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August 10, 2000

Gustavo Kuerten



Q. You were feeling fine today?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes, feeling much better.

Q. No problem?


Q. We saw that first set, we thought, "Oh, he might be sick again." But what happened? It was a strange first set?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, he was playing well at beginning. I didn't feel like myself. I didn't have the way to play. I never had to play him before, so was tough for me at beginning. He start aggressive, he was playing good. I had to find my rhythm first off. It's a good day. The game was best-of-three, so I have chance to come back.

Q. When that happens to you, what do you do? How do you say, "Okay, forget the first set, let's move on, what can I do differently?"

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I think I try to really don't care about what happened, try to find a way to do things better. I think if I find myself returning better with a few steps back with the court, you know, I could make him play a little bit more. I was serving better and playing a little bit strong after in the first set. I was so -- in a way I should play since the beginning. But it's tough to know when you never have played a guy before.

Q. That has sort of become a strength of your career. Like what happened to you at the French Open. Another player might not have recovered from that situation, all those matchpoints. But you're good at saying, "The past is the past, now let's look to the future," right?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I think at least I always try to find the option to come back from bad situation or to find a way to win the match, or if I am back, I still looking for something better and always hope, in my mind, that that's the thing that I always go to the court and do. They might beat me, but I try and try and see when I have my chance.

Q. What happened with the umpire? Did you get a warning?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I got a warning. But, I don't like to talk about this, you know...(Inaudible.)

Q. I didn't know what happened, he gave you a warning for hitting the ball?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, he gave me a warning. I didn't understand either. I hit the ball and he give me the warning. I suppose was for -- because I try to intimidate the line umpire or something like this. But maybe should ask him about this, because I really don't know.

Q. You seemed upset for a little while.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes. But like I said, better talk to them and see what happen.

Q. Is it important for you to try to make a statement during the hard court season and improve your standing, improve your reputation,improve your confidence on this surface and go on and try to win a Grand Slam? Or are you happy knowing you're probably the best clay court player in the world and competitive on the other surfaces?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I think I'm, you know, I see myself much more able to compete. I am better than I was maybe one year, two years ago. So I feel as time goes, more chance to be successful in these big events. Even hard or fast surface. I don't see -- I never be satisfied with the way I'm playing. I always try to be better and better. And always want to go from here. As long as I'm here, I'm going to keep doing same.

Q. One more thing about that, after that thing with the chair umpire...(Inaudible) Did that fire you up, did that get you going at all?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think it did. I start to, you know, my adrenaline went high. I start to fight a little bit more, be more want on the court, like I am. I want -- too fast, I want it to slow down. So after that I put a little energy, like a wakeup call for me, and I think he miss a couple shots. That was important, too, because he wasn't missing early shots.

Q. Sorry to keep tossing you back and forth here, but do you think back on some of the success you've had on fast surfaces like Wimbledon two years ago and like the Ericsson, is that more of the moments you think back and you're proudest of? Obviously it's not the same as winning the French Open, but are those things you're saying, "Yeah, clay is my best surface, but I made the quarterfinals, I had a nice week"?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, for me, it's always I believe to think for better than normal. For me, to win on grass is not really normal. I did lot of years bad. I did once quarterfinal, was the happiest year I had. So that's nice. I mean it's sometimes give you confidence so you can look back and see how you did and how your game looks better and try to be successful.

End of FastScripts…

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