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THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS


March 29, 1997


Todd Woodbridge


Key Biscayne, FL

Q. Todd, a third straight Lipton. You're obviously ecstatic with that.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: Yeah. It was really good because we come off a few weeks, we lost in the semis. Probably didn't play as well as what we could have the last couple of weeks, even though we only lost 6 in the third at Indian Wells. To win the third one here is a really big effort. Did it without dropping a set. Finals were a very tight match. Came through with all the crunch points. Really impressive effort.

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Q. Mark, things are starting to pick up once again, as Todd was just saying, confidence is coming back.

MARK WOODFORDE: Well, I guess compared to last year, I mean, at this time we won probably about four or five tournaments. But that was a hectic pace that we set for ourselves. It's just nice to have won two major tournaments. We haven't played quite as much this year, but, yeah, I mean, you know, it's nice to get back that winning feeling. As Todd said, we lost a couple of close matches. It was nice to pull out the stops in the final. We really just grinded it out. It sets us up for hopefully a good Davis Cup tie in the next couple of days.

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Q. There's no rest for the wicked. On the plane tomorrow heading back to Adelaide?

MARK WOODFORDE: Tennis player's life. Next plane, next place, let's go.

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Q. Thoughts on that Davis Cup tie?

MARK WOODFORDE: Well, both of us arriving only on Tuesday morning, I guess in a way that counts us out from the singles, which is disappointing. I played very well last tie. I know that Todd was very eager to try and get a singles spot for this tie, but the other two are back there, and hopefully they're in good form. We can just turn up, get a solid day's practice on grass. It's not going to be an easy one at all. I don't think any of us are thinking that we're going to cruise through this one. At least we get a couple of days where we can ease into the grass practice and concentrate on our better event, which is doubles.

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Q. Can either of you talk about the tiebreaker? Quite dramatic, crowd seemed stoked, into it?

TODD WOODBRIDGE: The last one?

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Q. Yes.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: The tennis today, I thought they really came out guns blazing in the first set, then 5-2. They let us back in with that first break of serve where we broke back and we got the double break back. From there on, we played very well under the tight points. Going into the third set tiebreaker, I think Mark and I felt like we had a lot of chances to break in the second. We had to break back in the end again. We just played really solid and made them play some really tough balls when the big points counted. I think that's what you've got to do in big finals.

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Q. I know everybody was asking you about playing doubles versus singles. The fans stayed around because they didn't get a great match in the singles.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: I think that was a pretty good match today. The tennis was fantastic. There were some great points. You won't see any better points in tomorrow's men's final than what you saw in our men's doubles final. The people that didn't stay after having such a short match, I mean, the women's final was pretty ordinary. The people that did stay ended up getting their money's worth.

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Q. Do you encounter that a lot, getting the respect for doubles?

TODD WOODBRIDGE: If I was paying the amount of money they're paying for a ticket to watch the finals, I'd stay around. I could tell you that much. I wouldn't leave after less than an hour's worth of tennis.

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Q. Everyone seems to go after the singles matches.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: They really sort of lost out today because they missed probably one of the best matches of the tournament.

MARK WOODFORDE: That's probably the tournament's fault. They're maybe a bit at fault. They should publicize there is another final afterwards.

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Q. Even among the players sometimes, do you notice that, too?

TODD WOODBRIDGE: What?

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Q. Players often go more after singles success than doubles success.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: I think even Mark and I do. We like to achieve as individuals as well. We have achieved on the single's court also. That's how actually we set our schedule is for singles, not just for doubles. It just happens that we do so well in it.

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Q. What is it about this tournament that you guys have been so successful, three straight?

TODD WOODBRIDGE: We play well in the conditions here.

MARK WOODFORDE: Both of us like the court, the speed of it. We've played Indian Wells the week before, usually Memphis and Philadelphia, so we've had some tough matches in those events leading up to this one. That's what you try and do. When there are major tournaments, you try and get your form right for when it counts. Obviously for the last three years, we've been able to do that. This is a tournament that's high on our list. You know, the fans, I think they appreciate doubles. They do make us feel welcome. Even when we played earlier in the week out in the back, it's been packed, fighting to get seats. When you play in a big stadium on the final day, it's a little bit of a difference, but it's great that they're still there and they saw some great tennis. We put on a good show for them.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: The other thing about why I think we play well here is it can get pretty windy on the Key. We've grown up in Australia where it's quite windy. I think we handle those conditions well. Also the left-right combination, it helps, coming both ways, you get to work the ball and use the wind. That's probably one of the keys for our success.

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Q. I guess they were on a hot streak.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: Yes. They were going pretty well.

MARK WOODFORDE: They won last week. These are the bigger ones. When someone is getting through, quite often they're in good form. They had beaten us. I mean, they're a good combination. As Todd pointed out, similar to us left-handed, right-handed, we feel the effects of playing against them. They've got big serves. Nestor has a bigger serve than both of us. It can make it tough.

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Q. Did you guys really want to win that tiebreaker?

TODD WOODBRIDGE: Yeah, get on and get home.

MARK WOODFORDE: We've got planes to catch.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: We have to get to Davis Cup. Fly back to Adelaide in Australia, to play the Czech Republic. For Mark to get going, he needs to catch a flight. If we would have lost the second, he would have missed it.

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Q. What time is the flight?

MARK WOODFORDE: Ten past 7.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: Another hour for the third set.

MARK WOODFORDE: I still have to push.

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Q. Are you all packed?

MARK WOODFORDE: Yes.

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End of FastScripts....

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