September 3, 1998
Flushing Meadows, New York
Q. Nobody told you you'd get the same amount of money winning it in three sets?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I was thinking about joining the women's tour. You only have to play three sets maximum. But a win is a win; you can't complain. I knew I had a difficult match today I had thought I played better than I did against Wayne Ferreira. You just didn't take the breakpoints. I must have had something like 12 or 14 breakpoints in the third set, which made it a much more difficult match today. But to get by and to have another win is always given me confidence and I feel better than I did after my first round match. I feel fitter, stronger.
Q. You start to feel something, you know, good can happen here, surviving, or are you a little worried that you have been put to the brink?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I haven't played too much, no, in the past few weeks. I have played two warmup tournaments. I have had two months holiday, so it doesn't bother me just got to keep going keep playing well. Everybody is a good player. This year I have had a much more difficult draw than I had last year at the Open. The section really opened up for me starting off with Ferreira. Then Ulihrach is a very good player, as you can see today with the mixing of the passing shots, crosscourt lobs, everything. He has beaten Sampras; he has got to be doing something right.
Q. Inevitable frustration at the end of that third set, so many chances, then there are two extraordinary games where you were both Love-40 on the respective service games. How frustrating was all that?
GREG RUSEDSKI: It was frustrating, and I got the frustration out of myself in the first game of the fourth set. I just went a little bit crazy for my shots in the first game, then I cooled myself down and brought things back and stayed positive, from there on -- played good fourth set. He raised his level in the fifth, definitely started playing a lot better and got a buzz. I thought I really managed to contain them.
Q. Tell us about that matchpoint - the second serve that you produced? Was it slightly slower, but with more kick on it?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Just gave him a little bit of a change-up, went into the body so I can get in close and I think he was expecting a fast second serve and it just kicked up and went high. Fortunately, for me, he didn't connect too well on it, so... That is the way it works.
Q. Over his head (inaudible)--
GREG RUSEDSKI: It did. Some of the bounces on the court, the ball sometimes goes really high. I thought this court was much slower than the stadium court. I don't know whether it is the temperature or what, but it seemed a lot slower out there.
Q. He hits some very good backhand passes today, is that a difficult shot to read?
GREG RUSEDSKI: It is because you are expecting it to come up the line a lot. That is his favorite shot, to hit it up the line, but he was hitting unbelievably well crosscourts and the lob was fantastic today. It was up the line, crosscourt. He had so much variety on it, and he just played very well, so it is a difficult shot to read. Even his forehand side, usually you are expecting that crosscourt roll, he whipped it up the line so I think he played a very good match today.
Q. In that sort of match did you ever feel that it was slipping away from you when you were on the court?
GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I just try to stay in there, stay positive and just keep going from start to finish. And, if I give 100%, I usually feel that I have got a good chance to be winning at the end, but you need a little bit of luck as well sometimes.
Q. You told us that you have got a lot of training in that time away from the actual practice court. Are you really fit enough now? You have had two long --
GREG RUSEDSKI: I feel great after the match actually. I feel much fresher than I did after the first match with Wayne Ferreira so, I don't think that is going to have any effect; plus I am probably going to have a day off tomorrow, so I will be ready to go and looking forward to my next match.
Q. Closed out the match at Love, didn't you?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I did.
Q. Was that you put the foot to the pedal in that kind of situation and you want --
GREG RUSEDSKI: I felt he was going down a little bit because, you know, it was a tough game. He missed a passing shot by millimeters, just barely wide, so I knew I had to be on top of him, get my first serve in and really finish him because you saw the way he was returning in the third set. I think I had to -- fifth set, I should say, had to save something like six breakpoints or five breakpoints in the fifth set. He was returning well so I knew I needed to good game.
Q. Is there a different satisfaction about winning a game like that after last year you were on a bit of a roll with things; seemed to be smoother now. You seem to be grinding your gears, chipping forward, you are getting our --
GREG RUSEDSKI: It is satisfaction because I know I can go the distance five sets around, I know I can win no matter whether I am down two sets to Love or two sets to one which is definitely a positive factor. I wouldn't mind exchanging what I did last year at that moment, but these things just happen like that.
Q. How much, if at all, was your absence a factor in these games, particularly early on?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't think really, the absence. I think it is just playing the big points better. I think if I would have played the big points better in the third set, probably would have been in the locker room after four sets.
Q. Did you lose the ability to do that because of the absence?
GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I think it is just-probably a little bit from the absence, but it is also just the way you have got to be mentally focused. I wasn't aggressive enough in certain situations. I let him dictate a little bit on the big points when I should be a little bit more positive.
Q. Presumably against somebody like him, okay, you have got to be as aggressive as you can and often as you can, but also bit of a risk?
GREG RUSEDSKI: It is because it goes on a roll, you thought you hit a good approach shot, next thing you know you are looking behind you: Where is the ball. I mean, that is the way he can play. Play hot and cold. Today I thought he played extremely well. He has got some fantastic wins under his belt, so, I mean, for me, I am just pleased to have won today.
Q. What about the early starts and the heat is that factor?
GREG RUSEDSKI: No, the heat doesn't bother me at you'll. This is nothing. There is not the high humidity that it is. It is not as hot as it has been before for me, no problem.
Q. What about your other opponent Siemerink or Hrbaty?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Another difficult match. Hrbaty, I beat last him at Lipton 6-3, 6-1. Siemerink I have always had tough close matches with. I think I lost to him last time in Stockholm, in two or three sets pretty close, so, whoever wins there, it is going to be another tough match. My section I can't say was as opening as last year, but I go -- it is more challenging; going to have to keep on raising my level with every match.
Q. Ever remember winning two matches back-to-back after saving a match point?
GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I have never done that before and never won two matches in five sets in a row before, so, never done those two things, so just gives you more confidence. Two days ago it was two matches points. Today it was one, so hopefully the next day there won't be any more needed to save.
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