August 26, 1997
Flushing Meadows, New York, NY
MARGARET HEENAN: Questions in English, please.
Q. Are you getting more and more confidence that you're going to win in five sets?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think just after the third set, I broke him in the first game, so
that was important for me. I mean, was the big game for me in the match because I was in
very bad situation and I come back right away to broke him in the first game. I think
after that I really controlled the match, start to play more solid from baseline and serve
pretty well. So I was really tough. I didn't think that I will win before the match was
over, so I was always trying to find a way to win. He was fighting a lot. I think was
maybe the important points I had a little bit more of lucky, and that decide the match.
Q. Obviously clay is considered your best surface. But how close do you think your game
is on hardcourt to your level on clay?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I can't say like that. I mean, I'm feeling good playing in hardcourt,
but I have more trouble to adapt my game. I need like four, five days to practice to start
to play good. So right now I'm feeling great. I'm feeling playing with the good rhythm and
good time. So I can't compare it very much because the guys play different also. But my
game, I think it's solid right now. I'm prepared to go to the second round. I'm very happy
just to win this match.
Q. Do you feel people still look at you and are talking to you because of the clothes
and your attitude on the court and possibly not looking at your tennis and how well you're
playing right now or have played this year?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: They have to look me play tennis because the only place -- I always
inside of the court. If they look me, they look me playing tennis. I think they really
enjoy this match today. I try to do my best and win the match. I don't think like to do
the game to the public, they really like the way I play. I try to win. I hope they like
the way I play, but I can't do always the right thing, always what they want me to do.
Q. Do you feel your experience this year going into five sets, that you have the
physical conditioning or maybe the mental conditioning that can help win because you've
been there so many times this year?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I think so. But it's not always like that. The last time I
played just in Wimbledon, and I had a bad experience in five sets. I think it was the
first time he play five sets and he beat me. I think this again was the first time Justin
play in a five-set match. I think for sure that help me. I think from the start of the
game, no problem, if I have to play five sets, no problem, because I'm ready. Maybe he
didn't think that because he didn't know how he is. He never play five sets. I think this
helped me a little bit. But sometimes this help; it's not enough to win the match.
Q. Can you summarize what happened in your life between your victory at the French and
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes. Not too many changes. I think I had not too much time to stop and
see what happened and what will happen. I just keep playing, playing too many tournaments.
I hadn't stayed too many times in my home, and I haven't stopped of playing already. So
for me, just keep going the same. I practice, I'm playing, I'm trying to win all the time.
Maybe for the people who look me, fans, they watch me more, they follow me more. Maybe
they look at me like I'm star of tennis now. For me it's just the same.
Q. Do you like it, fans watching you?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah. I think it's great, like to play today before this crowd was
maybe one of the reason that I could come back and win the match.
Q. You've been back to Brazil quite a bit, obviously, since Paris?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Like ten days, yeah.
Q. Was it completely different there? Were you treated any definitely walking around?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Well, it's different, but I didn't have too many time. I was sick for
a while, and I had to start to practice. I didn't have too many time to do too much
things. But for sure, it's always a relief after you win a Grand Slam. But I can live my
life. I still can do the things that I want.
Q. How is your grandmother?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Okay. Pretty good.
Q. Do you call her?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, no. After the French Open, she said my coach is good (laughter). I
don't need her help anymore.
Q. Does your confidence, is it now changed because you won the French? Do you come in
here thinking, "Why not, can I win this tournament, too"?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah. For sure that is a big experience for me. I can come here and
play like one match today, five sets, or a third, fourth round, I already know how it is.
But it's not everything. It depends how you play on the day, how is your feeling with the
court, your timing. It's very difficult to say. But for sure this can help me next match.
Q. Do you feel like you can win this tournament?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: If not, I wasn't here. That's why I'm here. I know it will be very
tough, but I'm sure that everybody is still winning has a chance to win.
Q. Are you staying in Manhattan?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes.
Q. You are?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes.
Q. I can't remember if you were here.
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Looks like my city.
Q. Looks like your city?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes.
Q. Same feeling?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah.
Q. You enjoy it?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: (Thumbs up.) Almost everybody who lives in my city, live in only one
building. So big.
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