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September 2, 2001

Albert Costa


MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Now that you've done it four times in a row, tell us the secret.

ALBERT COSTA: Well, the secret is be in the court and try to return, trying to keep the serve all the time, and try to be calm, no? Sometimes you cannot touch even the ball, but you have to stay calm and try to return.

Q. Everybody tries to do exactly that. You always win.

ALBERT COSTA: Well, I think this time was better for me. The other last two I beat him maybe he was a little more crazy. But this time I think he was fighting all the match and he was playing good. But I return good in very good moments.

Q. Do you read his serve, know where he's going to go some of the times?

ALBERT COSTA: Sometimes. Sometimes I make a decision and I go for hit. Sometimes I just say, "He's going to the forehand." I'm going to the forehand. Sometimes he hits the backhand, but... Sometimes I choose. Sometimes I wait. You know, is not easy. I think I return so good the second serve.

Q. For the next game, who would you prefer to play, Kuerten or Mirnyi?

ALBERT COSTA: It's a different kind of games. Kuerten, I know him much better, but he's No. 1 of the world, very dangerous. I think he's a great player, the greatest player right now. Maybe I prefer to play Mirnyi because maybe he is less consistent. I don't like either to play against him because he serve really good, he volley really good, and I lost twice against him. But maybe if I'm checking which way is easier to win, I think with Mirnyi could be easier. But not big difference.

Q. Did Goran seem different to you this time?


Q. How so?

ALBERT COSTA: A lot. He was no pissed on the court. He was all the time fighting, fighting, fighting, all the time just playing without doing crazy things like he was doing. I felt that. He was playing like this. I know that if he keeps playing like this, maybe he lost today, but tomorrow is the way for play. He can win Wimbledon, play like this all the time, he's going to win so many tournaments.

Q. Were you more concerned seeing that he was keeping his composure, that if you didn't finish this off, he would have the confidence to come back?

ALBERT COSTA: Yeah, I was feeling all the time that if I'm not focus on this games, if I lose one set or something, maybe I could lose. Before you know maybe when you play against Goran, you think, "If I win a set, he's going to be pissed or something." But now I see him very, very focused.

Q. Do you see yourself as the Michael Chang of Spain?

ALBERT COSTA: No, no. What happen with Michael Chang? I don't know.

Q. You run hard. You retrieve a lot of balls. You keep the point going a long time.

ALBERT COSTA: Well, I think is more we all the Spanish play like this more or less. I think we like to play all the points, we like to play not that fast like the other ones do.

Q. Do you think of the pure clay-courters being able to win a tournament like this?

ALBERT COSTA: Yeah, of course. I think so, yeah.

Q. Why?

ALBERT COSTA: Because is tennis. You are playing against some other people. If you are a good player, you can be good everywhere. Sometimes you have to change some little things. But I think why not? Kuerten just won in Cincinnati. To won in Cincinnati is almost like win here. Why? Kuerten is completely a clay court game, he has a clay court game.

Q. Tell us about Tommy Robredo.

ALBERT COSTA: I think he's very consistent, very focused now. He's playing a great tennis. He's enjoying in the court. He has no fear, so he plays and that's it. I think he doesn't think too much, so he just play.

Q. This could be a great tournament for Spain. Carlos Moya is playing well. You're through.

ALBERT COSTA: I hope. I hope. Could be nice. For the moment for me is the nicest one (smiling). I never play good here, so...

End of FastScripts....

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