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September 4, 1995

Patrick McEnroe


Q. Patrick, I thought you really raised your level in the first set tiebreak. Talk about what was happening there and what were you thinking facing the two set points?

PATRICK McENROE: You know, I just felt like I got off to a shaky start and when I lost my serve I was having trouble with the surroundings. The court speed is a little different than what I've been playing on and it was a little windy, so I just tried to get myself into it and, you know, once I was into the breaker, I really felt that I was hitting the ball well, so I -- you know, I knew the first set was big. If I won the first set, I'd be in pretty good shape. So I really concentrated at that point and I was hitting the ball and I just felt comfortable after that initial shaky start I had and carried that into the breaker. He played a good breaker. There weren't many bad shots, really. I missed a backhand 1-All and that was pretty routine and overall, you know, there was only a couple errors made so I knew I had to go for my shots.

Q. What about -- you seemed to kind of start to read his serve better in the second set; how you were able to pick up on it? He was serving hard?

PATRICK McENROE: He was serving big and I just -- I was just seeing the ball well. It wasn't one particular thing I picked up. It was the first time I played him in singles and I played him a few times in doubles. So you just kind of get a feel for it and there's no one thing that you pick up on. I started to pick it up a little bit better, but I only broke him once in the last two sets. So, I -- but I did feel like I was threatening a lot of times, 15-30, 30-All, I had a lot of chances and came out with some good big serves.

Q. I thought you mixed it up and played aggressively; what was your approach, tactically, coming into the match and what problems did he present during the course --

PATRICK McENROE: That was pretty much my tactics. Obviously, I wanted to attack and when I could and mix up a little serve and volley here and there, but try to get in and not let him feel like he could just kind of push the ball back from the back of the court, which he did and he broke me and I made a couple errors. I knew I was trying to push the ball at that point, so I had to move my feet a little better and be more aggressive and let him know if he hit a short ball I was going to come in.

Q. Can you describe the feeling of winning a match like this, on stadium court, in front of a New York crowd? Is it a rush?

PATRICK McENROE: It's exciting to be out there and playing, obviously, to win, it is a great feeling. But I enjoy the whole process, you know, being out there and playing and, obviously, it is a hell of a lot better to win than to lose, but to do it in front of my friends and my family, makes it extra special. Usually, they don't get to see me play that much and, you know, finally, I'm playing my best tennis here than I played in other places, but it's really nice being able to play here.

Q. You said you prepared here well and gave you a chance to succeed here, what does that mean?

PATRICK McENROE: Physically and working real hard -- not just this year, but especially this year and this summer and I played the right tournaments and I played a lot of matches this summer, played well, didn't play too much, didn't kill myself, but just felt like I did everything, you know, to play my best here, and so far it's worked out.

Q. How would you compare the atmosphere on that court to the other Slams and other atmospheres in tennis; how would you rank it in general that might match it?

PATRICK McENROE: I only played that one time at Wimbledon, and I got to play Andre this year on center court. That's obviously a different feeling. Here it's so exciting you could feel the crowd really into it, and you know, you try to give them a little excitement and get them into the match, and they've helped me a lot this week and I had a couple tough five-set matches. They helped me get through those so I hope they will be on my side again Wednesday.

Q. What are your thoughts on that match in general; what is it going to take for you to be successful that --

PATRICK McENROE: I'm confident that I'm playing well and Boris played real well here, and he had all relatively easy matches so he's fresh and I'll be fresh by the time it comes around. I think it will be a good match. I'm going in there with the intention of winning the match. I'm not going in there to win one set and make it close or something like that, which maybe I did four years ago when I played the semis in Australia. I believe I can win the match and I think he knows that and he believes he can win too. And obviously he can. I'm going out there with that intention and I just am hoping to play my best.

Q. I was reading in one of the clips that you're the oldest guy remaining in the draw. How do you explain you seem to be playing your best tennis now at this age at this time?

PATRICK McENROE: I think a lot of it is I started later than most guys. I went to college and finished college and so really I was 22 when I started and took me a few years kind of to make a mark, any mark in singles. I was doing well in doubles early on. So just over the years I learned more and more about training and my own physical abilities, and capabilities, and that you know, there's things I could do to improve my movement on the court and everything, and all those things have improved. And you know, it is a myth that you're over the hill at 27 or 28. I think a lot of it is mental for a lot of the players because they've been out on the tour since 17. So after years of traveling around the world, you get a little sick of it. So for once I'm lucky I started later, but I still feel fresh and I still know I'm improving, so it makes it more exciting for me to -- you know, regardless of the wins and losses, you like to win, but, if you know personally that you're getting better, that makes you keep going.

Q. Do you think of yourself as being older than Andre or older than Boris?

PATRICK McENROE: Sure I am older.

Q. Does that cross your mind?

PATRICK McENROE: No, it doesn't. They have more experience than I do in playing big matches and that type of thing and they've probably been playing on the circuit longer than me, but it makes no difference when I go out on the court and I feel-- as I said, I feel I'm getting better. And that should be something for them to realize, they can get better too as they get older.

Q. Looking back, do you have any regrets at all about starting later on or no?

PATRICK McENROE: No, not really. I didn't feel that I had done enough to justify to myself, you know, to leave a great place like Stamford and not get my degree. Sure maybe if I started earlier I would have had a better tennis career earlier, but maybe I wouldn't do as well now. But I feel great that I accomplished getting my degree, I had a great time in school, and honestly, I don't think it was the best thing for my tennis, but like I said, maybe that's why I'm having more success later.

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