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September 7, 1997

Greg Rusedski

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Bad luck, Greg. Great effort. How much did yesterday take out of you at the start of the match today?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't think it really took out on me today. I think the difference today was I missed a few easy volleys and a few balls by an inch, and Pat made the balls that he had to make on key points. First set I had Love-40 to break back, missed a forehand by an inch long, two or three balls here or there. Took the second set handily. I managed to get back in the third set, managed to get back in the fourth set. Pat was just the better player on the day. I think I'm going to learn from this experience, like when I lost in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. I learned how to push it up a notch. Next time this moment arrives, hopefully I'll be on the winning end.

Q. We hear in your voice you have a cold. Do you feel you were physically a hundred percent for this final?

GREG RUSEDSKI: When you step on the court, there's no excuses. Pat played a great match. I went out there, my doctor took care of me well. I don't think that had too much to do with it at all today.

Q. Describe the experience itself. Was it a lot different than other big matches you've played?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't think it was any different. I just went out with the same mentality. I mean, it's great to play in the US Open and to be in a Grand Slam final, it's a great experience. But I'd rather be walking on Centre Court at Wimbledon for the Finals. It's just a different feeling. I mean, it was a tremendous feeling, don't get me wrong. That's always been my dream, to walk on Centre Court on Sunday at one. Maybe I'll do that.

Q. Will this tell you you can do it?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I mean, I think it will. I mean, if I lost here three years in a row in the first round, then why can't I do that at Wimbledon? It's just been a great experience. I think I'll come back next year and who knows.

Q. How did the events affect you with Princess Diana this week?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it was a terrible tragedy. I think there was no reason for it to have to happen. It's very sad. My prayers are with her family, especially her two children. You have to feel for William and Harry. I mean, it's just a terrible tragedy.

Q. Greg, in the second set, you seemed to be getting a little down on yourself, throwing the racquet.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I was just disappointed in myself, because I had makeable shots that I didn't make. But I managed to bring it back together after that disappointing second set. It was just frustrating because I saw the openings and I just wasn't making the shots well. Pat, when he was seeing the openings, he took it. That was the difference. I managed to take it in the third set, my openings, unfortunately in the fourth set, I couldn't capitalize on it as well.

Q. Greg, did you feel the weight of history going into that final?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I didn't feel the weight of history. I just went out there and enjoyed myself. I think Pat did the same thing. I think I was very relaxed going into the match, just trying to do something to win today.

Q. Greg, he was returning your serve awfully well to your feet a lot.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, he returned very well. He made me play a lot of balls. I think what cost me, though, was missing some easy high volleys and medium volleys. I missed a lot of backhand volleys on the top of the net for a cross-court that would normally be a winner. I missed one easy forehand volley that was high to go behind him. I mean, it was great that he made the returns, but I just didn't make the shots I should have made. When he needed to make the shots, he made them.

Q. Greg, how did your performance today compare with the way you've been playing through the tournament?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think I played probably my best match in the first round of the tournament against David Wheaton. If I could have played a little bit better, I might have had a chance. But all credit due to Pat. He played extremely well. He took advantage of the situation. I mean, he's been playing well. He's only dropped one set going into the Finals.

Q. Did you surprise yourself with the 146? You broke the record earlier with 143.

GREG RUSEDSKI: No. I think people can hit it pretty hard. I'm sure that will be broken as well. Rather come here and had no record and said I won the match.

Q. You don't look disappointed.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I am disappointed. You have to look at it in the other respect. I mean, there's been a terrible tragedy in Britain, everything that's happened with Princess Di. This is only a tennis match. I'm still young. You've got to learn from these experiences, move on. Next week I play another tournament. I'm going to get hungry again. I'm sure this won't be my first and last Grand Slam Finals.

Q. You're still okay for that, the throat?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I'll be fine. I'm looking forward to playing. I like playing at home. Hopefully the doctors can get me ready. I'm raring to go again. That's what's good. I'm enjoying my tennis more, just trying to have fun out there, just play tennis.

Q. Going back on the Concord to give yourself extra time?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yes. People from Samsung have been kind enough to get me a ticket on the Concord. I'm not going to say no.

Q. Are you looking forward to quite a welcome when you get home?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't know. I mean, with everything that's happened. I mean, it would be nice to have a nice welcome. But I would have been happier if I was bringing the cup home.

Q. You said you learned some things from this final. What do you think are the things you will learn from the final?

GREG RUSEDSKI: On certain returns, I went for a little much. Should have made him play. Should have used the lob a little more often on certain, key points. What else? I shouldn't miss easy volleys (laughter). Those are probably four of the best things. But until you experience that sort of experience, you don't know what to do. Pat handled it extremely well. I give him all the credit.

