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September 5, 2003

Sjeng Schalken


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Andre Agassi said in his press conference today that in his career in tennis, he can't remember a week that was more frustrating for him, what you all had to go through with the weather. If you could comment on your thoughts on the last four days.

SJENG SCHALKEN: Well, of course was tough for everybody, but actually it suited me a bit because Monday -- Sunday and Monday, after the match of Karlovic, I got a virus. I was in bed for two days. Yeah, so it helped me to give me time to get over that. Actually, I was happy not to play. At 5-1, I was up. I felt struggling again against Schuettler. And, yeah, so actually it helped me - the only guy I think. For everybody else, it was very frustrating. I'm the wrong guy to ask that.

Q. You've just come off the court playing a young man who's been playing a boatload of matches since Wimbledon. He doesn't look tired. He looks unbelievable. Can't seem to double-fault. Does it seem unbelievable that someone could play at this level week after week since the middle of July?

SJENG SCHALKEN: Well, he can. He has the weapons for it. He's on a roll. I think if he keeps on playing, he will stay on this level. So I would suggest him don't take too many holidays at the moment. Just keep on playing, and he'll be fine till the end of the year. He's playing too well for me at the moment - too well for a lot of guys.

Q. In the last 10 years, of the men who have won this tournament, no one has played as many matches except possibly Patrick Rafter, who played quite a lot before he won his second title. Does it seem from your own experience of playing two, three weeks in a row, then wanting to take a rest, it seems it's possible to do this?

SJENG SCHALKEN: He took a week off just before the US Open. He recovered a little bit from that. I think it was very good planning from him. And, yeah, I think he can do it. I haven't felt that much heat on the other side of the court playing, playing those guys week in, week out. Yeah, was massive strokes that he has. I think he can keep it up also.

Q. Can you describe what it's like when he gets that serve going, just trying to get a racquet on it?

SJENG SCHALKEN: Yeah, that's the only thing I think about, just try to get -- try to hit one more shot. But he's so confident, he won't miss it. He will turn around his backhand. Yeah, then he crashes another big forehand or whatever. So he's home. He's tough to play. Also, in my service games, he's very solid. He doesn't give me any free points. I have to work hard for it. Yeah, that's the big, big difference. I have to work hard for my games and he just, yeah, bombs me away.

Q. Can you compare his serve in any way to Richard.

SJENG SCHALKEN: Richard was not that quick. It was a little bit more accurate, except Andy is hitting the lines at the moment also very accurate, but I think because he is in very good shape. Richard always served on the lines, but not this speed. I think it was the same with Pete. I played Pete last year in the semis. He was not serving the speed of Andy, but he was also very -- he could serve on the lines the whole match. But, yeah, with Andy, it goes little bit -- maybe 10 miles an hour quicker every time.

End of FastScripts….

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