Andre, can the wonderful story of the last two weeks make up at all for this defeat?
“Most definitely. Naturally it’s disappointing to lose. But you have to be honest with yourself. And today I lost against a better player. He’s the best I’ve ever played. In any case I’ll never forget today’s atmosphere. No one can take that away from me. The feeling of thousands of people spurring you on and after 20 years, everything coming full circle and taking place in an amazing atmosphere again”.
Does that mean this was your last US Open?
“I don’t honestly know. Who knows what I’ll be doing in a month or a year’s time. At the moment I’m fully intending to carry on working hard and just doing what I do. There’s only one thing that would be better than 20 years of the US OPEN ... and that would be 21 years of the US Open!”
Do you believe that Roger Federer is even better than Sampras at his best?
“Pete was one of the true greats! But ... even with him there were areas of his game that you could crack. Roger, on the other hand, does not show any weaknesses. He is the only player against whom you can hold your serve, go one point ahead and think: WOW, fantastic… I’m leading! I’m not joking. Against him you have to play every point to the full.”
Was the tournament more emotional for you than your victories in 1994 and 1999?
“I’m at a different place in my career, that’s all. I can enjoy the whole thing more now, the support and appreciation of the fans or fantastic night matches like the one against James Blake. Yes, there’s more enjoyment for me because I don’t just have to think about winning all the time.”