August 13, 1999
ATP TOUR: Yevgeny's second straight semifinal here. He is now advanced to his third
straight semifinal during the summer circuit. He won 10 of his last 12 matches. First
Q. I saw you playing last week in Montreal; see you this week and see that the more you
play the better it is.
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, it is definitely the fact, just going in my favor, yeah, the
more matches I play; especially on this surface and the better I get. The confidence is
growing with each match I play, no questions about it. It is definitely the reason why I
have won so many matches in the last two weeks.
Q. You said last week in Montreal maybe you weren't playing as well at the Australian
Open. Do you feel like you are in this kind of shape that maybe you can win some big
tournaments again this year?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Definitely, no questions about it. Clay court season is over and I
am sure that that time is behind. Just going to try to focus on the important tournaments.
It is not so many weeks left until the end of the year. I think there is only ten
tournaments left. When you have opportunities like that, you have got to accomplish the
goal that you set out before for the year. My goal, especially for this year, to finish
the year as high as I can.
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Wouldn't be such a bad year if I will do it. This year it was a
goal and let's hope and pray for some good things that can happen to me in the next month.
Q. On the match today, Tim is a guy that likes to chip and charge and come in a lot and
pass extremely well. That was obviously very crucial....
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Definitely. I had the small room at the end of the first set and I
capitalize perfectly; had two set points and was able to close out the match in the second
one. It was a good thing and today was the situation, the weather was so hot and I was
kind of a little bit struggling with my physical condition. I was a little fatigued from
all those matches that I played last two weeks, but when the going gets tough like that,
it is nice to get a W. Hopefully I can return much better for tomorrow's semi-final match.
Q. Would you have felt real good physically going into a third set?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I wouldn't say so. I don't know what would have happened in we went
into the third one. But it is a bad thing when you feel like getting tired and the things
weren't going as well as you'd like, you focus a little bit more. And to win a match like
that, it is always nice.
Q. You know that Steffi Graf retired today?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I didn't know that. Last week in Montreal she reconsidered --
Q. She had a press conference today?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: She finally decided she is going to retire?
Q. Yes. What do you think?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It is always sad when such a female athlete announcing retirement.
She had a great career - absolutely deserves a nice retirement.
Q. You know her?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I know Steffi Graf.
Q. You have been watching some of her matches, the big matches?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: We both won the French Open together in 1996. (inaudible).
Q. You are playing so well now. Regarding the seedings for the U.S. Open, you are
playing so well right now. How important is it to you where you are? Obviously you could
be anywhere. Sampras will likely will be the one seed. Does it matter where you are?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: From 2 to 4 I don't think that is what makes any difference. Then
of course if I am ranked three or four in the world and being seeded number five, I don't
think it would be right thing to do for the USTA to make seedings like that. I would be
very disappointed. But, yeah, regarding the tournament, regarding the seedings, it is
definitely -- no matter where Pete is going to be by the seedings in the US Open he is
definitely deserve to be No. 1 in the seedings, even though he is two or three or four,
doesn't matter, he still deserves No. 1. I am sure Agassi, Rafter and myself, we will be
-- I am sure we will be four seeds in the US Open. I don't think that anybody can really
have a chance to get close to us in the ranking because the gap is so huge.
Q. You probably are hoping -- Rafter is two-time champion; Agassi has played very well;
he is American (inaudible) --
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Definitely, all four of us would definitely deserve where we are at
the moment in the ranking.
Q. You have a chance to become No. 1 even after this tournament now; whether you win or
maybe if you don't win the tournament. What would that mean to get back to No. 1 to you?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Big honor. I hope -- I really hope that it happens this week with
the way that I am playing and the expectation is well deserved. So like I said, the time
when I became No. 1 it wasn't such a great year because I was losing many matches in a
row, but it seems to me if I accomplish that goal again, especially in this tournament, it
would be very big thing, very proud.
Q. At that time you said you didn't want to be No. 1?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: No, I want to be No. 1.
Q. At that time it wasn't such a great time; would it feel better because of the way
you are playing?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Definitely it would feel better with the way that I played the last
couple of weeks.
Q. What about a goal of being there at the end of the year too?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It is the last step that I am going to accomplish this year.
Definitely would be ultimate goal for this year to finish the year No. 1.
Q. Do you like the ranking like it is now or like it would be next year?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I really can't answer that question. I wish I would know the future
so I could tell you right now. We will see. I am sure the guys who is winning the
tournaments, who is playing well all the time, they are definitely going to be on the top
of no matter what kind of system we have. It would be interesting.
Q. How have you done against Chang and Rafter?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I have done pretty well against both of them. I don't think I have
lost to Michael in an ATP event. I think I am 4 and 0. Last time I played Patrick, it was
Cincinnati. He beat me pretty confidently. At that time he was playing really well. He has
confidence. Seems to me his game is coming back. He is a summer player. He always seems to
pick up his game in the summer whereas all the other guys have holidays.
Q. Would that be nice to get a chance again?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I wouldn't mind. Tomorrow is going to be semifinal. No matter what
type of an opponent I will face, it would be nice to have a victory tomorrow. I don't
think that I have a positive record against Pete. I have beaten him twice, but I got him
in a big time, semifinal of the French Open.
Q. How big a win was that for you?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It was big. Semifinal French Open and it was the only Grand Slam
that he is missing and probably will never win.
Q. Can you talk about his serve and (inaudible) --
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I wouldn't say it is fast. He definitely brings pressure on the
court with his serve and he feels so much confidence when he does that so that nobody even
really thinks that they have a chance to break his serve, especially in the fast surfaces.
His physical ability is so outstanding, he covers the court well. Even if you make good
return, he would be still there for the first one and he will still control the point.
That is what makes him good because he is a great athlete and moves around the court very
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Just kind of didn't follow it lately, the hit Yankees. I can't get
too much TV coverage. Hopefully when I get in the New York area I will have more time.
Q. Are you going to go to a game?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I will definitely. I haven't gone to one, but I will try to do it
this year. I will try to do it. I hope they move the ballpark somewhere to Manhattan.
Q. Did you get the watch World Series?
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I did a couple of games. It wasn't live. It was taped, but I
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