August 12, 2000
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Guga.
Q. Is it tough to miss with a match as close as that?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes. But I think, you know, I'm playing good tennis and all the matches have been losses like this; it's close match. It's at least that's good sign. Yesterday I win won maybe I should have lost. So today I wasn't, you know, as lucky as yesterday. But it was good. Tough, no, to understand a loss? But all week I've been improving a lot and that is my first time I make semifinal here, so one step forward.
Q. You seemed very frustrated on that game that you lost with your bandage ...(Inaudible)?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes, I should have stop before and do it again because wasn't going out, and I wait for one more changeover. And I lost the -- only time I lost the serve was that time. And I put something over and I feel a little bit strain. Was already enough to lose the set, so that's why I go and that's why I go to him for tape.
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes.
Q. How long does that take to clear up? You have to play again this week.
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I got to see now. I mean today I almost -- I thought I could not play when I went to beat him. Was really tough. But they did great job there, but some anesthetic and cover well. And the more as I play, the more use I got it, and I could play very well in the end. And one hour before I felt maybe I would be not even on the court. So for me was good. And don't look too bad right now, but I got to see how it will be next days and I got to play later than Wednesday. So I think hopefully better for that.
Q. Where is it?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Just in the middle.
Q. You played quite well with your forehand...(Inaudible)?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, a couple of points I lost at beginning, and he serve big. I serve a double-fault...(Inaudible) So things go this way. And then if I have any chance before, I had a lot of break points, couldn't convert them. That was the only thing I could have done a little bit better.
Q. What's your schedule now between this and the US Open?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I play Indianapolis and then I rest.
Q. How much do you think he's improved since you all played?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Last time he beat me 6-Love, 6-4 and now he beat me 7-6, 6 -4. (Laughter.) I think he has been good player already a long time. But we play well. We play bad. Sometimes we struggle. Sometimes we out of shape. Today I think we both played well, good tennis, but he had more breaks at the end. He played well in the tiebreak...(Inaudible).
Q. What's the toughest thing about playing Tim?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, like many guys, serve and volley, put a lot of pressure. You got to be patient, wait for your chance, hanging in there. Like the last match, it was 6-4, it just didn't come my way.
Q. ...(Inaudible)... Was kind of a little out of that match. He called some balls that were questionable...(Inaudible)?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think this sport is sometimes not really fair. One call can turn a match. The umpire for sure not gonna be right - like we play let's say 300 shots. He have to call all of them. Maybe one or two he can miss and can decide the match. But sometimes the scores little tricky and it happen things like this. We had some big points that was very close. We play on good level, so we try to hit lines. And then as close as it is, it is tough for the umpires to judge. They do their best, but sometimes it's just impossible to do everything 100 percent correct.
Q. You matched Tim almost point for point the whole match until that last tiebreaker. Now you're just going to say he was a little bit better in the tiebreaker?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes. I think just the beginning of the tiebreaker changed the things around. I serve a double-fault, like I said, and he made two points on his serve. So was Love-3 already. Then I miss a forehand for a little bit, Love-4, so was almost over and he kept his rhythm going, putting the pressure all the time. And, you know, was tough to come back from Love-4 from the tiebreak. I think -- well, it was good way he did in the end and he knew how to support the pressure on break points, too. So he has been playing well and a lot of confidence today.
Q. When you have a first set like that first set with the long tiebreaker, does that take anything out of you going into the rest of the match? Is it good for you since you won it?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think of course was better than if I had dropped the set. I had couple chance since beginning, Love-30, to maybe get the match for myself. But it's best-of-three, so I win that set. I try to win other one, you know. Didn't manage to do it. And I think he knew I had playing a lot of tennis yesterday, too, and I had these problems. So for sure he would stay in the match and see how far I could go. And I think I did, you know, I've been playing well. I've been testing him, too. He knew how to come back.
Q. Does playing two long matches in two days hurt you at all?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I think could help me much more. I was able to play good tennis for both matches.
Q. Are you surprised when you come to Cincinnati and find a vocal group of Brazilians in the stand?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: How surprise me?
Q. That there are that many Brazilians?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No. Since I been here first time, we had already a lot of Brazilians around here. I think they should be live here, studying close from the tennis. So they not able to see anything. But when they have chance and they around, then for sure they -- they love to support them. They have passion for the sport.
Q. Have you met any of those people?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I know some of them. They here really almost every year. But I don't know them really well.
Q. Do they try to come up and talk to you during the week, follow you around?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: They've been here, watch me all my match. But I had a very busy week, too, playing a lot of tennis. And really no time to do anything. Maybe today or tomorrow I will be able to enjoy a little bit more.
Q. How often does that happen when you're playing in the States? Do you get that everywhere or not very often?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: That?
Q. A crowd of people rooting for you?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes, almost every place. Last week was many people in Toronto. In US Open, phew, a lot of Brazilians there. In Europe, I have lot of support. Everywhere I think at least 15, 20 guys, they are in the crowd. Like I said, they like to go for someone. They like...(Inaudible). The only chance they can see me playing is out of Brazil, so they have to go.
Q. Is there any one reason that you can identify that your game is pretty much equal on the hard court as well as clay? You tend to be so good on both surfaces.
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, it's true. I think from here, I don't see myself as good as I am in clay on hard court. But I think I am already playing the same level as the best guys on the hard court. Taking me sometimes a little while to get my rhythm going and to get -- to feel the ball a little bit better. But one or two rounds if I win, then I'm getting confidence, my game starts to work, I think I have the shots to play well on different surface. So I think will be -- clay will be my, you know, like my surface for -- until the end of my career. But that doesn't mean that I cannot go and play well on other surface.
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