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November 15, 2003

Rainer Schuettler


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Do you think your energy level throughout the match wasn't what you probably expected?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I think it was a good match. I mean, I played pretty well in the first set. I played pretty well in the third set. Okay. In the first set, I had -- first game I had a game point. I lost my racquet because the grip was too wet. Then I got a break, then I was a little bit frustrated, upset about that. Then he stepped on the gas a little bit. But that's why he's a great player; he knows when he has to play, yeah, one step better. That's what he did.

Q. Can you explain why your level just seemed to drop after you broke?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: Because if you give him just a little bit space, I mean, he's taking over. That's why he's so good. I mean, if you just, yeah, give him a little bit space, if you miss a couple of easy balls, then he's stepping in. Yeah, if he's on top of the game, it's difficult to beat him.

Q. What was going on in your head at that period?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I think that should stay by myself. It's better if nobody knows.

Q. Would this give you confidence starting in January?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I think the whole year was pretty good, so I have a lot of confidence. I showed that I can beat everybody. Of course, for me, it was a great week. Now I'm disappointed that I lost, but at the end, if I wake up tomorrow, it was a great week, it was a great year. I'm very happy that I had such a successful year. I gonna practice hard that I gonna repeat it next year.

Q. We saw a lot of baseline rallies today. In matches before you utilized more dropshots. Is that because Andre's pace is so high it's hard to do that?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: First, he's playing all the balls pretty deep. He's staying close to the line. Normally, if I play other guys, if I put pressure on them, they go a little bit back behind the baseline. He's always staying close to the line and it's difficult to play dropshots. I tried a couple of times, and -- but I didn't win too many. So that's why I stopped playing them.

Q. You played Andre in your first final of the year, you're playing him in the last match of the year. Do you think you're a different player than you were?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: Definitely I'm a different player. I mean, when I played him in Australia, I had two great weeks. But it was just the beginning of the year. I was happy to be in the final. Now, I came here and I wanted to play well. I had a lot of success during the year. So I didn't go on court and, you know, wanted to lose; I wanted to win. I think I showed that today on court, and I think my confidence is pretty high. That's why I'm a different player.

Q. What do you need to do well to beat Agassi?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I beat him already once, so...

Q. But regularly, more consistently?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I mean, he's one of the greatest player ever. It's tough to say what I have to improve. I think if I improve everything, I have a chance to beat him (smiling).

Q. How do you look back at this Masters Cup?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: As I said, I beat the No. 1 in the world. I beat the No. 4 in the world. Okay, I lost to Moya, but I had set point. Today, I think I played a good match. So for me, it was a very successful week. And nobody before the tournament expected me to be in the semis. So I have no reason to be disappointed about the week.

End of FastScripts….

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