February 4, 1995
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
Q. Jared, how does it feel to finally get that first Davis Cup win?
JARED PALMER: Obviously, it feels great. It is something that I try not to think about too much, but it was hard not to, but, you know, I think both matches that I lost before, you know, I played some pretty good teams and so I was just trying to keep it in perspective a little bit, but, you know, it feels great to win my first win, but also just to give the team the point that they needed to have a 2-1 advantage going into tomorrow, so I am really excited about that.
Q. Was the whole town of Wesley Chapel here?
JARED PALMER: I don't think so. There were about maybe 60 or 70 kids maybe from -- not kids, but friends from, you know, my academy and my dad's ago ago.
TOM GULLIKSON: They were under 70.
Q. You won single titles before. Does this win add some validation in your own mind as being a top player or being a player that can handle a big match?
JARED PALMER: I don't know. I just -- I just -- as I said, I just feel great for the team and, you know, it is obviously, you know, captain picked us and, you know, picked us once before and we didn't get the point and while you can't look too much at individual matches, whether you win or lose, I think I am just really happy to get this one under our belt, and get us ahead in the match.
JARED PALMER: No, I don't think -- no one really mentioned it or I mean, it wasn't that big -- I think the only -- I was probably the only one that was really even a question with and even with me, it was not -- it was more just in the back of my mind and it wasn't really an issue, just I was aware of and, you know, but that is unavoidable.
Q. Is this like your Davis Cup team for the future; do you think maybe this will be an indication, this feels so --
TOM GULLIKSON: I think Richey and Jared have the potential to be a great, great team. They have only just started playing together, so it is too early to judge, you know, if they are going to be a great team or not, but I think they have the potential to be an excellent team. First of all, you have got two guys who played excellent singles; and are also excellent doubles players; that is a rarity on the circuit today. Richey and Jared are both playing great singles on the Tour as well. I think when you take two excellent singles players and combine them, they have great doubles skills, as well, so I think they have potential to be an excellent team, but, you know, they are just starting out, really.
Q. Did you guys decided to play together with Davis Cup as part of the -- (inaudible)?
JARED PALMER: I don't know, I was playing some at the end of last year with Pat McEnroe, and maybe that was another thing that was in the back of my mind, but I just -- Richey was not playing with anybody and I had played with him a few times before and really liked playing with him and, you know, Gully said -- he knew he and I had potential to be, you know, a team that could represent the U.S. On a regular basis. Not that Pat and I couldn't, but, you know, I just really liked playing with Richey and so far it has worked out well.
Q. What do you say, Richey, about the same situation?
RICHEY RENEBERG: I think that, you know, lately that has been a big consideration for a lot of American doubles players is getting into Davis Cup team and it always helps obviously if you play together all year on the circuit that has been one of the problems with our doubles, I think lately is a lot of us play with different partners; we have also had a couple of guys that have been hurt that are good doubles players like Jim Grabb and I have been hurt quite a bit in the last year or so, but I think that that was somewhat of a consideration, but I think it was, you know, I think any time Jared and I play together, I think we have a shot to win just about any tournament. When you look at it that way, I think most important tournaments in my mind are the Grand Slams and if you are able to win Davis Cup matches, it is great.
Q. In that same vein, Richey, generally doubles is in a sense second fiddle and even though it is taken seriously in Grand Slams and Davis Cup obviously --
RICHEY RENEBERG: Davis Cup, it is a lot more important, that is right. And for so many years a lot of the teams representing the U.S. were almost locked; they were guaranteed that they were going to win, and lately U.S. Teams, it hasn't been that way, I think you also have to look a lot -- teams that we have lost to lately have all been very good teams. I mean, a lot of countries these days have very good partnerships; whereas, a few years ago, I think that -- not to take anything away from the guys who were winning consistently before, but a lot of teams -- now you have the Dutch team that we lost to in a close match in Holland who are regular partners and team of Sweden that Jared and Jonathan lost to are very good teams, Apell and Bjorkman, and all those matches were close, I think it would have been a little unlucky as well. Doubles is always close and it is tough in these Davis Cup matches, I think because it is always -- the nerves are always there more so than they are in any other tournaments.
Q. Richey, this is the 7th match you two have played in the last three weeks under major circumstances. Did you, in general terms, make some plays on balls today that you might have misunderstood what to do with as a team, say, your first or second match together?
