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September 10, 1998

Carlos Moya

U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. How does it feel to be a French champion and have such great success at the US Open?

CARLOS MOYA: Well, it means a lot for me, you know, to prove that I'm able to do well on clay and on hard court. I knew I was able to do well, but maybe the people just thought that I'm good clay court player? I always say that I want to be all-court player, you know, and, I'm very happy to be in semifinal right now. But still four players left. You know, anything can happen right now in semifinal. So I'm going to try to win this tournament. It's not going to be easy, but I will try.

Q. Did you come in really thinking, "I can win this tournament"?


Q. Not at all?

CARLOS MOYA: No. Because lately I was not playing well. Actually, I was playing bad. And, you know, I had a few looses against players with much lower ranking than mine, which made me think, you know, that how I'm going to do here. I never know what to expect from myself. But I always try to practice, do my best. I start to play well in the right moment, which is this tournament. So if you tell me at the beginning of the week that I'm going to be in semifinal, I would say, "You're crazy." Even if you tell me I'm going to beat Chang, because I was playing so bad, you know, I had no confidence at all. I thought I cannot beat anyone the way I was playing. But the luck start to change in that match against Chang. And there I realized that I'm doing better than I think. I'm saving those few matchpoints, you know, made me trust more in myself.

Q. So the Chang match really was what turned it on for you?

CARLOS MOYA: Yeah, that match, and also against Gambill, 7-6 in fifth, with all what happened, 40-15. It gives you a lot of power. You think that nobody can beat you right now because they didn't do it before. But, you know, a lot of good players still -- I mean, not a lot, but four very good players in the draw, and they will try to win this tournament, and not to let me do it.

Q. Given the style of your play, and this type of surface, how good a chance do you have against any of the four players who are left in this tournament?

CARLOS MOYA: What's the style? What would you say is my style?

Q. Your style of play versus serve and volleyers. I mean, take Philippoussis or Rafter, for example.

CARLOS MOYA: Uh-huh. Well, I played Philippoussis just once. He beat me. I beat Rafter three times. I beat Sampras once indoor. So, of course, is not going to be easy, but, you know, I beat most of them. So I think I'm able to do it again. But, you know, we'll see. This surface is not quick enough, you know, to just serve, and that's it. So I think you can play good rallies from the baseline. You know, so I don't know what to expect from the next match. But I'm going to do my best. They are different players, Philippoussis and Johansson, so I'm going to see what's going on in that match.

Q. Sampras always talks about Philippoussis being extremely dangerous. If it is Philippoussis, do you regard him as incredibly dangerous?

CARLOS MOYA: Well, he's a very dangerous player, very good player. But the people is always expecting something great from Philippoussis, you know. And so far, he didn't do that well. He's 20 something in the ranking, but he has a really big potential, you know. He can win any tournament. But I won French Open; I won Monte-Carlo; I'm in semifinal rights now. I think I don't have to be afraid of anyone. Just to play my tennis and do my best.

Q. Are you surprised the way the match turned pretty easy today?

CARLOS MOYA: A little bit surprised, but I knew he was -- I mean, he had some problems with his back, and these windy conditions I think were better for me. You know, I just tried to do my best. Was easier than I expect, I have to say that.

Q. You've said in the past that you don't have to think about what do you when you're on a clay court, but you do have to think on other surfaces. Are you now to the stage where you don't have to think on a hard court as much, it comes naturally?

CARLOS MOYA: Well, right now it comes natural. I think I'm not making many mistakes. I think I'm serving well, I can do much better. But as I said, on clay, everything comes from inside. You know, I don't have to think at all. Here, it took time to get used to this court, you know. I haven't play since the Lipton, was last tournament on hard court. When I came from clay, you know, I had no practice at all on hard. So to everybody, takes a little bit to get used to another surface, which is not the natural you have, you know. And, you know, it took one month. But, as I said before, it came in the right moment.

Q. Is this the best you've felt on a hard court, just this tournament?

CARLOS MOYA: I think I was feeling better in Australia. But, you know, I don't remember how it was. It was a year and a half ago. But now I'm very confident. Maybe I'm better player right now. I take more risk than before. I go more often to net. I'm serving better. So see what's going to happen.

Q. Do you still prefer clay to hard court?

CARLOS MOYA: Depends. If you ask me right now, I prefer hard. If you ask me two weeks ago, I prefer clay. But I grew up on clay, so I think I'm always going to have the game on clay. I have to develop my game more on hard, and also on indoor surface. But I think I'm doing well right now. I'm still young; I can improve so many things. One day I hope I'm going to win here.

