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June 25, 2000

Alex Corretja

Albert Costa

Mark Miles

Tim Phillips


TIM PHILLIPS: Good afternoon, everybody, welcome. Alex Corretja asked us if we could set up this meeting, and we're delighted to do that. Obviously the issue is seeding at Wimbledon. There are two philosophies here: One, that you go straight down the list; the other, that you take the list and maybe make some amendments to reflect grass court, historic performance, and one or two other considerations. Really, I'd like to pass the meeting to Alex, and welcome him to Wimbledon, because he's only just stepped off an airplane.

ALEX CORRETJA: First of all, thanks for coming, all of you. I'm pretty surprised how many people can be in this room. I'd like to say that Juan Carlos Ferrero give us a call and he lost his plane in Madrid. He drove over from Valencia to Madrid. I don't know, you know him, he's a young guy, he forgot his ID, was trying to find it, finally he lost the plane. Well, the main thing, we are here, and I'm not a political guy, I'm just a tennis player, I'm trying to do my best. I'm here talking in the words of Albert and Juan Carlos, as well. The main thing to be here is just to tell you our complaints about the proceeding of the seeding system on the tournament. We have to say that this is a special year for Wimbledon, for the players. We all understood that for the last couple of years in Wimbledon, they've been doing whatever they felt it was better for the tournament, of course. We never thought that they did something against the players. That's clear. But we see a main difference in this year, since the ATP Tour is forcing or telling the players to play all the mandatory events, including the nine Masters Series events and the four Grand Slams. We believe if the ATP is forcing us to play these tournaments, they should respect the ranking because we with this ranking through 52 weeks. We sell the ATP Tour Champions Race as a great idea. As we begin the year we believe in it ourselves, saying that was a great change for us. In this moment at Wimbledon, we can see different things because they don't respect the ATP Tour ranking, and we believe they should do that since we are forced to play. Before we couldn't say, "No, I don't like to go to Wimbledon because they don't respect my ranking; they have their own rules. We respect that, but I stay home." Right now, we have to play here, we have to come, but still they don't respect our ranking, which I believe it's great to play tennis, so if we have one ranking, we should respect it. Otherwise maybe we should think about it, talk about other things, not to have rankings. Maybe the guys should decide every week who has to be the seeded, which I think is going to be a crazy idea. The other request, when we send a letter to Mark Miles, our chief executive, as you know, it was to the idea of redo the draw. We knew it already that it was an impossible idea, because it's almost impossible to change such a big draw, such a difficult draw. The other option - it was maybe for this year; we'll see next year - to let the guys , not just the four guys, including Younes el Aynaoui, I didn't talk to him, but I was told he agree with us , let all the guys in general to don't count Wimbledon as a mandatory event, just as a best result. Let's say we have 13 tournaments, mandatory events, then you have your option of 5 tournaments, then you can just win all the points in other tournaments. Let's have the idea of having 12 tournaments and put 6 other tournaments. I don't know if I'm explaining myself. I believe you can understand pretty easy. If you play well in Wimbledon, it will count the same way that it happens at the French Open. But if you don't play well at Wimbledon, because maybe you draw -- it is affected, because you play a guy you didn't expect. Let's say first round you can meet Pete Sampras, other player, Andre Agassi, which you never face him before fourth round at least. So it would be a great idea maybe to think about it and to let the guys don't be forced to play this tournament knowing that they're going to count on the rankings. It was only two options. We said, if they agree, Albert Costa, Juan Carlos Ferrero, myself, we play this tournament, grateful and happy to be here. Since they told us that was not possible, it was difficult to make a decision on Friday afternoon. We were pretty surprised that they never expect that a guy, who maybe I feel like I was kicking on my head, because maybe they don't respect our games, they don't respect our talent, they don't respect our faithful to the tour, maybe you feel in a bad position. That's why we start to talk to each other and we decided to send a letter. Since the news were negative, they said that nothing can change for this year, we have to decide if we are going to play at this year's tournament in Wimbledon or not. There are many other choices, but that was the main two points from our point of view. It was nothing against Wimbledon. It was something that we believe that it was unfair for the players because you cannot be forced to play a tournament where they don't respect your own ranking. That's a little bit my -- our opinion, and that's why we create or we send this letter to our chief executive. If you have any questions, we are more than happy to answer.

