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August 7, 2000

Gustavo Kuerten


Q. Explain the match.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think I was up a break already in the first game; he got a little bit frustrated and I think he should be a little bit tired from last week. He played a lot. (inaudible). I take advantage there already in the beginning, and then the second set I start tried to be (inaudible) I was sure that he can play better than that. But then I think I played the right shots the way I needed.

Q. Did you wake up this morning feeling any different knowing that you were leading the points race?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Everyday I wake up different - older. Unbelievable. (laughter).

Q. Can't make it stop.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Can't make it stop, right. No, I think -- it has been interesting because we are so close, we are, some guys there, in the top that maybe can change for each week. So I think it is nice every match you win can change the position. I will try to hang in that position - only one point I am ahead, but trying to enjoy this moving forward.

Q. What difference, if any, do you notice on the purple court?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think it is good. It is not really (inaudible) I think it didn't have any trouble for the players to play. I think -- I like change. I am always changing my hair, my clothes, everything, so I like to change; try what is best maybe for (inaudible) if it is okay for the players, then it is best for the tournament too. It is all right. (inaudible).

Q. If you were in this position a year ago, you would have been known as the world's No. 1 this week. Now you are the leader in the points race. Do you think that it has got the same prestige?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I don't know. I cannot think about these things too much. I have to enough things to worry about than this. I think -- we hope tennis players, we just have to be honored to be here, we are playing a great event against the best guys, so it is nice to be here trying to have prestige (inaudible).

Q. Would you rather be known as the world's No. 1 or the leader of the points race or don't you care?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: If I one or the other? Both. No, I don't care. I think the race, it is nice so far. I mean, it is different than the other ranking, for sure. It is not that I am ranked right now the best player in the world, but so far I am the one who is playing the best tennis this year. So next player, you can only see the result and they just show (inaudible) that is already good and I try to compare myself to other guys, the results of them, and try to do my best.

Q. When you went home for the first time after losing the French this time around. How was it different from when you won the first time, like how people reacted to you? Same?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, people say (inaudible) nice to get this happen for Brazil and they really are very impressed -- (inaudible) the emotion that it was, I imagine that is how it was when I was playing there and I think every time I have success, they really going to enjoy that and going to make some people cry.

Q. Some more parties?


Q. Do you mind playing the extra round in these events; not getting a bye in the second round?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think to play in one week event, maybe it's a lot of tennis; sometimes can be too much. But it is the way it is, so we are going to try to do my best. Hopefully (inaudible) I think that is the perfect for me, perfect time to do a tournament like this (inaudible).

Q. Obviously you are very popular in your country, but have you noticed since especially since you had such good results here; now you are the points race leader, do you see a difference here in America? Do people notice you more or in other countries are you finding yourself in a different situation because you are No. 1?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, not really. I think since 1997/1998 I had great results; then I start to build my image. Sometimes I came here before, I always had very good treatment from the guys in the tournament, the fans, and everything (inaudible) so I always had some nice tournaments for me and help me out (inaudible).

Q. You served a lot of aces today. You are feeling comfortable on hard court. Do you the time is coming when you are being effective on this surface as on clay?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I think it is going to be tough for me to do the same as I am doing on clay on hard, but I think I am getting closer and closer from everybody else, every other top players, so that is my goal. I am really feeling that as time goes I have more chance to beat the best guys on hard, so looking forward to fulfill that experience to win a tournament on hard court.

Q. What do you have to do to (inaudible) --

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I am really not going to be able to do the same results as I did on clay. Growing the way I like more, I have no problem to go from today to tomorrow playing on clay, no problem, and to other surface to have a little bit of trouble at the beginning. I think my game, it's more easy to play on clay. I am going to have my best matches on clay. (inaudible).

Q. With the success your opponent had last week did you feel it was more important than normal to maybe jump out ahead today; get ahead of steam?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think for sure it was the main thing with the match today was I start -- I didn't give him any hopes at the beginning, I mean, the first set, so that changed a lot of things. I could play more relaxed. (inaudible) that is the way I try to do it for the next round too.

End of FastScripts…

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