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August 14, 1996

Richard Krajicek


Q. Richard, to come out here and have the crowd rooting wildly for the 350th player in the world?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: Today it was pretty tough, yeah. I have to say the other two tournaments I've played, I felt it was an advantage for me. I felt good on the court. Today I didn't feel pressure this time, but it was really hard for me. I was moving like I was wearing wooden shoes today. He played pretty good actually first two sets. I wasn't too happy with the way I was moving, my aggressivity. In the third set I was really pumped, I really tried, but he started to play pretty good. Once you let him in the match, he gets going, he's tough to beat. The crowd helps him. So, yeah, it was a little difficult.

Q. You were pumped and really tried in the third set. Did you have the feeling you almost weren't trying in the first two?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I wasn't moving very well, so normally you don't have to tell yourself, but somehow my legs weren't very fired up today. I really had to tell myself extra. Normally it's automatic that your legs are running and doing all the things. I was moving a little bit slack, he came up with some good shots, then it got really difficult. Like I said, in the third set I really tried to move my legs and concentrate and be aggressive, more aggressive than I normally want to be. He really had that going. Maybe if it was like that from the beginning, I wouldn't give him such a chance to get into the match.

Q. Does this remind you of the final here last year with Agassi, playing for the crowd?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I don't know. I have the feeling that the crowd loves Luke more than Agassi. I don't know. I put that match a little bit out of my mind. It was a very tough loss. Quite an easy match point and quite an easy shot to win the tournament, and I didn't. I forgot a lot about that match. I don't really remember too much how the crowd was. Today they were pretty much on Luke's side. He got the crowd fired up, does different things between points. It's good.

Q. Playing a guy got nothing to lose (inaudible)?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: In a sense, in the beginning, it is an advantage. Because I didn't jump on it straightaway, yeah, I let him basically in the match. The third set, it was very tough because he started to serve big, hit some good shots. Luckily I think he got a little bit tight in the third set tiebreaker. It was difficult. In a way, it's an advantage. In the beginning, I broke him straightaway. If I was a little bit more aggressive in the beginning of the second set, I had a couple of breakpoints, break him there also, it would have been 3-3.

Q. (Inaudible) that really saved the match for you?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I don't know. I mean, the tiebreak, anything can happen. It's 1-Love, he has a high backhand volley. Miss-hits it and it hits the fence almost. That can happen. Maybe he was a little bit tight. That could have been the case. I didn't get mad or anything, although I wasn't happy with my game. I always had confidence that this kind of thing can happen, that somebody has nothing to lose, plays well until a certain stage. But when it really counts, then sometimes they can fault. I think that's a little bit what happened today in the end.

Q. How confusing is it playing with two different hands?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: With the way I was returning today, I had a tough time finding my rhythm on my return. The last thing you want is a guy switching hands. Never played against someone like that. I have a tough time with one hand, serving right-handed. He switched to the left hand. I wasn't returning too well. He kept mixing it up. It is very tough. A good serve is a serve you can mix up. He mixes it up unbelievable. He has two hands. Nobody has that, so.

Q. For the Open, what are you going to do?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: What do I have to do there?

Q. What do you have to do to (inaudible)?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I don't know. I mean, I'm hitting the ball well in practice. I mean, I have to play better than I did today. In a way, I shouldn't be too worried. Wimbledon, when I won it, my third round was a little bit similar to this match. I wasn't really taking the ball aggressive. I was a little bit lucky to win it. Then the next four matches I win in straight sets, win very easy. I think I just have to be more aggressive in the head. Especially my return of serve, have to jump the return a little bit more. He was serving pretty slow, but I was waiting for it. That made it difficult. If I'm a little bit more aggressive in my head, that will be okay. Tennis-wise everything is good. Just footwork and being aggressive.

Q. You get used to his popularity? Here you are, a Wimbledon champion, finalist here last year.

RICHARD KRAJICEK: For starters, they're Americans. Do a lot for tennis, all the things around it. Direct more than anybody with the fans and with the kids. People appreciate it. When he wins a point and he fires the crowd up. If somebody else says, "Come on, Luke," he yells they're doing a good job yelling for him. More communication. He communicates with the crowd. I'm afraid it would be a little -- my game would go off then a little bit. He does it very good. I think it only benefits the game for these kinds of players.

End of FastScripts….

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