September 3, 1998
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK
Q. What made you decide not to take the flight that you were scheduled on?
MARC ROSSET: I was just thinking maybe to stay here a couple more days to practice here at the US Open. I thought like yesterday we came over here, my coach, to practice. After the practice, I mean, it was tough to have any practice here when you are out of the tournament. So we thought about leaving yesterday night. I said, okay, let's stay for one more night, and we are going to fly tomorrow. Then I came back in my room last night and I saw that on the TV. Actually, I was feeling -- it was a strange feeling when you know you just realize that for just changing your mind you are still alive.
Q. Who was the first person you spoke with after you learned that news and if you can relate that conversation?
MARC ROSSET: I called my parents first of all, because they have no news about me, if I was on the plane or not, just to tell them that I was still in New York. And I have a couple of friends that called me to know exactly if I was still in New York or not. You have to try to call most of the people that you know who cares for you to just to make them more secure about yourself.
Q. What time did you decide to stay?
MARC ROSSET: Actually, it was like Tuesday night and Tuesday during the day. I make the reservation with my coach and then Tuesday night, I said, okay, maybe go for practice tomorrow, and we are going to leave on Thursday and -- but, you know, it is kind of discussion that I could say, okay, we fly tomorrow and that is it. Sometimes you just decide you wakes up and you decide okay, I leave tomorrow instead of today, and you don't know why and couple days later you realize you change your life.
Q. What sort of emotions have you been feeling since hearing about the crash?
MARC ROSSET: I feel really sad for the people who were on the plane. Especially for the family, because I have been watching CNN like all night long, and they show like the airport in Geneva with all the family that are waiting, all the friends, and I feel really sad for them. I feel a little bit lucky that I haven't took this flight. Right now it is strange. I am like, I think I am a little bit afraid. When you realize you was pretty close to die -- and normally I have plans to fly tonight, but I don't know if I can do it honestly.
Q. Do you have any idea how many miles you fly per year?
MARC ROSSET: I have no idea, but I have to say that to fly is pretty secure. You have less chance to die in a flying accident than in the car or in the street here in New York. I mean, I never had that feeling when I came in the flight to say maybe it is going to be the last one. I am pretty secure when I have to fly, but I have to say that last night make me realize something that you still have a chance that something wrong happens. That is why, you know, don't think I am going to fly tonight.
Q. Do you know anyone who was on that flight?
MARC ROSSET: No, I just heard that Mr. Babolat, the owner of the stringing was in the plane, and I feel sad for his family.
MARC ROSSET: Mr. Babolat, and some people also lost a friend of a friend, but not really close friends. But even if they are not close persons, you always feel bad for the family and for the friends.
Q. When did you speak to your family first?
MARC ROSSET: Well, it was about, I think it was two in the morning for me, and I just called my parents to let them know that I was still in New York and good shape.
Q. Did you know anyone in the Babolat family?
MARC ROSSET: No, but I used to play with the gut for like many years, and even if he was not a really close person that I knew personally, you always feel like, you know -- I was normally -- I should be in that plane, so I feel a little bit sad for -- I feel even close for all the people who are friends of family or whatever in the plane.
Q. Can you describe your conversation with your coach about not having taken that flight?
MARC ROSSET: You know, as soon as I watch the TV, I call him and I say that we were pretty lucky because I tell him to turn on the TV and watch on CNN the news, and we were like feeling like really happy. But on the other way, I was feeling really scared and it is kind of a sensation that can make you really nervous, actually.
Q. You have been on the circuit for many years, travelled a great deal. How does this put tennis in perspective for you?
MARC ROSSET: I don't know. I mean, for sure now, maybe I hope that it is going to help me to be maybe relaxed for the end of my career, not to take the thing maybe too seriously. When you are pretty close, I mean, then maybe you realize something, and maybe I am going try to enjoy more my life, like everyday, and it is maybe it is going to be benefit for myself.
Q. You said you saw it on the news when you the got back. Was that the first you heard when you got back to your hotel room? Did you just happen to turn on the news or you had heard it in the car?
MARC ROSSET: No, it was a friend of mine who lives in New York who calls me, and he say you better watch CNN because the flight you were supposed to take just crashed. I turned on the TV, and then I called my parents and my friends to let them know. So I have to say they were pretty glad to hear my voice.
Q. Did you get any sleep? How long did you stay up watching it?
MARC ROSSET: I have been watching like 'til 4:00, 5:00, and then some people start to call me, so it was like, I haven't slept too much.
Q. Do you think you will be able to?
MARC ROSSET: Yeah, for sure I am going to be able to. Maybe not tonight. If I am on the plane, but maybe tomorrow when I am going to be in my bed in Geneva.
Q. Did your parents already know about the crash when you'd called them?
MARC ROSSET: Yeah, they knew and they couldn't get through, and they didn't get my number in the hotel so they were a little bit worried. Then they called a few person who know my numbers and then they I called them so they were happy.
Q. Have you or any of the players you know had any similar things like this?
MARC ROSSET: I think Rostagno, the same thing happened to him, he was supposed to take a flight and at the last moment he decided not to take and the flight crashed. I mean, we are like here, the draw is 128 players for the men, for the women as well and doubles, so quite a lot of nationality, quite a lot of players who are travelling around the world, so it is like you know it could happen. It is just a question -- I mean, I believe that you know it is your time or it is not and I think it was not mine.
Q. Did your parents believe you were on the plane until you they heard from you?
MARC ROSSET: I don't know. I mean, they were not -- when you wake up and you just turn the news and you see that the airplane from New York to Geneva just crashed, you always think that your son is on the plane. To the point -- I called them I think they was pretty worried, yeah.
Q. Just get one thing straight, you decided to change planes because you wanted to work out again or because you had intuition? Why?
MARC ROSSET: Because I was like -- I was playing planning to fly on Wednesday night and me and my coach, we decide to try to stay here for practice because, you know, here you can practice with such good players. I say, okay, let us try here for a couple more days to practice. Like I said, we come over here yesterday and the condition for practicing was not too good when you were out of the tournament, it is tough to have many hours to practice. So we decide maybe it was better to come back yesterday and -- but I said, okay, let us stay for this night again and we are going to fly tomorrow.
Q. Had you practiced here, Marc, did you go practice here yesterday?
MARC ROSSET: Yesterday I was practicing in the afternoon; then I went back to the hotel.
Q. Did you have specific plans to practice today with someone or --
MARC ROSSET: No, no, no. I was not supposed -- when I heard that, no way for me I can really practice today. I feel really, you know, it is pretty -- Switzerland is pretty small country and 60 of them died yesterday, so I feel -- I feel really sad for them.
Q. Where are you scheduled to play next?
MARC ROSSET: I am going to play in Tashkent and, I mean, I mean, the life has to continue, so --
End of FastScripts....