April 25, 1999
ATP: We have here the tournament doctor who will explain a little bit about Marcelo's injury, then of course you can ask questions to the doctor first and then Marcelo.
Q. Can one of you tell us when Marcelo first sensed the problem and what has happened since then? I gather it was a major thing for you last night.
MARCELO RIOS: I got this thing two weeks ago, and went off, and I didn't feel it again until the match yesterday. I feel a little bit of pain. And I've been doing some exams with the doctor. He can explain what he see.
Q. How difficult was it for you, Marcelo, out there? Obviously, before you went out you knew you were going to have problems. How difficult was it?
MARCELO RIOS: I think it's five-set match. Even if you can play a couple of sets, it's not enough. We're professionals. The way I am, I don't get anything go on the court and just try to play two games, try to be there. If you go to the court, I think is to win. And that's why I didn't continue play. I didn't feel like, even if I win the set, I would not be able to go to five sets. Sometimes you got to listen to your body. Even if it's a final, I got many years to play, so I don't want to be injured again, stop for another five months. I think it's better to stop right now and don't give it a chance to get worse.
Q. Do you know how long the best prognostication is before you will be fully fit again, and what you have to do in the meantime? Is it just rest or what?
MARCELO RIOS: You should ask the doctor.
INTERPRETER: He said they have to do some more tests before they can say how long he will have to stop playing. But roughly they can expect 15 or 20 days at best.
DR. PATRICK COUVERT: We will see. We have to wait the report of the MRI.
Q. We've had so many injuries this week with Sampras last week, Agassi, Martin. Do you think it's just playing too much tennis? Is that the problem? Why are we seeing so many injuries?
MARCELO RIOS: I don't know. It's pretty weird everybody's getting injured. I think playing on clay is pretty tough. You got to run a lot, you got to play long points. I think in my case, I was not able to play in a couple months, and come here and play in the finals, playing tough matches, I was not ready for that. That's the way it's going. I got to take care of my body more than before.
Q. What point of yesterday's match did you actually hurt it? Was there a specific point where you stretched too far?
MARCELO RIOS: No. I've been feeling for, like I said, two weeks ago. I was playing tough matches. It getting worse. It's tough to say which point. But I've been feeling it. Maybe I'm able to play, to run around, but I don't want to get it worse. If I pull my muscle pretty bad, I don't want to do it and stop for four months. I prefer to stop right now and be off a couple of weeks or a day and be ready.
Q. Where is the problem? Which muscle is it?
MARCELO RIOS: Right here (indicating thigh).
SPEAKER: It's one part of the quadriceps muscle.
Q. If you'd won the first set, would you have tried to continue for longer?
MARCELO RIOS: I don't know. I was just trying to play games. I think it's tough to think like that. Maybe if I win the first, I think the injury would be continued. But I would think about longer. Even if the win the second, then going to the third, fourth, for sure is going to get worse. That's why I stopped.
Q. The games you were able to play, were you mentally holding back at times rather than forcing too much?
MARCELO RIOS: Well, I was trying to play short points more than rally from the baseline, try to go for my shots, make short points. But for sure I start missing, and once he (inaudible) the court, it was tough to come back. For serving, it was pretty tough. Like I say, I think we play at a high level. To go to the court, you want to win, you want to be at a hundred percent. If you're 99 percent, no sense being on the court just playing for the fun of it.
Q. Where were you playing the next two to three weeks, Hamburg and Rome?
MARCELO RIOS: Yeah.
Q. Wildcard next week?
MARCELO RIOS: No, I'm not going.
Q. Will you now go back to Chile for treatment or in Europe?
MARCELO RIOS: I'm saying next week in Monte-Carlo, a week.
Q. When is your next tournament?
MARCELO RIOS: Hamburg.
Q. You still have to play that?
MARCELO RIOS: Well, if I'm fit.
Q. Apart from today, are you happy with the week?
MARCELO RIOS: I think you're really disappointed when you lose a match 20 minutes ago. Feels like you lost first round. Then if you start realizing I didn't play for four months, come to Monte-Carlo and be in the finals, I think it's pretty good.
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