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March 25, 2008

Gustavo Kuerten


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. How special is it for you to be back here this year, just for some of the memories you have? This being kind of an important tournament for you in the past?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah, I think it's like a feeling back for every year I've been around. Especially the year I played the final here was great memories, and also, probably a big step through in my career so far.
I had to play against Pete at the time, and play an event like this on the hard court also in the finals was a good push through.
The crowd is always nice here, too. It's many Brazilians coming around. It's an event that I compare as a Grand Slam as importance, because it is every single top player plays. So it's good to be around for once more, and, hopefully, I can enjoy a lot.
I'm sure it's going to be a lot of people that I know already that told me to come, and probably many Brazilians that are around. So this kind of memories I have from this tournament, it's great tennis, great atmosphere, and this brings the best feelings when you are out there.

Q. Are you enjoying a lot of that this year? Some of the retrospect of thinking about your career and past memories?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yes. It's been better than I thought. At the same time, it's a challenge, because for me, it's not been easy to play on a good level. And also I feel I'm not manage to play the same level as the other guys.
But also I got able to see many people that I've been around, not only the players, but the people that are involved in the tournaments and the friendships that I had with people around besides the fans. But the ones that are connected to the tournament somehow.
This brings me some good hopes for the future, too. I see that everything that I believe, you know, that things that will come in my life will be much lighter than it's been in my career. I think that's the main importance to feel more excited about coming back.

Q. What are you hoping to accomplish in this tournament?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: To play on a good level. I'm not able to compete with the guys. I went to Indian Wells last week and tried to get going a little bit, get myself in better shape. But still it's been really tough for me to play on the level, especially these kinds of tournaments.
So I don't have any kind of expectations of wins and just able to play some good tennis. Make my shots, some of them, as I was playing before I think would be enough for me to go out with some good memories already.

Q. How healthy are you this week?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I probably can play around 60, 70% that I was playing before. But the problem is it's not every single point I play well and bad. My condition is not stable, that was my main problem during all this year. So that's why I really can't compete against the guys that are better and better in physical condition.

Q. How do you prepare for that comeback?

Q. How did you prepare for this event?

Q. Yeah, how much?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I was around two weeks in Brazil practicing. Then I went for the Indian Wells for a week. Doing a lot of physical therapy. Trying to play a little bit more these last weeks. Basically most of the time it's been out doing exercise and physiotherapy. It is not the funnest thing as I would like to be out there on the court.
But the last week I was playing against the guys here. I played with this guy that hit very strong the ball. That was a good chance for me to see that it's not going to be easy. But, well, as far as I had this set in my mind, you know, of course I would try to compete but it's not the biggest thing on my mind right now. So I think this makes myself a little bit more relaxed and then maybe I can play even better like that.

Q. What do you think of Grosjean, the guy you will play?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: He's a great player. He's been around for many times. I've played him before, even when I was playing well. It was always tough. He runs a lot. Has a good forehand that's his biggest weapon. But he had nothing really bad in his game. He can play on many different surfaces. He knows already what is playing big tournaments with pressure, so. He's been Top 10. He's a great player.

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