April 28, 1996
MONTE CARLO, MONACO
Q. What is now the most difficult thing to win against Muster?
ALBERTO COSTA: Today I tried everything against him. It was a good match, but at certain times he was stronger than me physically, and that is what made the difference in the match today.
Q. But many players try to beat Muster, and you were the only one that has come close. What makes you so difficult for Thomas?
ALBERTO COSTA: I don't know. My game doesn't suit him. I play a lot on his backhand. I mix the game. I win many points, and this bothers him. Also, physically, I can stand better, the pressure, on the court than other players. I pushed him to the fifth set today, but in the end, I couldn't do more.
Q. Is there a time when you felt that this match was escaping you physically?
ALBERTO COSTA: During the fifth set, he was very strong. I felt good, but he was at a very high level. The fifth set is the one he played best, and I had very few things I could do.
Q. When you were sitting after the match with the flower in your hands, what were you thinking? Can you share it with us?
ALBERTO COSTA: Nothing special. I was just a bit sad, but I was thinking also that I played a great tournament, and I was thinking of who was it coming from, that flower.
Q. In the beginning of the fourth set, he seemed to be tired, but you were making the mistakes.
ALBERTO COSTA: I was tired, too. It was 3-Love. I came back up, and it was 6-4. I thought that maybe if I could continue at the same level, I might be able to win, but he finished very strongly.
Q. When you think about your future, would you like to become like Muster?
ALBERTO COSTA: Yes. He's giving a strong example. He's fighting on all the points. He makes no presents to the opponent. It's important on the court. Muster is certainly an example to be followed. But what I would like to be is Alberto Costa.
Q. The French press said that the whole army of Spanish players did not deserve to be called invincible. What do you think about that?
ALBERTO COSTA: We are not invincible because sometimes we lose matches, but on clay we showed that we were difficult to beat, and we are about 12 Spanish players there, among the top players, and the United States is a country which is 25 times bigger than we are, and we have more players than they have. This is important.
Q. You are 20 years old. You are one of the best players in the world on clay. Do you see yourself as a potential winner of the French Open or is it too early?
ALBERTO COSTA: It's still a bit too early. I lack regularity, consistency. What is difficult for me is to reach the finals and continue with the next tournament immediately after, and win many tournaments like Muster does; not lose at the first round, which is always difficult to take for a player. Now, I would like very much to win the French Open. Maybe I will one year. I'm not discarding this possibility; but for the time being, I would like it very much, but I see it as very difficult.
Q. Do you think you lacked experience to win against Muster today?
ALBERTO COSTA: The experience is always something very important, but today I played a very good match, and I do have experience against Muster because I pushed him to five sets in the French Open and I won against him in Kitzbuhel. This time it was my turn to lose. Maybe more experience would be better, but today he was at a very high level, and I couldn't stand the pressure. Maybe I can be the winner next time.
Q. Do you learn English?
ALBERTO COSTA: Yes, I'm learning. I know a bit how to speak English, but if I speak English, I can't say everything I want to say and I don't like it.
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