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September 9, 1994

Mark Woodforde


Q. Any surprises out there?

MARK WOODFORDE: Seems that way.

Q. Mark, you've had a great year playing singles and --

MARK WOODFORDE: Could I -- are there any more coming? Should we just wait --

Q. You can start. You've had a pretty good summer playing singles as well as doubles and after a tough year last year, with your health, is -- are you still on medication to control the --

MARK WOODFORDE: No, not at all. That was just a -- hopefully a brief thing. You know, I just have it checked regularly, and, you know, I've overcome that and I feel great and, you know, that's probably helped me get into some good form in the last -- especially the latter part of this year, I played four tournaments this -- sort of lead-up to the U.S. Open, and played a final; beat some top ten players, and made four finals in the doubles; won two of them. So, I've been playing well. It is a little disappointing to lose a final, but you have to lose some of them. Todd and I had such an incredible record. It was impossible to keep going when rankings began to slip.

Q. Do you think this is the point in your career where you've hit the top of the hill --

MARK WOODFORDE: No, not at all. It never really entered my mind. You know, I just had a slow start this year because of my long year in '93, and, you know, I had been trying to get fit and I knew that it would come around sooner or later, and it was just a matter of having enough belief in myself and my coach standing by and my doubles partner believing in me as well. There are times when I have to help him out as much as he helps me and I think that is what was happening earlier in the year. My ranking slipped and I was hoping it was just temporary, put it that way. It wasn't -- I'm not saying I knew it was going to fly, no one knows that, but I knew if I put the work in which I had, that I was capable of getting back up there. I'm not happy being ranked 40 in singles by any means. I think I play well enough to be in the top 20, but I've just got to play a little more regularly.

Q. If Martina had played here, would you have played mix doubles with her?

MARK WOODFORDE: Probably. But, you know, I knew early on in the year that it was doubtful, and, you know, I'm glad that she didn't opt to play and I think probably for both -- Todd and I know, I think it's got to a stage for both of us -- before we've won a lot of mixed doubles, Grand Slams, and I think it proved today a little bit that Todd losing yesterday was very -- lost his sharpness out there, and I think you'll probably see Todd and I electing not to play mixed doubles from now on the -- not worth going out and playing a match like today and losing, because we're good enough to win the big ones and that's what we want to do and I think in this case mixed doubles to us now is minor. We don't need that extra 20,000 in our pocket. Todd has completed his Grand Slam in the mixed and I have one to go, but I think it's worthwhile foregoing the mixed and saving our energy for singles and doubles.

Q. So no more mixed at any Grand Slams; that is the plan now?

MARK WOODFORDE: That is the plan now. I virtually decided after my performance this week in the mixed and I think Todd, you know, is pretty disappointed, at the moment, the way he played and that's what we were talking about out there and so, you get to -- it gets too difficult playing three events at the Grand Slams and we expect, -- we have a high level of expectation of each other and Todd wants to resurrect -- he's good enough to play top 20 singles and he's like me, we have got to do it week in and week out; you have to have a lot of energy to play the Grand Slams. Sometimes the mixed takes out because we're the guys doing most of the work on the court.

Q. You might see Todd playing --

MARK WOODFORDE: I think Todd has had an incredible couple of weeks and it's helped his confidence immensely, but I know that he's not feeling the best now that he lost the mixed final, and the mens' doubles final, so -- it's difficult, had -- he may be a little fresher -- I think he would have been a lot fresher today had he not played yesterday.

Q. What lost it for you guys?

MARK WOODFORDE: I think it was -- it was tough conditions out there for both of us. I don't think there was too much between us -- between the four of us, no one really was consistent out there with serving and returning, obviously they've returned a little better because they broke us twice, and, you know, we had chances to break them back as well, but it's just really tough. You know, we've played all the doubles out on these other courts. There's the crowds, you know, it was so loud out there. It's extremely loud, and people really were not out there to watch us play doubles. I think they are there to watch ladies singles. The four of us were conversing about that out there before the presentation and it's tough out there and I think they handled all the occasions out there and I think Todd was a little flat from yesterday; like he said, he's a little upset, he lost the mixed and that's taken his edge off today, I think a little, but you just try and ride through it I maybe could have done a little better, but, they beat us before, they played well against us. We like playing them. It is a reasonably good match, but today it was hectic out there.

Q. Martina, of course, leaving the tour at the end of this year, can you share one good anecdote about playing mixed doubles that you can share with us, something sentimental or something funny?

MARK WOODFORDE: Like racing into it or crashing into her right breast or something? No? Walking out at Wimbledon the first time we played, I noticed how she was a bit nervous playing -- not just playing with me, but I think playing mixed again and the occasion of Wimbledon and I feel like I helped her through the early matches and as soon as we got out to the final walking on center court, she definitely noticed I was more nervous and when we took different role reversals almost, and she helped me, she helped me, she took me through the final, and I think that's the sign of a great champion that she was able to notice that at a tough time and she knew what was happening. She knew about the -- the ball is coming here; the went at this stage is going to fly around this way; she knew everything.

Q. She didn't say anything; did she?


Q. You didn't say anything to you to put you at ease, at that final?

MARK WOODFORDE: Yeah, she knew -- she was directing traffic. She was directing me, do this, do that, and I was like, fine, I'll do it.

Q. On the women's side we have three out of the four women's singles semifinals also playing doubles. We don't have that going on in the mens. Why is that and secondly, would it be better for the game of doubles if we had; that is there something we can do to foster that situation?

MARK WOODFORDE: I think the ladies, they elect to play -- the top ladies elect to play doubles here at the Grand Slams because they -- they're not playing best of five like the men are, the top men. And I think their schedules are fairly -- I don't know, they're maybe best of three, they just get more time and best of five, it's for the top guys and like I said, it's tough playing Grand Slams and to go out and play -- I think a lot of the top men elect to play doubles occasionally during the -- on the tour, but not at Grand Slams because they know it's such a big -- they expect to make it through and I think the girls use the doubles play to help their singles more, and there's not -- they don't have the depth, the matches aren't as tough for them. It's -- I mean, I'm not putting them down, their depth is growing, but maybe that will change.

Q. Depth in singles?

MARK WOODFORDE: Yes, and we've always had that depth and it makes it harder for the top guys, but I think that hopefully will change once they try to lift the profile of doubles and get the tournament directors, the actual people who do the schedules, to be a little more lenient with certain players who are playing singles and doubles at the Grand Slam and who could possibly make it through to the latter rounds of those events. I think it's more common sense that way, rather than playing, you know, second match and doubles and turn around and have to play singles early the next day. If we had more common sense in that area, I think the top guys would definitely play more doubles at Grand Slams.

Q. You think that would be better for the game, high profile in doubles?

MARK WOODFORDE: I think you would have more people coming out and watching, for sure, and sticking around on a second match and, it is a little bit disheartening when you play a second match at night and people are there watching the singles and they've had a great entertainment watching -- going on in front of them and that they sort of disappear slowly.

End of FastScripts....

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