September 3, 1998
U.S. OPEN, FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK
Q. Jan, obviously Greg's made a lot more hard work of the tournament so far than you have, do you feel this could count against him or do you think it just boosts his confidence?
JAN SIEMERINK: He played already two five-setters and that's tough of course, but I don't think it's going to be a problem. If you are further in the tournament, if you get to fourth round, to quarter finals then it is going to be a problem I think. At the moment he played two matches, he's got a day off or sometimes two days off, I think he will be ready for me.
Q. Do you think the fact that he had a lay off anyway for several weeks, that having these two five-setters wouldn't do him as much harm as maybe having a full tournament program coming in here?
JAN SIEMERINK: I think so, if you see his schedule after Wimbledon, he played only two tournaments after this. He played fairly well, I think, to come back like that. It's always dangerous to play a guy who comes back from matchpoint down and wins the match and does it again in the second round. If you play a guy like that, someone that's got matchpoint down in the first and second round ends up winning the tournament. I'm not saying it's going to happen this week, but I have to be prepared for it.
Q. You've played him pretty regularly over the last few years, you appear to know how to play him. Is it a question of just killing off the serve --
JAN SIEMERINK: I have to serve really well also, because I've not serving well. I give him a lot of opportunities to break me, then he feels he has a chance to win the match, that's the first thing. The second thing is there are going to be a lot of service games where I don't have a chance at all. I'm not going to be bothered by that, I just try to accept that and I try to be ready at the moment he hit a double fault. Those are the important points. It is going to happen maybe once or twice during the match and that's what you have to be ready for. You have to be concentrated the whole match. You can't get frustrated.
Q. Apart from your first beating five years ago in Osaka, hard court, Greg won in straight sets. You've beat him each time you played on the hard court. Three other times he's beaten you strictly on grass and indoor carpet, do you feel this court here will be in your favor?
JAN SIEMERINK: If you look at the statistics you might say yes, but I don't know, we played the final last year that means he can play on hard court. I haven't done that yet, we'll see how it goes. I'll try to do my best. That's all I can do. I don't look at the statistics because every day is another match. If Greg is not playing well, he will lose. If I'm not playing well, I'll lose.
Q. We all noticed last year a dramatic improvement in his ground strokes, particularly the backhand which is all the a week necessary answer can be did you notice that?
JAN SIEMERINK: Of course, of course. You can't be lucky to be in the top 10. It isn't possible. His returns are much better than they used to be. I don't think he's lucky to be in the Top 10. He's a Top 10 tennis player and it means he's pretty good.
Q. He's made pretty hard work of his games so far. Do you think he's quite back into the routine of things yet or do you think he's a little bit short?
JAN SIEMERINK: I haven't really looked at his matches. I just saw the results. If you are just a little bit off or you make an easy mistake, it can cost you the set. I don't know how Greg played. I don't know if he feels he hasn't been playing well the last two matches, maybe he's happy with the way he's playing. If that's the thing, I have I good chance I think. If he says I'm still not playing the best I can, then it's going to be dangerous.
Q. Do you feel you are playing as well you want to play?
JAN SIEMERINK: Today I played a good match, I thought. I wasn't serving that well particularly, but on the big points, I did, and that's important, and it's going to be important against Greg also.
Q. Jan, I haven't seen you play quite a lot, you serve and volley everything?
JAN SIEMERINK: I even try to do it on the return games, but that's hard.
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