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September 6, 1992
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Boris, are you happy to be back in the stadium?
BORIS BECKER: Yeah, it feels better to play than on court 16,
definitely. A bit more space.
Q. Are you happy with your game now?
BORIS BECKER: I was-- it was one of the best matches I played
this year. It is very difficult to play against a friend and
against someone who knows my game probably better than anybody.
And that makes it even harder, you know, to play your way, because,
you know, the other guy runs just one step before, and now I also
thought that he played excellent.
Q. What was -- what impressed you about your own play today?
Would you call it one of the best matches of the year for you?
BORIS BECKER: That I played from first to the last point the
right way, in my opinion. I was trying to approach many times.
I served and volleyed often. I hit many good first serves from
the back. I wasn't trying to rally with somebody who probably
does it better than me. I was playing my way against somebody
who also played very good. That is why, you know, I kept that
level up for four sets.
Q. After the current match, the current match you said you
could go out play one or more sets. How do you feel right now,
BORIS BECKER: I felt pretty good.
Q. And now?
BORIS BECKER: Pretty good. In a match you always go through
ups and downs. If you play three and a half hours, you don't
always have enough. But right now I feel pretty good.
Q. Carl seemed to believe that maybe that was the key question
about you after a match, like this coming back two days from now
against Lendl, another tough match, whether the physical aspect
of it, whether might be the biggest thing?
BORIS BECKER: This tournament is probably the hardest on your
body, you know, with the hardcourt and the heat, and the best
of five matches. Probably more exhausting here than the French
Open. If you want to win the whole thing, you have to win seven
times and you have to struggle many times in those seven matches.
So I have now three. This one was the hardest now, but I have
a day off and that should be enough time.
Q. You say there should be no problem?
BORIS BECKER: Shouldn't be a problem. I have a day off and
it should be all right.
Q. In the tiebreak, according to the little meters on the
miles per hour, you were hitting harder than any time in the match.
It was almost as if you assumed that you were going to win that
tiebreak. Was your confidence, then, high? It looked like separating
the men from the boys time at a big tournament?
BORIS BECKER: When you play the tiebreak in the third set, you
better play your best tennis, if you are down two sets to one;
the match is probably going to slip away, so I really wanted to
make sure I play my best tennis and I really was going for my
serves and my shots.
Q. We heard Chuck Adams come in today and talk about Lendl,
and he almost sounded just like Connors. Both of them said that
Lendl is not playing like he used to. He is using an American
baseball term, "bunting the ball," afraid to hit the
ball out. Afraid to hit the ball hard. Do you have any feelings
about that? Have you seen Lendl play at all either in this tournament
or this year?
BORIS BECKER: Well, those it guys lost in four sets, so it is
kind of funny that they talk like that. Ivan has, especially
the last, I would say month and a half, the last hardcourt tournaments
played good again. He struggled at the beginning of the year.
But I saw him playing last week in Hamlet, and he made about three
finals in his last four tournaments. So he beat almost the whole
top 10 besides maybe Edberg and Sampras. So I think he is playing
good again. But you know, he is 32. When he was on top, he didn't
lose a match for three whole years. That is difficult to do every
year. But at the moment, I mean, he is playing good tennis.
Everybody can see this.
Q. When you bring up the age 32, is that an indication that
you think that could be a big difference your ability to maybe
have more stamina--
BORIS BECKER: Well, he is probably one of the-- still one of
the players that is still very fit. And you know, he played a
five set match in the first round and he came back with Connors
and he looked fresh. And then he looked in pretty good shape
today. It is just he is playing probably now twelve, thirteen
years on the tour and he has been in the top five probably had
the whole time, and you know, it is tough to do it for 15 years
in a row. You are only human, even Lendl. But he is playing--
at the moment he is playing good tennis.
Q. Boris, you and Ivan have played pretty evenly over the
years. What is going to be the difference?
BORIS BECKER: Well, we both didn't have a great clay court season.
We struggled in there. He lost first round in the French. I
didn't even play it. But from then on, I think we both picked
our games up in the last two months and it is going to be -- I
think important match for both players, you know, just to see
the form improving, you know, sure, I mean, I have played pretty
good three matches, but now really, the big matches are coming,
you know, and now it counts, so it would be -- it would be a pity
for me if I would lose now. And I think it would be the same thing
for Lendl. We had -- we have been working hard, and we have
been playing better and better and now it is the stage where it
Q. In the past, this would have been a semi-final matchup;
not a quarter final matchup. Has it been awhile since you guys
have played as early as the quarters?
BORIS BECKER: It is the round of 16. It is not even the quarters.
Q. I am sorry.
BORIS BECKER: It has been a while that we have played in general.
I think in official match, the last time we played a year and
a half ago, Melbourne, Australia Open finals. It has been a while
that we even played. But times are changing - either way.
Q. Is a player like yourself, like Lendl, who has won the
big tournaments, automatically, a little step ahead of the guy
who hasn't? In other words, that until you make a breakthrough,
it is tougher to win at this stage of the tournament? For instance,
Steeb, did you automatically have an advantage over him today
because of that, do you think?
BORIS BECKER: Not only because of that also, but also because
you know, I have won this tournament before and I have made a
semi-finals here a couple of times. So when I had -- I raise
my game, then it is -- I know that you know, it is very difficult
to beat me. Whereas Charlie doesn't know yet. He is between
20 and 30. He is improving, he is playing well, but until the
last point, he doesn't have that belief yet, to win the whole
Grand Slam. That is what I think the factor in Ivan's match,
probably and in my match. It is a difference, winning a set or
being up a break, or then finish it out-- close it out. And it
definitely helps if you win a couple of Grand Slam tournaments
Q. How much of a burning desire do you have to win this
tournament? Is it all there in those terms?
BORIS BECKER: I have a burning desire to win this tournament,
Q. Are you able to judge how many levels you will have to
go up in your game?
BORIS BECKER: Always depends a little bit on your opponent,
the way you have to play and the way you can play. For a set
and a half today, it looked like an easy match, and probably that
was the fault, I did, you know, I backed up a little bit, I backed
off, and then he started to get more balls in play. He broke
me. But if I play against a Lendl, I know that there is never
a time to back up, you know, I have to play it all out. So, in
a way, it is a bit easier for me to play a Lendl, you know, or
to play somebody that good, to play somebody, you know, who I
am supposed to win, anyway.
Q. Boris, there was a story in a Russian paper that said
Boris Yeltsin would like to play doubles with Boris Becker. What
would you say?
BORIS BECKER: I didn't hear it before, but I hope his footwork
is pretty good. I don't even know that he plays tennis.
Q. He does. Were you surprised about the things Connors
said about Lendl after the match?
BORIS BECKER: You know, what can I tell you? Jimmy always talks
a lot about many, many things, and he won -- yeah, he lost easily
against Ivan, and it was a close match for a set, a set and a
half. After you are beaten that easily, I don't think it is right
to talk like that. I mean, if there is a close match, and him
at 40 years old, he is losing 6-3 in the fifth, then maybe. But
since you know, they don't like each other very much, they always
talk you know, a bit more than they should.
Q. Thank you.
End of FastScripts....