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December 7, 2000

Javier Duarte


MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Javier, what was your thinking with not playing Alex the first day?

CAPTAIN DUARTE: The feeling is I want to play the first two players for Friday, to play Hewitt and Rafter. I feel those best players for that day, particularly, are Costa and Ferrero.

Q. Why?

CAPTAIN DUARTE: It's a coach's decision, the coach team that coaches the Spanish team. The idea behind that is we wanted to put Costa because we believe he's the best player to face Hewitt, and after that decide between Ferrero and Corretja who is the best one to play against Patrick Rafter. Taking different considerations, they decide Ferrero is best to face Rafter in Rafter's first game.

Q. Did you know about this, Alex, at the beginning of the week? Is it something that happened late on?

ALEX CORRETJA: No, we knew it already on Monday night. I believe they already talked a lot the last couple of weeks. The only thing they had, they wanted to see the players during this week, knowing that it can happen something to us. But, fortunately, everything work pretty well. They told us already on Monday that Juan Carlos and Albert would play on Friday, and Juan and myself would play on Saturday.

Q. Do you expect to play on Sunday? Was that also agreed?

ALEX CORRETJA: I don't think about it, honestly. I'm just going to go day-by-day and point-by-point. I know tomorrow that Juan Carlos and Albert are going to play. Juan and myself, we going to play on Saturday, if everything it's okay. My ambitions is to be on this team and to help. If I can help winning on Saturday and winning on Sunday, it would be great. But if the captains believe that it's better for our team to put Juan Carlos and Albert another time on Sunday, I will perfectly understand and I will agree because they have the decisions. I don't feel like I have to play, because their level, Albert and Juan Carlos, they are truly champions. They don't need to show anything else to anybody.

Q. Could you give us a sense of the mood in the Spanish camp?


Q. Yes.

ALEX CORRETJA: I have to say it's great. We've been having a great time in the concentration. It happens already last ties where we were concentrate like a week in advance to get ready, to prepare, to focus. Honestly, we just practice hard, then we go back to the hotel, we stay calm, you know, we listen to some music, we watch some TV, we talk each other. Not just the five people who are here. We are really a big team. The behavior of everybody, it's pretty good. We need all these guys here working, not just the captains, but all the doctors, physiotherapists, trainers, people who work for our team, it's really necessary to create a good atmosphere.

Q. Alex, how much pressure is the team feeling playing at home and the fact that, generally speaking, you are the favorites?

ALEX CORRETJA: I believe we like to be the favorite side. I mean, I rather to be here than stay in Melbourne playing on Rebound Ace, no? I think the feeling and the pressure -- if you feel the pressure, it's because you feel you have the chance to win. With this I would say if we would be in Australia playing the final on grass, maybe we wouldn't feel any pressure, but it will mean that we won't feel anything to win. So I think it's much worse the other side. We like to be on that situation. We like to play on clay. We like to play in Barcelona on this stadium. We have to show it on the court. If we are better than them, we have to show it there and see if we develop our game better than them.

Q. Albert, where would it be in terms of your achievements throughout your career to be on the first winning Spanish Davis Cup team?

ALBERT COSTA: For me it's a great pleasure to be on the team. I have to play the first point. For me it's going to be a great pleasure, no? It's going to be difficult to play that match. But for my career, is one of the greatest moments.

Q. If you were able to look back, having been in the first Spanish team to win the Davis Cup, where would that come in your tennis memories?

ALBERT COSTA: In my first one, for sure.

Q. Juan Carlos, what do you think about Hewitt, like human being? We hear something about Corretja. Personally, you are maybe closer by age, what do you think about him?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: I think he's a great person because I don't know so much him, no. I don't think no happen nothing between Alex and Hewitt, no? Only is the tennis, nothing more, no? Only is the match. In the match, no matter who you play on the court. I think he's normal person, no more.

Q. Have you read everything about the Spanish press has written about you or is the forbidden to read? The French people, Yannick Noah put the law, "It's forbidden to read the press, to watch TV the week before." I don't know if you do the same or not.

ALEX CORRETJA: No. Our opinion is that if it doesn't affect yourself what you read, you can read it. If you going to see that they criticize because you doing something wrong or because you lost or because you win anyway, you better don't read it. My personal feeling is I like to read what they write. I like to see what they tell about us. Sometimes they talk about us, they write about us, then they behave different. I like to look into his face and know what he thinks about me, not personally like a friend, especially to the public, you know. If they write something, then they got to be honest with me and talk to me the same way. I don't like the guys they criticize me on the press, if they do, then they come as a really good friend. I don't like that. I like to read it and I like to know how everybody is. Of course, it doesn't have to affect yourself, otherwise it's better to don't buy any newspaper.

Q. Alex, do you think there's a danger maybe for the Spanish team that you've actually pumped Hewitt up by the things you've said about him, that he'll be even more determined than before?

ALEX CORRETJA: No. I think he's going to be pretty pumped. No matter if I said that he's behave on the court, from my point of view, wasn't right. I think he knew it already. He know the way he is. He know that he like to make provocations to the other players. There is nothing new. Maybe I'm the first one to say that, but everybody knew it on the tour. I don't have anything against him like personally. As he said, and I really agree with him, it's as we're playing here Spain against Australia, not Hewitt against Corretja. If we have to face, of course it's going to be a big war to play against each other because of the motivation of winning Davis Cup and maybe afterwards because of our personal situation. But I don't think now we are not going to be any friends. Before we weren't friends anyway. I mean, we just respect each other, say hello, that's all.

Q. If in the first point or the first two or three points of the match, he starts his usual stuff, how do you think the crowd is going to react?

ALEX CORRETJA: I don't know. I would like to see it. But, of course, I think the people wrote about it these days. Some people already told me if I have a fight with Hewitt. I said, " No, I don't have any fight, I just say my point of view." I believe they will react against him pretty hard. But still we have to beat him on the court. No matter if they said something to him or if they whistle him, he's not going to lose because of that. But it can affect him himself or his game. We will see. I think he's not going to change his personality because I say that. I mean, he doesn't have to. Is the way he is, and that's all. Tomorrow, if he feels that after one game he has to say "Come on" if front of your face, look into your eyes, he will do it anyway.

Q. Albert, what are your views on the way he acts on court?


Q. Yes.

ALBERT COSTA: Well, I think he's, like Alex said, a little bit aggressive with the opponent. But for me, I don't care. I didn't look at him. Sometimes I hear "Come on" so loud. But is no worry for me because I didn't want to be in that game.

End of FastScripts….

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