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April 21, 2000

Karim Alami


Q. You did something really good today?

KARIM ALAMI: I am very pleased that I have reached that stage but I still didn't achieve my objectives for this year. It is a great victory but I have to remain concentrated for the next match. Competition starts really today. The quarterfinals mean a better tennis. If I win tomorrow, I will be closer to my objectives.

Q. What feeling does it give you to leave Costa four meters from the ball on the last matchpoint?

KARIM ALAMI: It is pleasing. I beat him last year on clay. In Barcelona I played well. I knew it was going to be a very difficult match. The balls here are very fast. He was playing well then and I was playing well. I knew it was going to be a very difficult match. I was ready. I was well prepared mentally. I was very pumped up as I said, I have an objective and this year I want to achieve it. If it is not this week, I still hope it will be the following week.

Q. What is this objective?

KARIM ALAMI: To win a Super 9, a Master Series. For sure it is a good victory and I am happy but I have to remain lucid and concentrated. As soon as we start to be satisfied we don't go further. So you have to keep concentrating on the next day.

Q. How long have you been playing on clay now?

KARIM ALAMI: Since a week. We played Davis Cup in Casablanca and then this week.

Q. You were saying that last year in Barcelona you worked a lot from the baseline with your coach and specifically on the backhand. Apart from your traditional game, do you have the impression that you are stronger in the rallies?

KARIM ALAMI: I improved my backhand a lot. Without that work I would never have been able to reach that level. I am counterattacking a lot better. Players are not able to make pressure on my on my backhand. I send it back higher from the baseline. They can't pressure me on my backhand. Before. I was using a chop shot often, but in the end I was three meters away from the ball. So now it is a great step forward I improved.

Q. You have the impression that you are completely different player than two years ago?

KARIM ALAMI: Technically speaking and all the rest. Before I was playing my shots but as soon as I was playing a solid player, it didn't go well. The backhand wasn't succeeding. I was too weak a shot. I am able to sustain the rally longer now to remain on the baseline even against a player like Costa or Corretja.

Q. The fact that you are a father since two months --

KARIM ALAMI: Three months.

Q. -- Maybe it is a common question, but does it change your life?

KARIM ALAMI: Yes, in my life and in my mind it changed a lot. It is great to be a father. It is the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me in my life. I am very pleased. I think about him very often. I don't have the same vision of life. It is him and many things orientated towards him. It is fabulous.

Q. Also do you have a different vision of the Tour and of your job?

KARIM ALAMI: I am one of the older guys on the Tour. When I see Ferrero born in 1982 it makes me think.

Q. Did you always have that image of a showman making a show? Is it a label you are proud of?

KARIM ALAMI: It is the people saying that. That is the way my game is. I go up to the net. It is an attacking game. I am not going to stay on the baseline hitting like a Spanish player. Forehand, backhand, forehand, backhand, I am not -- I have no pleasure playing like that. I like to do dropshots, serve and volley, I have fun on the court that way. If it is a show, it is all the better. I am pleasing myself on the court.

Q. There are not many players like you.

KARIM ALAMI: Well, all the better.

Q. At what stage are you with your coaches or your coach? Who is your coach presently?

KARIM ALAMI: Before it was Carlos Gattiker, an Argentinian. We had problems. He was never sick before but since last July he is very sick.

Q. Now who are you working with?

KARIM ALAMI: I am still with my same physical preparator, he is also a physiotherapist. His name is Francois Riber. He is travelling with me since two years.

Q. How many languages do you speak and which ones?

KARIM ALAMI: I speak six languages, French, Arabic, Spanish, English, Portuguese and Italian.

Q. Are you an organizer of the Club Med?


End of FastScripts….

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