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March 13, 1999
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
GREG SHARKO: First question for the 15th member of the No. 1 Club, Carlos Moya.
Q. What does it mean for you to achieve this? Did you believe at the beginning of the year, especially after you started so badly, that you would reach No. 1 this year?
CARLOS MOYA: Well, it means a lot for me. But I have to be honest, when you are playing that bad, you think there's no way out, you cannot put the ball in even. You don't understand how come you won a few matches before. But I kept trying. I had a good practice. Victories were not coming. I always had faith in myself. They always trust me a lot. They show me that there is a way out. That's what I did. In Dubai,I start to play better; then I went one week holidays, you know, which I didn't have last year. Now, when I came back, I had some good practice in Barcelona. I came here and start to play better and better. Does a lot for me, thanks to the rest of the team, my family and everybody else.
Q. Have you talked to your family?
CARLOS MOYA: My parents and my brother, they were almost crying. So this the moment which we've been always waiting for. It's been today. So I think they were happy.
Q. On court you said you felt better than when you won the French Open.
CARLOS MOYA: I didn't say that. I don't know. I think my best tennis came Monte-Carlo. French Open I played pretty well. Here, too, you know. I was not so much confidence with myself here. I knew I never beat him before. But I was sure that today was going to be the day. Also, I had a tough match with Kucera yesterday. Beat me a few times; I beat him, too. But I was so confident with my tennis and myself, that I knew if I focus and concentrate, I was going to be the winner today. So I knew how much was today on the game. I was so concentrate and focused. I think it made me win, you know, that faith in myself.
Q. Were you nervous?
CARLOS MOYA: Yeah.
Q. You didn't look it.
CARLOS MOYA: But I was (laughter). I'm telling you, I was. I was not during the match. When I serve for the match, I was a bit nervous. When you get to the court, I mean, you have to think about that anyway. You cannot say, "Okay, don't think about that. Just play your match." The night before, the afternoon before, the morning, it always came to my mind, you know. I tried not to think about that, tried to play videos, watch TV movies, because it always comes to my mind. I just tried to forget about that. Not only now, but the other few days. I was four matches away, it was still away, it was still far. I had to play every match step-by-step. I think I did my way. I work out today.
Q. When did you realize, when did you finally feel that No. 1 was yours, during the match, at what stage?
CARLOS MOYA: Today?
CARLOS MOYA: Well, it was great that I won the first set. I had some good chances in the second set at the beginning. He beat me 6-1. Then I knew was the key of the match at the beginning of the third because he start to play pretty well. He let me play my game. I was very focused at those games. Maybe when I broke him, and then I hold my serve for 3-Love, I thought -- I not the winner yet, but I have good chances to win. I just kept being concentrate and maybe in that moment when I broke him again at 4-Love, I knew almost for sure I was going to be the winner. When I broke him first time, I thought, "This is my chance."
Q. When you were serving for the match, how were you feeling? How were you trying to keep those nerves away?
CARLOS MOYA: I mean, there's not any way not to think about that. I just tried to win as soon as possible, you know. This is what I did. I took my first chance. You always nervous, but you have -- to be No. 1, you have to win that game, you know. That's what I did. I was feeling so happy. I cannot describe it in words.
Q. That special Indian dance you did, was that something planned?
CARLOS MOYA: No. It was not Indian dance. That was promise we made each other that if I become No. 1, we have to jump ten times, you know. When we play soccer out there, the loser has to make ten of these jumps, you know. Today, I didn't lose, but it was like a bet, you know, that if I win, if I become No. 1, have to go everyone to the court and take our hands and jump ten times. It's what we did. Maybe doesn't look like we were jumping, but we were doing (laughter).
Q. What is the name of that ritual, if you had to give it a name?
CARLOS MOYA: It's an exercise, you know. So many players, they use it as an exercise. We use it for the loser, you know. When you lose, you have to make ten jumps. It has no name.
Q. The Spanish players do exercise together; they are famous on the circuit, hitting together. With the renaissance of Spanish players, which you now lead - you are good friends with Alex - do you think the pressure of No. 1 are going to put a strain into relationships with other players?
CARLOS MOYA: Well, he beat me in Hannover. That time, he was No. 3 in the world; I was No. 5. I was still talking to him, so (laughter). He beat me pretty badly, in a bad way. Two sets to love up, really close. I think everything is going to be the same. I'm going to be the same person out of the court, I hope. If not, I have my team here, which I'm going to change the way I am, you know. But I don't think it's going to be any problem. This is what everybody's looking for. Today, I did it. Maybe tomorrow, another does it, you know. It works that way. One time you are up; one time you are down. This is my time to be up.
