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March 28, 2000

Patrick Rafter


ATP: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel about your game today?

PATRICK RAFTER: I felt okay. The shoulder felt pretty good. It was difficult conditions out there. It was windy. It was pretty heavy conditions, quite sort of sluggish. I hit the ball pretty well. I mixed it up pretty well. It was just very hard to get any rhythm out there. I think Andre struggled with that a little bit, as well. I was pretty happy.

Q. Where are you right now with the shoulder?

PATRICK RAFTER: The shoulder, yeah, it was really good. I was very happy with it this week. It's definitely been the best week for it. The conditioning, I can't give you an explanation on why I felt the way I did out there today. I felt very sluggish. I just couldn't find any strength really. I tried. I found it hard to breathe, get the air into the lungs. Yeah, it was a strange sort of day. I thought I was fit enough to last, but maybe not.

Q. Doing a lot of work from the back court.

PATRICK RAFTER: I was feeling good from the back. As I said, it was pretty slow. I was enjoying rallying out there with Andre. I think he found it hard to hurt me, as well, just because of the way the conditions were. It was hard to hit a winner out there.

Q. You had been quoted in Australian saying you're finding things a bit boring with the game, travel was getting to you. Could you comment on that, if things have changed now?

PATRICK RAFTER: I think things have definitely changed. I'm enjoying the work. I'm enjoying doing the training again, seeing the results happen. It's still going to be a gradual process for me to get back into the tournament swing, as well. I still can't train as hard as I'd like to. But I think I'm a couple months away from that, and I think in a couple months I'll be back to full training and playing good tennis again. But, you know, I'm quite happy with where I am right now.

Q. Do you play the next Davis Cup?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, I go back for Davis Cup, then we'll see what happens from there.

Q. (Question regarding Davis Cup in Germany.)

PATRICK RAFTER: I'm pretty happy with the way it went. I'm very happy with this week. That's all I can really ask for right now. It's very difficult to play Andre. You know, even when I go out there, at best it's 50/50. I'm just happy to be out there playing again. I'd love to be there, still, but that's not the way it's going to be. Davis Cup is Davis Cup. We all know what can happen in Davis Cup. There can be upsets. We're obviously the favorites. We're all going to go in with a very strong team. We're looking to beat you guys as hard as we can. But we still respect the team. We know it's still not going to be easy, because no Davis Cup match is ever easy. We're expecting a really good fight.

Q. Do you feel better now than you did at the beginning of the week as far as your play?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, I'm feeling just good overall. The shoulder held up. It was a lot better than Indian Wells, that's for sure. I'm just hitting the ball better. I think it just gives me confidence now for the rest of the year - I hope anyway.

Q. Do you have any opinion about the issue with some nations regarding Davis Cup where some nations want -- there will be a link whether a player commits to Davis Cup and the Olympics? Do you have any feelings about that whole issue?

PATRICK RAFTER: I'm not quite sure. You're talking about the Olympics, in an Olympic year?

Q. In an Olympic year, right.

PATRICK RAFTER: Too much tennis, is that what you're saying?

Q. Yes.

PATRICK RAFTER: I guess it depends on how you structure your tournaments. I still think we can come up with a better schedule for the players, that's for sure. There's nothing like representing your country, I don't think. I know I enjoy it. I know a lot of other people do. But I still think there can be some work done on the structuring and timing of tournaments.

Q. Do you think players should be given some flexibility?

PATRICK RAFTER: You can't please everyone, I guess. That's the problem.

End of FastScripts….

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