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September 2, 1998

Scott Draper


Q. How is the knee?

SCOTT DRAPER: My knee is the same. It's been the same since the French Open or Queens. My goal back then was to get through the U.S. Open, I've done that and I've done pretty well. I haven't spoken to Rochey or Newc yet, but I think I am going to get my knee done in the next couple of days. Go to Colorado, see Dr. Stedman. I already flew there after Indianapolis to just have a chat about it. I am going to be out four weeks, I think, so I'm looking forward to getting this fixed. It's been on my mind for two or three months. I am looking forward to getting back to feeling 100 percent fit. I think I've gone extremely well trying to keep it under wraps and trying to just concentrate on tennis. I was a little steps slow which might have cost me a couple of matches here or there. I'm really pleased the way things have been going the last two or three months. But I am really looking forward to getting this better, and I am going to do that very soon.

Q. Could you just back track a little bit. Could you give us the significance of Dr. Stedman in Colorado?

SCOTT DRAPER: He is apparently one of the best knee guys in the world. He's done Norman and Clinton, a lot of the professional skiers, done a few of the other Aussie tennis players. I went to see him after Indianapolis because I believe he's the best. Basically, I've got to get this plaque (sic) that I have got on my knee removed.

Q. It is just a scrape?

SCOTT DRAPER: It is actually easier than a scrape. I might have to do a little bit of scraping, maybe. Apparently he said about two to six weeks I'll be out.

Q. It's just a keyhole surgery?

SCOTT DRAPER: Just arthroscopy. I'll spend four or five days after it's done. As I said, I haven't spoken to Rochey, I haven't talked to him about it. Really I've been talking to my wife and close friends about the knee. Davis Cup is coming up.

Q. Are you on the squad for Davis Cup?

SCOTT DRAPER: Yeah, I am. It is pretty hard decision because I thought I can try and get through to the end of the year, go to Davis Cup and play Europe and then get my knee done. But then I thought my main priority, in case this does take longer than the doctor says, I would like to be ready for January. I would rather miss Europe than miss the Australian circuit. I came up with a decision depending on how I do here, if I did exceptionally well. If I made it to the second week, things might change a little bit, but know I've been knocked out the first round, I think it's time to get it done.

Q. How times have you been brought into the Davis Cup, Scott?

SCOTT DRAPER: I think this is my fourth or fifth time. That's why I have to talk to the guys. I think Newc's been saying it might be a perfect opportunity to (inaudible) someone like myself.

Q. You've never actually played then?

SCOTT DRAPER: No, I've never played, never been on the team. I just practiced -- been a part of it all.

Q. I was going to ask you just a quick question about the match itself. Does he have something particularly strong or is he strong overall? You watch him and nothing stands out, at least watching.

SCOTT DRAPER: That match was disappointing. I started off slow. I lost an early serve, that set went with serve. I lost it 6-3. After that I thought basically it was pretty much an even ball game. I had good tactics. I was holding my serve pretty easy. The only thing I didn't do is make enough returns off his first serve, because he has got a big first serve. I think Tim is going to get better as time goes on. I think he's suffering with the amount of choices that he has. He's got great touch. He can play from the back. As time goes on, he will learn about his game, himself a little more. He's pretty fresh, in the top 20 or whatever. I thought I was right in there. I had two set points in the second set. Third set went with serve and the break already making up for return on first serve. I was pretty pleased the way I played, 6 and 6 those tie breaks can go any way. I could be out there playing the fourth set now, that's history, and I'm pretty excited about getting back to 100 percent fit.

Q. Can Tim do as well here as he's done at the Wimbledon?

SCOTT DRAPER: I don't see any reason why not, he's had a fantastic summer. He's had a good summer, and I can't see any reason why not.

Q. If the draw play is out, I think he meets up with Phillippoussis; how would you compare them?

SCOTT DRAPER: Very similar, both big serves, both can volley, both can play from the back, probably comes down to who wants it more or who serves a little better I guess and makes more returns.

Q. Could you make a prediction?

SCOTT DRAPER: I really -- because I am not around Flip that much, I don't know his state of mind or how he's feeling, but if he's really focused and he wants to win badly, he's very dangerous, he could pretty much do anything. I think on his day, if they both play good tennis, I think Phillippoussis could win. He's got a little more firepower. But as I said, Tim is very crafty as well and he can certainly do some damage to Flip as well.

Q. What do you actually feel on the court with your knee; does it click?

SCOTT DRAPER: This plaque is rubbing on the patella, causing inflammation. It is just a little bit sore. Explosive movements hurt, I am not really sharp to move to return or quite as quickly to get to a wide ball. It's just minute, it does make a bit of a difference. I can't believe how well I've done really in the last two or three months.

Q. Just fill us in on the history of it. When did you actually first --

SCOTT DRAPER: This plaque is a genetic thing. We all could have one in our knee. It all depends if it rubs on your patella. It started for me about six months. It is just a nuisance, a lot of maintenance. If I'm not taking antiinflammatory, I'm always doing steam and icing, and warming up. It is just sort of a pain in the ass, basically.

Q. Has it got worse or essentially remained --

SCOTT DRAPER: It's been pretty much the same. I am ecstatic. I couldn't be happier on the way I've gone with this. I would still want to do well this week. I gave it all I got, but I think it's just probably affected me a little bit, but I am looking forward to getting it fixed.

Q. So you will go to Colorado or then you will go back to Brisbane?

SCOTT DRAPER: I'll go to Colorado, spend four or five days there, go back to Orlando maybe spend a week there, and go back to Australia. If it's going unbelievable well, I'm not going to go to Australia, maybe go out to the squad, hit a bit. As I said, I still have to talk to Rochey and Newc because they don't know about this, my plans. They might change what I'm thinking, I'll have to do that pretty soon.

Q. Before we let you go, about Patrick's performance, your obviously concentrating on your own efforts, what is your view of Pat's chances?

SCOTT DRAPER: He's done unbelievably well to the amount of pressure he's been under this year to defend all the points to maintain his ranking. His career has been a little bit roller-coaster like with his ranking. I'm sure he was desperate to repeat it, not let people think, I'm a one-year wonder or whatever. I think he's getting better all the time. He's playing better than he was last year. I don't know how the five sets in the early matches are going to affect him, because it has affected him in the past. Last year, first three rounds he lost about ten games total, that helped him a lot. But I'm sure -- it was cool last night, it wasn't too hot, so maybe it didn't take too much out of him. I don't think he was totally happy with his performance last night, but I'm sure just getting a win is a good feeling. I hope he rams it up Sampras and McEnroe's ass with all the stuff they say to him, it would be nice to see.

Q. Since August 3 he's played 399 games.


Q. Since August 3, in the last 29 days, he's played 399 games, 40 sets from a player's prospective --

SCOTT DRAPER: Pete and Pat are very similar, they're not very happy unless they are practicing for four hours or playing a lot of tennis. I don't know if it's the way they prepare for big tournaments, they feel the more balls I hit, the better I'll play. I couldn't practice four hours a day, I would go nuts. Pat is the kind of guy that likes to go out there and just go long hours and play a lot of tournaments -- when he gets on a roll, he really gets on a roll. He's a very much confidence player, after winning Cincinnati and losing second round or third round of New Haven he probably wanted to redeem one week before he got to the U.S. Open with long hours, it would have done a lot for his confidence.

End of FastScripts....

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