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July 20, 2000

Javier Duarte


Q. What is your reaction to the draw?

CAPTAIN JAVIER DUARTE: Fortunately, we know that the teams are very similar, and it's going to be very difficult. And we know that there are technical points of view and technical issues. In principle, let's say that in these heats, there have been opinions expressed by Juan Carlos or Alex. He didn't play on the last team, and this time our technical group has assessed the overall picture and we've decided that Albert Costa will play.

Q. What about Juan Carlos?

JUAN CARLOS FERRERO: I think that's okay. Sometimes one has to play, and sometimes another has to play. I would have liked to play, but I'm working hard now just in case the team needs me for the Sunday match and I'm trying to get ready. And I want to support - fully support - the team we already have designed. .

Q. What about you, Albert, could you say something?

ALBERT COSTA: Well, I'm very happy and I'm looking forward to playing the first match tomorrow, and I want to win the first point for Spain. And last time I didn't play, but I think the decisions that are made by the technical group have to be accepted by all of us. And I think they just want the team to be successful. So if they want me to play first, so be it. And perhaps on Sunday Juan will play or somebody else. But there are four of us that are going to try to win these matches.

Q. ...(Inaudible)

CAPTAIN JAVIER DUARTE: Neither believe that and I can't say anything about this because really, what I suppose is that the players -- we have a duty here to fulfill with due respect for the other team. But what we have to think is that we have to be very humble, not only in the doubles match, but we have to be very humble about the rest of the points and that we have the obligation of doing as much as we can and of winning three points. And whether they have a strange or not a strange doubles team, that's entirely up to them. And they can feel whatever they feel like doing, but we're going to try to win five points. But if we win three, we'll be more than happy with that arrangement.

Q. Albert, with regard to your previous matches with Todd Martin, how do you think you'd be able to win, or what sort of strategy would you adopt?

ALBERT COSTA: In principle, I never think about defeat and I always am very positive in the way I think. And I think I should try to win. The last time I played against Todd Martin, that was in 1995. That was a long time ago, when I was a young man. And the last time was in Portugal in Estoril, and that was a very tough match. I know how he plays; he serves very well. And perhaps his weakness is in his mobility and in resistance. Because if I make it a very long match and if I move him around a lot, if we play five sets, that might be beneficial for me.

Q. ...(Inaudible)

ALEX CORRETJA: Well, I think that it's very clear that Spain has never won. What I don't know is if the team that has come here has won the Davis Cup many times, too. So I think we're in the same situation.

Q. ...(Inaudible)?

CAPTAIN JAVIER DUARTE: In principle, what we all know very clear is that it seems that Todd Martin wasn't going to come along and that it was Gambill or Woodruff. But I don't think that there's a major difference between the one and the other. Although this year and as far as results are concerned, I think that they're better classified because it was pretty easy to guess that in the end it was going to be Gambill.

Q. After the draw do you think that the first point is possibly the most important of the heat or not?

ALBERT COSTA: No, I think that each point is very important and I also know that winning the first point can make us feel a little bit more at ease. And even if I lose, I think that Alex will play very comfortably because he's very good at putting up with pressure. He's a very good player, and that's why I'm totally at ease. So I obviously have to think that I must win, but you also have to contemplate other possibilities. And I know that Alex is a person, he's very calm on the court. And if I lose the first match, I'm sure that -- well, there would be no special problem. But in any case, I don't really think that it makes any difference because you have to play the match and that's that and there are no two ways around it or about it.

Q. Are you surprised that McEnroe is not playing doubles?

JUAN BALCELLS: Relatively surprised of the fact that he is going to play doubles because he hasn't been in a competition for six years. I think it's normal, and I'm referring to the American team, Spadea and Woodruff. I don't really know them very well and we're just going to play our match. We're going to do the best we possibly can and we're going to make the maximum effort.

Q. Are the singles somewhat similar to what you've seen or what? I'm saying this because Juan Carlos lost in the first round.

CAPTAIN JAVIER DUARTE: Well, these are a number of circumstances that we have been taking into account. And the technical group - and this could be one of them - but it's not the definitive circumstance and there could be eight or ten other elements. And before there only used to be three or four of them. But everything is very relative, although there are certain things that we thought -- well, that Juan Carlos was a little bit better off for that type of work. But let's say it was either very difficult or very easy, and it's very easy because we're convinced that any of these players are totally capable of playing that match, and it's also difficult because they're so similar that the fact that you had to choose somebody was very difficult. So there are many, many things put together here, many minor things. Physically speaking, everybody is perfectly fit; everybody is ready to go, ready to play. And it's not that Juan Carlos is not playing because he's got an injury or because he is unfit - no, that's certainly not the case.

Q. ...(Inaudible) ?

CAPTAIN JAVIER DUARTE: Well, the choice was very, very difficult, and both of them were playing extremely well. The technical group were totally confident that both of them could win, and there's no special reasons. But this occasion, we've just decided in favor of Albert.

End of FastScripts….

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