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June 26, 2000

Greg Rusedski


MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. We've had some sad conversations in the last couple of weeks, Paris, Queen's. Is this sadder?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I tried my best out there today. I served for the match. Saved a few match points, gave it everything I possibly could out there. Obviously I'm very disappointed to have lost that match.

Q. Why exactly are you not able to hit consistently at 128, 130 miles an hour on your serve?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't know. It's a good question.

Q. You know the answer, right?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I hope I do.

Q. Can you share it?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't know.

Q. Is it still the foot, Greg, not being able to extend fully on the serve?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I'm not going to make any excuses. I'm just trying my best out there to do everything I possibly can. It's just not going very well at the moment. I'm just trying everything I can. It's quite difficult.

Q. How big is the pressure upon a Brit in Wimbledon?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think the expectation is very high, and they would like to have a champion. You know, hopefully Tim can go out and play well and have a good chance, do well.

Q. Does it have any influence on a player's game, like on yours today?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think the crowd really helped me. I mean, without the crowd, I think I would have been in a lot more trouble than I was today. I think they nearly got me the win which I needed today.

Q. Do you feel the burden -- no one wants to play somebody on a long losing streak, because at some point the guy is going to win a match. Did you feel that burden?

GREG RUSEDSKI: He's too good a player to lose as many matches as he lost. I think he had a few match points in some of his matches that he lost. You know, he played well. I didn't take my opportunities when I had them. You know, he's too good to lose that many matches in a row.

Q. What are you thinking when you finally break at 7-6 in the final set? Do you think you just have to serve this thing out, you're in command?

GREG RUSEDSKI: It's a good thing, good position to be. Hit a double-fault the first point, then missed a forehand wide, got up to 30-All. Just couldn't finish it off.

Q. The banana during the break, orange juice, smile on your face, was that resignation already?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't think it was resignation. I was trying to try my best out there. It's too tough. I tried my best, but unfortunately I lost today.

Q. If you have to make a transition to become a sort of Pat Rafter finesse-type serve-and-volleyer, can you do that?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't know. I've just been trying to work hard. It's been a struggle this year. We'll just have to wait and see.

Q. What are you going to do for the next two weeks?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Go as far away from this place as possible.

Q. Don't see any matches?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't want to watch any tennis. I don't think I'll be watching much of the championship, to be honest with you.

Q. We've talked to you about expectations, we know how down you've been after the Safin match in Roland Garros. How did you actually feel when you came out today? Did you still generally feel --?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I felt good. I thought I had a good start. Two breakpoints early on. Then I had a horrendous game serving when I hit six double-faults in one game. I kept having chances to break, but never connected really. I was trying my best out there, but unfortunately it just hasn't happened.

Q. You say you want to get away from here and from tennis. There's a Davis Cup thing going out on the very same court in two and a half week's time. You obviously can't put the racquet away for too long.

GREG RUSEDSKI: I can take a little bit of time off, you know, just get ready for the Davis Cup in the future.

Q. Do you think you can come back again and try and win it? Hard to say now?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Pretty tough to talk about that right now today, to be honest with you. I'm not really thinking about that at the moment after you suffer such a bad loss.

Q. Do you know what you've got to work on once you come back from a little rest? Do you know the areas you have to work on?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I mean, I felt like I returned reasonably well today. It's just getting my game together and getting the confidence back, getting the serve going again. It's really just putting everything together. I think I'm hitting the ball okay, but it's confidence and it's the serve.

Q. What emotions were you going through during the game?

GREG RUSEDSKI: It's kind of an up-and-down yo-yo ride, as you could see from the match. I saved match point in tiebreaker, saved basically a match point on one of the volleys. I was trying my best out there, but unfortunately I'm struggling at the moment.

Q. What needs to happen at 7-6 in the fifth, a break up, not to get it through?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't know. I just need to get the first point, and I need to finish it off. I haven't finished those matches off enough. Usually I used to finish those matches. When you're struggling, it's hard to finish those matches.

Q. Is the reduced speed of your serve affecting your first volley?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I'm just not getting as many free points. He's a good return-of-serve player. That makes life tough.

Q. Are you finding players are getting a better look at your serve, giving you a tougher first volley to hit?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I mean, guys play well. If you have time off and you're not serving the corners enough, you're going to have a lot of returns. That's just the way it goes.

