home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 1, 1999

Greg Rusedski

Flushing Meadows, New York

USTA: Questions for Greg.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Don't remind me about the football score this weekend, okay (laughter)?

Q. How is the foot?

GREG RUSEDSKI: The foot seems fine. Just something I have to deal with. Seems absolutely fine. I was pleased with the way I played today.

Q. What do you mean "have to deal with it"? Have to take some action before or after the matches?

GREG RUSEDSKI: You're just getting older as a tennis player all the time. Just something you have to deal with. It's nothing serious or anything like that. I just have a massage, then I get a little bit of ice, do some sound on it. It's absolutely fine. I think it's just coming back to the hard court season. I don't think it's going to give me any difficulties or any problems.

Q. How do you explain the dodgey start of the match?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I thought I played really well in the beginning. I won seven points in a row. I had a chance to go up a break, 2-Nil. I think I played reasonably very well actually in the first set. I just thought he played better than I did the first set. Then after that, I managed to establish my authority by getting an early break in the second set. From then on in, I felt like I dominated most of the match. I think he's an up-and-coming player. He's a very, very good player. He has a lot of talent, a lot of ability. He reminds me a little bit of Moya, the way he plays. He's very quick around the court. He's one player to look out for for the future.

Q. Have you been able to convince yourself that injury won't be a factor in this first week after Boston?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No. It will be absolutely fine. I think I played the first match in Boston two and a half hours, which was a good match. My fitness was good. I felt strong out there. I don't think it's going to play any factor at this event or in my next coming events or any of the other tournaments I'm going to play in.

Q. What sort of stuff couldn't you do when you were unable to play the tournaments in London?

GREG RUSEDSKI: The main problem I had was I didn't put any pressure or pounding on my body. I think the hardest thing was getting used to having impact on the court because I stayed off my feet for five weeks. I just did a lot of gym work, a lot of cycling, but no movement on the court, just hitting balls lightly, but not quick stop/start motions. First week I was kind of sore, but now I'm fully recovered.

Q. When before Boston did you start hitting and playing full-out?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Full-out? Let's think. Maybe about -- probably about maybe one or two days before I left. Then I went to Boston on Wednesday, so I got there a few days earlier to prepare.

Q. So really you've been now two weeks?

GREG RUSEDSKI: That's about right.

Q. Would you say with Sampras out of here that the top half of the draw is absolutely wide open?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it definitely is a little bit more open, but I think there's a lot of good players in the draw. I mean, you have Todd Martin, I have a tough match next round with Prinosil. There's a lot of guys who can play good tennis, as can you see from all the upsets that have occurred in the first round.

Q. That's what "wide open" means, right?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I guess you could say that. There's still a few guys I kind of pick as favorites in the top section.

Q. You were a finalist here two years ago. Do you believe you can do it again and even win this tournament?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I'm just looking at it one match at a time right now. I think I have a good chance to win the tournament. Every event I enter, I think I have a chance to win it. But the key for me is getting to that second week. The last two Slams I've played, I've gotten to the second week, but I haven't done anything in the second week. If I can get to the second week this year, hopefully I can do something about that and progress instead of just getting two fourth rounds.

Q. What do you need to get into the second week?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I need to win two more matches (laughter).

Q. Your next opponent, Prinosil, what is your record like against him? Have you played him?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I beat him last time in the French Open in the first round in four sets. I've always had tough matches against him. I think I lost the previous time before that in Basel in a tough two- or three-set match. We always have very close matches. I'm looking forward to another good match. It will be another good test for me.

Q. Because you reached the final here, does that give you a different feel about this Slam, you know what it takes to get there?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it gives me an advantage. I think it really helps me out. I feel comfortable on the courts. I like the way the balls are playing here, a little bit quicker. I like the way the surface is, the way the stadium is made. I just feel more comfortable around here probably.

Q. As a serve-and-volley player, you probably have less margin for error than a baseliner. When you've been off for a while, a little rusty, is it a little more difficult for you to get to the spots on the court you want, feel your footwork the way you want it?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I feel like I'm actually moving and hitting the ball better than I have the past two months prior. I feel like I'm mentally fresher. I feel like I'm enjoying it more, I'm keeping my head better. I wasn't really too concerned today, which was a key. Having lost the first set 6-4 and feeling like I played reasonably well, I think it's one of those keys where you go into the match and you feel fresh and your movement feels good, your volleys feel sharp. I think I feel pretty good. I don't really think there's that much difference from a baseliner to a hard court getting it. If I'm attacking the net, he's going to hit a passing shot two inches over the net every time to get by me. I'd rather be hitting the volley.

