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August 31, 1995

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


Q. How about the surface itself, the court itself?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: The court is quite nice. Atmosphere is very good. It is very compact and, you know, the people can sit close to the court and watch the good tennis.

Q. When you play in a tournament like this and they are moving you around, do you have to adjust to the different --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: To be honest with you, I never look around. I don't mind if people walking behind me or whatever, I am just concentrating on every point. That is it.

Q. How did you feel you played today?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I feel all right. I feel all right. But the weather was a little bit warmer than couple of days before. But I am really happy that I get through.

Q. Is it the passion for the game which prompts you to play so many matches, doubles and singles or is this the way you take --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: It's the way I feel. I feel like I need to play that number of matches as I play now to keep my confidence at very high level.

Q. Do you then reduce your practice level in between matches?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: No. I am still doing everything what I was doing before, you know, same number of hours practice a day and everything the same. Even if I am playing singles and doubles everyday.

Q. But at the end of last year, you said you were playing too much, you were going to reduce the schedule. It has been the same.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: No, it is not. If you look at the number of tournaments that I played.

Q. Slightly less.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: You know, I am playing two tournaments less and like six doubles tournaments less, too, so. . .

Q. But you are winning more. When you win, you play more matches?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: That is true. I am winning more than I did last year.

Q. About Marcus, what did you find is the strength of his game?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: You know, he is trying to put pressure on the player. I had some difficulty with his backhand slice. It was working pretty well, and, you know, he is trying hard as he can. He never giving me any chance. He is trying to play 100% on every point. I was impressed with that.

Q. What do you think you need to add to your game?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I have everything.

Q. How about inside the service line?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: You know, I don't feel like going to the net on every point -- I feel like I am doing the right things. I am trying to set the nice combination on the baseline, but then finish the point in the net, you know, I don't feel like serve and volley every time, but I am doing that exactly on the right time that I need to.

Q. You seem more at ease with the media this year. Two years ago you seemed suspicious of the media, why?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Because I improved my English, that is why.

Q. Nothing to do with Andre warning you?


Q. How did you improve your English so well?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Just practice on the Tour. Yes, I learned by traveling.

Q. Do you take lessons or anything?


Q. Girlfriend?


Q. When you think of Russian players you think perhaps at juniors it was difficult to find quality courts to work on and good coaches to help you? What was your experience as a junior playing growing up in Russia?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I would like to do -- to get that coache that I have right now because he is actually the right person that I needed to. He is pushing me every time no matter on the court, off the court, I mean, he is like my second father to be honest. I know him for eleven years and he knows me pretty well too, so -- it has been very, very good.

Q. Could have lobbed a little better maybe today?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I wish. But I am trying to save my energy for quarterfinals.

Q. Why do you think Andre is not up there with you in the top 10?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, he has been there, but he did change a lot since year that he was in the top 10, you know, now he is more relaxed, I think -- that is his problem. He is not trying as hard as he did before and hopefully I really want him to get back to the top 10 because I think he is the one of the player who deserves to be there; he won many tournaments already and I do respect Andre a lot. Hopefully he will get back.

Q. You have played all over the world, obviously?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I never been in Asia.

Q. From where you have played, is this tournament very different?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Very, very different.

Q. Why?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: One thing it is New York. It is a different city. Second of all, because you know everyone come here; it is like to be inside of the players' lounge it is like a zoo; very small area, just like million people there, you just noisy, whatever. And I am also unhappy with the site, very long from the city, just takes me 45 minutes to get here, and that is, I think, the problem, but besides that, you know, everything okay.

Q. The tennis part itself, does that feel different?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: No. It is like all the other tournaments.

Q. And yet even when the crowd is still walking to their seats, it doesn't bother your focus; you are ready to serve?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Nobody knows me.

Q. A lot of players want to wait for the last person to sit down. No problem for you serving while people are still walking.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, I don't mind talking to anybody unless they are unfriendly to me, then I wouldn't talk to them. If the person is normal of course I will talk to them.

Q. Once people know you, do you think you won't be playing on 16 anymore; that you will always be grandstand and stadium?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: The thing is I haven't done anything in the Grand Slam tournament and I didn't deserve to be there every time so once I think if I win the tournament, if I win the U.S. Open, I will be on the Center Court or grandstand every time, you know, I wouldn't be on court 16 anymore.

Q. In April you said you were going to play the Estoril open. Can you confirm that?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: The schedule has been changed. I don't know because the tournament --

Q. It still is the first week; then Barcelona.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I don't know. It depends on Davis Cup next year. So it is really difficult to play Estoril, right after the Davis Cup.

End of FastScripts...

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