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September 8, 2000

Ellis Ferreira

U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York

MODERATOR: Questions for Rick and Ellis.

Q. Kind of assess the match. Obviously pretty tight, just a few points.

ELLIS FERREIRA: Yeah. You know, a typical doubles match. Pretty tight down to the wire. I felt that the windy conditions were definitely -- I was struggling against that, and the fact that Mirnyi was serving huge. That was not helping (smiling).

Q. At one point in the tiebreaker, one break, what happened on that point?

ELLIS FERREIRA: Well, you know, Rick --

. RICK LEACH: We were just talking about it. Max wound up to hit a normal shot and ended up hitting a lob. I had no chance of getting it. I was just asking ^ Ellis if he was even close to the ball. He said no. It's too bad that it comes down to one or two points.

ELLIS FERREIRA: He took like a big swing. Your weight is going forward.

RICK LEACH: Plus it was against the wind. That was just too good. They did serve very well in the tiebreaker. I mean, I only got actually one hit on a ball the whole tiebreaker. All the other ones were aces. I couldn't even get close to them. I mean, everybody played well. It just came down to one or two points.

Q. Would you each give an assessment of the play of Lleyton Hewitt?

RICK LEACH: Well, you know, he's a fighter. He returns very well. He put a lot of pressure on us. I've got to hand it to the guy for being out there. I really respect the fact that he played in the doubles. Hopefully, it didn't take too much out of him for tomorrow. I think it's actually good preparation. He got a real tough match. He'll be ready to go right from the start tomorrow. He's got so much talent and fight, who knows, maybe he can be No. 1.

Q. What do you think, Ellis?

ELLIS FERREIRA: I was really impressed with, you know, the way he was moving, you know, in the doubles. I think that's definitely only going to improve his singles game by, you know, being able to come to ^ thenet. He's obviously comfortable doing it, so it can only help his singles.

RICK LEACH: I think he's volleying much better now, too. It probably comes from playing doubles.

Q. He's hard to beat when he really ^ wants something.

RICK LEACH: I think that brings a lot of excitement to the game. It's kind of like how McEnroe used to be, get kind of psyched up and in your face. I have no problem with that. I think it's fun to watch.

ELLIS FERREIRA: The big thing, too, is Lleyton is doing it because of his own excitement. He's not making it up. Sometimes people go out there and ^ chest-butt and do everything the first point. It's ^ contrived, it's not real. We have no problem with a guy being excited about hitting a good shot on breakpoint. I think that creates good excitement.

Q. Lleyton showed us he clearly has talent on a tennis court. Are you surprised to see a first-time pairing win a championship?

ELLIS FERREIRA: (Nodding head.)

RICK LEACH: They're both great tennis players. They make a good combination. Max covers the net well, and Lleyton covers the back, returns well. They make a very tough combination. I knew we had our hands full going into it, just from watching their other matches. You know, it was just unfortunate to lose a real tight match like that in the finals.

Q. Do you feel more kind of bummed out after losing a close match or do you think, "I made the finals, good effort"?

ELLIS FERREIRA: No, I definitely wanted to win the match. You know, one thing that Rick's taught me is when you make a final or a semi, that you don't kind of just rest with that, you should really always shoot to win the event. At the moment I'm very disappointed that we gave it away. I felt that I made a little too many errors today than I normally did. It's great to get to the finals, but I think that we really can and should have won the match. It's a bit of a consolation.

Q. How many more tournaments do y'all have together?

ELLIS FERREIRA: We have four, including the World Championships in India.

End of FastScripts…

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