September 6, 1998
Flushing Meadows, New York
Q. How was it out there the fifth set? You must have gone through a bunch of different
GEOFF GRANT: Yeah. It was a little painful. But that's what this sport's all about. So
I didn't feel so bad that I didn't think that I couldn't win. I mean, I felt fine. It was
just a battle, you know. He won the match. What can I say? I'm not really disappointed too
much. It's not like I played terribly or anything. It was just a well-fought match.
Q. How are you physically? He obviously was having trouble the last two sets with his
legs and stuff. Did you feel pretty fresh at the end?
GEOFF GRANT: I didn't feel fresh. That would have been nice. It's strange. I don't
know. He would get the treatment on the changeovers, then he'd come out and he was running
everything down. I don't really know if he had a problem or not. Maybe I should have
gotten a little treatment (laughter). But, yeah, the legs certainly start to feel a little
fatigued. Any time you get into the fourth or fifth sets, especially when you have such
long sets in the first three.
Q. You haven't played five in an official match except for against last year here?
GEOFF GRANT: Exactly. This is only the second one. It made a big difference getting
that match last year under my belt, because I felt a lot better today physically and
mentally and emotionally. I was just able to deal with everything a lot better, the crowd.
I wasn't really distracted or anything.
Q. How sweet is that for you, considering how many matches you played, small crowds, to
see this whole place going nuts?
GEOFF GRANT: It's great. I'll remember it forever. Yeah, it's really fun, it's really
fun. I hope that can get me a little bit more recognition. It's tough to get recognition
in this country, unless you're Top 10 in the world or something. We can get the
lesser-ranked guys out there, give a little bit of respect to the guys that are around the
Top 100 in the world, because I think we're all pretty good players.
Q. You said on television, I heard a comment of yours, about how you wanted to be a
voice or personality for American tennis or for tennis.
GEOFF GRANT: Sure. If I can have a positive effect on the sport of tennis, I'd love to
do whatever I could. I mean, I finished college, which is somewhat rare in professional
tennis. In a way, I was kind of penalized for doing that back in the early '90s. I think
you were considered just you had no chance if you went to college and graduated. You were
considered old at like 22, 23. They neglected to give support to guys like myself and
other guys coming out of college. Now I think their philosophy has changed quite a bit.
They're helping out a lot of guys that have gone to college, and rightly so. I think we
can be a good asset to the game.
Q. Did you take your wildcard this year as kind of a sign of that, considering what had
happened to you in the past?
GEOFF GRANT: Yeah, yeah. Thank God they recognized what I've been doing. I felt like I
deserved it. I'm glad they felt that way, too. It showed.
Q. You mean, on the court it showed for you?
GEOFF GRANT: Yeah. Well, it showed that I deserved to get the wildcard help, even
though they haven't been helping me in the past. I've certainly been trying to get some
help. If I can change philosophies from this point on, as far as who they help and how big
their scope is in helping people, then I'm very happy about that, even if it doesn't
affect me, I hope it does affect me. I hope my career -- it will continue. I feel great.
This is just the beginning.
Q. You had retired before, at least once?
GEOFF GRANT: Yes.
Q. More than once?
GEOFF GRANT: No. Once was enough for me. Yeah, I retired, quit, whatever you want to
call it. I wasn't making much of a living at the time. That's one of the reasons why I
decided to hang the racquets up. That was at the end of '94 and pretty much all of '95.
But I realized that being a professional tennis player is pretty fun. If I have the
ability to do it, I'm going to do it as long as I can.
Q. What's next?
GEOFF GRANT: Within the next couple weeks, I'll probably do a little bit of shopping
tomorrow. Then I have team tennis obligations. Playing with the Schenectady OTB's. That
starts immediately after The Open finals. I do that for two weeks, then I'll start back
playing in some Challengers here in the States. Then I'll go over to Europe for some of
the European bigger tour events. It's time for me to start playing some of the big ones. I
think I'm ready. I need to start putting some results in some of the big tournaments.
