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December 8, 2000

Javier Duarte


MODERATOR: Questions for Juan Carlos and Captain Duarte.

Q. Did you lose your faith?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: I didn't lose my faith. We didn't lose our faith. Albert didn't either. We were unlucky at the end. Both will keep fighting until the end.

Q. What happened in the first tiebreaker after you were up 4-Love?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: I was very motivated with the 4-Love, with two great returns. Then I got a little nervous because of trying to win the tiebreak, and I lost it. In the second set, I had Love-40, but then after overcoming that, everything was very even and I got a lot of confidence by winning the second tiebreak. I don't know what happened to Patrick Rafter. I heard there was some cramping or a pulled muscle, but I came up with the victory at the end.

Q. What was it like actually going into the match knowing that you were 1-Love down? Did you feel any extra burden of expectation on you to do well?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: I felt a little nervous at the beginning, then I started -- as the game went on, I started finding myself better in the game. Both players got loose, and that was good. With the match so even, it was easier to get into the game and concentrate on the game.

Q. Your thoughts on the fans?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: I think they were very good, but they were a little cold in the first game. I hope they come tomorrow as they were all the time in the second game. I want to cheer them to come and do that tomorrow.

Q. How does it feel playing against Patrick Rafter, who literally lives at the net?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: I played against him once in Scottsdale, and it's tough because he pressures you a lot. You've got to be very sharp with your shots. If you miss your first serve, then you know he's going to come. You have to be able to play all types of players. Today I played very, very good to win the game.

Q. You were very patient, weren't you? One of the keys was the patience?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: Of course. He cuts and cuts the ball. The ball doesn't bounce. You have to wait, be patient to the right ball for the winning shot. I just did that and was happy to be able to come up with the win.

Q. Javier, you were expecting 2-Love in favor, with you at the end it was 1-1. How does that relate to not playing Alex Corretja?

CAPTAIN DUARTE: Two answers to that. Albert Costa, he played very good, he was up 2-1. In the fourth set, he missed the opportunity to win it. Then in the fifth set, he would play very, very well. Although it was Love-40 for Hewitt, serving in the tenth game of the fifth set. You know, he needed to overcome that. That was very, very tough. On Alex Corretja, Alex took Juan Carlos's place, not Albert's place. If Alex would have played, we would be 1-1, same thing as we are. Alex took Juan Carlos's place, not Albert's place. Tomorrow is the doubles game. Depending on winning or losing, I will see what I will do. If we win, then Alex can play either one or two. If we lose, Alex will play, but still depends on decisions we need to make.

Q. The score of today gives you the reason on your strategy. Now you have Alex Corretja fresh for the doubles game.

CAPTAIN DUARTE: Yes. The doubles game is a key because the winner will be only one win away from winning the Davis Cup. Tomorrow the pressure is on the Australian team because they must win. I feel if we win tomorrow, we will be able to come with one victory on Sunday and win the Davis Cup. If they win tomorrow, the pressure will be shifted to us. It's very important to play against a great couple like the Australian team. The key will be the beginning of the set, 2-2, 3-3, maintain our serve so we can decide at the end of the set. Nobody has asked, but he wants to congratulate Juan Carlos and Albert for a very good game.

Q. There seemed to be a bit of ill feeling today. Javier was complaining about Lleyton Hewitt changing his racquets. The Australians seem to think Javier was doing a bit too much cheerleading. What is his comment on those factors and the level of play today?

CAPTAIN DUARTE: The problem with the racquets was Lleyton was always changing the racquets right when Spain was serving and in the middle of the game. So I would understand him changing five times it wouldn't be while Spain was serving, a couple times while he was serving, one in the middle of a game. I was thinking, "Hell, this kid really has a problem with his racquets right when we serve."

Q. Are you doing a good job as a captain?

CAPTAIN DUARTE: I don't have to evaluate myself. The people and the team around me will tell me if they're unhappy with what I'm doing, I will listen to them. Right now that hasn't happened. I don't need to listen to people who say things like if I'm cheerleader or not. That's just baloney. On changing the racquets, again, I wouldn't care if Lleyton had changed his racquet 11 times, but during his serve and not our serve.

Q. Did you feel at times that you were made (inaudible) by leading the fans to cheer?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: It's very good in hard moments to have the outside help, either from our teammates or the fans or both at the same time.

Q. Do you think after your victory, you've won a little of the Davis Cup?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: No, not really. I only won a point. I tied it 1-1. Nothing is decided yet. We'll see what happens tomorrow. We'll see what happens on Sunday and we'll see who plays on Sunday, which is the key day for us, for the decision of the Davis Cup final.

Q. Are you confident for playing on Sunday? Are you prepared for playing on Sunday?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: Let's focus on tomorrow. Sunday will come quietly. We'll see who plays on Sunday, depending on which players the Australian team is playing on Sunday.

Q. Javier, a lot of captains have different ways of motivating their players. Some put an arm around the shoulder. You get right into their face at every changeover. What are you trying to do to get them motivated when you are right there with them?

CAPTAIN DUARTE: It's not a special thing of doing it. There's some people who wake up with the right foot, some with the left. That's just the way I do it. I think you are too worried about me and what I'm doing. That shocks me a little bit.

Q. What do you think about the fans?

CAPTAIN DUARTE: From my heart, I would say they were very well-educated. They cheered. We need them a little bit more. I'm happy with them today. I will give them a 9 out of 10. They are well-educated and they should keep that. They should not let the Australian fans be listened between point and point. I would say once Rafter was going to serve, they were talking to him, they shouldn't do that. They should behave. Between points, again, they should be our biggest cheerleaders.

Q. If you play on Sunday, you will face Hewitt. What do you think about him?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: He's a fighter. He always fights. He's always positive and wears you down during the points. He's very hard to beat. We saw it today. He's very, very motivated. He's playing well. Both Alex or myself, whoever plays against him, will be ready to go.

Q. Would you like to play him?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: Of course, we like to play him. There are three players ready. There are three of us, two left to face him. The captains need to decide who is going to play him, who can be more harmful for Hewitt.

Q. Rafter was harmed today because he didn't finish a hundred percent. He's a doubt for Sunday.

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: Yes, we don't know. If it was only cramping, we don't know if he'll be able to play on Sunday or not.

End of FastScripts….

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