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July 18, 1999

Patrick Rafter


Q. (inaudible)

PATRICK RAFTER: I couldn't really afford to, to mess up anymore. I knew if I could hold my serve there were going to be enough opportunities to try and break him. That is just the way the much whole match had gone, I knew that. Although I was down 3-Love I still felt pretty optimistic but I knew I had to win that game.

Q. Tell us your whole view of the stuff that was going on before the match whether you were going to play Todd or Pete, Todd or Pete, what was going through your mind?

PATRICK RAFTER: I was actually pretty sort of relaxing. I didn't want to get upset about the whole thing. Then about 20 minutes ago I just thought I do have to know who I am going to play; whether it is Pete, whether it is Todd. So but -- I knew what was going on. I knew Todd probably wasn't feeling 100%. So I just tried to keep my mind as focused as I could. But it was coming to the point that I think it is time that I do know who I have to play.

Q. Did you believe it or did you think the Americans were trying to pull something initially?

PATRICK RAFTER: No, I mean, Todd -- you are not going to get a better sportsman in the world than Todd and I have a lot of respect for Todd. I never once saw Todd trying to pull something over me. I saw him out in the court and he didn't look great. He looked very pale in the very beginning but as the match got along he became more and more into it and I knew then that I am in a lot of trouble.

Q. How hard was it to play somebody that was looking like that (inaudible) hitting some great shots --

PATRICK RAFTER: One of the most difficult things to do to know someone is injured, but once they get a ball into their zone and they are relaxed because they know he has to go for it, it is a tough thing to play against and I knew I had to try get up early in the set to make him feel as badly as I could.

Q. How much pressure was there on you knowing Todd wasn't 100% and how nervous were you at the start?

PATRICK RAFTER: I didn't know what to expect at the beginning. I tried to get a few first serves in and, boom, there is winners all over the place. He didn't really give me a chance to get nervous at the beginning. I wanted to win this one now. I didn't want Lleyton to be out there playing Jim. With the whole situation, I knew it was a pretty crucial match.

Q. Are you surprised that he lasted five sets and was still there giving it his all?

PATRICK RAFTER: As I said, I think probably the first set and a half were the telling tale for him, you know, if I got on top of him very early, he would have been in a lot of trouble. I think mentally as well, it would have eaten at him. But when I am down 3-Love, 4-2, it is tough to keep going out there.

Q. You weren't as sharp as you were on Friday. How did you feel physically and mentally?

PATRICK RAFTER: Physically I felt fine. I felt very good. Mentally I was sort of rattled a little bit, so there was a few people saying a few things in my face at the beginning where I probably over reacted a little bit and probably said not a very nice thing to them. But that is Davis Cup and that is the situation. That is just the way it is.

Q. The fans, you mean?


Q. I know that nobody is questioning or you would not question Todd Martin's integrity, but there were questions of the integrity of people around the US team last night and that must have gone through your mind this morning?

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, all I wanted to know was -- I am not 100% sure what the rules of Davis Cup are and what there is to go on. All I wanted to know who I was going to play and just leave it at that. That is all I wanted to know.

Q. 11 straight five set wins, I mean, you may win one (inaudible) talk about that you five-set-- (inaudible)--

PATRICK RAFTER: When I get into a five-set match I know that record and I feel comfortable and I know that for -- something picks me up when I get into a five-setter, although I am down, I know I can go out there and still accomplish what I have to accomplish and I am going to be the one there last; my body might not want to last, but my mind and everything else wants me to deep going.

Q. What time did you find out that Todd was playing?

PATRICK RAFTER: About 20 minutes before.

Q. How were you feeling during the match? Were you cramping?

PATRICK RAFTER: Not at all. I went for a walk after and I was in a lot of trouble. I think I lost a lot of fluid out there and I was in a bit of trouble walking around but now I am fine.

Q. How would you analyze your comeback in the third and fourth sets?

PATRICK RAFTER: As I said, I needed to get -- to have a good start early; then I didn't. Especially in the third set, and my the adrenaline was high and my energy was high and I knew if I could get through this next couple of sets, then I could beat him. As soon as the fifth set started I thought he is tired; I am going to win this because he is not feeling -- then I went to 3-Love I said, well, maybe he is.

Q. When you get that circus shot start in the third set, you threw in a couple of doublefaults. Can you talk about the process of kind of settling down there?

PATRICK RAFTER: After that shot, yeah, I thought I have got to weather this storm, it is coming from all angles now and I just don't know what to do. Just got to keep playing my game, maybe change up one or two little things, but when it comes down to crunch time, I put my game up against his and see if I can win.

Q. When you found out 20 minutes before the match it was Todd, was it may be a little bit of a let-down or how did it affect you?

PATRICK RAFTER: You are going to have a different feeling playing Todd or whether you are going to play Pete. Todd for me is -- I have got to do this; it is a good opportunity for me to win this; if I play Pete, it is like I have beat him the last couple of times, but he is probably the one coming into this tie with as much form as anyone. So it takes a little bit of pressure off. As I said before, I needed to know how I was going to feel before.

Q. Start to sit there thinking this is getting really silly -- (inaudible) --

PATRICK RAFTER: I just thought that they will tell me soon. I just wanted to know. I have to know now.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PATRICK RAFTER: As well as Todd returns, as well as Todd -- he does return well. As well as he serves, he gets his streaks of serving, I just thought I could lose this if I am down 4-2 and if he puts a couple of good service games together I am -- I am going to walk off this match a loser. So I was aware of that but he really didn't come up with great serving there and my serve picked up.

Q. The moment when you finally won, matchpoint, what was the thought? What was the emotion that went through your mind?

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, you didn't read my lips obviously. It was -- I think the moment of total exhilaration through that match was when I broke at 4-All, when I played a couple of shots in that game that weren't really my style but I came up with them. It was emotionally the high point of it, of that match is when I broke.

Q. What were the shots?

PATRICK RAFTER: Forehand down-the-line that I really sort of -- to his forehand, but came in behind. That was one of them in particular that I don't feel entirely comfortable playing.

Q. Todd said he felt it was necessary to hang outside your locker room after at one point to tell Newc that he wasn't feigning an injury; never happened. Did he say anything to you at net?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, he said, Pat, I am sorry for the way this all went. I had to have an I.V. to play and as I said, Todd is the fairest guy and that is why he wins the awards. We all respect him and there what was, you know, usually we don't have any confrontations with each other and there could have been one or two that could have flared up, but I think he sort of respects where I come from and I certainly respect him.

Q. Ever been in a condition like that where you were so exhausted?

PATRICK RAFTER: I have taken I.V. in 1994 before I played Chang in the finals of a tournament in Hong Kong, spewing up, everything. This is something -- it is different. It is heat exhaustion. I don't know if I ever had anything like that before. I guess that is another thing, yeah, that you wonder, but Todd, as I said, he is fair and I know must be legitimate coming from him.

End of FastScripts....

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