August 16, 2003
CINCINNATI, OHIO, ANDY RODDICK/ Max Mirnyi 7-6, 6-4
MODERATOR: Questions for Max.
Q. Think it's safe to say he's playing pretty well at the moment?
MAX MIRNYI: Yeah. I thought I played all right as well. The score speaks for itself. I had -- I thought I had more opportunities in the first set. I was ahead in the tiebreaker and had my chances. I mean what can I say? It was a good match. I looked for my opportunities after I lost the set. I had a few, but he certainly plays well right now in the critical moments, and that's why where he is right now.
Q. What happened in that tiebreaker when you got up five to one?
MAX MIRNYI: What happened?
Q. Yeah. I mean what was your mindset at that point?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, certainly being up 5-1 you like your chances winning a tiebreaker, no matter who you play, but I made an error with a fairly difficult volley at that point, and then he came up with a great passing shot, inside out forehand, if you remember, and then that let court running backhand that he hit, so it was a string of a couple points that, you know, should have gone my way, but didn't. I could have maybe been more aggressive on my serve being up 5-1, but you know, I chose to play that way, and this is a decision that I make, and you know, up until today I was making good decisions, but today maybe it wasn't the right decision at the time, so anyway, I feel pretty happy overall of the way I played today.
Q. How did you handle mentally this loss in the tiebreaker, in the second set, at the beginning of the second set?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, it's just a tennis set. I mean it's not the end of the world. Much more that goes on in the world that's much more important than a tennis match and a tiebreaker, so of course, you want to win, but you lose a tiebreaker, you're still out there, great day, Cincinnati, full stadium, you're playing in the semifinal round, there's not much to be upset about.
Q. Do you feel that with your results this week and what you've done this summer that you have gone to another level in your game?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, it certainly feels great to be able to string a number of tough matches together. Starting from Washington I got to the quarterfinals there, then not really having much time off in between, I continued to play well and been mentally and physically ready; had a tough week in Montreal with a lot of matches, and then the following week here, so it shows that I'm feeling good about my game. I'm physically fit, and I like to come to New York and continue this progress.
Q. You obviously served very well, but first time seeing his serve, what did you think of it, trying to return it?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, actually, it is a powerful serve, but I've played with guys that have better serves. You know, it's -- you know, he does win a lot of points with it, but there are guys that disguise it much better than he does, and I was not really impressed that much.
Q. Did you notice any change in the pattern of serve of Andy Roddick?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, sure I've picked up on some pattern, and I'm sure it will be useful for my future matches against him, and just in general, you know, I've seen him play many matches. I've never played against him, so it was good to get a feel for conditions for the way the ball is traveling and just forward it to the next match.
Q. Were you disappointed, then, with your return of serve games that you couldn't break him?
MAX MIRNYI: Not really. I felt I had opportunities. Maybe in a two-set match playing against such a big server, I feel that, you know, being up two or three times -- I think I was up 0-30 on his serve. It's plenty of chances where I had the opportunity. Again, you know, given that he's so confident right now helps him get through these situations, but I'm sure that if I continue to play that way, I will get chances. I will break eventually.
Q. Do you think you're the kind of guy that people can perhaps underestimate going into the U. S. open? Do you think you can do some damage there?
MAX MIRNYI: I don't really know. I've played well in the past in New York, so I think whoever is involved with the tournament and players in particular, they know what I'm capable of, and you know, having played well this summer, I don't think anybody takes anybody lightly in today's tennis, so it's a Grand Slam. It's the last of the year. It's probably the most prestigious one, and everybody wants to play their best tennis. There aren't going to be any matches taken lightly by anybody.
Q. Max, you said how confident Andy's playing and how well he's playing. Is he playing better than anyone else in tennis right now?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, I don't know. I have to say playing wise tennis game wise, my favorite player at the moment is Roger Federer. He's just got a lot of variety to his game that Andy doesn't have. Andy's a different character. He's a different type of player. But I favor Roger much more.
Q. You seem to have accepted this well, but an hour from now will you agonize over this or will you just go on and say, all right, my next matches and my next tournament?
MAX MIRNYI: I actually look at it as a great warmup for me, because having played a lot of matches this week, I wake up every morning being sore and maybe not knowing where I am, in what city and what hotel, so playing a good match like that gives me a good workout. I break some sweat, and I hope to be fit and ready for my doubles match.
Q. Do you know if you've ever had a match where you had 35 winners and five unforced errors, win or lose?
MAX MIRNYI: I don't know. Normally my dad travels with me and he keeps the statistics going, so I'm sure he would be able to answer that question, but I think it's good stats. I think it has to do with the fact that I am coming to the net more often than other guys. That's why my unforced errors ratio is quite low. So but I certainly like to keep it that way.
Q. What the game televised in your country?
MAX MIRNYI: I think they're getting taped delays from Russia because Russian TV channel is showing the Masters Series tournaments as well as the Grand Slams, so they will be tape delayed later this evening.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.