Q. You sent the racquet out to be strung, 49 pounds. Is it normally that low?

GREG RUSEDSKI: That's pretty tight for me (laughter).

Q. Is it?

GREG RUSEDSKI: When I made the finals here, it was 47. I've gone up a little bit.

Q. With Tim out, any added pressure to make a good showing for the UK?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think every event I play, I want to do really well. It was unfortunate that Tim lost yesterday. I spoke to him and he said he didn't play one of his better matches. Obviously I want to do well, but I think if I just stay focused and concentrate, it should be fine. I'm not going to put myself under any excess pressure. Just go out and enjoy my tennis.

Q. You said you like the layout, formatting of the stadium. Can you explain why?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think it's just the center court itself. I think the stands are maybe a little bit too big. But just the way that the signs are made, the backdrops, just the area and the feel of it. I can see the ball a little bit better, I feel. I just have better vision in there.

Q. This is a massive stadium, as opposed to going out on something like centre court in Wimbledon?

GREG RUSEDSKI: It's night and day; you can't compare the two. I think it's a little bit too big. The atmosphere at Wimbledon for me is obviously more prestige, it's a more - how would you say - intimate atmosphere than this, which is much, much bigger.

Q. It's one of the four Grand Slams of the year. You're playing on the biggest court of them all. What is it like to see that few spectators in the court?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think there's a lot of good matches on the outside courts. You have a 24,000 seat stadium, you have 11,000 more seats to fill than you do at Wimbledon on centre court. That's quite a tough thing to fill.

Q. In hindsight, if it hadn't been Wimbledon coming along when it did, might you have taken a break earlier with that foot problem?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I probably would have taken the time off. Being grass court season and Wimbledon, I just had to play through it. That was my decision. I think it's worked out all right for me.

Q. How quickly at Wimbledon did it flare up? Was it that one match where you had the problem?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No. I was dealing with it since the French Open. Queen's, Nottingham, all the way through Wimbledon.

Q. Did you feel at any point that that decision to play Wimbledon could have cost you the rest of the season?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No. I spoke to my doctors. My doctors told me play through it. I needed ten days off. I went back and took my MRIs and x-rays. They told me I needed another month. If only they were always right, the doctors, it would be good.

Q. That was all tied in with that blister you had against Filippini?

GREG RUSEDSKI: It was a bit of a blister, tendonitis in the foot. Something I had to deal with.

Q. This rash of injuries, maybe a little more dramatic this year, Rafter with the shoulder, Sampras with a back injury. Is it time for the Tour to look a little more strongly at the length of the schedule, the spacing of the tournaments? Would that help?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think it's too much tennis in the year, no question about that. I think the less tennis, the better off it's going to be for the game, and the longer off-season. Maybe instead of one month off, maybe two months off. I think players would be more healthy because you're only susceptible because you're always in a catch-up with the way the rating system is going. Less tournaments would be better.

Q. You have a French guy who works with the British Federation.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yes, he's a very nice guy.

Q. What is your relationship with him? Do you work with him?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I had a conversation with Patrice actually before my match. Spoke with him for maybe half an hour. We were discussing the things of what he wants to do with the LTA, how he wants to help British tennis. I think Patrice has a lot of good ideas. I hope that he can bring what he did to France to Britain.

Q. Do you think it's wise to have a French guy at the LTA?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, as long as he can bring us some champions, we don't care who we have there.

Q. When you came back here last year as a player who had been in a final the year before, did you feel like the tournament was looking at you as a special guy, "royalty" for lack of a better word, based on what you did the year before?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think last year was more difficult than this year because I had my ankle injury and I was playing probably about 75%. This year, I think it's a little bit easier because I'm more fit than I was last year. I think this year is actually easier than last year. Last year was not really because I came back having made the finals. It was a totally different feel for me because of the injury I had last year, much more severe, much more serious.

Q. Does it bother you that my guess is that the average fan might not remember that you're a guy who two years ago was playing in a final?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Who remembers who gets to the finals? They only remember who wins. The only way to rectify that is to win.

Q. If someone said to you when you were a young guy playing in Canada that you'd go on to achieve stardom in the UK where they would call in a Frenchman to try and help things out, what would you say to them?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Do I have to answer that (laughter)?

Q. Yes, or we'll send you back to Canada.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Aren't you from America, though?

Q. Yes, but I have Canadian relatives.

GREG RUSEDSKI: I'll leave it at that. How is that (laughter)?

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297