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April 19, 2000

Nicolas Escude

Q. It is not easy for us to watch several matches at the same time. Watching you on TV, it was difficult to realize what was going on. Did you have a particular problem?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: I had nothing special, neither physically, nor mentally. Let's say that since Estoril I am playing a game which is not mine. On certain matches it is completely the reverse of what I should do and I don't feel well in my mind, so when I play tennis it can give this kind of result.

Q. In the end of the match we had the impression that you were reacting rather well.

NICOLAS ESCUDE: It was rather because I was disappointed than for coming back into the match really. In that case you risk everything. I only hit on certain shots and I wasn't winning the games.

Q. The fact that you are doing the contrary of what you should do on clay is due to what?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: It is a mistake that many players can do when they start playing on clay. I have in mind the case of Sampras. We tend to stay behind the baseline, to put the ball back into play and we wait until we have an excellent opportunity to finish the point. In my case this means I play the contrary of what I should play. Against most players it is not by putting back the ball in the court and waiting for a perfect shot to attack, that is how I won matches in the past. From now on I will have to work in a better direction. When I will be able to settle my game on clay and not play like Spanish guys it will be better.

Q. Do you realize that you are doing the contrary when you are on the court?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: Yes, I realize but it is not easy to implement the right tactics. You think you are fine, you are on clay and that it is going to happen, but nothing happens. It is not my type of game and because of that, nothing can happen.

Q. The fact that you played on clay between last year and the Davis Cup in Brazil and this year, is it disturbing going from hard courts to clay and back again?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: The most difficult is from hard court to clay, the transition from clay to hard courts is not disturbing to me. I don't believe so. If there were important events in the middle of that, it is rather the Australian style. It was not disturbing. On the contrary. It was good for me because I never stopped playing on clay since last year.

Q. I imagine that in the following days in practice you are going to work hard?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: When you are practicing you don't really realize what happens either. The two worlds are completely different. The most difficult thing is to implement during a match what you do during practice. The difficult thing for me is to play my clay court game without wondering even if I make mistakes. If I have to lose at least I should play my game.

Q. On top of it we have the impression that the game conditions on clay are faster on clay courts tournaments, the balls are lively, the courts are fast, so you can really be aggressive.

NICOLAS ESCUDE: Yes, the conditions on clay have accelerated and it is always - this famous paradox I was talking about earlier - when you come on clay, you tend to play a clay court type of game, but this is not what you should do.

Q. What bothered you most in Dosedel's game?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: Today it wasn't him that bothered me. I was the one who was not into the match. I was not able to impose my game on him and to make him have doubts. He didn't miss much. He just had to put the ball back into the court. My game is not to make rallies 50 times across the net and I was always making the mistake first. The mistakes I was making today were even mistakes that I made without trying to attack. I just wanted to put it back into the court. This is precisely the point I have to solve. Nothing in his game disturbed me in particular.

End of FastScripts…

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