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January 19, 2004

Gustavo Kuerten


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. How is it playing your opponent, who was clearly injured? What was your mentality about handling that?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: It's a different game. At least I was thinking, you know, if he was too much -- he had the hurt too much and all. But that stage, I was little bit worried about this, this situation. And then you miss some concentration, try to play a little bit safer. He's trying to go for the shots, and he was doing quite a few shots there that was make me a little bit difficult. But I think at least I was relax, you know, by how the situation was going. I didn't get too much frustrate or excited, you know, to win the match that quick. I just was there, I was feeling well, so that's one thing I start to think about, too. And then dealing with the game, trying to see when I have my opportunity to win.

Q. Are you conscious of trying to move him around the court in his condition?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes. As far as you have the choice of shot, you try to make him run. Same time you don't want to miss a shot, you know, like trying to go for the shot and miss to give the guy a free point. It's always a little bit of strange situation, you know. You don't really -- you go out a little bit of your game and then you try to play a safer game and try to win in percentage.

Q. You had problems at past Australian Opens of getting through the rounds. What are your thoughts going into this year's tournament?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think I came here many times and for me, it's like one more year play this, a great event. I never really felt that I was playing great tennis on this tournament, so I need to get few more wins. Like today was important for me to build some confidence, you know, to win a tough match like this. I think it's gonna raise my confidence and my level for the next match. So maybe one or two more match, I can get myself going.

Q. How was it in New Zealand last week? Did you feel your game was coming together?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I played well there, like last year, too. I really start the year playing in a good way. Would be interesting for me and great if I could manage to keep going like this, you know, and at least I have a few more rounds in front of me here.

End of FastScripts….

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