February 7, 2006
ROMANIA vs. USA, LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA
JEFF HECKELMAN: Welcome, everyone. We'll start the press conference.
Q. What are your expectations for this tie? Will you be satisfied really with playing strongly? What are you looking for here?
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: In a Davis Cup tie, you always expect to win. Of course, you guys having the first chance, you have a better team in this moment. You know, in Davis Cup you always get some surprises, like the one you had last year with Croatia. You know, thinking that we are also a Balkanic country, maybe we can follow those guys.
Q. Do you think you have the quality of players that can match the quality that Croatia presented?
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: Yeah, I've seen a lot of Davis Cup matches. I saw these guys playing many times. So I think we have the quality of playing very good Davis Cup matches. So I'm really -- I really think our team has a chance in this tie.
Q. Have you designated your No. 1 and No. 2 player yet?
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: I don't have to designate. It counts because of the rankings.
Q. I assume Andrei will be your No. 2 guy and Victor will be your No. 1 guy?
CAPTAIN SEGARCEANU: Right.
Q. Thus, Andrei will have to play Roddick in the opening match, right?
CAPTAIN SEGARCEANU: Right.
Q. How do you view that? Do you think that presents you an opportunity for Andrei to get you ahead?
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: Well, first of all, we don't know if Andrei is playing the first match on the first day. They going to draw the thing. For sure, he's going to play Roddick, but we don't know if it's first match or second a match.
Q. What is your hope, first match or second match?
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: Actually, my hope is to be the first match, for Andrei to win against Roddick.
Q. Is that also your hope, Andrei?
ANDREI PAVEL: Well, my hope is to win. If I play first or second, it doesn't matter. I'm looking for the win. It doesn't matter if I'm play first or second. Is always great to start when your country is leading 1-0. But you never know who is going to start the match.
Q. Leading 1-0, beat Roddick. ..
ANDREI PAVEL: That would be nice. Always Davis Cup, each tournament, you play high-standard tennis, you always have to win those big matches.
Q. When was the last time you played Andy?
ANDREI PAVEL: I think I played him three years ago in Rome. I lost to him. The match was three sets.
Q. Did you think you have a better chance on clay than here against him?
ANDREI PAVEL: Well, I don't know. I haven't played him -- I mean, he's one of the top three guys in the world. I have to have a really very good day to beat him. I hope that's going to be in this weekend.
Q. Victor, you played James Blake in New Haven, right? It was a very close match.
VICTOR HANESCU: Yes.
Q. Do you take some confidence playing him as well as you did?
VICTOR HANESCU: I lost in three sets. I'm looking forward now. Maybe I learn something from that match. Now I be prepared.
Q. Could you share with us what you learned?
VICTOR HANESCU: No (laughter).
Q. But you did learn something, right?
VICTOR HANESCU: Yes, of course.
Q. How have you been adjusting to the courts here?
VICTOR HANESCU: It's a normal court like in States, like in US Open, New Haven. Normal for me. Nothing special.
Q. Have you decided about doubles?
CAPTAIN SEGARCEANU: Actually, we decide after the first day. We have still combinations. We'll see how it's going to go after the first two singles match.
Q. Horia, ranked around 400, isn't that asking a lot for a fellow ranked that level to play a Davis Cup match?
ANDREI PAVEL: You put the question, it's pretty is pretty arrogant, huh? I mean, he's really young. We still can do it. I think he has huge chance to mature himself I think he got the guns to play top 50, for sure.
Q. You had to play Agassi at night in the National Tennis Center, right?
RAZVAN SABAU: Right.
Q. After that, I would think there would be nothing daunting or alarming as that. You played well, right?
RAZVAN SABAU: No, I didn't play a great match. I was injured at that time. I had a problem with my elbow. I was not able to serve. Against Agassi, with no serve, I had no chance.
Q. How do you feel now?
RAZVAN SABAU: Much better.
Q. It was your right elbow?
RAZVAN SABAU: Yes.
Q. Did you watch the Super Bowl?
ANDREI PAVEL: A little bit. Is this the only one going to put questions in English? I think he likes chatting with us.
Q. What level of responsibility do you feel about playing Davis Cup? Is it different in your country than it might be in the USA?
ANDREI PAVEL: Which responsibility we have right now? I didn't understand.
Q. Do you feel an obligation to play for your country?
ANDREI PAVEL: I think for us, we feel great to play Davis Cup. Is a lot of pride in playing this Davis Cup for your own country. Every time we play for ourselves, we know we are professional, you represent your country somehow. But still you play for yourself. These weeks when you play Davis Cup, you have like also Olympic Games, is something very special. You represent your country and you play as a team. This week they are, for me and I think for Victor as well and for the other guys, too, we looking forward to play those weeks.
Q. (Question regarding Blake at the Australian Open).
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: Sure. When you see some results, you always think what kind of form the player is. They didn't have very good results in Australian Open, so maybe in a way gives us a better chance. But, you know, this can go both ways. Sometimes the player will come for a Davis Cup match after winning a major title and not going to be so much into it. So sometimes it's better if you don't come after winning title for Davis Cup is going to mean something more for you. You can play better, you have better willing to play the match.
Q. How do you feel about the format of the Davis Cup? Under the current format, it's difficult to market. If it could change... How do you feel about it?
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: Well, this is politics what you're asking me now. I prefer to answer the question about the team. But for me, I was a Davis Cup player. Also for these guys, Davis Cup means a lot. It's the only chance where you can play for your country. It's the only chance where we can be together and be part of the team, which is very nice. Sure, after winning maybe couple Davis Cups, then you don't have the interest to play. I'm talking about a very good player, not so much interested in playing any more next year and so on. But, you know, Davis Cup means something very nice for the players. This is my opinion.
Q. You played Davis Cup, right?
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: I did. I played some matches.
Q. You got involved in an auto accident.
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: Davis Cup was something very important for me.
Q. Will Ilie Nastase be here this weekend?
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: I don't know. You have to ask our general manager. I don't know if he's coming or not.
Q. Does he have any involvement with Davis Cup?
CAPTAIN FLORIN SEGARCEANU: He's the president of the Romanian Federation. He's the best player we ever had. He was one of the best players in the world. Everybody knows.
JEFF HECKELMAN: Thank you.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.