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August 18, 1996

Jan Siemerink


Q. Jan, what happened in the tiebreak?

JAN SIEMERINK: I was 3-Love up, first mini break. It's always important to have a good start in the tiebreak. Somehow I just trying to put the return in on his serve and I didn't do anything extra. I should have gone more for the ball, I should have gone more for a few winners maybe. I was just pushing it, like I was pushing the whole match actually because my legs were somehow slow. I had to get the extra steps into my game to be more aggressive. I just couldn't today. The whole thing, I had to go for my shot a bit more, go for winners, because I just was a little bit slow with my legs.

Q. Is that because yesterday having to play two matches?

JAN SIEMERINK: I don't know. I can't tell. I've been playing singles and doubles almost every week. I would like to do that. I've been playing nine matches through the whole week. I just told myself, "Listen, this is your last one. If you can play nine matches in five days, you should be able to play ten also in three days." I mean, there is not the case, say to yourself, "Come on, it's the last match, give everything you have." I did that, but there wasn't more into the body anymore.

Q. What do you think of the way he played?

JAN SIEMERINK: It's obvious that he's playing well, I mean, otherwise he wasn't in the final of course.

Q. Do you think he is a good prospect for the Top 20 the way he's playing this tournament?

JAN SIEMERINK: No, I can't tell. I mean, I've been playing well also this week, but it doesn't mean you're a Top 20 player. You have to play consistent through the whole year, and that's where the ranking is based on, not on one tournament, of course. The way he's been playing this week, if he continues like this, you never know where it stops.

Q. What impressed you most about the way Alex played?

JAN SIEMERINK: He's a bit of an all-around player, with what I think great returns because he stays on the baseline and he doesn't go back from the baseline, you know. He's not defending, he's always attacking. Like today, like I said, I was a little bit slow, but he was aggressive on the baseline also, so I had no time to recover anyway. That's good play.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JAN SIEMERINK: (Inaudible) to be in the final this week. Just have to take it match by match. Like I said, the whole week already, just look to the next match, see how that goes. I mean, it's different again, different opponent, maybe different condition of yourself physically.

Q. Will you continue to play singles and doubles?

JAN SIEMERINK: Next week I play in Long Island, I just play singles. I don't want to do this before US Open, of course. But like the normal tournaments, I always try to play singles and doubles because I like it, I like to do it. I doesn't matter if I play a lot because I choose for that. I'm not going to regret that. But, like I said, before the US Open, before Wimbledon, before French Open, before Australian Open, I play singles, no singles and doubles because then it's going to be too much.

Q. Can you talk about the tiebreak in the second set -- excuse me, service break in the second set, what happened in that game?

JAN SIEMERINK: I think he hit a few good passing shots and I missed the volley and there's a break. I think it was like that easy. I think it was 15-40, and I don't even remember, hit maybe two good passing shots, one good return, one volley error or something, history.

Q. You said your legs really weren't into it. How was it mentally playing singles and doubles, week in and week out, twice yesterday, coming back today? Is it tougher mentally than physically at this point?

JAN SIEMERINK: You know, they both work together physically and mentally. You know, it's not an excuse. I mean, before the tournament, I choose to play singles and doubles and I want to do as good as I can in both events. That I go that far in singles and doubles is only nice for me, only good. Actually mentally it helps you, gives you confidence, because the singles and the doubles is going well. I just thought to myself, "Keep going because you're playing well, doesn't matter." But, you know, maybe I said already too much to myself that I played too much matches already. I just couldn't do it today. I couldn't get the legs moving somehow. If I cannot move my legs, then my game is vulnerable, like I told you yesterday. I have to be aggressive on everything. If it's not there for any reason, then my game is vulnerable.

Q. Jan, in the second set O'Brien was losing 3-2, hit a lob just out. Did you sense at that point his game picked up a little bit or change his game because he rallied back?

JAN SIEMERINK: Yeah. You try to hang in there. Alex is also known for his returns, but I was still winning my service games. Not very confusing, but I was still winning them. You just hope that one game he makes a few mistakes, then you never know what happens. Like I said, I just couldn't take any advantages of the advantages I got. That was the whole thing. Of course, I mean, when you get Love-30 on the guy's serve, there are possibilities for a break. I just couldn't do anything with it. That's disappointing, of course.

