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August 9, 1999

Wayne Arthurs


Q. Can you tell us how you felt today?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I started out serving quite well and serving not such a high percentage of the first serve, but serving pretty good direction. And then at 6-5 in the third set, I just put in a shocker with three double faults. And at this level, you're not going to win too many games if you do that.

Q. Anything in particular that went wrong?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I can't really pinpoint anything. Just maybe bad concentration.

Q. When you have a serve that's like yours, is it sort of hard to kind of hold it back a little bit, to not double fault?

WAYNE ARTHURS: When I'm confident, I think I can hit the ball maybe even the second set the same as the first set. But some days, it doesn't happen.

Q. Obviously, your game is good, but for some reason, the results aren't coming --

WAYNE ARTHURS: They are coming very light.

Q. And you've been out here for a long time. And it looks like you've won a lot of money, but when you travel around the world like that, it's not very much money.

WAYNE ARTHURS: Mid-life crisis up on me (Laughs).

Q. (Inaudible)?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I've developed very late in my singles, that's for sure. I'm just enjoying it now. At the age of 28, not many people get the opportunity to get in the top hundred all of the sudden. And that's happened to me. I'm just enjoying it at this stage.

Q. Was Wimbledon the highlight of your career this far?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Nothing has come close so far.

Q. What's it like playing Wimbledon?

WAYNE ARTHURS: It's completely different atmosphere. I walked out on Court 1 against Agassi, and the crowd was unbelievable. And as soon as you start to play the first point, you couldn't hear a pint drop. Not like this; everybody is moving around or anything. At Wimbledon, the atmosphere is unbelievable.

Q. What was it like, that little stress you had at Wimbledon with your serve? Can you describe it?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Certainly, you go out in every match, and you think that all you have to do is break once; and I didn't break too often. But I wasn't losing my serve, and to go into every match thinking I'm going to hold here every game and go down. If I could do that every week, I wouldn't be 94 in the world.

Q. Do you think that Pete Sampras, his mindset is I only have to break once?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Possibly. He's got the best serve in the world, I think, personally. Just completely different to everybody else's serve, though.

Q. It's not the hardest serve, though?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Not the hardest. But just the pace the ball comes through is different to everybody else.

Q. What has sustained you all these years?

WAYNE ARTHURS: My doubles.

Q. But that doesn't may nearly as much --

WAYNE ARTHURS: Not as much. But there's a lot of doubles players out there who are just playing doubles only, and they are making a decent living.

Q. Have you ever thought about giving up?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I had a period of about 10 months when I was injured, and I thought about -- not giving up, but things are going through your mind when you're injured and you're out of the tennis scene for so long. That inspired me to play singles after that.

Q. When was that?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Middle of '97.

Q. What kind of injury?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Elbow. I tore the ligaments off the inside of the elbow.

Q. Were you looking at it like: Well, I'm going to stick with this and I'm going to go out there and try one more time?

WAYNE ARTHURS: That was the thinking, yeah. That was my last chance to go and play singles. And if I didn't do it now, then I would have a career-high ranking of 300.

Q. And you didn't want that?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I didn't want that, no.

Q. Can you talk about the genesis of your serve and sort of like how you developed it, you know, who taught it?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I've been working with my father for a long time, since about the age of nine. My father and I would go out on the local courts and practice an hour a day. And pretty much, I practiced until I was 16 or 17. Not the only thing, but the major thing that I practiced. And got into just a very good technique early in my -- early in my years. And it's paid off. Very long way down the track, but it has.

Q. Was it something that your father -- that was his style of serve?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Yeah. He played Davis Cup with in '65, or in the 60s for Ireland, and he said the serve was a major aspect of his game.

Q. You're not really like a bulky guy, but you must have some of the mechanics that you're able to just --

WAYNE ARTHURS: It's technique. Everything is technique. You see the best sportsman in every game, and the technique is the major thing that gets them through.

Q. What was the secret?

WAYNE ARTHURS: There's no real secret. I think it was down to a lot of practice and being relaxed before you're about to hit the serve. You can't be tensing up before you hit the serve or it's not going to happen.

Q. When you say it was the majority of the practice time, do you mean like 90 percent of the time on the serve?


Q. And that's unusual, especially for a young player?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Maybe if I did it differently, it would have changed things. Tennis has a lot to do with how you've grown up. If you come up hitting ground strokes the whole day, every day, that's the way you're going to develop, and it's shown in my game that I did the serving.

Q. Did you like it?

WAYNE ARTHURS: We had a lot of fun. A lot of fun. If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't be here. There's low moments and high moments, and you've got to even those out, and the high moments always outweigh the low moments.

Q. How high can you go?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I've got a long stretch, a long period of time without any points until pretty much Wimbledon next year; so, I'm not putting a goal on it at this stage.

Q. But this year, this particular calendar year didn't start extremely well. You lost to a bunch of guys that were breaking 100, and all of the sudden, you start beating guys in the top 30?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Start sprinkling grass on my -- (laughter.)

Q. You're 28 years old, and all of the sudden you're beating guys that are ranked in the Top 10. Were you surprised that it all came together for you?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I think I've known that I've always had it there. My game has been there. I've never really thought that I could be there, which is a different thing. I've always had a little bit -- the feeling inside -- what do you call it --

Q. Confidence?

WAYNE ARTHURS: My confidence has never been there to really think that I could do it. And now that this period has come through Wimbledon --

Q. If your confidence stays up, can you continue to play, play, play?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I was winning doubles tournaments.

Q. What would you do if you weren't playing tennis?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Really not sure. Maybe that's what kept me going.

Q. What does your father do?

WAYNE ARTHURS: He was a mechanical engineer. He's retired now.

Q. Was that anything you were interested in?

WAYNE ARTHURS: No. (Laughs.)

Q. Are people surprised when they play you now, as opposed to last year or a few years ago before you were hurt? Do they compliment you on how much your game has improved?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I think there's probably a little bit of locker room talk about what I've done and through that you get respect. And then you go out on the court and the guys think: Who is this guy sitting there on the other side of the court. But now the coaches are out there, scanning what you do, and that sort of is a mark of respect.

Q. How do you account for losing to a guy that was racked 479?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Very positive. (Laughs.)

Q. And then playing a guy like this, virtually even, and yet after Wimbledon, you've got a bad run, what I guess would be a bad run -- (inaudible).

WAYNE ARTHURS: I didn't play that much. I wasn't there.

Q. Manchester?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Yeah. I didn't play. I pulled out of that tournament. I didn't play that tournament.

Q. But you have no -- you're not looking to say by the end of the year you want to be in the Top 10?

WAYNE ARTHURS: That would be a good goal, yes. I think I have -- if I pull out the other half of my game, the returning, I think I can possibly get into the Top 50.

Q. Did you ever think of giving up singles altogether just to play doubles?

WAYNE ARTHURS: Before I got injured, yeah. I was pretty much only playing doubles. And then I got -- then I got injured, and my whole attitude changed. Everything was needed to be played by me; so, for my own mind's sake.

End of FastScripts….

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