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INTERVIEWS

March 11, 2007

G. CANAS/R. Federer

7-5, 6-2

An interview with:

GUILLERMO CANAS


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that expected, to pull an upset over the No. 1?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, I dream about this. I didn't expect. Okay. I don't expect, because I'm confidence in my game, but I know they're gonna be tough. It know they're gonna be pretty difficult. But I'm very confident when I get into the court, to do my best, and I'm very happy to do it.

Q. What does this mean to you considering everything you've gone through?
GUILLERMO CANAS: (Telephone ringing) Sorry. My mom (smiling).

Q. What's it say?
GUILLERMO CANAS: There. What you say? Sorry.

Q. What does this mean to you, considering everything you've gone through?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Oh, it's -- really, it's great, because the last five months for me was fun; it was very good, and to finish to keeping everything like this. It's my first Master Series after I start again, and to win the No. 1 in the world, and to play like this is great for me. And they gave me a lot of confidence to finish this year with my goal, is to finish in the top 20 in the ranking.

Q. Do you think Guillermo Vilas is going to send you a thank you note?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Really, I don't know, but maybe. Maybe. I'll tell you tomorrow.

Q. Can you take us through what happened is your last match in qualifying to now?
GUILLERMO CANAS: No, no, nothing different. I think in the last match in qualifying, I play great; I have a lot chance. I didn't take it because Waske play very good. But, you know, tennis is like this. You never win all the matches. And I didn't play my best tennis in the last round, and I am lucky to be a lucky loser, and it's great to take the chance when you have.
Really, I'm very happy. I didn't expect to win the No. 1, and now I'm very happy to do it.

Q. Did you feel you had it you went to 5-2?
GUILLERMO CANAS: No, I feel I have it when I win the match point (laughter), yeah. But I know I gonna be very close, but, really, it's tough to close the match with one player like that.

Q. Is it the key that you, correct me if I'm wrong, have a positive score against him now? Are you now 2-1 against Federer in the matches?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, I will play three times, yeah. This is 2-1 for me, yeah.

Q. Most of the players before when they come to the court to play with him, they kind of lose their head, so to speak, get beaten before. But maybe that's the key of your success today.
GUILLERMO CANAS: The real thing is, I don't know, because I'm -- when I get into the court, I'm confident in my game. I know I'm gonna play with the No. 1 in the world. I know they're gonna be pretty tough sometimes with this guy who plays the best tennis and you lose. But today, I play very well. I have a chance. I take it.
And really, I'm very confident in my game and maybe to, I don't know, beat him before he give me more confidence when I get in. But the real thing is I don't know.

Q. Did you notice any difference in the way he was moving after the trainer came out and taped his feet or anything?
GUILLERMO CANAS: I don't -- I think he have a problem in the foot. But I don't know. Just I know I playing great, and maybe he have something. But I didn't spoke with him already. Maybe if I see him in the trainer room, gonna tell he have something. But I saw he called two times in the trainer, maybe he have some pain.

Q. The second time he called for the trainer you had a 3-2 lead and I assume that you were anxious to get on with it, right, you're ahead, let's go? What did you think about him calling for the trainer at that point? Do you think that might have had -- he might have been engaging in any gamesmanship right there?
GUILLERMO CANAS: I don't know. I didn't think. Just I try to -- in that moment, I try to enjoy, to go 3-2 up, and just I think to serving well and to play well, my game, and serve.
But I didn't think about him. Just I try to think of my game and try to keeping going like I do before.

Q. Did you come back a more motivated player after this suspension?
GUILLERMO CANAS: I come back very motivated. I come back with a lot of energy. But this is my third comeback, and the last, the first two was the same, like this one, I think. I tried to do my best out of the court. I tried to do my best in the court, and this one gave me a lot of confidence in my game and a lot of energy when I get in there.
But this one give me more energy to continue like that to win one match like that.

Q. Considering all that you've been through over these past years, to come back, to beat the dominant No. 1 player, who many say is the best ever, is that particularly sweet and does that give you any kind of feeling at all of vindication?
GUILLERMO CANAS: No. I feel great, because to win this match, it's great for me to beat the No. 1 in the world, one player like pressure, because I think for me is the best player in the world forever. I think it's great. I feel good.
But I know there is the second round in the tournament. I know my goal now is to try to continue in this tournament. And I'm happy, but tomorrow I have a new game and I try to be focused and I try to play the same I played today.

Q. There were points in the second set in which the velocity of your serve dropped off markedly. You weren't serving quite as swiftly. Were you suffering or did you have any physical problems?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Me?

Q. Yeah.
GUILLERMO CANAS: No. When (laughter)?

Q. You had a lot of serves measured close to 130 miles an hour, but you had points in that second set when you were serving like 78.
GUILLERMO CANAS: This is not for me for being injured, another things. But it's tough to say to the press (smiling).
No, you know, sometimes you know when the match is going, sometimes you didn't serve hard, but sometimes you feel some pressure there. You didn't serve very well. But I think it's normal for everybody.

Q. Can you just talk about how unwelcome you were on the ATP tour during your suspension, how you tried to get in to watch your girlfriend play at the U.S. Open in 2005 and weren't allowed on the grounds.
GUILLERMO CANAS: What do you want to know?

Q. Well, you mentioned that story earlier.
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah. Just I couldn't get in in the U.S. Open in 2005, and it was tough because I was in the door. I feel like, I don't know, I feel like shit.
But now it's great again because I do what I want, I do what I love, and just I have for, the much of the player, have a good welcome. And just I try to do my job and try to think and to be good inside of the court and nothing else.

Q. When you were suspended, was there one player or official outside of your immediate support group who came forward and was particularly supportive?
GUILLERMO CANAS: For me?

