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November 30, 2000

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


MODERATOR: Questions for Yevgeny.

Q. This was your 100th game of the year. It wasn't the best of all. Could you talk about today's game?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Well, you know, I don't think particularly that I played terrible match. I think I played quite competitive. We had some exciting points. You know, I wasn't consistent enough to maintain that high level throughout the whole match. Andre was consistent, on the other hand. He played solid his service games. Basically, you know, he dominated from the start until the end.

Q. Was he that strong today or was it your fault?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It's difficult for me to answer, you know. I'm sure it wasn't my best performance at all that I could play. On the other hand, he didn't give me a chance to play my game because he was solid, he was sharp. You know, his groundstrokes were very, very effective. You know, what I was impressed the most was that he was holding his serve very comfortably, which quite surprised me. I only had one breakpoint throughout the whole match. That's very unusual for me. Normally, I'm having a lot more chances to break, no matter who's serving on the other side. To see Andre serve 63% first serve, I think it was also quite important that that's why he was able to hold his serve pretty easily.

Q. Does this make you feel less confident for the rest of the tournament?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. You know, I do believe that I can play Andre in the final, otherwise I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you. You know, regarding the match tomorrow, I'm sure, you know, my chances are very, very high. I believe I can go all the way at least until the final.

Q. So that means for you Agassi is your favorite?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It's difficult to answer, you know. You know, who knows how is he going to play for the rest of the tournament. If he plays like this, I'm sure he can be very tough to beat. But, you know, there are a lot of "if's" this world today. Who knows how Pete Sampras is going to play tomorrow against Safin. Who knows how I going to play against Kuerten tomorrow. On the other hand, like I said, I do believe, you know, I can win.

Q. What gives you the most joy in playing tennis?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: What gives me most joy? It's competition itself. To go out on the court and compete against the best opponents in the world. You know, that's what satisfy me the most.

End of FastScripts….

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