September 6, 1992
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Ivan, we had, for the second straight interview with your opponent, we had Chuck Adams in here saying, of you, he doesn't play like he used to. I am baiting him with short balls. He lets you back-in points. In order for him to win it, he has got to loosen up and go for it, some of-- sort of the same stuff Connors was saying the other night. I guess-- your response?
IVAN LENDL: I don't care what they say.
Q. Not that you don't care, but you also disagree?
IVAN LENDL: I disagree, because why I would play hard against Connors and let him eat me up with pace? He loves pace. He hates it when you hit it short and slow to his forehand. He just can't stand it. I mean, if you hit hard to his forehand or to his backhand, he would take the ball early and attack you and eat you up. It would be stupid. And Chuck over here was hitting the ball really well. Also when I had looped the ball a little bit to his backhand and I chipped it to his backhand, all of a sudden he started making some errors. If you hit it hard, he just hits it hard down the line and comes in. I mean, it is, you know, if I will see that it is helping me, I am going to do it. But I am not going to do it when I will see it is hurting me.
Q. So you are ready to change your game, until the time comes, do what you need to do?
IVAN LENDL: Yes. You got to play what is right. Just shouldn't go out there and hit your head against the wall. I have been around long enough to know better than that. I have been hitting slice backhands to Connors' forehand for eight years. He hasn't beaten me once. Why should I change that? It worked 17 times. It has worked 17 times. Does he think I'm so stupid only because he doesn't like it, or what?
Q. You have been down now last match in this one, down a set, and a break to begin the second one. Why that kind of a start?
IVAN LENDL: Well, I had a little trouble with my timing today. Chuck started really well, and I started awful and it took me a while to get my rhythm, especially my backhand, and once I started serving better, it was better.
Q. That was the pattern in the other two matches too, that you just sort of-- the timing wasn't there to begin with?
IVAN LENDL: No, I started -- he had a good chance winning that first one 6-1. As with Jimmy, he played extremely well in the first set. Were you at all in terms of what it means for future matches in this turn? What happens in the first set means nothing. What happens on the last point means everything.
Q. What the were the wind conditions like and do you think your experience helped you dealing with that?
IVAN LENDL: I wasn't bad. One instant at the end of the second set at 4-All in the second set, I felt it from the umpires left side. I was serving down wind and maybe it caught Chuck a little bit by surprise after that, because he doublefaulted three times, very next game. It was very difficult to keep the second ball in play because the wind was throwing your toss forward; then it is hard to keep topspin on it.
Q. Earlier in the year at French you were talking about you will go for it; you were going to go down swinging. Do you find it sort of ironic, last two matches, you have changed your style so dramatically, these guys come in and start talking like this about the way you are playing?
IVAN LENDL: You know, everybody like to say something, and I had guess if you ask them you would have to get an answer, but I think you have to be flexible enough to play the way you think you should, what you think is the best way to play.
Q. When you get down a set, you sort of just mentally shrug it off because you have had much experience and don't get rattled by it?
IVAN LENDL: Three out of five, one set doesn't mean anything. Two sets doesn't mean everything either. It means a lot, but not everything. I have won some matches from two sets to love down and lost two sets to love up. Why should I get really rattled with one set?
Q. If you play Boris, what do you anticipate other than the usual way you play him?
IVAN LENDL: Well, he I haven't played him for a while actually, but I am sure he is going to serve well, and come to the net and I will have to pass well, and attack it myself.
Q. It bothers you that you don't-- somehow you are not getting what might seem to be the kind of respect you deserve with your record, from a guy like Chuck Adams, you know, you have earned-- you have shown that you could win anything, anywhere, any time and yet he seems to be saying this guy has got to do this or that. Who is he?
IVAN LENDL: It is sort of, I mean, I have to sort of chuckle at that when he says, oh, he doesn't play the -- as he used to because I never played him before, so, it is some kind of difficult to compare, I guess, but maybe he can do it, I don't know.
Q. Is there any danger at all of these kind of starts catching up with you especially against somebody like Becker when your competition is going to get much tougher?
IVAN LENDL: Richard, it is really funny how it works; sometimes you start really quick, and play well, sometimes you start quick and don't play well and lose the match. Some other times you start awful and finish well, and some other times you start awful and finish that way. It seems to go in patches, and there is no pattern to it. At least, I have haven't figured it out why, if it has to do with the warm-up before the match or longer time between practice and the match. I haven't figured it out yet, so I gave up worrying about it and I know that sooner or later it will turn around and I will be starting really quick, maybe a break up immediately and so on and so on, and in Cincinnati I started like that. I played first four matches. I started with a break in the first game on the opponent's serve, and won the first set every time too.
Q. When you go to a baseball game and see somebody bunt the ball, do you see any resemblance between what you do on forehand down the line?
IVAN LENDL: I wouldn't call forehand down the line a bunt exactly. It is a fairly -- if it is a bunt like then why does Chuck duck when he is hitting that? I don't understand the duck is sort of contrary to itself, doesn't it?
Q. Would you say that they are talking sour grapes; they are bad losers, these guys?
IVAN LENDL: Certainly not very gracious, let us put it that way. I mean, if it is such a bad play, if you call it bunting, if it is such a bad play, how come they didn't beat me? I don't know.
Q. Is there any extent to which you would agree that you aren't playing the way you used to, any area where you weren't?
IVAN LENDL: Yeah, I agree with that that I go under the ball more than I used to when I have to. I go over the ball when I have to. But as I was saying before, why should I give somebody who likes pace, the pace. Did you see the match yesterday between Sampras and Martin? I played Martin in Canada myself, and he started with a break up. He was hitting his backhand off my backhand, top spin, down the line, four winners; he broke me for second service game, and then I started chipping to his backhand and I won three and two and yesterday what happened when Sampras was leading, he was hitting the ball, and Martin, all of a sudden, was eating him up. And then Sampras fell behind; started chipping the ball and Martin started missing. I mean, what is wrong with that? It is just smart play. Something doesn't work or, you know, it is not going to work, so you change it.
Q. Thank you very much
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