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March 20, 1998

Patrick Rafter


Q. Obviously you have got to be majorly disappointed. But on the other hand, some high quality tennis out there, except for a few doublefaults.

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, you know, I am not playing well. I think it is just a matter of getting the confidence back a little bit. For some reason, you lose it. For no reason at all, it just leaves you. It is just playing 50% less than what I'd like to at the moment.

Q. What was it like back in Australia? I mean, there must be a lot of expectations on your results and stuff. How do you deal with that and how do you think people understand your --

PATRICK RAFTER: How do people understand?

Q. The moment you have been through?

PATRICK RAFTER: I think people can't really understand it. It is pretty hard to relate to, the experience when people haven't done that. It is tough back home, but the whole thing is tough all over the place. A lot more demands. It has just been tough to deal with all-around.

Q. Obviously you had to feel like you were getting back into the match, midway second set you broke him. Take me through it. Was some of the confidence coming back there and what happened to lose it?

PATRICK RAFTER: Not really. It is just waiting for another loose game, just playing far too many combinations of loose points and not playing the 15-All points, or 30-All points like I used to. It is the big points. That is the big difference in winning and losing those matches. That is where I let myself pretty down badly.

Q. You have been the poster boy of sorts for men's tennis. Is it tough to deal with that?

PATRICK RAFTER: As I said, it is a combination of dealing with all those sort of things and trying to play tennis makes it a little bit tricky.

Q. So it is a distraction for you?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, it can be because you don't have a lot of time for yourself. It makes it tough.

Q. Talk about Vincent's game tonight. He is comfortable here. It is like his hometown. Do you feel like the crowd helped him or do you feel like he was playing at another level tonight?

PATRICK RAFTER: You know, I allowed Vince to play pretty well, I thought. But, at the same time, he played very well. I let him in with not serving very well and he has got very strong returns and one thing he did very well was he hit straight at me a lot of times when he came to the net. My hands just weren't -- just probably weren't volleying very well either - a combination of two things, me letting him play well and him also playing well at the time.

Q. You seemed a little upset with the calls a couple of times. Did you think there were a couple that were borderline, that could have worked in your favor?

PATRICK RAFTER: That is the way it goes. That one serve which probably should have gone my way, but again it is only one or two points, it is not going to turn the match around. That is not a reason. I wasn't really upset with the calls. They can go either way as you said. Just wasn't -- only one or two. It wasn't as if there were six or seven of them.

Q. You kind of came in here with a little loss of confidence, Patrick. Do you feel like that was a factor tonight?

PATRICK RAFTER: I think, you know, yeah, I think it is just -- I guess it is expectations of trying to win all the time. But, now I could have a good break so I am looking forward to having a few days off which I probably need.

Q. What are you doing after Davis Cup?

PATRICK RAFTER: I am going to Asia for two weeks; then I have got three weeks off. .

Q. While no loss is pleasant, but this would be one of the most disappointing losses of this year for you?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah. This year is probably my worst one, but at the same time I have never lost to Vince so I was expecting maybe to win this one. As I was saying before, came into the match sort of the mind was wandering a little bit, sort of hard to keep on track.

Q. Can you explain that because Jason Stoltenberg said the same thing today that his mind was wandering during his match. And he said his mind was actually on Davis Cup next month.

PATRICK RAFTER: My mind is not necessarily on Davis Cup. I really want to play, no doubt about it. I am there to play, but my mind is just not really anywhere. It is just cruising, I don't know. I don't know, Craig, it is sort of -- a little lost at the moment. Hopefully just got to get back and try do more hard work. Last two weeks have been the hardest I have trained for about six months so it has been good, so I am looking forward to another couple of weeks of hard work that will start paying off. I can't expect things to go very easy all the time. I have to put in the work.

End of FastScripts....

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