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August 30, 1999

Philip King


USTA: Questions for Philip?

Q. The part of the game you need to work on is the draw. You've got Sampras now. This is your first Grand Slam match, right?


Q. Are you nervous?

PHILIP KING: A little bit.

Q. You're 17?


Q. When do you turn 18?

PHILIP KING: December.

Q. You took the SATs and got a 1310?


Q. So you're going back for your senior year at Long Beach Poly?


Q. What do you do, you play on the tennis team there?

PHILIP KING: No, I don't.

Q. Have you played on the tennis team for a while, ever?


Q. The competition isn't worth it?

PHILIP KING: No. It isn't.

Q. Okay. How do you fit in matches and high school stuff?

PHILIP KING: I just work around it. I go to school until 3 o'clock and then get out of school and play a match and drill afterwards.

Q. Do you travel a lot?

PHILIP KING: Yes. Yes. But school comes first, and I make room for tournaments, but the first priority is still classes.

Q. You're thinking of finishing school and going to college somewhere, is that the goal right now?

PHILIP KING: Yes, yeah.

Q. Okay. Do you have a favorite school, something like Stanford?


Q. I'm sure you're being recruited by all of them, right?

PHILIP KING: Yeah, definitely.

Q. What did it feel like walking on that court?

PHILIP KING: It felt good. I practiced there a couple times, I was kind of used to it. It was a little breezy out. I didn't feel so good when I lost, though.

Q. It never feels good to lose. What was the most disappointing part of the match? Breaking him and then not consolidating, was that it?

PHILIP KING: Yeah. Mainly just my service percentage was terrible. One of the basic goals I had was to make a lot of first serves and hold my serve, which I didn't do. But he's a good player. If he wasn't the player he is, then maybe I still had a chance.

Q. I was sitting with Tom Gullikson. He said Philip needs to play some mixed doubles, he's going to think everybody in the Tour serves like Sampras and Krajicek?

PHILIP KING: Yeah. Well, either that or some pretty good draws. And, well, my coach told me that as long as I don't play a big server, I have a good chance of winning. I come here and before the draw is made, I learn I'm either going to play Philippoussis or Krajicek. I told him, at least you got that part right. I told him out of these two, which should I play. He said let's play Philippoussis. Then he got that right again, because I played Krajicek. Then he said I'll probably play at night. I played first round, first match of the tournament.

Q. Who's your coach?

PHILIP KING: Elliot Tulcher.

Q. So he's a smart man?

PHILIP KING: Yeah. He's good, he's good. He just made -- well, it wasn't a prediction, but that's what he would have liked for me to have.

Q. Are you going to stay here the whole time you play the Juniors? Are you going to go back yet?

PHILIP KING: I'm not sure yet. I think I will. I think I'm going to stay. But I still have to work a couple things out with the USTA.

Q. So Juniors start, like, the second week?


Q. Did he talk to you after at all? Say anything to you?

PHILIP KING: No, we just shook hands and that's it.

Q. Have you ever played with him or practiced at all or hit next to him?


Q. You meet him kind of going out the tunnel and that's it?

PHILIP KING: Yeah. Met him for the coin toss and met him shaking hands.

Q. And the coin toss, he elects to receive. That's kind of strange?

PHILIP KING: That surprised me a little.

Q. That's because you're young and nervous, right?

PHILIP KING: I'm not sure really. I would like to think that he wanted to -- he didn't know what I was about, he didn't know my game. I would like to think that way. But, who knows, you know. I certainly would have served if I had won that.

Q. Yeah, I suppose that's a way of feeling you out?

PHILIP KING: Yeah, definitely. It worked though.

Q. It did.


Q. I don't know if this question has been asked or not. What was your reaction when you first found out that you would be playing Krajicek in your second career match?

PHILIP KING: Well, I don't know. Just a good experience. I mean, you play the best right off the bat, you don't have to keep looking up and you know exactly what the top is all about and how these guys play. And it's fine with me. It didn't matter either way.

Q. Do you think that you've perhaps been a bit unlucky getting Sampras first up and then Krajicek? Is there such a thing as luck in the draw and you're not getting it?

PHILIP KING: Yeah, I think I'll take it for all the rest of the Americans who didn't draw Sampras and Krajicek. But if one day I could beat them, and hopefully in the future, then there's no more hills to climb. That's it.

Q. So you took this one for your country?

PHILIP KING: Yeah. I took this for all the other Americans. (Laughing.)

Q. That's noble.

PHILIP KING: I'm so generous. I think of others all the time.

Q. On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your performance today?

PHILIP KING: I'd say six. I thought definitely I should have served better, definitely could have served better. Actually, seven. Change it to seven. Because he's a pretty good player, so it's not all my fault. (Laughing.)

Q. What's up next for you? Where do you go after this?

PHILIP KING: I think I'm going to stay and play the Juniors. And maybe go back to -- I'll see about my schedule with, you know, there's a satellite near home in Southern Cal. I'm going to play that, so I can make it into this without having to play --

Q. Where's that, Claremont?


Q. How was this experience for you, Philip?

PHILIP KING: It was good, good. I thought the biggest benefit was probably the practice I got this week. I got to practice with everybody. I was the second lowest person ranked coming in, you can't find worse practice, you're always practicing with guys that are really good and getting into this. So it's been good all week.

