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November 2, 2000

Gustavo Kuerten


MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You know Sebastien quite well because you played four times against him before today. Is today the best you have seen him serving against you?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, it's tough to say. But I think he served pretty well in the important points especially. Whole first set, I would say he didn't give me any chance. Tiebreak, when I had some set points, I didn't even, you know, play the points. Just serve, easy second shot. He came with big shots in the right time, I think, was decided first set and then the match probably.

Q. What were you expecting coming here in Stuttgart? You have been playing the Olympics, maybe a couple of tournaments in Asia. You feel in good shape, or you need to improve a bit some part of your game?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think I was playing well, like I've been playing well most of the year, most of the tournaments. I met Nicolas in the first round. Was a good match for me. I never beat him. Today I knew it was going to be tough. It's the way it is most of these indoor match, you know, pretty open, one or two shots maybe decide the match. I just could not got the right points. I think was all right for me. These two games, I play well. Of course, if I did like the semis or final, I would be opening a big chance for me maybe to finish the No. 1 this year. But also the other guys are playing the same level. I was satisfied the way I play these two match.

Q. Were you grateful to Greg Rusedski because he saved your place in the race?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No. I think depends much more from myself. More happy when I win. I wish I would have won. I wish Safin had won, and me, too - would be better. I don't really going to be pleased or angry if they win or they lost. The way my performance goes, it's much more important for me.

Q. Do you feel any pressure concerning this race for the No. 1 spot at the end of the year?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No. I think it's more motivation and also a good feeling. We live with pressure all our life. We have to play, and we have to win our match. We cannot lose any match or we are out of the tournament. For sure, the guys you see on the top, they know how to handle pressure. That's just one new thing for me. It's nice so far. I still with chances. I look forward to play better and better next week. Maybe I can, you know, hang in there.

Q. What is more important for you, winning another Grand Slam, Roland Garros, than finishing the year with the No. 1?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, right now I think finishing the year No. 1, it's my goal. It's the closest one. I will try to do this from this year. If I do this, I try to find another goals for next year.

Q. Playing indoors is where you feel the most vulnerable? Even on grass you play well, quarters at Wimbledon. Is it comparable?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think it's like it's more open. Not that I don't have a chance to play well, but the - all match, it's kind of open for me or for my opponent. The other guys, maybe they believe more or they more confidence in they-self because they have win much more matches than me. That's going to change only if I be playing more, winning more, I guess, you know, learning how to play better and better. I think like today maybe, you know, winning this match, I could break through and go farther - but wasn't this tournament.

Q. In your opinion, which ranking is more (inaudible) the race when you are leading or the entry system point where Pete is first?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think right now, them both very important. The race has been very nice to follow, very exciting in this part of the year - much different than the beginning the year, you know, nothing available for me. For first two, three months, or first month, you see many good players 100, 150. I think that's not right. But right now, it's just how the year went, how you see the best players so far this year. The other ranking for me, it's fair a lot. You see really the guys that are the best players in the world, too.

End of FastScripts…`

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