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September 6, 1994

Yevgeny Kafelnikov


Q. Do you want to give a quick review of the match --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Can't hear. Say again?

Q. Just a quick review of the match; were you surprised he played so well?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I mean, Michael, I think, he played one of the best matches so far that we played, and I had a very disappointing start; very early in the match he broke me and since that, he was on top. I didn't have any chance.

Q. Did he do anything differently against you this time as opposed to the other times?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: He was better from the baseline, that really surprised me. You know, the -- all four times that we played before, he didn't play that well from the baseline.

Q. Were his groundstrokes bigger or more consistent?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: He was more consistent. He put all the pressure on me. I was under pressure. I was trying to do anything, do something different, but today, he was really on top of me.

Q. You said you had no chance, but if you had converted one of those set points --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, that was, you know, that was the main reason. I felt really disappointed that first set. I came back, you know, I save a few set points on Michael's serve and you know, I had one of the biggest chances and in the first set, but that time, I mean -- Michael, played unbelievable -- I never saw him play so great. I didn't expect it.

Q. How do you feel about your experience here. Are you happy with it?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Actually, it was a nice trip to the United States. I won a tournament before, I won 8 straight matches. I didn't expect to do well here, I made round of 16, U.S. Open here, I mean, it is a big effort.

Q. Are you dispointed now that you didn't play those set points more aggressively?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, you know, maybe, because I was waiting for mistakes from Michael, but... Michael is the highest seed left in the tournament.

Q. How good do you think his chances are for winning the tournament?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: He's definitely going to be in the final.

Q. He will definitely be in the final?


Q. There seemed to be a big difference tonight in the effectiveness between your backhand and your forehand. You had much, much better success in your forehand; is there generally that much difference between those two strokes?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Basically, my forehand is the main weapon in my game, and, you know, -- I didn't have any chances to, you know, show how strong my forehand is. Michael was doing everything perfect. Everything perfect.

Q. Did you-- you did hit a lot of nice forehands, but you missed a lot of backhands--

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: The most important points Michael did, you know, great shot and was -- I was missing forehand, like that.

Q. You beat him four times before coming here; was he just --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Today was completely different. It's round of 16 U.S. Open. That was the main reason. Michael was -- he was so pumped up today. He definitely wanted to beat me. Especially here in the U.S. Open, Stadium Court. And maybe I thought that I'm going to beat him. That's why maybe I wasn't concentrating, but I did concentrate before the match.

Q. You were nervous before the match?


Q. More so than normal?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Sure, we played 7:30 night match, you know, stadium was full of -- booked, you know.

Q. Did you ever play before that many people?


Q. I mean that --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Yeah, but everybody expect me to win today.

Q. Do you think that's one of the things you've got to be able to do, get yourself pumped up for matches like this?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I'm always pumped up, but Michael was on top of me. He was pumped up better, and I know that in two weeks we're going to play again, in the Davis Cup.

Q. What parts of your game do you think you need to develop more to make a second leap into, maybe the top ten, or are you happy --

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: I'm happy with my groundstrokes, I am happy with my serve and volley, but most important thing I need to improve is my physical condition. I'm still not good enough for those five-set matches.

Q. You're going to play on a similar surface in Davis Cup?


Q. What will you do differently?

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV: Differently? I'm -- hopefully, I'm going to recover. That's the main reason I need to be fresh against Michael. And you know, those kind of pumps which Michael does, there's nothing much you can do. You have to be really fresh and see the ball very clearly to be able to return the serve; otherwise, you are in deep trouble.

End of FastScripts....

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