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August 9, 1996

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


Q. What was the difference down the stretch?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I think Andre is motivated now a lot and that is what keeps him in the match; especially at the end of the match, he saw that I was on the top of my game plus he played a couple of great shots on those critical points.

Q. Do you see big change in him now versus, say, French or Wimbledon?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I think so, yeah. I think because he is playing at home here in America and especially after winning the gold medal in Atlanta, all the crowd were behind him, they want him to get back on the track again and as I said, he is motivated now a lot.

Q. How do you tell just when you are playing someone, I mean, not -- not talking to him beforehand or whatever, how can you tell that they are more motivated?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Well, I can see. We know each other for so long and the tennis players they can see when someone is fighting, when someone is not and I think Andre did a good job -- he was focused even after losing that second set. I thought the game might change after I won the second set. But you have to give all the credit to Andre.

Q. Is his game any different? Does he play differently?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: No. He didn't play different, but he was more focused, as I said, on the crucial points and he was better than me today.

Q. Someone asked yesterday about the head-to-head and how you managed to beat him twice?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Three times we played. Once in this year.

Q. Is there that much of a difference in the way he plays on clay?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Well, Andre doesn't have a reputation of a player that -- he might give away the match, especially when he is playing best of five, for example, if he two sets Love down, he might give it up the match already, but that is what -- that is how I beat him at French in 1995. I won first two sets and basically the match was over and I think now he is changing, especially this year, he is not giving the matches away. He is playing his game 'til the very end.

Q. Do you feel he attacked a certain part of your game late in the third set; took advantage of any of your weaknesses?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, I didn't play good on my service games especially in the third set and he took advantage. He jumped right on that. He was aggressive on those second serves and that is how Andre plays, that is his game.

GREG SHARKO: Anything else?

Q. When the crowd begins to cheer, how does that affect you?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Didn't bother me too much. As I said, they were behind Andre. They want him to come back to the game where he was, for example, same time last year, that he couldn't lose any matches and he was dominating the game. I didn't see him play such great tennis as he played last year here, in particular, in this time and that is how I think the crowd wants him to get back to play at that level. They want him dominate again.

Q. Anything that you will have to change before it -- anything in your game or your mentality?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I think I will be fine because I took one week off. I didn't play tennis for ten days after the last event I played, so I feel like I am going to be my best. So it is 21 days that I can practice, two tournaments, I can focus. I am not going to try to play my best tennis for example, next week or the following, but believe me I will be in the best shape for the Open.

GREG SHARKO: Anything else? Okay thanks, everyone,.

End of FastScripts….

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