April 21, 1999
ATP: Questions, please.
Q. Were you surprised it was so difficult?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: In the end, I was a bit too relaxed. I played well. I had two opportunities for breaks in the second set, and I didn't take them. I'm a bit angry with myself, but it was a trap this match. I had pressure. If I played Agassi, I would have no pressure, but this time I had pressure. The situation is so different from what I had to expect.
Q. Were you too relaxed?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: No. On the contrary, maybe I seemed that way, but I was not. On the contrary, this kind of match, I knew I was the favorite, so people expect things from me. I think the manner in which I won today is not very important. The important thing is that I won.
Q. When did you know you were going to play this Italian?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: Yesterday in the end of the afternoon. But the physiotherapist told me Agassi was hurting in his shoulder, so I knew. I was prepared at the beginning of the day already that he wouldn't play because I know the good players don't play when they are slightly injured. I was expecting that he wouldn't play.
Q. Did you think because of the change of opponent you didn't have the right to lose?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: Yes. But I was pleased to play against Agassi because I was finding my game very good lately and I was thinking I was playing very well, so I really wanted to meet him. It was the first time, and I was very pleased to meet Agassi. This is why we are playing the top players.
Q. It's better to lose against Agassi than losing against Golmard?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: Well, I was not a loser against Agassi anyway. I was not ready to lose. I don't know what to answer. I was not going onto the court with the spirit of losing anyway.
Q. This victory, is it doing away with the doubts of the beginning of the season?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: Yes. But this was a trap. This match compared with Berasategui, we know what he's worth on clay, even if he didn't have good results lately. But, of course, it's a good victory anyway because he's well ranked.
Q. Were you afraid to play him, a player you never played?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: We never played together before, it's true. I knew that he was playing with a lot of touch, so I had to win.
Q. Against Golmard, what do you think?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: I never played him, never.
Q. So what is going to happen now?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: Normally I'm not a favorite, given the latest results anyway. But I'm going to try my best. I'll be there on the court. I think Golmard is an interesting match. On clay, I am not feeling so bad, so I'm going to enjoy that match.
Q. Will you be focused?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: Yes. I'm not thinking about left-handers or right-handers. What I have to do today is try to play my best. During training, I was feeling really good. I was playing well. I was not asking myself any questions. I was feeling the ball well. Before my match, I'm not wondering forever. I know how I play. I want to be present for the rallies. I think confidence-wise I'm doing well. I think it's going to be a good match.
Q. Didn't you believe you should have gone more to the net today?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: Yes. At 3-2, 4-3, I thought I should have gone to the net more. Once I was broke because I played volleys. I was really furious with myself after this shot.
Q. But you finished the match with a volley?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: Exactly. But many times I was playing well cross-court, and I could have gone up to the net more often. Maybe I don't feel confident enough yet to do that. Maybe if I had played another player, it would have been different. I would have gone to it the net more surely. But in the end, I was holding back with my shots a bit more than in the beginning. In the end, I was a bit afraid to win. But it's not bad.
Q. What are your ambitions on clay this year?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: I'm playing well presently. We'll see what's going to happen in the future. But I absolutely don't know what I'm going to achieve. For the time being, I'm building up confidence, so it's a good thing. I'm trying things. Even if it doesn't work, it's a good try, and it pleases me. I'm having fun on the court. I'm very pleased with that match. I'm preparing for the French Open slowly. Now I'm going to Prague, then I'll have another tournament and one week preparation, then the French Open. We'll see what happens.
Q. The fact you were given a wildcard, was it a triggering effect?
ARNAUD DI PASQUALE: I know they hesitated a lot to give it to me because we were very close, Clement and myself. The week before this tournament, I was after him, but they had given the wildcard to me already, so I really wanted to honor this wildcard. I had lost 6-3, 6-2 my last match, but I wanted to say that my fitness wasn't only a show-off, but that I was really fit, I was playing good forehands, I was feeling good on clay, and I was happy to play here. Anyway, I was there on Wednesday. I was ready to play the quallies if I had to. I was ready. But after having the wildcard, I had asked for it awhile ago, I mean, it's their choice. I wanted to honor it, of course, but it's their choice. I was afraid after Barcelona, when I lost 6-2, 6-3, to tell them that I was playing well. I was ready for anything. That's it.
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