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September 4, 1992

Ivan Lendl


Q. You played very well, tactically. You pulled Connors to the net and you were steady and very patient, you know. It was -- you planned the tactics before?

IVAN LENDL: That is the way I have been playing against Jimmy for a long time now, and it has been working for me very well. I don't know. Last eight years or so I couldn't see any reason for change. I just felt I have to stick to it, and hopefully it's going to come my way.

Q. Ivan, in the post-match interview we heard on television, Jimmy said he was "bunting the ball back. I guess that is the way he plays now"?

IVAN LENDL: If it works, why not.

Q. After all you went through in the first round, was there any area of carryover that concerned you after four and a half, hours five sets?

IVAN LENDL: Not really. Every match is different. And once you finish, the match is all over and you get next one, and you have to concentrate on that.

Q. Recovery time and everything, you had no concerns?


Q. How big of a drop off was there in his play from the first set through the last three?

IVAN LENDL: I thought the first set was the best he has played against me in many, many matches. He barely missed any serves, first serves, he was serving very well; mixing it up. Not necessarily very hard, but he was hitting it close to the lines, and also he wasn't missing any forehands. He wasn't making any errors. He played very well the first set, then I was able to get on top of him throughout the second set, and stay there, which was important.

Q. Did you say-- do you think it was a breakdown mentally and physically on his part, or just physically?

IVAN LENDL: Well, not mentally. I do not think he had a mental breakdown. Mental breakdown is something-- when you get impatient, where you stop fighting. You cannot say that about Jimmy. He certainly kept fighting, and I don't think he got impatient. I think it was a mechanical break down on his part, on the forehand a little bit, and I think also we did a lot of running out there. He may have been feeling that. Maybe that is the first reason, and that may have been causing little bit break down on the footwork on his forehands; that is why I felt he was missing them a little bit because of the footwork.

Q. It is only a second round match. Is it a particularly pleasing one, I mean, considering Connors, and the whole scene out there?

IVAN LENDL: Obviously, it is bit more complicated than just second round match. But as I said, just while ago, the match is over; you got to forget it. You have to go onto the next one; concentrate on that. I didn't come here -- my goal for the Open wasn't to try to come here and beat Jimmy in the evening on Friday night. My goal is trying to play really well and do as well as I can. So, obviously, it was a goal for today, and once you achieve that; then you have to go on to the next one.

Q. Ivan, you said you had to go through that a lot of times before you learned how to shut it out. How many times did you have to go through it before you learned?

IVAN LENDL: It is just something which comes naturally. You learn by being in there. I don't know how many times. I don't count it.

Q. How much more comfortable did you feel generally playing tonight than your first match?

IVAN LENDL: Different -- night matches are very different. First round is always difficult because it is new to you, even though you have played over 100 matches here or how many. The night match is also very different. And you just have to get used to everything out there.

Q. From what you saw today, Ivan, can he play best of five Grand Slam tennis any more?

IVAN LENDL: I don't know. I don't know how he is feeling. I don't know how he would be able to recover for the next match, possibly the very next day, and I also don't know how Jimmy was able to train; maybe he was sick. There are a lot of things we don't know. You really have to ask him. I can't answer that. He is the one who knows how he is feeling and he is the one who has to make the decision. I shouldn't be making it for him and certainly not you guys.

Q. Not making a decision, just seeing how he played, and--

IVAN LENDL: He played very well. I mean, there is no question about it. He was hitting the ball extremely well, and whether he wants to and can play three out of five, day after that, I really don't know and I can't answer that.

Q. Were you perhaps surprised how well he played that first set?

IVAN LENDL: Well, I know he can play. Believe me, I think we have all seen that, and so I have to say no, I wasn't surprised. I know he can play like that.

Q. Did you think you were in trouble after the first set or did you think should would wear him down?

IVAN LENDL: I didn't feel it was extremely hot out there. I thought it was actually quite cool. It wasn't all that humid. I wasn't counting on wearing him down as the strategy. I was trying to stick to my plan how to play him, and see how it goes.

Q. Do you have any special feelings when you play a guy like Connors, that you have a long history against as opposed to another player?

IVAN LENDL: We were talking about it, makes it more complicated, but after it is over, it is over and you concentrate on the next one.

Q. Thanks a lot, Ivan?

IVAN LENDL: Thank you

End of FastScripts....

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