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September 3, 1994

Todd Martin


Q. Were you a little anxious in the last couple games there?

TODD MARTIN: I don't know if I would say anxious. I just didn't play it the way I played the first three and a half sets. I was a little lucky to get through it, obviously, but, you know, I did some good things when I needed to and especially in the first set, but definitely finishing the match was a bit of a struggle; one, because he played much better, and two, I think the fact that he didn't play great in the second. I let up a little bit on my serve and stopped asserting myself so much on my serve, which I think made his service games even easier. It took me at least three or four games before I won a point on his serve in the third set and I still had a good chance to break, but you know, he played pretty well the whole second, third, and fourth sets.

Q. Did you expect this match to be even a little tougher than it was because he is such a good server?

TODD MARTIN: Well, three sets to one, that's pretty tough. And it is not far from going five sets. About 4-2, I'm fighting off breakpoints and choking almost as bad as I did at Wimbledon against Ferreira, and that's pretty close. It's closer than I wanted to be, but -- and the first set I was lucky enough to hold, break him at 2-1. I think in the first -- or 3-2 -- maybe in the first, and after that, I sort of caught my stride a bit and played well from there. But he's really tenacious and he plays actually a lot better from the ground on his returns than I imagined he would. But, obviously, I was very impressed with the way he served and volleyed.

Q. But, most of the match you kept him fighting from behind, stayed on top?

TODD MARTIN: I think -- I don't know, I just played well at the beginning couple of sets -- beginning -- not at the beginning of the first, but beginning of the second, and beginning of the fourth I broke him early and stuck to it and held my serve. I don't think I got broken after the third game of the match. I'm not positive, but that's pretty good tennis for me. Especially against a guy who is putting as much pressure on me as possible. And coming in on all my second serve returns and even when I'm not going for much on the second serve, I'm still throwing in a couple doublefaults which hurts at times.

Q. He said it didn't look like the groin was bothering you; what's your feeling?

TODD MARTIN: At the end of the third set I hit a pretty good backhand pass at 5-6, and I needed every bit of that backhand pass. And the next time I moved to my backhand it was a little bit tender. So I took it easy on it as much as I could, but after I started stretching out at the changeovers, I think it loosened up again a little bit, and it felt pretty good for the fourth, but obviously I was very nervous going into the fourth, considering I didn't feel real great and I was just pretty happy to get that break early. It just was too bad that nobody else was too happy about it.

Q. Any sense of satisfaction, you know, getting this far the first time at this or are you used to doing much better and not being satisfied --

TODD MARTIN: Well, there's no satisfaction. It's exciting for me. I've had three very tough matches in the third round before this year and I've played well, basically, in all of them, and I just ran into better players than I was at the time, and it's just nice to, you know, win one more match and hopefully, you know, I'll keep it going.

Q. Today a lot of the baseliners were very successful, Chang and Agassi, Bruguera and others who stay back. In your match you stayed back -- are you the --

TODD MARTIN: See you, Rich--

Q. You were a 56, Rafter approach the match 105?

TODD MARTIN: I was only 56. Well, I hit a lot more aces. I didn't have to volley.

Q. I was wondering if the courts are playing a little slower --

TODD MARTIN: I think at night things speed up a little bit and if they don't, it seems like they speed up because of the lights. I felt like I came to the net quite a bit. It's very hard to come to the net against the guy who's serving and volleying first and second serve, so he's able to come in on my serve when I'm hitting second serves, but I'm really never able to come in on his serve. So that's the difference. I think obviously his percentage of coming to the net is going to be higher than mine, but, you know, in relative terms compared to our normal games, I came to the net quite a bit more than the first two matches.

Q. Becker lost, Reneberg has been doing well-- even Sampras, when he won, has been staying back more than he has in the past.

TODD MARTIN: The courts are very fair, I think, this year. I think there are a handful of guys who play big regardless of whether they come to the net a lot or not. I think, Pete's serve is still going through the court pretty well and if you hit a good volley, then it is a good volley. If you don't hit a good volley, then you're going to pay for it sometimes. And that's the way tennis should be, and that is what all the complaints were about Wimbledon. But, it's hard to make a grass court slow. It's much easier to make a hardcourt slow and they've come up with a pretty good composition of court and the ball, too.

Q. This might be the best test of tennis overall?

TODD MARTIN: I think it always is. If you take the atmosphere out of it, and some of the noise and some of the hecklers, whatever, I think it's -- it's certainly the fairest court, because you can serve and volley unlike on clay, but you can stay back. You can do both. I think it gives everybody the most equal shot at winning the tournament.

Q. Todd, what your is your impression of the rule of preexisting injury; are you allowed to have a trainer come on?

TODD MARTIN: I asked him if he was all right after the match and he said he was fine. I certainly thought his serve lost a little bit for the second set, even a little bit of the third, and things got tight and I guess he loosened up a little bit and really went after it. If it is a preexisting injury, there's very little that a trainer can do to fix it. And I certainly think that somebody deserves -- somebody to come out to you and look at him and if they can make a physical improvement, it's better than somebody having to withdraw.

Q. Was that shirt at all a distraction-- seriously?

TODD MARTIN: No, I think what people wear is their own business, is the company's own business.

Q. No, I'm --

TODD MARTIN: Yeah, and the only thing that would be distracting is if the shirt were as shiny as the shorts -- no, just because the shorts do reflect a little bit. But they really don't --

Q. Todd, you played so well in Australia, Wimbledon, beat Sampras on grass this year, do you feel like you're close to --

TODD MARTIN: This is my tournament--

Q. How close do you feel to winning a tournament like this?

TODD MARTIN: I feel close. There's no reason I shouldn't be close again and I'm not sure if there's a reason why I shouldn't win one of the these tournaments, but if God doesn't have that in store for me, I'm not go took win one. If I work hard. Hopefully I will accomplish that one of these days. I certainly won fret about it.

Q. I'd like to ask kind of the same question in a different form?

TODD MARTIN: Can I answer it the same way?

Q. It's a little bit different?


Q. Sampras at one, Chang at six Martin at nine, in terms of the Americans here and the Americans on the computer, do you ever think about the gap or, you know, like whether you're closing on them -- let me just stop there. Do you ever just think about the gap?

TODD MARTIN: The gap between our rankings?

Q. Yeah, that's not bad, being the third ranked American --

TODD MARTIN: To be perfectly honest, I could care less if I were third, first, or 100th American, as long as I feel like I'm doing what I need to do to be the best tennis player I can. And we all have different potential. Pete is probably playing close to as high towards his potential as he ever has. And Michael has been able to, in the public and the press's eye, seem to overcome his potential, sort of, carrying his size deficit, and I don't know what you guys think about me, but I certainly don't think that I'm -- I've reached my potential yet, and that's what the striving is for. It is not for a certain number on the computer, it's not for a certain win over a good player. It's about being the best you can be. Just like you do in any job or anything you do. And that's what makes the whole thing exciting. If you try to make it overly important and you're ranked high and that you beat certain players, then you put undue pressure on yourself. If you go out on the court and say, hey, let's go out and play well and try to do what you've been working on better, and keep on doing it better. Then, if you do, you should be pleased with yourself. If you don't, you have something to go back to the practice courts and work on. I'm not sure if a lot of guys think towards rankings or not, but I certainly think that's one of the reasons I've improved as a tennis player and if you improve as a tennis player, I'm pretty confident that you're ranking is going to go up and that gap is going to decrease.

Q. Todd, are you staying in the City or are you staying on the Island?

TODD MARTIN: I'm staying in Lansing, Michigan, or Palm Coast, Florida. Whichever you want to think.

End of FastScripts….

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