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September 27, 1997

Patrick Rafter


Q. Congratulations. Really a tough success. Did you expect Petr Korda so strong?

PATRICK RAFTER: Definitely. He's a very good player. After the first set, I got the break up in the second set, I thought I might be able to get on a bit of a roll. But, you know, he's so talented that I was very lucky to win in the end.

Q. Which opponent would you prefer in the final?

PATRICK RAFTER: Doesn't matter. I'm going to be in trouble whoever I play, I think.

Q. You played against Pete Sampras last week in Davis Cup. He's really the best player in the world. You lost against him. How do you think could you beat him? What do you have to do?

PATRICK RAFTER: Punch him in the head as I go past, change of ends (laughter). I don't know. It's been four years since I've beaten him. Haven't looked like beating him since. I don't know what to do. I don't know. I'll just go out and have fun. Whatever happens happens.

Q. Take it as it comes?


Q. Patrick, this last month has had a lot of very emotional, very draining matches for yourself. Where would you rate this one?

PATRICK RAFTER: Oh, definitely very draining. The longest match I've had since Davis Cup in Sydney. Emotionally, it's very hard to compete with the emotion that I felt through the fourth round when I beat Agassi at the US Open. That was a fantastic feeling. And also, you know, the finals obviously, all the matches leading up. Davis Cup is something very special and very different, I think. I probably get more out of Davis Cup than anything. So it's very hard to compare. You put it in a pretty tough category actually, Craig. But I am enjoying it. It's nice.

Q. How did you feel after such a long match? Were you completely exhausted or could you play another one?

PATRICK RAFTER: Another match or another set (laughter)?

Q. Another match, definitely.

PATRICK RAFTER: No, no. I think I was finished for the day. That was it.

Q. Your fans back in Australia and around the world have been e-mailing you messages of support all week, especially during the match. Do you have anything to say to your fans out on the Internet?

PATRICK RAFTER: Thanks, very much. I don't look at the e-mail because I don't have a computer.

Q. You've been getting a lot of female support.

PATRICK RAFTER: Beautiful (laughter). I don't even know how to use a computer anymore. When I finish, I'll learn how to use one, I think. Thanks for the support, I think is the best thing for me to say to them. Keep it up.

Q. How do you feel about being the No. 3 in the world?

PATRICK RAFTER: I don't know. It's a funny feeling. I know I'm there, but I still feel like if I go out to play Petr Korda, that he's the better player. He's the one that should win, I think. I just go out there and play. So I think it's a way that I should continue to feel because I always play better that way.

Q. Is it your hope to be No. 1 one day and beat Pete Sampras?

PATRICK RAFTER: Oh, definitely. Everyone loves to be No. 1 in the world. But while Pete is there, it's going to be very tough to get there, I think.

Q. Patrick, let's say it was Greg Rusedski you had to play in the final, and you just played him a couple of weeks ago. Different conditions, though. How will you counteract things over here with a court that's a lot faster than the US Open?

PATRICK RAFTER: I think it's going to be very difficult. I mean, whoever I play is going to be, I think, a very close match. If I do happen to play Greg, it's going to be just a matter of really trying to get his serve back. Against Greg, you have to do good quality returns because he does volley and gets in well behind it. If he gets a good volley on it, he's very difficult to get past, he's so big. So I guess I'll just have to wait till the time comes and hopefully when I get my chance, have to take it.

Q. Is this the first time you play in Munich?

PATRICK RAFTER: This is my second time. I played the BMW Open, is that what it's called? Niki's tournament in '95.

Q. What do you think of the audience in Munich?

PATRICK RAFTER: Really got into the match today. It was a lot of fun. You know, you have Petr who has a lot of personality out on the court. People like to see that as well. We both had a fun time out there.

Q. Down three match points in the fourth set. Did you think he was going to start to do his skip and jump thing? What were you thinking?

PATRICK RAFTER: Definitely. I just thought that was pretty well it. I had come back from Love-40 once or twice before. I said to myself, "Let's see if you can do it again." I sort of laughed at that because I thought too much to be down Love-40. He got a little bit tight on his returns. Then it went my way. Then at the end he was too tired to do them.

Q. Have you been to the Oktoberfest or do you intend to go there before you leave Munich?

PATRICK RAFTER: I went yesterday (laughter). Had a little look. Tried to drink one of the beers. It was too much. Put it down halfway through my beer, had to go. I went to watch the soccer last night, so it was quite fun.

Q. What were your thoughts lying on the bench?

PATRICK RAFTER: Hang on. Were you speaking English (laughter)?

Q. What were your thoughts lying on the bench?

PATRICK RAFTER: I don't know. Just have a bit of fun. Time for a sleep. I was a bit tired. He looked pretty tired to me as well. Thought I might get a couple minutes' sleep, get up on him, you know.

Q. You played a lot of five-setters, I guess, especially in Davis Cup. You said once against Pioline it was emotionally very, very good for you. How is it emotionally playing here? Is it some thoughts on the money or is it less?

PATRICK RAFTER: If it were the money, I would have double-faulted when he was up match point. No, I'm out here to enjoy myself. Whatever happens happens. This is so much money so far that whatever happens happens now. I mean, if it goes my way, it goes my way is the way I feel. As long as I can enjoy myself, I think it's the most important thing.

Q. Had you some great rallies today. That's the first time actually in this tournament we've seen some really good rallies. Does that imply that you're becoming accustom to the surface?

PATRICK RAFTER: A little bit. Petr stays back a lot. You get an opportunity to do some rallies. But for me, it's more trying to set up the point. He hits the ball so hard. I'm just sort of trying to run it down and get into a position where I can get to the net. I am starting to get used to the surface a little bit more. It is definitely a bit quicker than Davis Cup, when I played there.

Q. We heard that were at the soccer game FC Bayern yesterday. I wanted to know if you like the German soccer?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, it was good.

Q. You were there?

PATRICK RAFTER: I was there for the first half. I was a bit tired.

Q. Then going to the Oktoberfest?

PATRICK RAFTER: No, no, went before (laughter).

End of FastScripts….

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