September 3, 1998
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK, G. IVANISEVIC/T. Martin 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-3
Q. Despite the fact that you lost, are you pretty happy with the way you played?
TODD MARTIN: Sure. I was thrilled. I thought I played great and the first set was, you know, more than you could ever expect against a guy who serves like Goran. A lot of it was me, and a fair bit of it was him too in the first set. I missed a few opportunities early in the second, and I had a few opportunities late in the second, all of which I missed out on. Serving up a break 4-3 in the third, that is a situation where if you want to win a tournament like this, you have got to pull through there and despite wanting to, I was unable to, and I take my hat off to Goran because he really raised the level of his game.
Q. Were you in trouble at all because of your elbow?
TODD MARTIN: No, I feel great. I had no major concerns with health this week. Today my serve went off for a little bit and if I think about it for an hour, I don't think I could come up with the reason why. I went two full sets, two and a half sets without being broken and then, yeah, a lot of it is mental because once I had the opportunity to start to close out that third set, I didn't come up with the shots I was coming up with earlier in the match.
Q. Did you start taking inflammatory drugs?
TODD MARTIN: Yeah, but that is precautionary. I haven't had any symptoms at all.
Q. Were the conditions tonight as --
TODD MARTIN: The conditions were different as far as being cool, but I didn't affect my elbow once. It is just a matter of the ball doesn't fly quite as quickly in the air, which on a night like tonight, playing a guy like Goran that might not be all that bad.
Q. Is this a positive step for you overall?
TODD MARTIN: If I came through and won that match, it is a big positive step. If I play well and lose, I think I can leave here with my chin up. I am not -- I don't really have anything to be happy about.
Q. How long will you remember those two-set points?
TODD MARTIN: You know, one is an ace and one I started the point off of the second serve and really I might have missed my first backhand groundstroke when I wasn't trying to do anything with the ball all day and that happens. I am sure I got just a tad bit tight and didn't accelerate through the ball as much. Ball ended up in the net. I can't help that. I can -- I did everything I was supposed to do. I just maybe didn't accelerate the racket as much as I needed to. It is not like if I had made that shot I was going to win the point. It was not a make or break shot.
Q. Would you give him top odds to win now?
TODD MARTIN: I think every tournament he plays he has a chance to win. I think the longer the tournament the tougher it is for him to win. Seven matches is a lot to win and he is very capable of playing great tennis on any surface, I think, especially this surface. There are a lot of great players out here, so, five more matches to go is a long way.
Q. Woodforde said he was all serve and nothing else.
TODD MARTIN: Well, I respect Mark's opinions usually, but I don't agree with that. I think he has got -- Goran has got a lot of game other than his serve, granted if he didn't serve as well as he did, he wouldn't be the player he is. But that is the case with all of us.
Q. His first serve percentage was quite low, 41%.
TODD MARTIN: Doesn't say much more about the way I returned his second serve.
Q. Did you notice it during the game?
TODD MARTIN: Not really, because I think Goran does a pretty good job of serving better when he needs to. I think a lot of the big points he came up with good serves and good second serves too, like at 4-2 in the second set tiebreaker I was up and he hits a second serve ace. That is a little too good. So just because he is missing his first serve doesn't mean that I have got a piece of cake coming my way because his second serve is tough to return and I think he does a very good job, especially today after the first set, of working the point and hitting some good shots from the backcourt.
Q. At 4-2 in the tiebreak, were you risking were you trying --
TODD MARTIN: Honestly I could have been looking for a forehand and I don't think I would have been able to make a play on that. In fact, I certainly wasn't looking for a backhand after I hit a return winner pretty much at 3-2 on his second serve, so I didn't expect to see another backhand. I know he and most guys probably respect my backhand a little bit more than my forehand. So I was expecting something, but he just hit a great serve.
End of FastScripts....