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May 13, 2000

Gustavo Kuerten


Q. Gustavo, do you think you are approaching the sort of thing that took you to the title in Paris in '97?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think I've been a -- I was there already maybe one or two years, but, you know, it's different. There I was inexperienced. But it's a very exciting week for me. Now I will be able to play like that much more often.

Q. Did you expect to be so good at this stage? I mean you are coming back from an injury and you had problems, physical problems. You're playing well, though.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, maybe I didn't expect to get this far here, but since my first match, I've been playing well. I've been a completely different player this week than I was one or two months ago. I'm feeling much better on the court, so I didn't know if I would be able to keep my -- play well all this week long. But I am just pleased that I could do that, and now I will try to defend my title tomorrow in the last match.

Q. Guga, may you please tell us something original about your opponent tomorrow, who seems to be the least known No. 1 in the history of tennis.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I think he has been building his game for two or three years. I've been seeing him practice a lot with his coach and doing many things right. I think it's a great payback for him. I think he deserve this, and he believes in himself a lot. That is the point that got him this far.

Q. Last year you played the same match against Corretja and you won with the same score. What is the difference between last year's match and today's, and what do you think you have more than last year?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think this year, especially in this first set, he had a couple of chances. He played really well at the beginning of the match and I could just wait for the right time to come with some good shots. So I think it was a different match from last year. It had maybe the same result, but completely different situations, so maybe I played better the second set, but I was a little bit more confident than the first set and really passing through and after I could play more relaxed and more confident.

Q. Guga, to play the best-of-five, is it your advantage or his advantage or the same?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think he played a kind of easy match today. Maybe he didn't spend too much and it's going to be a little bit benefit for tomorrow. I also coming back this week, maybe I know -- I just hope to tomorrow, you know, sort of be a challenge for me anyway just to play the best of five and see if I'm strong enough or I'm improving and ready to play, keep bringing it this way, next week and for the French Open.

End of FastScripts…

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