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August 30, 1999

Scott Draper


USTA: Questions for Scott?

Q. Talk a little bit about your frame of mind today? Been through a lot of personal difficulty lately. Can you talk about your frame of mind today?

SCOTT DRAPER: Frame of mind was, I don't know, pretty much not too worried about anything. I wasn't really -- I think I'm just taking whatever feeling or whatever emotion comes at the time. Went out to play tennis. I had no match plan, I had no goal. I just went out there and played. Whatever thought process went through my mind, I did. I just basically have gone through a time where happiness is the key. Whatever makes me happy, I'll do. Whether that be playing a game style that I don't normally do, or playing a shot that I don't normally do, so be it. That was basically how I felt (laughter).

Q. Was it difficult just to play today knowing that you might go through these ups-and-downs today?

SCOTT DRAPER: Look, I knew from the beginning when I left three weeks ago to come over here that it was going to be difficult. You know, I guess it's the US Open. It's sort of like a natural feeling to want to do well no matter what you're going through. But when the crunch time comes, you're out on the court, it's just difficult to concentrate. It's going to take some time for me to get through this period. I think I'm probably setting myself for next year, whatever that may be. Your thoughts are very clouded. You know, for me, they're very clouded at the moment. I'm just not sure what I want, what I want to do. That's just going to take a little while.

Q. Was there a thought of not coming over, not playing?

SCOTT DRAPER: Oh, absolutely.

Q. What sent you back? What made you think, "I want to do this"?

SCOTT DRAPER: I came over for a few reasons. I had a home in Orlando. I needed to come there, sort out some things, which I sold, some affairs there. I wanted to come over and play while there was no pressure on myself to perform. I haven't been training, I haven't been doing too much at all. I thought I'd come over in this period and see all the guys, do this. I'll probably do a more extensive one somewhere down the track, if someone wants to. A lot of reasons. Just to get over, get a lot out of the way while there's no pressure on myself to perform in tennis, so maybe next time when I start full on, all this is behind everyone and I can concentrate.

Q. You took a little time at the net afterwards to talk to Paul a little bit. What was said there?

SCOTT DRAPER: I just said to Paul that there was no -- I just wanted to make it known to him that I wasn't playing with any disrespect to him. You know, I was fiddling around a little bit. Sometimes I that can be a bit frustrating, like if I'm trying real hard and the guy at the other end is not really out there, it's a little frustrating. It's sort of like you're disrespecting that person. I just wanted to let him know that that wasn't the case. I said, "Good luck." That was basically it.

Q. Did you get any sense during the match that he might have been frustrated at all by that?

SCOTT DRAPER: No, I didn't. No, I didn't. By what he said to me after the match, you know, that proved it. No, he's fine. He's a good guy.

Q. What goals would you set for yourself coming into this?

SCOTT DRAPER: Into the US Open?

Q. Yes.

SCOTT DRAPER: None. I come over and played. Whatever will be, will be, for me at the moment. I'm just taking whatever comes along and just taking my stride. If I went out and felt good, wanted to compete hard, I would have done that. If I didn't feel too good, I wouldn't have competed too hard. It's just whatever happened, happened. Happiness, as I said before, for me, is what I'm concentrating on now. Whatever makes me happy.

Q. What do you do in your next match?

SCOTT DRAPER: I think as time goes on, your thoughts will become a little clearer as to what you want. I don't know what I want right now, whether I want to play tennis, whatever. It's just a period that I need just to settle down, think about things, where I want to be, where I want to go. Just make my decision when I believe in myself. I don't believe in my thought process right now. It's just all over the place. You know, that just takes time.

Q. You mentioned you thought very hard about not coming to The Open. What factor was it that made you decide, "I'm going to play"?

SCOTT DRAPER: Believe me, I didn't want to come. My heart didn't want to come. I didn't want to come here. I think that you can't walk away. You're not going to get anywhere in life just walking away from things. I think one of the things I like to think that anything that comes along in life for me, I can handle. I think that was a decision that did it. I need to come over here for many reasons, even though there's ones that I don't want to do. I just did it; got on the plane, come over, sorted out things, see people, play tennis. That may help me in the long run. Right now, it might look pretty ordinary. January, February, March of next year, I might think that I'm glad that I did it then. That's the reason I'm here.

