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April 23, 1998

Gustavo Kuerten


Q. Guga, obviously not a good day for you. Can you tell us what went wrong?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think the first set decide the match. I had my opportunities. Basically, the game was from baseline. We both played hard. Maybe I still missing too much. But I'm playing my game; I try to play the way as I like. I hope the next days maybe start to, I don't know, play more solid, not make too many mistakes. I still had the chance to win the first set. Probably I would have much more chance to win the match. But I just last game was crucial.

Q. How pleased or otherwise are you with your form at the moment overall?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, I think my form is good. Maybe not playing with too much confidence, not using the best shots, not playing in the right way. This I will find with some matches, maybe winning some more match will help me a lot.

Q. Do you think that the result in Davis Cup against Spain has been negative in your preparation on red clay?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No. Just forgot already the result of Davis Cup. We actually play pretty good. It wasn't a problem. We just lost for a small difference. But I'm sure it happen much more times, and sometimes we going to win, too. Fortunately, that's not affect my game.

Q. Do you feel under any pressure with the French Open coming up, you are the champion that's going to defend there? Is that something that is beginning to build up in your mind?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Not, not really. I just trying to play better and better each match, each day. If only I can do that. If I'm not playing this year well in the French Open, I'm going to play well maybe next tournament. Still going to be one of the top players.

Q. So it's not something that worries you, something you feel pressure about?


Q. You don't seem the sort of guy that worries and feels pressure anyway, is that right?


Q. How did you feel you performed in most of the hard court tournaments that you contested sort of after Wimbledon up until now? How did that go for you? That was the first time at that level for you, wasn't it?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah. I think I could get much more close from the other players than I was before playing that hard court tournament. I just start to build my game and win some match. Didn't play very consistent, but I got like one final, some quarterfinal. I play quite good. This was just my first time, so I think it's going to be better and better next year. This make me feel more feeling good expectation about that.

Q. Are you pleased now to be back on clay? Do you feel much more comfortable?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, for sure that is more comfortable here. But also I'm feeling that maybe from playing too long on hard, I lost some of my characteristics on clay, have to adapt again. It's taking maybe more than I expect. I try to play already as I was playing last year in my best. So maybe I will have to give more time, practice more, find my rhythm again.

Q. Can you remember what you were doing this week last year?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah. I played here, too.

Q. You did play here?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah. I played quallies and I lost.

Q. Can you remember who to?


Q. What other tournaments do you play between here and Roland Garros?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Munich, Hamburg and Rome.

Q. Are you changing something in particular with your coach in this period on the red clay or not really? I mean, it's different from the tournament that you played before.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Last month we change a lot of things. I have to be more patient. I have to run different, use different balls. But this already played last year and many years of my life on clay, so it's easy for me to make this change. Take me maybe one week or two, but I'm sure I'm going to play better and better each match I play.

End of FastScripts....

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