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September 5, 1999

Greg Rusedski

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Good end to a frustrating day, I suppose?

GREG RUSEDSKI: It was a tough day today. You didn't really know when to eat, when you were going to get on the court. So it was; it was a tough day. But at least it was the correct result, and I have a day off tomorrow.

Q. When you were on the court, you were given a warning. What was that about?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I just asked for an ice towel because I had ice towels made up. They couldn't find them anywhere. I had them on the court, specifically put on there, and I was a little bit frustrated when they couldn't find it. So, that's what I got my warning for.

Q. Was he getting to you a little bit with the way he was slowing down the points -- you were stepping up to serve a couple times and you looked up, he was wandering around the back of the court?

GREG RUSEDSKI: That's pretty typical. Most guys try to do that when they play me. It's just taking my time, trying to adjust. That's a tough court to play on because the wind gets in there and blows in different directions. It's not always easy. Most guys do that to me; so I'm pretty much used to that by now.

Q. Are you aware of his comments about your backhand that he made earlier? "He can't pass on his backhand to save his life; he can't come over the backhand to pass."

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, all I talk about is the end result. I must have had some sort of a backhand out there. And, no, I hit some good volleys in the beginning. I thought I hit my passes pretty good in the beginning, in the first two sets. Then I didn't move around to the ball in certain ones. If it was that bad -- I don't see him in the Top 10 in the world, and I don't see him -- I don't see him in the Grand Slam finals. So, I mean, what can you say?

Q. You play Todd next. How much of a motivational factor will the Davis Cup be?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I'm looking forward to the match. Davis Cup, for about a set and a half, nobody's really played that good tennis against me, and he had no pressure having Courier having won that first match against Tim. So this is a different setting and a different surrounding because he's the one who's expected to win, he's in America. All the focus is on him because they're expecting him to go through on the top half. So I'm going to quite enjoy this match coming up on Tuesday.

Q. The way he returned you in Birmingham --

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah. I wasn't serving the corners well enough. He was seeing the ball like as big as he possibly could that day. He served exceptionally well. So, about a set and a half, I didn't manage to get myself back into it and try to turn the tide, and he just basically destroyed me that match.

Q. Overall, he's got what is it ,5-1?

GREG RUSEDSKI: 5-1, but I think I won the time previous to the Davis Cup. I believe I won that last meeting in Vienna, I believe. This is going to be a quicker court, a different sort of match. And hopefully, I can do the right thing out there.

Q. You expect it to be a night match?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I have not a clue. I guess it's up to what Todd so desires, being here in America.

Q. You've not played at night, have you?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I never have played an evening match there. It would be nice if it is. If it isn't, it doesn't make a difference. As long as I get the right result, I don't care what time they put me on it.

Q. You're happy under the lights?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I have no problem under the lights. I have no problems. I quite enjoy it. I think I have a better winning percentage under the lights than during the day.

Q. Given that you weren't firing off 130 -, 140-mile serves all the time, you were, in fact, playing the conditions and what you were facing out there, does it annoy you that somebody comes in here and says he's got a good serve, but not a good backhand?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I don't remember him beating Sampras in straight sets. I don't remember, you know, I don't remember him doing all these things, so I mean, I think he should keep his comments to himself. And, you know, I guess if it was so bad, then why didn't he beat me?

Q. Greg, a lot of times you play in Switzerland and Basel, why do you come back a lot of time to Basel? Do you like this town?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it's a great tournament. I won there two years ago. I think the organization is very good. I enjoy the city. I enjoy everything about Basel. I think it's a nice event. I'm looking forward to going back, and, hopefully, having the success I had there in '97 when I won the title.

Q. This year's success must be?

GREG RUSEDSKI: This year's success, it would be nice to win.

Q. When you get frustrated, what gets you through? Is it the knowledge you've been to the finals here before?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think the key is watching him. You know, I could really tell when he felt something on the court and he got tired, or his toe bothered him, or whatever there was out there. I really took advantage and raised my game to take advantage of that situation.

Q. That was very clear in that second time you broke him in that last set, because it was almost as if every time you got him into a rally, you were most likely to win the point. He tightened up a little bit in that game?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think he sometimes has problems with his nerves out there and holding his composure in certain situations. So, you know, you just take advantage and you see what happens. That makes the difference between a guy sitting at 71 in the world and a guy sitting at 8 in the world.

