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August 29, 1997

Patrick Rafter

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Patrick, the stats show some pretty impressive figures, 77 on second serve, 83 on net approaches. Are you happy with that?


Q. Any reason the second serve is so good at the moment between this game and the last game?

PATRICK RAFTER: What were the stats on the last game?

Q. Not quite as high.

PATRICK RAFTER: Not quite as high. In I think it was New Haven, I started serving my second serve with a little more on it, for no particular reason. You know, sitting around about 100 miles an hour, my second serve. I'm getting them in. I feel really confident with it. So coming into today's match, I don't think I was down a breakpoint all match. Just one of those days. Everything clicked.

Q. You've obviously played a lot of tennis. You were saying at the beginning of this week you were a little tired. How are you feeling now?

PATRICK RAFTER: Great. I was a bit worried about my first match. I was very fortunate to have a Wednesday start. Like Tuesday, I didn't feel a hundred percent either. I was sort of a little bit flat. Then when I came out to play on Wednesday, I was up, so it was very important. Today, now, I'm pretty sure, I'm pretty confident that I will stay up for the rest the tournament.

Q. You maintain that sort of attitude, for example, from the last tournament? Obviously this is a little more important than the last. Generally, are you maintaining that sort of fairly easygoing air?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yes. As I say, there's a little more tension. I feel it when I walk out on the court. I think it's very difficult to have that same attitude, very relaxed attitude. I can't maintain it quite that relaxed.

Q. But is that perhaps a factor in the form that you've been showing, your attitude, going into games?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah. I've still been able to control myself a little. I've been able to still stay relaxed enough to be able to play my game and be loose with it.

Q. This is a very busy time for you, the tennis you've had, your singles, doubles, Davis Cup coming up. Do you do anything special to relax?

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, when I do relax, it will be totally relaxing. I'll be in Bermuda. I'll just be putting my feet up. I mean, that's the great thing about Bermuda, when I do go there, I do absolutely nothing. I just feel so refreshed when I finish from there. So it's important, you know, when you do have that time off to really enjoy it, which I have been doing.

Q. I guess we asked about the shoulder the other day.


Q. Can you give us a check on it?

PATRICK RAFTER: No problems out there today. A lot of aces there, too, hopefully. How many aces?

Q. 15.

PATRICK RAFTER: All right (laughter).

Q. The draw seems to be opening up quite nicely in your corner. It was tough the first two rounds, fairly tough. Seems to be falling into place. Have you had a chance to look ahead?

PATRICK RAFTER: I knew who the Round of 16 match was, if I got that far. He hasn't got that far. Woodforde looks to come through there. I don't know who he plays. I don't know if Haarhuis won or lost. Lionel Roux was winning that. It's going to be a tough match, whoever that one is. Woodforde, to beat Kafelnikov, must be playing fantastic tennis. Playing another Aussie is very difficult, if I get that far and he gets that far. Woodforde, I have a lot of respect for his game.

Q. Four Aussies through to the third round. Is it an individual thing or do you all feed off of each other's success, a bit of rivalry develops for Australians as much as yourself?

PATRICK RAFTER: Very good for the boys. Hard seeing the guys that have lost being around. Sort of you don't know what to say. If you're around the other guys, you talk about, "I have to play this third round." You sort of feel a little bit bad for the other guys if they're around because they're not in it. It's such a great occasion to participate in a Grand Slam, third round, whatever. But, you know, the guys are pretty supportive like that anyway.

Q. Many of the great Australian players from the past were here earlier in the week, Laver.


Q. For you, your generation, players like Laver, what do they mean?

PATRICK RAFTER: I haven't seen Rod around actually. I've seen Rochey around and Newt. Good to see them in the locker room. Mel Anderson, another great guy that I respect, I've seen him around a bit. The old Aussies, good tradition, as you said. Hopefully, they'll come out and have a look. If I saw them in my corner, I feel pretty good.

End of FastScripts….

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