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September 6, 2002

Max Mirnyi

Mahesh Bhupathi

NEW YORK CITY, BHUPATHI-MIRNYI/Novak-Stepanek 6-3, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Congratulations?


Q. How does it feel to win your first Grand Slam together?

MAX MIRNYI: Very good. Any Grand Slam is good, but we've known each other for a long time. I think we started to play on tour about maybe the same time. So finally after this many years, it's good to win such a big tournament.

Q. What is it that makes you such a winning team, Max?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, this is actually maybe our first title this year.


MAX MIRNYI: So it's a good one to win. We had good results in general, but I think the fact that we try to stay positive and work hard through many ups and downs, because there are many. No matter how good you play, there's always letdowns. It's a matter of how fast you come out of it, how well you support each other. I think we do that very well for one another. That's why we are having a good year so far.

Q. Mahesh, how does this compare with the Roland Garros and Wimbledon doubles titles?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: As Max said, a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. But, you know, obviously it's different. Max and me, we started playing in April. You know, I think what makes us click is that we know we fight. Yesterday we played two really tough matches, we fought till the end. We have two big games. If we keep fighting, we always put a lot of pressure on our opponents. So it works out well for us.

Q. Max, can you talk about just how tired are you after playing four sets in singles, then playing doubles today?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I kind of sort of program myself in a way of how many matches I had to play. Like after every match, after every singles or doubles match, Mahesh was providing a countdown for me, you know, saying, "Three down, four to go," or... Just kind of stuck to my mind. When I lost to Andre in the quarterfinals, I gave it all I had in that match. But, you know, I had to come back the next day and be focused to play the doubles. I knew that in order for us to win this tournament, I had to win that first match in the morning yesterday, which was very tough, then the following match. So I kind of just knew that it was gonna be tough, but I stuck to the idea that it's a US Open title, and there's no other bigger tournament than this tournament, and you better give everything you have. So now I'm pretty tired (smiling).

Q. You seem to have a lot of people cheering for you in the stands. Even though you only lived in Brooklyn for a short time, do you think this is home?

MAX MIRNYI: I think this is long enough. I lived here for a year. Over the year I've developed a lot of friends. There's a big Russian speaking community. A lot of them follow my progress and they're happy I was part of their lives. Every time I get back here to New York for the US Open, there's a whole big reunion of us. I don't get to see all of them because it's physically impossible, but maybe just providing them with tickets to come and see the matches is my thank you in a way for them.

Q. Have the crowds been good at your doubles matches? Have you found support generally, both of you?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I think mainly big Indian supporters and then big Russian-speaking supporters. Some may be true doubles fans, but other than that, we've had a very good group of people for just our friends and family, I think.

Q. Mahesh, third set, fifth game. The chair umpire overruled the linesman's call. Anything special that happened, you called the supervisor and had a chat with him. What was it about and what was the final outcome of it?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: I mean, the linesmen called it out, the umpire overruled which we thought was a pretty ridiculous overrule. I know that on the replay it was out, but bad calls happen in tennis and, you know, it was a big moment for us. We just broke them to go up in the third. We were able to just settle down the next two games and stay positive because, as you said, it's a final and we don't want to give it away because of a bad call.

MAX MIRNYI: By the way, this was the only break of serve I had in the tournament in doubles.

MAHESH BHUPATHI: Is that true?


Q. Did that affect your next few games?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: Maybe the next one game. After that, I was serving, obviously down break points, but we were able to come through that. We were ahead again. We knew we'd just try to stay positive till the end.

Q. What do you think made the difference between the teams today?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: Maybe a little bit of experience of, you know, playing -- Max has won Grand Slam titles, I have won them. We knew if we could stay ahead, they would obviously get a little tight. In that last game we made the extra ball and they missed a couple of easy volleys to give us that edge.

Q. Did you both plan together your next schedule?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: We don't know yet. We're going to play to the end of the year and see how it feels. Obviously Max will concentrate on his singles. I'm sure we're going to play a little bit, but we haven't decided which tournaments.

Q. Does playing doubles help your singles, Max?

MAX MIRNYI: Certainly. Matches, any extra matches you can play, are important for any tournament or any player. And the type of game I play, coming forward and using my serve and volley ability, helps me to do that in my singles. It's just sometimes if it gets a little bit too much of that, then it's physically a little bit tough. But if you can maybe manage to schedule, and in my case play selected tournaments in doubles and singles, then it should be fine.

End of FastScripts….

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