Q. So are you playing or not?

ALEX CORRETJA: That's a difficult question (laughter). We didn't decided yet if we're going to play or not. That's a tough call. We will reserve that call till tomorrow, till we see the schedule for tomorrow. My opinion, since they don't have any other positive comments about it, mentally I don't feel like playing this year's Wimbledon because I don't see myself with respect, not as a person, but as a player. I feel the criteria of doing the seededs have some difficult situations right there because you can see that this is grass, of course it is special, but every tournament will develop the same situation, every surface is a special situation, special surface. At this stage, I see myself in a bad situation, being here talking about this before the tournament starts. We all wish all the best for the tournament, of course, but I don't see that I'm going to be able to do it pretty well, especially because mentally I'm out of mind a little bit. And I have to say I really feel really sad because I'm just a tennis player. I believe I've been honest with everybody for many years, and at this moment, as Albert and myself and Ferrero felt like, it's a pity we cannot play this tournament. As I said, we still have the chance to think about it and maybe we have a good dream tonight, we will play tomorrow.

Q. Suppose you had been seeded and someone like Richard Krajicek, who you say should not have been, was not seeded, and you drew him in the first round, would you still feel that he should not have been seeded?

ALEX CORRETJA: Of course. I mean, that's a good question, but it's a funny one. If you are a tennis player, okay, you know there are 16 seededs, you are a professional, and you go on court, you have to play against Richard Krajicek, and the guy is not in the top 16 guys, what's the problem? It happens in the other tournaments. If I have to play Bjorn Borg tomorrow, I have to play Bjorn Borg because I'm professional, I don't care. I need to play with everybody on the tour. I tell you, it's stupid from my part to think, if I will face tomorrow Goran Ivanisevic and the winner will play Philippoussis or Krajicek, I will think about it? No, I can tell you for sure I will play.

Q. Why didn't you think about this problem earlier?

ALEX CORRETJA: I was waiting to see if Wimbledon give us the credit of being seeded or not. Since we see that we weren't seeded, we start to talk each other. My opinion was that they won't give me this chance because I thought about it, but I was waiting to see it. Unfortunately, it didn't happen. It's on the record, it's the truth, I'm not saying which is not truth, I show -- we all show that we are more than just clay court players. Unfortunately, if you look at especially myself, my results, you will find my hard court and indoor better results than on clay. But this is another issue. I don't defend myself here, I'm trying to talk a little bit about all of us. But I can say when they said that clay court doesn't count for grass, which I believe maybe it doesn't, but we can put it away, you can see the other results. I can tell you from the 16 seededs, I probably beat all of them on hard courts or indoors. The criteria is really difficult to understand, from my point of view. I really respect them. I mean, I cannot say I don't respect. I just disagree. The other thing is that you can see the results. You can always have the other players complaining because all the guys who play finals here, maybe they will believe they should be seeded or they must be seeded. You always create a confusion to everybody, I guess.

Q. If you do decide to play, are you considering playing one or two games to fulfill your obligation to play at Wimbledon and quit and walk off the court?

ALEX CORRETJA: Myself, as I say, I didn't decide yet, but I thought about it. Since the ATP is forcing us to play, it's an option to say. They force me to play, I come here, I didn't stay home because I wanted to come to Wimbledon, I wanted to play. But since they didn't respect my ranking, they didn't agree with my idea because we gave them two ideas, one was really difficult, the other one could be possibly. It was not completely impossible. I think about it.

ALBERT COSTA: Same opinion as him.

ALEX CORRETJA: I think of playing one game and maybe go home. I would say, I'm sorry, I agree, I maybe go on court, do my commitment, but I leave. I don't feel mentally to go in and play, honestly.

