September 2, 1998
NEW YORK CITY
GEOFF GRANT: I need to be in a city that kind of entertains me and has something to offer. I lived down in Florida after I graduated from college, when I started playing professionally for the first time. I didn't enjoy coming back to Florida.
Q. Where were you?
GEOFF GRANT: In Tampa. I am not a big fan of Florida in general, as far as living somewhere. I like Boston as a city. My coach at the time, Terry London, who was a good friend of mine from high school, was living there at the time. He told me I should work with him along with a coach who owned a club up there named Steve Goldman. Between those two guys they said they would teach me what I needed to get back playing professional tennis. Those guys pulled me up there, along with the fact that I needed a city with some kind of culture, atmosphere and energy.
Q. How psyched are you right now?
GEOFF GRANT: I am happy, but I am not content. About five weeks ago I started playing great tennis and I've been able to keep it up. I made a breakthrough mentally to figure out how to relax on the court, be positive and be tense at the same time. It's a great milestone to win a round at this Grand Slam, but I think I can do better than that. Yeah, it's gratifying, but I don't want to be happy with just winning one round.
Q. Tell me what happened during the match, it looked like you were -- it really persevered, just really -- you struggled to hold your serve two or three games?
GEOFF GRANT: A lot of times.
Q. A couple you went 40-Love --
GEOFF GRANT: I knew going into the match I was going to have to work to win, so I resigned myself to staying out there and going through a little bit of pain. If I knew -- if I wanted to win the match. And that really helped me, going in with that understanding helped me get through those tough times, because I knew I was tired, and in the past I just kind of flake out a little bit when I get tired and not pay attention to the facts that I need to. I think my maturity -- the fact that I am a veteran now helped me get through those tough times.
Q. When did you feel tired?
GEOFF GRANT: In the third, once I had that long game where I didn't hold serve, that wore me out a little bit. Then I had those opportunities at 5-4 with him serving at deuce. I kind of
wasted -- not wasted, expended a lot of energy -- that was probably the toughest time as far as energy was concerned. The crowd was great -- it is a huge, huge benefit to have the crowd on your side and to be playing in the States, to have all my friends out here. That's what got me going in the fourth set and that's what carried me through. It was so much fun.
Q. Why were so many people routing for you? Do you have so many friends out there?
GEOFF GRANT: I'm sure the fact I am American helped and I was playing a Spaniard, a European guy. I think fans generally like to route for the underdog and they might have remembered my match last year with Kuerten. They can have whatever reasons they like, as long as they're cheering from me.
Q. That was a nice crowd.
GEOFF GRANT: Yeah, I think Anna Kournikova being on after me didn't hurt it either.
Q. What was the difference between your match last year and your match this year as far as pulling this one out? I know it wasn't Korda you played, but it was still a high-level match. If you had played today -- if you would have played --
GEOFF GRANT: It would have made a big difference. The experience of just playing a five-setter -- even though last year it was one match and it was a year ago, just being on the court for that long period of time and going through that experience of winning two sets and still not having the match be finished definitely helped me deal with today's match because I was comfortable, I was there before. Even if you experienced it even once, it makes a huge difference, you are not surprised by anything.
Q. Have you worked on anything; is anything different technically from last year or it's all mentally?
GEOFF GRANT: It is all just being relaxed. That's probably one of the reasons why I am doing so well, because I haven't been doing anything technical. My game is fine as far as biomechanics is concerned. Changing my game won't make any sense and thinking about changing it would hurt me. I want to be more automatic on the court. And that's what I've really accomplished -- just relaxing.
Q. How was it to play against him? It looked like his forehand was really heavy and the ball really came off --
GEOFF GRANT: He tended to make errors more on his forehand side. His backhand was more work for me because he wouldn't necessarily put it away or hit winners it just slides -- these courts are a little faster this year, that stays low, you have to bend your knees and get it under the ball. He makes you work hard when he hits his backhand slice deep to just get it over the net and keep it deep. I actually tried to work his forehand a little more rather than his backhand, especially when I was getting tired. I didn't want to work as hard.
Q. You never played him have you?
GEOFF GRANT: I played Amelio. They have similar styles.
Q. What about Medvedev who's next?
GEOFF GRANT: It's not a horrible match up for me. He's obviously got a big serve and I played Goran in New Haven who had a huge serve. I matched up pretty well against him. I wasn't able to get on top of him. Obviously, he's a great player. I think the return is the best part of my game. If I'm going to be able to counteract his big serves, we'll see what's going to happen after that.
Q. You are enjoying yourself more this time around than last time?
GEOFF GRANT: Oh, yeah, it's great.
Q. Is it?
GEOFF GRANT: Yeah, I like getting on the court and practicing now. I like competing and knowing I'm going to be relaxing on the court. It's not going to be the end of my world if I loose. And obviously being in the main draw with the prize money and everything it tends to relax you too, because even if you lose first round you already made a good sum of money, so. You are not fighting in the qualifying just to pay your expenses.
Q. What's more important here the money or the bonus points?
GEOFF GRANT: It is a tough question -- (laughing) both.
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