Q. So you have a rating even though you're an amateur?


Q. You have a rating?

PHILIP KING: I think I'm on the Tour on like 700 or 690 I think now. I still have a little ways to go.

Q. Other young players have chosen to turn professional. You've decided not to, Philip. Why?

PHILIP KING: Because I feel that I don't think I'm ready for it yet. To be able to -- there's a lot of responsibility, there's a maturity out there. And, I mean, before I -- I don't want to turn pro before I know exactly what's out there and, you know, even this tournament, you know, I got to play Krajicek, who's 11th or 12th in the world. But what about all the other guys I need to pass? What about guys from 200 to 600? I don't know anything about them and I don't want to turn pro and risk the chance because it's tough. It's a tough group out there.

Q. Are you financially equipped to take a year off and tour? How expensive is that going to be?

PHILIP KING: I think so. I hope so. I don't want to be stranded somewhere, but I think I should be fine.

Q. Did the USTA help?

PHILIP KING: The USTA should help me out a little bit. If not, my parents will help me out somehow.

Q. Are you considering going on to college?

PHILIP KING: Not right now. I want to stay an amateur for at least another year and decide at the end of the year. If I had won this match, maybe I would have a different answer.

Q. Your plan is to finish your senior year of high school and decide whether to go to Stanford or UCLA?

PHILIP KING: Technically I'm already done.

Q. You are?

PHILIP KING: Yeah. I'm not sure if I'm going to physically go back to Long Beach Poly. I've already done all my classes. I might take a year and travel.

Q. Elliot will not travel with you, will he?


Q. Elliot's not going to be able to travel with you?

PHILIP KING: Probably not. He's got a wife and two kids now. He's not going to stay -- he's going to go after Justin loses. It's going to be tough.

Q. So who do you travel with out there?

PHILIP KING: Well, I guess I'm going to be travelling with either my trainer or my mom.

Q. The USTA has a program where they pair, group up three or four players and travel together. Were you offered that opportunity?

PHILIP KING: I was, but it was a little different because I was like at the top of that group I was in, but yet at the bottom of the next group where there was already too many players in that group, and I think I'm in that group now. Because the rest of the guys don't have any points, ATP points, and I mean they're doing a good thing. But I think it's better if I go on my own for now. Because before I get there, I have to learn myself, I mean I don't need the USTA to do it for me. I have to learn myself.

Q. You have enough credits to finish high school in three years?

PHILIP KING: Yeah, I'm done.

Q. That's why you took the SAT?

PHILIP KING: Yeah. Yeah, I took it also just to see where I was, and I mean, who knows, I could be going to college still. I mean, but it's open still.

Q. You could actually start college now?


Q. But you're not going to do that?


Q. What was your SAT score, Philip?


Q. If you decided to go to college, there would be a minor war between UCLA and Stanford for your services. Where would you go?

PHILIP KING: I have no clue yet. I'm not even thinking about it. I don't want to think about it until I have to. But I don't know, I mean, I don't want to be too close to home. But then again I don't want to be totally away from home, so I'm going to have to decide. I don't know.

Q. Did you ever work at your dad's fish and chip shop when you were growing up?

PHILIP KING: A little bit. When I was younger, when I was in elementary school, a couple days I'd go there and work nights, like the last hour when there was nobody there, you know, about three customers would come in that hour and then the shop would close. But, yeah, I worked a few times.

Q. What did you do there?


Q. You didn't do any of the cooking?

PHILIP KING: No, I wasn't tall enough back then. I couldn't reach over the thing.

Q. Can you compare this experience to playing Sampras in LA?

PHILIP KING: Yeah, it was definitely, you know, a bond between these two matches. Besides the fact I lost both of them, Sampras' match helped me a lot in this situation. There's a lot more people in Sampras' match, it was like the main event. This one, you have the stadium and other matches. But they both had a lot of people. It's scary because, I mean, if you're going to be a pro, you're going to have to be able to deal with those situations and I think it's good experience.

Q. Has Michael offered you an opportunity to train with him again if you're up in Washington between tournaments or something?

PHILIP KING: Yeah. Really nice guy. I only met him for two days. He helped me get the wild card into LA. He and Gary invited me over, and, yeah, hopefully he likes me still.

Q. Did you talk to him here?

PHILIP KING: Yeah, I talked to him quite a few times and he's been supportive. Maybe it's his fault I'm getting this draw, I don't know. (Laughter.)

Q. Any specific plans for the next year?

PHILIP KING: Well, it will depend on how well I do. If I'm taking a lot of points, I can go on to challenges. If I go on to challenges, I can play these Tour events. It will depend. If I'm not, I'll just work my way up.

Q. How good have you been on clay?

PHILIP KING: What? How long?

Q. How well have you been playing on clay?

PHILIP KING: I play all right on clay. Not as good as hardcourts, but I'm decent. Not exceptional. I'm okay.

End of FastScripts….

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