Q. If this happens, what you are going to do?

MARK MILES: The question is maybe in part to us and in part to The All England Club. Before I answer, I want to say there are no two players that I have a higher regard for than the two guys to my right. I suspect those of you who cover tennis regularly share that view of these two guys, not just as people, but as players. It galls me every time I read somebody write that these two guys are clay court specialists, if it has any connotation that they haven't been at the highest level of the game on the other surfaces as well. Basically this is a very unfortunate and troubling situation where The All England Club for years, because of the nature of grass, has deviated from the rankings while referring to the rankings because their objective, understandably, was to make the best possible list for grass. The point of view is that the purpose of seeding is to balance the draw among the players for their form at a particular tournament. I think that's been understood. We've had an observer in the process this time, one of our staff people, who came away convinced that that was exactly their objective, the limit of their objective. On the other hand, it's obviously true that running completely counter to that is a sense of fairness to the players who play not just at The All England Club, at The Championships, but over the course of the year on all different kinds of tournaments and different surfaces. They believe that they earn the right through an objective system, an accepted objective system, to be treated the same way at each event. There's a clash between those two philosophies, even among people of goodwill. You know, it goes back in some ways to several years ago when we had, in my mind, a different problem at the US Open. Then the players involved and the Player Council talked about it and said - this was a different thing in some respects, it was about the process of making the seeds and the draw, but it shouldn't happen again. Even then we said, if there is going to be any deviation, we recognize that grass is somewhat different. Not all players had the same view, but it was the leadership's view at that time. What Wimbledon did is not inconsistent with what they've done in the past, and not inconsistent with our understanding as to what they were going to do. Two things are different this year. It's brought all this to a head and created this unfortunate situation: The first thing is there were more changes than there have been in the past, for reasons which I'm sure most of you understand, looking at the top players from the high 20s all the way up. That sort of exacerbates the problem. The second thing is the point that I think the guys are making, which is that this year we launched the system where the Grand Slams and the Masters Series tournaments must count in the player's ranking, however well or poorly he performs, even if he doesn't play. I have to say that I, the Player Council, and Player Councils for some time who dealt with the creation of that system, ultimately agreed to the creation of that system, missed the point that it would be particularly unfair from the players' perspective, given that it must count in their ranking, if the seedings are treated differently. We didn't put Wimbledon on notice that we were aware of that this year. I think we have to take some responsibility for that. But that's basically how we got to where we are today. It leaves out one more chapter of the story, which is that after we received the letter from Albert and Alex and Juan Carlos, we contacted Wimbledon. Within very little time in our discussion with them, I believe, and the Chairman can speak for himself, but I believe he understood that there's a difference, the nature of it. This Player Council, which met at some length two nights ago, I guess, felt like we really couldn't remake the draw, remake the seedings, or remake the deck, so to speak, at this tournament at this late date, in spite of the fact that it's a real problem for the guys who are not seeded, but that it shouldn't happen again. In our discussions with the club, I at least came away convinced that the leadership understands this, and in good faith will work with us to see if we can't find some way to resolve what are two fundamentally different approaches or philosophies between seeding by ranking and seeding for a particular surface. I think there's some way that that might be accomplished, and I'm optimistic we can work it out. I think the fact that these guys, whether they play or not, have made it clear to all of us how unfair it is, from my perspective, to them. It underscores the importance of us solving this problem. We're absolutely dedicated to make sure that we do.

Q. Any objection to their second request, that Wimbledon be just dropped from a mandatory tournament this year? What in your point of view is wrong with that?

MARK MILES: If it happened for all players, I don't know that we would have an objection. I think that's more a question for the club. That is not what we previously agreed to them would be the case. It would require -- obviously that kind of decision should be made before the first ball is hit. There may be players who would say, "Wait a minute, I thought it was going to have to," so there could be some negative effects from that kind of a decision at this late moment.

Q. So you haven't ruled that out yet?

MARK MILES: Not from our perspective.

