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August 31, 1996

Thomas Muster


Q. Thomas, you've beaten Sergi 11 out of 14 meetings. How do you explain your superiority?

THOMAS MUSTER: Well, I think I play very well against Sergi. His game suits me pretty well. I'm confident when I play against him. Every time we play, he had match points. We always had good matches, tough matches. Even though the result today looks very easy, I had to play it really well to play like this and to play a result like this. Anytime you lose your timing or you don't make the shots, I mean, he's going to beat you.

Q. Do you have a special strategy to play him?

THOMAS MUSTER: Well, I have a good strategy, but I'm not going to tell you (laughter).

Q. Is it the same on clay as on hard or not?

THOMAS MUSTER: No, not really. A few things change always, but it depends how I feel myself. Anyway, I think his game suits perfectly to mine.

Q. Have you ever played and felt better on hardcourt than this year, this tournament?

THOMAS MUSTER: I've played all right on hardcourt all my life. It's just that, as I said a million times, I can't play more than a few weeks on it because my body can't take it. I think if I could have played the same amount of matches on hardcourt that I play on clay, I think I could be a similar player on both surfaces. That's the problem I have to deal with. I'm trying the best, to play as well as possible every time I step on this court.

Q. You seed at Queen's Club that you could play on grass, but you had to think a lot more. How is hardcourt? Do you have to think more on hardcourt?

THOMAS MUSTER: No, hardcourt is more similar to clay. A different technique, which I adjusted now. Definitely playing on grass, like four or five weeks this year, gave me, you know, a different feeling for the all-around game, I think. I think it was good for me to play on grass this year, even winning matches. It gave me confidence to do other things in my tennis. I think when I watch myself playing today, take matches from last year, I think I'm still improving, even at the age of 29, which is tremendous for me. That's what I'm looking for.

Q. You seem to move around all the time when you're out there. Is that your way of concentrating. You're always bouncing around.

THOMAS MUSTER: That's the way I play. I have to be focused, I have to concentrate, I have to be in the game mentally. That's the way I play. That's the way I train. I've competed all my life. Any competition, I'm like that. That's what I'm trying to do. That's not the way I'm usually outside the court, it's just when I go on court, I have to be intense.

Q. After matches like this, do you feel your knee hurting?

THOMAS MUSTER: Not so much my knee. I think this year the way I've sought out the schedule with my coach is pretty good, because we had good preparation, playing in Cincinnati, taking a week off, playing in Toronto, coming here earlier, just taking it easy in the practice. I've practiced less than the years before, because the years before I practiced a lot, four or five hours a day, too much. Now I'm going once a day, intense. It keeps my motivation up. I'm trying to keep my timing, put everything into the match. Clay is a bit different. You have to play a lot on clay. Here you get slow when you play too much. It's a different strategy.

Q. Next opponent is Thomas Enqvist. What's your record?

THOMAS MUSTER: Just look. I don't know. You should know that better than I. Just check it. Go get the record book out.

Q. Do you remember having played him?

THOMAS MUSTER: Yeah, I played him a few times. In 13 years I've played a thousand matches. I'm not a computer. I know most of them. I know I've beaten him three years ago or something. He wasn't the player he is now.

End of FastScripts....

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