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June 27, 2000

Gustavo Kuerten


MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did that disputed line call in the second set really destroy your concentration and rhythm? You looked very angry for a very long time.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes, for almost 30 minutes maybe. I really got very angry because could be two sets to love for me, and the things change around completely. One call like that can change the match, you know. I was sure that the umpire saw it, and he didn't call. I don't know why.

Q. What about your love affair with grass? Has it started yet?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, it's good. I've been playing pretty good. I'm very confidence. I think I can play even better, so I'm happy to play here and see my chance pretty well.

Q. How did you regain your composure after the dispute with the umpire?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think I did not had too much chance. I was playing, trying to see what's going to happen. I see myself in big trouble 5-4 down. He's serving for the set. Was maybe a challenge to come back. I played really well three games that time and win the set. After I win the set again, things completely change. But to get myself into the game again was a little bit tough. Was the first time happened to me, these calls. Well, I think, I don't know, something with myself. I don't know if it's personal.

Q. How did you wind up hitting the ball to him and what was his reaction?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, that ball was old ball. It was old ball to take it out. I wasn't hitting him; I was giving it to him.

Q. What do you put down to your improvement on grass the last two years?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think was the practise, just the practise I had, experience in the moment I'm living. I'm playing better tennis on all surface right now.

Q. Was it a mental thing at the start at all?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, just didn't know how to play. I mean, if you've never been here, it's tough to start playing well. I think even first time I played this tournament, I didn't play bad. I've been playing well since I've been here, but first two times I lost tough match. Right now I'm winning. Maybe this is because, you know, the mind, how I approach.

Q. You're serving pretty well today. 29 aces. Is that anything like a record for you?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Like last year here, I think I did the same. I really need my serve a lot here. I still not, you know, the greatest volley in the game. So I need a little bit of serve. It's working well. I've been practise a lot. I'm doing fine. I try to learn with the other guys, maybe not only power, but using the right serve in the right time.

Q. Do you think your game is strong enough to win this tournament yet?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think if I will retire only if I win this tournament, maybe I have to play 50 more years. I think it's better see . I think I have chance playing against most of the players, but I still not very solid, not as good as the other guys that have that much more record than me.

Q. How important is confidence here? It seems sometimes players can dominate here like Pete has, like Bjorn Borg did, like Navratilova did. Is there an element about Wimbledon where if you don't feel good about the place, don't have the confidence, you have no chance at all?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I think it's a lot of risk. When you play you take a lot of risk, you know, go for the shot, try to hit winner all the time. You have to be confidence in your game and believe that you ready to play on grass, too. I think don't really matter if you practise and you do everything right. You have to go on court and make sure you are ready to play. I think that's the key. Otherwise big points, because you always going to get the tiebreaks, break points, all these huge points that you have to believe in your game and go for the risky shot. You got to do it, otherwise you going to go out.

Q. Can you develop that or is that something you have naturally because you've had some success?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think sometimes you can come here in better or worst situation. Like this year, I just arrive here in my greatest moment maybe, so I can take a little bit of advantage about that. But like it's different with Krajicek, Sampras. I think they already had win so many games on here that they know they got here and they going to play well. Maybe it didn't happen once or twice, but normally they do. So it's a different approach. Like myself, I have to go here in a good moment, and I think things gets a little bit easier for me.

Q. How much do you notice your supporters when you play?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think they was good for me today, especially after, you know, that situation, I start to struggling for a while. So after when I got the break back, come back 5-All, I got a little bit more enthusiastic with the crowd, too. Sometimes that can happen, like today they did with me.

Q. Do you like this tournament?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think they could pick up in the airport, and more money to eat because is only one spaghetti and finish your money (laughter).

Q. When did you decide to get the Williams look with your hair?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think maybe I have a little bit of -- my soul not too white, you know (laughter). So inside I have a little bit of this (touching hair). I try to do it before, and I just didn't had the time. So I went back home and did it finally. I think is good.

Q. What about this controversy about the Spanish players and the seeds, Rusedski out yesterday? Do you think the criteria is right?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I believe more in the rankings. I think I would be disappointed if they made it against myself. But like they did here with some players, put Rusedski, and he lost first round, so it's too risky. I think the ranking system should be more available in these situation. Every tournament should done like that. If the guy not seeded, he can play well. So if the guy is too good in grass, he can break through one good seed and do his tournament in the best way. Doesn't really matter changing the guy's position.

End of FastScripts…

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