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May 7, 2004

Albert Costa


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about the time you had a wrist injury.

ALBERT COSTA: Yes, that was a shame because I was playing so well and it was such an excellent final against Rios. But that's it, it happens, and it has occurred to me many times, to be injured.

Q. Albert, it's been a strange week here, to say the least. I mean, we had the fire at the hotel and all the wet weather, big-name players going out. For you, it's been an excellent week, though, hasn't it?

ALBERT COSTA: Yeah, for me, it's been great. I know that this week is not -- bad things are happening, because also James Blake fell down and he break, like, I don't know what. So it happen, very bad things. But I know for me, it's a good week because I'm in semifinals again after the French Open last year. So I think I'm playing more confident, and I need some points also.

Q. We always remember your great triumph at Roland Garros with the twins arriving as well. How are they doing? What are they doing now?

ALBERT COSTA: How are they doing, they are going to the school. Simple life, normal kids. They are three years old, and they are beautiful. They're fantastic and the best thing of the world for me.

Q. In the Federer match, after the first set, Federer had been playing so well and you turned it around. Were you surprised about that, the way you were able to do that to the No. 1 in the world?

ALBERT COSTA: Yeah, I was surprised because I was playing a little scared against him. He was playing very good, putting me a lot of pressure. But I start to think, "Okay, I have to be aggressive, I have to play powerful and with more intention." That's what I try. That's what I try. Fortunately, for me, everything went to the right direction, and Roger start to miss a little bit - I think because I make a lot of tension in the second set.

Q. What about today's match? It didn't seem like you had much trouble at all today.

ALBERT COSTA: Yeah, I had trouble because first set was very tough, conditions were difficult - windy and not easy to control the ball. But I keep focus on the court, and at the end I was playing much better.

Q. How are you feeling now, like the year you played against Rios?

ALBERT COSTA: Yes, I'm feeling fine. Tomorrow I know I have to play a difficult match, but I think I can do that. I feel strong, I feel comfortable, so I think it's possible.

Q. You've been playing so well. Do you think you are the No. 1 favorite for this tournament?

ALBERT COSTA: No, I don't think so. I don't think you can say that. I think you have to prove it on court, playing; otherwise, it's only words. In fact, Federer was the No. 1 favorite, and look what happened to him. So it's on court that you prove that.

Q. Is this victory important for your confidence, for you?

ALBERT COSTA: Yes, it is, because I was coming out of a difficult period. I think I was not sufficiently motivated. I didn't care much if I won or lost. I was thinking too much, and I was not giving 100 percent on the court. So this week's event, up to now, is very important for my confidence and for the points I need.

Q. Did you find an answer to the fact that you lacked motivation?

ALBERT COSTA: In Barcelona I had a difficult period and I just had to change a few things. I have talked with a lot of people, the people who work with me, and I had talked also to a therapist just to try to find a way out. She counselled me to try to find motivation inside myself and to do the best, to try to find the best inside myself.

Q. Spadea or Nalbandian, whom would you like to play against?

ALBERT COSTA: I don't know, you can't tell now. If I say one, it's going to be the other. Nalbandian seems maybe to be a more difficult opponent, but still you have to see on court and they still have to finish, so...

Q. Was it the first time you went to see a therapist to try to find a sort of solution?

ALBERT COSTA: No, not at all. I go from time to time when I feel I'm not comfortable. Of course it doesn't give "the" answer, and there are several factors. It's important to have my coach and my physical trainer with me all the time traveling. So it's just one factor. Together, we do an excellent job.

Q. Who is the best player on this surface in your opinion this year?

ALBERT COSTA: Well, so far he hasn't played a lot because he is not well, but I think Ferrero is the best on this surface. He's not playing, but I'm sure as of Hamburg, when he'll start playing again, he'll find his position back.

Q. And Coria?

ALBERT COSTA: Well, Coria is an excellent player, but I think Ferrero has something else - a little bit more.

Q. In August, at the Olympic Games, is it a goal for you? Are you prepared for that?

ALBERT COSTA: Yes, of course it is a goal, but it won't be easy for me because we have very many Spanish players - Ferrero, Robredo, Moya. Well, only the first four will go through, so I have to play very well in the next weeks. I'll see. Of course it's another objective.

End of FastScripts….

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