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January 28, 2004

Hicham Arazi


THE MODERATOR: English questions, please.

Q. How difficult was it to play him knowing that he may be hurt and seemed to be getting slower?

HICHAM ARAZI: I was not thinking about like he could stop or... I saw against Pavel that he had like legs problem. But after like he won the last two sets, so I was not thinking about his injury or anything. But he start pretty good the beginning of the match, so it was hard for me. Like at the start he played pretty good. But I was not thinking about his injury or about anything. I was just trying to be concentrate on my game. I know that he start always pretty strong the matches. As you can see, he started very good.

Q. You played so well against Mark Philippoussis in the last round. Was the first set just trying to forget about that and trying to focus? Was it a bit of a letdown?

HICHAM ARAZI: No, I think he played solid from the beginning. I think he played pretty fast. And is different, totally different game, you know, with Mark and against Ferrero.

Q. Do you feel yourself you struggled to reach the same intensity you reached against Mark?


Q. Do you think your game against Mark and the level that you reached there, where you pretty well dictated play, did you struggle to reach that same level today?

HICHAM ARAZI: No. Because is, like I said, you know, is completely different. Mark is like -- he serve pretty hard, and I was focus on that, on the return. Against Ferrero, it's completely different. You have to make a lot of rallies and you have to be like -- you need to get like a very good start, you know. He was like just playing very good in the first set. So I was not in the rhythm. But, you know, after the first set, losing the first set and get break in the second set, I just believe in myself and I knew that his level's gonna go down. But, yeah, it's completely different match. Completely different. Yeah, just completely different.

Q. Do you feel if you'd managed to get that first set, it might have turned the match around?

HICHAM ARAZI: No, I think in the second set if I will win this second set with 6-3 in the tiebreak and three set points, if I will win this one, I think I have good chance to hope to win the match, yeah.

Q. Are you disappointed, or do you think that you're satisfied with how well you did here?

HICHAM ARAZI: No, in the beginning of the tournament I was playing -- I was not playing very good. I just reach the third round and then my game was getting better. So I'm satisfied that I stay, you know - even playing bad, staying concentrate and trying to fight, you know. And then I was happy to get my level back, and I'm very disappointed to be, again, you know, in quarterfinal and to don't reach the semifinal here.

End of FastScripts….

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