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THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS


March 28, 1997


Jim Courier


Key Biscayne, FL

JOE LYNCH: A man who needs no introduction, Jim Courier, who is ready for your first question.

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Q. The failure to convert the breakpoints the difference tonight, you think?

JIM COURIER: Clearly, yeah. I don't know how many I had, but it was enough. Thomas played very well on the big points. That's the difference, one break, a set, match. If I had my chances and I don't take him, he takes his, it's 3 and 4, I'm sitting here talking to you now.

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Q. What price would you have given on these two guys getting to this final?

JIM COURIER: I'm not a betting man.

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Q. How do you compare this match to the other three you played against Thomas this year?

JIM COURIER: Well, they've all been different for various reasons. He's playing better and better as I've played him. Each match he's playing better and better. He's been winning a lot of matches and he must be feeling pretty confident. Once again, as I was saying before, if I win one or two points here or there, it's a totally different mind frame. It's easy to swing from the hip when you're up a break; it's a little bit more difficult when it's 4-All, 5-All, to go for those shots.

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Q. You feel you've been playing also better and better?

JIM COURIER: I think I played well this week. It was a good bit of a turnaround for me because I had a few weeks where I'd been -- I hadn't had the best results, I was a little bit tired maybe from overplaying early in the season. This was a good turnaround week. I beat some good players here, got some good confidence. You know, I'm looking forward to Davis Cup next week, hopefully representing America pretty well.

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Q. What is the difference especially in the meetings with Thomas? You had him in the pocket for about five, six, seven times, and suddenly once it's broken, what is it? Is it just mental or what is it especially in the match?

JIM COURIER: I don't think there's really much difference right now. I mean, I think when you say I had him in the pocket, yeah, I was beating him and winning the matches fairly handily. Once again, fairly handily on paper. 3 and 4 match looks fairly handily. Clearly, when you're actually playing the match it's a couple points here or there. The person who is a little more confident takes control. Right now he's playing with a lot of confidence. I look forward to our next match. Hopefully I'll get him back. My pocket is plenty big. I have plenty of room.

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Q. Were you surprised with some new strokes from him or what made him better?

JIM COURIER: No. I think he's just doing everything a little bit better.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else for Jim?

JIM COURIER: Good enough.

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End of FastScripts....

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