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August 31, 1999

Jim Courier


USTA: Questions for Jim.

Q. You think that was a bit quick out there?

JIM COURIER: A little quicker than I wanted it to be. Slava is a tough player for me. I've had trouble with him. He beat me pretty badly this year in Adelaide. When he plays aggressively like that on a quick court such as this one, it's a tough match-up for me. I knew it was going to be a tough match-up for me. You know, he just half volleys a lot of shots, sticks the ball close to the line. He played well when he needed to.

Q. You were saying it's as quick as Wimbledon.

JIM COURIER: That's for sure. These courts are way too fast. Maybe it's to my advantage. I played well at Wimbledon. I played well in Birmingham when it was fast indoors. I don't think it's a fair surface. You know, I think it's too bad because you're not going to see good tennis. You're not going to see as good tennis as you would see on a slower, fairer court. I think the groundstrokers are at a big disadvantage.

Q. Any suspicions as to why?

JIM COURIER: I think it's accidental. I think it's merely accidental. There's no good reason for it. I don't think that the USTA has any intention of making this like Wimbledon. In light of what you, the media, tend to perceive, the Men's Championships at Wimbledon as (boring) because it's one-shot rallies, I don't see where there would be any reason to make it more like this. I think the idea of the US Open is to kind of make it in the middle between the French Open and Wimbledon, the fairest test for everybody where you can groundstroke or serve-and-volley. I think they made a mistake. Seems like the last couple years they've made a mistake with the court.

Q. Is there never a consultation with the players?

JIM COURIER: The Davis Cup players and Gully made it a point to tell the USTA to slow it down. I was very surprised when I came here and they weren't slow. You know, I don't think it was an intended result. I just think it happened.

Q. What is your reaction to Pete's withdrawal?

JIM COURIER: I think it's too bad for Pete. He's been playing the best tennis in the world since Queen's Club, and had every right to believe he was the favorite coming in. You know, to have your bubble burst by an injury like that, it's tough, it's tough. You've got to feel for him.

Q. Back injury, especially where he has it, is obviously a very scary thing.

JIM COURIER: It can be.

Q. Do you think he's going to have a problem coming back?

JIM COURIER: If I knew that, I wouldn't be sitting here.

Q. In general, is a back injury, as a player, the last thing you want to hear?

JIM COURIER: Having not had any experience with back injuries, I don't think it's fair for me to comment, other than to say you've seen a lot of people's careers come to a close with back injuries. I hope that won't be the case for Pete.

Q. It's too bad that it happens here just before The Open. In a way, he's been fortunate throughout his career, hasn't had downtime in the way that you have or Michael has or Andre. Is it just age that catches up with everybody?

JIM COURIER: I don't know. I don't know. I really couldn't tell you. I wasn't at the practice court when the injury occurred. Sometimes, for example, an injury like MaliVai's knee in Brazil, there's really no logical explanation for it, other than maybe it was just wear and tear and eventually it just burst. That could be with Pete. That kind of idle speculation from someone with my limited medical knowledge is beside the point, isn't it?

Q. You've been through the shoulder, dead shoulder, you've been through that downtime. What is it like when you're sitting at home?

JIM COURIER: Well, Pete has been through that, too. Pete has missed a few Slams along the way with injuries. He knows what it's like to be home and feel like you're on the couch watching everyone else go forward and you're just kind of treading water. What's it like? It's not a lot of fun. But it is what it is, you know. He's been doing it for a lot of years. You're going to get injuries, certainly more later in your career than earlier in your career. He's been lucky, for sure. Hopefully, this won't be a major injury. Hopefully, it will just be a little blip on the screen and he'll be back in for the indoor season.

Q. Doc said one or two months.

JIM COURIER: Doc knows best.

Q. Where do you go from here, Jim?

JIM COURIER: Home. How about that?

Q. Then where?

JIM COURIER: Next tournaments will be in Europe, later in the season. Nice little break at home will do the kid some good.

Q. Did you ever find out who the cell phone was in the player's box?

JIM COURIER: Was that in the player's box?

Q. You said that.

JIM COURIER: People in the player's box, two of them, on the cell phone mid match. I think that's rather cheesy.

End of FastScripts….

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