October 16, 2002
MADRID, F. LOPEZ/Y. El Aynaoui 6-7, 6-4, 6-2
Q. Talk about your play today.
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Most difficult was starting to see that he was starting to play better. I wasn't sure if I was going to play up to his level, but I still tried. I wanted to win, and that's how I was able to do it. Maybe the second set wouldn't have been won if I hadn't fought for it.
Q. Was the crowd important for your victory?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah, that's for sure. I was playing better and the crowd was getting behind me, despite my mistakes, despite the shots I missed. But I kept my confidence. I tried to take advantage of all the chances I had. I'm very grateful to the crowd. It's very useful when you're not playing well, to see the crowd behind you, supporting you. If the court is smaller, the crowd is not there, but this time they were.
Q. Talk about your match with Agassi?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: I'm not going to play the final with him, but I'm going to play tomorrow with him. I'm looking forward to it. I'll try to be relaxed. I have nothing to lose. Let's see what happens.
Q. Does winning against big players help your confidence?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: It's true, this year I'm beating people who are really good, and that gives me confidence in myself.
Q. Tell us about Agassi.
FELICIANO LOPEZ: He hits the ball deep from the baseline. He plays very well. What I'll try to do is hold my serve, try to pressure him. I'll try to hold my serve. I'll try to pressure him when he serves, because maybe my serve is not that good. His serve, I can pressure him on his serves.
Q. You're aware that you're a Spaniard who is there fighting all the time. You have a good level of play. Is that very important?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah, I've played in Madrid many years. Despite the fact I wasn't in Barcelona, I've been training a lot. I guess I can adapt to these types of courts.
Q. What do you most admire about Agassi?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: I admire his play. During the last 15, 20 years, I haven't seen a guy that plays like he does, hitting the ball like he does with the speed and power, the way he returns, except Sampras, who has been the best. Sampras serves the best. Despite him, Agassi for me is a genius.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.