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August 29, 2000

Patrick Rafter

Flushing Meadows, New York

MODERATOR: Questions for Patrick.

Q. Where do you think you missed your chances tonight?

PATRICK RAFTER: I don't know. I didn't really give myself a lot of opportunities throughout the match. You know, it was just a lot of unforced errors, you know, something that when the points -- when the match gets tight, I generally am pretty solid and make him come up with a good shot. If he does, then too good. Tonight just far too many errors.

Q. Could you have played him any differently than you did?

PATRICK RAFTER: It was hard to because I just wasn't hitting the ball well. I was finding it very hard to pick the ball up there, on volleys, on returns especially as well, groundstrokes. It was hard for me to play a game, you know, that I feel comfortable with. My chip-charging wasn't working, my groundstrokes trying to get into play wasn't really working. I just missed a lot of the fundamentals, a lot of high volleys. You know, my game was off. I guess, you know, points like 15-30, I made a lot of unforced errors and things like that, which are a little bit uncharacteristic I think at that stage.

Q. Can you put that down to anything in particular?

PATRICK RAFTER: Maybe probably lack of matches. You know, that would probably be one thing that comes to mind. You know, Galo also played very well. You know, we both fought very hard out there. I'm happy with the way I fought, and I tried to win. You know, some days it just doesn't go your way. Tonight was one of those ones.

Q. Do you think he played well above his level?

PATRICK RAFTER: He's a talented player. You know, he has struggled probably in the past. I don't really know what his level is because I've only seen him play twice. But he put in a good performance there. Just too good on the night.

Q. Is there a bonus with regards to the your shoulder could stand up to a match like that, given the engagements you've got coming up, Olympics and Davis Cup?

PATRICK RAFTER: It's been a funny sort of last couple of months. Coming into this, it's been sort of a little distracting in a way, I suppose, with the Olympics coming up, also the US Open and Davis Cup. These three things are all on my mind. It's hard for me to focus just on one thing at the moment. These are three huge events, especially for me. But the shoulder does feel good. You know, I need matches, and they haven't come. It's just a lot of hard work I guess now to try and get the form back.

Q. Were you holding back a little bit on your serve earlier in the match? You seemed to pick it up later on.

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, I was just trying to find my rhythm, trying to find what worked out there. I lost my serve, a bit unfortunate to lose, only losing it once. Yeah, you know, he stands back a long way. I was just trying to find what works best. Eventually I found my rhythm, started serving well.

Q. It wasn't anything to do with the shoulder, being tentative about it?

PATRICK RAFTER: No, not at all.

Q. Where do you think this is going to settle in your list of career disappointments? You were keen to do well here, after coming back with Wimbledon and all that.

PATRICK RAFTER: It is disappointing. But, I mean, I'm trying to be very positive about it. You know, it's just another loss. These things happen. You know, it's not the end of the world. I try to always make myself think like that. You know, it's going to be hard to sleep tonight. It is disappointing. But, you know, you go out there, put in your best effort. If it doesn't go off your way, you don't hit the ball quite as well as you'd like to, these things happen. This is just part of the game.

Q. What is the program now?

PATRICK RAFTER: I've got no idea. I was trying to think of that in the shower. I really don't know. I'd probably like to get out of New York pretty quickly. I would have enjoyed hanging around here. But it's very hard staying in a place, you know. I won't come back to this venue now. It's doesn't have a lot of good energy for me right now.

Q. Would you go back to Sydney straightaway?

PATRICK RAFTER: No. I'm going via Melbourne to call on and see the physio. I've got to hit tennis balls. I don't really know. I don't know what to do.

Q. Might you go to Australia earlier than you would have?

PATRICK RAFTER: It's either Australia or stay here for a couple days or Bermuda, one of the two. Depends what Rochey is doing, the training that I can get, which I need.

End of FastScripts….

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