home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 6, 2003

Gustavo Kuerten


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about this match and how you feel.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, it was a close match and we're both good players. I think that the level of confidence meant a lot in my defeat; I wasn't very confident. I had a break at 3-2 in the third set, and I had some opportunities to win. Maybe it would have turned around the match. But that's how it goes in such a tournament where you have such good players.

Q. You mentioned it was a question of confidence. Is it now just confidence? Because you had your chances, in the last game you had the two break back points.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes, I've been having a lot of matches like this that I had to step up in the big points and still not able to do it. I think would be the first step for me to go, you know, and then from then on I think will become much easy the other things. But for sure it's gonna be like this for many other situations because the matches are pretty close and I always gonna face situation that I will have to make the shots, you know, I have to play well. And that way, if I can manage to win maybe one or two matches, I think it's just the rise of confidence that I need to find my game back.

Q. Physically and speed-wise, how do you feel you are compared with when you were at your peak two years ago?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I feel the same way as before. You know, as far as I came back this year, it's been much easy for me than in the last year. So I'm feeling well and physically ready to play more matches. But I just not able to get my rhythm. During one week so far, maximal that I have been playing is two match in a single week from almost one month and a half. So that's -- for sure it's causing me a lot of trouble.

Q. What do you regret about today? You should have played more drop volleys, or there is something tactical you didn't like about your serve? Were you trying too much to play to his forehand?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I think first set didn't really work for me at all. Then I start to see more clear what I had to do and things start to come the way I like, you know. I won 6-2, then 3-2, 15-40, a great chance to maybe get the third set. Just especially on that part of the match, from the second set to the end, was nothing really that I had to do more or less, just had to make the points that I needed, you know. So for sure I played the right way on these two sets. Just a case to play a little bit better or the really good shot when I had to, and that's what didn't happen.

Q. Which disappointed you most: Today, or the match in Monte-Carlo against Norman?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, different situation I think. Both, the same way, they take me out of the tournament with the hopes to play more and win more match. But, well, no, I'm playing for sure much better, you know. I feeling the ball in my racquet to play the shots I want to. Just probably today a little -- maybe a weakness was, you know, the mental approach in these big, critics decision in the game. So that was the difference today. In Monte-Carlo I really didn't feel myself still to the rhythm and playing well. So I think it's never good to lose a match like this, especially in the first round, but for me at least I see something getting, you know, better and closer to the way I hope to get.

Q. Playing doubles, as you often do, as well as singles anyway, I suppose it serves two purposes at this stage. First of all, you can play doubles with Tim Henman and just play and not think about what happened today; but, also, it gets you more match practice on the courts even though you're covering half the court. Is that the way you look at it?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes. Right now, especially, I needed to play more matches and feel myself into the competition more often, like day by day. So tomorrow, one match to finish, and keep yourself in the routine - to wake up and to prepare and get ready for one match, you know. Even being not the singles matches, it's a kind of way to keep yourself to the tournament. So that was the main reason. From now on, it's going to be just the motivation for myself to keep doing right and keep maintain my level of play, you know, these next days. And, hopefully, we able to play a few matches in doubles.

Q. Players who went through tough injuries sometimes fear that they cannot go back anymore at their level. Players who have been champions, as you have been three times in Roland Garros, sometimes they fear that they cannot get back to their top level. Which one of the two fears have you been through more, I mean, was worrying you more?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think at the beginning you compare always yourself, you know, with before and see how you are comparing with last year or two years ago, wherever. But I think as the time goes, you start to realize it's better to just like -- feels like it's no starting up again and see what's your limit it's gonna be. So that's the way I approach it. At least it's been, you know -- I've been trying from the time I came back till now to see what's gonna be my limitation and how far can I go. I don't know if I'll be able to play the same level and be at the same ranking as before. But at the same way, you know, right now I feel I still can try and still can improve things that maybe can put myself in a better position.

Q. Like what?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Like better (smiling). Better than 15, so... Hopefully, I can be much better or at least get to the Top 10 and be a good motivation, you know. Then keeps moving yourself with goals and hopes to get even farther.

Q. As you look now at what your current possibilities are, do they include a fourth French title?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think it would be bad if I approach like that. I'm not, you know, one of the guys that are winning the match in the tournaments in this week. So for me, would be just too far, hoping too far already from my reality. So I got to stick with what I have right now. I'm playing a good game, you know. I have a lot of experience in these tournaments. But that's not everything that I need to win - especially a tournament like the French. So I still having things to build, and probably it's only the match and the confidence with the wins that is gonna bring me that. So I still need a big breakthrough to get myself with more hopes, you know, big hopes like this.

Q. You said that Rome is one of the tournaments that you like more, and people in Rome love you. You won here in '99. How do you feel now to lose in the first round?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: For me, it's sad. I feel I was playing quite well. I manage to hit the ball nicely, you know, in the end of the match. And being out of the tournaments in the early rounds, it's always difficult. So I gonna have my hopes now on the doubles and see how it goes. Maybe it can get me a little bit of release if I can get through the doubles with some wins, one or two wins. So maybe is gonna be my way to escape a little bit from the tough loss and see if I can keep myself motivated with practice and playing tournaments. So it's nice, important for me, like you said.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297