July 20, 2000
USA vs. SPAIN
Q. How did you make the decision as to who was playing?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: I think a lot of combinations can win that match and we got to
win some singles matches, and, you know, I was playing like crap. My second serve's a
little weak right now.
Q. Is the main reason the injury?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: No, no. Just a combination.
Q. John, did you make the decision on your own?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: I sort of was arm-wrestled into it by these guys. You know me - I
wanted to play but these guys talked me out of it.
JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: We beat him up a little bit.
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: They told me if I played they might desert me. They wanted a
chance at glory, so now they might have to step up and show them. I have to wait until the
Finals I guess.
Q. Can you win both matches on Friday ?
JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: I think that obviously we would like that very much. That is our
goal, isn't it, out there? We're both very excited to come out here and play, and we're
going to play some good tennis tomorrow.
Q. How do you account for your positive results against the Spaniards?
TODD MARTIN: My record's against guys mostly like Hernando Vincente and some others.
But I think my game, with my size, tends to match up fairly well against the Spanish style
of tennis, and I just hope that the same is true tomorrow and Sunday. But the fact of the
matter is that, you know, we still are fighting an uphill battle, but we're relishing that
Q. How would you guys describe the feeling that you have amongst yourselves?
TODD MARTIN: Can you ask that question one more time?
Q. How would you guys describe your feeling amongst all of you on the team?
TODD MARTIN: Eager. I think we're all ready to get going.
JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: We've had a good week of practice. We're battling hard out there
on the tennis court, we've been having hard, tough practices. And I think that off the
court we're a great team. We're all good friends and we're having a great time being here.
It's a nice place, the hotel's great. There's really nothing negative coming from here.
It's very positive, and we're all looking forward to tomorrow.
Q. Do you feel more like underdogs without the two players who you'd like to have
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Listen, you go with what you have. Once you're here, it's no
different. We're here to win, and that's all we're here to do. We didn't come here to
lose. No matter what, the approach is the same. You just try to match up and hope that you
play up to your ability.
Q. Were you planning on playing doubles before the decision, and if so, did that affect
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: The answer to that is that personally, I was more concerned about
getting these guys out in singles, and I think there's any number of combinations that can
win the doubles matches. Not that I'm not concerned about winning the doubles, obviously.
But that's, you know, on paper, our best shot going in. So we haven't had much of a chance
as we'd like to play doubles simply because the singles have been up for grabs, too.
Q. Vince, how are you coming off your rough spell? What are your feelings now, Vince?
VINCENT SPADEA: Well, I'm just happy. I'm a first-timer here on the Davis Cup team.
It's a great honor to try to turn things around and help out the team in any way I can.
I've had a good record on clay in the past 18 months, and my abilities are still there. I
just need to, you know, have a chance to display them. But either way, I'm happy to be
Q. What was the first thing that went through your head when John called you and asked
you to play?
VINCENT SPADEA: He was trying to find the best capable American tennis players for this
tie, and even though I've dropped a fair bit, I'm still one of the top players still in
America. And, you know, I was honored that he called me and still had some faith in the
fact that I can still play some tennis.
Q. I'd like to ask you, Jan-Michael, how your Wimbledon success has affected you? Do
you feel you're on a ride of confidence now?
JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: Yeah, I mean I've certainly figured out how to win, how to win for
me as a player. You know, I hit a groove there at Wimbledon and I think I can take that
into my game in the future. I'm definitely a more confident player, and I'm going to be
from now on. Certainly, this is nothing like Wimbledon. You know, this is clay and this is
a lot different surface, but I'm confident in the way I'm playing right now and I'm
excited to go out there and play.
Q. Chris, what's your confidence level like right now and what went through your mind
when John called you to play?
CHRIS WOODRUFF: Well, for me it was very similar circumstances when I went down to
Zimbabwe. I kind of dismissed it, and the fact that I wasn't going to be on the team.
Obviously, they had Andre and Pete, and given Jan-Michael's success at Wimbledon, and Todd
Martin always being a Davis Cup star working for us, I was very surprised. But, you know,
this is why we play sports. And a lot of people have written us off, but I always like to
refer to the Miracle Mets, and there was 1969. So I think anything's possible.
Q. John, in that spirit, no one's been around tough Davis Cup situations more than you.
Is this the toughest challenge that you faced either as a captain or as a player?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: I don't know if it's the toughest. It's tough. But that's what
Davis Cup - weird things happen. So...
Q. But more specifically, what were some of the real tough challenges you faced? The
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: You probably know better than I do. You tell me.
Q. I'd like to hear it from you.
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: I've lost matches. I went to Argentina a couple times, lost down
there, you know, which was extremely tough. You know, we're faced with a similar type of
challenge, some of the best clay court players in the world, tthey're in their home
country. When I had to do it, I hope that we have better success. But no one said it was
going to be easy, but we knew that going in. But at the same time, our job is to come here
and figure out a way to win and the pressure, in a sense, the pressure's on them. They're
the ones that have underachieved, not us. So, you know, they've got to step up and I'm
sure they're going to try to do that. We're going to try to expose and take advantage of
the fact that we've been there before and see what happens. It's not easy. It's tough out
Q. Last week Jeff Tarango was wondering why you didn't call him.
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: If he wonders why I didn't call him, take a look in the mirror.
Q. Do I sense there's a strong personal disappointment for you that you're not playing?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Not a strong personal disappointment. I've had a great run in
Davis Cup. I won five competitions while I was playing. I feel like I should be, you know,
playing better than I'm playing. And if I'm not playing well enough, I shouldn't be out
there. If it's not decided as a group that the best bet is for me to play, I'm not going
to go out there. So the disappointment would be, you know, if we won the match, let's say
we won the match, we lost all the singles matches, that's hardly like a great thing. So it
doesn't matter if you win one match. It matters if you win three. At the most, I was going
to be possibly part of one match, so... If I decided in the future to play some doubles or
whatever - which I'm sure I won't decide to do - then that may be a different issue. But
in the meantime, I expect that the job that I'm doing is what I should be doing. I mean
unless I start playing better.
Q. For any of the players, is it difficult to be honest and be candid with John --
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Apparently not.
Q. -- When given his history and the success he's had over his career?
JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: We pretty much discussed it last night. It wasn't really that we
said, "John, you can't play." I mean everybody in the world knows that he's the
best doubles player of all time. That goes without saying. But, you know, he just pretty
much decided at that time he's not playing good enough tennis to go out there and play.
And we have some guys who can play some good doubles. It's not like because he's not on
there we can't win. We have a good shot at the doubles tie.
CHRIS WOODRUFF: And I've been having a hey-day with his second serve in practice. I
figure if I can return his second serve with relative ease - I'm just giving him a hard
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Don't pay any attention to him.
TODD MARTIN: Also, I believe that it's -- the fact that John is not head and shoulders
above any of us in his caliber of doubles player right now, his knowledge of the game is
better. And to have him on the sidelines looking at us telling us what we're doing right,
wrong or could be doing differently during the changeovers, I think will help the doubles
team quite a bit.
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Besides, I want to say for the record, I like our chances in the
doubles. I mean, you know, we're not planning on losing the doubles; I can assure you
Q. Do you like your chances in the singles?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: The singles is a tougher proposition, but we didn't come here to
Q. Todd, how do you feel about Chang continually not answering the call?
TODD MARTIN: Well, I've taken the approach that it's not -- I don't need to agree with
their decision-making. But as a fellow professional, I think I owe it to them to respect
their decision-making, and I'll disagree with them until the day we're all done playing
and probably then some. But for right now, I just have to respect what they choose to do
with their careers.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.