April 27, 1996
MONTE CARLO, MONACO
Q. Was it just because you had a better day than Marcelo or what do you think was the reason for your success?
ALBERTO COSTA: The match was quite equal on both sides. I won the first set; he won the second set. Some points were questioned, but he deserved to win that second set. In the beginning of the third set, I saved a game, that was difficult for me. After he was a bit upset because I broke him. I think this break in the third set was the key of the match.
Q. You have almost the same age, but you feel more experienced than he is or not?
ALBERTO COSTA: No. In fact, we are both the same, about 20 years. We were born the same year. We are coming up now, and both of us lack a lot of experience. This will come with time. We will be better in the future.
Q. You won the European championships in Lisbon in '93, Orange Bowl the same year. 1993 the world No. 1 junior was Rios. Have you played him very much in that year, before?
ALBERTO COSTA: I played him only once, and I lost. It was in '93. It was the only time we played.
Q. I was impressed in that match your regularity, your consistency. You made a backhand with a lot of confidence and a lot of serenity.
ALBERTO COSTA: Well, I try to stay very calm during the whole match, I try to stay always the same. This special shot you were mentioning, it came out because it was a breakpoint and I saw the opportunity of doing it. But it's only one point, it's not what really is important. The important thing is to be very consistent, not only one point.
Q. You played a lot on the left, it's one of your weapons?
ALBERTO COSTA: I knew he played very well cross court, and he's able to open the court that way. I was not surprised because I knew he was going to play that way. I have a backhand which is more solid than my forehand. Maybe I played too much on his backhand, but these things happen during a match.
Q. The second set with the dropshot, you saw the ball bounce twice? That point could have changed the match, changed the set.
ALBERTO COSTA: I'm not sure whether the ball bounced twice or not. I believe it did, according to what they told me. But it's me. I've been stupid because I lost concentration because of that and it cost me a break. I don't think it's justified to lose a set because of just one point. You don't lose a set for one point. It's my fault because I lost concentration afterwards.
Q. There was that match in Scottsdale, and today it was on clay. Was it better for you?
ALBERTO COSTA: I was feeling in a better position because I feel more comfortable on clay. I have more confidence in my game on that surface, and I knew his game wouldn't hurt me so much as it did on hard courts. I was able to attack him more, which is difficult for me to do on hard courts, with his game.
Q. Since May 1990, Thomas Muster played 31 finals on claycourt, only lost one against you. Do you prefer Muster or Pioline?
ALBERTO COSTA: I don't know. Muster is a very dangerous player. He won in Estoril, in Barcelona, he was No. 1. This inspires a lot of respect. But if Pioline reaches the finals, it means he's a very good player and he's going to be very difficult to beat. On top of it, he's a French player, he's going to play in front of his public. I'll have to try to remain very concentrated and to do as best as possible.
Q. About your young career. When you started to play, you became one of the top junior players. Who were you looking at? Spanish players? Bruguera? Orantes before? Foreign players? There was someone who you were inspired by?
ALBERTO COSTA: When I was a junior, I was watching Bruguera and Carlos Costa, but I was mainly thinking in myself. I wasn't watching other players. But mainly it was Bruguera and Costa who were Spanish players that I knew myself.
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