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October 15, 2002

Gustavo Kuerten

Q. How was your season?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: At the end of the year, I feel rewarded what I did after my surgery. I had to work hard on the court, and in therapy. I had good result for a month and a half. It was quite surprising for me. I would love to have finished the year with more wins. I didn't have much time to prepare. But I still have one tournament in Paris. Maybe I think I met my expectations.

Q. After your surgery, it's not easy to come back to your previous level, but it's funny that you got your best results on hard courts rather than clay. Next year do you want to play again on hard courts?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I didn't play much on clay because it was the time of the surgery. I tried to prepare for Roland Garros, to defend my title. The results have started coming now. After my surgery, I knew it was going to be difficult for me. I couldn't play many matches. I had to train more rather than play matches. Now I've reached the point that I can enjoy tournaments. The tournament I won in Brazil was a great momentum for me. We played Davis Cup. After the surgery, I think I have achieved some good results, so I'm happy with that. I think if I go on like that, I will get good results in the next year.

Q. This tournament has 48 players. Don't you think the Masters Series tournaments should have 64 players? Don't you think all the Masters Series should be the same amount of players?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Maybe the worst is not to play the quallies. But the No. 80 cannot play the tournament. To play a draw of 64 in a week, it's quite difficult. Maybe it should be 96, something like that, and two weeks to play. The players could prepare themselves better. It wouldn't be so tight. Sometimes you don't have time to prepare because you arrive at the last minute and you have to play right away. But, of course, you have to adapt yourself to how things are.

Q. You said you didn't have time to prepare. Did you lose only because you didn't have preparation or were there any other reasons for your defeat?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, that's not the reason for my defeat. But I think the more you can prepare, the better. I arrived yesterday. I didn't feel I was at my best level. If I had three days to prepare before the tournament, if I can train on the courts, get used to the surface, I would be in a better position. But today I was there in the middle of the match, I didn't have much confidence. I wasn't very focused. That gave him the opportunity to play in a more aggressive way. I'm sure if I had more time to prepare, the match would have been better.

Q. Now that Brazilian tennis has a very high level - Meligeni, Sa - is one of your objectives to win the Davis Cup?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Of course, yes. We would love to win the Davis Cup, like most players. But I think our team is still a little bit weak to get to the finals of a Davis Cup. The level of tennis in my country has improved a lot, I suppose, to when I started. It also depends on your opponents. There are many more countries with more possibilities, more chances than we have because the number of countries is much bigger that compete for the Davis Cup.

End of FastScripts….

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