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September 3, 1998

Alex Corretja


Q. Excellent job after having -- (Inaudible.) How did you get ready for the match this morning --

ALEX CORRETJA: It was a tough situation for me. I mean, it was not easy, I went to sleep yesterday night just almost with two sets to one down and I just said to myself, okay, just try to play your tennis and if it works, perfect and if not, just go home, because yesterday I was like kind of stressed on the court. I was suffering too much and it was not necessary. I mean, I think he was trying to play really slow and I came into his game. He was making me a little bit crazy.

Q. The courts are very fast this year.

ALEX CORRETJA: Yeah. They are really fast.

Q. But, how much more work is that going to mean for you if you were able to go into the second week and wind up playing matches on the stadium court which is also very, very fast, how much more difficult will this be for you --

ALEX CORRETJA: Well, the previous week I played -- it was in Indianapolis. It was really, really fast as well. The balls were really flying. And I won there. So, maybe it could be a good example that I can also win in really fast courts. This year in Dubai it was also really fast. I think it helps a little bit my service game, my second serve it bounce a lot and it is difficult to attack. Sometimes when I have the chance with the serve with the other guys, I just try to play one or two games per set, and the other ones I just let it to make aces the whole time. I have got to be really -- concentrate at the important moments, and try to see if I can get the chances that I have.

Q. First time on that court since the Sampras match?

ALEX CORRETJA: No, I won last year. I beat Rosset. The miraculous Rosset guy.

Q. With the courts this fast, is it extremely difficult to take the service return early as a player like Agassi often does?

ALEX CORRETJA: It is not easy because it comes too fast. Some of the guys hit just really good serves and with a lot of speed, but you have to get used to it. If the balls and the courts are like this this year, you cannot complain, just try to do whatever you can and let's see if I can just play my best tennis with my serve and just wait for my chance with the other serve guys. I don't care about the court. Now we cannot do anything, so.

Q. Like most Spanish players, you can take the serve late behind the baseline and I wonder if that might work better for you than players who are used to taking the ball early inside --

ALEX CORRETJA: I am not returning far from the baseline right now from the last week where I won in Indianapolis, I just stepped on the baseline and tried to hit the return from the other guys and I am not returning anymore down-the-line, just far away from the baseline because with these courts and these balls it is no way to do it. It comes too fast and they will go like wide the whole time, so you have got to go there and try to stop a little bit, the serve, of the other guys.

Q. Do you think much about that Sampras match?

ALEX CORRETJA: No. Never again.

Q. Gone?

ALEX CORRETJA: I mean, never. It helps sometimes, but I will never think about the match for sure not. Sometimes it is good just to take the good things of the matches, but then you have to forget it. If two years later I still have to think about the match that I lost, I will be really stupid.

Q. It is likely that people remember you for that match.

ALEX CORRETJA: It is okay. I mean, for me it is okay. I think right now they just know me much more for my victories than from that defeat. But it is okay. I respect your opinion and that is good. They know me and they want me to see play, for me, honestly, it doesn't count anymore on my life.

Q. I have a French Open question for you only because you possibly could face Carlos again later in the tournament. Possibly. I wonder whether you went into that final with not enough of a hard edge to your mentality because he is such a good friend, whether that is something perhaps you have thought about new to play him again?

ALEX CORRETJA: Yeah, at that time I didn't play my best. I was just thinking about my friend and it affect myself too much. But right now I am not thinking about playing against him. I just have to play against another guy tomorrow. I am going to try to beat him and if we -- both of us, we just get into the round of 16 and we have to see our face again on the court, it will be different history. I go on the court just trying to do my tennis and forget about my friend.

Q. Do you think maybe at the French Open you allowed yourself to get too caught up in the friendship between --

ALEX CORRETJA: No, the thing it was difficult for me to be the first Grand Slam Finals against a friend. And I didn't know how to handle it. I think for the next time it will help a lot and hopefully will be another final for me and even if it is against a friend or another player I will play -- I will try to play my best just mentally and physically.

End of FastScripts....

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