July 16, 1999
Q. Jim can you talk about the first set tiebreaker and seemed like there were a lot of opportunities for both of you there.
JIM COURIER: Strange tiebreaker, I mean, usually you don't see that poor a tennis in a tiebreaker from two players of our caliber. But there was a lot of unforced errors and just a lot of mini-breaks which normally you wouldn't see a whole lot of, but that is the way it happened.
Q. How did you feel you played overall, Jim?
JIM COURIER: Honestly I feel like it is really hard to tell how I am playing. I thought that I competed hard out there and, you know, statistically it doesn't look that bad really. As far as winners and unforced errors, looked -- mine are fairly even which if I hit a one-to-one ratio on that usually I am doing pretty well. But it wasn't enough today. I just played a couple of sloppy points, when I got broken and a few of those points in the tiebreaker and that was really it.
Q. How tough was he to break?
JIM COURIER: Well, you know, he hit his spots really well. He put the serve in the corner all the time when he really needed to. I can get him down 30-Love, 30-15 and he just kept coming up with good serves and that is when I have got to step up and come up with good returns which, you know, combination of him hitting good serves and me just not guessing right; not being in the right place at the right time worked against me a little bit today. But I had my chances. I had some breakpoints and converted one out of four; you got to do a little bit better than that.
Q. Tom, how dire are the circumstances right now for you guys?
CAPTAIN GULLIKSON: We are still alive. Certainly we were hoping for 2-Love our way and certainly one -- possibly a one-one. Now we are down 0-2 and our back is on the wall. But we are still playing and tomorrow we are going to go out and give it 100% in the doubles and try to win that doubles point to keep this match alive.
Q. Jim, how did you feel when you heard McEnroe call you Mr. Davis Cup?
JIM COURIER: Well, I heard about that. I didn't actually hear it. But that is quite a compliment coming from John.
Q. Do you live for this? I know it has been very --
JIM COURIER: Among other things. (laughter).
Q. Is this a highlight in your schedule?
JIM COURIER: Absolutely, yeah.
Q. Do you prefer the team feeling as opposed to going out on your own or is it just different?
JIM COURIER: I do actually like the team concept a lot. It is a lot of fun. It is more fun when you are sitting up here 2-Love, but it is nonetheless comforting to know that we had a tough day today but we are still breathing and we have a chance to turn the tide a little bit tomorrow; hopefully get the momentum going back in our direction.
Q. Talk about some of the calls - it looked like there were two calls in particular; one in the tiebreak, one in the 9th game of the third set that you clearly weren't happy with.
JIM COURIER: The one in the tiebreaker, his ball just skidded off the back of the line, there is nothing I can do about that. That was a good call. The other one I'd like to see the videotape on. I hit a forehand I thought was half --
Q. The taping was good.
JIM COURIER: I know on the tape it is going to be good because my eyes are a lot better than the linespeople otherwise they would be playing. If their eyes were as good as mine they would be playing for a living instead of calling lines. It is funny how the players are rarely wrong. But it is pro tennis. It happens and unfortunately it went against me today. Normally on a home Davis Cup tie, I am going to get all those calls. Seems like when we play away Ties, I never get them. I think that would it balance out. But it didn't today.
Q. Do you think it is that subjective? I mean, you know if those people supposedly are out there doing their best job, do you think they are swayed by what is happening out there?
JIM COURIER: Certainly seem to be when we play overseas. I don't know about here, but -- they are trying to do an honest job out there. She doesn't think she missed that call and if she did, I am sure she is not happy about it just like I am unhappy about missing the short forehand. It is the nature of the beast. We don't want to play with electronic lines. The imperfections make the game special so it gives you guys something to ask me about and me something to talk about.
Q. Would you be in favor of instant replay on video?
JIM COURIER: Not really. Just be in favor of getting good calls.
Q. Talk about the matches today.
CAPTAIN GULLIKSON: Well, Todd's match we were -- the game plan was for him to go out and dominate the kid in his first Davis Cup tie. We figured he would be a little bit nervous and hopefully Todd could get off to a good start and attack his second serve and kind of play more aggressive and Todd was trying to do that. But the ball was flying on him today. He just couldn't control his return of serve. Normally Todd's return is one of the best parts of his game, he didn't return very well today not as well as he usually does. His groundstrokes were flying a bit and I think it was extremely hot. I think the heat really got to him there for a while. And he never really caught his stride and to Lleyton's credit, probably 130 pounds dripping wet and he looks like he can run for five hours out there on a hot day; clearly Todd didn't look like he could run around too well there particularly toward the end of the match. Jim's match, was up that early break in the first set and Rafter managed to break back and then Jim was up in the tiebreaker, several mini breaks and I think that first set really set the tone for Jim's match. I think if Jim would have won that first set, he would have gotten some momentum going and hopefully the crowd would have really gotten into it and who knows what is going to happen. I was kind of hoping in Todd's match after he played such a great tiebreaker in the second set that he would really lift -- be able to kind of lift his game and kind of keep that going. I was really kind of hoping he would -- I was telling him, come on, keep the pressure on now; you played a great breaker here, let's get the early break and keep the momentum but he just couldn't do it.
Q. How did you feel about the match, when you woke up this morning, did that change at all after the first match today?
JIM COURIER: No, I knew I had a task to handle today and I knew it was going to be a difficult one and regardless of what happens in the first match, I have still got to go out and play so I am prepared to play either way. I felt fine when I woke up this morning. I felt fine when I went on the court. I feel fine now. Somewhere in the middle there something went aschew, I am not sure.
Q. Second set you did some yelling like up high, was it a fan or was it a blimp?
JIM COURIER: That monster.com. I mean, what are these guys doing? Don't they realize we have to toss our serve and they are like up there blowing around. It is hard to explain if you don't play the game. But that is a real nuisance, real nuisance. Who is monster.com in the first place?
Q. It is for jobs. (laughter)
JIM COURIER: Whatever.
Q. Can you talk about the difficulty of facing Rafter's serve?
JIM COURIER: He doesn't hit it quite as flat and AS huge as some other guys on Tour will, but he tends to back it up better than most players. He hits his spots pretty well and you'd think he would get a better first serve percentage than 61%, by taking pace away from it, but I guess when you are trying to pick the corners like that, you know it is a little bit like Maddox, he doesn't have to have Randy Johnson heat (sic), he just picks his corners and gets the batters out anyway he can.
Q. I know you guys were all comfortable with who was playing today going into the day. But you must realize that tonight there is going to be some people saying: Where was Pete. Why wasn't he playing?
JIM COURIER: I saw Pete. He was on the sideline.
Q. You still --
CAPTAIN GULLIKSON: I feel very comfortable, sure, winning and losing doesn't change that. The decision is a very good decision.
Q. What about throwing Todd in the doubles tomorrow with Pete?
CAPTAIN GULLIKSON: Say what?
Q. Why not play Todd with Pete tomorrow --
JIM COURIER: Hold on one second. Who is the captain. Are you the captain?
Q. No, I am asking him.
CAPTAIN GULLIKSON: That is probably not going to happen. I think Todd needs to recover a little bit. Alex is certainly a very good doubles player and Todd, I mean, Pete and Alex had been working together all week, so, they will get the call.
Q. Were you happy with the support crowd gave the players?
CAPTAIN GULLIKSON: Yeah, I think so. I think the support was great. We just couldn't get our nose in front in the matches and obviously when we are coming from behind, you know, it is a little tougher, the crowd don't get into it as much. That is just a fact.
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