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November 11, 1997

Patrick Rafter


Q. Pat, you managed to turn the match around brilliantly after the opening set when Greg sort of seemed to be dominating, also returning well enough to get the breakpoints. After that, you seemed to close him out in the final two sets.

PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah. At the very beginning of the match, I didn't start reading his serve at all. Then I just said to myself that I've got to try to make him play every single serve he gets, make him play a tough volley. I started doing that. I think after a while, it started putting pressure on him. He's thinking, "If I don't make a first serve here, I'm in trouble." I think that sort of played in the back of his mind. I continued to always put pressure on him. In the first set, it could have been 6-1 to him, could have been all over very quickly. Never know what might have happened. Got lucky. Then, from then on, I put a lot of pressure on him. As you said, the tide turned pretty well.

Q. A lot of people -- well, Pete was talking about the court, how slow it's playing, the balls fluffing up. Seeing as you and Greg played in the U.S. Open final, do you find this particular court totally different than there?

PATRICK RAFTER: It is a little bit different in the way that it does probably bounce a little bit higher than the U.S. Open. The balls are a lot heavier, and the court is definitely slower. Yeah, as Pete -- you noticed with Pete's match, he found it very, very difficult to hurt Carlos, and Carlos was just loving it. He did play very well. Probably doesn't favor Pete. I guess a player like Carlos.

Q. Basically yourself and Greg play attacking games, so you notice less than Pete and someone like Moya. Then the other group, they've got all the baseliners.

PATRICK RAFTER: It's going to be interesting to see how myself and Carlos play tomorrow. I'm definitely going to serve-volley a lot more than Pete did. I'll see if I get through it.

Q. What is your first impression about the arena, atmosphere, the crowd?

PATRICK RAFTER: The crowd was great. At the very beginning, I looked around and I didn't see a lot of other people. But then as the match went along after the first set, it really, really did fill up. I don't know, if it holds 15,000, must have been about 12 or 13, I don't know. To be playing in that atmosphere, is great. I remember the first game of the third set, I said to myself, "Patrick Rafter, life's good." I've got all these people watching. I'm enjoying myself out here. Sometimes you can lose your grip on the match a little bit by really enjoying yourself out on the court. But it was, it was a great atmosphere, I really enjoyed it, when there's a lot of people watching and getting involved in the match.

Q. Patrick, can you talk a little bit more about playing Moya.

PATRICK RAFTER: Well, as you know, I haven't had a very good record against Carlos. I, justifying I've got to beat him sometime, why not tomorrow? I'm hoping it's going to go my way. Conditions that you saw today probably favor Carlos. But at the same time I feel like I'm playing very well. I'm very happy with the way I played today and last week. I'm pretty confident going into the match with Carlos tomorrow.

Q. Did you watch the match of Pete Sampras? Did you hear about it? What's your opinion about it?

PATRICK RAFTER: I watched quite a lot of the match. To me, it looks like Pete got very frustrated with the conditions. Carlos played great tennis. So I'll have to play very well tomorrow.

Q. So what did you learn of the match, of the Moya/Sampras match?

PATRICK RAFTER: Next question.

End of FastScripts....

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