November 30, 2002
RUSSIA vs. FRANCE, PARIS, FRANCE
MODERATOR: Questions for the Russians, please.
Q. What was the difference today in favor of the French team?
MARAT SAFIN: The difference was that they start to play well at 2-Love in the fourth set. They were just lucky so many times. We were basically controlling the match. They made a break, they started to playing well. Every shot that they hit, everything was good. Any shot they make, it was perfect. At the end, of course, they just take confidence, and that's why they beat us.
Q. Why did you lose your serve at 3-2 in the fourth set? Was it a question of mental or physically? What was it?
MARAT SAFIN: The score was 3-2, 3-All, I don't know. I knew that I had to hold the serve. Unfortunately, I didn't serve any first serves, but I had good second serves. They played well and I couldn't do anything.
Q. Do you think it was the turning point of the match?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but still we had the opportunity. We could have made the second break to Escude in the fourth set. But then they start to play well. They get confident. That's it. Of course, they made the break to us. They start to play well.
Q. You played well during the second and third set. Escude left the court. Did it stop your good shape?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: No, it didn't stop the momentum. As you would probably recall, we made a break right away, were up 2-Love. At that time, you know, momentum was completely on our side. But then, like Marat said, we lost a very unfortunate game at 2-Love on Santoro's serve with two shanks of Escude's frames. If it would be in the fourth set, the match would be over. Unfortunately, I lost my serve at 2-1 with a few also net balls. Santoro was coming up with unbelievable lobs throughout the match. When it happened like that, we give them confidence again back, and then they start to play. Then basically we had to start the whole match all over again.
Q. What is your feeling now this evening?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Feeling (laughter)? You know, there is always another day, tomorrow. The matches are not over. We'll see what happen tomorrow.
Q. You have played nine sets. You will play against someone who has only played three sets. How do you see this match?
MARAT SAFIN: We'll have to play, and we'll have to play well. We'll have to win if we want to still be in the match and still have an opportunity to win the Davis Cup. Unfortunately, it's 2-1, I have to play tomorrow after having played a long match. I will play. I will see tomorrow. I will try to recover from today and I will try to win tomorrow, if you want to still have a chance to win.
Q. I would like to ask how the captain explains the defeat in five sets against the French today.
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: Well, the game was equal, and I think that both teams played rather well. But I must say that both team deserved the victory, but the French team was a bit more lucky to win. My congratulations.
Q. You don't show a lot of emotion when you're sitting on your chair. You're not talking a lot to your players. The players don't talk to each other. Is it always the same on the Russian team or is there a problem?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: Well, this is our style. It's really our Russian style. I must say that I am sitting on my bench for 25 years, and that's why all the guys, all the players are accustomed to this way of behavior.
Q. Before the game, you heard the court is especially made for Santoro. Did he take advantage of the court?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: I would say it is not attributed only to Santoro. As far as the advances to the net are concerned, the French team played better. They played better the volleys, as well. This is the result of the match. That's why they won.
Q. Tomorrow Marat Safin will have played nine sets. He's playing against Grosjean who only played three sets. How do you see that match? Are you sure you'll use Kafelnikov if it's 2-All?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: You know, the thing is our bench is not as long as the bench of the French team. That is one of the reasons our game was playing this way. As far as tomorrow's match is concerned, we'll see how we'll play it.
Q. Why are you so sure Grosjean will play tomorrow?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: It's not my question. I've never benched Grosjean playing.
Q. Yesterday it was said the result of this match will be decided by the service and by the return of serve. Can you comment on that?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: Well, it's a technical question. Safin is playing very well and he's keeping his side very firmly. His service is a bit less strong than the service of the Safin. That is one of the reasons he played that way. This is only one part of the question. I will elaborate a bit. Remember, Safin made several faults. The last so to say straight period of the match, it was an undesirable period for us. That is why it all happens like that.
Q. Do you think Safin was too sure of himself, was sure that you would win the match soon, and he relaxed?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: There was no relaxation on the part of Safin. The thing is that you cannot just lead the match, you cannot play the match on the same level, and that is why. Those who did try, those who overcame such drawbacks. Unfortunately, we failed to do it.
Q. What was the reason why Safin and Kafelnikov did not play together in ATP tournaments? Maybe you remember that Santoro and Escude played together.
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: I'll answer you like this. Unfortunately, Kafelnikov was not that good as far as his health was concerned. Safin, unfortunately did not have enough points to make it. That's why they played only two tournaments together. This is such a problem that cannot be overcome and overpassed by the captain of the team.
Q. What should be done in order to win the match, starting from '77 the team who was losing the doubles never managed to win the match. What should be done in order to win the match?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: There are no laws here. We should play, and we may win. The thing is that we must recreate today and then we'll see how it goes.
Q. What is the state of Kafelnikov and do you think he'll play tomorrow?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: I'll give you the definite answer for this. Tomorrow you're playing on which side? Kind of a joke. I'll give you the answer tomorrow.
Q. Are they ready psychologically?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: Yes, I would say a lot of facts depends on psychological readiness. I think tomorrow we'll see how it goes and how the two players will play.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.