August 30, 1999
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK, C. MAMIIT/I. Heuberger 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 3-6, 6-3
USTA: Questions for Cecil.
Q. Your first five-setter?
CECIL MAMIIT: No. Second five-setter. First one was at Wimbledon. I was up two sets to one against Vicente.
Q. You didn't let this one get away?
CECIL MAMIIT: No. I felt confident going into the fifth. I was proud of myself that I was still fit to fight out there in the fifth set. I found a way to get my composure.
Q. How much do you credit the USTA in developing your game?
CECIL MAMIIT: So far, it's been great. I have no complaints about it. It's been such a plus for my game. It's always been an improvement in my game. Just having a coach kind of guiding me to the right sort of way to get my game going into the big leagues, into the Tour, kind of helped me out. They've given me a lot of opportunities to play in the big tournaments, a couple wildcards in US Open two years ago, a couple Challengers.
Q. Is there a particular USTA coach who has helped you along most?
CECIL MAMIIT: Yeah. Recently it's just been Scott McCain for the past two years or year and a half. Previous years before that, I was with Keith Depreim for about two years after I turned pro, college.
Q. I was wondering if your silver placing in the PanAm games helped you this time around, given you more confidence?
CECIL MAMIIT: Yeah. I was really kind of let down on my performance after San Jose. I kind of got an injury, a knee injury. I kind of played through it, trying to figure out which way to take care of it, where I was going to be like some of the Grand Slams, like the French Open and Wimbledon. I was still fighting my injury, still stay in shape. The week before PanAm Games, I went to see a doctor and tried to figure out what was wrong with my knee. Took care of that. I made a goal to myself when I played the PanAm Games to win a couple matches, get myself fit, just kind of establish a game plan for my game leading up to The Open. I started working hard, two hours a day with Scott McCain, worked on certain things like my serve and my forehand, which was such a key when I was doing so well in San Jose. I got to the finals. I had a little trouble adjusting to winning each match after another. That was such a plus for me to have that in my schedule. Also, I felt a little loose out there, kind of relaxed being in that team kind of atmosphere playing with men and women, like Paul Goldstein, Bob and Mike Bryan, some of the female players for the US. After that, it was kind of for me to play a couple tournaments after PanAm Games, that transition to playing in the pro tennis, on the Pro Tour, kind of took a while for me to get accustomed to that.
Q. What is going on with your knee?
CECIL MAMIIT: It's a tendonitis, patellofemoral syndrome. I have a weak VMO, weak glut muscles. Actually, I've been working hard working on my left leg. Lots of times in this match, this long period of tennis, I would get sore in my left leg especially, the whole quads, my lower back. But I worked hard. I played a couple matches in Boston, and lasted about five hours. I felt great. I felt in shape because I worked so hard on my left side. Now that I played this five-setter today, I felt really good about myself.
Q. The ice pack is just a preventive thing?
CECIL MAMIIT: Yes, exactly. It takes a while. Every time I play, it takes a while, about three or four games to get it adjusted and feel warm, blood flowing through.
Q. What do you do on your off day in New York?
CECIL MAMIIT: I kind of messed around with it. Last year I stayed in Long Island, kind of just hang out with relatives. I have a lot of relatives on Long Island. For me, what works is just kind of being in the city, not doing too much tourism or something like that, just pretty much hotel and to the courts. I think that's everybody's day. I think now I'm trying to become a little bit more minimum on my practices so I can go into the tournament and not stay on the site for like four hours, try to get in and get out.
Q. Tomorrow, for example?
CECIL MAMIIT: Probably going to hit for 45 minutes, get a good stretch, relax in the hotel room, kind of get a game plan. I think I'm going to sign up for mixed doubles. That's the only thrill probably.
Q. Who are you going to play with?
CECIL MAMIIT: There's a couple of women. I kind of set up with Tara Schnyder, but I guess the USTA is trying to push me to play with Tracy Singian. I guess I'll figure it out tomorrow morning.
Q. You had some noisy cheerleaders. I know they cheered you on in the PanAm Games. Do you think their support led to your motivation?
CECIL MAMIIT: After I guess my breakthrough in San Jose, I've become more noticed in the Filipino community. The start of that was in PanAm Games where I played in Winnipeg. They said that Winnipeg has the highest number of Filipinos in all of Canada. It was packed in the finals against Goldstein. They had the flag and everything. They totally supported me. They were fair to supporting Goldstein on great points. It was a lot of fun. Throughout that whole week, they invited me to have a barbecue, being relaxed throughout that whole week. Next you know, I go on to Washington, DC, and the same thing happens. Some lady comes up to me and says there's a Filipino association in Maryland. They supported me when I played against Paul. They, same thing, invited me to their house. I met their families, some of their kids that are trying to make it the same way as I did in the Juniors, make their way up, even to a college scholarship. It was kind of fun. Here, I'm kind of used to it. Probably would have been nervous if it was the first time in New York that I dealt with it. It's fun because I understand a little bit of Tagalo, so it's kind of funny some of the remarks that they had. I was enjoying myself. I had a lot of fun out there. I felt it more in the fifth set. Maybe I was fired up to try to win the match, try to close it out. I really felt it in the fifth.
Q. You played one year at USC, correct?
CECIL MAMIIT: Correct.
Q. How did and didn't that help you in terms of when you entered the tournament?
CECIL MAMIIT: In your tennis career, to definitely play in a team atmosphere, it kind of helped me be -- a lot of things happen in college that I remember kind of vaguely. It just came so quickly because it was one year. I knew every player that was on the team, kind of got a tidbit on every player. For me, it was a lot of fun working with Dick Leach. He was a motivator. I was kind of beat up by most of the seniors. We had five seniors on our team, kind of picked on me because I was such a freshman. Maybe they were a little pissed that I played one or two. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it. It's something that I kind of love that I went there for a year, had a lot of fun, kind of had a goal to win NCAAs. I had a decision to stay back in school or go back on Tour. Once I decided that I'd accomplished something great in college, I needed to go on and try myself on the Pro Tour.
Q. The chair umpires have that list of profanities in several languages. They probably don't have Tagalo.
CECIL MAMIIT: I don't think so. Maybe they'll start researching on that. It's a little bit of Spanish.
Q. Have you been uttering a few out there?
CECIL MAMIIT: Probably in the satellite tournaments (laughter). I try not to put out those profanities out there.
Q. Have you ever visited the Philippines?
CECIL MAMIIT: Yes, I have, a year and a half ago.
Q. Was that your first time?
CECIL MAMIIT: No, it was my second time. It was when I was little, about seven years old. The second time around, I had a lot of fun because I was playing a tournament, seeing my relatives there. I was coming back from a shoulder injury, just had to start off with the futures, they call it, future tournaments. They had one in the Philippines. It was fitting for my father to come with me, watch me play, kind of see my grandfather. It was the first time the Philippines saw me. It was kind of this big hype that I was the highest ranked Filipino player. There was not too much support. I kind of just played. But the Philippine Tennis Association recognized me and came out and watched.
Q. Now that you've had some success on the ATP Tour, how much press do you get in the manila papers?
CECIL MAMIIT: When I was there, I was in the local Manila area. After San Jose, there was a lot of media, Manila and local TV. There was two interviews actually. I kind of wish there was a little bit more take notice of that.
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