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September 3, 2002

Gustavo Kuerten


MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. (Question regarding going to Florianopolis.)

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I think I surprised myself this week. I think I played close to my best. Some matches, I play my best tennis. Was a good tournament, maybe the best tournament this year so far. I was very happy with the performance.

Q. Were you surprised at his level of play?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: He's been playing this well for a little while. He played the quarters in Wimbledon with some chance to beat Hewitt, too. He's coming with good confidence, playing very aggressive and deep. So I think it's a lot of good effort from him, too. Was well-deserved the way he played. The match was pretty open. Could be going for both sides. But he really did a good job for maybe had this win.

Q. Considering where you are with your recovery process, expectations coming in, do you feel pretty good about the way you played?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I see many good things about these two weeks for me. I came as like, you know, underdog and surprise Marat in the second round, then win one more match. Like today, wasn't really this day that everything was going, you know, smooth, everything's going perfect. I had to fight back all the way. I did a good job to keep my mind in the match, focus on the next point. That's something that, you know, you miss when you stop playing for a while. So I think I'm getting this back. I'm feeling more and more competitive against the other guys. It was just a question of one or two points. I have tough calls, too, that most of the time went against me like almost all the time. These days you have to fight, fight, like I did. Maybe I had some chance, too. But I'm really proud of what I did this week. Maybe that's why I feel, you know, release, happy to feel my game getting back.

Q. Do you feel the errors hurt you today, miss-hitting balls?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: When you get to this stage, you know, fourth round, quarterfinals, one or two points maybe decide the match like today. I had maybe two set points in the second set and let it go. Just after win the third set, I dropped my serve again in the fourth. I didn't really get my rhythm going. I couldn't really play my game and relax and try my shots. I had to all the time push myself hard. I was behind all the time. I had to, you know, play a little safer. Sometimes I not very comfortable. It happens someday. He was playing well, put me pressure. I had to sometimes go for too much or sometimes play too defensive. I hanged in there. I did a good fight. I think was a great match.

Q. Did you fully recover from the injury? What was the cause of the injury?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I feel like better and better every tournament I play. Maybe because of overplaying, a lot of stress. The way I play, probably was the cause of the my injury. But tournaments like this, when you win two, three matches, always make yourself believe more that you're going to get back. From now maybe six months I have this surgery, so for me to be here in a Grand Slam playing big matches, it's important. I was six months back just sitting in the hospital wait to have the surgery. I have to thanks that everything is going well for me.

End of FastScripts….

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