September 3, 2000
Flushing Meadows, New York
MODERATOR: Questions for Richard.
Q. That was a great game, Richard.
RICHARD FROMBERG: Yeah, it was a good match.
Q. How do you feel about it?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Yeah, I played well. It was a great match. Not much in it. I felt like he had the advantage serving first in the last set. There was always pressure on me to hold my serve. Just one or two loose points cost me the match basically. I can't complain. You know, I fought hard. I played a great match. In the end, his serve was just too good for me.
Q. Would you like that dropshot back again?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Of course, I wouldn't do it.
Q. Was that probably the critical --?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Yeah, just one shot. But against a guy like Wayne that has got such a great serve, you know, there's a lot of pressure on you to hold your serve. Just one or two loose points, the match can be over like that. That's what it came down to.
Q. A few people have said he's got about the hardest serve to pick in the game. Would you agree with that?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Yeah. In my opinion, he's got the best serve in the game. I've played Sampras before, other guys. Maybe because he's left-handed. Not many guys can serve that hard for five sets and keep serving hard at the end. Yeah, he can pick it. He can do anything. He can kick it. His variation's great. I think he gets into the net quicker than most guys, which makes it very hard to break him.
Q. On tonight's effort, do you think he can go a step or two further?
RICHARD FROMBERG: I think he's got a chance to win the tournament. He's got the game to win these sort of tournaments. I think he's starting to have the belief in himself now. You know, there's a few guys that obviously can win the tournament. I think he's one of them. He just has to keep holding serve. If he doesn't break, he's always got chances in the tiebreak. He can go a long way.
Q. You said that one of your greatest strengths is your strength of mind. You said that he's just getting the confidence. He confessed to some nerves. What advice, if he were to ask for some, would you give him in that regard?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Just to keep believing in yourself really. He's had some really good wins in the tournament. It's taken him a long time really to break through. I think perhaps the last month or so, it's been unbelievable for him. He's been on a good run. I think he's starting to realize how good he really is. He's a great player. It's just believing in yourself. I think his groundstrokes are better than he gives himself credit for really. He needs to, you know, believe that he can stay out there with a good baseliner and wait for the right chances to come to the net.
Q. Will you be around for his next match or will you be going home?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Yeah, maybe. I think I'm leaving on Tuesday or Wednesday or something.
Q. Would he use someone like yourself to warm him up, do you think?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Yeah, I'm happy to warm him up. I don't think he really minds who warms him up. He's played a lot of tennis. He's still in the doubles. He's probably only going to hit for ten minutes anyway. I'm happy to try and help him if that's what he wants.
Q. He said it was strange to be playing against you because you'd become good friends recently.
RICHARD FROMBERG: Yeah, we're really good friends. I know that he's got a lot of respect for my game, for the things that I've achieved in tennis, for the way that I've been able to stay in the Top 100 for so long. And vice versa, I've got a lot of confidence in his game. I think, you know, obviously his downfall in the past has been in his mind. He's improved that perhaps in just the last couple of months. That's the most important thing in tennis.
Q. What did you do while it was raining?
RICHARD FROMBERG: I had a bit of a snooze, bit of lunch. Not much. I wasn't nervous today. I felt like I had nothing to lose. As it turned out, I don't think I could have played too much better.
Q. You can never be happy after a loss. The third round of the US Open, given a couple of weeks ago you were hitting at Melbourne Park, weren't you?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Yeah, that's right. I've really had a rough last six months. Some injury problems have knocked me around. I felt really burned out. I wasn't really enjoying tennis. I did the right thing to come home, made the decision. Something I haven't done in the past. As it's turned out, it's been a good decision. I feel really good on the court now. I feel fresh. I've only actually got three more tournaments this year, and I'm going to take the rest of the year off. I feel like the older I get, the more time -- I need a little bit more time off. Maybe two or three times a year, I need to come home for four weeks or so.
Q. Did Paul McNamee ask you to test the courts down?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Yes.
Q. Can you report for the guys what they were like?
RICHARD FROMBERG: There's one laid down. It's a lot slower. For me, I found it was tough on my body. It was like a rough surface. It really took the spin. You could kick your serve a long way. But pretty slow.
Q. So slower than last year, slower than January?
RICHARD FROMBERG: If that's the surface they use, it's going to be a lot slower than January.
Q. Was that the idea, to slow it down?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Yeah. They needed to slow it down, without a doubt. This year was way too quick. But in my opinion they shouldn't go overboard slowing it down. They should keep it reasonably quick to suit the Australian players.
Q. What was your main injury problem recently, and how is it now?
RICHARD FROMBERG: It's still a problem. My arm, it's like a chronic injury with my arm. Maybe at the end of the year, I might have to get some surgery on it. I don't know. That's basically why I'm taking quite a bit of time before the Australian circuit to try and do something about it. It was good this week. It was good. I had a cortisone when I was home, injection. It pulls up sore after my matches. The more time I have in between matches, the better it is. It's a little bit of a cycle. Yeah, we'll see. I haven't got long to go.
Q. Which part of your arm is it?
RICHARD FROMBERG: Like the opposite side of the forearm along the bone. Apparently it's a similar injury to shin splints. It's like this bone is getting really lumpy. The only problem is serving, when I have to serve two or three days in a row, it becomes pretty painful.
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