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May 13, 2001

Gustavo Kuerten

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. You must be pretty disappointed to lose a match like this. Five sets, you were 2-1 up?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, not really. I think I'm happy just to play this final.

Q. Were you tired at all? Were you starting to tire in the last set?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, a little bit. He made me run a lot, you know. I'm sure he was like not as 100 percent also, but he managed to play little bit better at the end and was crucial if the mental tire for to see myself in difficult condition to fight back in the last set.

Q. Did you feel completely fit before the match or...?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I feel ready to play. And sometimes when you play a guy like, you know, him in five sets, it's -- even, you know, when you're ready, for sure you don't finish, you know, as well as your best fit. But I think it's normal. It's part of the game, too. He is a player that can do damaging, you know, doing one, two, three sets, and make yourself more tired. And today I think I still had a couple of shots or chances to maybe go out this match, but wasn't enough. He played well enough especially at the end to deserve to win.

Q. Would you sign a contract ...(Inaudible.)

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I think I -- I wish I can do -- I couldn't expect to do better, you know, than here for the next week. But at least if I can do the same or, you know, playing the same way as I did here, it's enough for me. Like I said, today on the court for me was a great week, again. I beat, you know, great players. I came to the final. I played well enough maybe to win just a little -- maybe a little bit lucky or less to find a way. But was a good sign, you know, that I still in good shape, I playing great tennis, and beside of that, enjoying a lot the things I am doing on the court.

Q. Do you think Ferrero should be No. 2 seeded or 1 in Roland Garros, or you think they should follow the rankings whatever is the position?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think I should follow the ranking, and either way, you know, if sometimes you follow you see the one, two, three and you don't get to quarterfinals, semifinals because you play tough, tough players in the beginning. So I think in the -- especially in the tournament like a Grand Slam, for me especially, it's sometimes tougher first one, two, three rounds than when I got closer to the end.

Q. As you're talking about seedings and rankings and everything, Tim Phillips from Wimbledon was here at the start of the week and he wanted to talk to you. I understand you didn't have much of a conversation. But what is your stance on Wimbledon at the moment after what you said at Monte-Carlo?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, like I said in Monte-Carlo but as, you know, all the words you say all the time dangerous in the press can go different way. So I was -- what I said was clear, that I don't think is right they changing the seeds as any tournament. I think, you know, by how we do on the court like here, playing this week, now I have to go -- after tomorrow I start to play another Masters Series, you know, we work a lot during whole the year. So it's not respect for the players changing what we doing, how we do all year long. That's the way I think. I see myself as a player, too, so I would be disappointed if they do this with me. I don't, you know, all years that I've been playing, I had pleasure playing, I was very satisfied, and maybe this year I'm not gonna go because another reasons. I am having kind of trouble with my feet, so it would be a good time to stop and take care of my condition. So that's -- should be the reason maybe I'm not playing there. But, you know, this was completely turning around, so he came here thinking that I was -- that I was saying that Wimbledon don't respect me and that wasn't real the thing I was saying in Monte-Carlo. So I think he -- he came here. It's tough to talk to during the -- when a tournament like this here was important. I don't have too much time to -- even to talk to my mother, so many match playing, so much things to do. But I still think in the same way. They should follow the rankings of other tournaments, and maybe the reason I'm not going there, it's because I really don't see as much fun or as much enjoyable as I saw it before.

Q. Did you feel after four sets that you didn't have anything left to push him with?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, when, you know, finish the fourth was tough for me because I try to fight back and I had a couple chance maybe to break him on 3-2 and on 4-5 also. So after this was a little bit disappoint for me. I think he will -- he start the fifth set playing very well, playing deeper, and close it sometimes just at the line too. So after he broke me in the first game, was tough for me, you know, having the lead, having some chance, then see yourself in bad positions. I was able to turn around things like this before sometimes, but as I try today, I didn't find a way. Maybe he was doing so much good things that he didn't let me do it, you know, the way I wanted to play. But I think I try like always. I did different things, try my game a lot, and at the end I try to enjoy, too, even seeing myself in tough position. But I couldn't get it today, as is gonna be for maybe many times in my life in the future.

Q. After this final and the Barcelona final, do you believe Ferrero could win seven matches in five sets in Paris?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think this is not my business, you know. I think he is great player, has chance to win many tournaments from here to when he's finish. He's good enough to win every tournament I think he play, but, you know, I don't really think about this during my days until I get there.

Q. You mentioned that you might need treatment on your feet. What sort of treatment do you think you're going to have, and how long is it going to take you?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I had a problem in my leg that I said that I should stop at least one to two weeks, you know, completely to go away and really -- or maybe try to have a solution for this. But I don't see any way I can have two weeks' break until the French Open, and especially -- and normally this time of the year is when I play more tennis, and I wish it's gonna be the same. I have two important weeks for me, next one and then -- three, let's say, and then two in French I hope that I wish I can play a lot of match. And then I should rest and should recover, no. It's not easy as last year. I come back and try to play on Wimbledon and then I got sick there, and it's normal I think by all the effort I did before. And let's see now what's gonna come. I hope to play well these next two tournaments, and then I will hope to have, you know, at least two weeks off and then start to work on my game and my physical condition to try to do well in the all this year long.

Q. But it's not something really major that might need -- there's no mention of surgery or anything like that?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I don't think so. Especially if I treat as I want, you know. It could be of course if I go too far, could be dangerous. But I think I know my body quite well. So like in Barcelona I didn't play, you know. I knew when it's the right time to stop if I had to.

Q. Is it your feet or your groin?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: My groin, yes.

End of FastScripts....

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