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Old 07-18-2005, 08:11 PM   #1
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Default ESPN Chat with Kiwi

from chat today

Chat with Nicolas Kiefer

Nicolas Kiefer is the No. 2 seed at the RCA Championships.

Welcome to The Show! On Monday, we'll be talking tennis with Nicolas Kiefer as the US Open Series kicks off in Indianapolis with the RCA Championships.
This event is the first off 11 that will run through August and finish with the U.S. Open at the USTA National Tennis Center in New York, Aug. 29-Sept. 11. Throughout the series, players can earn points for a chance to double their potential U.S. Open prize money to $2 million.

Kiefer, runner-up at the 2004 RCA Championships, has a first round bye and will face the winner of Monday's Antony Dupuis-Alexander Popp match in the second round.

Send your questions for Nicolas now and join The Show at 2 p.m. ET!

Buzzmaster: (1:39 PM ET ) Hellooooooo again! This week kicks off the US Open Series! Calling all tennis fans! For the next 11 weeks, the best of the best in the tennis world will be squaring off, leading up to the US Open in late August! We've got Nicolas Kiefer standing by to pay us a visit at 2 p.m. ET! Send your questions now!

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:02 PM ET ) I'm here and ready to go!

Chris: (Bloomington, IN): Nicolas, How do you feel about the creation of the US Open Series and how much extra motivation does it add during this summer hard court season?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:03 PM ET ) This is my surface, hardcourts, so this is why I"m back here. That's my motivation. The Series is a great idea. It's important to try to new things. I think it's great.

george, merida , venezuela : You probably gave Federer the best fight at Wimbledon. Could you comment on why your game gave him so much trouble, did you think you had a chance to win, and what are his weaknesses, if any?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:05 PM ET ) We know each other very well. We never have easy matches. I had my chances at Wimbledon, but I didn't take them. I was serving 5-3 for the fourth set but I didn't finish. He has no weaknesses. He is just so strong. In tough situations, he always plays tough tennis. I was disappointed because it was a good chance to beat him. But now I know I can beat him.

David, Tampa, FL: Was clay or hard the surface you mostly play on while you were growing up?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:05 PM ET ) When I was growing up, we had no hard courts. Only clay and carpet. I'm not really sure how my game got so good on hardcourts. I have no idea!

Bexley, Ohio: Mr. Kiefer: Are there any parts of your game you think that need to improve? Thank you.

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:06 PM ET ) You can always improve your game. I try to improve my whole game all the time. I'm 28, which some people say is old, but I feel very young and fresh and I'm ready to go.

Gabby, Boston MA: Nicolas, what do you think you have to do differently this year to finally beat Andy Roddick?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:07 PM ET ) Everybody knows he has a great serve and is a great competitor, but I serve well also. So I just have to focus on my game and make my forehands.

anna, Queens, NY: Mr. Kiwi, do you know of or like the nickname many of your fans have for you "kiwi"?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:08 PM ET ) Yeah, I like the name. I've had it since I was about 8 or 9 years old. My first coach gave me the name. It's a nice name.

Zach (Montezuma, IA): Which tennis player did you look up to as a kid?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:08 PM ET ) Boris Becker. He was German and was just such a great competitor. I learned a lot from him. I even lived with him for awhile in Munich. He just did so much for my game.

Kiefermania: Do you think Andre Agassi has another tournament win in him?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:09 PM ET ) I think so. He tries to get ready for all these tournaments and I hope he comes back. He's a real champion. I'm looking forward to seeing him play again. Maybe 2-3 weeks from now is when he will be back.

Chris (Chicago, IL): What makes Roger Federererer so hard to bear on grass?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:10 PM ET ) He has such a good serve and volley game and he's good on the baseline. He's been the best over the last three years. It's just all about hard work.

Andy (Vestal): mr. kiefer if you werent a tennis player what would you be?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:11 PM ET ) Maybe soccer player! I practiced with my home team last week and they invited me to a friendly. I played until halftime. It was great.

Steven: What's your favorite shot to win a point? Lob? Down the line? Drop shot?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:11 PM ET ) I love the drop shot. Any special shot really. Shots you don't expect to get a point .. that's the best point!

David (Rochester, NY): Is Roger Federer better than Pete Sampras was? And is that a fair comparison?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:12 PM ET ) I think it's a fair comparison. When Sampras was playing, it was a bit different, but I think Roger is even stronger.

Lisa, Alabama: I have heard you are mean to ball kids....WHY???!!!

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:13 PM ET ) That's a mean rumor! I'm a nice guy! Sometimes you have emotions but I've never been mean.

Chris (Chicago, IL): What is your favorite soccer (football) team? I got to see Real Madrid play a friendly here on Saturday, but my favorite team is Man U.

