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September 10, 1999

Leander Paes

Mahesh Bhupathi

Flushing Meadows, New York

USTA: Questions, please.

Q. How does that feel, four Slam finals?

LEANDER PAES: I guess there are two ways to look at it: two out of four ain't bad. But then again, we were very, very close in Australia. Today we had our chances, as well. I guess we always look at the bright side of things. We always look at our cup half full versus half empty. It's been a fun year. We've had a fantastic year with the Grand Slams and stuff. Now we are looking forward to doing well this Hartford and the full season ahead of us.

Q. And you, Mahesh?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: We obviously are a little disappointed. But as Leander said, we had a great year this year. I don't think we can complain too much. Those guys played a great match. We did a good job of coming back when we were down in the fourth set. But I think Sebastien and Alex, they really came out with their homework done today. They served really well, didn't give us too much to work with.

Q. How do you feel you have gotten better through this year? Are you a much better team than you were in January?

LEANDER PAES: Definitely. We're a more sound team. We are winning a lot of close matches. When the chips are down, we really are kind of fighting through it. We've matured a lot as individual players. This week was one of the best doubles that I've seen Mahesh play ever. It's been fun to see him progress over the last couple years, especially the way he played this week in that quarterfinal -- semifinal match. He just played fantastic. It's been a fun year. We both have enjoyed the time on the tennis court. We'll be looking forward to next year, as well.

Q. Earlier in the week we talked about how doubles doesn't get the best attention. Today was a tough day, weather delay, you get moved. How does that feel for you?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: To be honest, when we're playing a Grand Slam final, our main focus is the match. Crowd or no crowd, we played four finals this year. In Australia we played Rafter/Bjorkman. We played to a packed house. In Paris, the same thing happened, it rained, so we had to come out. There were barely ten people played. We played at Wimbledon, it was packed on Court No. 1. We just learned to deal with it. We were lucky. We had like 300 Indians. They were screaming their lungs out for us today. Didn't feel too bad out there.

Q. You are going to play together next year?


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