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August 25, 1997

Greg Rusedski

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Greg nice way to celebrate being Britain's No. 1?

GREG RUSEDSKI: It is a nice way to celebrate being Britain's No. 1. I finally got my first win here at the U.S. Open. Only has taken me four years. And, it is actually nice for you to be able to show up and see me win a match and perform well instead of the last three years which was a little bit shocking.

Q. Greg, last year was particularly disappointing, wasn't it, that defeat; to come out here and produce form like that must be fantastic?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Definitely very good for my confidence. David played extremely well in New Haven, beating Philippoussis, gives me even more confidence. I just want to keep going higher and higher in the ratings and this will only help.

Q. You couldn't have made a better start. I mean, you had four wonderful passes in that first game and broke his serve.


Q. I mean, could you tell almost as soon as you hit the first ball of the match that this was going to be one of your days?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I woke up this morning and I felt really good out there. I played juniors and I like what they have done to the surface. They have changed it slightly. It is a little higher bouncing. The balls fluff up a little bit more, so it is a little slower. I don't mind that because with my serve I know I am going to get a few more free points and other players might not. Kind of favors me, the court, a little bit now.

Q. How much of a better player are you than you were this time last year?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think there is no comparison. My returns are much better. My ground shots are much better. Mentally I know what I have to do out on the court. So, I think it is a combination of everything. It is just believing, I think, after the run I had in San Jose where I was up a set on Sampras, then I had my wrist injury after beating Agassi and Chang, I just believed that I belong with the top players. And, I think I am slowly starting to prove it week-in and week-out. But, I still have to have more consistency.

Q. Sort of a triple celebration, isn't it, today?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I guess so. Britain's No. 1, get to go to the top 20, finally. And winning my first match at the U.S. Open. So, I will be No. 1 on my birthday - for the first time - (Laughter.) September 6. So, it will be nice.

Q. I wasn't lucky enough to see that first set you played against Sampras this year. But, was that as good as this? I mean, I can't imagine it was much better. ? This was just --

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think I played a little better against Sampras that first set than I did today. I think I was a little bit sharper on my returns, a little bit crisper. And, I think I can play better still. I think there is always work to do. You have to keep on improving because all the other players are improving all the time as well.

Q. David said he was totally impressed by the error ratio. You made very few errors, particularly running forehands were just going past him.

GREG RUSEDSKI: I had some good highlights today. It was nice. I mean, my movement was really good. I think a lot was that was Steve Green and I put in three weeks before Boston started where we worked hard physically. And, I think it is paying off now. And, I think that really helped with my movement for me to get those wide balls and to be able to go back and forth. Even in the third set, when I lost those two long points, but I still held my serve, I wasn't tired or winded. And, I still played a good game. So, I think physically it helps. Everything is getting better out there.

Q. Last year you kind of walked out there. You thought, "Oh, God, this place, no, I don't get on." And, something wasn't right. But, today you really seemed fine for it.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, exactly. I think my attitude is a lot different now. When I lose matches, I want to get back on the court right away and win matches. So, I am not taking the defeats as well, but I am just trying to get positive and try to keep on a winning track, really.

Q. Does that come from yourself or have you worked on the mental side with something in particular?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think that is coming from myself, more or less. I think it is coming from the rivalry that Tim and I have. He wants to get ahead of me and I want to get ahead of him all the time. I think it just helps both of us to motivate each other.

Q. When your groundstrokes comes together like that, Greg, in a match, how much pressure does that take off your serve? I mean, you know, you sort of relax a little bit in your mind?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think the problem is, I think my opponent are the one that feels more of the pressure. My serve day-in/day-out always is going to be very good. But, it just puts more pressure. They have to work harder on their service game because their mental focus isn't as strong. More I can make my opponent play on his serve, the easier I am going to have service games usually.

Q. You said your goal was to get into the top 20 this year. Now, you have done that.

GREG RUSEDSKI: I hear you owe David a little money from that -- David Lloyd --

Q. No. That was the Australian Open.

GREG RUSEDSKI: (laughs).

Q. By the Australian Open, where do you think you can be?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think if I have a good run here at the Open, I could get into the top 15 or maybe top 10 in the world possibly. But, just have to take a match at a time. And, the indoor season, I have a few points to defend because I won a title in Beijing and semis in Singapore. If I can play well at the end of the year, Stuttgart and Paris, and Stockholm, and have some good results there, it is a possibility. But, I just like to look at it one match at a time and one week at a time. I think that is what is helping me a lot. I am not looking into the future and I am just staying at present. I used to worry more about my matches that I was playing - "I am going to play this person, that person." I am not really thinking about those things so much. I am just staying in the present more.

Q. Do you have any history with Santoro or Ondruska?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't think I have played either one, actually. I mean, Santoro has been playing some very good tennis. This summer, Montreal, he ended up beating Muster. And, I think he beat Courier as well. So, he has been playing some clever tennis. I mean, he has come to the net more which is a change in his game style. He used to always stay back. That is what made him have those jumps forward. So, I kind of favor Fabrice in that match. If I am going to play Fabrice, I am going to have to attack and come in and make him pass me. If he does, then he wins. If he doesn't, then I guess I move on. But, Marcus was a good player as well. Neither one has a big serve. That is where you really have to attack them.

Q. Were you worried at any time point with this continuing problem with your injury thinking I am not going to get my chance to get in the 20s; in bloody thing won't get away with the injury?

GREG RUSEDSKI: With the wrist for the 2 1/2 months?

Q. Yes.

GREG RUSEDSKI: It was frustrating, but I managed to have seen a specialist who found out what it was and I just had a little bit of a tear in the ligament. It seems absolutely fine now. I haven't had a problem since, so I think it will be fine, yeah.

Q. Couple 139s today?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, 139 and 142 was out, so I am closing in on the record. But, I will take a win any day over the record.

Q. But, you had several accurate aces as well, 99 and 100?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I am actually getting more satisfaction hitting an ace that is more accuracy than pure speed. But, it is just -- it is nice to have the speed as well.

Q. I was wondering, have you been watching Sampras with those running forehand passes?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Mine is on the other side. (laughs). Everything overall, I was pleased.

Q. What is the record, what is Philippoussis --

GREG RUSEDSKI: 142.3. I had 143 last week, but it was out in New Haven, two weeks ago, so.

Q. He is 142? Now I missed this?


Q. Great. Well played.


End of FastScripts….

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