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September 5, 1996

Mark Philippoussis

Patrick Rafter


Q. You had them on the ropes after winning the first set.

PATRICK RAFTER: I think I should answer this question. Yeah, we were pretty pumped at the end of that set. I just -- I just went on to really stuff the match up completely, so good effort on my behalf to do that.

Q. What exactly went wrong with your game?

PATRICK RAFTER: I played one game where it was very loose. Then played couple of returns, and then from then on I seemed to struggle a little bit, and Mark kept his up and I tried to focus; tried a different strategy and it didn't work, and it was just a shame to do it in that sort of circumstance, that situation.

Q. Is there anything to do with the fact that they have more experience in those big matches?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No, I didn't think that is it at all. Sure, they have won lots of Grand Slams in the doubles. They have done well in the doubles, but, you know, we got here, so to get here, we haven't been on Tour as long as them, but still we have played some matches and we are just as tough as them, maybe a bit more experience, but that didn't matter at all. It wasn't easy. It was one of our first semifinal Grand Slams. We had our chances, but, you know, they always seem to get out of things like that, so....

Q. Could it have been you were a little anxious because, obviously, besides it being a Grand Slam semifinal, whatever, they are a great team and fellow Australians, does that add any more pressure that they are from Australia as well?

PATRICK RAFTER: No, I think more than that, they have got us 5 and 0; puts a bit more pressure on us, 6-0, 7-0 -- whatever. We just want to try get that monkey off our back. It is only a matter time before that that is going to happen.

Q. How do you see their match with Eltingh and Haarhuis?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Last time they played them at the Olympics - which was extremely tough matches - 18-16 in the third, they are going to be very tough because Eltingh/Haarhuis, I think -- I don't know, they pretty much don't do -- they have beaten them before and I think, you know, if they have some opportunities, they are going to take them because they are just as good as they are. So I think it is going to be a tough match. I mean, I think they are going to keep the game together like more than we did. I don't think they will play like loose games like we lost and a little bit of concentration and I think they are the type of team that doesn't do that. They will try and keep their concentration up.

Q. Had you been closer to beating the Woodies in the past?

PATRICK RAFTER: First time we have won the first set against them, actually. We have gotten close. We have always seemed to be very close; have a lot set points and things, etcetera. But I think that was our best opportunity, definitely there and no, I thought we were going to get through them.

Q. Is their consistency the best thing they do?

PATRICK RAFTER: Definitely. I mean, they return very well. They keep the pressure on and, I don't know, I can't work out their serves, but they get away with it and they serve very well.

Q. How do you think they get away with it?

PATRICK RAFTER: They mix it up very well and their first volleys are really very good.

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: They don't have big serves, but they just seem to know when to change the pace or seem to get the corners a lot which I think was happening today. They were serving to each corner when they really had to. If we didn't really nail the return at their feet, they always seemed to get it back strong down the line or crosscourt and that puts pressure on us when we hit good returns and --

Q. Is it annoying to play them because they are -- because they do pull out those shots on the lines more consistently?

PATRICK RAFTER: A little bit. You get Love-15, they do a big serve in Mark's corner; that happened about three, four times I could remember today. I guess it is more annoying for them playing us when we are down Love-15 and Mark puts in three aces or something. I think they get a bit more annoyed at that.

Q. How much of an advantage is for them to have a left-hander right-hander; whereas, you guys got two right-handers?

PATRICK RAFTER: I don't see that much.

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Not much of an advantage. I think it is sort of -- we are both right-handers and pretty much got the same rhythm....

PATRICK RAFTER: I don't know, because yesterday we played a lefty and righty, we didn't have that kind of problem.


PATRICK RAFTER: Really some days depends on who is serving better. Sometimes Mark serves better to a lefty than I do and I return Todd's serve better, but it is just a matter of who is returning that well on the given day.

Q. Can you envision you two guys playing together for years and getting into that category with Eltingh and Haarhuis an these two guys?

PATRICK RAFTER: After that game, I think Phlip (Philippoussis) is going to dump me after that match. We really enjoy playing with each other; have lots of fun playing on the court because we do have fun. We seem to get some good results too and we haven't played a lot this year.


MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yes, and we hardly played half the year. Whenever we do, we seem to do really well and I think that is good, but in the future, hopefully we are still healthy and fit, and if we are, then there is no problem.

Q. Does it help your singles or detract from it to play doubles? Because a lot of the top players don't even bother with doubles.


MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yeah, I mean, I really enjoy it too. Definitely helps your singles. Sometimes, sure, when you are doing well in singles, sometimes you wish maybe it is better we didn't play doubles in a tournament because you are in the singles and you play a late doubles and, you know, you got to play quarterfinal singles the next day, but situation is like that sometimes, but we really enjoy it and definitely helps you return and volleys for singles.

PATRICK RAFTER: I can't understand why more guys don't play.

End of FastScripts....

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