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October 19, 2001

Max Mirnyi


MODERATOR: Questions for Max.

Q. Pete Sampras said he had sort of a dead arm while serving. Your arm looked quite good today.

MAX MIRNYI: Yeah, I guess so. You know, there are injuries that are always sort of persisting with players. You know, it's been a long season. Some of us do have, you know, bad arm, bad ankle, bad shoulder. We tend to play through that. You know, Pete was aware of that probably. I mean, I don't want to take away from my winning today because it still takes an effort to beat Pete - whether he's got a bad arm or bad shoulder - because he's won a few Wimbledons having some injuries on and off.

Q. Did you ever play with more confidence than this week?

MAX MIRNYI: Probably not in singles. I've developed a lot of confidence this week having won a few matches being match points down. It's very good having done that because, you know, it feels like you can't die. Having that feeling, it relaxes you and helps you win some crucial points.

Q. How big a breakthrough do you think this is for you? You've looked as if you could do something like this for a long time. Do you think you've gotten up to another stage?

MAX MIRNYI: I haven't really played well in a tournament of this magnitude yet. You know, I'm still looking to win a title. Hopefully I can do it here. I'm two matches away. But I got another serious match tomorrow, you know, the one I want to win particularly. You know, I've had good matches on and off, but I haven't been able to string them together. You know, I'm glad I was able to do it this week. Hopefully I can build up on that, play more consistently throughout, you know, next year and towards the end of this year.

Q. What was your longest winning streak in your career?

MAX MIRNYI: It was 36 matches. It was (smiling). You didn't ask me when.

Q. When?

MAX MIRNYI: It was about four years ago when I was starting out to play on the professional tour. I've won three Future events, both singles and doubles. In between the second and third, I had a Davis Cup tie in Belarus. I won that two singles and doubles match. In total, it was 36 matches.

Q. Looking forward to tomorrow, to Yevgeny?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, if you can't get excited about tomorrow's match, then I guess there's something wrong with you. Certainly I'm looking forward to just whether it's Yevgeny or John or Anthony, whoever is going to be on the other side. It's a big event, a very special event to all of us players, you know, Masters Series event. Here in Stuttgart, it's always been a special event because it's a smaller draw, seems like a tougher field. To play well here is a special honor. To be in the semifinals and have a chance to get into the finals, the big showdown, you know, there's a lot of excitement at stake. I'm going to try to produce my best tennis tomorrow.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about this fan club that you've been surprised by, meeting them.

MAX MIRNYI: I just met my fan club. Probably a player of maybe Guga caliber or Patrick Rafter, they're used to having a lot of supporters anywhere they go. But here, I was on one of the outside courts my first-round match. There was a group of 25 people holding huge banners and singing songs to me. I felt a lot of responsibility playing on the outside court, first-round match. I didn't want to let them down. I'm surprised whether they're going to be able to follow up on that and maybe come to at least other German tournaments.

End of FastScripts....

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