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March 11, 1999

Marcelo Rios


MIKI SINGH: First question for Marcelo.

Q. How did you think you played out there today?

MARCELO RIOS: I think I played not that bad after being four months without playing a tough match. I beat myself there, I think. I didn't do anything spectacular, and I missed too much. I think I lose the match by myself. I should have won that thing easy, in two sets. I think that's the thing, I've been not playing a long time. My back was a little bit tired, but no pain. That's the way it goes. Really disappointed for losing the match. I think I should have won 6-4, 6-3.

Q. Did you really expect to be playing that well? You played a very good first set, played well the other day.

MARCELO RIOS: I think I can play good maybe for a set, but then I start getting a little bit tired, my back start like pull me down a little bit. Like I say, I think if I was serving better, I think I shouldn't have any problem to beat him in two sets.

Q. Did you kind of expect that? You have been out for a while. You didn't know how the back was going to be.

MARCELO RIOS: For sure, I was thinking about it. In the third set when you can't even like push for your serve, you get a little bit worried about it. But I was feeling good before the match. Even if I was injured, I knew if I play a little bit good, I was going to win the match. That's the way it goes. Now I got to get a little bit tougher and try to work out a little more.

Q. How did he play?

MARCELO RIOS: He serve good, he play good. All these big guys, if they serve good, they play good. If they serve bad, they don't have the baseline game to rally and play long points. They just go for it. I think he played pretty good.

Q. Do you think it was a little bit harder for you also because it was colder for your back?

MARCELO RIOS: Maybe, I don't know. I think like running too much, my back's not used to run that much. It get a little bit tired. Maybe if I break him in that 3-All, 3-2 for me, the story will be different. But that's the way it went. Now I have to practice a little bit harder.

Q. Are you eager to play?

MARCELO RIOS: Yeah, for sure. Not playing a long time, you like to play. Maybe the first ones are tough when you don't know what to do. You're in the court without knowing where to hit the ball. You didn't play. A ball come pass, you not used to play three sets, something like that. But I want to play. More than play, I want to win matches.

Q. Will you go straight to Miami or go to Bradenton first?

MARCELO RIOS: I'm going to Bradenton first.

Q. Is the toughest part mental or is it physical?

MARCELO RIOS: I think mental I'm pretty calm. Maybe physically I get a little bit tired, like I said. But I think it goes all together at the end. If you playing good, you're mentally good. If you feel good physically, you feel bad, you go down in both.

Q. How are you working with Luis Lobo? Are you working on something or is it mostly the company?

MARCELO RIOS: What do you mean "the company"?

Q. He's a good friend of yours. Is the work very technical or is it to have somebody to encourage you?

MARCELO RIOS: First of all, I'm not going to have a coach because we friends. That's not the way it's go. We play tournaments, I need a coach. I don't do it because he's a friend, something like that. We haven't worked that much yet. I just started playing. I was two months off. We didn't practice that much. We started right now.

Q. You're going to lose a lot of points. Does it worry you?

MARCELO RIOS: I'm not looking like that. I just trying to play. I'm happy that I'm back on the Tour. I'm not caring about the points. If I was Top 10 for a couple of years or No. 1, I think I can do it again. Right now, I got to play matches, like I said. I have to go try to play matches, the ranking will come back.

Q. A lot of the top-seeded players have had trouble this year. Do you think the new stadium will make a difference?

MARCELO RIOS: I don't know. I didn't even know there was a new stadium.

End of FastScripts....

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