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November 28, 2000

Gustavo Kuerten


MODERATOR: Questions for Guga.

Q. How serious is your injury?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think I was already too much for playing my best tennis. I don't know how it's going to be next days. Just today I really felt like it was one more opponent that I had to face. It was too much for me to hang it in there. Just playing really well, but could not give as much as I need of my body for keep, you know, my level of the game that high. I really finish the match I really feel very bad.

Q. Is it your lower back?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No. I had, I don't know how to say, sprain in the hamstrings.

Q. (Inaudible)?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I don't know what I'm going to decide yet. It was a tough match today. I felt that loss in a big way. I don't know what's going to happen, if I'm going to get better or not. I'm going to have an exam with a physician tomorrow to see if I get better or not. If I get a little better, I will maybe be better for my match on Thursday. If I'm not doing too well, I will leave the tournament maybe tomorrow. I will have to see what happens. I have to take care of this.

Q. Were you surprised by the way Agassi played today?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No. I'm not even thinking about that. I'm quite sad about the way things happened. I'm not even thinking about how he played or what he did.

Q. Does it depend on your exam of tomorrow if you're going to play or not?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I'm going to see if I get better or not. I'm going to wait until Thursday to make a decision. If I don't get better, maybe I will have to retire from the tournament. I'm going to try and treat myself, and I think my chances now are much more difficult. I have to wait and see what's going to happen.

Q. When is the first time you felt this?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: During the match today, I started to feel this at the beginning of the second set. I had a little pain the other day training. I think I was training with Corretja in the morning, and I felt a pain in my leg. I was quite confident today that I would be playing my best. I started playing very well. I was playing very close to what I felt I could play. I was a bit afraid of this pain I had the other day. It was in the end of the second set I started to feel the pain more. Agassi was making me run a lot, and now I'm feeling the pain a lot.

Q. Why didn't they give you another day before you played?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: It's very difficult. I don't know why they took that decision. I tried to speak with the physician, Alex, and Joao to see what would be possible. There are other people who asked to play on Wednesday. We don't make the decisions. It was an important decision, but it would have been definitely better to play on Wednesday.

Q. Do you think you controlled the match from the beginning, but it was a sad way to lose?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think I started playing in a very solid way, with a lot of conviction. I was serving very well. I think I lost only two or three points on my service first set. I had a lot of chances in the second set. I felt I had it, but I started to feel the pain in my leg. I couldn't take the opportunities I had. I got even more tired, and that was enough to lose the second set. Then I got into a very tough situation. I think the fact that I'm hurt like this is so important in a tournament like this.

Q. How do you rate the reaction of the public? What do you think of the public here today?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think that the public were enjoying the match. They were very emotional. I think they applauded Agassi quite well in the second set. I think there were more people applauding for him in the second set than me. I think everybody participated quite a lot in the match, but I thought I was going to have a lot more support. I think he had more support than me in many parts of the game.

Q. Do you think that the race with Safin has come to a very difficult situation?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think Safin is playing in quite a perfect way. I was playing very well today against a guy who has won every Grand Slam. I think it's very sad to lose a match for a stupid pain like this, and I'm very frustrated. I think the race now is in a second dimension. My first priority is to get better.

End of FastScripts…

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