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December 8, 2000

Albert Costa


MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. (Not translated.)

ALBERTO COSTA: It was a very tough game, very even game. The two last sets were decided by a little bit. He was a little unlucky in the last game with three serves on the line by Hewitt, but Hewitt played a very good game. I tried to hold as much as I could, but he hopes this game becomes an anecdote and everything becomes well in the series and Juan Carlos Ferrero can win this second match.

Q. Were you expecting Hewitt to play so well, so balanced in his tennis?

ALBERTO COSTA: Yes, because he's the No. 6 player in the world. He's not an easy player to play against, especially when he's playing for his country. He was very good, very courageous. Albert was courageous, too. He would learn how to maintain himself in the game and hold the pressure from the fans. He's not happy with the outcome because he lost, but he's happy with the way he fought and that he fought a lot, the same as Hewitt.

Q. What did you lack in your game?

ALBERTO COSTA: Really nothing. The game was so even that those games, either can win at the end. Maybe Hewitt played a little better at the end, that decided. Again, it was a very, very even game.

Q. So many short shots.

ALBERTO COSTA: Yeah, it was part of my tactics in the game to move Hewitt out of the back of the court, make him run forward, not let him think, not have Hewitt being comfortable on his game. I sacrificed a little bit those short shots to make Hewitt think a little bit more.

Q. (Question about starting 5-0 in the first set.)

ALBERTO COSTA: He always thinks in the score that it was a surprise to start so well with 5-0. He final won 6-3. He had not a good second set, but then he was trusting to win. Especially after his third set, he kept going and going. The fourth and fifth set were a little tough. Especially getting quick break helped Hewitt to even the game at that time.

Q. What did you think on the last point after losing the game?

ALBERTO COSTA: He was thinking still of coming back, keeping on fighting. He was really, really sad and hurt by not winning the point. But then being in the locker room, he started to think about the upcoming games in the series and the chance of winning.

Q. (Question about the first serve.)

ALBERTO COSTA: He said it's not bad but he tried not to serve that hard because Hewitt comes back with a very good shot after a hard first serve. That's why he was trying to move it more and have a little bit not that much of power in his first serve.

Q. (Question not translated.)

ALBERTO COSTA: The court was good. The surface was good. It was a little dry. They're trying to get it a little less dry right now. He said the court was good and it was a little dry.

Q. When did you think you lost that match, at what stage?

ALBERTO COSTA: Not until the last point of the game. He thought it became very, very even. It was Love-40 at the serve of Hewitt. He thought he had a chance until the last point. So right when he lost that point is when he felt he lost the game.

Q. What do you think of the very special, different atmosphere of playing in a Davis Cup match? What's it like as a player?

ALBERTO COSTA: It's very, very special. To be especially in the final, it's a great motivation. It's very, very, very big. He wants to focus on the team to be focused on the whole series. He's really right now cheering for Ferrero to win this game, thinking on this series.

Q. Can you describe that as an experience, playing five sets in Davis Cup final at home?

ALBERTO COSTA: Well, it was a great pleasure. I was fighting a lot. I was keeping my concentration and trying to win all the time, no? I lost the first point, I never thought I'm going to lose that match.

Q. Do you think this could be the most vital match of the five?

ALBERTO COSTA: I don't know. I don't know. For the moment, it's pretty difficult to say because they have to play a lot of matches and they -- we have to be calm and we have to be fighters, no, in the court. That's it.

Q. How good is the spirit in the Spanish team?

ALBERTO COSTA: The spirit is great. It's very big. We're going to fight till the last point, like me today, you know. If they beat us like this, okay, well done, they played better, that's it.

End of FastScripts….

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