Q. Yes, for you.
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, many players support me. I know all the players from my country first and all the players that know me very well, they support me a lot - Spanish guys, some of the other countries, too. Really, I prove and I don't make nothing wrong. Just my mistake was I didn't recheck what the doctor in one tournament, ATP gave me, and for this I have 15 months of pension, for I didn't check what he give me, and I proved that.
And really, I feel terrible for that, because I feel terrible for make maybe small mistake. It's not a mistake for me, but they say I have 15 months off and the people gave me -- or the doctor, he gave me something. He didn't have nothing. And it was in one ATP tournament. For that, all the players know that, and for this they give me a very good welcome and support me a lot.

Q. And you were also very unhappy with your first lawyer, the way he represented?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, I'm very unhappy with my Spanish lawyers, and after the first -- with ATP, I change and I have one group from Argentina and one group from Swiss, Swiss lawyer, and they do very good work.

Q. Are you as happy now as you were as a kid? Once you mentioned that, '86 and the one Argentina World Cup, are you as happy now as you were then?
GUILLERMO CANAS: No. I think in '86, I was more happy. Yes, I know. But, yeah, I'm really -- the real thing is maybe in one hour I start to feel more happy. Now I'm really -- I'm trying to thinking what I did. But really I feel great.
But, you know, tennis is like that. Sometimes today is the day to enjoy it, but tomorrow I have another match and I gonna keep winning. For this, it's tough to enjoy what I do today.
But tonight, I gonna celebrate with my coach, with my physical coach, and with my friends, and, really, I'm very happy. But in '86 I was more.

Q. Did you have to set new goals when you came back or could you keep the same goals that you had before?
GUILLERMO CANAS: No. I have my goal for the tennis, for my work is the same. When I start in September, my goal was to finish in the top 20 this year. I keeping that for this. I keeping this goal. But, you know, you have -- this one is my big goal. But you have maybe a small goal you can pass in the year.
But talking about ranking, my goal is to finish this year in the top 20, I try. And I think I'm playing good tennis and I'm confident after this match more. But it's still the same goal before and now. I think about ranking.

Q. But the goals you had set maybe when you were a teenager, a young person, maybe, winning Grand Slams or being No. 1 is still --
GUILLERMO CANAS: Well, when you start to play tennis, your goal is to go high as you imagine, to be No. 1 in the world; you imagine to win one Grand Slam tournament. But No. 1 in the world, when one starts playing professionally, you know, it's very tough to do it. Not many people have the chance to be No. 1. But I think I pass my goal when I was top 10, and I tried to keeping that. I tried to thinking, maybe not this year. If I do, it's good. Maybe the next year, to try to continue with this goal. But I think you must -- when you getting old, you start changing your goals.

Q. Getting back to a more happy time, I didn't understand the specifics. You were given a drug by a trainer?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Not by the trainer, by the doctor.

Q. By the doctor?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah.

Q. I see. It was something you didn't know about?
GUILLERMO CANAS: I think I -- I don't know, I went there to some tennis -- you can read in the ATP, everything. I went there to take something for my cold.

Q. Your cold?
GUILLERMO CANAS: They gave me -- they make a mistake with some -- another people, and I take something wrong.

Q. And how does this work, then? Do they just come and knock on your door and say, "We have a test and you're not eligible for 15 months"?
GUILLERMO CANAS: It's tough, because I start to know what happened -- or they told me five months after it happened. They test you -- well, they test me in Acapulco in 2005, and I knew in -- the week before Roland Garros, was five -- three, four months. And then I start to -- it's tough to reconstruction what happened, because the normal day for me was four months ago and the people working in the tournament the same.
But I think in the end we do a very good job to prove everything what I say the first day. Because in the first day when I knew I had a doping positive, I make a press conference in my country and I explain what happened over there. And the end I prove everything, what I said the first day.

Q. So you were told you had to go back and think, "What was I doing five months ago"?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, maybe more.

Q. Just following up on that, how have you been treated since you've come back? Are you tested more regularly than some of your colleagues? Are you drug-tested more often, is that fair, or how often?
GUILLERMO CANAS: For me now?

Q. Yeah. How is it going?
GUILLERMO CANAS: No, I think I'm started the last five months, I have two tests. I think I still the same with other players, I feel like this, yeah.

Q. Could you tell us how hard have you been working to come back?
GUILLERMO CANAS: Yeah, it was very hard, because in the beginning, when I was in the -- in the beginning when really I start to work what happened, and I was suspension, and I didn't know what day I gonna start to play again, and it's tough to, you know, keeping practicing and keeping be focusing what I do. Because, I don't know, maybe I have two years to wait.
But I gonna say thanks for the people that was close to me because they help me a lot - my family, my friends. The people work for me, too, is my friends too, my physical coach and my coach. I think I work very hard to feel great when it started. And the last five months, or the five months before I started play again, I do very hard work physically. And they gave me a lot of confidence in my tennis, this, too.
And I don't know. Now I try to think what I live, not what I live before. Just I try to enjoy the moment.

Q. Can you put it in perspective how devastating financially it was for you being out that long?
GUILLERMO CANAS: I really, I don't. But I'm -- I spend a lot of money in my lawyers, more around $700,000, what I lose in the last 15 months, and it's hard to know.

Q. Can you put it into numbers now?
GUILLERMO CANAS: No, I don't know, but a lot.

Q. For a year or two or more, the big question in men's tennis is how do you beat Federer. And if had you had to tell someone how you do beat Roger Federer, what would you say?
GUILLERMO CANAS: I don't know. I think it's, I don't know, just I beat him, I enjoyed it. The real thing is I don't know how I do it. But I think I played good. That's it. Okay. Thank you, guys.

FastScripts by ASAP SPORTS....



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