Q. The fact that you did win so many points, was that one of the better factors?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I must have hit a few backhands, I guess. (Laughing.)

Q. If you were to win this tournament, would you mind being on the cover of a Canadian magazine?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Are you working with Tom Temet this week?

Q. What magazine, Greg? We like you in Western Canada.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Fair enough. If they want to put me on the cover, that's fine.

Q. Greg, (Inaudible) said he used to hate New York and now he loves it. Does the same apply to you?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I always enjoyed New York, even before I got to the finals. I just wasn't here very long. I was usually here on a Monday, out on a Tuesday. I couldn't enjoy New York so much.

Q. Does this tournament bring out the sort of thing in you that other Slams don't?

GREG RUSEDSKI: These are my two favorites, Wimbledon and the US Open, by far. Just the atmosphere and the crowd. If you really get going, the crowd gets behind you no matter where you're from. I think it's the whole atmosphere and the environment. I enjoy New York as a city and as a tournament.

Q. Did you come here much as a kid?

GREG RUSEDSKI: A little bit. More on Long Island. I used to play a little bit, a few Junior events.

Q. Did you come and watch the Open?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I never did. Just saw it on the tele.

Q. Is there any sort of changes between this year and two years ago that might be pointing to what could happen?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, if I'm in the finals on Sunday, then it could be an odd coincidence.

Q. I was thinking that already. Has anything occurred to you (Inaudible)?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No, not really. I think when I got to the finals, I didn't lose a set until I got to the semi. This year, I've had two four-set matches. I'm pleased with the way I was, compared to '98. So I think the key for my run is going to be the next match. I think that's going to be real telling because I think whoever wins between myself and Todd has a really good chance to go to the semis or the finals, because, I mean, you've got Dosedel or Novak they're both two very good players. But on paper, you should beat those players.

Q. Kafelnikov was in here the other day, he, as you know, likes a bet.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I said to him 100 to 1 odds, I'll put 1,000 quid on you. Pay me 100 grand at the end of the week, that's fine.

Q. He guarantees the winner of the tournament will come from Agassi himself. What is your view of that?

GREG RUSEDSKI: There's another, I don't know, another 16 men or so, that makes another 13 left that have a good chance, but I mean, that's fine. Those quotes go in newspapers; so it's good for the game. But I think a few other players want to say something different about that.

Q. Greg, in football they sometimes put quotes up in the locker room to get the team enthused. Do these quotes get you enthused?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it helps you out the more someone talks or the more someone says something, it gives you motivation for the next time you play them. I think it's only a benefit for players if they say something, whether it's negative about your game, or whether they say something towards that comment. I think it helps you. Because you keep quiet and then you concentrate, and it helps you when you're having tough times on the court. So it's always a motivating factor.

Q. Given that Todd is a nice guy, he doesn't come up with motivating factors?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think Todd lets his tennis do his talking. The first set he played today with Larsson was immaculate. I thought he struck the ball very, very well. He served well, but he didn't get the full test because he only had one set and Magnus had to withdraw. It would be interesting the further it goes. He starts off very, very hot. Usually the first two sets, he plays tremendous tennis, and it's trying to weather those first two sets. That is the key against Todd. When he's playing well, he can beat anybody in the world.

Q. How do you plan to celebrate your birthday?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, it started off pretty well today; so that's a good sign. I would have been in a little bit of a mood if I lost. It wouldn't have been such a good birthday. I'm just going to spend it with my coach and my fiancee and go for a nice meal.

Q. Two years ago, I'm trying to remember what day your birthday fell on in the run?

GREG RUSEDSKI: It was on the day of Princess Diana's funeral.

Q. Is there something you could do to get this idiosyncratic crowd to shut up, or is that in itself impossible?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it's quite fun, actually, when the crowd gets into it. I think they like anybody who shows emotion, even if it's not their own favorite, whether it's Agassi or Sampras. They like to go for a little bit of the underdog, or somebody who gets excited out there. I think they'll go either which way.

Q. Todd was saying he won't be as patriotic (inaudible) --?

GREG RUSEDSKI: It won't be. Connors managed to do a pretty good job with the crowd and McEnroe, players like that. Obviously, I'm not the same as those two players but it would be nice to get the crowd going into the match.

End of FastScripts….

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