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September 5, 1999

Gustavo Kuerten

U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York, NY

Q. Was that much easier than you had anticipated?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: It was quite fast and also great for me. I mean, I played well since he started. I had a chance to break, and then know I was feeling great on court, moving well, and enjoying off the court as well. It was pretty nice. So that's what made my performance. Maybe I play best match I ever play here in this tournament. Was great feeling. I hope to keep improving, play better and better and really feel like my confidence is growing a lot.

Q. Was it tough with all the waiting today? You know, not knowing whether you're going to play day, night?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: It's always boring, you know.

Q. Always what?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Boring. To keep going up and down, eating, waiting, go to the court, rain, come back. It's tough. But you cannot fight against this. You just have to wait and see what's going to happen. So I try to relax more than I can. Try to keep my energy when I was called to the court. And I think was much better than I really expect the way I play. So I think I did the right thing during this rain delay.

Q. I think John McEnroe said you're too young to win this tournament. What would you tell McEnroe?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: (Laughing) I don't know. Maybe he's right. I never won. So maybe this year. I'm going to be 23 on Friday. Maybe I'll be not that young anymore. I don't know. Just will try to win. If I can do it this year, it would be great. If not, next year gonna try again. So I'm just like this: I'm going to keep trying and trying till the time I say I'm too old, not when I'm too young. I think I have a chance.

Q. Do you feel you can win a tournament on this surface?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I never did, but as far as I win match, I get more confidence. I had one final and one ,maybe two, three semifinal on hardcourt. So I beat some good players. Maybe I did not have the -- my day in the end of the tournament, a very great final or, I don't know, great day to close with a win on a hardcourt tournament. But I'm playing well. Now I have a Norman, it's going to be a tough one. I'm enjoying a lot and playing really good. I'm very comfortable.

Q. (Inaudible) Did you practice? Did you work a lot to get in that?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I always practice. But the best thing is when you win match, your confidence grow like this. It doesn't matter if you practice, practice, practice. If you don't win, it's difficult even if you play server volley or whatever. I'm winning match; I'm getting more confidence when I need to go for my big shots, they are going fine. So that's a good thing.

Q. And does this crazy atmosphere help you?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: It's nice. I mean, I'm enjoying -- well, I think help every player. We all win -- all players in Slams, they play a little bit better than usual or at least they all try to play better. That's because of all this atmosphere, the great tournaments, and everything that involves. So makes everyone play pretty in higher level. So for me, it's quite the same.

Q. But not every player in Grand Slams has the Brazilian crowd.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, but you see the end of the match was more crowd to him than for me. So people get involved in the match and try to see more tennis, doesn't matter who is playing. They want to see three sets. If it was another tournament, I'm sure he not try that hard. So he stayed in the match, try his best, and he had a lot of support from the fans. So I think that's the point that I try to tell.

Q. How is it to play Goran Ivanisevic?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: He serve very fast. You have to try to make him play. I think I play in a great way today. I try not to block him serve, try to put one more ball to him and give the chance to hit the -- make the mistake. And when I had the shot, I was trying to go for the shots, just had my very good pace today. I was calm, relax and playing in the right way.

Q. Gustavo, what color would you say that shirt was?


Q. What color was it?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I don't know how is this color in English. Beige?

Q. Beige?


Q. Peach?


Q. Beige.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Beige. There we go. (Laughter).

Q. We know that Goran has ups and downs. Is it easy to play such, you know, an ups-and-downs player?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I don't know. For me, it's easy when I play well. I cannot talk about he, what he is doing. Just ask him. So... Okay?

End of FastScripts…

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