August 31, 2004
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Wayne.
Q. Do you want us to take us through the highlights.
WAYNE ARTHURS: Not really, no (laughter). Pretty much didn't serve well enough for someone who is going to return at me like that. Played one bad game the first set. Probably could have been two sets to love down easily. Love-40, fought back, played a pretty good tiebreaker, I thought. Then I wasn't happy with the call early on in the third set when he broke my serve the first time. Norm Chryst overruled a very tight call, which I think is probably not...
Q. What was the situation?
WAYNE ARTHURS: He hit a good return. I hit a backhand volley cross-court deep into the corner. It makes no mark on the court. Hit some line. Norm overruled it. First time he's spoken up the whole match. Pretty frustrating. My serve went down a little bit at that stage. My first serve percentage I think was I reckon in the high 30s maybe max. Can't be serving like that against a guy who is returning that well. One bad game again in the fourth set. Had a couple of chances there to get back into it in the fourth, just didn't take them. I didn't play the big points I think well enough today. He took his opportunities when they came.
Q. Morocco is around the corner. Mark may or may not be the singles player. You might be the guy to step in.
WAYNE ARTHURS: Where are you picking up that Mark is not going to be there?
Q. I'm saying he may or may not. Do you look at a match like this today and think to yourself, if you have a good run here, you can make a case for yourself?
WAYNE ARTHURS: I think if Mark's in the team, I'm going to be playing doubles. If Mark's not in the team, then I'm the second pick. It's just the way it is with Australian tennis at the moment. We've only got four guys close to the top hundred, three guys in the top hundred, and one guy, Todd Reid, just outside the top hundred. If Mark is in the squad, he's playing singles. If Mark's not in the squad, I'm the next pick. It's pretty clear-cut as that.
Q. Do you have an ambition?
WAYNE ARTHURS: Of course, I still have an ambition, yeah. When Mark's on the team and Lleyton's fit, I'm the third person.
Q. I take it you still can persist with singles?
WAYNE ARTHURS: Yeah. As long as my ranking is where it is, I'm able to play at this level week in, week out, I'm going to be playing.
Q. Making Grand Slams, why not?
WAYNE ARTHURS: No reason to stop at the moment.
Q. Do you still enjoy it as much as you used to?
WAYNE ARTHURS: Sometimes I don't, no, to be honest. There's times when I don't want to be out there. I've just got to look at my schedule a little bit harder than I used to. I used to be out there 33, 34 weeks a year. Just can't do that any more. That's just too many.
Q. Is it more physical or mental?
WAYNE ARTHURS: Mental. I think I'm physically in pretty good shape still. Probably better now than I was when I was 25. Probably just doing more work and that sort of stuff off the court. It's a mental battle more than anything.
Q. What do you battle most mentally?
WAYNE ARTHURS: It's not easy picking yourself up after losing every week. I'm not a guy who wins a lot of tournaments. I haven't actually won one singles tournament. To keep on getting better every week and lose every week, it's not easy mentally. You just got to I suppose look at the positive sides of things. I'm still playing Davis Cup. I played the Olympics this year. Still playing main draw of Grand Slams at 33. Look at the positive side and not take the negatives too badly. At least sometimes I do. I haven't done it in the past.
Q. The replay showed that it touched the line.
WAYNE ARTHURS: Thanks.
Q. Sorry about that. It was really after that, that was the turning point?
WAYNE ARTHURS: Not really the turning point. At that stage, I had just won the second set. To get a call like that to go down I think 15-40 on that point or Love-30, it's a huge point in the context of the whole match. I don't think it put me off. I mean, not saying anything against this guy, but he has done that three or four times in big matches again me before. He just seems to want to be part of the game, want to be part of the match. At some stage he just pipes up and that sort of thing happens. It's happened too many times with him.
Q. Lleyton had a few words about him a few weeks ago an a contentious call that he overruled. Do you think he's a bit of a personality?
WAYNE ARTHURS: I think he is, yeah. He can't just sit there and call scores. Sometimes he just wants to be part of it.
Q. You don't think it's necessarily you; it's just him in general?
WAYNE ARTHURS: No. I think his personality needs to be in there doing something.
Q. Anything you can do about it?
WAYNE ARTHURS: I don't know whether you can, no. He's an accredited umpire. They seem to respect him in the establishment. We can only put or bid into whoever, see what they do about it.
Q. When you show up and you see Norm, you know something...
WAYNE ARTHURS: Larkham, my coach in the past, I've had matches him, and he's asked not to have Norm on my matches ever again, and it still hasn't happened.
Q. When you got out there today...
WAYNE ARTHURS: I've accepted it. I've accepted also that something like that is going to happen.
Q. When you say it's a mental battle, is it just about the losing or would you rather be somewhere else? Would you rather be back in Australia?
WAYNE ARTHURS: Sometimes you want to be nowhere near a court. I've been out here 15 years now. Sometimes it sort of gets on top of you. You don't want to be on the tennis court. There are times where maybe you have to go take three or four weeks off, come back and reevaluate things. In the end of the day, it's my job. If I really, really don't want to do it, nobody's keeping me out here. I can walk away and feel pretty satisfied with the last seven years of my career. It's been pretty good.
Q. What would you want to do if you don't play tennis?
WAYNE ARTHURS: Be an Aussie Rules footballer. Is it a little bit late for that (laughter)? No.
WAYNE ARTHURS: I got about 14 years till the seniors golf tour. I really haven't thought about that really seriously. That's probably the day I'm retiring that I'm thinking about what I'm doing after I'm finished.
Q. Are you going to hang around Flushing Meadows, watch the other Aussies?
WAYNE ARTHURS: No. I'm playing doubles still. Start tomorrow probably. Depending on how that goes, how long I stay around. Otherwise I'm back to Melbourne as soon as possible.
Q. You go back to Melbourne?
WAYNE ARTHURS: Back to Melbourne.
Q. Do you play the indoors?
WAYNE ARTHURS: We go back and play in Melbourne, then go to Perth. Good time to be back in Melbourne, I think, back in Australia, watching the AFL finals.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.