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September 9, 1999

Cedric Pioline

Flushing Meadows, New York

USTA: Questions for Cedric.

Q. Was this one of the most exciting matches you've ever played?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: Yeah, yeah. It was a great match. I mean, I don't realize 100% the way I played. I know I played very well, but I don't realize 100%. I think it was pretty good match. I mean, he played good. He served very good. Maybe I've been lucky a little bit.

Q. You can't get lucky without going for some of the shots you went for. Did you have a feeling, "I'm going to gut out anything"?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: Yeah, I tried to be aggressive because he is very good player from the baseline. It was difficult to win the points with the rallies. I tried to come in, go to the net, don't let him play his game, what he likes to play. It worked.

Q. How do you feel coming out of this? Is your body feeling good?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: A bit older. It's normal. I mean, it was very humid out there, big physical effort. I think he was also, you know, tired. With two nights and one day, I should be okay for Saturday.

Q. Two Grand Slam finals in your career. What is your approach to The Open now that you're still in it? Do you have a great drive to try to win the title, or are you more relaxed and see what happens?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: I didn't really think about it because I just win, you know. I'm kind of tired. I don't know who I'm going to play. I hope Todd is going to win. I prefer to play Todd. I don't know. I mean, I play good tennis here. I really enjoy what I'm doing here. If I can win two more, I'll be the happiest man in the world.

Q. Why the preference for Todd?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: Because he's nice guy, so I like to play him. Sometimes he's too nice on court, so it's better maybe. No, seriously, I prefer to play a Top 10 semifinal, US Open, than play Dosedel. If I have to play Dosedel, I will. I think it would be nice because he's American. It's going to be good ambience.

Q. You have a fabulous record in tiebreaks. Why do you think you have such a good record, and what was the key today?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: I'm not sure about the answer, you know. I just try to be aggressive, just don't let him play, just come in, then put the pressure on his shoulder. I played some very good shots. I mean, I just try to keep going, keep coming in and make him maybe miss one shot or,for me, make one shot, you know.

Q. You seemed stunned when Gustavo came over to your side of the court. What was going through your head?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: On the passing shot winner?

Q. Yes.

CEDRIC PIOLINE: Actually, I was very surprised (laughter). It's not usual. I didn't see he was clapping, you know, because I played unbelievable shot. I just stand up. When I turned, he was there, just like, "Shake my hand." I'm like, "What's going on? You stop or what?" It was strange, you know. I think he just want to congratulate me for this shot. I mean, it was surprising a little bit.

Q. Doesn't that happen all the time in tennis, someone goes to the other side?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: No. Normally when you cross over, it's because you finish, you know.

Q. Can you describe that point. He was obviously congratulating you for that point. Did you think you had a shot at the point?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: I mean, it was a long point, I think. I don't remember exactly. I remember a passing shot winner. Yeah, it was an exhausting point. I mean, it's a point when you see the others doing it, you clapping because it's unbelievable. But when you do it, it's tiring (laughter). I mean, I just think, "Go for it," and it worked.

Q. Was today one of those days where you felt like you could go for any shot?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: Yeah. I mean, I felt pretty comfortable today. I had a very good feeling at the net. I was like, you know, smelling which side he was going to make the passing shot. It's a great feeling. It's also dangerous because you can, you know, just lose a concentration because you're too easy. But I think I manage very well my feelings today.

Q. You talk about being old. With age comes experience. Your coverage on the court today was beautiful. Is that the kind of thing you say, "This is what you get with experience, reading the court and managing yourself on the court"? Is this a product of being in the game?

CEDRIC PIOLINE: I don't think it's because you're older or not. I think it's belong to my game. I mean, I have a good feeling on court. I can anticipate very well. It belong to my game. On his game is different. He's not coming to the net too often, you know, he's doing more volleys from the baseline, going one side to the other. I go more forward than rear-ward. It's different. I mean, it's great when you feel this. I like to feel it more often.

End of FastScripts….

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