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August 15, 2003

Max Mirnyi

CINCINNATI, OHIO, MAX MIRNYI/Guillermo Coria 6-2, 7-5

Q. Congratulations. You got the match played your way, didn't you?

MAX MIRNYI: Yeah. I had to do that in order to have a chance because he's been playing very consistently over the last two or three months, and he's beaten many players that are not playing like myself, so I knew that I had a good chance going into the match because this is the way I play, and if I make my game work today, then it was going to be a tough match for him, so luckily it did work.

Q. What did you do during that long rain delay?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I guess everybody's in the same shoe looking how long it was going to rain for, but I was so surprised how quickly the staff dried the court because the minute it stopped raining, literally ten minutes I was on the court, so but I was ready. I wanted to get out and continue the pressing game that I established in the first set and early in the second, so it was just a matter of keeping an eye on the weather and getting a bite to eat, but other than that. This is not the worst of the week where that happens. Normally we deal with that in London most of the time.

Q. What did you play backgammon?

MAX MIRNYI: Not really. Something was on TV. I wasn't paying attention to it. Reading a few magazines.

Q. Were you worried this would have disturbed your momentum, you know, twice today?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I think if anything, it disturbs his momentum because he's the type of player that wants to hit 2, 3, 10, 12 balls in a rally, and you gotta be warm to do so, and my game is different from that, and in the past I normally start quite fast, so I was a little bit disappointed that I was taken away the point, the 15-0 point before the rain, but you know, it wasn't a big issue to deal with, but just a little thing that disturbed me. But other than that.

Q. When were you told they took that away?

MAX MIRNYI: As we got back to the locker room, I was told by the referee that supposedly he said "let" as we were going side to side, but I didn't hear it, and I didn't think Guillermo heard it either, but he kept on playing even though he said he did hear it.

Q. You said you thought you had a good chance to beat him today. Did you think you had this kind of a chance to get this far in this tournament?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, over the course of this year I've been playing a lot of matches, and combined with singles and doubles, so I certainly felt that, if anybody, I'm the one who's match fit, and given the weather conditions, I've been living in Florida for the last five or six years, so I'm quite used to the heat and the humidity. So it was a matter of really being on my game, and the result that I've shown last week in Montreal proved me that I'm on the right track. I've beaten a couple of good players, and you know, I won the doubles there, so it was an indication of me playing some good tennis, and it was just a matter of taking one match at a time here this week because I had a number of good opponents here as well.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the semis, Andy?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, it's an exciting situation for me because I'm playing one of my best tennis so far, and I certainly hope that Andy wins the match because he's been running so hot in the past eight, ten weeks, that I'd like to play the best player there is on Tour right now, and he's certainly one of them, so I know either way it's going to be a tough match, whoever wins the quarterfinals, but you know, I hope to play Andy.

Q. He plays obviously a very different game than Guillermo, so do you have to take a different tactic?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, in a way a different approach, but again, it is going to be a little bit different, but I still -- I'm going to look forward to stay aggressive and improve my game, if I can.

Q. Should take you up near pretty close to the top 20 for the first time. Is that something which you think about? Is it exciting for you?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, certainly it's very exciting because it's something that you dream of in turning a professional player, but I've been sort of around that area in the rankings, 25, 30, 35 for the last couple years, so I don't think it's that big of a difference whether you're 22 or 26. So it's a matter at this point of progressing in the tournament and hopefully -- you know, I've been to the finals of a Masters Series already once, and hopefully I can get there again. That way maybe I have a chance to go for the title.

Q. You had a very good run in Stuttgart a couple years ago, beat a lot of top guys and people thought you were going to break through then. You've maintained a very high standard and yet you kind of haven't broken through. What would be the reason for that?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I don't know if it's an excuse of mine, but I think it just takes me a little bit longer, takes anybody a little bit longer to develop the type of game that I'm playing. You know, you gotta be much more fit and mentally ready to accept a lot of losses, I mean when you come to the net and sort of take it to your opponent, because you do commit more unforced errors than your opponent, and it's just a matter of feeling comfortable for myself about what I do, and certainly the last couple weeks have shown that I'm becoming much more comfortable at doing this, and it makes me feel good.

Q. Is it a concern for you that serve/volleyers are disappearing from the game or becoming increasingly rare?

MAX MIRNYI: It is a concern. It's unfortunate because I grew up idolizing guys like Edberg and Becker and watching glimpse of McEnroe, and I prefer this type of tennis for myself. I really like this excitement. It's sort of like a goalkeeping situation. But I guess with changes in the game, it has become tougher to persist with this tennis. On the other hand, I feel actually quite happy about it because I'm becoming more of a unique player, and for guys like Coria, example today, it's becoming more difficult to play of my type of guys because, you know, rarely that you come across them.

Q. If you do get -- and I know this is hypothetical. If you do get up into the 20 and maybe beyond, will you still be able to combine that with playing doubles?

MAX MIRNYI: Yeah. I definitely think so because doubles has been a very big part of my career, tennis career because what I do on the singles court reflects very much on the doubles court. You know, it's great for me to stay physically fit through my doubles matches, to work on my service and volleying, returning under pressure, and I believe that there's no better way of training yourself other than doing that in the matches, so I'm lucky that I have good partners over the years and that I'm able to play high-level doubles, and I certainly look forward to continuing doing that.

Q. If you have a win here, how do you see your chances at the U. S. open?

MAX MIRNYI: I don't know. I don't think it would matter whether I win or not win here. My chances at the U. S. open are going to be good. I like New York. I come from New York. This is my first sort of point of arrival in the United States, so I have many friends in New York, and I've played good tennis there over the last three or four years, and the fact that I've played many matches over the summer it gives me an edge and confidence going into the U. S. open, so it would be great to win here, but it will not affect my performance at the U. S. open.

Q. You went to Lincoln High School? Were you the one who said you went to Lincoln in Brooklyn?

MAX MIRNYI: No. I went to Dwight High School in the City, Dwight High School, and I was there for a semester before I was offered a scholarship at Nick Bollettieri's academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Q. So how long have you lived in this country?

MAX MIRNYI: I first came in '91. '91 I spent about 10 or 11 months in New York, and then since then I was a full-time student at Bollettieri's camp, went to high school there, and since then I have a place there and I train there.

Q. So how often, if at all, are you back home?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I use that as a base for my U. S. tournaments when I play here. Like next week I'll be going there. I spend about eight, ten weeks a year I think there.

End of FastScripts….

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