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September 2, 1993

Thomas Muster


Q. How much time did you take to change from clay courts to hardcourts?

THOMAS MUSTER: Well, I played the finals on Sunday in Umag, Croatia. Went back to Vienna in the evening, and I left in the morning with the Concorde, Vienna, Paris and Paris here, I arrived here nine o'clock in the morning practiced twice and that was it.

Q. Because of that, are you surprised that how good you are playing?

THOMAS MUSTER: No. I know I can play on that stuff, but it is just since '89 since Key Biscayne, I just can't play maybe four, five weeks on this surface because otherwise my knee is gone, and that is it. I mean, I just can't take 5-6 weeks on that surface. I don't have too much chance to practice on it. That is why I try to play most of the time on clay courts, just to keep my career going. Because I play on hard court all the time I will not play more than two years, maybe. So that is why I am just --

Q. That has to do obviously with your knee?


Q. How is the knee anyway?

THOMAS MUSTER: Well, part-time it is good. I mean, so far this season with breaks and so on, I came along quite well. Just on hardcourt I have to do -- I have a special -- specially to take care of it, have a lot of treatments and just try to rest as much as I can, and just hang in the matches.

Q. Can you feel when that is enough, I mean when the knee is you say oh-oh, I don't need this anymore for a while. Is there any twinges?

THOMAS MUSTER: No, I think over the years, I am playing ten years almost now. I mean, I am quite -- I know my body and I know when I have to take a rest and when I have to practice and I have to relax my muscles and have to work on it on the strength again because this is the most important thing. That is it.

Q. Do you see yourself as a possible winner of this tournament?

THOMAS MUSTER: Well, in my mind, when I go on the court I always want to win each match, so that means every match I am going in I want to win, so possibly I am the winner, yes, in my mind, but I don't think I am a realistic favorite for this tournament. I am going and trying to play round by round and my goal was to reach the fourth round here and that is how I came here and I think the draw is quite okay, since Michael Stich lost to Holm, but Holm is a very tough player on hardcourt. Henrik is a very strong player on hardcourt. I have nothing to do-- I try to improve my game and I think I have done this in the past. And when I play well, like today, it comes out, and this -- I can play quite well.

Q. Is there any indication that your knee will ever be any better or is it --

THOMAS MUSTER: No, it is never going to be better. Of course, it is always going to be a certain degree-- I can bend it and I mean, it is always going to be the same way. It is going to be like that, that I have to play 90% on claycourt to keep my ranking and the rest I can choose you know, between Australian Open, U.S. Open and I am a playing that. I want to play the Grand Slams because I think it is necessary as a top player to do that. That is why I am going to play on hardcourt. It shows that I am not a typical claycourt player and a claycourt specialist. I just don't have too much time to prepare well enough, to play well, but now I have confidence. I have been winning 6 tournaments this year, so one final also on hardcourt in Sidney, so it shows that I am in good shape.

Q. Do You change your game any for the hard courts?

THOMAS MUSTER: Yeah, I do. Because I can't play so much topspin. I can't swing -- I can't take my racket back so far. There are a few things of course I have to come in more. I have to take more on the serve. I think everything worked quite well today.

Q. Speaking of the serve, that was the dominating aspect of your game not being broken the whole match. Is that as well as you could serve?

THOMAS MUSTER: I think I can serve better, but I can serve harder and I mean, I have been working on it for a long time and it is improving every year. My volley is getting solid, and playing good at the net. I am just-- I think my whole game is improving, otherwise I wouldn't be ranked 12 in the world. If I would have stopped improving I would be maybe 50 or 60 now.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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