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April 25, 1996

Albert Costa


Q. What did you feel in your mind when you saw Agassi trying his best and that you were winning?

ALBERTO COSTA: Mainly I was very pleased with my match. When I came out on the court I was convinced that I could do well against him and even that I could win. I didn't hope to win that way, but I felt good on the court. I saw he was making his takes and he was not feeling good on the court and this gave me confidence.

Q. With the result of Bruguera, do you hope you can become No. 1 of Spain?

ALBERTO COSTA: It would please me a lot, but it's not a priority for me. For me, the priority is the Olympic games, and I want to do well on claycourt tournaments, and especially in the French Open.

Q. Do you think that Agassi really tried his best today?

ALBERTO COSTA: He tried to do many things. He tried to play strong, but what was missing for him, mainly, was his confidence on clay. It was his first tournament on clay, so it's a bit normal that it happened to him like it did today. It also was the fact that I played well. I think both things were important - the fact that I played well and the fact that he was not feeling so great. In the end of the rally, he finally missed the ball himself.

Q. Do you think you improved a lot, comparing last year, your game?

ALBERTO COSTA: I improved mainly because I'm one year older and also because I played on hard courts, and this helped me. I played six months in a row on hard courts. I improved my serve, and it helps me on clay.

Q. Last year you were one of the few who beat Muster once, and another time in Paris you went very close. That means that now if you have improved; you have even better chances to beat him and to become, maybe, one of the top three players on clay?

ALBERTO COSTA: It's difficult to win against him because he plays very well, but last year he was playing well too, and I won against him once, and I had a very tight match in the French Open. Presently, he's the best player on clay, but it's going to be difficult for him to have the same year this year than he had last year winning so many tournaments. He's still going to be very difficult to beat this year.

Q. And do you believe that you can be top three on clay?

ALBERTO COSTA: I really hope so.

Q. You said you played a lot on hard courts. Do you have plans to improve your games for these kind of courts or is clay still your highest priority, clay tournaments?

ALBERTO COSTA: Hard courts or clay?

Q. Is your priority still to play on claycourt tournaments or you also have plans to improve on hard courts?

ALBERTO COSTA: Presently my main objective is to play well on clay. This is where I play best. Of course, I would like to improve on hard court, but now, for me, the most important thing is to play well on clay and to improve my ranking.

Q. I heard that you were going to play Wimbledon. Is that for the adventure?

ALBERTO COSTA: I think playing in Wimbledon is very nice. It's very difficult for me, given my game, but I'm going to play one tournament before, and I'll be there for two weeks. It's difficult to play a lot on that surface because you have to stay on clay until the French Open, and Wimbledon comes up right after. But I'll be there one week early, and it is something I really want to try.

End of FastScripts....

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