Shanghai Preview: Albert Costa
Albert Costa called his performance at this year's Roland Garros the best of his career. Never able to escape beyond the quarterfinals in eight previous trips to Paris, Costa took the most improbable path through a very tough field to capture his first Grand Slam title.
Career Titles: 12
2002 Titles: Roland Garros
2002 Win/Loss: 34-20
Career Win/Loss: 325-208
The Roland Garros crown came much deserved to the Spaniard, who conquered former champion Gustavo Kuerten, a red-hot Guillermo Canas and his best friend Alex Corretja before dismantling countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final.
In order to add the season-ending championship to his list of accolades, Costa will have to once again be at the top of his game at this year's Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai. With a star-studded lineup that includes defending champion Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Marat Safin and Ferrero, Costa will once again have a tough path to the championship.
Costa's win in Paris elevated the Spaniard all the way to the 2nd position in the ATP Champions Race - a climb so high that the Spaniard had enough confidence to take off the entire next month of the schedule before jumping back into action in Gstaad.
However, Costa wasn't able to duplicate his Paris success for the remainder of the year. The 27-year-old had a post-Roland Garros record of only 8-10 including losses in his opening round match six times. Still, his success earlier in the year garnered Costa 394 points, the 11th position in the Race and a spot in Shanghai.
Next week, Costa will be looking for his first ever win in the Tennis Masters Cup. The last time he reached the season-ending championships - in 1998 - Costa lost both his matches against Greg Rusedski and Corretja.
This time, there is more on the line for the Grand Slam champion. With a solid performance in Shanghai, Costa could finish in the Top 10 of the ATP rankings for the first time in his career. His previous year-end best was a No. 13 ranking he achieved in 1996.
11-07-2002, 12:40 AM
i hope albert can be inspired and come to terms with the surface.
it will be tough, but he nothing to lose.
i also hope the injuries have healed now and he feels fitter.
11-07-2002, 11:17 AM
Beto difficultly might play the final against Carles because they are in the same group. I like both of them so... "I wanna see any of you boys raising the trophy!":bounce: (if is against "el mosquito" much better);)
11-12-2002, 02:01 AM
Vamos Betp, calla las bocas de todos aquellos que dudan de tu calidad!!!!
ForÁa Beto! :fiery:
11-13-2002, 04:49 AM
Bien hecho, Beto! the weakest link??? my ass!:D
Hewitt was really nervous almost all the match, well done Albert!
QUESTION: Is that the game you were looking for yesterday against Hewitt, the one you played today against Safin?
ALBERT COSTA: Yes, I think the difference today was I served much better than yesterday, I served much better and maybe I played the key points better also, but Hewitt yesterday also played so good, so sometimes the matches are between two points. In two points, you make the difference.
QUESTION: What was your confidence level coming into this tournament? You haven't won a match indoors this whole season. Are you surprised how you played today?
ALBERT COSTA: Well, I think if I analyse a little bit the season, indoor season, I was ?? I lost one match against Escude in Moscow, so he's a good player and I had very good chances. Then I lost to Pavel, having six set points in the first set and I lost the match and then I get injured, and then I lost one match in Basel playing not 100 per cent and then I lost in Paris against Escude again with again chances, so I was losing too many matches with chances. And one day finally you win the match and you get confident, so my confidence was not 100 per cent, but I was just trying and if you try at the end, you get the result. ;)
QUESTION: What do you think about the surface? What about Safin? He has not so high level, for sure, he is tired and something. What do you think about the Davis Cup final now?
ALBERT COSTA: Davis Cup final should not be very tough because they're playing in France and I cannot say what is going to happen, but I think if Marat is playing with confidence, I think he should be winning the two matches and then the doubles is going to decide and Kafelnikov also can win matches, but the French people are playing with his public and with his crowd, is going to be very tough one. Surface here, the surface here for me is pretty good because it's hard court, but it's pretty fair.
QUESTION: Your name is printed in front of this shirt, front and back. You are already so famous. Are you worried that other people do not know your name?
ALBERT COSTA: No, I'm not worried about it, but I like it. I like the t?shirt. I like my name, so that's ... :D
QUESTION: Would you like to stand and show your shirt, please?
ALBERT COSTA: Of course. Do you like it? Ronaldo also wears this with his names. Do you know who is Ronaldo? :D
QUESTION: Mr Costa, now do you have the confidence to go to the semifinals?
ALBERT COSTA: Well, I have the confidence but, as I said, sometimes you are confident, but the other player, I'm going to play with Moya, so he's playing good tennis here and it's going to be very tough one, but I think if I play like today, I'm going to have my chances and we'll see what's happening. It's going to be difficult, but not impossible.
QUESTION: Who is your favourite tennis player?
ALBERT COSTA: Right now?
ALBERT COSTA: McEnroe. :rolleyes:
QUESTION: Which football team is favourite Spanish football team?
ALBERT COSTA: Barcelona. :D
QUESTION: How do you feel about Safin's performance in this match?
ALBERT COSTA: Well, I think Safin is always very dangerous, but sometimes he plays a little better and a little worse, and he was playing so good in Paris and maybe here was a little tighter and he couldn't play at his 100 per cent level, but he was trying, fighting, and the other players, they are also good, so they can beat him.
QUESTION: I'm sorry if this was asked earlier on, but what was the discussions going on when there were the problems with the lights?
ALBERT COSTA: Well, the discussions is they were trying to fix it, but because it was outside of the court, not inside. Inside it was the same light, it was just outside with the crowd and they were trying to fix it and if they is going to take like 5 or 10 minutes more, we start playing. So if it's going to be like in 2 minutes ready the lights, perfect. If not, we continue playing.
QUESTION: Were you prepared to just continue playing at that stage or did you want the surrounding lights fixed first?
ALBERT COSTA: No, I was completely prepared to play, because inside the court was the same light.
QUESTION: Did this affect your emotions or mood to continue to play?
ALBERT COSTA: Well, at that moment, I was playing so good and I was not happy with the decision to stop, but you have to try to play and then from 40?0, I get to 40?30 and then he miss a forehand, so it was close again. So I didn't want to stop at that moment.
QUESTION: You lost the first set. I want to know how you regained your confidence and power in the following two sets.
ALBERT COSTA: Well, you know, I'm always fighting, so that's why I think he has more serve and I have more ?? for me, fight is easy, so I was trying to fight all the points and he was up with a break in the second set and I just keep trying, trying. I was start to play much better, make some good returns and I was trying to ?? you know, here is so important, so you have to fight until the end.
QUESTION: Just asking, you've had a lot of first round losses in the fall and at this point in the year, a lot of the players, they talk about how tired they are and the year is long. Do you feel like you're fresher right now than some of the other players in the tournament because you haven't played as many matches?
ALBERT COSTA: Could be, sometimes could be. Maybe less confidence, but more fresh because I didn't play so many matches because also with my injury, for now I'm feeling pretty good, so maybe I'm fresher than the other ones.