Q. When do you go home to Spain next, and what kind of reception do you expect to get when you return home?
CARLOS MOYA: I don't want to think about that. This the part that maybe I don't like the most, you know. I just want to be with my friends, with my people, all my family. I know is going to be impossible. I mean, I would love to do that every day. But I have a Davis Cup right after Lipton, so I have to be focused. It's going to be difficult. But I had this experience before, you know, when I came back from Australia. I did a lot of things. It was just a Grand Slam final. But I think I got a lot of experience from that. I learned a lot from that moment, that situation. Also coming from French Open, didn't happen that much, as much as in Australia, you know. So I know better now. I just going to try to keep focused and concentrate on my game.
Q. Does it feel a little bit like a dream at the moment, that you haven't woken up yet?
CARLOS MOYA: I think so . I hope I won't wake up, never wake up, of this dream. I'm afraid that -- sometimes I dream I was in the French Open final again; I was winning US Open; even Wimbledon. So that was a real dream, you know, being in final at Wimbledon for me (laughter). Then I wake up, you know. I say, "Oh, it was another dream. Hopefully, I'm going to be there again." I hope this moment, it's true; it's real; I not going to wake up. I never want to wake up of this dream.
Q. More pressure on you going into the Davis Cup, being No. 1, you have a first win over Kuerten, and it is in Spain against Brazil?
CARLOS MOYA: More pressure? I would love to have more pressure every time. That means being No. 1 in the world. I think I already handle the pressure well. I mean, I was Top 5 already. So that means every week you have to win some matches. That's what I did well. I mean, I prove that I can win a Grand Slam, but I also prove that I still can win more matches after that Grand Slam. You have all the attention from everyone. I proved that I can handle with that; I can deal with the pressure. Even this week, you know, I knew with four more matches, I was going to become No. 1. I won all these matches with the top players. I think I already dealt with all these pressure. For sure, I'm going to be more motivated than I was before.
Q. Can you talk about the role of your coach, fitness coach?
CARLOS MOYA: I think that means they've been very important for me. I've been working with Jose, who is my tennis coach, since I was 17 years old. I don't know if I had an ATP point. I had 50 points. I was a junior. I was arising star that maybe can become a good player, you know. He knows me a lot. He know how to work with me, which is not easy to get me to the court. Fitness coach, he's working with me for a year and three months already. I won a Grand Slam with him, a final. He makes me work. He makes it funner for me. Everybody know I'm not a hard worker. Not hard worker, but I don't like that much to work so hard. They always finding new ways for me to make it easy, you know. This is very important for me. We are a real team, you know. We support each other. More than coach, they are friend for me, you know, which I can talk with. They know most of my secrets, which most of the other people, they don't even know. They are the people who are spending more time with me. So my friends, they my friends.
Q. Has the king of Spain called you yet?
CARLOS MOYA: No, no. Nobody called me here, but they don't have any phone number. The President, he want to call me, he just told me now. Yeah, for sure I'm getting in touch with them sooner or later.
Q. What did he tell you after you won the French?
CARLOS MOYA: Who?
Q. The King.
CARLOS MOYA: He tried to reach me, but I didn't get to the hotel, or I don't know what happened. But he send a message. It was another Spaniard in final. He could not be that happy, but for sure he was. But now he's going to be happy. He's the King of Spain, talking about tennis. At least this week I'm going to be the King of the World. If just for one week, please let me be the King just for one week, but maybe more. I was the King of Clay in French Open, and now I've been the King of the World.
Q. Are you going to celebrate tonight?
CARLOS MOYA: No; tomorrow. Not tonight, because I still have a match tomorrow. I would love to win the Indian Wells title. Is a big name, you know, to win here. Is very important. Super 9, one of the greatest here on the ATP Tour. I never won a Super 9 event on hard, so I would love to do it. I'm going to celebrate tomorrow. Don't ask me what way. But I will.
Q. Last time you played here, you couldn't rent a car or drink a beer.
CARLOS MOYA: Maybe they still ask me, you know.
Q. But you're the King of the World now.
CARLOS MOYA: Well, they don't care, I guess. I mean, everybody treat me great here. I never had any problem. For sure they are going to be this time.
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