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August 11, 1998

Marcelo Rios


Q. Can you talk a bit about the match, sort of what you thought about your game?

MARCELO RIOS: I was feeling pretty good, like days before. It was a strange match. I don't like to play at night. It's all like timing, hard to see the balls. I think he served really good. I played bad service game 3-All, something like, that he broke me. I don't think I played my game. Just think I missed too much. I didn't get in a rhythm.

Q. Were you having trouble picking his serve up?

MARCELO RIOS: He was serving big. He was making a lot of first serves. I think it's tough to play a guy like that. I think he (inaudible) like missing more first serves, but I think he served pretty good.

Q. Did you feel overpowered by him tonight?

MARCELO RIOS: I don't think so. I don't think he beat me because he play better. I make a lot of mistakes. Maybe I play looking what he was going to do. I missed always a lot of balls from the baseline. He was playing pretty good from the baseline. I think is only the bad games I served bad.

Q. In the second set, did you think it would be too tough to come back?

MARCELO RIOS: The way he was serving, I thought if he break me once, it's going to be tough to win the set. Winning the first set, when I tried to hold my serve, he broke me back. Each game he was serving, he was serving better.

Q. Any added pressure on you coming into a match like this knowing you just regained the No. 1 ranking?

MARCELO RIOS: I don't think so. I don't think it's any pressure. I think if I won, it's because I deserve it. I feel better playing with a lot of confidence. I think it was a strange match. I don't see that good at night. It was one more match. I'll look forward (inaudible).

Q. What's tough about playing at night than during the day?

MARCELO RIOS: I have problems to see the ball. I always miss-hit a lot of balls. Everything is different. You feel the ball different. That's the way it goes. Got to go with it.

Q. Can you compare the Rios of two years ago, how you respond to a match like this, after a match like this, to how maybe the Marcelo of 1998 responds to a match like this?

MARCELO RIOS: I think I'm the same. I think I take it pretty calm. I realize I didn't play my game. It's not always a very nice feeling when you lose.

Q. We're doing a piece on the ranking system. How frustrating is it for you? You didn't set the ranking, the way they rank the sport, yet there's controversy when a new person takes No. 1 as to how they became No. 1, what matches they won. How frustrating is that for the players hearing all of those people talk about, Is it fair that this guy is No. 1?

MARCELO RIOS: I think the ranking is how you do on the court, how good you're doing in the tournaments, how far you go. I think that's the way it works. Obviously, you're going to lose some points in tournaments. I think it's more about the way you're playing.

Q. Do you like the way the system is set up then?

MARCELO RIOS: I never like look at it or say -- I don't even understand how the ranking works. I don't care how it works.

Q. Is it just being under the lights that bothers you or is it something like with glasses that can help?

MARCELO RIOS: I always have problems to see the ball at night. Lose like the rhythm. I have a tough time playing at night.

Q. You say you don't really understand how the rankings work. Will you kind of start to watch the next couple weeks, like this week would you watch to see where Pete gets to sort of figure it out?

MARCELO RIOS: I'm not the kind of guy that looks how many points I got or how many points I need. Just play. If you playing good, the ranking will come along.

Q. Would you rather finish the year at No. 1 or finish the year winning a Grand Slam event?

MARCELO RIOS: I think both (laughter).

Q. Does your problem under the lights worry you as you're going into the US Open?

MARCELO RIOS: I play a few matches in US Open under lights. I think all depends the guy you play. I always have tough time to return big serves at night. All depends who you're playing.

Q. Is there any way you can deal with it? Obviously now you're a top player, you're going to be the marquis match, you're going to play a lot of night matches. Is there anything you can do to help that you know of?

MARCELO RIOS: I've been trying to see what can I do. But I think it's tough. I have problems like to see. When I was younger, I had a lot of (inaudible) playing.

Q. Does it put more pressure on you to do well at the RCA tournament, get more playing time on the hard courts before The Open now?


Q. Does this put more pressure on you to do well at the RCA next week?

MARCELO RIOS: What do you mean by "pressure"?

Q. Have more experience going into the US Open, to have more matches on the hard courts?

MARCELO RIOS: Well, I still have two tournaments before the Open. Like I say, I was playing pretty good the last few days. But I feel pretty good, with a lot of confidence, lots of energy going into The Open. I don't think it's going to affect me that much.

Q. Do you care whether you go in as the 1 or 2 seed? Do you ever look at that when you go into a tournament?

MARCELO RIOS: If you want to be 1 or 2, you got to beat anybody, you got to play, top or the bottom.

Q. Anything you might want to change going into the next tournament as far as the preparation, what you've done?

MARCELO RIOS: Nothing. Everything is fine right now.

Q. I read a quote that you said you kind of felt like you were at your best when you kind of had the mentality it was you against the world. How do you kind of get yourself ready for that? What does that do to your game, do you know? How does that help your game?

MARCELO RIOS: It's not like that, like I say I like to play everybody against me, I'm excited to play tough matches with the crowd against you. People are saying like I'm saying I always want to play (inaudible) Davis Cup.

Q. Playing at night, playing a big server, did you go into this match knowing this was going to be a little tougher than a normal first or second round match?

MARCELO RIOS: Everybody's playing good today. When you go to the court, you're going to have a tough match. It's always going to be a tough match.

End of FastScripts....

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