March 8, 1999
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
MIKI SINGH: Greg is back, no bye today, unlike last year.
Q. Did you get the impression from the word 'go' that the crowd was waiting to see some other fast and very big serves from you?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think they wanted to see some fast serves today. Since I made the finals here last year, I'm sure they were expecting a few aces because I served particularly well from about the fourth round onwards. I think I had a few fast ones at 141 today. So I guess that's not too bad, I guess. I think what I was really pleased about was the way I played breakpoints again me and the way I returned today. I didn't return spectacular today, but I just made every return so he had to play a lot of shots today, which I think was definitely one of the keys to the match today.
Q. You served out the match with three aces and I think you broke the clock.
GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah.
Q. I looked up there and they were not 121s. They all listed 121s. Did you see that, too?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I think the clock broke. Somebody told me it was registering like 58 and changing the speed. That's fine.
Q. Didn't feel like 121s?
GREG RUSEDSKI: No, they weren't 121s. Three aces, I won't complain what speed they are. It's a nice way to finish the match off. I'd rather win matches than have speed records.
Q. But speed records are nice?
GREG RUSEDSKI: It's a nice bonus to have. I mean 149. This is one of the places in the world where you can break the speed record because the air being so dry and the ball flying a little bit more. So it's a nice thing to have.
Q. Your volleying seemed very secure.
GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah. I think I just played really solidly. What pleased me when I was in the back court and having the rallies with Petr, I was sticking with him and finding a way to win those. That also gave me a lot of confidence today. I think I played -- I could have played the big points better, but I still managed win comfortably 3 and 4 against a player of Petr Korda's stature. It's a nice feeling. I think one of the papers had me losing in three. That worked out okay as well.
Q. Five rallies more than 20 strokes. You won three. You would have won the fourth but for that net cord.
GREG RUSEDSKI: I'm starting to feel fit, I'm starting to feel fresh. I'm starting to get back to the form I was a little bit last year during this time. So tomorrow -- on Wednesday, I have a tough match, whether it's Spadea and I don't know who Spadea is playing. So it's going to be another tough match. Last year I played Spadea, if he wins, I beat him in three sets. I was down a set and a break. It's going to be another difficult match.
Q. How important is it that you're feeling fresh as the Davis Cup is coming up?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think it's very important to be mentally fresh. The way I play, I don't play one of these games where I go out there and I hit groundstrokes like say a Moya or Corretja who builds the point up. I have to be fresh because my volleys have to be sharp, I have to be serving well, take a little more risks than some of the players. So for me it's so important to be fresh, and it's good news with the Davis Cup coming up at home in Birmingham.
Q. Are you a guy that pays much attention to the draw?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, whoever I have next in the draw usually.
Q. Have you studied the draw for this event?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I've looked through the draw and I've seen a lot of the first round matches.
Q. The reason I ask, when they made the draw, your name came up with Agassi. You drew into the top half of the draw, which seems by far the more formidable half.
GREG RUSEDSKI: Yes.
Q. Then you proceeded to draw Korda as an opponent, a very dangerous seeming opponent.
GREG RUSEDSKI: I just have to go to the draw ceremony next time and make sure I sort out all the good players on the bottom and make sure I'm on the top. It's just the way tennis goes sometimes. It's luck of the draw. Sometimes you'll have a great draw and you just won't take advantage of it, lose early. Other times you have a really difficult draw, and you find a way to go through it.
Q. Seems like having won as convincingly as you did today, being where you were could be an advantage.
GREG RUSEDSKI: It could be an advantage, yes. But, I mean, I've got Tim who is in my section if we both get to the fourth round, which is always a difficult encounter, plus Sampras is on the top. I'm sure he wants to keep his No. 1 ranking. I mean, this definitely gives me confidence, but it's still going to be a difficult section. Every day is different. I mean, you can play great today and then tomorrow it doesn't always work the way you'd want. But hopefully I can keep on playing like I did today.
