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September 5, 1993

Todd Martin


Q. Today you had a couple of matchpoints in the third set. He hit two really big second serves. Can you talk about those two points?

TODD MARTIN: Well, the only -- I am not really sure what the serves were. It was quite a while ago. I remember -- the one match point I remember, well, the first one he hit unbelievable second serve, I think. I think that was a second serve. I could barely get the racket on it even though it was right at me. Then the one I really remember was he hit a serve down the middle and to my forehand and I hit -- kind of got pretty good racket on it and missed it by six inches to a foot wide. That was really the only chance I had in the match and he played a very good breaker except for the one doublefault, to go, I don't know what the score was, maybe 11-9 or 12-10, whatever. He only lost one point on that serve and that was a doublefault. That is pretty good tennis. Because I make him volley a little bit. He was just too good for me.

Q. Todd, great match and it was so close, inches. Did you take anything positive out of it?

TODD MARTIN: Take plenty of positive things from it; much more positive than negative the whole day. One, I had a terrific time. It was a beautiful day and you know, it was just -- I played two very good sets and, you know, five pretty good sets and it was just a matter of, you know, shot here or there and I could have been doing this three hours ago. But Richard played extremely well; he served better than I have ever been serving, and that is just the way it goes.

Q. Some guys come in here, Todd, and they can remember point-by-point the entire match practically saying there was a breakpoint in the second, you are obviously not like that.

TODD MARTIN: I could remember --

Q. Was it because of the type of match it was?

TODD MARTIN: I could remember most of the points. The points with Richard are so quick and so repetitive because he hits such big serves and aces. It is hard to say which ace came where and when. Actually points we had, I do remember-- that is why I remember the one match point where I did hit a fairly good return; I just was a little unlucky and a little late and missed it.

Q. Breakpoint in the final set; looked like were you tempted to let that go?

TODD MARTIN: Well, he hit a very good return and I didn't do much with the ball and I had to half volley. First volley, was a little surprised he ran around it because his backhand is probably, maybe a little bit better, but he ran around it, and by running around, it was almost-- it was like that was the only place he could go. Then he hit it with a lot of topspin and I just was crowding; I sort of expected a lob and the lob would have beaten me for sure. Then the way he hit it, it looked like it might have gone out, but also, I just -- it was too big of a ball to really have time to react to. I think it was actually going in retrospect.

Q. On the whole, are you comfortable playing a guy who plays a similar game to you with very kind of precise, almost a sharp shooters kind of a game or do you prefer playing somebody who moves the ball around a lot, changes pace maybe?

TODD MARTIN: This is -- this is the first guy who -- first serve and volleyer I have lost to since Pete at the Lipton, so I have had very good success against that style of play. I think Richard sticks to it a little bit more. I played Becker in Montreal, he stayed back a little bit. Even Pete stays back a bit. But Richard is pretty content to go first and second serve, bomb, bomb, and you know, that on a good day, he is going to be very tough to beat. On a bad day, though, he is very beatable. I had my chances, 5-All, 15-40 in the third. I'd say that was my better chance than any of my matchpoints. It was just unfortunate, hit a couple of good returns and missed some passing shots. Didn't pick good enough passing shots. The guys who stay back a little bit more, move the ball around; maybe let you play a little bit more tennis, but they are just as difficult to play in their own sense.

Q. Is there any rhythm in a match like this?

TODD MARTIN: There is a lot of rhythm of watching balls go by, and I really was into that rhythm today. You know, first game I returned very well and he served very poorly, so I hadn't -- called second serves, maybe all but one second serve; he hadn't really found his rhythm then all of a sudden every first or second serve was just huge and even when I hit my good returns, he was getting very close to the net on the first volley and that makes it a lot easier and volleyed quite well. There is a rhythm, I guess.

Q. Today, with your performance in the last couple of Grand Slams, do you feel you are on the verge of breaking through to that higher echelon of players?

TODD MARTIN: I wish people would stop asking me that question. I am playing professional tennis. I think there isn't another echelon. I think, you know, the people I have lost to this year are all of what you call the upper echelon. Guys who are a threat to win Grand Slams; guys who are always around at the end of the tournament. Well, I think I am there and I think, you know, if there is a difference between somebody who is around at the end of the tournament, you know, I don't know if there even is a difference in echelon between a guy who is ranked 70 and does well a few times a year and a guy who is in the top 20 who is doing well pretty much every week. I think we have all earned what we have got, and I think everybody has a chance to beat anybody on a given day. You know, Richard had to play some good tennis to beat me today and I really think that I am there. I just need to, you know, need to prove it to the press or the public but I have proven it to myself.

Q. In your own mind do you feel or -- maybe not a fair question to ask now. Do you feel like you lost a match, like there are things you could have done that you do or actually feel that he outplayed you in a couple of key things?

TODD MARTIN: I doubt I would be as receptive to questioning if I had lost the match. I really felt like he won the match. But I played well. I played well in the third fourth and fifth, the sets I lost. I just think that Richard had, one, a little bit more fire power on the serve and, two, just came up with the good shots at the right time. On game point at 4-All in the fifth, hit a pretty good serve; pretty good volley; he hit sort of a half volley running passing shot angle, hard, it is -- I am two inches away from being at 5-4; I am serving with a lot of pressure on him, and that is what it comes down too. Today he just -- he hit the right shots at the right time.

Q. When you go over to the chair and you know you are going out for that last game you have to stay in it; you have to break him, what are you thinking at that point?

TODD MARTIN: Well, there is very little pressure on you then. I mean, you work five hours for a chance to win and you have had chances to win. Those aren't in your mind right then, but you know, it is silly to give up and end it. It is silly to have a negative attitude. I got a little upset in that game at 4-All due to the bad call and I had won that point basically I had easy volley. That would have put me up 40-15, but I still had more chances in that game to win it. Really the only thing that is disappointed about that was the fact that I didn't do what I needed to do to get through that game. By the time I go out to play the next game, one, what I am hoping for a few second serves, because if he plays 100% first serves; then the chances of me breaking him are pretty slim. And he made all 4 first serves and couple of aces and you know, then you just got to swallow your pride and go shake his hand and congratulate him because he did the job.

Q. Thank you, Todd.

End of FastScripts....

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