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June 26, 2000

Richard Krajicek


MODERATOR: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Richard Krajicek.

Q. You've shown over the years how successful you can be playing serve-and-volley tennis here, yet it seems like that type of play is almost vanishing, even here. Is that an accurate perception?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I think if you play against a good return of server, then, yeah, it can even out. I mean, you have to serve very good to keep it as an advantage. If your second serve is not so good, like you saw today, the guy is punishing it. Last two weeks I played on grass courts where the ball doesn't bounce so high, you get a lot of help from the court. Here it almost plays like a hard court. You have to be sharp. I mean, I think that's what your question was.

Q. Or the future. It seems like the entire style is vanishing. Is that accurate, do you think?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: Yeah, I think so, but that's already for a while. I think most players are playing from the baseline. I think even Sampras, who is a great serve-and-volley player on grass, and he plays serve-and-volley on grass, I mean, on hard court he doesn't play it as much. Indoors, he plays it a reasonable amount, but not always. A couple of serve-and-volley players I know are Rafter, I think is a typical one, and myself. There's another Dutch guy, Siemerink, who really serve-and-volley pretty consistently first and second serve, on hard court or basically any surface, even on clay. But, yeah, I think it's really something for the last ten years that serve-and-volley is, yeah, vanishing like you say. Slowly on grass, people are starting to find out how good the courts are. Like I was saying, at Wimbledon here, if you return good enough, you can win from the back, and Andre proved it.

Q. Do you feel any extra burden at all, given the Spanish seeding controversy? Did he catch you by surprise in the first set?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I don't know what really happened. I started off okay with a break. I thought it was going to be a nice, easy day on the grass. Then suddenly I dropped my serve twice. I was trying to get it back. I had some chances, but I couldn't break him back. I thought, "That's okay, best-of-five, only one set." I kept my cool, then I started to play a little better. I never saw the guy. I didn't know how he looked like, never seen him play or nothing. It was a little bit difficult playing against a guy that you just hear his first serve is good and his backhand is better, but you don't know where he's hitting the ball really. Yeah, you just have to figure the guy out, in what position he likes to hit which shots. Yeah, sometimes it takes a little bit longer. Especially on the return of serve, I needed a couple of games to see how he was returning, what kind of serve he liked and didn't like.

Q. Did you feel any pressure at all because of the seeding situation, the controversy?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: No, no. I don't think so. I mean, maybe I would have felt more pressure if I would have played Costa. Maybe it would have been more pressure. Against this one, no, no additional pressure.

Q. How would you rate your serve today?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: Well, overall I think it was okay, but a little bit erratic. I mean, it started off badly, then it got a little bit better in the middle. Suddenly in the beginning of the fourth again, yeah, I lost it a little bit. Then actually at the end of the match, last two or three service games and the tiebreaker, I was happy with my serve. Yeah, it was on and off. But compared to last week, I'm getting my rhythm back. I think last week I served like 15 double-faults. I was a little bit struggling on my serve already last week, but today it was better. It wasn't great yet, but at least it's getting better every day, I think.

Q. Are you always a slow starter on the tour or was it just because you were getting to know him?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I'm not the quickest starter. It is sometimes difficult when you play against somebody you don't know. Last year I played here in the third round against a guy I haven't seen or play for like two or three years. He surprised me also in the first set. I guess somehow I have to start sharper against guys I've never played or I haven't seen in a long time. But in general I think I'm okay. I mean, I hold my serve normally. Yeah, it wasn't good today. I mean, giving the guy such a chance to win the set. I think if I would win the first set, it was a big chance that I would have won a lot easier.

Q. Are you going to make special arrangements to watch the game on Thursday?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: Well, if I win Wednesday. If I lose Wednesday, I'll be home on Thursday in Holland. If I win, I have -- there's supposed to be a Dutch pub around here, close to Chelsea. We thought we went to the right place, but we went to the a Dutch pancake place. We were the only ones around. There's supposed to be a good pub, completely Orange. If there will be Sunday in the final and I'm still here, maybe I have to see if I can make a quick hop over the water. For the match on Thursday, I'll just try to find a friendly place.

Q. What was your opinion of the small controversy about the seeding? Do you sympathize with those guys?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I think they had a good point this year because it's mandatory now to play. Yeah, they have a point. But on the other hand, I think the best way to prove your point is to go out there and beat a seed, to prove to the seeding committee that you're supposed to be seeded. I think they had a point to complain. I mean, yeah. On the other hand, grass has always been different. The easiest way I think to get rid of the controversy is to seed 32 players next year. I hope they'll think about that.

End of FastScripts….

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