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March 21, 1999

Patrick Rafter


MIKI SINGH: First question for Patrick.

Q. Comment on the let cord call at the first set tiebreaker?

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, I didn't really think it was a let. It was a kick serve out wide. I think it was just a mid-court sort of ball. You know, it's nothing -- it wasn't in the back of my mind for the rest of the match. That's just the way the calls go. You've got to go with them. It's unfortunate. Who is to say I would have won the first set or the match anyway.

Q. How disappointing is it to go out this early?

PATRICK RAFTER: I'm getting used to it now. It's not good. I don't enjoy it. I'm hitting the ball okay, but what I'm really doing badly is my shot selection. I'm really putting in some poor shots. That's just got to come back. I've got to get tight, play stronger, just more -- what's the word -- I've got to play percentage tennis. I'm not playing that, especially on the big points. Again, the point at 5-All in the tiebreaker was just a really poor volley, choice of shots. That's too big a shot to go for a dropshot.

Q. Things patched up between you two?

PATRICK RAFTER: Listen, we were never the closest anyway. But, you know, he went out there and he was too good for me. There was really nothing -- I didn't really feel any spite in the match. It will always be the same.

Q. You shook hands?

PATRICK RAFTER: I said, "Well done."

Q. 4-Love in the second set, you seemed to turn it on for a while.


Q. You were really hitting it.

PATRICK RAFTER: Again, I thought it was a pretty bad call at 30-Love on my serve, for me to go up 40-Love. Then I played a couple really loose shots. A really bad forehand volley and a backhand overhead which, again, a really bad shot. All of a sudden I've lost the game. I get up Love-40 the next game. He played a pretty solid game then. You know, then all of a sudden the set sort of went on me. I just sort of stuck in there to see if I could get back into it. He just served too well at the end.

Q. In the second set, you seemed to come back. What was happening in your head?

PATRICK RAFTER: I just thought, "I've got to try to get in on everything, change things up, attack as much as I can and take the points to him." If that works, it works. It nearly did.

Q. Do you think his serve won it for him or was it his return of serve?

PATRICK RAFTER: He served well, especially on the big points. The first point of the tiebreaker is always pretty big. The last service game, he had to serve well, and he did. At the same time, the court's quite slow out there. He had a really good read on my serve. He played it very well. He can serve well, and he can definitely return very well.

Q. These courts friendly enough for your kick second?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yes, very good for my kick second. Not much pace on it, but it kicks.

Q. Where to?

PATRICK RAFTER: Zimbabwe. Go to Zimbabwe for Davis Cup. Got to get going in that. I've got to really start performing if I want to play in that match.

Q. Do you have any other thoughts about his potential in Indian Wells?

PATRICK RAFTER: Any other thoughts?

Q. Yes.

PATRICK RAFTER: I mean, he's starting to put in a bit more consistent performances than what he used to. He used to be mentally very fragile. I think Bob Brett has really helped him with that side of things. I was quite impressed with him today.

End of FastScripts....

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