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July 1, 2000

Patrick Rafter


MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Pat Rafter.

Q. For those of us who couldn't get out there to see much of it, can you give us an idea of how well you played?

PATRICK RAFTER: I served really well, especially on the big points today. You know, I pretty well took most of my chances that I had. I just sort of hit -- I was just very determined out there. I think that's the difference I've had coming into this week compared to the last few Grand Slam tournaments that I've played in.

Q. Why has that been?

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, I realise I have a chance here again - at the beginning of the week, I felt as well. Now I'm starting to play good tennis again. The shoulder's fine. Makes me excited to be out here.

Q. Are you almost surprised how well it's come back?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah. Still hasn't had a big five-setter yet; not that I want one. Still really hasn't been tested out. I'm confident it will be fine.

Q. Any time in matches when you feel any kind of doubts creeping in?

PATRICK RAFTER: Not at all. That's another good thing about it; there's no weakness throughout the match at all. I go down after the match, I do more work on the shoulder. So it's continually getting good endurance work on it.

Q. You've had three rounds, nine sets. That's pretty good. Confidence has to be very high after that?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah. Just, as I said, I'm very determined. When I'm out on the court, I'm very focused again. It's been a while since I felt like that. It's good.

Q. The tabloids here cover the tournament so much differently than other Grand Slams. Have you taken any hits from them over the years?

PATRICK RAFTER: I'm too lazy actually to get the paper, so I don't even know. I don't know. I guess that's the downside of someone like Kournikova. I guess she's always going to get picked on in those sort of things. But, no, I've been lucky. I think I've been lucky.

Q. Do you read them at all? Do you follow what they say?

PATRICK RAFTER: No, no. If there's a good story, someone might bring it in, have a read and a chuckle. Hasn't been about me yet.

Q. You seemed irritated with the Cyclops machine?

PATRICK RAFTER: No, it was the let machine (winking).

Q. Can you talk a little about the two opponents, Gustafsson, Johansson, looking ahead?

PATRICK RAFTER: Gustafsson, I've had some good results against Magnus. Again, you have to work very hard. I'd be sort of confident playing Magnus. Thomas, I've never played before. But again, these guys serve pretty well and they stay back and rip their shots. It's going to be a serve-volley against a baseliner; similar match to what I played today, I think.

Q. In that match today, were you able to hold back? You were in control most of the time, all the time actually, weren't you?

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, I think there was a situation at 4-All or something like that in the second set where he had breakpoint. I stayed back and we got into a rally. You know, if you lose those points, you think I guess things aren't going your way. When you win them, you know that something's happening. It's positive, it's going your way.

Q. A few breakpoints to be saved?

PATRICK RAFTER: There were. Again at Love-40, early -- I can't remember. It was a Love-40 game, 15-40 game, as well. Maybe one or two other breakpoints that I saved.

Q. How are you going to spend your day off?

PATRICK RAFTER: I have a light hit, probably do some training, just a light bit of training, off-court stuff. Then a game of cricket is on, I might have a look.

Q. The Aussies --?


Q. Are you a baller, batsman, fielder?

PATRICK RAFTER: No. I'm a pretty aggressive everything. I played once, one of the initial games about '91, first ones that started in Australia. We played out the back in Camberwell, way out of Melbourne. Only about a half dozen of us. I haven't played since. I'm a pretty temperamental cricketer.

Q. The fact that you're one of the few genuine serve-and-volleyers in the game, let alone left in the draw, that is a factor in your confidence? Do you think there's so few with the style to win Wimbledon, and you're one of them?

PATRICK RAFTER: I've been in this situation now quite a few times. Again, I'm here. I feel like, again, we come down to 16 guys - I'm there anyway. It's going to be 16 by the end of today. You know, I think everyone's got a realistic chance. But I put myself probably a little bit higher than some of the baseliners here. Obviously, Andre is an exception to that. Yeah, at the moment I'd feel more comfortable playing a baseliner than someone like Tim or Pete.

Q. When you got to the semis here last year, were you getting problems with the shoulder by that stage?

PATRICK RAFTER: I had problems at the French Open. I was having a lot of treatment on the shoulder.

Q. Here?

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah. But I refused to go on antiinflammatories until I think the Davis Cup match.

Q. When did you actually start to feel you could win this? Was that at Rosmalen or when you got here?

PATRICK RAFTER: I mean, I'm not saying -- I still don't feel I'm going to win. I just feel I have a chance, an outside chance. I'm not saying I'm going to win it.

Q. You feel like you could, perhaps?

PATRICK RAFTER: I feel like now I have as good a chance as anyone. Put it that way. I feel like I have a 1-in-16 chance of winning it. It's going up every day. I feel like I'm putting in a good performance. Mentally I'm really there at the moment. That's a good sign.

Q. There's been some mention of your ability to get out of trouble. What's the mental process when that happens?

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, it's just matches, mate. That's the big thing. When you haven't played a lot of matches, you don't know how to get out of situations. Now I felt like I've had more matches. It only comes by playing matches. Hard to sit down and do the mental work, visualize it or do it in practise. It's got to be on court in match situations.

Q. What is the story with the net cord machine?

PATRICK RAFTER: I'm deaf in one ear. I find it hard to hear the lets anyway. Rainer was also looking at the umpire strangely. I generally hear most of them. Every now and then I miss one. I mean, some flat serves, but this serve was a big kick serve. I reckon it cleared the net by a metre. I had to say a word to him. Then the net judge came out. I'm sure he said one that wasn't one either. Myself and Rainer looked up again, just sort of nodded our heads. I don't know, maybe we're missing something.

Q. Does it get more frustrating for you because you don't pick them up?

PATRICK RAFTER: No. I guess I've got to go with the umpire more. I look at the other guy to see what he thinks. If he goes yes (nodding), okay a let. If he goes, "Huh," I go "Huh."

Q. (Inaudible) machine?

PATRICK RAFTER: It's not the machine. It's actually hearing the net. I don't actually believe that machine a hundred percent.

Q. You said the other day you'd have to flatten your serve out and hope for a miracle. Have you made adjustments?

PATRICK RAFTER: Today I was serving the second serve over a hundred miles very consistently. It was definitely flattened out today. A few big points, I went for it, as well. I felt very good out there serving that way. I think that's the way I have to serve my second serve.

Q. One last thing on the tabs. Are there things that you get asked that you think are out-of-bounds, things they should not ask?

PATRICK RAFTER: I think some character over here the other day asked me about betting, which is just a stupid comment, stupid question to ask. I mean, I think sometimes people search for tabloid sort of questions. That's a typical sort of tabloid question, I think.

Q. What about your personal life?

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, we don't generally get asked much about personal life in here. It's mainly business in these sort of press conferences. I'll talk about it if I feel like talking about it. If I think they're going too far, then I just won't answer the question.

Q. There's questions to Agassi about Steffi. There's questions to Pete about his girlfriend.

PATRICK RAFTER: They're different. They're more in the limelight. These girls are actresses or former great tennis players. I guess if there's something they want to know a bit more. Myself and my girlfriend, we're pretty low-key.

End of FastScripts….

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