September 11, 1993
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Today's match, you didn't employ any of the tactics which you did against Larsson?
WALLY MASUR: Well, a different type of player. Totally different type of player. He came out early and I couldn't believe the way he played in the first five games. It was-- he played focused tennis and it was, you know, it was very swirly, very windy today. And the first five games, he did absolutely nothing wrong. And I felt like I was in a good emotional state. I was hitting the ball. Well, he had too much game for me at certain periods of the match. He is very dangerous on both sides, getting winners off both sides. In the end, I was a little scared knowing which way to go because there wasn't like there was a particular weakness, I could attack.
Q. What allowed you to come back in the game in the second set?
WALLY MASUR: Well, had he continued, I don't think anyone could have continued to play as he did in that first set. So I knew that at some point the momentum must change a little bit. But I had-- in the third set I think I had Love-40 in the first game. I had several breakpoints and my inability to return his first serve was shocking. It was a disgrace. I just didn't make him play so many times on the first serve. That is what lost me the match.
Q. Would you describe what you were trying to do to him and what he was doing to you?
WALLY MASUR: Well, first of all, today was a day about survival, because you probably noticed out there it is unbelievably breezy and it is not blowing in any particular direction. So it is easy to lose confidence out there and I think I lost a bit of confidence at the end there. I was really reaching for the ball. Not moving my feet. He had no such problems. He maintained a good rhythm throughout. But I basically was trying to, after I lost that first set 6-1, like I said, it was survival. I was trying to get as many balls, didn't make him play as much as I could. I had my chance with the breakpoints in the third set. I probably had five or six, I am not sure, but I didn't make any.
Q. Was the idea to keep him as deep as you could; I mean, is that--
WALLY MASUR: Yeah, was a little surprised. I thought he would serve volley me a little bit more, which I think I would have been happy to have a target to return to. It was very difficult, because he served a high percentage on the first serves; particularly, the first two and a half sets. Then the quality of my tune wasn't that much. He could dictate the point from then on. I was holding my own, so-- reasonably comfortably in the second and third. But just like I say, on some key moments I didn't do any damage on his.
Q. The way Pete Sampras is playing now, if he is in the finals against your opponent today, how would you describe that match-up and what would your opponent would have to do against Sampras?
WALLY MASUR: I like Cedric's game. I like the way he plays tennis. He is very-- he is very strong off both sides. There is no real weakness in his game. Which I think in today's tennis it is very important, obviously, I think the key to the match, if Sampras wins, would be his serve and how Pioline could cope with his serve. I think once Pioline is in the points, he will be fine, but the key will probably be the quality of Sampras' serve.
Q. Were you able to enjoy yourself much out there today?
WALLY MASUR: I kind of enjoyed it. I didn't enjoy the fourth set. Did not enjoy that at all. I enjoyed the match. I enjoyed the first three sets, but I'd like to go out and do that fourth set again.
Q. In the fourth set-- rather, in the third set, did you think that Pioline was at some stage nervous in holding his serve?
WALLY MASUR: I had Love-40, obviously, he was thinking about it. But in the semifinal of a major tournament you obviously get very few chances and the player that takes the opportunity and makes those big points, he is the guy that is going to win. I didn't do that at all in the third.
Q. Wally, when you were down 5-1, were you waiting for an awful line call?
WALLY MASUR: I don't know what I was waiting for-- something, but it didn't come. Yeah, that was-- like I said that other night was just a weird set of circumstances, very hard to duplicate. Today, I was being pretty much outplayed in that fourth set. I would have needed-- I would have needed to tag with John McEnroe or something like that.
Q. Wally, the other day you were saying that there is not much that you haven't experienced in your career on the tour. But after these two weeks over the year, what will you take away? What can you add to your experiences?
WALLY MASUR: I won't forget these last two weeks. Obviously, I had some very exciting matches. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I thoroughly enjoyed the competition. I mean, I have got a Davis Cup match coming up in two weeks. It is not like I can sit back -- (MUSIC PLAYING)-- little Gospel going on there. Tony Bennett is singing? We should all be solemn. What were you saying, Craig, I lost my train of thought?
Q. What memories and experiences will you remember?
WALLY MASUR: It has been terrific for me. I mean, obviously, I enjoy the Grand Slams and to do well in another Slam is very gratifying. But like I said, I got Davis Cup coming up in two weeks, that is always important to an Australian. Like I say, I hope I continue my good form and my competitiveness into that time.
Q. If someone on a New Years Eve party came up to you last year and said, Wally, you are going to make the semis of the Grand Slam. No problem. What would you have said to them?
WALLY MASUR: If they told me my draw, I would have said, yes. I had a good draw, and I made the most of my opportunities. Yeah, I would say, yeah.
Q. Is this the best draw you have ever had in the Slams?
WALLY MASUR: No, disrespect to my opponents, but obviously, ranking-wise and otherwise, yes. Yeah.
Q. Tommasi writes in his program that you would win in five sets.
WALLY MASUR: Did he? Where is he?
Q. That is what he puts, Masur in five. Did you entertain some hopes like that?
WALLY MASUR: Look, I must admit in the fourth set at some point I was finding him a little bit-- I was finding him very tough. I didn't know how to play him. I had no -- nothing left to show him that he hadn't seen. Like I said, he was very dangerous of both wings. I think when I was down two breaks, I was really looking down the barrel against him, because he was only growing in confidence. To come back, you need to go out to the guy to check-- I choke up a little bit and to show you a few mistakes. You could read his body language and see that he is getting a little nervous. He didn't do that at all.
Q. Where does this rank with everything that you have done in tennis, the Davis Cup?
WALLY MASUR: I had a couple of moments, one was 87, I made semis Australia Open. And 1990 we beat France in a Davis Cup title. I beat Leconte in five and Noah in five. We won 3-2. Along with that they are probably my 3 best weeks in tennis.
Q. Going into the third set tiebreaker, how were things feeling then?
WALLY MASUR: I felt fine. I felt good, I mean --
Q. Did you feel in charge at all?
WALLY MASUR: Not particularly. Not particularly. I can't remember the last time I felt in charge in a match. But tiebreaks are funny situations. I wasn't happy-- I was -- as most of you know, this was a talented guy on the other end of the court, and I spent 6 points of the tiebreaker -- he got up to I think 4-2 or 5-1 lead; that proved to be too much.
Q. If you get Sampras the match today does Pioline have a match against him?
WALLY MASUR: I believe-- I always maintain a final is another tournament in itself. I will be interested to see how Cedric comes out tomorrow. I hope he comes out swinging, as he has done. Because I think he is a very dangerous player. I think if he can negate Sampras's serve and get in the points I think he is a very worthwhile opponent.
Q. Was today's match much different from the Wimbledon match with Cedric?
WALLY MASUR: Wimbledon match was a little different. I was down two sets to love in that match. And came back to level it at 2 sets all. It was obviously a different type of match. We both serve and volleyed in first and second and tennis was a little different. But I think today Cedric outplayed me, there is no doubt about that. I have no excuse.
Q. Do you think he is a much better player now than even when --
WALLY MASUR: Not particularly. I think surface probably suits him a little more than it suits me. Probably more comfortable on this than he is on grass.
Q. You made a reference to Davis Cup in the fortnight. What expectations?
WALLY MASUR: I have -- Davis Cup, it will just be a gruel and grind and it will all the things I love about Davis Cup.
Q. Thank you.
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