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March 18, 1994

Patrick Rafter


Q. Patrick, have you ever come across anyone who returns so well, so consistently?

PATRICK RAFTER: You know, my serve was off today, and that's my weapon. A lot of my game was off, but he made me pay for it. I've served a lot better than that before.

Q. Patrick, you also seem to be -- you also -- he gave you problems finding opportunities to break, you had a chance at 30-40 maybe 4-2 or something?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, I mean, I played pretty defensively, he had me pretty confused on the baseline. I played a similar match to that at the Australian Open where I had some trouble as well, you know, he just -- he played very well and I didn't play so great.

Q. This match in the stadium was a lot different than the one last night as far as there being more people there; you're not playing against somebody who is injured; how did that affect you, playing your first semi-final here?

PATRICK RAFTER: I had trouble playing in the lights, last night especially. I was in all sorts of trouble, and tonight again, I never felt comfortable under the lights. My smashes just -- I found it very hard to pick up the ball on my serve, and so forth. The background, seeing the ball, it's all black and it's very tough, when you have clouds in the sky it makes it easier. But to his credit, he played very well. He made me pay for not playing very well at all.

Q. What about the crowd, did that --

PATRICK RAFTER: No, I had some support, I was okay. I had some pretty good support there, I thought.

Q. Pat, does it make it that much more tougher considering that you played very well to this point, but you didn't play as well as you know you could tonight?

PATRICK RAFTER: I didn't play well last night either. I was just very fortunate I thought that he --

Q. Well, Grabb was injured and --

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, well, and even before, I just never felt comfortable under the lights. I never wanted to play there really.

Q. How much have you played under lights?

PATRICK RAFTER: Not much. I played a few and I seem to struggle every time.

Q. What, if anything, do you learn from a match like this, playing against someone like him?

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, you know, you got to make a lot of first serves. He's got a great return, that's the best part of his game. He relies on breaking a serve and hitting his groundies on his, you know, when he serves. He pulls out all your weaknesses. I didn't volley too well, he showed them my low backhand volley wasn't going too well either and so I have to work on that. He exploited all my weaknesses tonight.

Q. Did you see anything of the earlier match today?

PATRICK RAFTER: Oh, no, not really.

Q. So you wouldn't care to comment whether you think he might beat Sampras?

PATRICK RAFTER: No, I don't know, depends on the day.

Q. Your first big semifinal here, Indianapolis was another big semifinal for you; how did it feel; is there a satisfaction?


Q. Are you satisfied with the eight days?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, very, oh, yeah. I mean, you know, you have a tough first round, you come into these tournaments, you gotta play like three or four seeds, you know, I'm more than satisfied with this one.

Q. How big is the Davis Cup one coming up for you, individually; how much -- is it a big thing for you?

PATRICK RAFTER: Playing Russia?

Q. How much is it for you?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, It's gonna be very big. It's the first time I've ever been to Davis Cup and I have an opportunity to play. It's going to be a big step in my life, I suppose, it's going to be a lot different from this.

Q. What did you mean when you said that Agassi had you confused on the baseline?

PATRICK RAFTER: When did you hear that?

Q. You said he had you confused when you were out there?

PATRICK RAFTER: Did I say this here tonight?

Q. Yes.

PATRICK RAFTER: Oh, did I? You know, he was -- I was playing -- I didn't know whether to be aggressive or defensive, and whenever I tried to be aggressive, I was missing quite a few balls and they weren't coming off too well. He started running it down and when I started being defensive, he just sort of crawled all over me. I couldn't find a way to win from the baseline. I was trying to work it out.

End of FastScripts....

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