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August 29, 1995

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


Q. Did you get any sense that you were playing somebody whose spirit was a little bit broken by all the things that have gone on with him the last few weeks?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I didn't feel that way. No. For me, Jeff is -- he is normal person. I have nothing against him. We are good friends. But, you know, on the court just -- I wanted to win my regular match. It was nothing behind it.

Q. What is your feeling or the feelings amongst players about the fines that have been levied against him, the amount of money that he has been asked to pay?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: You know, I am not getting too close to that. I am not really interested what is going on there. I am not reading newspaper about -- I heard that Jeff was fined for $63,000. And I didn't know for what. I don't know. I really don't know. That is why I can't answer your question.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about how you feel after the first match?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I feel very good.

Q. And if things go according to plan, quarterfinal you are meeting Andre Agassi ago?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I am looking forward to that one, that is for sure.

Q. Some players don't like to play a full tournament the week before the Open. But you obviously do and since you won it, has that helped you having that many matches?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Sure. By winning the Hamlet my confidence is ten times better than it was before Hamlet. And I know that I am really ready to do well in a major event like U.S. Open. I am just -- I feel very strong now.

Q. You say that you feel fine. How do you feel about the Davis Cup match against Germany coming in Moscow?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I am here in New York.

Q. I just want to know if you --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I am not really thinking about Davis Cup now. I am thinking about U.S. Open.

Q. Please tell me if you are going to play or not. I asked you in Dusseldorf and Paris for sure you shouldn't play.


Q. You said in Dusseldorf and Paris that you shouldn't play that much if it was moved to Moscow. I just want to know your reaction about it. You were very --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Everybody knows that answer.

Q. You were very outspoken there and I hope you are as much outspoken here.

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I answered that questions already at Wimbledon. I told them I am going to play. That is it.

Q. What is the reason you changed your mind?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I just don't want to answer that questions to you.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about the feeling among the players, about how this tournament shapes up with Andre Agassi as No. 1 and--

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I think it is really helpful that for tennis that Andre stayed on the top because, you know, most of the spectators they do like him. Most of them come just to watch Andre and the competition between Pete and Andre, it is just great for the tennis.

Q. Is that a big challenge for you for someone like you?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: For the game, that is for sure. Not many people know who Kafelnikov is. I really hope after this tournament everybody will know here in America.

Q. Do you have the impression that here in the states it is all focused on Sampras and Agassi?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, that is kind of disappointment. Because all the press they are writing everyday about Agassi and Sampras, but besides them there is so many players who can really beat them like myself, I beat Andre twice and so many like Becker, they never say anything about Becker or Ivanisevic or somebody else. They just really focusing on Agassi and Sampras. I think that is wrong.

Q. Well, if you could tell the American public one thing about yourself, that you think they don't know, what would that be?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: They never see me play great tennis that is it. That is my answer. I hope here in New York they will see great tennis and I hope it will be a quarterfinal against Agassi.

Q. You met once a player that you are going to meet in the next round, Marques, in the Satellite. Do you recall anything from that match?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Actually played him twice there, but it was a long time ago. Three years ago.

Q. You don't remember him?


Q. What do you think about him?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I haven't seen him since that time playing tennis. But no question, I am going to focus on that match and just we will see what is going to happen.

Q. A few months ago you told us you you don't feel you are top 10 player and that you are a big star and so on. Right now, you are totally thinking about and saying that your confidence is ten times better. What was the turning point? Was it the French Open or, I mean, that boost in your confidence?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Tennis life goes so much up and down and for a while I had, you know, bad period in my career, it was, I think after the Monte Carlo, for the four tournaments I couldn't win, I think one set. I lost four straight first rounds and after that, you know, I took some time off. I talked about it with my coach and we find right solution what I have to do, how I need to prepare for the tournament and all of a sudden I played great tennis in the French Open. That was the reason that helps to build up to gain my confidence.

Q. When you came in last year you were confident. You were coming off a Hamlet victory. Were you disappointed --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: But I wasn't that strong last year like I am strong this year.

Q. Physically strong or...

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I am ten times stronger than I was last year right now.

Q. Mentally and physically?


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