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April 20, 2000

Albert Costa


Q. He served very well during the first set?

ALBERTO COSTA: In the first set he had a breakpoint at 4-All and he didn't take advantage of it. I played that point very well and I remained very calm. At 6-5 there was also 15-40, but then I couldn't play those next points because he served so well I couldn't do anything. I remained calm and that was the key because I waited quietly for the tiebreaker and during the tiebreaker I was using the opportunities when they came; still remaining very calm and that was the key of the match: After he was one set down, and for him it was very difficult. Just winning a first set for him and then reaching the third set was difficult.

Q. We can even say you won it ease, more easily than you thought if we can say easy?

ALBERTO COSTA: No, I don't believe at all it was easy. I had to fight a lot in the first set. In fact, with him there are not many points lasting a long time. You have to try to return his serve very well. He serves very well; then he plays three fast balls. So you have to take the opportunity, therefore you have to take your opportunities and very often you are under pressure because we know that if you lose your serve you can say bye-bye to the set. Of course, in this cases there is a time when he starts to have doubts, otherwise it is just enough to tell him that he served well, you ended up by doubting.

Q. You are in a good period now?

ALBERTO COSTA: Yes, but you should not be euphoric. Tomorrow will be a very difficult match. It is an important one for me. I shouldn't feel pressure either. If I play well enough to deserve the victory I will win. If he deserves the victory more than I would, he will win. In any case, I tried to play my maximum and try to go as far as possible. Any way these days I take things with a lot of calm and it is a good for me.

Q. What do you think of Alami?

ALBERTO COSTA: I know him very well. He is a great player. I believe that since the past two years he improved enormously. I know he is going to fight during the whole match. He runs a lot. He is a spectacular player.

End of FastScripts….

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