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August 31, 2003

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Yevgeny.

Q. Did you feel the scheduling of your match was a problem?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Not at all, not at all. We were a little bit disappointed with the decision yesterday. In the end, there is nothing we can do about it. It was a USTA call. They decided it was better for us to come out next day, pretty much start all over again.

Q. If you had won today, would you feel okay about it?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Repeat the question. I didn't get it quite.

Q. If you had won today, having played today and possibly having to play again tomorrow without a day off, that would have been okay?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I don't think it would be any big problems, no.

Q. You played pretty well, you lose in three sets. You played him like 12 times. How well is Andre playing right now as compared to other times you faced him?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: You know, it's really difficult to answer your question because, you know, obviously the occasion is special for him. You know, he's playing at home, US Open. This is the tournament probably that he wanted to win every single time that he steps on the court. There is no question that he brings best game out here as possible. Today was no exception. I think he played just as good as he did four years ago, maybe even better.

Q. Can you see a difference in the way he plays when he's behind?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Not really, you know. He always sticks to the same game plan that he had since he was, I don't know, 20 years old. He's trying to overpower the opponent from the baseline. The only difference I can see that he's got physically stronger, which is complete absurd. Normally, if you are getting older, you are becoming physically weaker. With him, it's opposite. You know, he's getting older. Obviously, he's improving that department. That's what makes him special. I don't see many guys that at the age of 33 can compete as hard as he doing.

Q. Will we see you here again next year?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: That is question I cannot give you answer on.

Q. There is a chance we may not?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: There is a chance. But, of course, there is a chance you might see me next year. 50/50.

Q. I saw that occasionally you gave him a thumbs up on some shots, you were smiling. I know it wasn't pleasant losing, but was it kind of fun to play him?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Absolutely. You know, I had a lot of fun playing on such a stage, here in New York, on the Sunday afternoon. It was unbelievable. The crowd was exciting. Unfortunately, I wish I kept myself a little longer on that center court. But, you know, I was quite happy what I've done today on that center court.

End of FastScripts….

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