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January 19, 2004

Rainer Schuettler


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. It's obviously been a disappointing start to the year. That goes without saying. What do you put it down to? Is it a bit of a lack of confidence or what? You seem to be getting yourself in good positions and not capitalizing?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: Yeah, that's a good question. I had a pretty tough three weeks now. I started in Doha, Sydney and now here. I didn't win a match. I always had chances but I didn't win a match. So it's a pretty tough month for me. But today as well I had, yeah, I was two sets up and I had breakpoint, like it was 5-all. I had breakpoint. The only thing, I mean, I shouldn't do, I shouldn't play the ball cross court. If I play the ball down the line or a lob or whatever, it would be fine. But I played the ball cross court. So the wrong shot. It's just one or two points, yeah, that I didn't make it. So I lost the set, fourth set as well, I was a break up. Then I was down 4-2. It's, yeah, I don't know the reason, but it's very disappointed, of course.

Q. When it got back to 2 sets all, were you starting to think, "Here we go again"? Or were you still fairly confident?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: No, I just started to fight. He played better and better. He was going for his shots. Yeah, I was trying to, yeah, to give him pressure, too. But he was with the returns, he returned very deep and he was serving, you know, better and better. It was difficult for me to get back into the match. I was trying, but it didn't work.

Q. Have you done anything different in the build-up to the start of the year compared with last year?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: No, the only difference is that I played the Masters and that I had no time, really, to, yeah, to practice a lot of tennis. I was more working physically and, okay, now I had -- since Doha I had time to work on my tennis. But that's not an excuse. I mean, I just didn't play well like all three weeks.

Q. How did you feel coming into this tournament? Because of your efforts last year, was it a matter of pressure, or did you feel more confident because you performed well here before?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I think it's both. I came here and was very happy to be here. I had great memories from last year. Of course there was little bit pressure, but that's not the reason why I didn't win. I wanted to play well and in practice the whole three weeks I play well. But I just didn't win a match. I try now to take a little break and then start practicing again and get ready for the rest of the season. Hopefully, I will do better then - because it can't get worse.

Q. What's your next tournament?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I think I gonna play Rotterdam and the next one will be Dubai.

Q. Soderling has always showed a lot of progress. Do you think he's reached the stage where he's beginning to develop himself and mature as a player?

RAINER SCHUETTLER: I mean, he's young. He's a good player, and he has nothing to lose. He came -- he was a shooting star last year. He had some great results. He was very good in Juniors, too. Definitely he's a very good player and he will have a good future, I guess.

End of FastScripts….

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