TIM PHILLIPS: Maybe I could say a little from The All England's perspective. Obviously we run The Championships based on the Grand Slam rule book. This is not an occasion for quoting rules. It does say, For selection of seeds, the ATP list shall be the primary, but not the sole, basis for such selection and arrangement of seeds. Our sort of philosophical problem with going straight down the ATP list is that you can have situations which then crop up which don't really suit the tournament. We could have had a situation this year going straight down the list with Agassi at the top of the draw, ranked No. 1, and the next five players going down the line could have been Rafter, Krajicek, Philippoussis, Martin, Rusedski. On a grass court tournament, that would not be a happy outcome from the seeding process. It is for reasons like that that over the years, and we've been seeding since 1924, that we have sought to try and separate out the players that are likely to excel on grass. Having said that, we understand fully the point that is being made by Alex, by Mark, that there is inevitably an element of subjectivity in what we do. The way we seed is we start from the ATP list, we have a whole range of data. We have everybody's results for the year. We have their results for the last five years at Wimbledon. We have a ranking list which excludes clay results, et cetera, to reflect performance on faster surfaces, and so on and so forth. We have people who are reasonably experienced in the game. Alan Knowles, former Wimbledon Champion. But we can be criticized nonetheless. It involves a degree of judgment. We were very pleased that Weller Evans from the ATP Tour observed what we did this year and I think gave us a very clean bill of health in the sense of he saw that the process was fair and what we did was rational in terms of what we were seeking to do. As Mark says, the problem this year is exacerbated because Wimbledon becomes a no-pointer for the players, and that is a change from the past. Also because we had the six or seven grass court specialists, you could say, who got outstanding records at Wimbledon who are ranked just outside the top 16. We did what we did acting in the best of faith. It is open to criticism, whether it be the process or whether it be individual names. There's no point here obviously in discussing individual positions. What I would like to say is that we have the greatest possible respect for the two gentlemen on my right. What we were seeking to do was to separate out the grass court, the people who have a record here and who in our view, which may be faulty, could go a long way. The conversation that we had yesterday with Mark was really recognizing that neither system is perfect, and that what would suit everybody is if we could find a new system for next year which had as its primary merit objectivity so that you wouldn't have the feeling that we were making judgments about your playing career or anything like that, but equally which took account of the sort of problem that I've described. Another example, say Thomas Muster, as we all know was an outstanding athlete and tennis player, and over 12 years or 14 years, he was in the Top 100 in the rankings, and for a good many of those years, he was in the Top 10. He never won a match at Wimbledon. Our problem in a situation like that is, How do you deal with that? I've described what we do do. As I acknowledge, you know, it is open to criticism, which is why we agreed yesterday and we put a note out that we were going to work hard on it over the coming 12 months to try and find a better solution which would overcome the difficulties which Alex described at the beginning.

ALEX CORRETJA: Let me say something. When you talk about -- let's speak of the problem of having Agassi, the possibility of playing Krajicek, Rusedski, Philippoussis, Rafter the next couple of rounds. This is the game. I mean, we're playing tennis, and we are all professionals. If we play through the whole year to end points, and ranking is to be respectful to that ranking, otherwise I don't know why we have a ranking. That's my point of view. It's like if you go to a clay court tournament and you have to face Albert Costa first round, then Ferrero, then Moya, Berasategui, then Rios. What's the story if these guys drop? They don't feel themselves playing well, they're worse than No. 16 in the world to be seeded, this is not our problem, I must say. When you see the criteria, the criteria is pretty difficult because you can say the results from the last five years, that's right. I honestly never play well here. That's truth. Albert didn't play well, as well. We never won more than two matches. That's, of course, clear. Players like, I would say, Ferrero, he's a young star. The guy is playing outstanding tennis. He just got to the semis at the French Open. You don't know what is his possibilities to play well on grass. If the first time the guy come to the tournament, you just cut him out and said, "Listen, you're not going to be able to play well on grass," you don't think about it, but maybe you feel the way that the guy is not ready yet to play well on grass, you don't know how this guy's going to improve his game on this surface. If you put him he's going first or second round against Pete Sampras, he's going to be afraid to say, "I'm not going to go to Wimbledon with the same chances, if I get to fourth round and see who I play." Let's go step-by-step, then thinking about the next year, which I feel is pretty sad. I don't understand how really great tournament like Wimbledon and really great situation and organization as we have on the ATP Tour, they don't see this problem already before it happens. If they saw it before, it's because they didn't give whatever you want to say -- I mean, they didn't give, I would say, many options to the players because they didn't -- I don't want to say the word. Because they thought, "Okay, if these guys will face this problem, we will talk about it." You should think about it. I didn't blame to any British player, because I saw somewhere when you said, "We don't want to have Rusedski and Philippoussis next to Agassi or Sampras," it seems like you can fix the draw. You can say, "I don't want this guy to be there, so let's put him like a seeded so he will be in another place." I'm not saying you're manipulating the draw, but it can create the option of people thinking that if you take these guys out, it's because you want to manipulate the draw. I'm not complaining about Rusedski or Henman, which is one of my closest friend on the tour. When you do all these stuff and all these thing, I believe they are not fair because you create some suspect for everybody. So the main thing and the main reason where we complain is everything is clear. The only thing on this table that is clear is the water we have in front of us. The other things, I cannot see clear. Our rule book in the ATP, it says that the seeded procedure, it will be based on our best ranking in the entry system. We cannot see this happen in Wimbledon. It does not say Wimbledon has the option to change this opinion. In our rule book, which you have a special book, maybe you made it last night, I don't know (laughter), but I tell you in our rule book, you cannot see that thing. That's what I feel like there are controversial. It is not clear, from my point of view.

