home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 7, 1997

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Before the match I knew it was going to be very, very difficult. I had one breakpoint to go up 3-1 and unfortunately, I couldn't make it. Then Marcelo played a couple of good games in a row and I knew that my chances were -- sooner or later will come up. And that is what happened basically in the end of the first set. Once I broke him to make even, I knew from that point on I had a good chance to get through.

Q. You won seven straight games.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I think I played more solid in those crucial -- beginning of the second set it was a crucial stage, played a couple, you know, extraordinary shots and Marcelo went kind of down, losing the first set, serving for it. And, from then on, he never looked -- I never looked back.

Q. Last Friday of the draw, Bud Collins said he picked you to win this. He thought that your --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: He picked me to win the tournament?

Q. Yes. He thought that you were just due to break through to win. How do you feel about that?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: To be honest, it sounds not so easy to win the tournament because there is a lot of guys, you know, who want to win it as well. Sampras, Chang, Ivanisevic, you know, all those guys, they are ready to go. And, especially now I have to play tomorrow, probably Sampras. Of course, if I will get through, then my chances will rise unbelievable. But, I think tomorrow will -- it will be the most important match for me in this tournament.

Q. Do you feel like you are ready to break through and win one?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: We are very pleased with the weather. It has been so nice and cool here this week and it is going to be like that. That is my fourth time in Cincinnati. I am very, very happy that the guys can play their best tennis in these conditions, because when the heat is on 120 degrees, you know, it is not too much you can do with running. You cannot see the best tennis. But, in these conditions, there is a chance and hopefully that is what is going to happen tomorrow.

Q. The Tour is so deep now and yet Sampras is so far ahead in the rankings. Do you feel that he is beatable at any given day?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I think so. His weaknesses is really clay court. He is not dominating this surface, but he is very, very difficult to beat, especially on hard court. That is the surface where he grew up, where he feels most comfortable. But, you know, I have seen a lot of guys for example, Corretja at the Open, he give him -- he was -- he survived 7-6 in the third. I never felt that Corretja would give him really a battle on the hard court because you do not see many Spanish do well on the hard court. But, you see Bruguera beat him at the Lipton. Certainly he is beatable.

Q. You feel confident if you have to play him tomorrow?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I feel no pressure at all because I have played Pete a bunch of times. I have beat him twice. Certainly he is more favorite than me, but as I said, it is not such a huge gap between, let us say, top 10 players and the rest of the Tour because you have seen very often now a lot of guys who is ranked outside 100 really giving hard time to the top guys and you see that more and more often. Because everybody is trying to play their best against the top guys. And that is why things for the top guys is not so easy anymore.

Q. When you go into a match with Pete, what things do you think you have to do to beat him?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Just normal game, which is I am playing all the time and I guess when top guys playing against each other, it is a matter of a couple of points, you know. One of the guys have one breakpoint, maybe it is good enough to win the match. And I think that is what is the difference.

Q. Do you feel like you can make fewer mistakes against him?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Certainly I cannot afford that. I cannot afford to play loose points. I have to concentrate 100% too, especially to beat him. You cannot make easy mistakes because he is a top player in the world and he likes to have those chances.

Q. If a top player like yourself loses in a Grand Slam it is considered an upset. But if you lose in a tournament like this, people say he wasn't trying very hard. Is that fair?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It is not because, believe me, all the guys are trying, trying hard. Of course some guys may be coming in after tough weeks before those tournaments and it is kind of excuse for them. For example, Woodruff he had unbelievable great week in Montreal. Losing to me in the second round here maybe -- a lot of guys think should be other way around, but he was tired; that is why he was able to lose second round. But, in Grand Slam, when you have matches best of five sets, and the top guys losing in the early stages, of course, it is a bit of a surprise because, you know, many top guys really preparing for the Grand Slam tournaments like -- it is no comparison whatsoever to the other tournaments, so, when top guys losing --

Q. If you are tired and you are getting ready for the Slams and you make it through three rounds of say, this tournament is there a tendency to say, okay, I am ready and to put less emphasis on the fourth match?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: No. I think everybody put in the same effort no matter -- normal regular ATP Tour or Grand Slam. To win ATP Tour, it is a hell of an effort. Not many guys can do that, to win five straight matches in a row with such top players like Sampras, Chang, Ivanisevic, it is not such an easy thing to do.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297