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August 12, 1999

Patrick Rafter


ATP: Questions for Patrick.

Q. How is the shoulder holding up?

PATRICK RAFTER: Holding up pretty well. I'm still doing treatment on it, but it's coming along well.

Q. Icing, ultra?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah. Pretty general stuff.

Q. Do they think they can keep it under control enough to get through the next few weeks?

PATRICK RAFTER: I don't know. I'll just have to gauge it, see how it goes. I served really well today. If I keep that up, I'll see. It's held up well over the last few days.

Q. Was that encouraging, playing yesterday and playing again today?

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, I played one of my best matches I played all summer now. That's encouraging. See if I can put two together.

Q. You said if it flared up, did I get it right, that you would not play The Open?

PATRICK RAFTER: I really don't know. I'll be there trying to play every tournament I can. If it gets sore now, I'll take off time before The Open. I'll sacrifice the other tournaments for the US Open.

Q. Obviously you have to think of the Davis Cup down the road.

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah. That's another big event I want to be ready for.

Q. Did you feel in control the whole time?

PATRICK RAFTER: All you need is one little thing to happen and it's back on track. It's pretty important that I was a double break up in the second set. Things can turn around really quickly. I didn't want to let him into the match. It didn't go that way today.

Q. Can you talk about the possibility of playing Michael?

PATRICK RAFTER: Michael is playing better than he's played for nearly a year now. That's good for Michael. I really don't know what to expect from him, though. I don't really know how well he's been playing. He is not same player he was in '97, but it's starting to come back. He's starting to get a little bit of confidence. It will be a tough match. I think the last three times I've played Cedric, I've beaten him. I have had pretty good results against him. We all know that he can play good tennis. But either guy, I'm just hoping I can play another good match like I did today. If I can, then I'll be feeling pretty confident.

Q. Michael has had a lot of success here, 37-9. Does that come into play at all?


Q. Does it depend on where it is?


Q. Not at all?


Q. You seem to react if you play well; it doesn't matter if you lose or win.

PATRICK RAFTER: I'd like to do very well here. Ultimately, the US Open is what I'm getting ready for. This is a huge tournament, as well, don't get me wrong. I mean, I'm here to win this tournament. Considering the way I started the summer, it's not the normal way I come into Super 9's. I'm usually a little bit better prepared than what I am. This year, because of Davis Cup, I have come in pretty unprepared because I had to take a break after Davis Cup. Usually I play LA and get a lot of practice for the Super 9's.

Q. What you were saying last night, you started the year and had no goals.

PATRICK RAFTER: My goal was to have sort of a bit more of a relaxed year. The last two years have been very intense and very tough, and I didn't want to play as much. It is very tough to keep playing that many matches. I have played a lot of singles and doubles.

Q. You don't see yourself a few years from now saying, "If I was a little more intense for a couple years, I could have had some more chances"?


Q. It doesn't matter where you are in history?


Q. You understand a guy like Agassi who says that his enthusiasm kind of comes and goes?

PATRICK RAFTER: Definitely. But you have to realize, Andre is probably in a different boat than what I am. Andre he stands out a lot, and he plays that whole role really well, very flamboyant. When he goes out, I'd hate to see what sort of attention the guy brings, no matter what part of the world he's in. He deals with a lot more emotional crap than what I have to. He does incredibly well for what he has to put up with.

Q. What do you mean he has to deal with a lot more emotional crap?

PATRICK RAFTER: Constantly people are hounding him. He's trying to be a nice guy. People are asking things, wanting things, talking to him. He just wants to have a bit of peace of mind, I'm sure. He has that a lot worse than I do.

Q. How do you do it? How do you go undercover when you go out?

PATRICK RAFTER: For me it's not that bad. Every now and then, people might come up. While I'm at a restaurant or eating, I don't.

Q. Are you recognized here?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, everybody knows the tournament is on. If I was staying downtown or if I was staying somewhere in another city, the tournament was centered there, don't get too much recognition.

Q. You've never walked into a store or a restaurant in a big city and not been recognized and say, "Gosh, no one recognizes me"?

PATRICK RAFTER: No. Some places you just don't get it. It's quite nice. You can always feel people's eyes. Sometimes you don't feel them. That's a good feeling.

Q. What city in America do you think you're the most obscure in?

PATRICK RAFTER: I have no idea. I haven't been to New Orleans, I haven't been to Las Vegas.

Q. You made a conscious decision this year to ease off.

PATRICK RAFTER: It's not working.

Q. It's not working?

PATRICK RAFTER: I'm not playing much, not doing the training. Then I decided I wasn't really happy, so I decided to do the hard work and get going again. We won Davis Cup. Since Rome, I've been probably one of the (inaudible) players since that tournament. Hasn't stopped.

Q. So you kind of figured out that about yourself that you're happier when you are playing more than when you aren't?


Q. You're still looking for that balance?

PATRICK RAFTER: Still looking for a little bit of a balance, yeah.

Q. Is it fair to say that Davis Cup (inaudible)?

PATRICK RAFTER: Davis Cup is a great event, first thing that goes in my schedule.

Q. Sampras was saying, "I don't know how I'm going to play the Davis Cup." Different stories from the Aussies?

PATRICK RAFTER: We are pretty patriotic people, play for our country. We like team events. You won't find many Australians not putting it first in their schedule, not representing their country.

Q. (Inaudible)?

PATRICK RAFTER: Rugby league. I remember last year we played Uzbekistan. I was watching the footy, rugby, eating meat pies. Now we have Russia, so it's going to be a bit more.

End of FastScripts….

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