August 10, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.
Q. How did you feel on court today? It's another three-set match that you had to play.
ARNAUD CLEMENT: It was one of my best matches, maybe the best. The fact that we play almost the same game, conditions were perfect, there was no wind, no sun. For me it was a good match. I had the feeling of the ball. I knew what to do. I did what I wanted to do in my game. The difference between the two of us is not very big. Third set, a couple of points made the difference.
Q. It was very difficult for us to follow two matches at the same time.
ARNAUD CLEMENT: Third set for me was a good set. But my opponent succeeded in breaking me first. Paulo returns very well. We all know that. He's very regular from the baseline. Again, I consider there was not much of a difference between the two of us, except maybe for the beginning of the first set. I could break him twice in the second even. I kept to my level.
Q. You enjoyed playing him?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: I sure did.
Q. Do you think if you had been in a fresher state of mind, you could have won?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: If I had lost yesterday, I could have told you I was not ready. It was difficult. But today I felt good. At the beginning of the match maybe I was not serving as well as I should. There are times when I had many more problems getting into the game, but that was not the case this time around. I felt well. I ran well. I had energy.
Q. How much of an expectation did you have coming here?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: I came here on the spur of the moment. In the conditions in which I was brought here to play at this tournament, I would have been satisfied just playing the way I did. When we're in the match and we see that we have good chances to convert the winning points, we are in our zone, we want to win the match in any Masters Series tournament. When we feel we are close to winning, we continue. When we have been through a tough period like I have been, we are happy to continue winning matches one after the other. If it continues, so much the better. I leave tomorrow to play Cincinnati Saturday. There are the quallies of the US Open the very next week.
Q. Do you expect to qualify?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: I hope. That's the goal, to show up and make it to the main draw. I have to play the quallies because I don't have the ranking to be in the main draw any more. I have to continue working and winning matches. That's my life.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.