September 4, 1999
1999 U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, New York City
USTA: Questions for Vince.
Q. Another five-setter. How do you feel?
VINCENT SPADEA: I feel pretty good. It's nice to get through. I mean, I'm still alive. I just get my body recovered. I feel like I'm kind of realizing more of what I can do physically. From a conditioning standpoint. I mean, definitely I'm feeling some effects. But I feel better than I did in the last match right now.
Q. A lot shorter?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, maybe that's why. I was unsure yesterday about how I was going to go into the match. I got through it, so.
Q. You never played two five-setters in a row, have you?
VINCENT SPADEA: No, never played two five-setters.
Q. Do you want to do it again?
VINCENT SPADEA: Would I do it again? Not really. They've not been just five-setters, they've been extended. One was a very extended five-setter. That wasn't exactly in the back of plans. I mean, what it's about is to try to get the last point, I guess.
Q. You could have been down 2-0 in the fifth set. How did you squirm out of that?
VINCENT SPADEA: I don't remember that game, honestly.
Q. Serving at Love-40.
VINCENT SPADEA: I think that was in the fourth set, right? In the fifth set?
VINCENT SPADEA: My goodness (laughter). I don't remember what I did to get out of it. I remember the fourth set. I hit a good serve. I don't remember that game, honestly. I remember the latter games, you know, the 4-3, the 5-4, whatever. You have to just keep plugging away. I didn't feel like if I lost my serve, I was out of the match. I mean, at 2-Love, it would have been way too early to feel negative. Plus, I mean, I thought he was playing at a high level.
Q. He did have a match point against you?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yes.
Q. Talk about that point.
VINCENT SPADEA: I think I missed the first serve. I hit a second serve. He did his routine. I kind of did mine. It was like the best man in that point would do it. It was a big shot, obviously. But I kept my mentality intact. What did that mean?
Q. That's where you kind of hit a passing shot?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah, yeah. I felt like I needed to just bear down and hit the ball at least once and see if I could get into the next shot. I didn't try for like a screamer, but it was a pretty solidly hit shot.
Q. Could you have done this a year ago? With your fitness level a year ago, could you have done this?
VINCENT SPADEA: Probably not in the way I did it, no. I've done it, but that's why a year of progress can help.
Q. Match point in the tiebreak, 6-3, he tries to chip-and-charge. Came up a little short. Is that the way you saw the point?
VINCENT SPADEA: On match point?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yes, it was like basically the match point against me. It was almost like an identical point. I mean, he closed into the net pretty fast. If I hit cross-court, there's not a lot -- if he's right on top of the net. If I hit it down the line, at least he's got to kind of angle it; I have another play, unless I just hit it too high and he just closed it. That's one of my greatest shots is my backhand, my passing shots. It was nice to be in those positions with those kinds of balls, even though I was under pressure.
Q. Once again, some crucial lobs out there. Like adding to your repertoire?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah. Well, I missed a bunch in the beginning of the match. The court plays quick. That's why he was effective against me on that court, because he hits the ball very flat, slices a lot. But I loosened up my hands and got that touch back that I usually have.
Q. In the fifth set, you had an awful lot of backhands, more backhand winners than you had anywhere in the match. Was it a matter of opportunities arising or did you say to yourself, "This is what I have to use"?
VINCENT SPADEA: No. I was just playing the points. I don't remember hitting a lot more backhand winners or telling myself I had to. I was just trying to play every point in a winning strategy.
Q. Richard Krajicek next. After the way you humiliated him on the bull ring a couple months ago, what do you think he's thinking about right now?
VINCENT SPADEA: Well, I have a winning record against him, I think. I look forward to tomorrow's day off. He's obviously a top player. It's just going to be another match-up to see what happens. I don't know what he's thinking. I know what I'm thinking.
Q. Played three straight matches on the same court, right?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yes.
Q. Pretty quick out there.
VINCENT SPADEA: Kind of, yeah.
Q. Is the Stadium Court a little slower?
VINCENT SPADEA: I'm not quite sure. I hit on the stadium once. It might be a tad bit slower.
Q. Would you be hoping to get on Stadium Court?
VINCENT SPADEA: It wouldn't make any difference to me, I don't think, because it's not a grass court, no matter how fast it is. It not going to be a really slow court either. They all play similar. I've played him on hard courts maybe three or four times.
Q. Do you read his serve pretty well?
VINCENT SPADEA: Kind of, yeah. I mean, he's a big server. That's one of his strengths. That's his biggest strength. I kind of have ideas of what he does. I mean, a guy who wins Wimbledon, you know, is obviously a guy who can manage himself. I mean, I feel good about everything.
Q. You were talking about your physical condition yesterday. Describe how you felt after that match. Were you tired? Was it soreness?
VINCENT SPADEA: It was more like exhaustion, fatigue. I felt like that before. I knew that I could recover. Today I might have been a little bit cautious in the beginning, but I felt -- I wasn't really tired at all today, which was interesting. I mean, honestly. I'll tell you.
Q. I saw one of your sisters here. Are both of them here?
VINCENT SPADEA: Yeah.
Q. What is Miracle Water?
VINCENT SPADEA: Do you talk to everyone? I don't know.
Q. You just drink it?
VINCENT SPADEA: I had four different drinks I was drinking during the changeover. I had Hydrofuel, Ultrafuel, Carbo-fuel, Miracle Fuel. Geeze, that was the last one I took every time because --.
Q. Miracle Water sounds like something the Pope might have sent over.
VINCENT SPADEA: Not even some nutritionists know what that is. I just found it out the grapevine, I guess.
Q. What does it taste like?
VINCENT SPADEA: It's great. It's like Evian with -- it's like Scotch and water, hold the Scotch.
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