November 11, 2003
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. It was just such a streaky match. Did you get the feel, the ebb and flow back and forth?
RAINER SCHUETTLER: Yeah, it was strange. All three sets, there was an early break. I mean, he had in the first. In the third set he had to try to come back somehow. In the second set I had to try to come back into the match. But at the end, I'm really happy that I fought through it and that I won the match.
Q. You got first victory of the first Masters Cup. Do you have an extra feeling of anything?
RAINER SCHUETTLER: I didn't get that. One more time? Can you say it again?
Q. I'm sorry. You got the first victory at your first Masters Cup.
RAINER SCHUETTLER: Ah, yeah. It feels great. I mean, for me, it's the first time. I'm proud to be there for the first time annd to play in the Masters Cup. I had a great season so far and I'm very, very happy that I won my first match. I mean, now I don't have any pressure. I won the first match. Now I can enjoy, yeah, every single point. I'm going out and trying to give my best. Of course that helps a lot. I'm very confident now and I just try to go out, give my best, and then at the end of the week I see what's happening.
Q. In one sense do you think you've proven people wrong this year? I think there was a lot of talk at the beginning of the year after you'd reached the final of the Australian Open that you were going to like peter out, that that would be your highlight for the year. You proved everybody wrong as far as that.
RAINER SCHUETTLER: To be honest with you, when I won my first title in Doha, everybody said that. Then I won another one. Then I played final in Australian Open. Actually, I don't really care. I have to be happy. I mean, it's most important thing for me that I prove to myself that I can win against everybody. Now I'm Top 10. It really doesn't matter what everybody else thinks as long as I know that I can beat everybody. That's the most important thing for me to know.
Q. Once this year finishes and then next year, most players would say it's always the hardest to repeat the next year. How do you feel you'll handle the pressure next year?
RAINER SCHUETTLER: I think I don't have any pressure. I mean, I try to play good tennis. I try to go out there and I try to work hard every day. I think, yeah, if Dirk and me, if we work hard, like we did the last couple of years, I think we will be successful in the next years as well.
Q. What effect did the heat have on the match today? By the last set were you feeling the effects of it?
RAINER SCHUETTLER: It was very warm and humid today. I mean, when I came here on Wednesday I practiced with a sweater because it was so cold. Today, yeah, I went out there and I needed an ice towel after the first set. So it was, yeah, a little surprise for me, too. But I think he was a little bit more tired than I was and that help me, too, in the match.
Q. How was the court conditions, the atmosphere, playing outdoors?
RAINER SCHUETTLER: I mean, we played the last couple of weeks, everybody played indoors. Of course it's a change to play outdoors again. But that's why I came early. That's why I had, yeah, a couple of days to prepare for the tournament. And, yeah, I mean, the atmosphere was great. There were so many people. Yeah, they were cheering for both of us, so it was a great atmosphere. It was fun to play there on court.
Q. Did you feel like you had, at some point in the match, a rhythm going? You had a groove?
RAINER SCHUETTLER: To be honest with you, for me, it was tough to get a rhythm today because it was a little bit windy. The sun was low. So from one side I had problems serving. It was tough to get a rhythm. But, I mean, I was fighting hard and at the end, yeah, the fighting paid off.
Q. Is there any one shot that stands out in your mind?
RAINER SCHUETTLER: There was one important shot when it was 15-30. He played a dropshot. I played a winner down the line to 15-40. That was very important in the third set.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.