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August 13, 1996

Mark Knowles


GREG SHARKO: This was Mark's second biggest win of his career beating the 35th ranked Henman and Henman, I believe, is also the first seed to be eliminated in the tournament so far. Okay first, question for Mark.

Q. Take us through that last game. It really looked like a fierce battle out there.

MARK KNOWLES: Yeah, well, you know, when you are playing a top player that -- really good player, you know that he is going to save his best for last. Obviously it is easier for him because he is down 5-4; it is his last chance, so I think that what got me through it, I realized that he is going to play his best game here; I am just going to have to fight through and try to play the best I can. Like you said, it was really, really tight towards the ends there.

Q. When he leaped over the net, what did you think?

MARK KNOWLES: He was trying for every shot. I thought -- hit volley winner on the shot before; then I had to dive for that one. I think he was on a dead run. I am really good friends with him. I think it was just a little sportsmanship there.

Q. You had a little trouble with your first serve in that last game?

MARK KNOWLES: Definitely.

Q. Then toward the end you just started cranking them out?

MARK KNOWLES: I think in the beginning I was a little nervous obviously serving for the match - big match for me. And I didn't get enough first serves in the beginning. I was playing a little tentative. I think most of the time I was down breakpoint in that last game. I got in fairly good first serve; unfortunately, I couldn't get in a first serve on the match points when I really needed it, but I just -- whatever they gave me there, I knew I would have to hit a good second serve and try to work the point from there.

Q. After getting down kind of early in that second set, did you just kind of save yourself for the third set?

MARK KNOWLES: Not so much really. He really picked up his level of play. I think the first set he wasn't playing quite so well and I got a little cautious there. I thought I could keep the ball in play because he was missing a lot. Then he started hitting a lot more winners. He took the initiative. It was up to me to try to get the momentum back. He played a strong second set. I don't think it had so much to do with me playing that bad, but he played quite well.

Q. Singleswise, how has the year been going for you?

MARK KNOWLES: I have had some good weeks. Got in the finals of Shanghai, a Tour event. I won a Challenger in Indian Wells. But I have my ups-and-downs definitely. It is not as consistent as it is in doubles. That is also hard because I am -- ranking in singles is around 100 where some weeks I have to play qualifying and some weeks I get straight in. And sometimes we have such good doubles success that I miss qualifying and I go stretches where I don't play any singles matches. That is how I felt a little out there today. I was looking for my partner. He wasn't there. But it is good to get a win there because I can play a couple of more matches and get ready for the U.S. Open.

Q. During the hard court season, how frequently have you been able to play singles?

MARK KNOWLES: I haven't played since Newport, which is about three weeks ago, so I was fortunate enough to play for the Olympics, so I kind of past up a few Tour events where I was straight in like L.A., Washington, so I think that hurt me a little, but Olympics is something that comes around once every four years, and so I felt it was a wise decision.

Q. Defending champions here top seeds, how does it feel like, say, is it a big tune-up for you guys before the Open? You are going to Toronto?

MARK KNOWLES: Yeah, we are, as well, actually. Obviously we had a big week last week winning in Cincinnati. We are really confident right now and coming here No. 1 seeds which really doesn't mean that much. A lot of good teams here, but I think we are going to be a little cautious of a let-down, but overall, we are playing really well. We kind of got our games back together; look forward to doing well.

Q. Few comments on the rest of the field here singleswise?

MARK KNOWLES: Obviously Agassi and Sampras, which is, you know, a great field. Doesn't get much better than that. I am sure everyone is looking for that match in the final which would be nice. For me, I haven't even looked who I play. I had a first tough first round. It is nice to get through one round; just take one match at time and see what I can do.

Q. It got up to 120 out on the court today. Did it definitely take a lot out of you?

MARK KNOWLES: Yeah, definitely. I think, you know, I knew coming in to today it was going to be around 90 as the average temperature. I felt it out there definitely. End of the second set I started to hide in the shade a little bit. It is still not that bad as it can get. I remember last year it was a little warmer, but it is something you have got to be weary of.

GREG SHARKO: All right? Thank you.


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