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April 21, 2000

Gaston Gaudio

Q. Your name, is it from an Italian origin or Spanish origin?

GASTON GAUDIO: My mother is from Spanish origin and my father, I think, is Italian.

Q. But you think; you are not sure?

GASTON GAUDIO: Well, we live in Argentina so I don't know.

Q. What about your grandfather?

GASTON GAUDIO: The same. He born in Argentina. I don't really don't know where the surname comes.

Q. What do you think, if anything, are you missing to be a Top-10 player? Is it just experience or there are parts of your game that you still are lacking?

GASTON GAUDIO: I suppose that I have to get better my serve and I get to put a little bit stronger. Then the rest going to be confidence and experience.

Q. Can you tell us how you became a professional tennis player, where and when did you start playing tennis? How did it happen?

GASTON GAUDIO: I start because my brother starts playing tennis before and I was following him to every club he goes and I was following him. Then he didn't play anymore and then I continued playing and doing better than him.

Q. Where was it?

GASTON GAUDIO: In Buenos Aires.

Q. He made many mistakes?

GASTON GAUDIO: I don't know if he played at his level he was playing until now. The first set could have been both sides, but the second set I think he started becoming tired and I started playing my game and then it was good for me.

Q. You say you "Played your game." What is your game?


Q. No?

GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, I run a lot. I hit very hard. My backhand is very good. It is better than my drive and my forehand. With my forehand I try to put the ball in. But with my backhand I have a better shot in my backhand.

Q. Why and when did you decide to change your coach, a few weeks ago?

GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, I think it was in Bogota, the ATP Tour in Bogota. I was training with him since three years, but we split, finished.

Q. Why?

GASTON GAUDIO: Percentage decisions from both sides. Nothing else.

Q. Why did you choose Horacio as a coach?

GASTON GAUDIO: I was practicing with him before when I was young, when I was 15, I started with him and then we finished because I have problems with other things because he was too busy and we couldn't travel around the world with me. Now we are together again.

Q. Is it the same relationship with a coach than you can have with a fiancee, a girlfriend?

GASTON GAUDIO: It is the same thing.

Q. But I am being serious.

GASTON GAUDIO: But me too. You have to have a special feeling with your coach. You can't choose any kind of coach just because he is good. If you don't have -- if you don't trust him then it doesn't work. So it is the same thing.

Q. Can you travel three people, coach, plus girlfriend, plus you?

GASTON GAUDIO: It is difficult. Horacio don't like it. But one week now and then it is nice.

Q. Which part of the game do you think you improved the most since a few weeks or few months?

GASTON GAUDIO: I think that it is not in my tennis. I think it is in my concentration, to put everything of me. With Horacio only, he is a very tough guy so we try to put my best; sometimes I was very lazy sometimes.

Q. Is it a big surprise for you to be in the semis here?

GASTON GAUDIO: Why for me it --

Q. Is it a big surprise for you?

GASTON GAUDIO: For me and for everybody it is a surprise. Nobody thinks that I am going to get into the semifinals but we are working for that. If we get it, good. If not, we try it the next week.

Q. Look like there is more and more new players in Argentina since a few months. Are you very close friends together?


Q. Travel together?


Q. Can you explain us about --

GASTON GAUDIO: Last year the Argentinian guys maybe they fight each other so many times. But now, no, we are very friends and we are travelling all together and we are getting better like that.

Q. Who are your best friends, Argentinian players?

GASTON GAUDIO: I don't have -- it is the same. With Gumi and Zabaleta and Squillara it is good.

Q. If you have all those friends who is your enemy on the circuit?

GASTON GAUDIO: I don't have any enemy. I don't care about the ones that I don't want.

Q. What are you doing the rest of the day apart from tennis?

GASTON GAUDIO: I am on the net all the day long talking my friends and my mother and everything. I am always with a computer.

Q. What is your next big goal, to win a tournament?

GASTON GAUDIO: To win this one. And then the next one. Every week it is the same.

Q. What does it mean for you Argentinian champions, such as Vilas, does it mean something to you?

GASTON GAUDIO: No, that was a long time ago, now our only person is Zabaleta that is getting the best ranking of us. Vilas is an idol there in Argentina, but now not anymore.

Q. Do you know him personally?


Q. Did he give you some advice sometimes?

GASTON GAUDIO: Yes, we were friends three years ago, I was practicing in the same club than him. But yes he helped me so many times. I have to appreciate the things he do for me.

Q. For instance, what did he tell you?

GASTON GAUDIO: The same things that they tell you as a coach. He so much experience, so he try to help me sometimes.

End of FastScripts….

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