RICHEY RENEBERG: No, I think since the Australian Open we have had a pretty good idea what we are each doing and we felt pretty comfortable playing with each other. I thought today was the same. I know that the circumstances -- I mean, I, at least, get -- I think it is a lot tougher to play Davis Cup than it is to play even in a Grand Slam, and it is just a totally different atmosphere and especially today, when it is 1-All, I mean, that is a lot of pressure on getting the doubles point, and -- but I think Jared and I are getting more and more used to playing with each other and if we continue to get better, then that would -- that would be great.
Q. What is the adjustment; one Saturday in Melbourne; next Saturday in Saint Petersburg?
RICHEY RENEBERG: Time change is one. I have been waking up all week at 3 in the morning, and so I mean, it has been tough, and, you know, certain things-- the conditions were a bit different here, they were -- the court was much slower and the balls were a lot heavier. I know one thing. . .
RICHEY RENEBERG: Here. Even though the balls are slouchy in Australia, you thought they would be lighter coming here. I was struggling in practice on my serve and I struggled at times today, but fortunately Jared has good hands.
Q. What is it that makes a good doubles team to begin with? What is it that you two guys either feed off each other? Does it have to do with two egos that mesh together, what is it that makes doubles work?
JARED PALMER: I think it is a lot of just chemistry; getting along and I think Richey and in my case it is just, you know, he is pretty solid and I am not quite as solid; maybe a little more explosive or I don't know, you know, and he makes a lot of returns in the deuce court and that enables me to go for my shots a little more on the ad court and just a good -- we feed off each other well and we move well together and, you know, when we cross, I know he goes behind me well, and covers my side of the court. Little things like that, so sort of a combination.
Q. Tom, let me ask you the same thing, what is it that makes these two guys so good together that other guys who may even be better players individually?
CAPTAIN GULLIKSON: One is blonde and one is a brunette. I think that is a good. I think Jared right now is one of the top four or five volleyers in tennis. I think Jared covers the net and he has got great instincts for doubles. He approaches well; he fakes; he does all these subtle things that a lot of people don't even realize. I think behind Stefan Edberg, I think, Jared has got one of the finest volleys in the game right now, singles or doubles. I think Richey, looking at Richey, I think he has got one of the top four, five returns of serve of the game. I think, you -- putting an Agassi up there and a few other guys, Richey is right up there; one of the top four, five. Put Jared's volleying skills and Richey's returning skills and chemistry of getting along together and understanding each other very well, and I think you have got a good team. Certainly, Richey is the elder statesmen. He is a little bit older now. Maybe slightly more mature, so he keeps Jared stable on the court, although Richey is a bit of an instigator off the court. And they combine well in a lot of different areas.
Q. You played a lot of doubles yourself and had a great career at that. How long do you think it would be and what do these guys need to maximize their potential as a team?
TOM GULLIKSON: I think they need maybe more matches, more wins. I think they certainly have the ability and -- but the more they win, the more selfbelief they have, and the more they go out on the court; they think that they are going to win; they think they are going to dominate the other guys, and they have the games really to dominate at the top for doubles, I think, for quite awhile, if they both stay healthy. I think it is more matches, a little more confidence and a little more self belief and the more you win -- winning begets winning, it is just a thing that feeds on itself. I think the more these guys win, the tougher they are going to be.
Q. Do either of you guys know about how long it takes until you are both reading off the same page?
RICHEY RENEBERG: I have think right now Jared and I pretty much are. I think we are playing pretty well. The fact that we won a Grand Slam would indicate that, and I mean, the more we play, you can always, I guess, learn more. I feel-- at least, I do, I feel pretty comfortable with where we are right now and hopefully we will continue to play well. I know we have played real well lately. I know that we are going to lose some matches. Hopefully not too many, but I think that as long as we can play well in the big tournaments and play consistently well, if teams play good tennis an beat us, that is one thing, but I don't see us giving away too many matches. I think that is the key.
TOM GULLIKSON: To add to that, I think scheduling is a factor too for these guys because they are both playing singles in all the Grand Slams and all the big events, so if one of these guys loses 6-4 in the fifth in five hours and has to play doubles two hours later, that is going to be a factor. They are playing against a lot of these doubles specialists who are only playing doubles; they have all day to just think about doubles, so that is a bit of a factor.
Q. You are staying together this season?
RICHEY RENEBERG: Yeah, I hope so, yeah.
Q. That is the way the schedule falls?
RICHEY RENEBERG: Yeah, our schedules are very similar. That is one thing we have taken into account. We both like to play on the same surfaces; more hard courts than anything else, so the scheduling works out well and hopefully our results will continue to be good and we will keep playing together.
