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


November 18, 1996

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


Before I got here I spoke with my coach and I told him I might be in the same group as Sampras, Becker, and Agassi. But, I am sure the players that are here are in very best form because we had the one week off between Moscow and Hannover and have been preparing special for this event. So, I am sure we are going to see some great matches. It is no question that the guys in that group are better indoor players, but it doesn't make any sense. Muster was showing that when he won Stuttgart; he beat Sampras indoor. Anything can happen, even here.

I have to take it as it is right now. We are playing indoor, Green Set. I will try my best. Plus I know that I am not a great indoor player. If I will keep like it was last two weeks, I am sure I am going to perform the best tennis.

I practiced yesterday night and this morning and it seems to me the court is fast, but the balls are slow. We will see how it is going to work tomorrow.

Compared to Paris, this court -- everything there was perfect. The court was kind of slow, slower than here, for sure, and the balls were not too heavy. But, I really don't know how to answer your questions. We will see tomorrow how it is going to work. Here, I think the balls are little bit heavier, but you never know.

I have seen him last night, but not today. Last night he was okay. But today I don't know. I am sure he is sick, that is why he didn't show up today. (Speaking about Agassi.)

I was in Austria three days, and I practiced with these good guys. I had a good partner.

And Hannover I practiced last night with Muster and this morning with Ivanisevic.

I am sure it is going to be very entertaining. Going to have a full house tomorrow, but I don't know, Boris hasn't played for three weeks. He hasn't had any matches. So, it is going to be also a really good test for him because I have been practicing. I have been playing tournaments. I haven't seen Boris, but to beat him I have to play not 100%, but 200%, because it is the first match for him in the tournament. And, I am sure tomorrow we will have a crucial match. Whoever wins will have a chance to go one step ahead.

After the first match, then it is going to be easier, but I will have to play Sampras and then Agassi

I don't have a special strategy against Boris. So, we will see tomorrow when we play first two games, three games, then I will decide when the games go on.

I think I have a normal serve, but it is not good enough to win the big tournaments indoors, to win the indoor events you need stronger serve.

I am sure all the players have their own personality and everybody -- to be honest, I don't have any favorite person. Everybody is nice to me, and I am trying to be the same to them too.

I haven't seen Pete. Last event he played it was in Paris and he lost first round. I don't know how he played that. I am sure he was practicing and he prepared hard for this event and he wants to prove that he is surely the No. 1 in the world.

It's going to be difficult playing Boris. But, believe me, I will try hard tomorrow just to stay on the court, not to give him any chance to dominate me.

Last time we played, Andre beat me on hard court in Cincinnati. And, you know, this is the end of the year and everybody wants to finish the end of the year at a very high note, so I am sure he will play very hard, I am sure.

I had a week off between Moscow and Hannover. I was practicing hard. Depends how I feel, like I have to finish the year also on a very high note. I prefer especially for this week, but, unfortunately, my group isn't easy. But, you know, I am going to have to take it very, very seriously and play not 100%, but 200%.

9th of June, 1996 that I won the French Open. It was the greatest day of my life. That is all I remember. I will remember it forever

I am very glad to be here with the best eight players that are playing, performing this week. This is the end of the season and everyone who is here who is going to perform wants to finish the year at a very high note. Everybody has come here to win it. And, I feel like your going to see some great matches this week.

I have no answer regarding my draw. All I can tell you is I will try hard, as hard as I can.

(Regarding travelling) Well, normally most of the time I am using the same airlines and it really helps.

(Regarding chances of winning event) It is not going to be very easy, but I am definitely going to try 100%. It is the last tournament of the year. It is great to be a part of this, with these 8 top players.

The city is different, Hannover. The atmosphere is different. No question that the tournament is much more serious, much more different than it was last year, because that is basically the last chance for me to finish the year as No. 2 in the world. That is great for me, this tournament, this week.

I am happy with the French Open title; that I won my first Grand Slam. And this year I played 10 finals in the singles. I won four tournaments, that has been so far the best year for me on the Tour. And, I have a lot of memories for this year. I am still hoping to win more matches this year. I finish again in top 10 singles and doubles both. In general, I have nothing to argue about.

No question that, for example, 1995 I didn't feel that I am a good clay court player, but now after I win the French Open, now I am a better clay court player. And I have much more confidence.

Tennis is slower and very high level. Lots of guys losing, top guys, losing to guys ranked over 100 and especially now top guys cannot see any easy matches because anybody that is going to play against them, they are going on the court 150%.

Pete has got the shots to be No. 1. His behavior on the court, I think, I have too much respect for them - every guy does - he knows that. I have respect for him. When we go on the court, he feels that he has the edge on the other players, and he is using that. Even sometimes it is not working, but still most of the time it goes his way.

I am sure I would have felt the same way Pete felt when something is going to happen with my coach. I don't really want something to really happen with my coach, but some day I would, and as I say, he is a part of my family and I have to take care of him like my family.

I am happy because I was truly injured during the U.S. Open. I left New York because I was unable to play. I was shocked what they had done to me first because I am not a bad hard court player. I have four titles to my credit, and putting Agassi and Ivanisevic ahead of me, I don't think it was the right 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