October 13, 2001
WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk about having to wrap it up tomorrow now not being able to wrap it up?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I feel confident obviously tomorrow. I felt confident today, but the Indians played great. They are a great doubles team. Our guys played well. I thought it was an excellent match. I expected it to be a great match. I think it just showed that those guys, I mean, it's two great teams, the edge that the Indians have is that they have played a lot more Davis Cup. They played a lot more matches together in Davis Cup. One point here or there, especially in the fourth set the guys made a great comeback and we are in the fifth set, I think we would have had the momentum to win it. That's the way it went. You just saw two great teams out there. But I feel good about tomorrow. Obviously our two guys both played well yesterday. They are fresh, they are getting an easy hit today and will be ready to go tomorrow.
Q. The guys who played yesterday for the US both said they were really nervous. Were you feeling the same way?
DON JOHNSON: Well, I was a little bit nervous. My first doublefault I was lucky to make it -- able to make it to the net. But no, I want to take a moment to thank Patrick for this great opportunity. He believed in us and gave us this opportunity to prove ourselves. We played well. We lost to a great team. Going out there in front of all of my friends and family, I wasn't nervous. I took it as a challenge and I probably could have played a little bit better, but I would not rather be or I would not -- with Jared, he's just a great partner and I would not want to do it with anybody else. So thanks, Jared.
Q. I believe you saw the Krispy Kreme (inaudible) offering tennis.
CAPTAIN McENROE: The Krispy Kreme? Those guys move better than the people that eat a lot of Krispy Kremes - they look good.
Q. What did they do right today?
CAPTAIN McENROE: They did everything -- both teams did a lot of things right. The Indians obviously are a great team. They return well. Leander is very quick and athletic. Mahesh hits some unbelievable returns. They both hit some great reflex volleys. They cover the net well. They work together well as a team. They come out. They play with a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, and they play aggressive. They go for their shots. I think our guys did that as well. It's -- as Don said, they are a great team. I didn't -- I didn't so much as pick these guys. They picked themselves with how well they played this year. So to me they were our best team and I was proud that they were out there playing and competing their tails off. And they played well. They just got beat. Someone has to lose and the Indian team has shown why they have won three Grand Slams.
Q. Of the matches that you guys have played together, how would you rate the quality of your team's play in this one and what little thing were you missing today, do you think?
JARED PALMER: Well, obviously, you know, we have played better matches. I thought that the Indians today played well enough to challenge us and to make us play well ourselves. At times we did that. But I thought that they were a little too solid today and they combined some pretty solid play with some pretty incredible shot-making also. I don't know, we just came up short.
Q. When you said you had a lot of friends and family here. How many people did you have?
DON JOHNSON: Well, I would say Geoff Ryan was kind enough to give me 25 tickets, plus 6 other tickets. I know Coach Paul from the University of North Carolina who is the head coach there ended up with about 40 tickets and then I had a couple of friends -- Jared actually gave me some tickets yesterday for some people. So I guess probably all told I had a hand in getting, you know, I don't know, 75 to 100 people into the stadium. Not to mention all the Tar Heel fans.
Q. How does a sportsman's body react to three games, three matches in three days? I am talk about Leander playing all three days. What do you expect him to do coming out tomorrow and did he look a little sharper today than yesterday?
CAPTAIN McENROE: Doubles court, he's usually pretty sharp. Even if he's tired, but Leander is a great athlete. He moves exceptionally well, but tomorrow he's going to take on Roddick and I think Roddick is going to play better tomorrow than he did the other day. He has got one match under his belt. He's used to the conditions and I expect Andy is going to play very well tomorrow. Needless to say I think it's going to be difficult for Leander in that match but he's a guy that you always have to be aware that he's capable of doing great things. He's won some big matches and is capable of rising to the occasion. So Andy is going to have to really come out very focused from the beginning and play a little bit better than did he yesterday. I expect that he will. I think he was a little bit nervous yesterday. He has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. He's the No. 1 guy on our team. So I think that Leander is a good enough athlete and the match yesterday for him was three sets. It wasn't that long. Today was a little tougher, but it's obviously doubles, so you are not covering as much court. He's used to it. He's played three matches for India for a long time. But we are still going to try to make him work very hard. We are going to try to make him work very hard from the beginning of the match. Certainly that's something that I will talk to Andy to come out and make Leander work but also to play his game, -- Andy's game obviously is to go for his shots.
Q. You have talked in the past about looking so forward to this week and everything. Talk about the week as a whole and the experience of playing Davis Cup back here?
DON JOHNSON: Once again it has been a tremendous opportunity for me. I have had a great week. We have had tremendous practice. Any time you can come in and practice with the likes of Jim Courier and Robbie Ginepri, James Blake, Todd Martin, Andy Roddick, that doesn't happen, but maybe a couple of weeks out of the year. And to be led by Patrick McEnroe kind of tops it all off. But the experience was one I will never forget. I hope Jared and I go out next year, we win all 4 Grand Slams and Patrick has to choose us again. I don't know if that will ever happen, but at least we will keep him on his toes.
Q. When you got the break at 5-4 in the fourth, did you feel you had the momentum?
DON JOHNSON: We definitely had the momentum. All of a sudden everybody had springs in their seats and they were out of their chairs and jumping up and down. We had great momentum. Jared played a Super game to get us to 6-5, and at that point I thought we had a really good chance to win the fourth set and carry it over into the fifth set and we did. We had a good chance. We played well. And sometimes those things happen.
Q. You guys when you are out on Tour, the weekly events and also even at the Slams, you don't usually see a packed house standing, ovation, that sort of thing. What was it like to play in front of a crowd like that?
DON JOHNSON: Terrific. It is a pleasure for us to go out and play in front of people like that. Friends, family, crazies jumping up and down chanting USA, altogether it's a unique and special experience. Although we lost, that might be the only negative to the match today.
Q. Do you think it gives people who haven't watched much doubles an illustration of how exciting it can be and how it's different from singles?
DON JOHNSON: I definitely hope so.
Q. Head to head count against Leander --
JARED PALMER: 0 and 2.
DON JOHNSON: Yeah, I think we had a tough match 7-5 in the third in Monte Carlo this year.
Q. Anything about either of their games that particularly bothers either one of you guys, you think?
CAPTAIN McENROE: Yeah, they are good.
JARED PALMER: When they hit winners, yeah.
DON JOHNSON: You know, Mahesh and Leander they are great players. They do everything really well and they have Super chemistry and Jared and I we have great chemistry as well. They put the right ingredients into the chemistry today.
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