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November 14, 2005

Stephen Huss


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, in Chinese or English.

Q. Wesley, you have become partners this January. How do you become so cooperated in such a short time?

WESLEY MOODIE: We're both pretty relaxed out on the court. I mean, especially the first two tournaments. I mean, one was a challenger, then we went on to win our first Grand Slam. I guess we were just enjoying it. There wasn't much pressure on us. I mean, obviously, I mean, Wimbledon was a great tournament for us. We played pressure-free, and we came up with some pretty good tennis. I mean, we had one or two mixed results since then, but definitely the last two or three tournaments I think we started to get back into things.

Q. We asked about the same question to your other colleagues who were here about the doubles because, well, I saw that the doubles -- everybody can see that there is a lot of problem at the moment. It is a problem that the biggest single player are not taking part. The last one I believe was Kafelnikov who played single and double. So do you think that this is going to make the double a sort of different sport, or you see that there is a solution that the double player can have a chance to play single and vice versa, especially the single player have a chance to play in some doubles to make it in a way more interesting?

STEPHEN HUSS: Well, your question is complicated, and I could spend a long time addressing it.

Q. I know, I know.

STEPHEN HUSS: I think that, you know, the game of tennis has become so professional with the way especially the top guys like Roger and Andre and Andy Roddick and those guys are. I don't think that, you know, they're gonna play much doubles. It's just become, you know, too tiring or it doesn't fit into their schedules. They're going to focus on their singles, and that's what they're going to do. I think that singles and doubles are different games. If they weren't, I wouldn't be here. To be honest with you, I don't belong at this level in singles; I'm not good enough to play it. But in doubles, it comes more into my strengths, so that gives me an opportunity to compete against these guys, the best players in the world. I think that our governing body, the ATP, just needs to do, you know, an even better job of promoting both singles and doubles. I think that once people realize and come out and watch matches, I mean, yesterday's two doubles matches, I saw parts of both of them, I thought they were incredible. I mean, I think it's just a real stage to play doubles, and it's a real stage to play singles. It just needs to be equally promoted and equally really put up in the spotlight, and I think that the people will come.

Q. What Llodra and Santoro were saying is that not being as televised as singles, doubles has a problem in identity. The double players are not as known as the single players. This is very complicated to change. Santoro has been a good player both in single and double; he is still. What he was saying, that it would perhaps be advisable starting the double, making a small draw of 16, start the double Thursday, just to see if some of the very good single player who lose can get into the draw from Thursday. So I don't know what you think about.

WESLEY MOODIE: I don't think that's going to solve the problem. I mean, if singles players have lost, they want to get to the following tournament the following week. I mean, maybe -- I mean, I'm not saying it definitely won't work, but from my experience, I think there are not going to be too many more guys playing doubles because doubles starts on Thursday.


WESLEY MOODIE: A lot of guys play doubles to either prepare for their singles, or a lot of guys, if they lose in singles and won the first-round doubles, they pull out injured, and move on to the next tournament. Personally, I don't think that's the solution.

Q. Do you think there is another solution? They are speaking about shortening the games.

WESLEY MOODIE: Well, apparently from next year that's what's going to happen. So it's already in place.

Q. Have you ever done it, to play four games as they're suggesting, then a tiebreaker?

WESLEY MOODIE: Well, it's actually I believe two sets to six, no ad scoring, with a match tiebreaker. So I presume that's the first to 10 for a third set.

STEPHEN HUSS: I must say, I mean, I think the majority of players are quite adamant that that is not a solution. I don't think it's going to make any difference. You can ask the top singles guys if they're going play one set, one tiebreak, best-of-five sets, it won't matter; they're going to play doubles when they want to play doubles, and that's the only time. We feel that that's not the right answer.

WESLEY MOODIE: I think the first thing that needs to be done is to start to try marketing these players. I guess maybe in the recent, what, last month or two, I see the marketing has improved.

STEPHEN HUSS: It's definitely improved.

WESLEY MOODIE: But before that, we win Wimbledon together and, you know, we don't hear about it. We pick up one of the ATP Players Weekly, not even the result is mentioned. So I think that had to change. I mean, if you don't see doubles players on TV, you don't read about them on the websites, no one's going to know them. I think that's the first step to improving the situation.

Q. I think there are a lot of problems with doubles. If you compare with the singles players, it's much less famous. What do you think about this situation? How are you going to deal with the current situation?

STEPHEN HUSS: I think it's up to the governing body of tennis, the ATP, to promote not only their top five or ten singles players, but also their doubles players and also the rest of the singles players. I think that the promoting they're doing is just too small an audience. I think there's only five or ten guys that are getting promoted. I think for the interest of tennis in the future, to grow the sport and get people back out watching singles and doubles, promotion is the key.

Q. Wesley, can I just ask you a question about the match. You seemed to rediscover something, real chemistry between you, especially at the net.

WESLEY MOODIE: Yes (laughing). Yeah, I mean, I think we were quite relaxed out there, just enjoyed it. You know, I mean, we haven't had the results we probably wanted to in the last few weeks, and maybe that took some of the pressure off here. You know, kind of regroup and kind of keep things simple, enjoy it, and work together, you know. Obviously, I think we both played pretty well, especially Steve, I think. But, yeah, I mean, was great fun out there.

Q. Were you lifted by the atmosphere - 7,000 people? Not the kind of crowd that you normally play in front of.

WESLEY MOODIE: Yeah, I mean, it's great to play in front of a crowd, especially a big crowd. Especially, I mean, you have good points out there and the crowd really enjoys it. It makes us enjoy it a lot more as well.

Q. Another question about the doubles. If you arrive in a tournament and you find out that Federer is playing the doubles, which is your reaction? Do you think that is an asset, something good for the doubles, or do you feel is like a threat for you guys?

STEPHEN HUSS: I think it's fantastic. I'd love to see Roger in the draw every week. He wouldn't be a good draw for a lot of guys, but it would be great. I'd love to play against him and I'd love to see him playing at every tournament. We played in Cincinnati this year and he played doubles there. You know, he's out on the third court, the second match during the day. I think there's an opportunity where you can say, "Hey, we got Roger Federer, the best player in the world, maybe one of the best all-time, and he's playing doubles," but they don't showcase it. It's still out on the third court and it's second match in the middle of the afternoon. I mean, if you can put that match on center court, I think that does a lot for the doubles guys.

End of FastScripts….

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