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April 19, 2000

Yevgeny Kafelnikov

Q. Do you believe the key of the match was at 3-1 in the third set at 30-15 when you hit the frame in the middle of the court?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I would say yes. First of all, it was a great effort for me to come back from a set down, 5-3, to turn the match around and have total control up until that moment. Yes, I think at 30-15 when I missed the backhand to the net, I thought there was a turning point. If I would have -- if I would have won that service game I am sure I would have closed it out. But unfortunately, the circumstances had changed and, from that point on I got a little bit tight because it was a big match for me. I wanted to win. I wanted to continue to be in the tournament but that is the way it goes.

Q. You have had a hard time switching from fast surfaces to clay. Where do you feel you are getting at this moment? Are you on the way up?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I definitely -- it's day and night, the differences, so, of course, I am playing a lot better. I feel more confident, so give me three weeks and you are going to see dramatic progress.

Q. He seems to give you a hard time almost every time you play against him. What is there in his game that is so difficult for you to cope with?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: He can say anything he wants, but the bottom line is that when I am playing my best nobody wants to play me. When I am a little bit struggling on the clay in the beginning of the clay court season, seems to me, everybody wanted to play me because, you know, obviously a reason. Once I am picking up my game nobody in the world wants to play me. That is the only information I can give you. Just a matter of time when I am playing good, you know, even for how bad I have played on the clay I had a chance to win. I was 3-Love up and for how unconfident I was. I turned the match around and I was that close to win the match. So that just shows I have potential on clay, just a matter of time. Just give me time, I said two, three weeks and those guys are going to be very regret for what they say.

Q. What do you feel are the most difficult aspects of moving for you from fast to clay? Is it the patience that you don't have yet?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It is definitely the patience, yeah, because when you spend, you know, big amount of time on the fast surface, you know, I am the kind of player who I just adjust to fast surface very quickly because when I do play on the fast surface which is indoor, hard court, grass, you know, I am using the pace of the player. I can place the ball anyplace on the court I want by using the speed of the other player. But on the clay you got to generate your own pace and, you know, after a long period of time you are not used to hit the ball hard from both wings, backhand and forehand. Like I said, that is the most trouble I have by transferring from fast surface to the clay.

Q. What is your program 'til the French?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I will probably take next week off just to practice because I feel like I needed to practice. I needed to practice, you know, some of the aspects of the game and particularly I have got to be physically stronger. That is what I am going to do. And, of course, I am going to play Rome, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, and I am really looking forward to Dusseldorf because at least I am going to get three matches and -- like it is the same thing like in Australia, you play three matches, exhibition event, and all the time that I have played Dusseldorf I have played successful in the French Open. I went to the semis once and I won it so it is a good sign. I am looking forward to it.

End of FastScripts….

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