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September 9, 2000

James Nelson

Flushing Meadows, New York

MODERATOR: Questions for Lee and James.

Q. An hour on, does it feel even better?

JAMES NELSON: Yes. It feels great. Sunk in a bit now.


Q. A week like this, performance like this, how much does it do generally to your confidence for what is to come, we hope?

JAMES NELSON: You can't really say. I had a good run in the singles, as well, third round. Before this, we also played two Futures in England, also made a semifinal there. My confidence was high coming into this tournament.

Q. What was that, James?

JAMES NELSON: Cumberland, 15,000. So it's just pushed it even more.

Q. How much have the two of you played adult tennis, senior tennis?

LEE CHILDS: We played not much really, because we're still concentrating on the juniors. We played from the start of this year, played maybe four.

Q. How many points in singles?

LEE CHILDS: Ranking is 777.

JAMES NELSON: Mine is about 800. So about 20 points.

LEE CHILDS: About 20.

Q. Yours is 700?


Q. There's some talk I think that you might be playing four Satellites?

JAMES NELSON: Yeah, when we get back.

LEE CHILDS: Four Futures.

JAMES NELSON: A week off, then four Futures.

Q. Where are they?

LEE CHILDS: One is Sunderland, Glasgow, Leeds and Edinburgh.

LEE CHILDS: Edinburgh and Leeds.

Q. Do you find this particular hard court surface suits your games, both of you, with the even bounce of the ball?

JAMES NELSON: Yeah, it definitely suits my game. Maybe it's even a little bit quicker.

LEE CHILDS: The quicker the court, the better.

JAMES NELSON: I come into the net a lot. I'm not really a baseline player. The slower the court, it's tougher for me to come in, play my game.

LEE CHILDS: Better for the doubles, as well. A quicker court for doubles, we find it better.

Q. What about clay? How are you both on clay?

LEE CHILDS: Yeah, no, I won the Under-18 European title. That was on clay. We won the doubles on clay, as well, that week. We had a good week that week. We're starting to play better on the clay now because we've got a few more clay courts in England. We started practicing more on it, putting in the hours really. You can tell it's paying off really.

Q. You're not worried by the clay? A lot of British players in the past have been intimidated because there's a belief, "We can't play on clay." You never get used to it, the guys can outrally you.

JAMES NELSON: Even when I play on the clay, I've got to concentrate on my own game, play on my strengths, come into the net, play my game.

LEE CHILDS: Yeah. I mean, there's going to be people that are obviously better on clay tactically than we are. If you go out there and give it all, you know, on the day really.

Q. Where do you practice on clay?

JAMES NELSON: Queen's Club, there's a few clay courts there. And Bournemouth, there's a few clay courts there, as well. They're starting to build a lot more clay courts in England. I think at Sutton they've just built another four or five. There aren't that many clay courts, but that's where we go.

LEE CHILDS: In London, that's where most of them are. You know, we've got them on hand if we need to practice before. If we know we're going away for, say, a month on the clay, we know, you know, the courts are there for us to use. We're fine like that.

Q. Has the arrival of Patrice had any effect on both of you?

LEE CHILDS: I don't know if it's had any direct effect on us. I mean, he's probably trying more with the younger guys, in clubs and things like that. Definitely his enthusiasm about us, the way he's trying to get us to play - not get us to play, you know, but to encourage us really.


LEE CHILDS: He's great. He's on the court a bit with us. He puts in the time. I mean, it's good.

Q. Why do you two play so well together, winning the Under-18s and this?

JAMES NELSON: Lee's big serve. I'd say I'm a more consistent returner, a little bit more solid. Lee is just hitting the big shots, then the next one I play a solid one.

LEE CHILDS: We gel quite well. You know, we've been together since we were quite young. We played doubles together for years. I mean, it's a good relationship on the court. We know each other's game. It's easier to communicate, things like that.

Q. Can you tell us each a little bit about how you got into tennis, what sort of family tennis background there might be?

LEE CHILDS: Well, for me, the background of tennis in my family is none. I started at primary school. My headmaster used to play tennis. Just one PE lesson one day, when I was about four or five - five, I think it was - just hitting a few tennis balls. I hit it all right, you know, could see the ball pretty well. One parents' evening, he said to my parents, "You should take him along for some coaching." I went to some coaching, just went from there really. Just enjoyed playing, county level, regional level, national level, like I am now really.

Q. How did you escape soccer?

JAMES NELSON: I did play football at an early age. My dad used to be a football player. He works for Newcastle, as well.

Q. He played for them?

JAMES NELSON: He played for Sunderland.

Q. On the first team?


Q. When was that?

JAMES NELSON: A while ago. When Brian Clough was playing.

Q. What was his first name, your dad?


Q. He's allowed to work for Newcastle after that.

JAMES NELSON: Yeah. No one in the family played tennis either with me. I started playing short (turns/tournaments?) at the local sports centre. Just went on from there.

Q. Do you think you guys have suffered a little bit from the fact that we haven't had enough players playing, that the spotlight tends to be on two or three guys all the time? If we had a broader base of players playing the game?

JAMES NELSON: It would help. There are a lot more players coming through now, like three, four, five of each age group. At first, there was just me and Lee in my age, our age.

LEE CHILDS: I mean, you've got to look at yourself really.

Q. Do you feel with the progress the two of you hope to make, you can maybe spark off against each other? You're a team, but you're also individuals.

JAMES NELSON: It's a good rivalry, as well. When Lee does well, it pushes me on, as well. When I do well, it pushes Lee on. We have a good rivalry, as well.

LEE CHILDS: Push each other.

Q. You've had Matthew here, as well, this week.


Q. To see a 16-year-old guy coming along, is that good, too?

JAMES NELSON: It is. Keeps us on our toes.


JAMES NELSON: Good to see some younger players coming through. A lot of good youngsters, 14- and 15-year-olds coming through.

Q. I think you both raised a good point. Okay, everybody is trying to get more British players coming through. Really you can't just be concerned with carrying British tennis on your shoulders; you've got to look after your own careers, do the best you can.

LEE CHILDS: Definitely.

Q. Let others worry about that aspect.


Q. Do you think having been in the setup now for four or five years, that the influx of some younger coaches, is that having an effect, as well?


Q. There was a time when it looked a bit of a stalemate.

JAMES NELSON: Colin has been very good for me, ever since I started working with him about a year and a half ago.

Q. Great enthusiasm.

JAMES NELSON: Yeah. Practice all day. It's good for everyone.

Q. What about Danny?

LEE CHILDS: No, Danny, it's good to have new faces sometimes, new ideas, things like that. He's definitely got new ideas, different ways of looking at the game and things. It's done me a world of good, I think, with Danny coming in. I get on great with him. Off the court, we get on well. You know, we can talk better, talk about games better, things like that.

Q. How would you describe your attitude to what you hope will be a long tennis career? Are you enthused by the prospect?

JAMES NELSON: Just got to keep working as hard as you can, keep staying positive with your game, even if you're on a down spell. You're always going to have your ups-and-downs. Got to keep staying positive, work as hard as you can. If it comes, it comes.


JAMES NELSON: Just keep going at it really.

End of FastScripts....

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