March 28, 2003
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. When you went home last night at such a critical stage in the match, is it possible to sleep or to spend the night without thinking a lot about what you're going to do the next day?
ALBERT COSTA: Yeah, it was possible because I slept really, really good. So, I was not thinking. I was trying to not think and saying to me that I would think tomorrow. Since I wake up this morning, I was doing everything step by step and I think everything was pretty good.
Q. Have you ever been in this situation before, this kind of situation before?
ALBERT COSTA: Not -- maybe not in this special result. But I think in the French Open with Hewitt once, it was like one-set-all and 5-all or something. So it's not the situation that you have to go and play only one tiebreak or maybe two points and you never know. But we had many times this similar situation, so...
Q. Will you comment in some detail about the work you've put in, turning yourself into a top hard court player.
ALBERT COSTA: Well, I think I'm not always playing good, but last year I played Round of 16 in the Australian Open, and I lost five sets, 8-6 in the third or 9-7 in the fifth against Ferrero. So I could be again in the quarters. So I think I'm not playing constantly or regularly good, but I think I can go -- I can be a good player on hard courts also.
Q. What kind of work did you do?
ALBERT COSTA: I'm trying to go more to the net and hit faster my first serve. I'm playing my game and put pressure on the other guys. That's what I'm trying.
Q. Serve and volley, we're not used to seeing Albert Costa serve and volley.
ALBERT COSTA: Well, I'm playing doubles now. I'm playing doubles and it makes me improve a lot.
Q. You feel comfortable?
ALBERT COSTA: I'm feeling comfortable, yes. I'm not going to play all of the time serve and volley because it's not my way but I'm trying to play more in the net, going to the net and returning inside of the court. So I'm trying to improve my game every day.
Q. At the time Roger appealed to the chair umpire to suspend play, were you thinking you might be able to play a couple more points?
ALBERT COSTA: No.
Q. Did you disagree with that?
ALBERT COSTA: No, it was really slippery. Ten seconds later, it was raining hard. So it was a good decision.
Q. When you saw the rain falling, did you have any thoughts that you guys might get that match done last night, or were you thinking for sure it was -- you were done for the day?
ALBERT COSTA: Well, at the beginning, I was maybe thinking that we can finish the match last night. But after, when we saw it was raining like this and the weather channel was saying no, no way.
Q. How long did you have to wait until they told you you weren't playing?
ALBERT COSTA: One hour and a half.
Q. Because of the situation, did you warm up more this morning than usually?
ALBERT COSTA: Yes, and closer from the match. Normally, I'm practicing like one hour, one hour and a half before. Today, I was just practice -- I start practice at 11:15 to quarter to 12, took a quick shower and then I went to the match.
Q. On the final point when you saw your ball come short, Roger was going to have maybe a difficult shot there, because the ball was low, tell us what you were thinking as he approached the ball to hit it.
ALBERT COSTA: No, my ball I thought -- I didn't really think my ball was so good, so I made like a little stop, dropshot. But it wasn't so good. You know, we are nervous and I made like this, and Roger tried to hit down the line and he hit the net. You never know. Maybe he hit the net and it goes like this. Today it was like heads or tails.
Q. Your emotions when the match was over?
ALBERT COSTA: Well, I was really, really happy because it was a tough situation. It was like a 24-hour match. So it's tough. You are all the time thinking and you are all the time like trying to -- it's a special situation. You are not used to live this kind of situations. So to play one match in two days is not easy for us.
Q. Can you talk about what your reaction was when you heard the area was under a tornado warning yesterday?
ALBERT COSTA: Well, no, nothing special. I've been in the States many times and I've been warned like 15 times. Never, nothing happens. So it's like a thunderstorm, but it's okay, you know...
Q. What does it mean for you to be in the semis here?
ALBERT COSTA: It means a lot, because this is a great tournament. I think this is like the fifth Grand Slam. So, for me, it's a great result. But I'm playing good. I know I have a very tough opponent now. But I will try to reach the finals.
Q. Are you going to stick around and watch the quarterfinals to see who your prospective semifinal opponents are?
ALBERT COSTA: I know them very much. I see Andre playing like 1,000 times and I see Younes playing over thousand. So maybe I stay here to have lunch or something, but I'm going to go to the hotel to rest.
Q. When you won the French Open last year and got married and then had a chance to sort of drink it all in, were you determined to make sure that people didn't think, "This is the one Grand Slam that Al Costa will ever win," that you would now fade into mediocrity again?
ALBERT COSTA: I was many times thinking maybe this way before I won the Grand Slam. Like, well, I am a good player because I was four years in a row being Top 20 and I was Top 10 and I've won many, many tournaments - or 12 tournaments. But I was -- my obsession was to win a Grand Slam. So now I have the Grand Slam and I still think I'm gonna be a regular player. Now I think I'm a very good player. So nobody, if somebody want to think that, for me it's okay. But at least I have one Grand Slam. So maybe some other good players, they don't have it. For one player to have a Grand Slam, it's -- I think it's one of the goals, most important goals. Of course I want another one, but at least I have one (smiling)...
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.