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September 3, 1999

Nicolas Lapentti

Flushing Meadows, NYC, F. JONSSON/ N. Lapentti, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5

USTA: Questions for Nicolas?

Q. What happened? What happened in your match? Did you play well?

NICOLAS LAPENTTI: I guess he played well. He came up serving very big, and I think he was -- he was the one that took his chances. He went for his shots. He was much more aggressive, and I felt like I was under pressure the whole time. Every set seemed like to be the same thing. I was holding my serve very easy, and then just concentration for a couple of points, and then I was broken. So I'm just very disappointed the way the things went today. I never really felt like I was in. He was taking over with the ball on the rise. I think he played a great match.

Q. Nicolas, you came here seeded in a Grand Slam for the first time in your life, so you were probably very excited about being at this particular US Open; were you not?

NICOLAS LAPENTTI: Yeah, I was. I was. I came to the US Open with a lot of confidence, playing really, really good tennis, winning the last tournament I played in Indianapolis. And I just felt like I could do very well. I felt like I could win some matches. And once you're through the second or third round, anything can happen. I guess I just -- it wasn't my day today, and that's it.

Q. Had you seen Fredrik play before?

NICOLAS LAPENTTI: Yeah. We played each other this year in Challenger in Bermuda on clay. I remember -- I remember he was serving good. And it's a different game when you play a player like him on the clay or hardcourts. His game, he's much more effective on hardcourts because he takes the ball on the rise. He takes the ball very flat. On clay, it's more time. On hardcourt, I was always under pressure.

Q. Did you win that match in Bermuda?


Q. When was it?

NICOLAS LAPENTTI: I think in April.

Q. Nicolas, at Wimbledon Lorenzo Manta, another player very few people have heard of, beats Krajicek, this guy wins here. It's not that unusual anymore, is it, for players to be coming out of nowhere to win?

NICOLAS LAPENTTI: No. I think men's tennis is getting -- all the time is more and more players, and the level is -- I don't think it's like in women's tennis. Women's tennis, top players are, like, very high, and then the rest of the players I think maybe are on a different level. The men's tennis, this doesn't happen anymore. Anyone can beat anyone. I'm just disappointed not because I lost to a bad player, I'm disappointed because my hopes for this tournament were much, much bigger, and I lost in the second round. But, I mean, it happens. I just have to forget about this and just keep playing.

Q. What were you thinking at the end of the match when you took a break?

NICOLAS LAPENTTI: I knew it was a huge game, for sure. I had maybe two or three points into the game, and he served very good in two of them. I had one point on the second serve, and I didn't take advantage of it. But I think if we would have went into the game maybe going into a tiebreak, he was looking at retired. But he came up with a big serve in the right moment. I just try not to think about it. Because if you think the other guy's tired, maybe you stop pushing a little bit.

Q. Still been a good year for you, yes?

NICOLAS LAPENTTI: Yeah, it has. It has been a great year so far. I raised my rankings a lot this year. I just have to forget about this and just keep working hard and be ready for the next tournaments.

Q. How long did it take you to become a good hardcourt player?

NICOLAS LAPENTTI: I think it's just a mentality. If you can serve well, just try to be more aggressive, you can do good on any surface. But I think one of the things that made me improve the most was my fitness. I started moving much, much better this year than last year. On hardcourts before, I was always, always -- I was never in a good position to get the ball. I was always rushing. Now I feel like I am getting to the ball much better. On hardcourts, that's very important.

End of FastScripts....

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