Thursday, August 12, 1999

Krajicek enjoying resurgence


Dutchman always tough on Sampras

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — If they each win today, seventh-seeded Richard Krajicek and top-seeded Pete Sampras will meet Friday. Which is not necessarily good news for the top seed in the Great American Insurance ATP Championship.

        Sampras has lost to Krajicek four straight times, trails their series 6-2 and has not beaten the Dutchman since 1994, at the Paris Indoor event.

        “Most players go out on the court against Pete, and he's always ahead of them mentally,” Krajicek said. “I think at the moment I have maybe a little mental edge, or at least we go out even.

        “I think I have a good game for him because I attack him. If you stay back, he gets control of the points and makes you run around, and then you're only running. For me, it's not been a specific game plan. I play that way against everybody.”

        For that quarterfinal match to happen, Krajicek will have to get past 105th-ranked American Justin Gimelstob today, and Sampras needs to beat No.49 Rainer Schuttler.

        Krajicek finished 10th in the world in 1998 following knee surgery in November. He climbed to a career-high No.4 after winning the Lipton Championships in Key Biscayne, Fla., in March — his second title of the year.

        But since then, he has not gotten past the quarterfinals of any tournament and was bounced in the round of 32 at Wimbledon by No.196 Lorenzo Manta.

        “Now I've tried to pick it up,” Krajicek said. “I'm hitting the ball good. I'm feeling good physically and mentally, but you need the confidence of winning one or two matches. Then I think I'll be back on track. I'm not making the big points. That's the problem.”

        On July 7, Krajicek married his longtime girlfriend, Daphne Deckers, with whom he has a 16-month-old daughter. Family life has been good for Krajicek, he said.

        “I have my tennis life and I have my private life,” the 27-year-old said. “It makes it easier. When I was younger, basi cally the whole day tennis was in my head. Now when I step off the court, I don't think much about tennis and I am thinking more about my family.”

        His family has traveled with him on occasion but is back in The Netherlands now. They keep in touch through phone calls, e-mail and online pictures and videos.

        “When I come back on the court, I feel like I have more energy,” Krajicek said. “I don't know if I'm more driven ... but now it's easier to motivate myself.”

MAIN ATP PAGE



Sports Stories
Rafter cruises into round of 16
Agassi in top form
Henman on brink of joining elite
Kafelnikov mum off court
Chang notches top 10 win against Spaniard Corretja
- Krajicek enjoying resurgence
Martin falls to friend
Woodruff making comeback
ATP NOTEBOOK
'P' in ATP might stand for pampering
Today's ATP schedule
Wednesday's ATP results