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August 29, 1997

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


Q. Yevgeny, you had opportunities in the second and third sets to break him. Was it a matter of you being a little off or he just played the big points better today?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: He played good match, no questions about it. But at the same time, I was off from the beginning of the match. I had an early break. It was good opportunity for me to be on top of his game. But he bounce back. That was the biggest mistake I made in this match.

Q. You had a good year. Most people expected you to have a great year. You're not having a great year. What's missing from your game?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I don't know. I just don't know. Seems to me I have everything, but like I said, it's not coming to the right time. I won two tournaments. Would be much better if the peak of my game would have come at the US Open, but unfortunately it didn't happen.

Q. Can you be a more aggressive player than you are?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It depends on the day. I guess if I would feel good, definitely I would be much more aggressive. But today I felt like, you know, he was standing in one corner and I was doing right, left, right, left. You know, you cannot afford to do that on such a level.

Q. It looked like you had trouble with your serve a little bit today. Was that a part of just things not getting off to a good start?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: If you're not sharp enough on your serve, you're giving a chance to the opponent to be on top of you. You know, you're not going to win any free points with your second serve. That's what happened today. I had so much difficulties with my serve, especially on one side of the court. It's difficult to serve against the wind. You have to put more power into the serve. Like I said, if you don't feel sharp enough, you're not going to get through.

Q. Can you describe Woodforde's game? This is now the fourth time you played him. Do you think some people underestimate him because he's so good at doubles?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: He's good in singles, too. You know, he just proved that he's been good singles player, too. He had a couple of great results. Had you victory over me a couple of years ago. I knew it was going to be very difficult. Like you said, maybe I didn't took it so seriously from the beginning. Having that break in the beginning of the match, maybe I'll just bounce back. I thought it was going to be easy for me. But he just played extra good match today. You have to give him credit.

Q. Do you think people don't give him enough credit because his rankings haven't been as high of course in singles?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: All I can tell, rankings don't matter. Woodforde, he beat Agassi a couple weeks ago in Indianapolis, went to the semis. Players know he can play tennis.

Q. He said that playing doubles really helped his game. He thought that playing doubles might be helpful to you, might be helpful to players such as Agassi.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I've been using that a lot. I won two Grand Slam titles in my doubles. It's no question that doubles helps my singles. But today, I don't know really what happened to me. To be honest, I felt like I should have won it. But, you know, he played good match. He played good match. And he has the game which is very hard to deal with. He has the slice backhand. It's so difficult to handle.

Q. Yevgeny, you play so much doubles, you've been very successful at doubles. Yet the way you lose today is almost similar to the way you lose to Kiefer at Wimbledon, from the back court, not at the net. Why don't you come forward?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Like I said, you know, every time I was coming into the net, maybe I was using the wrong shot, but every time I was in the net, ball was passing myself. So I couldn't deal with it. Because his passing shot was so good, he was very solid, very solid. Every time was trying to serve and volley, I was missing my serve. I just don't know what I had to do today to get through. Every time I was trying to do something, he was on top.

Q. Obviously, it was a rough day today for you. What is your view of the new stadium, the new facility here?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Well, to be honest, I like it very much. The stadium is in very good shape. You know, a lot of room, lot of space. For the fans, it's quite exciting to see players competing in new stadium.

Q. You said earlier that the rankings don't mean anything, but at the same time you sound a little bit shocked that you lost today. Are you shocked?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I'm disappointed, yeah, because I was playing good in past couple of weeks. At least to lose second round Grand Slam, if you're aiming to do well here. You cannot change anything right now. I'm the loser, I have to take it.

End of FastScripts….

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