Q. What made that serve so hard to return? Was it the change of speed? Change of location?

JAN SIEMERINK: No. More something to do with myself, I think. I was just too slow with my reactions. Of course, he mixed it up pretty well. If he keeps serving the same serve all the time, I know what to do then, of course. I'm not a donkey. He mixed it up really well. That's why I didn't know what to do. I was too late with my legs all the time.

Q. Jan, problems with the legs, your first serve percentage wasn't very good. Did that hurt you?

JAN SIEMERINK: I don't know if it has something to do with the legs. If the legs are not moving and you're pushing yourself to move, and it doesn't go, then you get a little bit frustrated because nothing is working the way you want it to be. Then the first set is really important, you know. If I can win that first set, you get maybe that extra energy out of yourself. But when you lose that first set, you thinking, "Shit, I have to go two more sets." That's not very positive thinking (laughter).

Q. (Inaudible)?

JAN SIEMERINK: No, not really because that happens every match. You get a few in your advantage and a few in your disadvantage. That's just the way it is. It will never change.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JAN SIEMERINK: Normally I string it pretty loose, but today the conditions were very -- I think everything was going very fast, something to do with the weather. When it's getting hot, the balls are flying a little bit more. Somehow, yeah, I lost that control a few times, the balls were flying. You're right, you're right.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JAN SIEMERINK: It's tough to say because every tournament you have different stringers and you have to adjust it a little bit. This week I started at 28 kilogram, which is pretty tight, but it didn't feel like 28. You know what I'm saying? Next week when I string it at 28, it feels like 32 maybe, so.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about tennis in the Netherlands? You were pretty well represented this week. Did you guys just come up together?

JAN SIEMERINK: For a few years now, of course. The last couple of years, it got really -- the sport got really popular with the Davis Cup. Never been in the main group. In the last three or four years, suddenly we were in the main group. The whole Davis Cup idea, that attracts people in Holland. They like the team sports more than individual. It's nice if you have some support from home also. Of course, with four or five guys, not really working together, but we help each other by pushing each other. Yeah, that seems to work pretty well. If Richard can win Wimbledon, why couldn't I play well, you know? We know each other so well. It's different playing somehow.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JAN SIEMERINK: That's what I tried to explain before. Like I said, I played nine matches in five matches -- in five days. It's just one more match. You know, you're tired. Okay, you're tired, but it's just one more match. You should be able to do that. That's how you're telling yourself all the time, "Come on, you're tired. Sometimes you play four or five hours a day, then you're tired." That's something you have to work on. Sometimes you have to work out for five hours because it can happen in a match. Like if I go to New York for the US Open, best of five matches, you can be five hours on the court. You should be able to do that, otherwise you have no chance of winning.

Q. Do you have a specific recollection of set point in the tiebreak, but when Alex defended that, you know your legs are tired --

JAN SIEMERINK: It's not that my legs are tired, you know, they were just not moving the way I wanted them to move. Just a fraction slower than the days before.

Q. (Inaudible) and the humidity?

JAN SIEMERINK: Well, it could be a reason, but I don't think that this was the reason for me today. Normally I can stand the heat pretty well, try to do the things you should do when it's really hot. That wasn't the problem today. I mean, I wasn't too worn out by the sun or anything.

Q. What goes through your mind when you know you're playing a final against a player who is a wildcard, you go out there, "he has nothing to lose"?

JAN SIEMERINK: That happens more often more nowadays. Doesn't mean if you play a Top 10 guy I have no chance of winning a final, and if I play a guy ranked 160 in the world, I shouldn't win the final. It doesn't go like that. He's not an amateur. He knows his game, he knows how to play. He's been playing well the whole week, otherwise he wasn't in the final. That doesn't mean anything to me what the ranking is. You just know you have to play your best tennis to beat any guy, whatever his ranking is. If I don't do that, then it's all a professional attitude toward the game, toward your opponent.

Q. How you going to spend your $80,000?

JAN SIEMERINK: That's a good one. I have parents, you know, who told me I have to put all my money in a bank account, so I'm listening to that.

Q. What do you think is the difference between a player, say, ranked in the Top 30 or 40, and a guy like O'Brien who is ranked at 150?

JAN SIEMERINK: I think it has to do with consistency. It all has to do with consistency. That's something I have to work on also. We've been talking about it this week already. I've had a few good weeks, but also a few bad weeks in a year. You have to put out those bad weeks in the year. If you can be able to do that, you're going to be Top 30, Top 20 guy, maybe Top 10 even. It's just the consistency, persistence of playing every week tennis. That's not so easy to do.

End of FastScripts….

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