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May 11, 2001

Gustavo Kuerten

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Guga, you look too strong for everybody on clay. You won so easily the last three matches.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes, I think I played great all the match, especially this, like these two today. And I start playing well, too, but I played Ljubicic, he was playing great. We play tough match first round. I think, you know, it's -- I am very good feeling, hitting the ball well, good winning streak, too. So it's tough. When I'm playing I think this level, it's tough maybe for the guy to stay at the same level, and when I go in front, I think it's a little bit easier for me. But it's a lot of work, too. It's not so easy to play that well all the time, so hopefully I can keep at least for tomorrow match here.

Q. A lot of players say that here the balls are really slow, the courts are slow. Is that something that you feel playing here in Rome, or it's okay for you?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think normally here is -- it used to be the fastest place, you know, in all these tournaments on clay court. But as they change the balls, now it's much slower than last year's ball, as soft. Like especially in the evening, it's very slow. Then during the day sometimes when the sun is rising, it can get a little bit faster. But the balls really made the game a little bit slower for sure.

Q. Players like Agassi and Sampras say that they use this tournament as a practice time for Roland Garros. Your attitude is a little bit different, you know. Do you feel that this is only for practice for Roland Garros, or it's something different, a tournament like Rome or Monte-Carlo, Hamburg?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, for me, this is my favorite tournament, so I don't have too much choice to play on clay. So it's the only I can play two months during the year. So I have to play very well this part of the year I like. I wish I could play more, you know.

Q. Today the ITF President said that they will try to have a special seed for both Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Do you think it will be a good idea? You continue to say that it is good to follow the ATP rankings for all tournaments?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Special what, special seed?

Q. Yes, a special seed for not just Wimbledon on grass, but also for Roland Garros. Is that something that could work for you, or do you prefer that every tournament follow the ATP rankings?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think the rankings fair enough to be follow. As a guy who is 15, he deserve to be seed. He has played doesn't matter where, which surface, but he played well enough to be a great player.

Q. You said that this is your favorite tournament? Did you say that this was your favorite tournament or your favorite surface earlier, this tournament here?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes, yes. Here, I think Rome, these three Masters Series and then French Open is I think my favorite one. But beside of this majors, I think here and Monte-Carlo are the tournaments I like better during whole year. So especially here, I played so well so I had all the time I had good memories from when I came here.

End of FastScripts....

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