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:13 PM ET ) Hanover 96.

Ashley: Does it seem weird playing on blue courts?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:14 PM ET ) It's nice. It's not a big difference. You just have to adjust your game a bit. It's good for the spectators and people watching on TV.

Brian (KC): Hi Nicolas, what would you say your career highlight is at this point?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:14 PM ET ) The semifinals in Hanover in 99 and the Olympic games last year where we won the Silver.

Jenna, Nevada: What do you think of Rafael Nadal?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:15 PM ET ) I saw him play this year and he's very impressive, how hard he is hitting the ball. He's a good example of how you can win by just fighting hard. It's great to have new faces in the game and compete against them.

Dani: Hi Kiwi, greetings from Germany. Which tournament of the US Open Series do you like best? Any personal preference? Or are the venues all the same for you?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:16 PM ET ) I like L.A. It's a nice place, so much going on. Of course the Open in NY.

Laura, KY: Do you think Andy ROddick's serve is overrrated?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:16 PM ET ) Everybody thinks he has a strong serve.. and he does.. but it's only a serve. Some players, like Federer, don't have any problems with it.

Benson (Chicago): Why can't the US ever win the Davis Cup?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:17 PM ET ) I think they have a great team. They have just been a little unlucky. I think they have a great chance to win. Why not? But we also want to win it!

Zach (Montezuma, IA): When did you become interested in tennis?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:18 PM ET ) When I was about 5 or 6 I started tennis, soccer and table tennis. At about 16 I started playing only tennis. But I still love to play soccer.

Jeff (Orlando): Do you think they should use "shot spot" with a challenge system for overturning questionable line calls?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:19 PM ET ) It's about 50-50. It's good to see but it makes the matches slower. We are human beings, and we have human beings in the chair and on the lines. But you want to get the calls right. I would rather just leave it with humans making the calls.

Laura, KY: Following up my question about Roddick's serve, can you break him? Is his serve hard to return for you personally?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:20 PM ET ) Of course, I feel confident I can break him. I'm getting closer and closer to beating him. When I have my chances I have to take it. I wouldn't go on the court if I didn't think I could break him.

Brad (Virginia): What do you feel is the hardest thing to learn about tennis? Playing different surfaces? Different shots? Having a complete game?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:21 PM ET ) I think it's a matter of how hard you work, the discipline you put into the game. Are you willing to suffer to be great?

andy (vestal): hey kiwi you got any good luck charms or superstitions?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:22 PM ET ) Yes, very supersticious. It doesn't matter what happens, I eat the same foods .. when I win, I'll eat the same thing the next day.

Adam (Seattle, WA): With so much attention placed on steroid testing int he other major sports, do you think it's time that tennis get serious about alleged abuse?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:22 PM ET ) I don't think it's a problem in tennis.

Abid (Fredericton, NB Canada): With so many guys over the age of 30 still playing on tour, do you think you would like to keep playing into your mid 30's?(I hope so)

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:23 PM ET ) Yeah, I think I can keep playing that long. You can see Agassi is still out there. He's a good example. For how many years has he played? I think I can do that.

Benson (Chicago): How would Serena Williams do against a top men's player?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:24 PM ET ) I think we tried a few years ago with a German player .. he was a doubles playear ranked in the 50s or 40s I think .. he beat them 6-1, 6-2 .. one set against Serena, one set against Venus.

Abid (Fredericton, NB Canada): Do you think Schuettler has a chance of getting back to the level of tennis he was playing back in 2003 ?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:25 PM ET ) I hope so. It's good for German tennis when he is doing well.

Ryan, AZ: Who are you friends on tour? DO you hang out with certain players?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:26 PM ET ) I have many friends that I hang around with on Tour. I also hang with the French players as well as German.

Randy (Columbia): Nico, let's make the game more tv friendly - 3 sets tops, cheering during points, maybe some trash talkin from guys like Hewitt...your thoughts?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:27 PM ET ) Tennis is a very quiet sport .. but they are trying some new things with music during the changeovers .. I would prefer using cheerleaders during changovers .. why not?

Anthony Chapple (Little Rock): How would you rank yourself (what ranking #) if you could?

Nicolas Kiefer: (2:28 PM ET ) No. 1!

Thanks for the questions and thanks for the support! Wish me luck here in Indianapolis at the RCA Championships. Check out my website at
Thanks to Deb and Tangy for the notice

During the NBA offseason I don't check the ESPN website that often and therefore, I would not have noticed it without their hints that it takes place
Carlos --- C'MON Lleyton!!! --- Kiwi!!! --- Jürgen --- Juan

Best of luck to all Germans : Nicolas Kiefer | Rainer Schüttler | Lars | Florian | Tommy

Last edited by Neely : 07-19-2005 at 10:41 AM.
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