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August 30, 1997

Gustavo Kuerten

Flushing Meadows, New York, NY

Q. You looked very, very flat, especially in the first couple of sets, didn't seem to be moving very well, you were out of sync. What did you feel like?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think he didn't give me too much rhythm. He was pressuring me all the time, so I couldn't do my game. Every time I played bad one, two points, he was ready to get the games, so it was very tough to play against him today. He was playing deep and solid. So I couldn't play my best. But, I think it was because he was playing too good.

Q. Did the fact you play in the stadium like that, in the night, affect you?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I think the only thing that I affect me was him today. He was really good. I tried to come back, but I didn't have any chance. He was ready. When I got one break in the third set, he was just ready to break back the next game. So, I think he was just in control of the match. . He didn't let me play my game and that is why I didn't play too good. It is not that I wasn't ready or I wasn't playing well. But, he was playing so good that I couldn't play my best.

Q. Strategically, after losing the first two sets, what did you think? Did you think there was something you could do to change things up a little bit or was he just taking everything you had and throwing it right back at you?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Sure, I tried to do -- was trying to thinking anything to win the match. But, before the third set I didn't have any chance. I think in the third set he missed a couple of balls, the first ball that he missed the whole match. So, I got one break and well, I just went to serve and he was again on fire and give me some winners. I couldn't do too much. I couldn't like go 4-2 or 5-3, take a real lead to try to play more comfortable. And, well, I think he was really -- it was just his day today. He was playing very well.

Q. What happened especially in the second set, did your mind get out of the match because it was very strange in a way?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: He broke me in the beginning and then he start to play even more relaxed and I wasn't playing so good and then he was making winners for my first serve, second serve and so I didn't have too many chances to do a lot -- to do some things. But I think if I got the match a little bit tight like the third set, 1-All, 3-All, then I got the break, 3-All, 4-All, I could have some chance because when he was one, two games up, he just played great and he didn't give me any chance.

Q. Coming into the tournament you had a pretty good summer on hard court. You have got an adaptable game for hard courts. Are you disappointed that you only reached the third round? I mean, I am sure you must have thought you had a chance at least to reach quarters or semis possibly.

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I think this tournament was good for me. I really played good matches. It is difficult to come out here and -- in a Grand Slam event that you never played and come here and do well. So, it was my first time here, for sure, that I learn a lot. I could have lost in the first round already. I win very tough match. Then I played good second round. Today didn't play so well. But, he was playing good. So, it was a good tournament for me. I think in this summer, all the summer I learn a lot, how to play on hard court and that I can play good on hard court, not only on clay, so, this will help me next year. I will come here and I will know many more things, how to hang my game on this surface, so I think it is just the beginning here. I hope to play many more US Opens.

End of FastScripts…

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