Q. Which way were you affected by the seeding discussion?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I wasn't affected at all. I don't get involved in those things really. You know, everybody has their opinion and their choice.

Q. Did you see the point of the Spaniards?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I heard about it briefly. I don't know. There's such a grass court season, it's tough. You can play clay basically all year-round if you want, but grass is so specialized. You know the All England committee or the ATP has to get together and make the decisions. I'm not in charge. Doesn't matter what I say really.

Q. Are we going to see Greg Rusedski smiling again soon?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Hopefully, that would be nice.

Q. Is it just going to be a case of you sitting down with Sven, getting on the practise courts, or will you talk to anybody else for advice?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it's a tough time, and I'm just working my best to do everything I can with my team, people around me.

Q. Is it a case of you know what's wrong but you can't quite get it right, or is it identifying the exact problem, something technical we wouldn't understand?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think you can see out there just from my serve and the way things are going, it's a combination of serve and confidence. I've identified the things, and it's trying to get it going. It just takes time. Hopefully it will happen.

Q. Why have you lost confidence?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I had foot surgery. I had a tough time getting back. I had a lot of injuries sustained.

Q. You were playing quite well in the beginning.

GREG RUSEDSKI: I played okay. I played okay at Rotterdam, I played all right at the London event. I hit the clay for too long.

Q. Do you feel disappointment or do you feel frustration?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Obviously I'm disappointed. I would have loved to win that match. If you win one of those sort of matches, sometimes things fall in line and come back to where you want to. It's obviously a disappointment.

Q. Do you feel frustration post the operation? You haven't been able to get back to the level you wanted to get?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I think there is frustration. It's only normal. It's human nature to be a little bit frustrated. If I wasn't, then it wouldn't be normal.

Q. Is there any point where you began to feel comfortable?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think I've worked hard on it, done everything I possibly could for it. The doctors did a good job, the physios did a good job. Everybody did what's right. I had no choice but to have the surgery because I could barely walk on it in December.

Q. How much does this destroy the enjoyment of what is your chosen profession?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, it's tough. I mean, everybody goes through their periods where you have your ups and your downs. It doesn't make it easy because you just can't do the things you want to do out there. A lot of players are struggling with injuries. Sampras has his back that acts up on him. Other players have that. But they manage to get through it. It's something I'll have to try to get through.

Q. How long do you feel you have to get it right?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, sooner than later.

Q. Do streaks like this make you sometimes think about your profession?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, you know, it just makes it more difficult, just a challenge. You have your good times and you have your bad times. It's responding to those things. Agassi had a year where he went down to 148, not because of injury, but just because of part of his game. He got back from it. Everybody has their struggles in tennis.

Q. Is this the worst of times for you, would you say?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I think it's really difficult for me at the moment. You know, I'm trying to do my best.

Q. Do you feel as low, as down as when you hurt your ankle, or can you compare the two?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Well, I think it's harder now than it was then. It's hard.

Q. Why is that? Because then you knew what was wrong? You knew you'd damaged your ankle, knew you were going to get better from it?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I knew I was going to get better from it, it was no big deal. Then I got back on to playing, back to where I wanted to be.

Q. So is there a doubt that you are going to get better from what is happening at the moment? Are you confident?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I'm sure physically I'll be fine. Everybody's done a good job on me. That will be absolutely fine. I'm not worried about that aspect.

Q. But mentally, confidence-wise?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I think it's just putting things together. You can see I'm struggling. It's just getting things together.

Q. Is it down because it's Wimbledon, because you lost at Wimbledon?

GREG RUSEDSKI: Yeah, I think I'm down because I lost at Wimbledon, as well. I played reasonably well. I had a good draw this year. I had a lot of opportunities. Obviously you are going to be down.

Q. How will you avoid watching Wimbledon?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I just won't turn on the BBC.

Q. Will you leave the country, go on holiday?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't know. I haven't figured it out yet.

Q. Is there a difference between defeats at a certain tournament? Is a Wimbledon defeat, does it matter more to you than any other defeat?

GREG RUSEDSKI: You know, all Grand Slams hurt, but especially at home at Wimbledon on grass, one that I can play well at and do well at. Obviously, it does hurt more.

Q. Are you a difficult person to be around when you're like this?

GREG RUSEDSKI: I don't know if I'm difficult.

Q. I mean with people you know personally.

GREG RUSEDSKI: That's a personal question. I'll leave it on that one.

End of FastScripts….

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