Q. Can you explain a little bit more about your proposal? You said of the 13 events that are mandatory, you were suggesting that players can take their 12 best results and have them count, so if a player like you is not seeded at Wimbledon, you can in effect not count that toward your ranking race? Is that what you're suggesting?

ALEX CORRETJA: Yes. I mean, I can say that you have 13 events where you are forced to play. Nine Masters Series, then four Grand Slams. But since in Wimbledon, they have another mentality and they want to change it, so we are pleased to ask the ATP and Wimbledon to let -- not just the four of us, but let the players have the choice to have another tournament. Let's say 12 and 6 instead of 13 and 5. If you play Wimbledon and you lost first round, it's going to be one point. Before if you play Wimbledon, it's one point. But if you get to semis of Palermo, you can't replace it for that. What we're suggesting, if you don't play well in Wimbledon because they have another mentality about the seeded system, let us change it for another tournament because we will agree with that. We said that we would play. We will play tomorrow if they agree with that. But on Friday night, I have a nice conversation with Mark. He told me that they disagree with that, and unfortunately for this year, nothing was going to change.

Q. You said Henman was one of your closest friends on the tour. Did he have any advice for you on this?

ALEX CORRETJA: No. I believe for Tim this year, it's a great opportunity for him to do well here. I don't want to disturb him or call him, even if I have his mobile phone. I feel that he's in another planet at this moment. I don't want to disturb his mind because I feel like, as I said, he has a great chance to do it well. I don't want to put him in the middle.

Q. From the point of view of the public, do they have to wait till noon tomorrow to know if Albert is going out to play and shortly after that if you're going to play? At this moment, is it not clear that you are going to play, and if you are going to play, how long you're going to play? That's going to be the situation when our papers come out tomorrow.

ALEX CORRETJA: It's bad situation, yes.

Q. But that is the situation?

ALEX CORRETJA: I would prefer -- I would prefer not to play and say today, "Okay, I'm not going to play, because I already show my disagreement." On the other side, maybe I have to go with the commitment we have with the ATP Tour and go on court and play, even if it's one game. For the public, I will feel pretty sad. I don't know if they will feel pretty sad if I don't play this tournament at this moment.

Q. Does your decision depend on how Spain does against France tonight?


Q. This is not a new problem. Let me suggest to you the way it was solved differently when it first came up. In 1953, one of the best players in the world was not seeded here. He went out and got to the final. Two years later, he wasn't seeded again, and he again got to the final. Everybody likes you guys.

ALEX CORRETJA: Thank you for that.

TIM PHILLIPS: It's a very good idea.

ALEX CORRETJA: Everybody can talk and everybody can say we can take this decision or the other. At the end, nobody, just because they have the result from last five years, they going to be fair with everybody because if I don't remember back when Krajicek won here, he wasn't seeded at the beginning. But because somebody pull out, he went and he was seeded. It show that nobody can know what's going to happen. Even if we believe that Sampras has really good option to win here, Agassi and all the other guys, Henman, but nobody knows if they're going to win because this is sport and this is life. Many things can happen. I also thought I was going to win the French Open, you know, and I didn't.

Q. Is the ultimate responsibility for any change, particularly along the lines Alex has mentioned for next year, in other words 12 and not 13, does that lie jointly with Wimbledon and the ATP or is it just the ATP decision? Can we hear the points of both Tim and Mark on the idea that he's given?

