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April 4, 1998

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


PAGE CROSLAND: We'll begin in English. We'll have the first question.


Q. How much did the wind bother your strokes?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: A lot, a lot. I'm sure we didn't perform our best.


Q. I'm sorry?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I'm sure we didn't perform our best game today because of wind. You know, if there would be normal conditions, we would have had better match. Although, you know, it was five sets, great battle, very nice for spectators to watch. But I'm glad that our team got through in the first match.


Q. You know, a lot of people might have thought this match would have gone down a little easier for you. Why didn't it? Jim hasn't been playing all that much lately, he's been hurt.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Right. Like you said, you know, I had a lot of chances in the second set. If I would have converted second set, it would probably be three straight sets. But I give him a chance to get back in the match, made a few unforced errors. You know, Jim's been No. 1 for quite awhile, so he knows how to play this game. That basically what happened. But, you know, after I was two sets to one down, you know, I kind of calm down myself. I knew, you know, if I would have -- I would have play a few important points and win those important points, I will win that match. That basically what happened. You know, I had one chance in the fourth at 5-4. I made that game. Then after being a break up in the fifth, I kind of, you know, thought that I already won that match. But, you know, it's never over until it's over. And being Love-40 down at 5-4, I just got lucky that game. Basically Jim lost the match; I didn't win.


Q. How do you feel about playing Agassi now? How will that be different than Courier?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It will be a lot of difference. Also, it's depending on the score, what score would be, you know, after the doubles tomorrow. So far, we're looking at probably 2-1, but I don't know who is going to be up. Then we'll see what happen. We'll see.


Q. If you play 30 games in that doubles match, what's your preference, to continue playing?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: At this stage, I don't know if I'm going to play doubles at all. We'll see what happens tomorrow morning.


Q. If you were to play and you played 30 games, do you think you'd want to play your singles tomorrow afternoon?



Q. You're not sure?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Perhaps. I'm not sure.

PAGE CROSLAND: Another question.


Q. How much did this match take out of you? The Americans said they were hoping wear you down a little bit with this match.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: To be honest, I'm not tired physically. But it was quite crucial match. You know, I was saying before, before the match, first match will be always difficult. I also said, if we would have won that match, you know, we have a great shot to winning all tie. I'm still positive. You know, the match which is going on right now between Agassi and Safin, it's quite important. And my teammate, Marat, he's going to play, you know, easy. I think he has a good chance of upsetting Agassi. But I'm not predicting anything at this stage right now.


Q. What significance, if any, is there given the previous Davis Cup against the United States, to playing the United States, as opposed to any other country?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It's no doubt that Americans were favorite before we got here. And they still are favorite right now. It would be something unbelievable if we going to beat them. You know, if you ask all those people who's around here who is going to win, they still saying America going to beat Russia, although perhaps miracle can happen. We're looking forward to that miracle that's going to happen, that we're going to beat the United States. But it's no doubt that the experience I had before that match, which is we played in '95, that Davis Cup final, that experience helped me today to beat Courier, no doubt about it.


Q. In terms of national pride and so forth, does it mean a great deal?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It's a great honor, no doubt. It's a great honor. I always said, no matter what continent we play, either in America or Australia, I'm still going to go compete for my country.


Q. Under which circumstances would you not play doubles?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Perhaps if the score would be 1-All. But if the score would be 2-Love for us, I'm going to play doubles tomorrow for sure.


Q. Who would be the doubles team, probably, if you didn't play?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I don't know at that moment. I really don't know. I wish I know the answer.


Q. Doesn't your playing doubles give your team a better edge? You're obviously a great doubles player, winning three Grand Slam doubles titles.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, I mean, if Safin is going to win, you know, I'm going to prepare 150 percent tomorrow to win the doubles, because, to be honest, I think that's going to be our chance to win it. But if the score will be 1-All, I'm going to rest myself for the match against Agassi.


Q. Does it matter to you who you play doubles with?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I really don't care. I always feel comfortable with any partners.


Q. Did you say that if it is 1-1, you will not play doubles?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I think so. I think so.

PAGE CROSLAND: Any other questions in English?


End of FastScripts....

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