your strategy against him?
VINCENT SPADEA: He came out like going for every shot. I think he had a game plan. The
last two times I played him, I was the winner in straight sets both times. I think he had
like this specific game plan. He just started trying to hit winners. The court was playing
extremely fast, faster than I expected. I had hit on it, but his shots are obviously going
to be even more penetrating. I can make a million excuses that are relevant, but he played
well and I didn't.
Q. How effective was the chip-and-charge on your second serve? He came in every time he
could. Was that hurting you as well?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah. The ball skids a lot. Even on his first volley, I had to like win
the point off the return when he served. The ball, it's not like grass, but it skips. The
slice skids even more. I was moving like a -- who knows what. I can't think of it.
Q. Were you tired?
VINCENT SPADEA: I mean, anytime you get into a Grand Slam in the second week, you're
going to start feeling aches and pains. I didn't help myself by making life so tough in
the first few rounds. Against a top player who doesn't leave a lot of openings, you have
to be very sharp, and I was far from that. Even when I beat him the last two times, the
scores, there were just very small openings, and I hit the right shots at the right times.
Q. How did you feel this afternoon coming into the match? Did you feel the effects of
the last match?
VINCENT SPADEA: Well, like yeah. I've always been fatigued from the second -- from the
start of the second match. We didn't exactly have a lot of long points today. To make
things worse, I thought I'd be okay.
Q. One of the next tournaments you play in Switzerland, in Basel. What do you expect
from this tournament?
VINCENT SPADEA: I've never been to this tournament, but I'm looking forward to getting
some free cologne from Cool Water because that's what I use. I don't know. I mean, I heard
it's a fun tournament. I don't know what to expect. It's obviously indoors.
Q. How do you look at the chances of Krajicek now? Kafelnikov said only three guys will
win this tournament, him, Agassi and Krajicek. Do you agree with him?
VINCENT SPADEA: Are you from the Netherlands?
Q. What do you think?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah. Obviously, I mean, the guy has won a Grand Slam. I don't need to
express an opinion on something that's pretty much, you know, somewhat obvious. Anyone who
is still left in the tournament can win this tournament. I don't know if you could specify
a few guys. I think Kafelnikov maybe mentioned -- maybe thought that they might be the
favorites or they have the advantage or something. In any tournament, anyone can win.
Q. With the way he played today?
VINCENT SPADEA: With the way he played today, he played very well. He was hitting his
wide serves extremely well. That's something that he must have been practicing or he just
lights it up when he needs to. Usually I get a look at some serves. I don't know what his
statistics were. I'd like to see them, if they were as far out, as helpless as I felt.
Q. 61% first serves.
VINCENT SPADEA: How many aces?
Q. 16. What did it feel like?
VINCENT SPADEA: What's that?
Q. What did you feel, that there were more or less aces?
VINCENT SPADEA: I felt like there were more. There were some aces, but there were a lot
of balls that I barely got. Those were practically aces. I played a very poor tactical
match, I felt. I think even as well as he was playing, I could have definitely improved my
approach. It was one big mistake.
Q. Do you think you should have tried to pass through him a little bit more?
VINCENT SPADEA: Away from him?
Q. Try to go through him a little bit more than around him?
VINCENT SPADEA: I don't know about that.
Q. You were wide in just about every passing shot in the first set. He left you a
couple second volleys sometimes after you tried to go through him.
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, it was just as unsound as I've been. I haven't played
particularly great tennis throughout the tournament. I was kind of grinding my way
through. I was hopefully looking for that one match where I could start getting on my game
again. It's difficult to play great tennis for three straight sets all the time. Plus I
feel like the last time I beat him, he was definitely on like a mission, seemed like. It's
obviously the US Open.
Q. Where do you go next?
VINCENT SPADEA: I'm going home.
VINCENT SPADEA: Then Basel.
Q. What will you take out of this eight days? Disappointed now, but it turned out to be
a pretty good tournament for you. How do you look at it?
VINCENT SPADEA: Well, I know that I can't afford to spend all that time and effort in
early round matches. In the second week, you have to be ready to play top level tennis for
five sets. I guess you're supposed to be ready to play that every match, but still I had a
lot of struggle. That's one lesson I learned. The other lesson is, you know, there's some
positive to it. But obviously I've been in the Round of 16 of this tournament four years
ago. It's not an incredible improvement.
Q. At this point you're at a career high in your ranking. You seem to be moving in the
right direction. You have to be happy about that.
VINCENT SPADEA: Well, that's the idea. To win the lottery, you still have to go to work
every day and see your progress. That's a bad analogy.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.