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November 5, 2000

Wayne Ferreira


MODERATOR: Questions for Wayne, who captured his 14th career title today and second Masters Series event.

Q. Do you view this as a blow against the New Balls campaign?

WAYNE FERREIRA: They should have an "Old Balls" one, too, I guess (laughter). No, that's a good concept. There's a lot of good players out there. There's a couple of good old ones, too.

Q. It's a day to remember for you, isn't it?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Yeah, it's just fantastic. This will have to go down as probably the best week ever. Just considering my last three years and this year, this year has been good, but I didn't really give myself a chance to win something like this. To finally win a tournament as big as this, in this stage of my career, it's probably the best thing ever.

Q. Why do you think it's happened this week rather than during other weeks when you've been playing well?

WAYNE FERREIRA: It's difficult to answer. I've had some good weeks this year where I felt I've played well. I just had that occasional lapse of concentration. This week has been a little bit different. The thing that's funny is the indoor season through my career has been very much special compared to the rest, because when I play well, I play exceptional tennis. When I play badly, I'm somewhat awful. That's been like that a lot. I remember the time when I played in Basel, you know, that period, and through the Masters, when I played in the Masters, today reminds me of that. All my matches that I felt have been the best ever have all been indoors.

Q. You say you've not put yourself in the position to win things in three years. You've had some bad injuries. We remember that horrific fall at Roland Garros a couple years ago. Have you ever come close to saying, "I'm a family man now. Time to get off the road"?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Yeah, a lot, this year especially. I think that's what's helped me a lot this year. I've said to myself, you know, the last three years have been very hard for me. I felt I haven't played to my ability. My ranking hasn't been where it should be. My motivational level has been nonexistent. The injuries have been a problem. This year I'm starting to feel better physically. I'm just looking at trying to get the enjoyment back. I just want to be able to finish my career playing the type of tennis that I think that I can still play. Weeks like this is the kind of weeks that I'm looking for.

Q. When was the last time you thought, "Maybe I'll call it a day"?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Not too much this year. This year has been actually a very, very special year for me. I've had a lot of good matches. I've played great tennis. My enjoyment level has been somewhat better than the last year. So this year has been good. But the last three years, there's been a lot of times in between, stages, that I felt like packing it in.

Q. What do you think was the bigger factor today: The fitness of the two of you or your greater big-match experience?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Oh, it's definitely age. It's definitely the age (smiling). I don't know. I felt great physically, which is somewhat interesting for me. I've struggled a bit. I struggled at the US Open this year in fitness. You know, even though, with the injuries that I've had, I still am not able to train as hard as I'd like to and I'm still not at the fitness level that I deserve to be at. I didn't think that I could last as long today, and I was surprised. I felt great the whole time. I just think I was mentally strong. I hung in there a lot. I just didn't want to lose.

Q. You talk about your fitness. What is the situation with Keiron Vorster? Is he your coach when he's not Tim's fitness trainer?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Keiron and I have finished working together.

Q. You don't have a coach?

WAYNE FERREIRA: I'm on my own.

Q. You lost that third set. Obviously an upsetting moment. What was going through your head? You obviously thought you could still win it.

WAYNE FERREIRA: I felt I could still win it. I just felt that I gave a lot of energy coming back. To lose it was somewhat disappointing. You know, I was having a lot of fun. I mean, I was enjoying myself. It's a final. I haven't been in a final for a long time. I haven't even given myself a chance to win anything. I wasn't going to give up, put it that way. I had come too far to do that. Plus, you know, I was playing great tennis. Whenever I play good tennis, I still get the enthusiasm to keep running and chase balls.

Q. When did you actually split with Keiron?


Q. Was that because he was spending most of his working time with Henman, or was it a mutual thing?

WAYNE FERREIRA: Keiron and I have been working together and traveling together for four years. We're good friends. We've stayed good friends. We just felt, we both felt, that it got a little bit stale. There wasn't really very much for him to offer me, plus the fact that I can't really get the benefit out of him that I would like to. I'm not training and running and going to the gym as much as I should or I used to. A lot of the good aspects of his job is worthless. We just felt there wasn't really anything for him to offer me.

Q. Is the Wilander thing still an ongoing thing or when you see each other?

WAYNE FERREIRA: On and off. I believe he's coming to Paris for the week. Maybe next year we might sit down and try and do a better system where he can come more often. At this stage, it's still up in the air.

Q. How conscious were you before today of this business with the various players having their own fan clubs here? They were tremendous today.

WAYNE FERREIRA: I knew about it the whole week. I actually met my club on Tuesday or Wednesday. I think it's great. I think it's a great concept. I believe that that's where the game lies, in the kids. They have a lot of fun. They bring excitement into the game. It's nice that people shout and scream. I think it's enjoyable. They're the ones that make the game better. I think it's a wonderful thing. I think they should do it more often.

Q. A particularly stimulating atmosphere when they don't have players from their own country on court, as well.

WAYNE FERREIRA: You get fans from everywhere in the world. I have a lot in different countries. Those are the ones that care about you. Those are the ones that give you more incentive to play well for them, too, because they really care.

Q. What do you think of Lleyton? Do you think he's going to be the No. 1 in the world?

WAYNE FERREIRA: It's a difficult question. I think he has the ability to, yes. He's a great tennis player. He's achieved a lot this year. The tour has a lot to offer him. He's very consistent. He's the kind of player that you have to beat. He's never going to let you win. Those are tough to play. I think he has a good chance. He has to be a little bit more versatile on all surfaces, which he is. I think he has a good chance, yeah.

End of FastScripts…

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