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August 14, 2003

Rainer Schuettler


MODERATOR: Rainer advances to his fourth Tennis Masters Series quarterfinal of the year and the second in as many weeks.

Q. Congratulations on your win. You seem to play very consistently week in, week out throughout the year, more than most players. How do you do that?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I don't know. I just go on court and try to play my best. This year definitely I had a great year so far. And, yeah, I hope that I can keep it up, that I can play the last Grand Slam tournament good in New York, then I can play this tournament and the other Masters Series tournament well till the end of the year.

Q. Is it fitness or mental preparation, or what are the elements of your game to improve to give you consistency?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I think everything. For me, it was very important that I reached a final in a Grand Slam tournament. It showed me that I can, even over -- if I have to play best-of-five, that I can win against everybody, that I can go five sets, and I don't get tired. I always -- I can play aggressive the whole time. I think that gave me a lot of confidence. And now from here, when I play best-of-three, I know that I can go 100 percent. Even if I play best-of-five I know it. So that gave me a lot of confidence, sure.

Q. How much has Alex Stober helped with that?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: A lot. I mean, before, I used to work with Jurgen Dess and Tommy Haas together. Now with Guga Kuerten and Alex Stober. I mean, a lot. One of the most important points is fitness on tour, because everybody is so fit. I mean, everybody can -- I'd say No. 100 can beat No. 10. Everything is so close. For sure it helps if you have somebody with you who takes care of you when you have problems - back problems, leg problems, whatever it is, who takes care of you, if it helps, also two, three hours a day. Normally, like from a tournament, a physiotherapist, there are 64 other guys. You cannot just lay on the table for three hours. But if you have your own physio, you can stay there two, three, four hours, whatever you need, and that helps a lot.

Q. Was it difficult playing him in a sense that he's not completely full-time on the tour now, and yet he's still a fine player; therefore, it might be easy to have the attitude that maybe you should win and it still remains difficult?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: Actually, I didn't think about this because I played him in Wimbledon and it was a tough five-set match. I won in five sets, but it was pretty close and it was a tough match. And Todd is a great player. I mean, he had a lot of good years on tour. And, of course, he got a baby, he got married. It's normal that he is not playing that many tournaments. And he's getting a little bit older so he has to take care of his body a little bit more. If he needs -- if you get older, you need a little bit more rest than when you are a young player. So I didn't see it like he's half retired or something like this. I mean, he's a very good player. I have to give 100 percent to beat him, and this I knew before.

Q. Some players have found it difficult to come from Montreal to here. They found the balls and the conditions different. Did you find that? Was it difficult?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: It was very difficult. I mean, everything, with the surface -- I think, I mean, it's tough to say, but I think it's a little bit faster here. A lot of players say it's slower here. So, of course, it's different. But the good thing is that the balls are the same. But it's a little bit more humid here, it's a little bit hotter here. The conditions are, I think, tougher for everybody. In Montreal, was a little bit cooler. So completely different conditions. The bounce of the ball is higher here. Of course, I have to get used to it. The first, here, one or two practice sessions I had, I didn't play like I used to play in Montreal.

End of FastScripts….

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