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October 19, 2001

Yevgeny Kafelnikov

MODERATOR: Questions for Yevgeny.

Q. Everybody has been playing tough three-set matches, tiebreaks. Last two matches, straight sets. Do you feel you're sneaking through the draw and might actually land a Tennis Masters Series title now?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Perhaps. But I wouldn't say that I'm moving through each match quite comfortably like probably you think. I had tough match against Pavel. I mean, yesterday wasn't easy like the score says. Today was a straight-set match, but I felt the match could have gone either way because Thomas had a double set point in the first set. We played quite a tight second set. I got a bit lucky in the end of the second set, was able to close out a match in two sets.

Q. So how do you feel you're playing?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It's same story every year, you know. I'm picking up the game right at the time when I needed to. Indoor surface always been friendly to me. You know, that's where I won most number of my tournaments. I do feel like indoor is one of my favorite surface.

Q. Do you feel pretty confident that you're going to be there in Sydney?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I'm not qualified yet. I certainly like my chances. If I do qualify, it's another successful year added to my career, so I'm not going to complain about it.

Q. Looking at something else, you and Marat between you are a strong enough combination to win the Davis Cup. How do you view your draw next year?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Very interesting. If somewhere on the horizon would be the year we win the Davis Cup, I think it would be the next one. You know, we play first-round match against Switzerland at home. You know, if we get through that match , we have tricky match against whether it's Great Britain or Sweden. But, like I said, if we both playing up to our standard, we both have desire to win Davis Cup, I think we're quite strong team.

Q. What would it mean for Russia for you to win the Davis Cup?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I said I'll retire again. There are not many goals left for me to accomplish except perhaps the Davis Cup, absolutely.

Q. Next round Sampras or Mirnyi. Your thoughts on both those guys?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Certainly those two guys, if you looked into the career, Sampras is best player in the world ever existed. I don't have a winning record against him. So hopefully that will be Mirnyi. But, you know, at this stage it doesn't really matter. Whoever win between those two guys will be deserve to play in the semis, and there are no easy opponents anymore in these kind of stages. I'm going to have to come out and approach tomorrow's match like I did any others this week.

Q. Are you still intending to play the doubles?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Certainly I will, later today.

End of FastScripts....

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