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September 8, 1998

Karol Kucera


Q. How strange was last night's match for you?

KAROL KUCERA: It was very tough. When Andre turned the match around, it was very tough for me to stay concentrated on my tactics. I had a lot of work with myself in that point. So I was a little bit lucky that it was rain coming.

Q. Were you still confident today when you were down 2-0 in the fifth?

KAROL KUCERA: Not really. I had to win a couple points to get the confidence back. And it was luck for me that I could win my game when I was 2-0 down and 15-40. But I think Andre played very good from beginning today. He didn't play any mistakes. He was patient from the baseline, as well. I was a little bit under pressure, so I'm happy to win that.

Q. Did you think it was sort of unsportsmanlike from Andre yesterday, insinuating that you were doing your ball toss on purpose?

KAROL KUCERA: Yeah, of course. I think it was a little bit unfair from Andre because I didn't do this on my -- on purpose, you know. My ball toss was not good yesterday, and I had problems with that, especially when you are under pressure and it comes again. Andre just did it because I don't know why. You probably ask him. But in my eyes, it was a little bit unfair, yeah.

Q. Did you speak to him after the match at all?


Q. Yesterday, when he began to mock you by throwing up the ball and catching it, and the crowd began to cheer for Agassi, obviously against you, did you feel the pressure of the crowd against you? Did it affect your game last night?

KAROL KUCERA: Yeah, of course. Didn't affect my game, but it affect myself, you know, mentally, I would say. I couldn't concentrate on the game at all, you know. So it was a bad point there.

Q. Did you think that he might try something like that again today when you came back? Were you concerned about that?

KAROL KUCERA: I think -- I don't know. You should ask him.

Q. He said he didn't think you were doing it intentionally, but that it happened so many times that it had an impact on him.


Q. He was trying to make the point back to you that it was distracting. Do you think if somebody across the net were to --

KAROL KUCERA: Of course, it's not -- it's not easy for him, as well, when I'm tossing bad. Yeah, he did what he did, and I could live with that.

Q. How surprised were you by the moon balls?

KAROL KUCERA: Surprised?

Q. The high shots, his high shots.

KAROL KUCERA: Yeah, was also the same line, the tactics, you know. But many things were going through my mind in that point. But I didn't think about the game.

Q. Talk about next match, Pete and Australia, how do you analyze that match?

KAROL KUCERA: I didn't really think about it yet.

Q. I mean now.

KAROL KUCERA: I don't know about the tactic, you know, against Pete. But hopefully I can play some good tennis. I'm in good shape. Hopefully my tosses are going to be fine (laughter).

Q. Before you went on court, did Miloslav talk to you about what to expect from the crowd today? It would be noisy, they would be against you, how you should handle it?

KAROL KUCERA: Yeah. I said to myself already yesterday, and Miloslav told me also today, that I have to be concentrated on the game, even when the crowd is going crazy. I was fighting today against the crowd, I think, very good.

Q. When you applauded Andre's overhead, was it to show the crowd a little bit that, "I'm not a bad person, I can be a sportsman? "

KAROL KUCERA: No, no. I wanted -- it was nice point, and I was applauding to Andre, not to the crowd.

Q. Did Miloslav tell you that he also had problems with the toss? Sometimes he had to serve under arm? Did you know that?

KAROL KUCERA: We didn't speak about it today (laughter).

Q. Have you ever had that much trouble with your toss?

KAROL KUCERA: Not really, no, no. Sometimes I toss badly, but not as yesterday.

Q. Why do you think it was? Was it the conditions? What was it that made your toss so bad?

KAROL KUCERA: I think I was very nervous. With the crowd, it's tough sometimes, you know. It keeps you very nervous all the time. Then especially the first point of the game, it's difficult. If you are running already, and the ball is in the play, it's not so tough.

Q. Were there times in the fifth set when you had a bad toss and you hit it anyway?

KAROL KUCERA: In the fifth set?

Q. In the beginning of the fifth set, were there times? It looked like there were some tosses.

KAROL KUCERA: Yeah, I was trying today to hit, I mean, also the bad tosses (laughter). Probably the crowd would get crazy.

