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August 30, 2002

Greg Rusedski


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How were you affected by the crowd in the fifth set?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think I had a real -- 4-love, I had two easy forehands. If I would have taken a little bit of a hit on it, the crowd could have gotten into it. He played a good game to hold. Served for it the first time, got it back to deuce from 15-40. Won the point. Then after the point was over I got a foot fault after I had won the point. Then, you know, the crowd started getting louder. I think the chair umpire didn't take control of the match whatsoever. People are calling "foot fault" on the side of the lines. Those were only two issues. I thought it was great tennis from the first ball to the last ball. I thought he played exceptionally well. I hit some deep returns, I was hitting the cover off every ball. So you just got to focus on the positives and make sure you got through. Probably just have a word with the supervisor and the referee so this thing doesn't happen again. I don't get called for one foot fault until I serve for it, twice.

Q. What did they say you're doing wrong?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Said my right foot was dragging on it. I just wish they'd let the players play rather than trying to get involved. That's where the guy in the chair and the people on the court have to use common sense. But, unfortunately, that wasn't used today.

Q. That's what you were saying to the umpire?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, yeah.

Q. You think it might have been fatigue? How tired were you by the end?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I got a good wind to get up 4-nothing in the fifth set. Then I think, you know, it's always tough to close out a match because he's going to swing away. The crowd in New York goes crazy. It's not an easy thing to do. I could have made life easier on me but it was a great tennis match. I just really came up with the goods 15-40 down. Played four really good points.

Q. Satisfying, too, to get the win with the Davis Cup coming up?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah. I mean, I don't think he can play much better. I mean, he played fantastic. You know, shows why he's played so well the last two weeks. Fortunately, I think we're going to be playing them on a lot quicker court so that's going to be helping. I think playing in the evening here it's a lot slower because you don't have the heat of the day, and the ball just sits up a little bit longer for him to have a good whack at the ball.

Q. You must be really pleased with your form. To play those five sets, come through as a winner, the way you played as well.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, no, I'm playing very well. You know, now it's just about recovering, getting ready for Sampras on Sunday. That's the big match. I'm sure it's going to be loud. Can't get much louder than tonight. It was good preparation.

Q. What's your take on Pete at the moment? Some people are saying he's not the player he was.

GREG RUSEDSKI: You can never discount Pete. I mean, he's won 13 majors. He knows he's got a lot on the line here. If he doesn't do well here at the Open, he's going to be down to 50. He knows he has to play well. I'm looking forward to it. A lot of the guys in the locker room feel they can beat him now. That invincibility isn't there, what it once was. He's still a great player, I look forward to the match.

Q. The fact you beat him in a big final in Paris when he was playing well...

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, when he was going for No. 1 I beat him in straight sets. That was excellent. But it's a different match, a new day. It's one of the seven matches. Like today's one of the seven matches you have to get through. Tomorrow or Sunday will be the same thing. I'm looking forward to it. It's another challenge.

Q. Were you surprised to get the Canadian support you were getting on the side there?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Got some -- it was an interesting one (laughing). I mean, there was all sorts of noises going on from all directions. One was "foot faults" by this crowd, one was advice, one was Canadian, one was English, one was Thai, one was New Yorker. You just don't get it anywhere else in the world. It was quite an amazing atmosphere if you think about it. I mean, if you can't get into a tennis match like that, I don't think you'll ever get into one.

Q. Sorry to harp on a painful memory, but the words "Todd Martin..."

GREG RUSEDSKI: No, obviously. I've lost a lot of tough matches here in five sets. I think the commentator told me I'd lost three in five sets here in New York, my last three. So it's finally good to get through that ghost and to get through today. That was big for me today mentally.

Q. Did you feel those ghosts when you were into that phase?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I kind of was thinking to myself, I got the foot fault at deuce to go either matchpoint or matchpoint against. You know, it's just kind of bad luck. The next point hits a let cord on top of the net at 5-3, you know, first passing shot. Then he hits another half of a line. You kind of are thinking to yourself, "Okay, let's relax. Let's calm down. Let's try to get this thing done." The thing which was better, I stayed with it, took my time and came up with the goods this time. That's the positive.

Q. You were very measured at matchpoint?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I was very measured. I wasn't going to miss that ball. I really put it together. Just got myself down on my volleys a little bit lower, I was popping up a little at the end on two volleys just because of the length of the match. If I stayed down, I probably would have made that to make life easier. Then I really lifted my game at 15-40 down, when I served for it 5-4.

Q. You talk about your fitness at the moment. You don't look as fatigued as a lot of people that come here after playing five sets. Recovery won't be a problem?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I don't think so. I had a week off last week, so, you know, obviously Pete's gonna be fresh. But I feel like I've done the hard work. And you're gonna give everything at a major. This is what you play tennis for, is right here. You're going to find any way to make sure you're as fresh as you possibly can for that match, just grind it out. When Rafter won back-to-backs, I think he had two five-setters he had to get through in the first two rounds and then managed to find a way to get through and win the championship. You got to find ways.

Q. When you say the talk in the locker room is Pete's invincibility isn't there anymore and that he can be beaten, what are the guys saying? Are they saying any particular shot of his is gone?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't think it's any particular shot. I think it's an aura. It's just there's not really guys that have that aura now because of the depth of men's tennis really. And Pete had that for so, so long. He's still a great player, no question about it. But it's just, you know, he used to walk in the locker room and get himself one or two extra games a set. Now he's not getting that from guys. Guys are from the first ball to the last ball with him, which makes life a lot tougher. I think they've slowed down the game, guys are returning better, hitting ground strokes better. That's the thing which makes tennis much more exciting.

End of FastScripts….

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