MIKI SINGH: He'll play the winner of Draper and Gimelstob.
GREG RUSEDSKI: Spadea.
MIKI SINGH: Sorry, Spadea.
Q. Tim and you just recently did well in doubles, which is not where --?
GREG RUSEDSKI: We're great doubles players. I'm giving up this singles career, I think. I had a lot of fun actually playing doubles in London. I think we both relaxed. It was great preparation for the Davis Cup coming up. We beat Kafelnikov and Vacek. We beat Black and Ferreira in the finals. We didn't lose a set. For us, it was really good. We enjoyed it. And I think the public in London enjoyed having both us play. I had a good time and I think it's great preparation for the Davis Cup.
Q. This gives you a lot of confidence for the Davis Cup?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it gives our coach a second option. We have Broad and his partner who used to play the doubles all the time. Now there's myself and Tim playing. I prefer to play the ad side. So I think we've got a good option there for the Davis Cup doubles because sometimes the Davis Cup can come down to the doubles match, whether you win or whether you lose. So it was very important that we did that.
Q. When you arrive at a place where you have so many points to defend, does that put extra pressure on you?
GREG RUSEDSKI: No. I had a good week in London. I think the week in Rotterdam really helped me. This week, if I play well, then everything takes care of itself. If I don't, I'll have next week at the Lipton. I think just as long as I'm happy with my form, that's the key matter, and if I feel comfortable and confident about things. That's what's happened the last few weeks. I'm starting to get on that roll again, no matter what happens, I'm still feeling good about my game.
Q. Do you consider yourselves the favorites in Davis Cup?
GREG RUSEDSKI: It will be interesting. I heard Sampras might be playing because I hear his girlfriend's in London for six months. So I heard he might be showing up for this Davis Cup tie now. That's the rumor going around supposedly. So it's going to be difficult because neither one of us have a good record against Courier or Martin, but we're going to have nine and a half thousand fans supporting us. It should be an interesting tie.
Q. Is it going to be more pressure on you guys because you're playing at home?
GREG RUSEDSKI: No, I don't think it's going to be more pressure at all. I think it's going to be great support for us. It's going to be a great atmosphere, it's going to bring tennis more into a spotlight. Especially if we can go out there and win, then it's going to give tennis even a better reputation and a better feeling in the country.
Q. Would it be a crushing loss for you guys to lose at home?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't think we're thinking about a loss at the moment. We're not worried about that. We're just going to go out and play. If we do our best, then hopefully we'll come up with the result we want. But it's going to be our biggest test as a team so far for myself and Tim because of the great history America has in the Davis Cup, plus being the centenary anniversary of the Davis Cup. I think there's a lot of things that are special about it.
Q. What exactly have you heard about Sampras?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, the rumor going around is that he hasn't ruled himself out fully yet, even though he said that in the papers. That's what I hear. So you should go have a word with Pete, find out. Maybe you can get a definite answer for us.
Q. Have you asked him?
GREG RUSEDSKI: No. That's the rumor I heard going around supposedly. Who knows where that leads. Maybe there's no acting job in the six months in London, then we'll be fine (laughter).
Q. Do you expect someone else to end the year at No. 1 this year, other than Sampras?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I think the question is going to be is when Wimbledon and US Open arise. That's where you're going to answer a lot of your questions about Sampras to date. He's only played I think five matches this year. He had a long period of rest. When he gets to the Majors on grass court season and the hard court at the US Open, that's where you're going to get your answers to where he's going to be at the end of the year. Until that date, you really can't rule him out with anything.
Q. Do you know why Sampras' girlfriend would be in London for six months?
GREG RUSEDSKI: I think she's performing.
Q. She's an actress?
GREG RUSEDSKI: Yes, she is. That's what I hear. Who knows. Maybe I could be just reading those tabloids or Monica Lewinsky case, who knows what's going on.
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