Richard Krajicek interview

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pj80, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. pj80

    pj80 Semi-Pro

    Jan 27, 2007
    QUESTION: As a Wimbledon champion, I’m sure you are excited to play on the grass courts at the Gibson Guitar Champions Cup?

    RICHARD KRAJICEK: Yes, I do like to play on grass. There are not too many players who feel really comfortable on grass, but my game was made for it. I played in the days of Sampras, Rafter and Ivanisevic, the great grass court players. Now it’s all baseliners. The grass has changed, players tell me. It’s slower, and therefore it is more difficult to play serve and volley. I believe it is a shame because I always liked watching contrasting players. Like Borg against McEnroe, Lendl against Edberg and Rafter against Agassi. Not that tennis is less interesting to watch nowadays. For me the Wimbledon final this year was one of the best, if not the best Wimbledon final ever. Nadal is such an impressive player! He has taking tennis to a new level of fitness. And Roger Federer is of course a treat to watch.

    QUESTION: When you won Wimbledon in 1996, you had probably the best win of your career, defeating Pete Sampras on Centre Court. Tell us a bit about that match and subsequently going on to win the title?

    RICHARD KRAJICEK: My kids Emma and Alec saw the wall of honor in the players lounge at Wimbledon this year. It says: ‘1993 Sampras-1994 Sampras-1995 Sampras-1996 Krajicek-1997 Sampras-1998 Sampras-1999 Sampras-2000 Sampras’. And they actually felt bad for Pete! They had met him two months earlier in Athens at an Outback Champions Series event and he hit a few balls with them. My kids really liked him, of course, because Pete has always been an easygoing and approachable guy. I said: “Listen, Pete’s got seven of those trophies, I’ve got one, so don’t feel bad for him, be happy for me!” Beating Pete in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 1996 felt amazing, but I knew it would mean nothing if I would have lost in the next round. It wasn’t over yet. I wanted the whole Championship. Winning Wimbledon changed my life. I’m not a tattoo kind of guy, but I can understand why Goran has ‘Wimbledon Champion’ tattooed on his back. It’s just the highest high.

    QUESTION: Tell us a bit about the field at the Gibson Guitar Champions Cup and how you stock up against the competition?

    RICHARD KRAJICEK: Well, the field looks really great, so it’s not going to be easy. Some guys practice a lot, but I’m also a tournament director, a manager and I have my own Foundation. But I love just being out there, smell the grass - not in the Dutch way - and have fun. My wife and kids cannot come, because they have school in Holland, but maybe that’s for the better. When I lost a very close match to Pioline in Qatar, Emma and Alec both started crying! Alec, who is seven, is a great little player but also a very critical coach. When I win, he says things like: “Great dad - but those volley’s today… not so great.” So when I lose, I get no dessert.

    QUESTION: How do you like the competitive nature of the Outback Champions Series? Do you like that there is prize money on the line in every match?

    RICHARD KRAJICEK: It is nice when there is something extra at stake, but all players competing in Gibson Guitar Champions Cup, they hate to lose, so even if we would not play for money, there would be great competitive matches as well.

    QUESTION: How will it feel for you facing Mal Washington on Saturday on a grass court – will that rekindle memories of your Wimbledon final?

    RICHARD KRAJICEK: I haven’t seen him in a long time. When I won the Key Biscayne final in 1998, he was commentating my match. It’s a shame his injuries prevented him from having the career that he should have had. But he’s a wonderful person, doing great work with his foundation for underprivileged kids. I am looking forward to playing him again on grass. I am sure it will bring back some memories.
  2. laurie

    laurie Guest

    Very nice interview.
  3. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Dec 27, 2005
    that's funny. anyone have a pic?
  4. jaggy

    jaggy Talk Tennis Guru

    Jun 8, 2006
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Thats what I thought, beat me to it!
  5. GS

    GS Professional

    Feb 20, 2004
    I'm sorry, but I have to remind you of the most hilarious tennis quote of all-time---it was from Krajicek about 15 years ago. He said, "80% of all the women on the WTA tour are fat, lazy pigs. (Pause). I'm sorry, I was wrong in saying that---it's 85%."
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  6. K. Wilson Moose

    K. Wilson Moose Semi-Pro

    Feb 18, 2004
    Wrong, but funny [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2007
  7. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Jun 18, 2004
    The women players then were certainly not in any sort of shape compared to how they are now. Even then, they were making tons of money, they should have been in shape, but generally weren't

    I did always enjoy watching Krajicek, too bad he had so many injuries.

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