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April 4, 1997

Jim Courier


Q How did you assess your chances when you were down two sets and how confident were you finishing it off?

JIM COURIER: I wasn't happy to be down two sets to love, but I knew that I knew that the match was still far from over if I could just get some momentum going, and I did there in the third set. I just hung tough basically and waited for my chances and then when they came, I took them.


Q You were able to lob very successfully all day on a very windy day. Were you very pleased with that aspect of your game?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, well, he covers the net so well if you don't lob him, it is very difficult to get the ball by him because he is so close to the net. So, I definitely had to do that. Had no choice, really.


Q Jim, you have had three great wins, Davis Cup wins in a couple months' time. What has been the key to this run?

JIM COURIER: Well, first of all, I think I have been prepared each time to play and that helps and certainly these matches have all been close matches and having Tom on the court there as a second pair of eyes to kind of guide me through the matches and make adjustments, when necessary, has been a big help too. Because there have been times in these matches where I have had to make minor corrections in what I was doing out there that he has pointed out to me and have really been official.


Q You talk about the tennis tactical aspect, how you came back from two sets down. The psychological ability not to say it is over at that point, the psychological ability not to give up how do you find that? Tell us about that.

JIM COURIER: That is not really something that I found. It is just something that I have. There is no reason to give up. You are down two sets to love; doesn't mean the match is over. The guy still has to win that final set. I have been ahead two sets to love and lost matches, so I know that the match is not over - to keep plugging away.


Q Do you think he served more nervously as the match went on?

JIM COURIER: I think that his service percentage came down. I can't say if it was nerves or what caused it, actually.


Q I think yours ended up at around 80 after --

JIM COURIER: Yeah, well, I didn't serve particularly intelligently in the first couple of sets and he was hurting me there. And, we made adjustments, and got a lot more first serves in to keep him off of the net. That was a very successful tactic.


Q In Florida a couple of years ago you coined the immortal phrase: "There is tennis then there is life."

JIM COURIER: I coined that?


Q Yes, you coined, it James Courier.



Q From Lipton.

JIM COURIER: Where are my royalties?


Q Yeah, right. In any case, so to speak, was this match today more about tennis and shots and mechanics or was it more life, was it more heart?

JIM COURIER: Well, I mean, this match was really a bit of both because I mean, he was playing so well and attacking so well and not allowing me to play the way I was comfortable playing and until the third set, I was really a little bit uncomfortable out there. Then I got more into my comfort zone; got to hit more ground strokes and get a little bit more rhythm. But, it was a mental effort as well as a physical one to bring it back from two sets down, sure.


Q Tom me said it is all about the heart of a champion.

JIM COURIER: Yeah -- well, heart, I agree it is about the heart, but it is also about the head too because if you got a great heart with no head, you are not going anywhere. And vice versa. So, it really takes two, and, you know, really I was glad that he was sitting with me there today because I would have been in a whole lot of trouble if he wasn't.


Q When you are matchpoint down and you need a big serve to come up with, do you tell yourself anything different other than a normal situation?

JIM COURIER: No. Got to play it as another point.


Q After the two very successful singles matches today, you know about your doubles team. Do you think you can clinch it tomorrow?

JIM COURIER: I sure hope so. They have been playing very well in practice, and hopefully they will come out and play very confidently tomorrow. We certainly have the momentum and we would like to clean it up tomorrow.


Q This is Leach's home --



Q -- Club, I guess. We were having a discussion whether that would make him play better or make him more nervous, what do you think?

JIM COURIER: I don't know. Different people react in different ways. I hope that he will see it as an opportunity to come out and, you know, and play and feel the support of his fellow citizens in the area here and hopefully use it as an advantage. That is the way I see it. I think it is an advantage to play in your comfort zone.


Q Jim, I want to ask you a question that is kind of tough. You might not want to answer, but I will ask anyway. Today you obviously scored one of the biggest Davis Cup wins in Southern California in years and the atmosphere after you won was electric and a lot of elation. But --

JIM COURIER: Tough question so far.


Q It is a long question.



Q So far, it is not tough at all, but the tough part is coming. But I don't know, I didn't time it, but you are in the locker room probably getting a rub down, calming maybe for an hour and a half. It is a chilly night, NEW YORK TIMES has gone L.A. TIMES has gone. Our job here is to get our story to our readers. Now, maybe you think we are -- I don't know, we are just the press or whatever. But, from our point of view, can you see that it is a problem?

JIM COURIER: I actually do understand your point of view. And, I hope that the people here don't see me not being here now as a lack of respect or a disrespect for you guys doing your job because it is not that at all. I hope that you can respect the fact that I had play a long match and what I am doing in the locker room is not in there drinking beers and celebrating. I am in there working, getting my body ready to be able to play on Sunday. That is what I am doing in there. I am working with Todd Snyder, our trainer. First of all, I had to get -- doping control had to do - had to go do a drug test and then I went in and stretched and got a quick massage - not a long one - but enough to help my body recover, because playing three and a half hours in Davis Cup tennis is a pretty exhausting thing for your body even in these conditions that are ideal to play in, nerves still, your muscles get tight, so I hope that me being here this late is not seen as disrespect because that is not the way it is intended. If it had been a straight set match I would have been here straight-a-way, but I am more concerned about Sunday, frankly, than you guys beating your deadlines. I hope you can understand it and appreciate it because I am here to try to win these matches primarily. So I hope you understand that.


Q Statistically, is it accurate this is the first time you have come back to two sets down?

JIM COURIER: It is, yeah.


Q Wow.

JIM COURIER: First time it is a good time to do it. Never a bad time, but in Davis Cup.


Q Playing tennis for so long, never done it?

CAPTAIN GULLIKSON: He is usually not down two sets. He is a good player. He is usually up two sets to Love or one set-all.

JIM COURIER: Yeah, well, it is not a statistic that I am particularly proud of. I mean, I would -- I would prefer to have come back and won lots of matches from two sets down, but, you know, I found a lot of times I just haven't been put in that situation and you know, certainly it is not from a lack of effort.


Q Were you pleased with your efficiency at the net today?

JIM COURIER: Very. I am not sure what the stats were, but I am sure I would be above 80% when I approached the net, something like that.


Q How memorable do you think this match will bge? I know you have won a brunch of matches, the Brazil thing was memorable too --

JIM COURIER: Well, the weekend is not over, but this is a good stepping stone hopefully for the rest of the weekend, for me and for the team. And I am certainly glad that Andre had a good performance today. That was very important for us to get off to a good start, and, you know, this will be one that I will remember for sure because it is the first time I came back from two sets to love down.


Q On a different somewhat lighter note. A member of the extended Davis Cup family, an Oakland Raider fan named Brad Gilbert took slight offense at your comments about going into Brazil was like NFL players going into Oakland. Would you like to --

JIM COURIER: Address that?


Q Yes, and --

JIM COURIER: Well, Brad actually, the first time I played Davis Cup was with Brad In Mexico so he is familiar with Davis Cup crowds in South America and Central America. I can't personally say I have ever been to a Raiders' game, but that is the rumor, that it is pretty rough there, so I actually should have consulted with Brad first before making such a derogatory comment towards his fellow Oakland fans. But, I think he will get over it. I hope so.


Q Can we accept that as a formal apology?

JIM COURIER: Absolutely not (laughter).


Q I don't think the people that go to Raiders' games go to tennis games as well.

JIM COURIER: Probably not.


Q Your dad is here?



Q Does he comes to matches often?

JIM COURIER: He has been coming more often this year, yeah. It is nice. Good to have a family around.


End of FastScripts....

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