Q. Do you think that you didn't play helped you in any way?
GEOFF GRANT: Oh, yes. It was almost like it was inevitable. It had to happen for me to
be here today. I had no perspective on what it was like to earn a living as a tennis
player and to make it your business and to make it your job, enjoy it. I was on this
progression from the juniors to college to professionals. I didn't really understand it. I
didn't enjoy it, and I didn't respect it. That year off really gave me the perspective and
understanding of what it's like just to make a living and to be in the business world and
the difference between the business world and being a tennis player, what it's all about.
Q. Difference between real world and tennis world?
GEOFF GRANT: Exactly. They're both the real world. I'd rather be in the tennis world. I
look forward to the business world when I'm done, but I hope that time isn't for a little
bit longer, at least five, six years.
Q. Do you think you could organize some lectures for the other tennis players now?
GEOFF GRANT: I'd love to do that. I have a big notebook full of notes on how the game
can be improved. Some of them are probably pretty valid, some of them are a little crazy.
But it's tough. I mean, to think about the game, to think about how it can be improved,
also to worry about your game and improve, be good on the court. That's one of our
problems, I think, in the ATP is that we're in charge of the ATP Tour, and the players
have a big influence on the tour, but who has time to really think about it the way it
should be thought about? It's kind of a strange organization we have, when we're making
important decisions and we don't have the time to do it, like other corporations where
that's someone's job, is to think about how to improve and how to make changes. But I
enjoy thinking about that.
Q. You have a couple greatest hits from your notebook you could share with us?
GEOFF GRANT: I haven't looked at it. My two biggest things are, I think trainers are
very, very important. I've really come to realize that, even in the past six or seven
weeks, especially in Europe, it's very difficult to get good treatment at the Challenger
level. Obviously at tour events, it's good, everyone is very competent. In the States at
the Challenger level, everyone is very excellent. But there's only one guy doing each
tournament. He can't possibly do his job when he has to take care of 40 or 50 guys in the
beginning of the week, and do it properly. It's just too much of a strain on him. I would
love to see more trainers, at least in the beginning of tournaments at Challenger levels,
in Europe. I'd love to see them get guys that are more approachable, guys that are really
knowledgeable of sports injuries and sports training. They tend to get doctors that just
kind of hang out at the courts, drink Heffeweizen in Germany, smoke cigarettes. That's my
Q. Shopping in the next couple of days for anything in particular?
GEOFF GRANT: No, nothing in particular.
Q. How does this paycheck rank?
GEOFF GRANT: It's by far the biggest. Finally out of debt.
Q. Finally what?
GEOFF GRANT: Out of debt.
Q. What was the previous, do you know?
GEOFF GRANT: The previous biggest. Probably in the Canadian Open last year. I think it
was, I don't know, 14,000.
Q. How mixed are your emotions? Obviously had you a huge chance today to go a little
further. Are you feeling satisfied or really disappointed?
GEOFF GRANT: No, I'm not incredibly disappointed. Obviously, this was a great, great
tournament. I expected to do well, so it's not like a shock. Going into today's match,
that's what helped me relax. I mean, I was going to be very happy with the way the
tournament finished up, if I were to lose today, as long as I played every point as hard
as I could. That's what I did. Oliver played great. The tournament's over. This was just
another step in the beginning of my career. Even though it's starting a little bit later,
I still have plenty of time. This is the beginning for me, and I'm excited. I feel great.
Q. You said before, you had played him in a Challenger at one point once before?
GEOFF GRANT: Two years ago, yeah.
Q. Where was that?
GEOFF GRANT: In Amarillo, Texas, first round.
Q. You won?
GEOFF GRANT: I won. Really good match, too. We both played well.
Q. This summer you've been playing Challengers, too?
GEOFF GRANT: Yes. I went over to Europe and played the French and Wimbledon, all that
stuff. But I'm still playing more Challengers than I am tour events, or I did play more
Challengers than tour events.
Q. Your ranking must have improved here to help that?
GEOFF GRANT: It helped it. But it's still on the border of like big Challengers and
smaller tour events. It's probably going to be about 117, 18, which is my career high.
That's another thing to be happy about. Got to get Top 100 for sure soon (laughter), then
go from there.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.