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March 8, 1999

Nicolas Kiefer


MIKI SINGH: Nicolas is a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Mariano Puerta. Second round he'll meet Patrick Rafter.

Q. I'm from San Diego. There's a tennis pro there who's quite knowledgeable who thinks you have maybe the smoothest two-handed backhand in the tournament. Would you agree? He is giving you a compliment.

NICOLAS KIEFER: I mean, it's a compliment for me. I think my groundstrokes are very good at the moment. I practice a lot from the baseline. Today I didn't make so many mistakes.

Q. Have you strived to make your backhand smooth? He says it's so smooth, your backhand.


Q. Have you worked hard on making it smooth rather than jerky, I guess?

NICOLAS KIEFER: I don't make it just like this (indicating). I happens, just happens.

Q. What kind of shot do you give yourself against Rafter?

NICOLAS KIEFER: I think it's not easy because he serves very good, has very good serve and volley. I need to cover good returns. I have to serve very good. Then in the end, maybe I can beat him.

Q. Have you played him before?

NICOLAS KIEFER: No, first time.

End of FastScripts....

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