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August 6, 1996

Patrick Rafter


Q. Did Sergi seemed drained to you at all? He commented that the Olympics took a lot out of him.

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, I am sure it did. At the very beginning I felt really bad as well. I was still trying to get over a cold that I got from last week. And I knew I had to hang in the first three games down breakpoint earlier on my serve and got away with that and then from then on I just played my game and Sergi still remained flat.

Q. Was that the first time you had beaten him? Anything special that you were doing or?

PATRICK RAFTER: 1 and 6, isn't it? No, I played him six times. This is six times.

Q. 1 and 5.

PATRICK RAFTER: Sorry. Yeah. Well, I felt a bit more comfort on the hard court and it is the first court that I played him on where I have been able to have my footing and that is important to play someone like him because he passes quite well. But I seemed to be there for a lot more balls today. And I think, you know, I was pretty confident going into the match.

Q. You liked the surface?

PATRICK RAFTER: I felt comfortable. I had good opportunity to beat him on grass as well; it didn't eventuate.

Q. Starting to feel a lot sharper this year, healthier than last year?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, I think my fitness is definitely a lot better than last year. The wrist is holding up well and I guess I am just enjoying myself a bit more than last year. I am playing good tennis and I think that is showing.

Q. The wrist injury did give you a break?

PATRICK RAFTER: I had a break after the Australian Open. I had a ball. I think that was important because, you know, I am pretty dedicated to tennis and the only way I was going to have a break is if I had an injury and that was an excuse for me to party. I had a great time.

Q. Family party sounds good.

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, believe me it is good. Never get a chance to do it.

Q. You came in here and made a joke with a silver medal. What are your feelings about the Olympics? Did you follow?

PATRICK RAFTER: No, not really because everything is American, you know, I come here and the Americans are doing this and doing that, and no doubt, I am interested in the Australians like everyone else. I mean, if I was back home everything would be Australian and I like to see the Australians compete, obviously. There were some great events that I would like to have seen, but I didn't really get to see the Aussies compete very much, unfortunately. The silver medal, that is obviously, just a silly joke, but, you know, Sergi obviously played very well to get that.

Q. Were you in the third round here last year?


Q. Anything special about this surface that you feel confident on?

PATRICK RAFTER: I like the conditions here. The balls are little heavier. The courts are medium paced where I can serve well and I can also return quite well. And I like that sort of condition. A little bit too quick too quick, I don't really like that. I don't like when they are really, really slow. I don't like that either. So over the American summer, the surface and the balls, everything seem to really help my game.

Q. Any thoughts about your next opponent Enqvist?

PATRICK RAFTER: It is going to be tough. I played him about a year ago in Washington and I was successful there. Obviously he is playing better and I am probably playing a little better as well. So we should have a good match. If it is going to be hot like it is today then ..... (inaudible).

Q. It is going to be hot.


Q. You have grown up with the heat.

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, just not feeling 100%, so, you know, it does take it out of you if you are not feeling, you know-- yeah, I mean, I do enjoy the heat because I know that everyone else doesn't like it. I think that is what -- that is why I enjoy it. That is the only reason why I enjoy it.

Q. If it had gone to a third today, could you have stood out there?

PATRICK RAFTER: I felt like I could compete. I mean, I was feeling that great and I looked at him too; he wasn't looking too good. It would have been an interesting third set - a lot of dropshots, probably.

Q. You made a little run there, sort of regrouped?

PATRICK RAFTER: Psychologically, yeah, I felt like I had to, you know, if he got back from double break down, he gets momentum; he gets bit more second wind and that could be dangerous.

Q. I know Cains. I have never been to Mount Isa. What is the weather there compared to here?

PATRICK RAFTER: I only lived the first seven years of my life in Mount Isa, but that is very, very hot, that is the desert weather, very dry and then I moved to the sunshine choice in Queensland which is quite humid. But Cains is a different story altogether. You are looking, you know, extremely tropical, extremely humid and muggy. A lot like the weather here. I mean, even in the winter, they still have 30 degrees and all sorts of humidity up there, so that would be difficult to live in. I do know how to condition myself for the heat.

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