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April 20, 1999

Sebastien Grosjean


Q. You started off very well in the first set. Did you have good feelings on the court?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: Yes, it's true. I started the match very well. Although the conditions were very difficult, the balls were heavy and the court was heavy also. I tried to hit the ball very early to surprise him. I played well during the first set, but in the second set, he started playing better.

Q. Did you know how he played?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: No. And this was difficult because I didn't know what his strong points and weaknesses were. I tried to play my game without worrying about his game.

Q. It's the beginning of the clay court season for you. How do you feel?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: I have good feelings on the court. I came here in the best possible condition.

Q. Compared with the match against Zabaleta, how was it today?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: A lot better. I gave him a lot less free points. In Barcelona, I used to make two mistakes per game. My serve was better today.

Q. What are your ambitions for this clay court season?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: I'll try to win as many matches as I can. It's going to be difficult with all the Spanish players and the South American players around. I would like to win a tournament.

Q. The French Open?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: The French Open, of course. It's the most difficult one. It's the most difficult Grand Slam to win.

Q. After your good results and your winning streak and the Davis Cup, did you have problems recuperating?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: It's true I went to the finals in Key Biscayne, but here is a wonderful club. Monte-Carlo is lovely, although today the weather was not so good. But it's a very good feeling to play on centre court. It was easy to remain motivated playing here.

Q. Are you a different player now that you had those good results in Key Biscayne and Davis Cup?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: No. Maybe people see me differently because they know I can play well. But personally I didn't change.

Q. There are talks about Golmard becoming No. 1. It seems there's a new generation coming up in France with you.

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: I'm not very interested in the first place, being No. 1 in France. What concerns me most is my ATP ranking. If my French ranking is good at the end of the year, I'll be pleased, but what I'm looking at is mainly my ATP ranking.

Q. You were very fit on hard surfaces. Were you a bit weary of changing surfaces, were you reluctant to change surfaces?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: It's always difficult to change surfaces. It's also difficult to go from clay to grass, but I learned my tennis on clay so it comes back usually pretty fast after one week or ten days or so . I'm happy to be back on clay.

Q. What's the most difficult thing to adjust to when playing on clay?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: It's the slipping and playing less winners, longer rallies. You have to have a very good preparation physically.

Q. What are your qualities on this surface?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: Physically, I made a lot of improvements. I am able to play long rallies, one after the other. I also improved my serve which is very important because it's difficult to make points from the back of the court. It's nice to have some free points with your serve.

Q. Did you have time to have a break after Key Biscayne?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: No, because it was Sunday. In the evening, I was in Nimes for the Davis Cup, then after I only had two or three days' break before Barcelona. On the one hand, I wanted to continue my winning streak, but on the other hand I wanted a bit of rest.

Q. You said you had two or three days' break. What did you do then?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: I didn't touch my racquet. I watched a soccer match, in fact.

Q. What is your schedule after Monte-Carlo?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: Atlanta, Del Rey Beach, and then back to Europe with Rome.

Q. Why are you going to the States?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: Because my schedule had to be made six weeks in advance, and I hesitated playing Monte-Carlo because I was only in the top 80. I was hesitating between Monte-Carlo and Orlando that was not so strong and where I was sure I would be able to play. I still went into the quallies here.

Q. The next player, your next opponent, is Haas.

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: I know him. We're the same age. I never played him. It's going to be a difficult match. He started off the season very well. He's starting playing on clay again for the season, so it's going to be an interesting match.

Q. Do you have a prediction between Marseille and Bologna?

SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: I don't know. But I hope Marseille will win.

End of FastScripts….

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