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THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS


March 26, 1997


Hendrik Dreekman


Key Biscayne, FL

JOE LYNCH: Hendrik Dreekmann has been forced to withdraw from his quarterfinal match due to a sprained ankle. Dr. Charles Virgin, the tournament doctor, is here for questions as well as Hendrik. We're ready for the first question.

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Q. Hendrik, can you tell us exactly how the injury occurred?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: You mean how it happened?

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Q. Yes.

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Yeah. Last night I came back from dinner and I went back to my hotel, and there was something on the street, like a speed bump or something. I didn't see it, it was dark. I just twisted my ankle. I didn't see it, that's why.

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Q. You were in the street, not on the sidewalk?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: No. I was coming from Bayside back to Intercontinental. You walk through that street there, it's dark, and you don't see much.

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Q. On the sidewalk?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Yes.

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Q. A speed bump is usually in the middle of the road.

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Yeah.

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Q. Used to slow cars down.

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: I know. I don't know why there is one.

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Q. If you were on the sidewalk then, it wasn't a speed bump?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Yeah, it was something like this, like this high, yellow (indicating).

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Q. But you were on the sidewalk?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Yeah. There is no cars going there.

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Q. And how high would you say off the ground this obstruction was?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Like this (indicating).

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Q. Bad luck.

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Yeah, thanks.

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Q. Dr. Virgin, can you tell us typically with this injury how long a player will be unable to train?

DR. VIRGIN: The operative word is "train." We'll begin him training in about three to five days, training from the standpoint of getting the injury recovered. Able to play, definition probably represents at the earliest ten days to two weeks. A great deal depends on the evolution of this particular injury. It's quite a severe sprain. It involves both sides of the ankle joint and several large ligaments. One would anticipate with the ability to spend a significant amount of time in corrective rehab with exercise and the kinds of guidance that the training team with the ATP has, there's a good chance it will be recovered very quickly.

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Q. Is there an MRI performed on this?

DR. VIRGIN: No. This was initially felt to be severe enough that it might have been fractured, so the first evaluation is by standard x-ray. Stress testing of the ligaments and examination of the distribution of swelling characteristically helps you determine which ligament complex is involved. MRI at this point would be a little difficult to interpret because of the massive amount of swelling. As the swelling begins to dissipate, it will probably be within the course of his management that an MRI will be done. It is such a significant injury that there's no question, he's not going to be able to play now. The development of a clinical path is fairly simple.

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Q. Hendrik, how soon did you realize you weren't going to be able to play? Was it sometime late last night?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: I felt something last night, but I was still hoping I might be able to play today. But this morning, I couldn't move my feet, nothing. It was impossible.

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Q. How did you sleep last night? Were you able to sleep?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: No, not really. I was awake almost the whole night. I was icing it a very lot. It was hurting very much. I couldn't sleep. I didn't know how to put my leg, that's why.

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Q. Who were you dining with last night?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: My coach.

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Q. Did he help you back to your hotel after?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Yeah, sure.

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Q. Did you seek any treatment last night at all or not till this morning?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Yeah. I got a bandage and ice.

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Q. But on your own. Did you get to a physician last night?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: No, no.

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Q. So when it was painful during the night, you realized you needed more help today?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Yeah.

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Q. Can you talk about your feelings that you've come so far in this tournament and then this fluke accident happens.

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: I just can't believe it. It's so unlucky because I was playing really well the whole week. I was thinking about maybe I have a chance today to win. I felt pretty good. Now I have this problem, and this is really bad for me.

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Q. Have you ever had to withdraw from a tournament before because of injury?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Yeah, before a tournament I had to withdraw, but not when I won already three or four rounds.

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Q. Were you thinking throughout this tournament, "This is my lucky tournament, Boris Becker has had to withdraw, so I'm able to -- not that you would have necessarily lost or won, but that did make it a little easier since he was not able to play, and here you were running through this tournament all the way to the quarterfinals? Do you feel some luck?

HENDRIK DREEKMANN: Now I feel just unlucky. It's all I'm thinking of. I had some nice days the last week, but now I feel just unlucky. That's all I can say.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else in English? I know we have a lot of German reporters here. Also to let you know, ATP trainer Bill Norris who worked with Hendrik this morning is available in the room as well.

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Q. Would it have made a difference if Hendrik would have joined a hospital yesterday evening?

DR. VIRGIN: No, not at all. We only would have known sooner.

JOE LYNCH: German questions.

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End of FastScripts....

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