December 9, 2000
SPAIN vs. AUSTRALIA
Q. What went through your mind after getting a break in the first game of the match?
ALEX CORRETJA: Nothing went through my mind. When you're playing a five-game set,
nothing can come to your mind until the game is over. So nothing really came to mind until
we won, regardless of having a break, if you start with a break, better, but nothing went
through my mind at that point.
Q. What are your thoughts on the fans and their attitude towards your opponents?
CAPTAIN DUARTE: For a Davis Cup final, I think the fans were great. I will give them an
11 out of 10 score. They were very good from the first point to the last point. They were
educated. A point here and there, we had some comments, but they were quiet. We have also
played in the road ourselves. After that, enough finals. After that, I think the crowd was
very, very, very good.
Q. What are your thoughts in the locker room after being one step away from winning the
CAPTAIN DUARTE: We've been focusing a lot on getting concentration. You need to win
three points to win the Davis Cup, no matter which is the order. We have two games
tomorrow; we need to win one to win the Davis Cup. That's the approach we're taking right
Q. Do you think it's really the job of a Davis Cup captain to get up and keep egging on
the crowd to make more noise?
CAPTAIN DUARTE: This is the job of a captain. There are two jobs. The first one, of the
four captains who are directing the Spanish team. The first job for us is to be with the
players 35 weeks during a year, be in hotels, talk to them, know our team and know who are
the better players to play the games. The second part is to know our players and know of
them needs, support and to have the players know, as well. It's not important if I stand
up or not because I know what to do to get the support for the players, who I know that
Q. Have you ever played better than today?
JUAN BALCELLS: I don't know. I think both Alex and I played very, very good today. We
took advantage of our opportunities at all the time during the game. That was the key to
winning, to capitalizing on our opportunities. I'm not sure if I played a better game than
Q. Do you really think a crowd deserves 11 out of 10 when they boo the opposition onto
court, when they heckle and whistle when an opponent is trying to serve? Do you honestly
think that's good for the game of tennis?
ALEX CORRETJA: Can I tell you something? Do you think they really disturbed the Aussie
players many times during this game after three sets, after five sets yesterday, after
four sets with Ferrero and Rafter?
Q. I'm asking you.
ALEX CORRETJA: I'm a little surprised with all this stuff you're talking. I believe
they didn't whistle? What, twice in the whole match after three hours.
Q. Three times in the first set.
ALEX CORRETJA: We played in much more worse places, and they really behaved like pretty
bad people, you know. They were telling us they wanted to kill us. They said we were going
to die if we win, and nothing happened. There was like millions of time. That was
terrible. Today our crowd was great. They didn't disturb your players. If they didn't play
better, it's their fault, not the crowd's fault. Don't try to find any excuse with that. I
don't agree with that.
CAPTAIN DUARTE: Just wanted to make the point that since we have a really good
relationship with the Australian team through the circuit. But when they came here, it
started with the balls issue, then it was the court issue. We're playing the court we want
because we are in Spain and we are the home team. If somebody goes to Australia, they're
not going to be asked about cutting the grass. The Australian doctor has asked our doctor
for help. Our doctor has solved all the problems, even helping Patrick Rafter yesterday,
regardless of what could be thought after that. We've always been friends with the
Australian team. I was very surprised and I cannot tolerate what Hewitt comments on the
fans that I read this morning in the papers. I would tell the Australian people they can
still win this thing, and that this thing is still up in the air.
Q. First of all, to both Javier and to Alex, the Australians, and nobody who saw the
match today, felt anything other than that Spain played better yourself and Juan played
far better and deserved to win. The only complaint they've had has been about the crowd
and about the way the crowd has been whipped up, yourself, Mr. Captain, you were actually
appealing in some of the papers today for more support of the type to maybe unsettle the
Australians than you had yesterday. You were on the court more than your team actually
most of the time. The words "disgraceful" have been used. Mark Woodforde, who
was actually playing his last match, who was booed when he came on the court, was booed
when he was introduced, was booed every time he hit a good shot, he actually said he felt
like a caged animal out there because of the way the crowd was reacting. That really has
got nothing to do with the way that your team was superior on the day. It --?
