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April 20, 1999

Marcelo Rios


ATP: Questions for Marcelo.

Q. How is it to win a fight like that?

MARCELO RIOS: A long time ago, I didn't play matches like that. Come to play a match like that and winning I think is going to give me a lot of confidence going to the next match. That's good. What I was looking for is play a big match and win it.

Q. What happened in the first set? Was it the ceremony that put your mind completely out of the match?

MARCELO RIOS: No. I think I start playing too defensive. He start playing really good. I think once I started stepping in the court, playing much offensive, I think he have less chance. I think I play the best match of the year. I've been hitting the ball much better today.

Q. Are you completely rid of your problems of your back, things like that?

MARCELO RIOS: Well, I think from the injury, I'm okay. Maybe after I play, get a little bit tired, a little bit sore. From the injury, I think I'm a hundred percent on that.

Q. How is this victory for you mentally?

MARCELO RIOS: It's really good going to come here and win matches like that, 7-6 the third, first round. It's really tough. It's going to give me a lot of confidence for the next match, for the tournament, for my tennis.

Q. Were you hurt at the end of the first set when people were whistling? Were you upset?

MARCELO RIOS: Why should I be upset?

Q. They were not very happy.

MARCELO RIOS: That's the way it goes. I think when you're a top player, and you go there and lose 6-Love, people want to see some more. For sure they go like that. I finish the match, everybody was with me. I think there's parts of the match that people want to see more tennis.

Q. Was it a little bit weird to get an award for being No. 1 when your ranking is as low as it's been for the last couple of years?

MARCELO RIOS: I don't think so.

Q. Do you feel ready to win such a big tournament like this, or would it be a surprise for you to be already in the final?

MARCELO RIOS: I think I'm playing pretty good. If my back still go okay, I think I'm mentally prepared, I think I have a chance.

Q. How much do you feel you lost in those couple of months that you missed in terms of match toughness and mental strength?

MARCELO RIOS: I think I lost a lot.

Q. What are your expectations now in the next few weeks and for the French Open?

MARCELO RIOS: I'm looking forward to play a lot of matches and be a lot of hours on the court and get my confidence back. I think I'm serving much better than last week. Just get ready for the French Open.

Q. That's what you need?


Q. What do you think about the balls here? Many players say they're like stones, very heavy. Is that your opinion?

MARCELO RIOS: I think the ATP make a big mistake every week of changing balls, every week different balls. But I think they're okay. They're a little bit heavy. I think there's a lot of injuries because of that, elbow injuries. I think the ATP should do something, but it's tough to talk with them, they have the last word always.

Q. Did this match impair you physically or leave traces physically for you for the next match?

MARCELO RIOS: I think I'm playing pretty good right now. I don't think it's going to affect me. Maybe it will give me a little confidence. Physically I think I'm pretty good right now.

Q. Do you feel you're one of the big guys on clay that players want to beat or are you feeling a little lower with this situation?

MARCELO RIOS: I think everybody wants to beat everybody. Once you get in the court, even if the guy's No. 1 or 20, you want to beat him, as well.

End of FastScripts….

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