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INTERVIEWS

March 10, 2007

G. CANAS/J. Hajek

6-1, 6-1

An interview with:

GUILLERMO CANAS

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Guillermo, please.

Q. You had quite a run the past few six months. Can you talk about your come-back.
GUILLERMO CANAS: I don't know. I think I have a pretty good last five months. I think I play well. For me, it's great to be here again. I think I'm very confident in my game, I'm very confident in my tennis, and day by day, I getting better. I'm happy to win last -- to win ATP three weeks ago. I'm very confident. And this one is my first Super 9 -- Master Series, sorry. It's my first Master Series and I'm very happy to be now in the second round.

Q. Are you the kind of a guy who believes in signs, in omens, perhaps you being a lucky loser in this event would be a suggestion that things are going to start going real well for you?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, I believe in many things. But you know, I'm happy to be like loser. I think I have a second chance in the tournament. Not many time happen. I think today I'm playing very much in the first round, and tomorrow I have a very tough match against Roger.

Q. Very tough.
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, very, very tough match against Roger, and I try to do my best. It's great to play against with the top players.

Q. They told you, I assume, that you would be a lucky loser; right?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah.

Q. Later you found out that, well, maybe you're not really all that lucky. You've got to play Federer in the next round.
GUILLERMO CANAS: That is lucky, because I'm --

Q. It is lucky huh?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, it's lucky for many things. First thing, I am still in the tournament; this is good. The second thing, I'm playing with one of the most important players in the decade, in the history. I think it's good. I gonna try to enjoy this. I gonna try to play my best tennis. Maybe I have a small chance to win. But I'm very confident in my game. It's great to meet with these kind of players for me.

Q. Have you had other matches against Roger?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, I played. This is my third time I played against him. I beat him in 2002 in Toronto, when I won the tournament over there. And I lost three years ago in semifinals here, and this is third time.

Q. Do you remember the score in the Toronto match?
GUILLERMO CANAS: It was in two sets. I think it's 7-6, 6-4, something like that. I don't remember too well. It was in two sets, I think, though.

Q. What's the key to beating Roger?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Really, I don't know. I gonna try to think about that in the next day. But I think it's gonna be tough because I saw him in the TV last year and this one is my first time I gonna -- I gonna see him live because I didn't meet him in the last six months because I play the challengers. And I play South America and ATP, and I didn't meet him.
But I think it's gonna be very, very tough for me. But you never know what gonna happen. But I think I gonna play -- I gonna play very good tennis and I gonna try to enjoy it.

Q. What do you remember about the last match and what do you remember about doing well that enabled you to win that match?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Where?

Q. The last time, when you beat Roger in Toronto. What do you remember about that match?
GUILLERMO CANAS: I don't remember a lot. I didn't remember a lot. It was many years ago, and just I remember the match we play here like two years ago. I play very well. He beat me in the semifinals. I don't know. I think I tried to play my game. I tried to do my best, and, really, this is tennis; you never know. There are going to be tough, I don't know.

Q. Is it really possible to fully reestablish yourself in tennis after you've been out for 15 months?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, it is.

Q. It is, huh?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, I do it.

Q. You're doing it?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah.

Q. How strong does that feel that you beat at the bra sill January Open [] -- was there some strong players in that tournament?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, I play in the final against Ferrero and I beat him; he's strong players.

Q. Ferrero?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yes. And I play against Argentinians, Chela in semi finals. I think it was a lot of big players there. They gave me a lot of confidence. For me it's great to fit in again in the top tournaments.
Now I try to do my best in this kind of tournament. I think I'm very confident in my game and this one, it's great to improve day by day.

Q. I watched the beginning of your match today and I noted that when you were introduced, you were warmly received; you were applauded and so forth. Does that feel pretty good?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, it feel great. It feel great. It's great to be back in this kind of tournament and the people remember you. But I try to remember better because tomorrow, if I have a great day, they gonna be good. But, you know, try to enjoy it, to be in the center court, in the top match, and to play with one very tough player like Federer.

Q. Are you going to try to take the position that you have nothing to lose?
GUILLERMO CANAS: I have nothing to lose.

Q. Right. Yeah.
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, I am in this position. But my position tomorrow is gonna be enjoy the match. I think I have 15 tough months and I tried to do my best in the last five months to be here again. And tomorrow, I have amount to enjoy. I have the amount to enjoy many things. I try to do it. This one is my position tomorrow.

Q. You had a positive drug test in 2005, and you were given that substance by tournament officials. Do you feel vindicated that the Court of Arbitration For Sport reduced that suspension? Does that make you feel vindicated?
GUILLERMO CANAS: The first day I know I have a positive test, I make a press conference in my country, and I do what happened that day. And the first appeal was not like that. The ATP believe I do many things wrong, and the cast in the second appeal, they know because I prove everything I say the first day I knew.
I have a positive test was true. And this one, they gonna relieve my name and they give me, I don't know, peace in myself, because I do everything perfect, just I make a mistake to didn't recheck what the doctor in the tournament gave me. And for this, I'm really -- I'm really like I feel free in what I do. I feel safe in what I do. I don't know. It was tough 15 months for me.
Now I'm in another position, just to try to do my best again in the court. It's where I like it. And just to finish this year in the top player, this is what I want.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how difficult it was during these 15 months to keep your play level high?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, it was very difficult for me, because in the beginning, the real thing is I don't know when I gonna start again to play. Then was many, many weeks to practice without, like, goal, and it was tough. But I think I gonna thank so many people, the people in my country that support me a lot. The players, they know me and support me, too. This give me a lot of energy to continue.
And the last six months, it was very, very hard to practice for me, because I feel close to play again, but it was far because it was six months. But my group of, you know, my coach, physical coach, my coach, they support me a lot, and I do very good job. And then they give me a lot of confidence when I started because I started very good.
And now I just I try enjoy to be here in the big tournaments again.

Q. You were not allowed to go to tournaments?
GUILLERMO CANAS: No, I'm not allowed. There was -- yeah, no, this one was shit. I think it is a big mistake for the ATP because it's tough to, you know, go there because my friends, my ex-girlfriend was playing. In 2005, I went to the U.S. Open and I couldn't get in.
But just now, it's another moment. I try now in the moment to think in what I do and to enjoy the moment. And the past times, just to put back. It's tough, but I try.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

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