Q. Were the bad tosses on the double-faults you hit into the net in the fifth set?

KAROL KUCERA: I don't think so. I don't think so. Just my serve was a little bit shaky today, especially second serve. In the fifth set, I said to myself, "Don't try to hit the first serve all the time." Anyway, Andre is good returner, so a lot of first services was going back, you know. Then I just wanted to put the point -- put the serve into the play.

Q. When you were down 0-2, 15-40, what happened then? What were you thinking then? How did you pull that out?

KAROL KUCERA: The point was not in the serve, but in the baseline rallies, I would say, today. I think -- I was thinking that I have to win the baseline rallies. That's only my chance to win. He was not doing mistakes from beginning. After I put more pressure from the baseline, I was more consistent, and I won more after.

Q. Andre said you seemed to really relax when you saved yourself.

KAROL KUCERA: When I saved?

Q. When you prevented going down from 3-0. Did you relax?

KAROL KUCERA: I was not too much relaxed in that point (laughter). Each point that I won gave me a lot more of confidence. I hit some good serve on the breakpoint, I think. Andre hit a bad return. It was luck for me, and I could won some more rallies. That gave me good to stay in the match, you know. One, two was okay.

Q. If you meet Agassi in the lockers one day, will you expect him to excuse himself or would you excuse yourself for your tosses, try not to think about it and talk about it?

KAROL KUCERA: No. I think when we meet in the locker, it's something else than on the court. But today was a little bit strange, when we went around, you know, look at him. It was a little bit strange today, yeah.

Q. In your opinion, beating Andre in five sets at the US Open, is this the biggest win in your career?

KAROL KUCERA: I think it was the most interesting match in my career (laughter).

Q. Before this year, you played in this tournament four times, and never won a match. Did you do something to try to change your mind set, so to speak, coming into this tournament this year?

KAROL KUCERA: Not really. I was more confident than the last years, last years, yeah.

Q. Did you sleep well last night?


Q. Do you remember who you played here in 1994?

KAROL KUCERA: I think Arias, I'm not sure. I lost.

Q. Do you enjoy the underdog role, not being favored, coming from nowhere, the dark horse? Is this a role you enjoy?

KAROL KUCERA: Yeah. I like not to be on the top of the interest.

Q. You described Andre as being a little unfair when he did his toss and catch. What was your emotional reaction at the moment? If we were speaking to you right afterwards, how angry were you?

KAROL KUCERA: As I said, it was tough for me to stay concentrated for the game. I was thinking, you know, when somebody doing something bad to you, then you're thinking about what he's doing, you know, you don't think about the game.

Q. Do you think it was fair of him to deliberately try to disrupt your rhythm like that? Do you think it was fair of him to try to deliberately try to disrupt your game like that?

KAROL KUCERA: I said it was a little bit unfair in my eyes.

Q. Do you anticipate tomorrow's meeting with Pete Sampras to be different from Australia?

KAROL KUCERA: I think the surface is a little bit different, and conditions are a little bit different here. He's at home, so it could be other game, it going to be other game, yeah.

Q. You had a great Australian Open. You're having a great US Open. What happened at the French Open and Wimbledon?

KAROL KUCERA: French Open was a little bit dark point in my season this year because I had problem with my blisters on the foot, you know. I had a couple bad blisters. That's why I was losing.

Q. What is the most you've ever had a problem with your toss before? Have you ever seen another player, perhaps, have as many mis-tosses as you've had in these two days?

KAROL KUCERA: Yeah. I saw a couple guys was really bad. Sometimes Edberg was tossing really bad. It happens sometimes.

Q. Is this the most for you, though?

KAROL KUCERA: Yeah, I think.

Q. At the end, were you just trying to put the serve in? 74, 79 miles an hour, 83.

KAROL KUCERA: Yeah. As I said, my second serve was not so good today. Even when I hit some good first serves, then he put all the returns back. So it was question only of the baseline rallies today. So that's why I was putting the serve just into the play.

End of FastScripts….

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