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April 23, 2004

Rainer Schuettler


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had a rough start to the year. Now you're playing really well again. How did you turn it around?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: Actually, just in the beginning of the year, I had some close matches and I just didn't make the important points, that's all. I think I played the same kind of tennis than last year. And this week I had a close match against Guga in the first set, and yesterday against Lleyton. So it's very important to win these close matches.

Q. Today it was easier than you thought against Tim?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I think I played, yeah, nearly perfect today. I was serving well, I was returning well. I put with every ball pressure on him. So today was, for me, yeah, a very, very good match.

Q. When do you think you would have played that well from the word "go" in a match? From the very first shot, you looked as though you were completely in control and hitting it well.

RAINER SCHUETTLER: It's difficult to say. I mean, as I said, today was nearly, from my side, perfect.

Q. Perhaps if I rephrase it. Can you remember the last time you felt as good as you played today?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: Not really. I'm sure that there were a few matches I felt the same, where I felt as comfortable as I did today, but I don't remember now.

Q. So Moya is next.


Q. So what do you think?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: It will be very tough match. I think I never played him on clay before.

Q. Never?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: Never. So on hard court and on grass I played him, and, yeah, I think I beat him on grass, and I beat him on hard court; but he beat me, too. So it will be a very tough match, so I don't know how it will be to play him on clay. I think that's his best surface, and it will be difficult. But I have nothing to lose. I play semis, and I play well, so I just go out there, try to win, try to give my best, and of course try to beat him. He's doing the same. Yeah, I have to be aware of his forehand. He has a huge forehand from both sides - from his forehand side and running around to the backhand side. So I have to try to do something against that.

Q. I suspect, actually, it's probably your first semis since the Masters Cup.


Q. So, I mean, have you missed being involved in kind of big matches..?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: Of course you miss it (smiling). It's a great feeling to go out there. I mean, it's a big crowd, everybody's cheering. So, I mean, that's, for me, that's what I was practicing for, is to go out there. I will never forget the feelings when you play a final, the finals in Australia, 15,000 people, you enter the court, standing ovation. I mean, these are the feelings I will never forget. Of course when you know how the feeling is and you suddenly don't have it anymore for a few months, then you miss it. You keep working, working to get this feeling.

End of FastScripts….

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