September 4, 1998
Flushing Meadows, New York
Q. Some week for you?
GEOFF GRANT: It is not over. Let's hope it doesn't end too quickly.
Q. Have you been playing chiefly on the satellite and Challenger series?
GEOFF GRANT: Yeah, for the past two years I haven't had to play any Satellites, so I have been playing a lot of challengers and trying to make in some Tour events.
Q. Have you been able to make a living at it?
GEOFF GRANT: I just -- yeah, over the past two years, year and a half I have been able to cover anything and start making a little bit of money. It is not easy, so that is why I might take full advantage of this tournament if I can.
Q. Surprise you to actually get in the third round?
GEOFF GRANT: I am not incredibly surprised to tell you the truth. It is obviously nice and you don't always expect to be in the third round like it is something that is easy to do. But I knew I was playing really well a month ago coming into this tournament and I knew if I kept it up that I'd have a good shot and if I got some opportunities with the draw and I was able to get through the first round that anything can happen. I am not incredibly surprised. That is probably the reason why I am winning because I expect myself to be able to win these matches, whereas in the past I might have just been happy to be in the main draw and just to be playing at the US Open and that is once you get content like that, then that is when you really don't close matches out like you should if you have the ability.
Q. Why are you playing better in these months?
GEOFF GRANT: I just -- somehow it just kind of clicked. I just started relaxing on the court and being able to control my mind and my game and just understand how to work a match all the way through. It is kind of a strange thing. I just kind of reach this relaxation point. I am sure it is obviously from experience and I just started figuring out what makes me work well. You can listen to as many people as you want, but no one really knows how you feel inside and what makes you work and I started really figuring out what works for me and changing those decisions and being confident in my own decisions.
Q. Like what?
GEOFF GRANT: Like how much to train; when to train; how to take care of my body; what to eat; when to go out and have a good time; everything. I am not guilty anymore if I go out. It is just all part of what works for me. Unfortunately, I went to four years of college, I drank some beers and like doing that. It relaxes me, you know?
Q. How close were you to retiring, you talked about in '95 you had a job interview?
GEOFF GRANT: I had retired. I quit. I was done for almost a year. I didn't really know what I wanted to do after I quit. That was pretty much all of the five I didn't play until the Open the US Open Qualifying.
Q. What were you doing?
GEOFF GRANT: Trying to figure that out. I was teaching tennis; playing money tournaments obviously it is very like creative for a tennis player to fall back onto the teaching, but I didn't enjoy it. I was just kind of doing it to make money and to figure out what I might be interested in in the business world. I really hadn't even figured that out when I started getting the itch to come back and play more. I played so well that I had to come back.
Q. You took the No. 7 train out when you were working in the --
GEOFF GRANT: I never got a job. I went on like two interviews. My dad put me to work for him for about a week, just cold calling, I was falling a sleep on the phone and it was just -- I had no idea what I wanted to do. I didn't enjoy it. I had no idea what I was doing in the interviews. Because I didn't really have a big interest in radio sales, just a friend said why don't you -- here is an interview, go in and see what you can do with it. It might be good for you. So, of course, I bombed in the interview because there was no real feeling there.
Q. What does your dad do?
GEOFF GRANT: He now works for himself. He is an executive recruiter, like a headhunter.
Q. Is that what he was doing when he said come work for me?
GEOFF GRANT: Yeah, and he was a consultant in the sporting goods industry, so, he just threw me in his office and put some numbers in front of me and said go ahead and make calls.
Q. What did you major in at Duke?
GEOFF GRANT: Political science.
GEOFF GRANT: I grew up mainly in Pittsburgh. I went to high school in Boston, Massachusetts. Sudbury is where I lived.
Q. How long did you live in Jersey?
GEOFF GRANT: My parents -- I have never really lived in Jersey. My parents have been living in Princeton for about, I don't know, maybe five years now, four, five years. I stay with them when I am at home, but I didn't really grow up or live there.
Q. You were not born in Jersey?
GEOFF GRANT: I was born in Jersey, but then we moved to Florida, then Pittsburgh then Boston. We have been all over the place.
Q. What high school was this?
GEOFF GRANT: Lincoln Sudbury.
Q. Didn't you do some part-time modeling?
GEOFF GRANT: Yeah, I dated a model for a little while. She is like, oh, you should do it. You can -- so I was trying everything, you know, so I went in. I signed up at like 10 agencies, but you still don't do anything unless you go to these the go-sees and then I had to do a couple of interview-type things for commercials and it is so tough. I mean, it was kind of a great experience because you realize how tough anything is if you want to be good at it and you can't just jump in and if you don't have any experience you have to start from the bottom. I had no experience with that and I was shocked and embarrassed and everything. So it was kind of a wake-up call.
Q. When was that?
GEOFF GRANT: It was when I quit. I was in Florida.
Q. Can you talk about the match real quick, the pressure?
GEOFF GRANT: I was on my favorite court, I love that court. I played there last year, and a tough one with Kuerten. Obviously the fans were unbelievable. It is so nice to play in the States and have supportive fans. So those two things made a big difference and the fact that I am just relaxed and I know how to approach a five-set match because of last year. I had that great experience and it makes all the difference in the world to have been there before.
Q. You have now beaten two guys who really are experienced two guys who have been to Grand Slam quarterfinals. What does that tell you about yourself?
GEOFF GRANT: I guess I belong now. I can compete with anyone. And it is tough. It is a tough hurdle to get over to really believe in yourself and know that you can play at that level. I have shown flashes of it in the past, but I have never been able to put it together and win matches. Now I know I can do it, so there is no reason why I can't continue.
Q. What were you most impressed with in your own game tonight?
GEOFF GRANT: My serve held up. A lot of times over the course of a match if I am going into the third or fourth set, I will get a little tired and my serve will start -- the first serve percentage will go down, but tonight it actually got stronger in the fourth and I think I was serving bigger in the fourth and that gave me some free points and it takes the pressure off. You don't have to work hard for every point. So I was really happy with that and I was happy with the way I just was even keel and didn't get too excited and didn't lose focus and concentrated every point.
Q. Did you have any friends, family?
GEOFF GRANT: Yeah, tons.
Q. Are your parents here?
GEOFF GRANT: Yeah, oh, yeah, they wouldn't miss it for the world.
Q. What are your parents' names?
GEOFF GRANT: David and Suzanne.
Q. Any siblings?
GEOFF GRANT: No, my brother is in Columbus, Kevin. He just moved there so he is busy with a new job and two kids, one on the way, baby girl, one on the way in the family, so it is tough to get away.
Q. Do you have any unusual stories about when you were at Duke playing in Satellites and challengers around the world like any --
GEOFF GRANT: Oh, going from San Salvador to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, I mean, I took we got on a bus and the road was almost impossible to travel on, you are just like getting tossed around an having to I mean, it is not an incredible story, but just dealing with those guys in the satellites nobody understands what you go through when you are in four weeks that you are not so comfortable in, like the Central America. You are on the bus for like four hours, then I had to get out and play qualifying after that and I was just so sick from the motion, I couldn't even function. I had beaten the guy the week before like 1 and 1 and I lost to him 6-4, 7-5 or something. I just could not function and you deal with that every week or, you know, every day when you have to go to these places and just try to scrap for points. So that is just one little incident of why it is so tough on the satellites and why I appreciate playing in a tournament like this, in these big tournaments now so, I have seen it all.
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