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April 16, 2003

Gustavo Kuerten


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Have you ever lost a match like this?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, sometimes. Not often, but it's, you know, like the week, it goes away so fast. Seems like you're playing better and better. So just very disappointing, you know, to miss opportunities like this. And maybe I would go out from the tournament here with completely different ideas and confidence and everything. So, for me, it would be a very tough loss to deal with. Just I have to wait for the next days, try to forget a little bit about it, and see what else to improve for the next tournament.

Q. You were 6-1, 5-2 up. Then what happens?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I start to miss a couple shots, as far as he came back 5-4. I miss my concentration, and then I start to get trying for too much sometimes and I didn't feel like, you know -- the game wasn't on my hands as the beginning. So everything start to become more and more difficult for me and was really like nightmare, you know, from 5-2 to 3-love, 2-love in the third set. Losing seven games straight was very tough. Just, you know, for one game there it could have been 6-1, 6-2 and be playing tomorrow. Right now I'm out of the tournament already, so that's the big difference.

Q. You must have played on other very windy days. What was different about today's wind from other days when you played in the wind?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think the main or the decider thing on the match today wasn't the wind. Just I was able to play well from the beginning to the time I was leading 5-2 and just didn't maintain my level for little bit longer. So I think it's difficult for both of us to play our best, but I was managing pretty well to keep in a good level. It's tough for the other guy to come back, you know, in situations like this. I just really miss a great opportunity like a match today.

Q. Do you think you were overconfident at that point, do you think, maybe at 6-1, 5-2?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I don't know. Not really. I think, you know, I'm playing every match, trying to get myself in a good rhythm and I got my confidence during the tournament. So I was really trying to make every point to win the match, so I didn't think too far. But just I didn't step up today the big moments, you know, to finish it up. Was a big turnaround from that game on to the end.

Q. How are you finding it physically now compared with two or three years ago?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I'm in great shape. I mean, in many days preparing for the season here, I, you know, not feeling anything, any tiredness at all from these two match. But it's everything that comes together, physical and the mental part during the match, the momentum. So I wish I could, you know, had the chance again maybe to go farther because it will be very important for me if I could start here with a good result. So I feel like I let go a big chance, big opportunity. So I try to get this back as fast as I can, probably in the next tournament. But it's like for sure it will be tough for me to see all the other guys playing a round, and myself, with that big chance and being out of the tournament. So I have to deal with that for the next days.

Q. Do you think Magnus is near his best level? Did you get the impression he was the same Magnus as like three years ago maybe?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: For me, it's tough to say, you know. The match was very strange. Like I told before, it could be 6-1, 6-1 or 6-1, 6-2 and somehow, like the other end, he was beating me easy as well. So I think was a tough -- maybe a strange day, you know, to see what's the level, what's going on, pretty much wind, too. But just for sure, he's living right now a better momentum than the past, that's for sure. He's in the third round. I wish I could have the same chance as him now from the tournament, probably begun the best part of the tournament.

Q. How many tournaments are you playing between here and Roland Garros?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Three more: Barcelona, Rome and Hamburg.

End of FastScripts….

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