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September 11, 1998

Mark Knowles

Daniel Nestor


Q. What can you say?

DANIEL NESTOR: You know, bad luck, a little bit of bad luck. We didn't really capitalize on our opportunities. There were a couple shots in the second set, we had breakpoints, missed the return. I thought I hit it well, but it sailed long with the wind. A couple shots here and there. Never hit the top of the net before on a volley. I mean, I've got to give Suk credit for reflexing that. I thought it was a winner. He kind of caught me off guard. They just played really tough. It seemed like they'd never go away. I thought we were more or less in control. It's one of those matches where they never go away. We had a little bit of letdown the third set, but they played really well, I thought, better than the last three times we played them.

Q. If you hadn't touched the net, you had them 6-4 in the breaker, break in the second set. Everything was going your way.

DANIEL NESTOR: It's a matter of capitalizing. There's a little more pressure in this match. It's not as easy to roll over someone in a Grand Slam final, especially when they're playing solid. I think if we played them in any match, you know, without as much pressure, it would have been straight-set win.

Q. Did you realize right away you'd hit the net?

DANIEL NESTOR: Yeah, I knew I hit the net. I was shocked that I hit it. I didn't know I was that close to the net. I wasn't going to take the point. I didn't even know if the umpire saw it.

Q. Was that the point that you started to get down on yourselves?

DANIEL NESTOR: No. We still had chances after that because we won the next point, then Mark barely missed the poach volley by half a centimeter on match point. We had another match point. Stolle hit the biggest serve of the match out wide for an ace. They kept playing solid.

Q. I think the point before you hit the net, didn't Suk double-fault?

DANIEL NESTOR: Stolle double-faulted.

Q. And you made a pretty good return.

DANIEL NESTOR: We had momentum. We had the momentum until Suk reflexed that volley. I thought that was a winner. I knew Stolle wasn't going to go up my line, so I went -- I was all over the shot. I could have hit it maybe a little bit better, but I didn't hit it bad or anything.

Q. How do you see it?

MARK KNOWLES: I think Dan summed it up well. It was a cruel twist of fate really. There's no other real way to surmise it. I don't think he's ever hit the net on a volley. I made a great reflex volley on the second match point that missed, you know, by a whisker. I thought it was going to be good. I hit it great. When you play tiebreakers, it's rough. Up until that point, we definitely had the momentum. Like you said, it probably would have been kind of the same score line as the last times we played them. For some reason, it didn't work out. It's not from lack of trying, that's for sure. I think we didn't necessarily play our best tennis, but we were competing well. It's hard to maybe sometimes play your best tennis in a Grand Slam final. I don't know. What can I say? I probably have never been this disappointed, so. I guess you try to hope that you can get some sleep.

Q. Did you feel that the crowd was more behind your opponents?

MARK KNOWLES: They were definitely more for them. They were definitely more for them.

Q. Does that hurt at all? Does that affect you at all?

MARK KNOWLES: No. I mean, we're not out there to win the feelings of the crowd. We're there to win the match. Whoever they cheer for, they cheer for.

Q. What about the third set? No fun to get a break against you in the first game.

MARK KNOWLES: I think it's probably my mistake. I decided to serve first, which is probably the wrong decision.

Q. You didn't want to have the sun.

MARK KNOWLES: I couldn't see on the other side. Another cruel twist of fate for me. I decided to serve first in the second set and third set just because I couldn't see on the other side. That doesn't bode well for us because Dan has such a great serve. It usually gives us a more positive outlook if he's serving first. He usually holds serve very easily, and you struggle more. I probably made the wrong decision there. I probably should have sucked it up and served into the sun, been a man. We were up 1-0 in the second set breaker. I got in two first serves, but they were relative ducks, because I couldn't see. I obviously double-faulted on set point for them. I'm just not a strong enough man to look in the sun and hit a serve.

Q. If you lost the third set, you were down at that end serving in the sun, you would have said it was a dumb decision.

DANIEL NESTOR: We still had chances. We had breakpoints to break back. They always seemed to come up with some good shots, or a good serve. Then I got broken, maybe a little bit of lack of concentration. They also hit a few winners. That's the best game they returned my receive. So I don't know. They had so much momentum after winning the second, they really picked it up. After the first game, maybe we had a little bit of a letdown. We still had our chances. Didn't take advantage of them. Even in the third, if we would have broken back, got back into it, started getting fired up again.

Q. They thought it was fate a little bit. They've been in tough situations throughout the tournament.

DANIEL NESTOR: I thought we got a little lucky at times during the tournament, too. That's never really happened for us. We got a couple let cords against Bjorkman-Rafter to break them in the third set. Yesterday we got that call at 6-All in the breaker, second serve foot fault. But today it didn't really go our way. That's not really an excuse. We still had chances to win. We have to be a little more tough. There's so much pressure. In the back of your mind, you're trying to win that first Slam. Being second place in a Grand Slam is not a great feeling, especially when you've been in that position before. Like I said, it's like losing the Super Bowl, that kind of thing. You don't feel good about it, unless you're a complete Cinderella story, which I don't think we are. I think they'd become more comfortable losing in the final than we are, because I don't think they expected to be in the final before the tournament started, as opposed to us, where we had a great summer. We know we were top hard court team. That doesn't mean we can't come back.

Q. Do you feel okay, Mark, physically?

MARK KNOWLES: I feel fine. My knee is a little dodgey, but it didn't affect my play at all. I felt good.

Q. Did you get a calls from Canada?

DANIEL NESTOR: No, no one was following.

Q. Didn't have to take the phone off the hook, get your agent in?

DANIEL NESTOR: Not really. I'm sure it would have been big news if I would have won. This has happened before.

Q. Where do you guys go from here? Splitting up when you walk out the door?

DANIEL NESTOR: Going to play some satellites in doubles. No, we're going to play some Challengers to get our singles ranking higher.

Q. Both of you?

DANIEL NESTOR: Yeah. We're not going to team up again still Stuttgart, Paris, Moscow, Hartford.

Q. Where are the Challengers, in the States?

DANIEL NESTOR: Yeah. Then I'm going to Asia, too, to play some tour events there.

End of FastScripts….

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