August 30, 1999
U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York
Q. Can you describe the two different problems you experienced?
FELIX MANTILLA: The beginning in was in my left leg, was here in the quadricep and was
going up and I couldn't move.
Q. That was a cramp?
FELIX MANTILLA: Yeah. And after, was my right side. I had a problem in my back and the
trainer, Bill, told me that it was going to my -- here (pointing to lower front right
side). I couldn't move and it was here (pointing near groin area). It was unbelievable. I
couldn't put my leg on the floor because it was going to the front.
Q. Your opponent seemed to suggest that you were not really hurt or it wasn't as bad as
what it seemed like. Your reaction to the way he reacted?
FELIX MANTILLA: Well, I think he was very nervous because he was playing in the US
Open, but that is tennis. I was cramping and I fight - fight a lot. And for that, I won
Q. Was it difficult with the crowd as well that they didn't understand what was
happening to you?
FELIX MANTILLA: Well, sometimes I had cramps, but today was the worst day. But, I must
go to the locker because I am little bit tight now. But, I hope in the future I must stay
with my doctor in Spain and speak a little bit and I think that I am much better in the
Q. You took your first timeout in the second game of 1-0, 15-All and according to -- I
think it also helped you mentally. Do you think the same?
FELIX MANTILLA: No, I was strong mentally all the game because I was playing the fifth
set in the US Open and I knew that I must fight all the game and I was cramping. But, I
was still fighting all the match. I don't think that if I am cramp, I must lose the game.
I was fighting and it doesn't matter if I am cramping or not.
Q. If you do a low serve over the net, isn't that a bit provocative as well to your
FELIX MANTILLA: Yeah, I think he was -- his arm was a little bit tired because he saw
me that I couldn't move and he was very nervous. But, I think that I played a very great
fifth set. I was playing very well. And, moving, well.
Q. You can have cramps, but on a few moments when you scored the good point, you made a
fist to him. Isn't that kind of unfair play?
FELIX MANTILLA: To him, no.
Q. The Open, he did the same to you.
Q. I asked him the question; not you.
Q. I answer to you as well.
Q. But, he is the player; not you.
Q. Okay, but I tell it to you as well.
FELIX MANTILLA: Be quiet.
Q. Yeah, I know, but I asked you the question.
FELIX MANTILLA: Repeat, please.
Q. I asked: You played a few good points; then you showed your fist in the final stage
of the fifth set, isn't that a way of unfair play against a qualifier, against an
unexperienced player while you were the No. 13 in the world?
FELIX MANTILLA: 12. You don't see the ranking?
Q. No. 12.
FELIX MANTILLA: Well, I think that I must do that every match I must play. I am like
this. I am a player that I fight all the game and I do that with qualifier or Sampras, it
Q. Also the low serve over the net, is that kind of a trick to show or let him guess
how you feel, doing it on purpose?
FELIX MANTILLA: If I can serve like this, what am I to do, lose the point? I try to win
the point like this.
Q. You had two different injury timeouts. Were they both for cramping?
FELIX MANTILLA: No. One was for cramping and the other one was because I had a problem
in my back.
Q. Was there a time, a specific time in your career, where you realized that you could
not only play on clay, but you could play very well also on faster surfaces like hard, and
can you think of one point in your career where you realized that you had potential?
FELIX MANTILLA: I knew that I can play well on that surface, on hard court. I did
quarterfinals in Australia. I think I come here, I only play one tournament in Boston and
I am playing much better.
Q. Was Australia a turning point for you or did you know before Australia that you had
the potential to play very well?
FELIX MANTILLA: No, in Australia I saw that I can play well on that surface. And, next
year I am going to play more tournaments in hard court before the US Open and we will see
Q. Do the good results of the other Spanish players on faster surface also inspire you
FELIX MANTILLA: Yeah, I think that if one of us can play well here, I think that the
others can do well also.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