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July 17, 1998

Jim Courier


Q. With the exception of the little wobble in the third set, did the match pretty much go the way that you wanted and expected it to go in terms of your powers of concentration versus his hit or miss?

JIM COURIER: I thought so. I think we all saw out there that he's capable of hitting a winner off of any shot, and he's also capable of missing at any time. I figured a three-out-of-five-set match, that would play into my advantage if I stayed solid and steady out there, you know, and tried to take advantage of my chances when I got them. Apart from a little bit of a lull there in the third set, I thought I did that pretty well.

Q. How relieved do you feel to get the US off to a 1-0 victory?

JIM COURIER: It's a great feeling to put the team in a position to step ahead. Andre is out there right now doing what we expect him to do, which is take care of his end of the deal today, as well. Hopefully, he'll continue to keep going well. Going out there, playing their No. 1 player, I figure if I can put in a good result there, that's just kind of going to take a little bit of wind out of their sails, take a little bit of their hope away.

Q. How difficult is it to keep your energy level up and your concentration going when the guy on the other side of the court is talking a lot to himself or seems to be playing loosely in terms of his game?

JIM COURIER: I really don't pay much attention to what the other guy's doing over there, you know. When I'm doing my thing the way I want to do it, I'm just focusing on what I need to do on my side of the net. I mean, I recognize the fact that he's kind of streaking up-and-down, seems a little unhappy. But I'm not watching him intently or anything like that. I mean, I've got enough to worry about on my side.

Q. How would you rate how you played today, from 1 to 10? How would you rate yourself?

JIM COURIER: I don't rate myself. I'm not Tiger. I had a win, I'm happy with that. I think I played solidly. You know, I'm not real good with ratings. Although, movies I'm pretty good at rating.

Q. How about Lethal Weapon 4?

JIM COURIER: 5 out of 10. Out of Sight gets a 9. Go see it.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about the fans. How do you think the fans reacted today?

JIM COURIER: I thought they were excellent. I thought they really came out ready to get behind us. They really got behind me at some appropriate times, breakpoints in particular. I think they got up and made some noise, which is important to let him know that it's a breakpoint that way, too, let him feel that he's in America. But on the other hand, they weren't disrespectful at all. They were very appropriate, but very boisterous, which was nice.

Q. Talk about after that third set, he got down a break, early breaks in a few of the sets. Just talk about the difference there, what happened there?

JIM COURIER: Well, that's what's great about Davis Cup, is I had Gully. I just sat down on the chair. I lost quite a few games in a row. I said, "Gully, what's happening?" He said, "Well, you're not dictating; you're being dictated to. You've got to step it up." I went out there the next game and I did that. I hit some good, solid returns, put him under pressure, and I kind of kept that mind set going the rest of the match. So Gully was right on the money, as usual.

Q. They're experimenting with coaching on the tour a little bit. With your experience, would you like to see that continue?

JIM COURIER: I'm adamantly against coaching on the tour. I like it uniquely in Davis Cup.

Q. Why? Why do you like it in Davis Cup? What makes it different?

JIM COURIER: I like it in Davis Cup because Davis Cup is unique. I like the fact that it's a team competition, so we have a coach. I could go off for a long time on why we shouldn't have coaches on the regular tour. My coach and I actually participated in Atlanta in it. I think one of the beauties of tennis is we're one of the only - if not the only - sport where two guys are out there competing against each other. There's no caddie, there's no coach, there's nobody in the corner. When you come back on the changeover, there's nobody, it's just you. I like that mano-a-mano factor. I don't think that should be touched.

Q. With one more match here now, are you looking that that match can give you some momentum going into the rest of the hard court season?

JIM COURIER: I'm hoping it will give me momentum for the next match here. That's what I'm concerned with. The rest of the hard court season is going to come. A nice weekend here will certainly kick-start hopefully the whole team in the right direction. But my focus is still very, very much here at Indianapolis, trying to get the job done here. We've got one win under our belt. We need two more to advance to the next round.

Q. Jim, does this particular team feel very "teamly" to you?

JIM COURIER: Very much so. We've all played Davis Cup so many times. I've been on the tour for quite awhile. Everyone's got their egos in the proper place. There's really a nice harmony with this group. I feel very, very comfortable with this team. I think if you put a group of guys together and you keep them coming back and back and back, you'll grow that harmony. I think we'd naturally have this harmony in any case, earlier than most teams, I think.

Q. Have you had any indication from Tom that if, in fact, you win this tie that this will be the team?

JIM COURIER: No. I mean, Tom will make that decision if we get by this tie.

Q. Will you be available?

JIM COURIER: Of course.

Q. Jim, there was kind of a lighthearted moment among the crowd, kind of a big point in the tiebreaker, you were up 5-1. The woman said, "One more point, Jim." Then the crowd corrected her. She said, "Two more points, Jim." Did you catch all that?

JIM COURIER: I heard them laughing. But, you know, my powers of concentration are so strong, I just don't pay attention to that (laughter). I just heard the two points; I didn't hear the one point one. I was thinking that, "One more point." That's what I was thinking, not two.

Q. Did you find it difficult, especially in the first set, to sort of get in a flow or get in a rhythm of the match? Seemed there would be a winner here, long point, a couple unforced errors.

JIM COURIER: That's the feeling-out process when you haven't played a player; you don't know where his weakness is or where his strengths lie. I think I was trying to figure out what I needed to do to get to his weakness. Just took me a while to figure it out.

Q. What were the weaknesses that you sort of figured out? Which things were you really trying to focus on?

JIM COURIER: I can't really tell you that. He can read this tomorrow.

Q. Filip said he was really uncomfortable playing on the hard courts. Did you sense that, his uncomfortableness in playing?

JIM COURIER: That's what we were hoping for. That's why we're on hard courts here, man. He was in Gstaad last week playing on red clay at altitude. This is considerably different conditions. I was hoping he'd come and say that.

Q. This week they also abolished any plan to maybe eliminate the first --

JIM COURIER: That's a real shame. Why can't they just leave well enough alone? I don't understand why they're trying to tweak it, you know. Does anyone really want to see that much chance come into the game? I personally don't. Andre has a good point. He feels that the serve is the one shot where we have the ball in our hand, where it's not in motion, where we can set it up. It's kind of like you're standing on the tee box, ready to drive. No one can move that ball. If you hit the net, more like in volleyball, maybe it should be a fault, if anything. That's the way he feels about it. I'm maybe a little bit more of a purist. I feel like it's been there for a while. That's kind of the idiosyncracies of our game. It's kind of nice. But they're saying they're trying to speed the game up, you know. Well, let's do this: Why don't we take away commercial time and we'll speed the game up? It's always about the money one way or another. They're trying to speed it up one way or another so they can fit more commercials in. Kind of got to call it out sometimes. Got to call these guys out on their bluffs.

End of FastScripts....

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