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August 30, 1999
UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION, Flushing Meadows, New York
USTA: Questions for Richard.
Q. You just wiped out an 18-year-old hard court winner, kid who won the US 18-year-old
RICHARD KRAJICEK: I'm hoping I'm still able to beat these kind of players. He's a lot
younger, and he still has a lot to learn. I think in the second set, he got a little bit
used to the speed. I think he just needs more matches against players who hit a little bit
harder and faster. Maybe he's got a chance to become better. I think he has to improve his
serve, especially second serve. Yeah, maybe run even fast. He's already pretty fast, but
to see a guy like Chang who was really very fast; that's very important if you're not too
Q. You walked out of Lipton and a lot of people thought that this is your year: Knees
are fixed; you look stable around the net. It hasn't really come together the way perhaps
you thought it would this year. Why not?
RICHARD KRAJICEK: Actually, almost on the contrary. Starting to fall apart a little bit
instead of really coming together. Yeah, I don't know what happened. Yeah, I wish I knew
because I've been really trying to turn it around. In the beginning, I didn't play such a
great clay court season. I could accept that. I don't have to play good on every surface.
I've done well on clay before, but I could accept that. Then somehow it went wrong on
grass also, just a few -- not a great preparation. I won only two matches coming into
Wimbledon, then a little bit bad and also unfortunate match I played in the third round.
Then suddenly you play after Key Biscayne two Grand Slams and I didn't get past the third
round. From really a very promising, I actually started the year pretty good, I have to
say, maybe promising for a good success in the Slam, I suddenly have to fight to make
something good of my year. After Wimbledon, I start to practice, start to get ready for
the hard court season, feeling good. I played a pretty good match, considering I didn't
play for a long time in Montreal. A little bit unfortunate to lose there in a very tight
match. Yeah, it just like a domino effect. You cannot stop it. You have to stop it with a
couple of wins. I thought I did a little bit in Cincinnati. I played okay. Felt pretty
good for two matches. I started okay against Pete. I had a little bit of chance to break
him in the first set; didn't do that. Again, my confidence just is not -- hasn't been easy
since Key Biscayne.
Q. Physically you're okay. Emotionally, are you okay?
RICHARD KRAJICEK: I feel okay, but definitely I'm struggling with my game. In practice,
I'm playing pretty okay. Somehow, yeah, there must be something wrong. I think it's not
winning matches which has made life a little bit tough for me the last couple of months.
Couple of close matches I lost which make it even tougher, because you feel that maybe if
you would have won that match, again, you would have gotten over that little speed bump,
however you want to call it, then it would be okay again.
Q. Is it one thing that keeps repeating itself? Lack of service returning, not being
able to stay at the baseline?
RICHARD KRAJICEK: Of course, my service return is not my strongest point, so I never
will win a lot there. But what I've found is that I'm struggling to really maintain my
service rhythm, very good my service games. Like today I put in three double-faults to get
broken. This guy is not good enough, in a way, to beat me, so I break him back
straightaway and I win. But against other guys, if you're not playing well, at least
that's been always the key for me, just hold serve, go into a tiebreak, somehow you'll
make a couple of points and be better the next set. Yeah, that's what I've somehow put in
always like a sloppy service game. Had it against Sampras as well. Put in a couple
double-faults in Cincinnati against Ulihrach. And today, like I said, the guy was not good
enough to cash in on those mistakes. But I think that's the most important, that my
service games have to become more solid, that I just win, I don't know, 19 out of 20. Then
I think my return game will come along with that, because in practice, it's pretty good. I
always felt that my serve and my service games have been the key to my engine. When that's
going, the rest of my game is coming along also.
Q. What would you rate your performance today out of 10? Did it help your confidence?
RICHARD KRAJICEK: I had some good moments. I don't know. Overall, I think I guess a 6,
just good enough, nothing spectacular. I had some good moments. Struggling with my
forehand lately. I missed a couple. But I'd say in the end I got a good rhythm. That was a
big plus for today. First serve percentage could have been a little bit better, but you
also have to remember it was very windy, so it wasn't that easy to play. So I guess a 6,
just enough to win.
Q. Did King do anything at all to bother you?
RICHARD KRAJICEK: I'd have to say from Love-0 the second set when I had the breakpoint,
I came in on a reasonable shot, because he hasn't really hit too many shots until then.
Then he came up with a good backhand pass. Actually, from that moment, his backhand was
very dangerous, I thought. He was hitting it well, taking it pretty quick. Then after he
broke me at 3-All to go 4-3, I decided to go more to his forehand. I think that was, yeah,
a big difference between his forehand and backhand. I think in the beginning, I was
hitting too much to his backhand. I think for those six, seven games, his backhand was
pretty dangerous, but the rest of his game is not that dangerous. I see potential. He
likes to run, so I think he's a guy who likes to work. If you like to work, you can go a
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.