October 16, 2002
MODERATOR: We are here with Albert Costa who has to withdraw from the tournament. The doctor of the Spanish Tennis Federation will explain to you.
Q. What was the reason for this decision?
DR. COTORRO: The circumstances have decided that Albert has to withdraw. A few days ago he had a lower back injury. He's been training afterwards, but the situation was quite risky. We have assessed many aspects, not only the medical aspect, but also his professional situation. We have decided he will need to retire so he can recover for his next season.
Q. You wanted to get to the end because you were at home in Madrid?
ALBERT COSTA: Of course. If I had been in Basel, I would have left immediately, but here I was surrounded by friends and everybody was supporting me. Because I was in Madrid, I wanted to play. As I said before, I'm not going to do anything crazy. I realize that I could hurt myself. That's why I decided to withdraw.
Q. The points that you are missing?
ALBERT COSTA: What can I do about this? I'm not going to risk myself for a few points. I don't think it's the right attitude.
Q. Before Paris, are you going to play anywhere else?
ALBERT COSTA: Yes. I'm going to play in Basel. I'm going to start on Wednesday, in a week exactly. I'm going to try to prepare for that occasion and be a hundred percent. I have two very important tournaments. This one, of course, is important. What can I do? I'm not in condition to play.
Q. This morning when you were training, how did you feel?
ALBERT COSTA: Well, I could train all right, but I don't have to make any brisk movements. I can serve, but I cannot maybe follow the whole point through. I think in three or four days I will be okay, but now I think if I go to the court, I could hurt myself.
Q. Are you going to stay around tomorrow?
ALBERT COSTA: Yes. I'm under treatment. I'm going to follow through with my treatment. I'll go home and I'll go on with the treatment. I will follow the Masters by television probably.
Q. Do you think you have time to recover for Paris? You can earn important points there.
ALBERT COSTA: Yes. I'm going to Basel first. In the week ahead of me, I think I can get back to a hundred percent. If I had one more day to prepare, I think I would have gone on with the tournament. But today I cannot play. I'm actually quite surprised of how everything has improved since I felt the first injury. But to play today is not feasible. I'm convinced that I'll be better next week.
Q. Johansson's victory this morning made you wait for this decision or you had already made up your mind?
ALBERT COSTA: No, I didn't make my decision because of that, only on the basis of how I feel. If I was playing the finals in Bercy, that would be another story.
Q. What were your expectations if you had played with Lapentti?
ALBERT COSTA: I think he's a very intelligent player. He plays well. He has a lot of experience. We have played several times. Sometimes I won; other times he won. We are very equal. It would have been a difficult match. But I think he's got many chances to win his match now.
Q. You haven't had many injuries in your career.
ALBERT COSTA: It's true. It's very unlucky that this year has been my first injury. It has been here. It's very unfortunate. Now I'm going to try to improve. It's very unfortunate that it's in my own country.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.