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September 3, 1999

Greg Rusedski

Flushing Meadows, New York

USTA: Questions for Greg.

Q. Walk in the park, Greg?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I wouldn't go that far. I wouldn't say it was a walk in the park. I think the first set was the key to the match today. I thought David played extremely well in the first set. He was returning very well. I came up with some good volleys. I think by taking the first set, that's where I really got my momentum started and really hurt him. The way he was returning in the first set, he could have broken most guys. That's where I established my authority.

Q. Can't get a lot better than that?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, against a good player like David, I mean, I think I played as well as I needed to, if not better than my first round match. For me, it's a very satisfying performance.

Q. Are you in top form yet?

GREG RUSEDSKI: If I play like that for the tournament, I think I'll be in good shape. Let's put it like that. You can't play much better than that, winning 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 against an accomplished player like David.

Q. What particular aspect of your game pleased you most?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think the first set was my serve and my volley. The second set was probably the returns got better. The third set was definitely my returns.

Q. He pointed out that your movement was particularly good today.

GREG RUSEDSKI: I feel like I'm moving better. I think the five weeks I had for injury really helped me. I got to work on my game. I think my backhand passing shot has improved, and my ground game. I think it's becoming more of a complete player now, which is helping me a lot.

Q. Getting to the semis at the US Pro Championships --?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I got to the finals.

Q. And also doing so well, and having Sampras and Rafter be out, they're in your part of the draw, does that make you feel optimistic? Looking ahead at all?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I'm not really looking ahead because I think every player that's in the draw has a chance to win the title once you get to the third round. I mean, obviously with Sampras and Rafter and players like that being out, there's always more optimism, and it's taking those chances. I think it's just one match at a time. I have Todd Martin, who is in my section, Chris Woodruff, who I'm playing next. Just one match at a time really.

Q. Does it suit you that maybe the American press haven't really been focusing on you as a potential winner? Are you quite happy with that?

GREG RUSEDSKI: That's fine by me. They only remember who picks up the trophy on the Sunday anyway. That's pretty normal. With Agassi playing so well, he's going to have most of the focus with Venus Williams.

Q. Have you had any matches with Woodruff before?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I've never played him in a match situation, but I've practiced with him a few times. I'm knowing what to expect. He's a very good player. He's got good ground shots, good return. I think he's improved. I mean, he's beaten Agassi at the French Open. He beat Tim this year at Indian Wells. He's quite a good player. Looking forward to a good match.

Q. How did you come in here? What were your expectations, knowing you had done really well here in the past?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think coming off an injury my first week in Boston I think raised my expectations, having made it to the finals, then feeling that I was striking the ball well, playing well. I think my first goal is always to get to that second week. If I can win one more match, then my optimism and my shot at winning the title and doing better goes up.

Q. Hitting 143 has an effect on the crowd. They took a second look. Do you actually register it on the court? Does it make a difference to you?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think that really stamped out the match in the third set. I was up a break, to go up 3-Love, hit an ace, 143, the crowd gets into it, gives me another chance to break the next game. Nice edge to have. Makes your opponent think twice sometimes if you can hit those sort of aces with a mixing up of the serve I've been doing.

Q. You were talking about your movement and everything. Earlier in the year you were saying that was all down to working with Kenny. I know he's not here. Is he no longer with you?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I stopped working with Kenny after Gstaad. I still keep in touch with him. I'm just not working with him on a full-time base.

Q. Do you have a fitness trainer?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I don't at the moment.

Q. You're always a little bit apprehensive with questions from Canadians, of course.

GREG RUSEDSKI: From you, Tom, always (laughter).

Q. Question from your roots in Canada. Explain the shorts change. Is this going back to your roots to wear the shorts a little shorter?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Coming back to my roots? No, it's my new sponsorship deal. I actually had inpput on what I'd like to wear. That was the thing. Just working the new company, Donnay. They let me have a choice of what I want to wear, what sort of shorts, what sort of shirt. It's quite a nice relationship. I'm very pleased to be associated with them.

Q. Is this a fashion statement? Most guys are still wearing the baggy stuff.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Makes me a little quicker around the court, you know (laughter).

Q. What did it mean to reach the final here two years ago?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it was a great moment for my career. The semis I have much better memories than the final. I lost to Rafter. I think he played a great match. I think I wasn't a hundred percent as I'd like to be in that final because I was struggling with my throat problem. Even if I wasn't, it would have been nice to know if I was a hundred percent what would have happened. But Pat played a great match on the day. I don't know if it would have made a difference. I think when you get to a Slam final, it's a great experience. But losing in the finals kind of is a little bit -- it's just like you're so close to getting your goal you want to, you just missed out. It's a positive, but it's also a negative at the same time because you want to win it.

Q. That must have made you hungry to succeed?

GREG RUSEDSKI: It does. You want to win a major. That's what makes players -- in stature makes you from a good player to a great player. You can be a Top 10 player, but you need to have that major beside your name to really make you feel like you've accomplished things in tennis. To me, that's what makes me keep going and makes me want to play tennis, is to win that major that I haven't won yet.

Q. I know you're saying this foot thing, big toe, is something you have to deal with. You were moving well today.

GREG RUSEDSKI: There's no problems with it. I've seen the doctor. I saw a doctor here in New York just to get a reevaluation of it. It's absolutely fine. I know how to control it, what I have to do with it. It's not a big deal. Just a way to do my practices and everything. In the long-term, it's actually turned out to be a plus. Those five weeks I had off, I could work on my ground shots, my movement, certain aspects. Every which way it's been fine.

Q. Have you finally thought of yourself differently after reaching a Grand Slam final?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think I arrived as a player by getting to a Grand Slam final and by getting into the Top 10. I think I proved that I belong with the best players in the world. So I think that's what gave me a lot of confidence. But to make that step of being a great player, you have to win one. That's my next goal.

Q. What exactly was your injury and when did you sustain it?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I had it since the French Open for about two months. I had some tendonitis in my toe, a little bit of an infection. It's just old age, catches up with you (laughter).

Q. Any plans for tomorrow, Saturday in Manhattan?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I like to shop, there's good shopping here. Just relaxing, going to the movies. Just seeing the town. Maybe go to the theater. Do something fun in New York.

Q. At the end of last year, it obviously meant a huge amount to you to stay in the Top 10, to maintain that. Given that again you've had injury problems through what would be a very productive part of the season, is that your goal for the end of the year or is it higher or what?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think for me to try to stay in the Top 10 would be a great accomplishment for the third year in a row. Obviously having missed the time of tennis I did, not playing as well as I'd like in the beginning of the year. Right now my focus is on this Slam because this is the last major of the year. I've never won one. If I can come out here and have a good showing or win this, that would really make my year, more than thinking of the Top 10 at the end of the year right now.

Q. What is your tournament program here from here on?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Supposed to be going to Tashkent, then after that I'm off to Davis Cup obviously, then from Davis Cup either Toulouse or Munich, depending on how I do here, of course. Then it goes Basel, Vienna, week off, Stuttgart, Paris, then either Stockholm or Moscow, then maybe the World Championships would be nice. Then get married, then get ready for next year (laughter).

Q. Vienna is a week off?

GREG RUSEDSKI: A week off after Vienna.

Q. What is the tournament that week?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Lyon and Ostrava. That's the week I always take off.

Q. When is the wedding date?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Can't tell you (laughter).

Q. Hoping to block off some time.

GREG RUSEDSKI: That's all there is.

End of FastScripts....

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