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March 26, 2001

Gustavo Kuerten


THE MODERATOR: First question for Guga.

Q. Guga, do you find as the No. 1 player that your opponents are more motivated to beat you than when you were not No. 1?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I don't know. I think in this tournament everybody is in best motivation to play because it's important, make big points. So not in this occasion. Maybe when I play small tournaments, I think that happens more. But here, everybody is 20, 30, so we play all the time good guys and we know it's gonna be tough.

Q. What is it you could have done better today?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think the match was pretty close since the beginning, so it's tough sometimes to go for my shots as I want, you know. I could have tried to go more for winners, but also I tried sometimes and I miss it. So it's kind of match you don't have too much chance to guess or to try too much things. Maybe if I could get one or two points that I miss, it would be different score. But he's a good player. I mean, here he had already many good tournaments on this court so I knew it's gonna be like this and just little bit unfortunate that the end of this last game I could have won and missed by a little.

Q. You receive serve very far behind the baseline, like a claycourter. Sometimes players can try to take advantage of that by spinning the serve in on the deuce court. Did that hurt you a little bit?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I think his serve is one of his weapons. I feel more comfortable playing like that. I've been, you know, I've been winning and having good success with this way. I mean, it's the way I'm playing. I think it's not gonna change too much if I do different. But sometimes during the match if I see the guy, he's really making me trouble like today, I try to go a little bit in sometimes and mix it up. But for sure, it's the way I feel easier and more comfortable to play.

Q. With your eyes, he has such a big serve. Is that a problem?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I think was okay for me. Now I really -- I have no problem at all. Before I had with my eyes, and now I have contact lens working fine. So I think it's nice. It's like the atmosphere in the court was perfect. We had a good time there. I was a little bit frustrated in the last minutes, but already like I think I have to realize the good work of him so...

Q. How many claycourt tournaments will you play before the French Open?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Maybe three or four. Maximum four.

Q. Starting in Estoril?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No. Davis Cup and then Monte Carlo.

Q. You play Hamburg and Rome?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes. We have to. (Smiling.) And Cincinnati.

Q. Could I ask a question in Spanish?


THE MODERATOR: Any more questions in English?

Q. Just one. How would you compare your shape now with the one last year the same time?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I think it's pretty similar. I think, you know, like last year happen the same. Before this tournament I prefer to play few claycourt tournament and it was good for me. I won both this year. Last year I had won two. So that make me feel more confidence. Maybe, who knows, last week or this week I lost tough match. If I had won, could be much different weeks for me. I didn't maybe get here with all the bad timing, best time to play on this courts, after many match, too, on clay. But is the way I prefer. I prefer to win more match and then get my rhythm going. Now we have Davis Cup, so it will be huge for us. I hope in one side's gonna be good, I have time to rest and then to prepare myself for this great event. So I try to look this way now and see how I can raise my game for the Davis Cup.

End of FastScripts....

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