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September 4, 2002

Younes El Aynaoui


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Do you think the fatigue from the other night got to you towards the end of that match?

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: Yeah, a little bit. I had some stiff adductors. My legs were a bit heavy. I didn't feel I had the 100 percent energy, you know? But I think that's what happen matches after match. The winner here is the best player with the strokes, and also with the physically you have to be really strong. That match I finish really late I think was still a little bit in my mind and my body.

Q. In the first set -- when you talked to us the other night you said you really wanted to attack him. When you beat him in Indianapolis or Cincinnati last year, you attacked him and you beat him. In the first set you seemed maybe a little bit more cautious?

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: Yeah, I was trying to play slow a little bit. It was really windy. One side was against the wind. So I wasn't feeling like really on the good position every time when I wanted to hit the ball, and I tried to play slow to see if he was missing a little bit. But he wasn't missing. But even if I lost the first set 6-1, I knew it was coming from me more than from him. So I knew I could have my chance later on the second set, and that's what happen. I had 5-3.

Q. What happened in the second set?

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: Well, everything was going well until I serve for the set at 5-4. I think that's always this crucial moment that makes the difference. When you're serving at 5-4, you have to finish a set, and I didn't.

Q. Was it psychological?

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: A bit of both, I think - psychological and well, you know, realizing that you gonna win the second set, you get a bit stiff. That's it. Three points later it's 5-all and then... But then I didn't really lost my concentration. I keep on thinking I could make it. In the tiebreaker I was also -- I had a few set points, so...

Q. Just turning them into wins?

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: Yeah, yeah. But overall I think I'm pretty happy. I wasn't 100 percent physically today. I mean, against a player such as Lleyton, you have to be 150 percent. I have nothing to regret. I'm happy that I reach the quarterfinal round, but unfortunately I wasn't my best shape. But that's what happen.

Q. Does he surprise you, how many balls he can get to?

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: He surprise me how he runs. He got one, one or two dropshot that was really impressive. And, yeah, he's running a lot. Faster you play, the better he plays. He's a very complete overall player. He's serving much better now. He's a tough opponent.

Q. Is that the difference between the last time when you beat him in 2001 and now? Is he that much of a better player?

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: Yeah, I think he improve a lot his serve, most of all. His footwork is quickest than ever I think right now. His confidence, of course, is very high, too.

Q. Is he the fastest guy out there on the tour?

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: Yeah, I think so. Yep.

Q. Are you traveling with your two children?

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: No. Unfortunately. School is starting for them today, so they are not here. They're back in home going to school. Usually they are with me, but not today, this tournament.

Q. Tell us, how do you think Lleyton will go against Andre Agassi?

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: Did Andre won already? Not yet.

Q. It's just a prediction.

YOUNES EL AYNAOUI: Okay. Well, the last time they played, Hewitt won, so it's gonna be a good match again - long rallies, fast rallies from the baseline. I think Lleyton is moving a little bit better, he's in better shape than Andre. It's always very good match between them. I really don't know. I think Lleyton is the favorite, but Andre has nothing to lose.

End of FastScripts….

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