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Old 08-22-2002, 02:25 PM   #6
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Carlos Moya is 100 times a better player than Costa

Moya sets sights high in advance of U.S. Open
Posted: Wednesday August 21, 2002 2:45 AM


LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) -- Carlos Moya heads into next week's U.S. Open fit once more, flushed with confidence and with that winning feeling flowing through his body.

The Spanish former world No. 1 has put a nagging back injury behind him and is intent on making up for lost time.

The good times are around the corner, the 25-year-old baseliner insists.

"My game is back where it was three years ago," Moya says with undisguised joy when asked of his resurgence and boost in form that lifted him to the Cincinnati Masters title a week ago.

Moya can count top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt, compatriot Alex Corretja, Australian Open runner-up Marat Safin and Tim Henman among his victims this year. He is convinced he'll return to the pinnacle of the game.

"Three years ago I had a back injury. I tried to come back seven or eight times and it was tough," he says.

"You don't know if your body is going to recover but you have to learn a few things from that.

"I am still young and I have a chance still to be back up there with all the top players."

Back up there he certainly is. Just ask defending U.S. Open champion Hewitt, who has lost to Moya three times already this year.

But Moya, a French Open champion four years ago and runner-up at the Australian Open in 1997, is not resting on his laurels.

He is enjoying his good health.

"I always thought there would be a second chance for me, a second career," he smiles.

"I was 22, 23 when it happened to me. If I had been 28 or something, it could have ended my career.

"But I have always thought my best tennis was to come -- and still is.

"It took a while to recover, but it now looks like I am playing pretty well. Previously in my best year I had won two tournaments... this year I have won four already.

"My goal had been to get into the top 10 and I am top 10 already," added the world No. 9, who started the year ranked 19th.

"I will see what I can do to improve my ranking. I am very happy the way I have been playing."

After a week's rest at his Swiss home in Geneva, Moya will be eager and hungry for success at the fourth and final Grand Slam of the year at Flushing Meadows.

"I'm healthy... I'm fit... I know when this happens, I can be a dangerous player," he says when asked of his chances.

"But I don't know if is good to set a goal. Because what I learned this year is that you just have to enjoy on court and when you have the bad moments, you have to think that the good ones are gonna come soon.

"And that's it. I don't want to say I'm going to play quarters, semi, final, whatever. I just want to have a good draw, which is very important, and then I see what can I do.

"I'll just do my best and I'll fight and give 100 percent."
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