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September 12, 1999

Kristian Pless

Flushing Meadows, New York City

ITF: Questions.

Q. Was that a very harsh lesson?

KRISTIAN PLESS: It's tough when you have so many chances and don't close it off. I hope next time if I get in the same situation, I can learn from it, just take my time and go out and win next time maybe.

Q. It's very soon afterwards, but which is the more disappointing, losing here or losing at Wimbledon, or are they both the same?

KRISTIAN PLESS: They're both sad for me, especially this one I felt because I really wanted to finish off playing Juniors and get on with tennis and play some senior tennis. Right now, this one feels pretty bad.

Q. At what stage of that final set did you feel you lost?

KRISTIAN PLESS: I don't know. I had some problems on one of the ends serving. I had 4-1, breakpoint, I don't get it there. I know I have to serve from that side. I get broken. I kind of lose my concentration, I think. I lost the momentum in the match.

Q. You seemed to be getting very angry with yourself at 4-3.

KRISTIAN PLESS: Yeah, I got a little bit angry. I wasn't there on the court, I think, concentrating.

Q. Has this been a problem that's happened before? Do you have a problem keeping your concentration?

KRISTIAN PLESS: Most of the time, I think I'm pretty good at keeping my concentration. I just have some periods where I'm not there suddenly.

Q. How tall are you?

KRISTIAN PLESS: 188, I think, 187.

Q. How that is in feet and inches?

KRISTIAN PLESS: I don't really know.

Q. Where are you training now?

KRISTIAN PLESS: In Tampa, Saddle Brook.

Q. Hingis is there?

KRISTIAN PLESS: Hingis, Capriati, Sampras once in a while.

Q. Have you trained with him?

KRISTIAN PLESS: I trained with Sampras once. Haven't played with Hingis.

Q. When did you train with Sampras?

KRISTIAN PLESS: That was before the French Open.

Q. On what surface?


Q. How did you find him on clay?

KRISTIAN PLESS: He goes for a lot of balls pretty fast. We just played once.

Q. What did that mean for you?

KRISTIAN PLESS: Of course, it gives you some confidence. It's fun for you to play with the No. 1 in the world. You can see what your level is compared to that.

Q. Have you already been asked if you're turning pro?

KRISTIAN PLESS: I don't know. Yeah, I am.

Q. After this tournament?

KRISTIAN PLESS: I'm starting to play seniors probably next year.

Q. So you still plan to do the Orange Bowl?

KRISTIAN PLESS: I'll probably go to Japan and try to defend my title out there from last year, then I'll see.

Q. Have you signed with an agency?

KRISTIAN PLESS: Yeah, ProServe, when I was 14.

Q. What parts of your game will you be working on?

KRISTIAN PLESS: I have to work on a lot of my returns. I'll try to be better at serve-volley. Always when I'm a little bit down, trying to work on that.

Q. You said in Australia when you won the Australian that your goal was to be in the Top 10 in three years.

KRISTIAN PLESS: Yeah. I still hope to be able to do that.

Q. Are you still on target for that?

KRISTIAN PLESS: Yeah (laughter).

Q. Having won that Slam Junior Tournament, do you feel you've made sufficient progress since then?

KRISTIAN PLESS: I think I've improved my game a lot, especially my volleys. I feel like they've been better. Of course, I tried to play Todd Martin. I still feel there's a long way up there to the Top 10.

Q. I'm not relating Denmark to tennis too well. You had some players.

KRISTIAN PLESS: Two. We moved to the US for a while. I lived in Boston. I started playing a lot of tennis there. People were telling my parents that I was pretty good at that time. They took me down to Nick Bollettieri and had him look at me. He offered me to stay down there. They thought I was too young. I've just been practicing at home before that in Denmark for a while.

Q. How old were you when you went to Nick's?

KRISTIAN PLESS: Ten, for the first time.

Q. Were you always a big kid?

KRISTIAN PLESS: Yeah, always been one of the biggest in my class.

Q. It's a country where soccer is very popular.

KRISTIAN PLESS: I played soccer. I won Danish National Championships, as well, when I was younger. I better liked tennis, or I chose tennis because I felt like it's up to you. If you play your best, you win. You can play your best on the team, but you can still lose. I didn't like that about soccer.

Q. You like the one-on-one?


Q. Who is your coach at Saddle Brook?


Q. Does he travel with you?

KRISTIAN PLESS: No, he doesn't. It's been Tina Sherlassen (ph) from Denmark, the Federation coach.

Q. You will continue to stay at Saddle Brook now?


Q. Have you noticed a greater interest in Denmark in your progress from the Danish media?

KRISTIAN PLESS: Yeah, there's been a lot this year compared to other years. After I won Australia, I started to get a seeding at the Grand Slams, they started writing about that.

Q. In your third round match, were you cramping up in that match?

KRISTIAN PLESS: I was playing pretty solid in the first set. The second set I kind of relaxed a little bit. I lost my concentration again as difficult in the finals today. I think that's why I lost the second set.

Q. You didn't have cramping?

KRISTIAN PLESS: No. I had been a little bit tired in my legs the last two weeks I feel like, haven't been moving my best.

Q. Do you think you're finished growing?

KRISTIAN PLESS: I think I'm growing a little bit still, a little bit.

End of FastScripts....

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