home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 16, 2001

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


THE MODERATOR: First question for Yevgeny, please.

Q. John Hogan from The Australian. How do you rate that performance?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: You know, pretty satisfying to get first match under my belt. It was pretty convincing win, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. Good start.

Q. Is the serve a little bit of a concern with those double-faults, is that something that's a little bit rusty at the moment?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, it's part of the game. You lose for a few minutes concentration and, you know, it's hard to keep up for good 90 minutes, concentration for whole match basically. And that's what happened. 3-love, third set I kind of, you know, relaxed for a little while, obviously. You know, give my opponent a chance to come back to the match. But then, you know, everything came back on the same routine. I won next three games to win the match.

Q. At this stage of the event, are you running on 75 percent of your ability?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Well, I guess I have to run 100 percent next match I play because I have a very difficult opponent, and, you know, it's obviously I would love to have such a match in this stage of the tournament. But it's part of the game. You gonna have sometimes tough matches, tough opponents. Even in the early stage of the tournament. That's what I have to do.

Q. In the women's event it's generally considered there are only top four chances in the women's game of winning this championship. How many chances are there in the men's field?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Well, I said last week at least ten guys have legitimate chance of winning the tournament. I still believe, I still feel the same way.

Q. Ubaldo Scanagatta, La Nazione, Italy. Has it changed something in your tennis life career because of Marat Safin being in front of you in the seeding in a Grand Slam event? I mean, do you have less pressure, less responsibilities or now that you are anyway a great, top player you don't really care?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Even if I finish now, you know, I had a great career. I won, you know, 22 singles titles, 21 in doubles, won two Grand Slams, won Olympic gold. You know, there are still some goals left in my career which I want to accomplish, but even if I don't, it's not gonna bother me at all because, you know, I have proven in the past seven years that I belong to the Top 10. And hopefully, for the remaining three, four years, which is I'm planning to play. I will be still there. That's my goal. And regarding the fact that Marat overtake me in the ranking doesn't bother me at all, no. You know, he had a great year last year winning the seven tournaments including the US Open, so he deserves to be in front of me. Let's hope he can have a same year this time. But, you know, I don't think it will be that easy for him this time.

Q. You won gold in Sydney. You've won here two years ago, you were a finalist. Do you feel like you have a special charm in Australia?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I do actually, yes. It's, I guess, the surroundings which make me play the way I am playing at the moment. Yeah, I do feel confident. I do like the surface. I think that that is the most important factor, that every time I come in to Australia and every match I play on this rebound ace, you know, that particular surface makes me play really, really confident.

Q. Karen Line (phonetic) from The Age. The rebound ace surface here, is it slower than last year and does it compare better to last year's tournament or even Kooyong last week?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Looking back to the last year, I think players were really uptight about -- not about the surface but about the balls. The balls last year, if I recall correctly, were a little bit harder. And, you know, they're especially made for the guys who serve and volley well and that's why some baseliners were complaining that, you know, it was really fast conditions. And seems to me this year it's completely equal, but I always said, you know, this surface makes everyone on the same level. You can equally serve and volley as well as play on the baseline. You equal the chances of everybody.

Q. Ubaldo Scanagatta, La Nazione, Italy. Pat Rafter is 28 and he wants to quit tennis because he says he has had enough. He doesn't have a family as you have. He doesn't have children as you have. Is it tough for you to keep finding motivation? Do you ever think, "I would like to stop also, and I had enough"?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I don't blame him. If I would be in same position like he is, I would probably make the same call. Believe me, life on the tennis Tour, it's not looks as easy from the outside as it is from the inside. We really have a difficult time travelling from one place to another and, you know, doing that for such many years, you know, on the road, of course it makes you really feel tired. And, you know, Pat obviously had a great career and I don't blame him for such a statement like he made last week. You know, hopefully he will have a great year and retire for good.

Q. But to follow up, what about you? I mean you...

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I'll probably make the same statement whenever I feel like it's time for me to go.

Q. Which means you don't feel it at all? You never had doubts?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I'm thinking about it. I know that soon that that time will come up. You know, I will prepare myself obviously. And to be honest, for me, it's such a shame to see like Goran struggling, being ranked hardly 20 in the world, playing a qualifier. I think he's the best player which has never won a Grand Slam. For us, it's such a shame. For me at least to see him struggle. And looking back to last year, you know, I think Jim Courier made a great, great move by retiring. So he had enough, and I really appreciate his decision.

Q. Wolfgang Scheffler. Can you talk a bit about Nicolas Kiefer? What makes him tough? You said he's a tough opponent.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Well, what makes him tough is he beat me the last two times, so I'm sure this time is different circumstances. And you know, if I will play to let's say 75, 80 percent of my ability, I will win. But if I don't, of course I'm gonna lose. I'm gonna lose, simple.

Q. You mentioned that Marat Safin, he perhaps may not have such an easy year this year with those results. Why do you think that might be the case?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Well, because it's such a young age to have great success like he had last year. So obviously it's a big pride, absolutely, no one can take that away from him. But personally, I don't think he has enough experience to do it, you know, year after year. Okay, if he's gonna have such a year in 2001 like he had in 2000, good for him. But, you know, I don't think he's got enough experience to be able to accomplish that.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297