Q. It looks as if you're going to be 11 in the new ranking list tomorrow. How much is that an added inspiration to go even further?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Definitely. I was wanting to be Top 10. If I would have won today, I would have been Top 10. I was one match away. Clay is my least favorite surface, I haven't won a match. I mean, I've lost three claycourt matches in a row, I lost three claycourt matches in the US Open. Maybe it's a ritual. In the fourth tournament, I'm going to go to the Finals or something.

Q. Greg, talk about how tough it is to play someone who is so acrobatic and solid from the net?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think he's a great athlete at the net. I didn't use the lob well enough. Whenever I used the lob, I usually got a good chance at the point. He crams in tight, great athlete, moves really well. I think you've just got to make him play the return, get a few lobs up. That's what Andre Agassi was so good at in his prime, he'd get the return low, hit these unbelievably disguised lobs. That's the key to playing someone as acrobatic as Patrick.

Q. How would you sum him up as an opponent?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Gives 110 percent. He's in great shape. He's probably got the best volleys on Tour because of his movement. His movement is exceptional. I think he's got a bright future and Australia should be proud of him, expect good things. I mean, the problem with what Pat had, he got injured, Mark Philippoussis came along. He wasn't given the credit he deserved. Now he proved that he's a great player and he deserves a lot of credit for what he accomplished today.

Q. If you had to go out on a limb, how far do you think Patrick will go?

GREG RUSEDSKI: It all depends on him. What is his rating going to be at the end of this tournament?

Q. 3.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, there's only two places to go (laughter). I mean, to get to 1 or 2 in the world is very difficult. I mean, Pete Sampras, if he can get ahead of Pete Sampras, I'll just bow down to you. I think 3 is a great accomplishment. We'll see how far he can go. He might be able to get to 2, but to get to one is doubly hard. He's got a great start, winning the Open.

Q. What do you think explains two finalists who have never been to Grand Slam Finals so far?

GREG RUSEDSKI: The depth of men's tennis today. Anybody think Kuerten was going to win the French Open this year? 66 in the world. I think 1 through 20, any one of those 20 players can win and play on any occasion. Sampras was saying he had such an easy draw with his first three rounds. To play Korda, he had a five-set, tough match with him at Wimbledon. Bjorkman beat him at Queen's. Those two players were very dangerous to Pete. Certain people match up well. Those two players match up well against Pete. Just came down to one or two points.

Q. When do you play your next tournament, Greg?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. Hopefully Wednesday. They might give me a Wednesday start.

Q. You obviously made a big improvement in lots of areas in your game. To take that extra step forward that you want to take, what kind --

GREG RUSEDSKI: Have to go in December again and train for another month, work on those returns, a little bit more, a little bit more on my agility. I just got to keep on working hard and solidifying those areas. My ground game can get better, my return can get better, my volley can get better. I think everything in my game can get better. Even my serve. I don't think I served as well as I could have in certain situations. He served extremely well. He didn't miss many first serves. His serving percentage was probably about 70 or 65 today. I think I served probably around 50, which isn't good enough to win a major. You have to serve about 60.

Q. Do you think that you and Patrick sort of did something for the serve and volley game, that there might be some mimicking out there?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I don't mind if it goes instinct and me and Pat do it. That would be fine. I think maybe younger kids growing up will be more aggressive and want to come in. If you've got a good serve and can you get to net, can you get a lot of free points. The style the players are playing is more baseline play because you have all the claycourters coming from Spain. You have Andre Agassi and different players. I mean, you need an all-around game today. That's why Pat has taken such a jump at the moment, because he improved his all-around game as well.

Q. At the start of the year, you were aiming Top 20 as one of your aims. To get to a Grand Slam final at least. You've done those two, it's only September. Do you set yourself a new goal now?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I'm going to set myself a new goal to get into the Top 10. I have a few points to defend in the indoor season. Indoor season for me is usually very good. I think that's my next goal, is to try to get into the Top 10 in the world.

Q. How about Hannover? Is that realistic?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Talk to me after the first three indoor tournaments of the year. Might be able to answer that one.

Q. Not going to be a bit after come down, Bournemouth?

GREG RUSEDSKI: No. I'm going to try my best out there. Made an obligation to play the tournament. Hopefully the British public will get behind me, sell out on my Wednesday match, they can get me through the first round.

End of FastScripts….

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