September 1, 1993
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Ivan, can you tell us what happened out there?
IVAN LENDL: I just came in with a bad knee and it just started getting worse. It was a bit painful to push off. I had no strength to push off, so I didn't see any point of playing.
Q. Which knee?
IVAN LENDL: Left knee.
Q. When did you injure it?
IVAN LENDL: About two days ago.
IVAN LENDL: Just stopping and just started having pain afterwards.
Q. Stopping, you said?
IVAN LENDL: Yes.
Q. Before that happened, did you have, you know, high hopes for this tournament as far as the future is concerned?
IVAN LENDL: Well, I played half decent last week and I was hoping that I can keep improving and win couple of matches then, you never know. But things like that happen, unfortunately.
Q. Did you hurt it during a practice session?
IVAN LENDL: Yes.
Q. Did you get it checked out?
IVAN LENDL: Yes, I did. And they did some work on it. They gave me some medication and so on and so on. But not good enough.
Q. What is the diagnosis; tendon, ligament?
IVAN LENDL: Either sprained tendon or maybe slight tear.
Q. What would have happened if you had won that second set; would you of continued on?
IVAN LENDL: I don't know. It started the pain started coming on bit stronger at the beginning of the third and I was just hoping that I could win today and maybe get better by the next. I don't know what would have happened.
Q. Did you ever have to default with an injury before?
IVAN LENDL: Yes, I did.
Q. In a Grand Slam?
IVAN LENDL: Yes, I did.
Q. You want to tell us which one?
IVAN LENDL: Last year, Wimbledon, to start with. Short memories; don't you?
Q. What medication, anti-inflammatory?
IVAN LENDL: And pain killer, yes.
Q. Ivan, after you injured the knee in practice, did you think about not playing at all or were you convinced--
IVAN LENDL: I did, because yesterday morning I just couldn't play at all, basically. Then it got a bit better in the afternoon, so I had a light hit yesterday and a light hit out here today. As I said, I thought if I could get, maybe, through, it would make it better. You never know with things like that.
Q. What is the prognosis; just rest?
IVAN LENDL: I didn't care about the prognosis. I wanted to know if I could play and possibly can get better.
Q. Can we expect to see you playing the Slams next year?
IVAN LENDL: This has definitely nothing to do with the future. It is just something which happened. As far as next year goes, yeah.
Q. Do you still feel you can play, you know, on the even terms with the best people out there; you could get back that same feeling you had?
IVAN LENDL: I am sorry, the last part.
Q. The same feeling you had about your game --
IVAN LENDL: It all depends or stands up with my movement. If I move well, I get to the ball well and I set up properly; I can hit the ball well. If I don't move well, I am always late, then I am in trouble.
Q. Do you feel like you are slower now; you are slowing down, actually?
IVAN LENDL: I was moving okay in the spring and then I was starting to move okay again last week and a half or two and so on, but in between I didn't move very well.
Q. Given that you not only have to worry about playing a Slam, what becomes the medical -- what should you do now? Should you look into arthroscopic surgery?
IVAN LENDL: I don't think so. I think I just rest it.
Q. Did you have another tournament scheduled now or that you might have to withdraw from?
IVAN LENDL: In about a month.
Q. Ever had a knee problem before?
IVAN LENDL: Yes. Plenty.
Q. Oh, yeah, that is right. How many years has it been, though?
IVAN LENDL: Well, I had surgery in 87 and I had both knee trouble one in 86, one in 88, afterwards, and it is just something which happens periodically, I think, to most of the players. But other than the surgery it wasn't that serious.
Q. Do you have a feeling about the Open that it is worse to happen here than another tournament; is it a biggest disappointment?
IVAN LENDL: Other than the Grand Slams, it wouldn't have happened. I wouldn't have played. It is just disappointing, normally.
Q. Put emphasis on physical fitness. How disappointing is it to have a physical breakdown as opposed to being beaten by somebody?
IVAN LENDL: It happens. It just happened at a bad time. It has happened many times before, not only to me, but to other people too, and as I said, it is just bad time, that is all. If it happens three weeks from now, I would have pulled out from a tournament and nobody would have said or written a line about it. It wouldn't have mattered. I had shoulder surgery, nobody even knew about it.
Q. Did it happen on one of the practice courts or here?
IVAN LENDL: At home.
Q. You had a little trouble at the end at the breakpoints. Was that because of the knee, that it was getting increasingly worse?
IVAN LENDL: No, it didn't have anything to do with that. I just wasn't setting up properly, at that stage. I don't think it was any worse than it was at the beginning, just was getting weaker and weaker.
Q. Thank you.
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