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August 14, 1999

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


Q. He put so much pressure on you today. How much better could you have done?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I mean, under those circumstances, definitely I could play better. The fact is that he did put a lot of pressure, especially on his own serve. He's hard to break, you know, when your opponent serves 80 percent of his serve. Not just kicking in, but serving aggressively. It's basically his strongest side, his serve, and he capitalized that perfectly.

Q. Are you thinking you did your best?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: No, I wouldn't say so. I'm disappointed with the result. But, you know, definitely it was not the way that I wanted to lose the match, no.

Q. The last few weeks, you've been in the final and semifinals and two Super 9s. That's very good.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Very good, and I'm quite happy with the last three weeks. I went to the semis, and then in Montreal same this year. Pretty good. Last three weeks was outstanding.

Q. How much can you improve now?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I can improve a lot more, and I can improve a lot more. You show up at big event, and let's concentrate there.

Q. Were you ever comfortable out there today?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I was, yeah. I was. You know, I was quite enjoying myself. Night session match; big crowd. I had a good time.

Q. It seemed like the crowd was mostly going for Rafter.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: That's understandable.

Q. Why is that?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I don't know. Don't ask me. If we would have played in Russia, I'm sure the people would be behind me. But he's defending champion, and he obviously had a lot of success in the United States; so that was the reason.

Q. At the start of the second set after he breaks you to win the first set, was it a sense of: "Here we go"?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, I felt like, you know, basically he didn't do anything to win the game. I lost it; and I made three unforced errors, which I shouldn't have done. And those three errors cost me, first of all, a set; and then basically same story was in the second game of the second set. I played three dumbest shot I could possibly hit at that moment. Here we go, 6-4, 6-2. And you don't want to put yourself under so much pressure where you have to scramble all the way through to get the service break, which is not an easy thing to get. Especially against a guy like Patrick, who serves, obviously, real well.

Q. What do you think about tomorrow?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I don't want to look to that match. We are all professional athletes, and we are hoping the better player will win. Whoever plays the best will win.

End of FastScripts....

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