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August 13, 1999

Gustavo Kuerten


Q. Second set, wasn't quite enough, was it?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think in the beginning today I didn't feel like playing my best tennis.

Q. After the days you were really exhausted you pulled out of some tournaments, can you tell us a little bit how you recuperated?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, five or six years. I had to take at least four, five days to rest for myself to do different things and then I start to work my body again in the beginning. I pull out, but I knew I had to recover to use my body again so tried to -- I needed at least one week to do that, that is why I pull out from Canada. Then I came here already in my best shape, playing well, just without some rythym, but I could play some match here good now; I think I can play even much better.

Q. Did the conditions come into play at all for you today, the weather conditions?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think it was a little bit -- maybe kind of difficult to play, but it is for both of us too. But I just didn't feel like with energy and my body for the things that I want to do.

Q. Heat wasn't little bit a factor?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I don't think. The way I was in match, maybe first game I play, then I start to lose my confidence a little bit, start to take the ball late and this, a lot of mistakes really you don't know what happened, but you don't -- you don't find your best things.

Q. A long tiebreaker like that, what is the hardest thing for you, mental or physical?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think so fast that you don't even have time to think about your condition or saving set points or lose a set point, just go point by point trying to win each one and trying to forget the things that you did wrong and try to do better the next point. That is the way I face this.

Q. Were you angry at the end or just frustrated?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Kind of both. I wasn't happy with the way I play and even I had a couple of chance to win second set too, I was angry with the way I play. Was frustrated with the two opportunities I had.

Q. You don't seem the type to smash a racket like that. Have you done that before?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I mean, I don't think that make me the -- I had to something to just to loosen it up. At that time I thought that was the best thing for me to do; then I did it. I think right now I wouldn't do it again, but...

Q. Do you remember the last time you did it?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Last time I did it, I don't remember, but sometimes you are just so angry, your racket, you think you try to take away the trouble and put racket in front.

Q. Take the anger into the racket?


Q. Is this the first time you feel you had a fair shot at US Open?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I still don't think like that, but I think I will be fortunate the best year going in knowing I am going to get there with my best conditions and playing my best tennis, very good thing. But it is still -- I have to be more consistent a little bit and maybe win one tournament on hard court to really feel that I can do it. I won the French and not winning any tournaments before, so I don't see that it can not happen, but I really think I am going to be much better this year, maybe I will have much more years still better condition than I am.

Q. (inaudible)

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Playing two, three matches not so good, so, that is a big difference if -- I think I have improved too sometimes like last year played one good match and another bad, like this year I have been playing some quarterfinals. I play semifinals in Indian Wells, so I am feeling myself much more consistent and my game is improving much more for the hard court. I think this is the normal growing in the circuit taking advantage and happen.

Q. What was your feeling about that net cord?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think it was bad because maybe the only time I hit my forehand and the return I didn't get the point; maybe I would have a chance in the set, but like I said, when things go wrong, you try forget and try to win next point. So I could save that matchpoint then I had more chance, it is a part of the game.

Q. Is it one of those things that like is unusual enough in a game that it happens and you think, oh, this is just not my day?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Maybe, but we know this can happen and if you are not your day, still have chance to win at that time. Fortunate I think well, more unlucky than this and it was impossible. But just try to win the other point and try to recover and get the match. But now I know that it wasn't my day.

Q. There were fans in the top with the Brazilian flag. Does that mean anything to you?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, it is -- how can I say, it is like I feel that all my work and result I am having, they really care about this. They care about me for this, make like myself feel good not only as a tennis player, but like a person that they like to watch and I love my country too. Maybe this is why they like me so much. For me it is always nice, every part of the world I go there is always some Brazilian. They do a lot of noise so it is easy to recognize.

Q. Did you know their song?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah. Popular there. We all know.

Q. What was your reaction when you found out about Steffi Graf?


Q. I guess that is your reaction.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Maybe tonight the sports I will see, but now you give me the news, well, I think I mean, the Tour it is always different for everyone. Maybe she had to start too early. She played many, many years so I think everyone knows your time to retire even if 25, 28, or 38, I don't know. But someone enjoy just play for other things and just to keep doing something. I just think you have to -- you just start to think more about yourself like normal person and you try to take care about this part of life.

Q. I know, but the men's Tour and women's Tour are different, but is she the kind of player that has had so much success that even the men are looking at her and saying wow, this is an incredible career....

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I think it was at least for me when I was starting, she was already one of the tops with 17, 16 she was getting so much results like fortunate we all have to see that it is maybe one or two persons in the world can do this or fortunate really appreciate the way she played for all these years. I think she was one of the players who has style too. I like the way she plays. We know how hard it is to do all these things.

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