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April 17, 2000

Nicolas Escude


Q. It is your first match in Monte Carlo. What kind of memory will you keep from that match?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: It is not the first one. I came once already and I lost 6-Love, 6-Love in the qualies, so I had a bad memory of this place. I have tried to come for the past three years but every time I had an injury the week before. So now it is done, it is past.

Q. It is a good memory in spite of the bad conditions?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: Yes, we just set aside the conditions, it is a good memory.

Q. Can you talk about the conditions?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: The weather was absolutely awful. The conditions were not great. The court was heavy with many bad bounces; impossible conditions.

Q. We had the impression that certain parts of the courts were bad and the bounce was always unforeseeable. You seemed to be bothered, both of you?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: Yes, there were bad bounces, but the same conditions prevailed for both of us.

Q. You were able to play well when you turned around the match?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: Yes, I played better. I went forward. I played serve and volley and he weakened physically and I was able to come up.

Q. You are playing Dosedel. Does he scare you?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: Yes and no. Any opponent can beat you and you can beat any opponent in a reasonable frame. So any opponent is to be feared. But there is worse than him, I am happy.

Q. How come you didn't serve very well during the match?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: It was strange to play indoors with light which was very special and I couldn't find a little corner to send the ball out of the beam of the light, but still I served well in the important moments and I am pleased with that.

Q. Physically how do you feel; no?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: I am very fit.

Q. What is your objective for this tournament?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: Trying not to lose in the next round. Maybe not win the tournament, but going as far as possible. Maybe losing next round or -- anyway, I will take match after match and I will see where that will take me. I don't want to have projects which could be too ambitious or not enough. I take matches after matches.

Q. What did you do since Key Biscayne? Did you rest? Did you practice?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: I had only two or three days rest. Then I practiced immediately at home and with Cedric who was there and some Swiss players. I worked the whole week before and then I went to Estoril on Saturday.

Q. Do you feel better on clay?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: You have to find your reference points, but it is the surface on which I learned to play tennis and I know that surface perfectly well. Now, my style of game means that I play better on hard courts.

Q. Were you afraid of that match against another French player?

NICOLAS ESCUDE: Yes, all the first rounds are always traps; especially against a French player or anyone else. You come out in a tournament. I came here on Saturday, but I only took my racket yesterday because I arrived on Saturday evening. The first match is always a trap. You come to different playing conditions. You are in a new place. It is always a trap first round.

End of FastScripts….

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