March 23, 2003
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. Congratulations. He had beaten you several times before this. Did you do something differently today?
MARCELO RIOS: Every time he beat me was on clay. He play always good on clay, more than me. Today I think I serve really good. When you serve good on hard court, it's much easier than clay. Just play good, move good and I was hitting my shots as good as I can.
Q. How physical was this match? It seemed very physical out there.
MARCELO RIOS: Yeah, we run a lot, but maybe today was not that hot like the other days. I think my serve, I didn't do that much. Like, I was serving good, I had a lot of free points. Every time he serve, the games were really long. More than that, I think was a pretty tight match.
Q. You've had a great history here of success. You seem to play well on the hard courts here. Why is that? What do you like about this tournament?
MARCELO RIOS: It's nothing that I like the tournament. It's that I only play good every time I come here, I have tough matches but I've been playing good last three years. Just feeling good in the court.
Q. Is this place more special to you than some other places or no?
MARCELO RIOS: No, is the same as everywhere. I think when you're on the court, it's always the same.
Q. Can you go back, because you're here now, to 1998, what that was like winning the tournament here and becoming No. 1?
MARCELO RIOS: It was a few years ago. Just was a great moment. Was the best moment in my career. Obviously, every time you play on center court, you remember what happened in '98.
Q. Can you talk about your year so far? You've had a very good year. What are you doing right now, generally?
MARCELO RIOS: Is nothing I'm doing right. I think I'm with more confidence and more than that, just playing good the matches I have to play good and just feeling better physically.
Q. Okay. Today, did you think it was important that you won the second set? How much energy would you have had if it went into three sets?
MARCELO RIOS: I have no idea. I don't know about the third set. I think the first set was pretty short and obviously playing a tiebreak in the second set would be -- I would be a little bit tired for the third.
Q. Tiebreaker, when was the last time you played a better tiebreaker than you did in that second set?
MARCELO RIOS: Yeah, I think I served really good. I make, I think, three free points there with my serve and I return good the first point. But I think I played an excellent tiebreak.
Q. I just want to ask about the crowd. It seems like you have a lot of support here. Do you feel that?
MARCELO RIOS: Lot of Chileans here, always a lot of Chilean people here. Obviously, it's nice to play on center court like I play with Agassi in '98 and half of the stadium was almost Chilean.
Q. How are you physically? How is your groin?
MARCELO RIOS: Feeling much better.
Q. You're 100 percent?
MARCELO RIOS: Maybe not 100, but I'm feeling much better.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.