April 22, 1999
ATP: Questions for Marcelo, please.
Q. The doubles withdrawal, is that as a precaution?
MARCELO RIOS: No. Luis is a little hurt.
Q. How is your fitness state? I noticed a couple times you were holding here (indicating).
MARCELO RIOS: I'm feeling really good for my back. I think I was a little bit tired, but I feel pretty good.
Q. Is that as well as you've played since the back problem at the start of the year?
MARCELO RIOS: I think I'm playing good some games and then I go down for a while. Like I was 3-Love down, feeling really bad. But then I came back. I think each match I'm feeling much better.
Q. Is that something you think you'll overcome with the more matches you play, or are you consciously trying to build yourself up to a peak for Paris?
MARCELO RIOS: I think every match I play, I feel much better, like I say. I think my confidence is going to come winning matches, like I won the other day, 7-6 in the third. I know I'm playing good. But I'm not worried right now. I think I'm playing much better. I want to play matches.
Q. Do you enjoy playing a player like Arazi who has great style, he plays very good shots, you play very good shots?
MARCELO RIOS: Well, I think the people enjoy it. When we're inside the courts, if you playing tough matches, enjoy it like that. I think he's a great player. He play pretty good tennis. Like I say, to beat him, you got to play really good.
Q. Is there a special esteem between you and Arazi because you are artists on the court, both of you?
MARCELO RIOS: I don't think so.
Q. At the start of a new season, how is your motivation? Last year you said that you got pretty bored with the constant Touring. Is it hard to get going?
MARCELO RIOS: Like I say, I think the Tour, the ATP Tour, is pretty boring. There's nothing to do. They don't do anything to make it fun. That's the way it goes. That's why maybe you got to play less tournaments.
Q. What should they do to make it fun?
MARCELO RIOS: Do something. Invent something so the players don't get bored when they got to wait all day when it's raining, wait for your matches, something like that.
Q. Do you have any ideas of what you would like to do in those circumstances?
MARCELO RIOS: I will think about it and I tell you. I don't know.
Q. Have you made the ATP Tour aware of this at all? Have you spoken about it and given them suggestions about what you feel they should do?
MARCELO RIOS: No, I haven't.
Q. Do you think ATP shouldn't ask you to be at the press conference after every match?
MARCELO RIOS: What is that?
Q. Do you think the ATP, in a sense, not exactly oblige you but ask you to be present at the press conference after every match, do you think they should let you to be or not to be there?
MARCELO RIOS: You're talking about me, or the rest of the players?
Q. Yeah. What is the feeling?
MARCELO RIOS: I think there are moments you can go to the press. I think it's pretty boring every time you play, go to the press, hear the same questions every day. I think sometimes you have a tough match, you lose, you're really depressed, they tell you to go to the press or they fine you. I think that rule is really, really stupid. You lose sometimes a match, you are really pissed. You go to the press. The guy is waiting for you right outside the court to take you to press. I think they should be a tennis player to understand.
Q. Have they ever explained to you why they ask you to do that? Have you ever raised the subject? I mean, it's presumably part of selling the game, in general. A lot of journalists aren't at every match.
MARCELO RIOS: Like I say, I think you should come to the press, but not always. You come every day, seven days, every day. They ask you the same thing every day. I think they should do it, I don't know, three times a week, ask you all the questions at once.
Q. Do you prefer to be No. 9 seed where people aren't looking at you as the guy to beat at the top of the draw than, say, a year ago when you were at the top of the draw and the person to beat?
MARCELO RIOS: I think it's the same. I feel I think people wants to beat me the same if I was 1 or 9. If a guy is 50 or 1, I want to beat him. There's no difference for that.
Q. Apart from the inconsistency which you talked about, the game going up-and-down, where do you think your game is right now in relation to where it could be or where you would like it to be?
MARCELO RIOS: Maybe I'm at 70 percent right now. I've got to improve some things, my serve; maybe my forehand a little bit, start moving much better than what I'm moving right now.
Q. What makes you smile or laugh?
MARCELO RIOS: A lot of things.
MARCELO RIOS: What do you want to know?
Q. I'm trying to ask you something that you're not normally asked.
MARCELO RIOS: I laugh a lot. I think press is pretty boring, that's why I don't laugh.
Q. You were talking about life on Tour being very boring. What do you do to relax? What do you do to relieve the boredom on Tour?
MARCELO RIOS: Well, hang around, just play some golf, go out at night. There's not that much to do. You always worried about playing next week. You got to take care of your body because you know you got to play next week.
Q. How are you at golf? Do you feel a handicap at golf?
MARCELO RIOS: I'm a 10.
MARCELO RIOS: Yeah.
Q. People would think you're here in a place like Monte-Carlo this week, you go to some very splendid places, and if you have time to kill, if you have time on your hands, there are plenty of things you could find to do. They would probably love to be in your position. Say, "If I'm bored, I'll go and do something about it." Do you not agree with that?
MARCELO RIOS: Yeah, sure. I do a lot of things. But I just say that the Tour is boring. I'm not saying my life is boring. I go out at night, I have a great time. I think being here and traveling all year, going from hotel to hotel, is not a life that everybody wants to have.
Q. You joked about it in Melbourne, but have you been to the casinos here?
MARCELO RIOS: What do you mean I joke?
Q. About how much money you lost, all that sort of thing. Some people took you seriously, hundreds of thousands of dollars.
MARCELO RIOS: Yeah, I've been going to casino.
Q. Are you winning or losing this week?
MARCELO RIOS: Losing.
Q. Have you lost very much?
MARCELO RIOS: Pretty much, yeah.
Q. How much?
MARCELO RIOS: Nobody cares how much. Go and ask in the casino. They know.
Q. Among all the questions you say that are boring, which one makes you more bored, upset about?
MARCELO RIOS: I don't know. I don't know.
Q. If it's not too boring, could you tell me what you think of the next opponent you will have, either Philippoussis or Grosjean?
MARCELO RIOS: Well, they're great players. I play a lot of time with Mark. We have great matches. The other guy, I don't know him. Never played him. First time I see him play.
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