Q. Third game in the third set, this might not have been the most important point of the match, but the most visible. That is the volley you hit off the shoe tops and clipped the line on the short angle. Can you give us a frame by frame of what you saw from the moment it came off the French racket until the time you hit it and it hit the line?
JARED PALMER: I don't know.
RICHEY RENEBERG: Jared does that all the time.
JARED PALMER: It was sort of over before I could even -- I mean, it was a little risky, I mean, it was pretty low over the net, but I think, you know, against a good return like Delaitre, you have to dig some of those out and if you do, then you hold in some of those close games; if you don't, you get broken. And it's just a case of where I dug it out and just squeaked through that game and I mean, I think it was more -- I think more destructive to them than it was a boost for us. I mean, I didn't think it was that.
RICHEY RENEBERG: I thought it was a pretty good shot.
JARED PALMER: It was a good shot, but it wasn't really -- I didn't think it was that big a deal.
TOM GULLIKSON: 80% reaction, 20% luck that is how I would view it.
Q. Yannick and Delaitre both blamed the wind and the rain. Did it bother you that much today?
JARED PALMER: What is that?
Q. Really what was the turn for you, what was the turning point if there was one; what would that have been?
RICHEY RENEBERG: I think one turning point was there were a couple of games in the third set where one in particular where I really struggled on my serve, I think, I doublefaulted twice to Forget and they had a breakpoint, and he had a high forehand volley and missed it. I think that was a very important point.
JARED PALMER: That was.
RICHEY RENEBERG: That was a huge point because I mean, obviously once you get the break, it is nice to consolidate it; go up 4-1, kind of keep the pressure on them. I think that was the biggest point of the match.
Q. Fifth game of the third set, you lined up in a sort of Aussie formation on the first serve --
RICHEY RENEBERG: Yeah.
Q. Is that something you have not done in Melbourne?
RICHEY RENEBERG: We didn't do that all in Melbourne. It is something --
JARED PALMER: That was Skipper over here.
RICHEY RENEBERG: If guys are returning well, it is good to make him look at something else.
Q. Was that simply a psychological ploy?
CAPTAIN GULLIKSON: No, it was a purely -- he was hitting unbelievable crosscourt backhand play. He was really getting grooved in the second set, Delaitre, I don't think missed a return; not only was he hitting it, he was firing the ball, so at least make him hit a winner down the line or change his return a little bit. And I think both guys started serving him a little differently. Jared started hitting slow kicks up high and wide; that seemed to work well. Any time the ball was coming with pace, he was just hitting it extremely hard. So they really served them smart and gave them a different look or two.
Q. That is what the coach does in these tournaments?
TOM GULLIKSON: That is what I try to do. I have a good seat; might as well take advantage of it.
Q. There was a moment right at the very beginning of the match where there was a conversation between Yannick and the chair umpire; eventually change of linesmen. Were you involved with that at all?
TOM GULLIKSON: When Yannick -- no, when they are having problems, I don't have any problems. Just like when I am having problems, I am sure he is not having problems either. I let him make his argument. As long as things are going our way, that is fine with me.
Q. Tom, can you tell us about how Todd was today I mean, you mentioned today he was trying to regroup; you were going to have a talk with him. How does he seem to be doing?
TOM GULLIKSON: He is going to be practicing a little bit now. I think Todd realizes it probably wasn't the best tennis that he played and I think he is certainly ready to redeem himself tomorrow. He is looking forward to playing a good match tomorrow and hopefully clinching the Tie for us. So Guy has lost a couple of matches; I am sure he is a little bit down right now, and hopefully we can keep him down there tomorrow, and hopefully Todd can come out and play aggressive and solid with a lot of spirit; a lot of energy and then clinch it for us.
Q. Do you think he matches up better with Forget on this surface?
TOM GULLIKSON: I think so. Pioline gets a lot of balls back and he hits a lot of spin and John -- Forget is more of a hitter and likes to serve and volley a little bit more. I think he is a better matchup for Todd.
Q. Is Todd the kind of guy you can talk to on changeovers?
CAPTAIN GULLIKSON: You have to be careful what you say to these guys on the changeovers because they have their own mindset. Some players are a little bit easier to talk to than others, but Todd is generally, fairly receptive, but yesterday he was just, you know, he was just having a bad day. So just one day.
Q. How much piece of mind knowing that France has to both of these games?
TOM GULLIKSON: I'll have piece of mind when we get to three.
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