September 1, 1999
UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION, Flushing Meadows, New York City
USTA: Questions for Yevgeny.
Q. Was it what you expected from him?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: To be honest, I would say yes. The way the first two sets were
going, I thought it was going to be easy day in the office. He seems to pick up the game
towards the end of the third set, and the crowd got behind him. He played some incredible
shots. You know, that's why we got into the tough match. Like I said, you know, it was
really nice for me to close out the match in four sets.
Q. Was there anything in your game that dropped off?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: No, no. I wouldn't think so. I hold all my service games pretty
comfortably. You know, I started to get some trouble on the return in that third set. You
know, give Max the chance to win some games. In other circumstances, you shouldn't have
done that. You play in the Grand Slam, you got to be able to close out the match as fast
as you can. Unfortunately, didn't happen. The good thing was that I kept fighting, kept my
momentum going. It was nice thing, like I said, to finish the match in four sets.
Q. What are your thoughts after Rafter and Sampras being gone? Suddenly your chances
are even better than beforehand.
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, I would say yes. All I need to do is just take one match at a
time. You know, I'm the kind of player who always seems to pick up the game towards the
second week of the tournament. Once I get through the first week, I'm sure I would be able
to pick up the confidence and the momentum. I will realize that, you know, it's the second
week of a Grand Slam, you got to give everything what you have. Seems to me, I was able to
succeed in those times where I got through to the second week.
Q. What did you think when you heard that they were both gone?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Especially with Pete, we did not expect him to pull out with the
back injury. Everybody thought it wasn't so serious when he pulled out of Indianapolis. I
guess it is pretty serious, forcing him to pull out. It definitely opens up room for the
rest of the guys, which is including myself. When you have such a chance, you got to be
able to capitalize on that. Not so many times the draw is wide open like that. So all I
need to do, just to stay focused, like I said, to take one match at a time. I'm sure I
Q. Do you look at the draw closely enough to have an idea of who might come out of that
top half now?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Oh, yeah. I always like to know little bit far ahead what's going
to be waiting for me in the future. Honestly, I did not to look at the top half of the
draw. I was concerned about my section, just to get through one match at a time. I don't
look more than two rounds ahead in the draw. You know, like I said, it's always a little
bit relief when the favorites are gone out of the tournament for whatever reasons.
Q. Did it bother you that the crowd was rooting for the other kid?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Not at all. Not at all. Not at all. Always seems to me they behind
the underdog. I was favored to win. The crowd likes to get behind the other player, give
him a chance to play competitive match.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.