MARK MILES: Which idea?

Q. There should be 12 tournaments out of the 13, and then an extra one that they can bring in from another level.

MARK MILES: This is something that was discussed at length with the Player Council a couple days ago after receipt of the letter. That group felt, and they really are the elected leadership of the players, that while there's I think across-the-board understanding and regret, because it is a bad situation, that by changing it for all players now, there will be a number of players as well who feel that that's not fair.

Q. I'm sorry, you misunderstood. I'm talking about for next year.

MARK MILES: For next year, I think -- I mean, this issue isn't just for the four guys who are not seeded. Guys who are seeded, but whose seeding doesn't reflect their ranking, have different points of view about whether it was a good idea or a bad idea. There's a very broad sense, and I think an understanding, that a system which is subjective by definition is going to be criticized. This is professional tennis. These athletes' livelihoods depend on fairness. There's a very widespread feeling that if the system is going to mandatorily count the event, there's got to be an objective, fair way to do it from the players' perspective.

Q. So what is your feeling about the idea that Alex has put forward as a possible remedy for future years?

MARK MILES: I for one believe that we want Wimbledon, the other Grand Slams and The Masters Series events to count. If I understand the question and the proposal, I think that's a last resort. I want to see a solution where there's an acceptable, fair - if you will - at least a seeding system that has the other value more than this one so that Wimbledon and all the Slams and all The Masters Series events will count.

Q. Would that be a sort of idea of seedings for surfaces?

MARK MILES: That's would do it. Whether that's the best solution, I'm not sure.

Q. And in Wimbledon's case, perhaps the notion of taking the fast indoor courts and the very small grass court season and the results in those tournaments?

MARK MILES: For those of you who haven't followed this closely, there's been talk for a couple of years of the possibility of taking the ranking system, and having an objective list, established list for each tournament, not just Grand Slams, but all of men's professional tennis, wherein the system magnifies the results on the surface which is the one which you're trying to seed for. The trick in creating a system like that - there are a number of issues - but I think the club and the players would want to make sure that it was the best possible reflection of form, objectively, for grass. It really comes down to how much you would weight grass court, what other faster court surfaces you count. I think that may be one approach which has promise.

Q. Would you like that idea, Alex?

ALEX CORRETJA: No. My point of view, don't you think we already have confusion with the ranking? We just have one and the champions race right now. My understanding, it says we want the best of the best. I'm No. 6 in the race, Ferrero is No. 7 in the race, Costa is No. 17 in the race. We are not the best of the best, at least in this tournament. Can you imagine for the public to ask me, "What's your ranking?" "I'm 15 on hard courts, 56 on grass, No. 5 on clay, and No. 110 on indoors." From my point of view, and maybe it's an easy solution, just I don't want to say names, but if this guy let me do it, I'm going to do it, let's say Pete Sampras is maybe the greatest player ever, and because he didn't feel himself great on clay, he didn't play Monte-Carlo, he didn't play Rome, and he lost second round in Hamburg. He's not seeded at the French? How is it going to be with the people. The people is going to get crazy. Is he going to feel happy about it? It's going to be impossible to make everybody understand that because Pete Sampras didn't play well on clay for the last three years, he lost third and second round at the French, he didn't play Monte-Carlo and Rome, he's not going to be seeded on clay. Let's say another opinion on grass, because like Agassi, as I read somewhere, he didn't prepare Wimbledon when he won because he was feeling that practising in Las Vegas was better for him, so he wasn't seeded, and then he won the tournament. It's impossible. If we have one ranking as we have right now, why don't we respect the ranking, or just think about other ranking?

Q. Ski people do not get crazy about that. There are four rankings, the sum of the four rankings gets to a final ranking which is the ranking who counts.

MARK MILES: This is a confusing place to have that debate. The important thing here is that I think there's a very broad understanding of the problem. I think it's clear, it occurs among people of good faith because there's two different approaches at the moment that really value two different things equally. I believe that we've entered a good faith understanding that we're going to get together and solve this for next year as quickly as possible. I don't know whether it will be a surface-specific ranking. It is definitely more complicated. It might be the only way to really reconcile the two. But I believe that people of goodwill working together will find a solution.