Q. Was it the allure of the Open, as opposed to another tournament?

SCOTT DRAPER: No. I mean, as great as The Open is and all the Grand Slams, it wasn't a case of what tournament I was coming to play. I needed to get overseas for many reasons. One of them was I have to get to Orlando. I thought that I might as well come and play a bit of tennis while I was here, get a lot of the condolences, seeing guys, doing a bit of press, a lot of memories. Just little things that are hard to explain. I needed to get them out of the way.

Q. Has it been helpful, or actually a little too much? Was it a good move? Are you glad you did it?

SCOTT DRAPER: Absolutely. Look, I'm handling things great. I'm surrounded by some good friends. I'm staying with my brother and Jason Stoltenberg, constantly surrounded by people. It's certainly nothing that I can't handle. It's just something that's not easy, but I can handle it. I can do it again if I have to. I'm looking forward to going home in a couple weeks, a week or something, yeah.

Q. Am I reading you right that you're just trying to figure out whether you want to play tennis at all, or at this moment, you would expect to be playing next year? Is it a time where you're really trying to consider everything?

SCOTT DRAPER: I think tennis, I love the game of tennis. I've always played it. I go home and play with my family. I do all sorts of stuff. I enjoy the game. The lifestyle and some of the people, some of the people that you're surrounded by on the tennis Tour, bothers me. The lifestyle bothers me. I've got to weigh up whether the positives of playing tennis are better than the negatives. There are a lot of negatives. Some people are born to travel and be selfish in a lot of ways. I haven't got the right personality sometimes to deal with some things that happen on the tennis Tour. I need time to figure out, "Is this what I want to do for the next five, six, seven years?" Like right now, yes, I could walk away and say, "I've had enough." That would be a stupid decision because six, seven, 12 months' time, that urge, that feeling of wanting to compete may come back. I'm not making any decisions right now because they're just clouded. I could basically sit at home right now, play golf and watch TV. I have no direction at all what I want to do. In those times, I will play golf and just sit and watch TV (laughter).

Q. Did you start weighing these positives and negatives before everything you'd been through or was it something that's sort of a revelation now?

SCOTT DRAPER: I've always felt this way. Everyone's got -- with everyone's life, you've got your own problems and things to deal with. Some things that I had to deal with, I've always thought about things differently to someone who has no problems. Some guys, they're single, they're healthy, just play tennis, travel and play. It's quite one-dimensional. For me, I've always thought of a more simple life, being in one place, having a normal lifestyle. That appeals to me. May not appeal to someone else. I think -- I guess what I'm saying if I found a job right now at home that paid pretty well, I enjoyed it, sounds good. But tennis is a great sport. It brings a lot of great things, but it may not bring happiness. That's the key for me. Whatever makes you happy. Being sad is an effort for me. I've got to find where I am and find that happiness again, you know, find myself basically, I think.

Q. How long were you married?

SCOTT DRAPER: About 18 months, 19 months.

Q. So you knew she was sick, obviously?

SCOTT DRAPER: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Q. That must be hard to go into a marriage knowing that?

SCOTT DRAPER: Not at all, no. Well, I mean, how do you put that one? I guess just because you're married and you say for better or for worse, you're marrying the person. Whatever they bring with them, that's just it, they bring it with them into the marriage. Whatever problems she's got, I've got to deal with. They've got to deal with my problems. It's the person you're marrying, the person you love. I think the quality of time you spend with somebody is more important than anything else. She was still the same person, regardless of whatever problems she had. It wasn't a decision that really even I thought about. I'd do it all over again.

Q. Where are you going from here now? What are your plans tennis-wise for the rest of the year?

SCOTT DRAPER: Going to Orlando to do what I have to do there, then fly home. I don't know, tee it up on the first tee or something. I don't know. I'll just take it easy. I've entered Asia, Asian tournaments. I'll wait and see if I'm going to make it there or not.

Q. What do you feel about Paul?

SCOTT DRAPER: Paul, he's a great guy. He's a good fighter, good runner, good athlete. He's well-liked. I wish him well, hope he does well. I think especially in the past few weeks, he's been doing well, his form has been very good. It will be good to see him go further.

End of FastScripts….

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