ALEX CORRETJA: Okay, we got you.
Q. -- It has more to do with maybe taking tennis down the road of the football crowds.
I come from a country that knows all about that.
ALEX CORRETJA: I really understand what you're talking. I'm not going to talk more
about the crowd because I think they respect the player, even if they booed to them twice
in the whole match or whistled three times in one set. I believe they didn't disturb their
serves, probably twice in the whole match or three times. I don't want to say that the
people behaved pretty bad to them. I don't want to see the crowd saying anything to them.
I think they didn't tell them anything. They behaved pretty well. I saw some of the Aussie
bench making pretty bad things to me, probably family people, which is even worst, you
know. The crowd was behaving well. If you believe they behaved too aggressive, I don't see
that they behaved too aggressive. They were enjoying the tennis match, and that's all.
Q. And the captain should respond.
MODERATOR: He's already talked about it.
Q. Do you know who is going to play tomorrow?
CAPTAIN DUARTE: I know Juan Balcells won't be playing. He did his job today, and earned
a 10. We're going to use the ruling and not announce who is going to play yet. We have
three players who can play but we have to talk about it at our hotel.
Q. After winning today, is the dream about to become true?
JUAN BALCELLS: We need to wait until tomorrow. Today's game was very important, the win
was very important, after everybody talking of them being favorites. But we spoke with our
game today. It's a very, very important win because it puts us in the driving position to
be able to win tomorrow.
Q. How come you won an easy victory today over this great Australian team?
JUAN BALCELLS: I think the court was very good for us. This is the court we were
expecting, not too fast, favoring our returns. We knew we were going to give everything
today. Regardless of the scores, we (inaudible) we were going to give everything, and that
Q. What do you look so tight or not as happy as the Australian team?
ALEX CORRETJA: They don't need to play, so that's why they can relax. Balcells, he's
very happy. He doesn't have to play tomorrow. I don't know if I'm going to play, but I
have the chance of playing. Tomorrow will be a very, very long day. We're 2-1 in our
favor, so we have two games to win it all. We're in an advantage, but still everybody has
the option. This is my way of being. I do not let it go until it's over. Whoever works
with me during the year knows that. Inside I'm very, very calm, I'm very, very happy.
Outside this is what I'm showing. There's still work to do. We need to be very, very
motivated, but we cannot say it's over until we win it.
Q. Does this win compare to the one you got in Sydney with Albert, winning the bronze
in the Olympic Games?
ALEX CORRETJA: No, they're two different things. At Sydney, it was great, because we
weren't counting on it. Today was marvelous, a win against the best and the third best
player in the world who have done great things for Australia in their careers. Playing
with Juan, the way we played, demonstrates we can do great things. The win today -- I
mean, if we win tomorrow, it would be even a greater win than winning the Olympic Games.
But still I remind you there's two games to be played tomorrow.
Q. The point where it was 4-2 for the Australian team in the second set, you started to
hit the ball very, very hard. What was going through your mind?
ALEX CORRETJA: We were hitting hard and we were up all the time. We were very close
together, Juan and I. We had many chances until it was 2-2. I got the -- they broke me. It
was 3-2, a little unlucky. But we reacted. I since really think it was a key, that
turnaround, reacting at that point. They were serving with new balls, got the break, that
was the key to the game. At that point I agree we were serving hard, returning long and
doing good volleying on the net.
Q. What game would you rather play tomorrow? Would you rather play Hewitt after the
things that went on during the Masters?
ALEX CORRETJA: No, I don't make the choice, I don't select who is playing what. I will
be ready to help as I was yesterday and today. Our captains will decide. It's important
we're 2-1. We had a great game and lost yesterday, a perfect game then to tie. We played
very, very good today. I don't care who I'm facing, but it's not going to be easy. It's
going to be hard. Everybody needs to realize that.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.