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March 14, 2004

Gisela Dulko


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you surprise yourself with this victory?

GISELA DULKO: Yeah, a little bit, yeah. I've been playing good since the qualifying. I was very excited to play this match. She's top player. But I was feeling good. I mean, I had nothing to lose today, so I try to do my best. It works.

Q. Were you surprised at the way she played or did you consider, because she had taken some time, two months off the tour, she might be rusty?

GISELA DULKO: I think she's -- she has a very big serve. I think I return perfect today. I mean, my return was good. And she's a good player. I mean, she's Top 50. I don't know her ranking exactly. But I think I played really good. Maybe she wasn't at her best tennis today, but was a good match.

Q. What did you do well today?

GISELA DULKO: I think the key was my return because I start good the point since my return. I don't know, I play very aggressive. I didn't serve well, but my forehand, my groundstrokes, were good today. But the key I think was my return, yeah.

Q. So she's a very powerful player, even with groundstrokes. You didn't feel like she had too much power for you?

GISELA DULKO: Yeah, I think she was more powerful in the backhand side, so I tried to play more to the forehand. But, yeah, yeah, she's powerful. The serve is very powerful.

Q. Would you consider this now your best tournament ever?

GISELA DULKO: Yeah, yeah. I never been in the fourth round of tournament, big tournament. Yeah, it's the first time for me.

Q. So when you arrived to go into qualifying, were you feeling very good about your game, or did things just come together when you were here?

GISELA DULKO: No, I was feeling good. I mean, since I was -- I did play in some challengers. I did semifinal, final. Then I went to Memphis. I did quarterfinal there. Then I practiced for two weeks, and I was feeling good. It's not that I was feeling good here only; I was feeling good since few weeks ago.

Q. Talk about in the off-season, before this season started, what did you think about some of the things you needed to do to raise your level up and start competing with better players?

GISELA DULKO: Well, I think I have to improve more my serve. I think it's one of the weakest that I have. Then more in the net. I mean, I feel good with my groundstrokes. But I think my serve and my volley maybe, yeah.

Q. Do you have any expectations for the rest of the tournament?

GISELA DULKO: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I don't know against who I play the next match. I never look at the draw.

Q. Do you want to know?

GISELA DULKO: Yes, you can tell me now.

Q. Either Leon Garcia or Irvin. You've had some success against both of them, haven't you?

GISELA DULKO: Yeah, I played Irvin few weeks ago, and I beat her. Was a tough match - 7-6, 7-6, I think. Leon Garcia, I played twice against her, one was for me and one she beat me. Yeah, is tough match, but is a good round. Yeah, it's good. I didn't know I was playing.

Q. No seeds left in your part of the draw. This is a great chance for you to reach the quarterfinals?

GISELA DULKO: Yeah, I hope so.

Q. A few questions about your background. I saw you were born Tigre, is that right?

GISELA DULKO: Yes. I live in another city, but Checco (ph) is the name.

Q. That's a beautiful part of Argentina, an island.

GISELA DULKO: Buenos Aires is very beautiful.

Q. You're living in Miami, is that correct?

GISELA DULKO: I was there, but now I -- because my coach was from there. But now I start to work with my brother, coach two weeks ago before to come here. So now I'm living at home again, so I'm happy.

Q. What is your brother's name?

GISELA DULKO: Alejandro.

Q. Is he older than you?


Q. He's a good player?

GISELA DULKO: He was a tennis player before. He beat few good players. I think he beat Rochus, I don't know. But then he stop and he start to coach.

Q. I'm sure you're very close with him personally, but how does that work with him being the coach, you being the student? Can he say, "Do this, do that"?

GISELA DULKO: My brother?

Q. Yes.

GISELA DULKO: We have an excellent relationship with him, yeah. We like to do the same things. In the court, yeah, I really like to work with him. I'm very happy now. I can feel it when I'm in the court. I mean, I'm playing better, I feel more happy.

End of FastScripts….

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