Q. You spoke of the public and their sadness. Do you believe what has happened gives the public the impression that the English players have been favoured?

ALEX CORRETJA: Well, I hope not because we didn't say the English guys are in favour.

Q. Do you feel it gives that impression?

ALEX CORRETJA: Well, what I'm glad, why we come here, is to explain to all of you what was the situation. I never said that the British guys are in favour. I believe we were pretty clear, if I'm not wrong. I guess for the public it will be a little strange. But if you explain a little easy for them, maybe they will understand it. In Spain, they really understand it easy because they read it in Spanish and we speak Spanish. Maybe it's easy for them.

MARK MILES: You've made yourself very clear in English.


Q. Maybe you should make it which Juan Carlos you're speaking of, is it the King of Spain?

ALEX CORRETJA: If he will be the King of Spain, we will take him here.

TIM PHILLIPS: I think we might just sort of call it off there. Thank you all very much for coming.

ALEX CORRETJA: The last thing I would like to say, I don't know, it's our opinion, we send a letter, we would like to have the answer. Even if we talk about it, we like to see publicly that we're not going to get this privilege, and like this we will know if we play this tournament or not. Another issue was, can you imagine at the end of the year, if one of these players cannot qualify for Masters Cup because by 15 points or 10 points because we didn't play at this tournament, and that because they create in the draw as they want or as they believe is better for the grass? There are many, many things to talk, not today maybe. That's why we wanted to come here. We all thank you. I hope we were clear and we don't have anything against thinking that they do something against Spanish guys or the Moroccan guy if it seems really strange sometimes when you see at the draw. We didn't feel ourselves in a bad situation because we are Spanish. It's just our opinion, and I believe we were pretty clear, we are not terrorists, we were trying to defend ourselves, because we thought and are still thinking that I don't want to be hit on my head and not say anything. If I feel like we have to say that, I thank you all for coming.

Q. Will you individually decide whether to play or not or will you collectively make a decision?

ALEX CORRETJA: It will be individually. It will be single because we have the own opinion, the same opinion on this issue, but I believe we are singles, we're still not married.

Q. How do you feel at this moment about whether to play or not?

ALBERT COSTA: I'm not decide. I'm not really decide what I'm going to do. For the moment, I have the same feeling like him. That's it.

Q. Have any other players indicated to you they might do the same?

ALEX CORRETJA: We didn't want to go to the players. We didn't make this a thing big to the guys because we believe we create maybe a problem for them and some of them or most of them are pretty nice, good friends with us. It could create if they have other opinion, maybe they will feel that they will do something bad to us. We didn't want to put them in this position. So that's why we didn't ask the other players to have their support. It's our problem.

Q. Will the players be fined if they don't play, will the ATP support them if they don't play?

ALEX CORRETJA: If I get fined, I will be really, really . . .

Q. Is it fair to say that we will see you on the court but we don't know for how long?

ALEX CORRETJA: Yes. Well, no.


ALEX CORRETJA: It's not fair to say that because I didn't decide yet if I'm going to be on court.

Q. What about Albert or Martin?

ALEX CORRETJA: I didn't talk to him.

Q. Ferrero?

ALEX CORRETJA: Same way we feel.

Q. Can you answer the question about the possibility of fining?

MARK MILES: Well, the Tour is not in a position. They wouldn't be breaking our rule. It's a question of Wimbledon's rules, I guess the Grand Slam Committee's rules. Personally, if these guys decide as a matter of conscience that they don't want to play, I would hope that under the circumstances The All England Club would take that into account and not fine them. Having said that, I think the best way to expression their views, if they decide not to play, is to decide that in advance. I think it's different thing if they go on the court because I think then it might not be fair to the fellow players and to the public. Personally I would respect their decision. I hope, personally, if they decide not to play, they'll make that decision before the match is called.

Q. Because lucky losers could be put in?

MARK MILES: That's one possibility. It depends.

ALEX CORRETJA: This is general. I mean, if I'm defending this situation, it's to defend the whole players. Maybe one lucky loser will be sacrificed.

Q. You also have lucky winners?


End of FastScriptsâ?¦.

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