Q. Do you think the French Open champion gets enough respect compared to the winners of the other Slams?

CARLOS MOYA: Well, depends where. In Europe, maybe the people think Roland Garros is more important than US Open. Here, I don't think they care at all about who won the French Open because, you know -- I not saying they just care about their players, you know, which is normal. But what happens in Europe, I don't think they really care. If I won there, then I come here, not many people know me, you know. But I won a Grand Slam, which is the same as Wimbledon or Australia or this one. So I think they should have a lot of respect for a Grand Slam winner, even if for them is French Open, which they don't know so much.

Q. How do you explain now you're better on hard surfaces?

CARLOS MOYA: Well, I'm a little bit older, you know, I have more experience. I know what's going on, you know, on this surface. When I did final one year and a half ago, I think I played like three, four tournaments on hard court in my life. So it was a little bit surprising for me to get to the final. But now I know, as I said, what's going on. I know how the people play. I know what you have to do. I know that you have to take more risks, be more aggressive. I think that's why I'm better right now.

Q. Do you think if you should win here on Sunday, you should be considered the No. 1 player for the year?


Q. No? Not with two Slams?

CARLOS MOYA: No. 1 Player of the Year is who wins the year as the No. 1. If I'm able just to win two tournaments, and then not do anything at all the rest of the year, so I don't deserve to be No. 1. Only is No. 1 who wins the ranking No. 1. That's why is the ranking working like that.

Q. It's interesting because Pete says it doesn't really matter how you do in the other tournaments through the year, it's the Slams that matter.

CARLOS MOYA: Well, if Pete say so, he's -- I mean, he can have his opinion. I think if Rios wins No. 1 in the world at the end of the year, he doesn't win any Grand Slam, is because he deserve it. So I think the ranking wasn't like that. You know, I rather be No. 1 at the end of the year and not to win any title than to win two Grand Slams and be No. 5.

Q. When Patrick won here last year, his life kind of went crazy, he didn't handle it as well as he'd like to. He really didn't get back on track until this summer. You seem to have handled your first Grand Slam win very well. What kind of impact did it have on you?

CARLOS MOYA: What kind of?

Q. What kind of impact? How did it change your life, winning the French, and why were you able to handle it?

CARLOS MOYA: Well, at the beginning, you get so relaxed, you are a little bit stressed out to play two weeks in a row with such a high level. But I can say it changed much more when I played the final in Australia last year, because there I was an unknown player, nobody knew me. You know, suddenly I get to the final, which was a surprise even for me. So it changed much more in that time than when I won French Open. I won Monte-Carlo, the month before, which is the best tournament on clay, which all the players were there, you know. And I was Top 10 before the French Open, so I think was not such a big change as when I played Australia in the final.

Q. Jim Courier is the last French Open champion who did as well as you today in another Grand Slam. What are your comments about that?

CARLOS MOYA: I'm very proud. What do you mean, French Open?

Q. He won the French Open, and he went to the semis and better in another Grand Slam. He is the last one to do that. Bruguera never did. Kafelnikov never did.

CARLOS MOYA: It is not easy to get to semifinals in any Grand Slam. To make it in the same year in two different, I'm very proud of myself even. You know, very happy to do that. Now I want to be like Wilander, which he won the both, was the last time that a player won both tournaments, was like ten years ago. So I'm going to try to make like him.

Q. You described what it would be like to play against Philippoussis. Can you speak a little if you were playing Johansson in the semifinal?

CARLOS MOYA: Well, I played him two weeks ago in Indianapolis. He beat me pretty easy. But, as I told you before, in that time I thought I cannot beat anyone. My confidence was below zero, you know. Now I'm playing much better, I think. It changed so much my game in two weeks. From here it changed so much (pointing to head). You know, it's going to be a tough match. As I said before, I'll do my best and I try to beat him.

Q. Can you describe the setup in Barcelona, talk about the atmosphere among the Spaniards on the tour?

CARLOS MOYA: Well, we are pretty good friends. We used to go out together, have a dinner, whatever. Because most of us, we live by ourselves, so we don't have the family there. So we need to be with friends. You know, they are there. I can say it's one of the keys that right now we are so successful, you know. Even in the tournaments, we go together, go to, you know, we do everything together.

Q. What makes it successful, that you guys help each other out, just having someone there to support?

CARLOS MOYA: You are like ten thousand kilometers far from home and you don't feel alone at all. This is what I mean.

Q. Also working on the hard courts in Barcelona, does that help?

CARLOS MOYA: Well, we used to work more on clay. Depends on the season. Right now, we will practice on hard. When it's clay court season, on clay. When is indoor, on clay because we don't have. When is Australian Open, on hard courts. It depends on the season, we practice on that surface.

End of FastScripts…

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