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THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS


March 27, 1997


Jim Courier


Key Biscayne, FL

GREG SHARKO: Jim advances to the semifinals here for the fourth time.

JIM COURIER: I hate it when he says these things. Tell them after I'm done.

GREG SHARKO: First question for Jim.

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Q. Is it really the fifth?

JIM COURIER: The fifth what?

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Q. Semifinal.

GREG SHARKO: The fourth.

JIM COURIER: He's Mr. Stat Man. The only stat that counts in my book is the W and L. On that note, first question.

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Q. Jim, you seem to be a little faster. Am I wrong or not?

JIM COURIER: Well, I think it's maybe because I've been coming to the net a little more. Maybe it's an impression you're having. I don't know if I'm any faster. I don't know.

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Q. Jim, is that something that Harold has you doing more of?

JIM COURIER: As you know, Harold was a serve and volley specialist (laughter). Well, I'm just trying to do what it takes to win these matches out here. If coming in is what needs to be done, then that's what I'm going to do. If staying back is what needs to be done, I'll stay back.

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Q. Is there anything mentally that made you now, like, really seem more focused? For a while you seemed like you had a lot of outside interests, whatever. Anything now that you can pinpoint?

JIM COURIER: I've been focused all year.

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Q. I mean this year as opposed to the last couple years.

JIM COURIER: Well, I think I had a nice, long break last year after the US Open. I think that helped a lot. It becomes difficult, I think, for most people when you go and you go, you don't have time to get out of the pressure cooker and let yourself decompress a little bit. You know, I got injured, and that gave me a chance to kind of let my mind relax as my body recuperated. Sometimes it's almost a curse to be healthy all the time, you know, funny as it may seem. If you're healthy all the time, you keep going, going and going, keep grinding yourself down. I sure hope that I don't get injured again, but I hope also if I get to that point again where I need to take a step back, I'll be smart enough to say, "I'm tired, I'm going to take a rest, then come back."

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Q. Is that something that comes with maturity? Young guys think, "If I miss this week, that person is going to get ahead, I'll miss that money."

JIM COURIER: You might call it maturity. You might just call it -- maybe another word for it is just a little bit of a long-term vision. You realize that the sun's going to keep coming up every day. If you miss a couple tournaments, that I recall be more. It's patience more than anything.

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Q. Do you have a goal in mind now?

JIM COURIER: No. No goals. Just to win my next match, that's my goal.

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Q. Can you talk a little bit about the match? First set seemed to go pretty easy.

JIM COURIER: First set I started out pretty slowly. I managed to get my way into the match, get some momentum going. I was hoping to keep that momentum going into the second set, but Goran with his serve just turned it on. I wasn't really able to get my teeth into his service games there. Fortunately he wasn't able to do much on my serve either. So we made it into the breaker. I thought I played a pretty solid tiebreaker.

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Q. Jim, have you been experimenting with the slightly longer frames like some of the guys?

JIM COURIER: I haven't, actually. I don't really think I have a power problem. Maybe if everybody starts using them, maybe I should take a look and see. You know, I feel pretty comfortable with the one I'm playing with right now. Changing racquets is not an easy thing for me, so.

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Q. Do you attach any importance at all to becoming No. 1 again or is that something that we're kind of more obsessed with?

JIM COURIER: I'd say that's probably more your alley than mine. That's certainly not a realistic thing to even look at for me right now. I'm just looking really at tomorrow, and that's about it. I can't really look much further than that. I know what I want to do the rest of this year is play as well as I can. You know, why worry about something that you can't really -- that's a computer, and you can't fight the computer. You just have to play as best you can all the way through the year and look at it at the end of the season and see what happens.

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Q. Jim, was there a point in the last couple years where you sort of rethought some things in your career and maybe came up with some new philosophies?

JIM COURIER: Happens every day.

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Q. You seem to be sort of on the up swing now. I'm wondering what the genesis of that was.

JIM COURIER: Boy, I think I've had many changes many times in my career. I'm sure I'll have many more as it goes. That's just kind of the nature of how I am in this world. I don't know if that's how you are. Life is never constant. You always have to adapt to it. That's basically what I've been trying to do out here. I do feel I'm in a positive time period right now and that I'm going in the right direction. That doesn't mean that I'm not going to have setbacks along the way, because I will. I feel like I'm mentally ready to deal with those setbacks right now. And to entertain you when I'm gone, Greg will just fire all kinds of statistics out to back that up.

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Q. What is the chemistry like between you and Harold?

JIM COURIER: It's evolving. We're still new together. So far, so good. Next update tomorrow.

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Q. Are you one of these people when you have a coach, you spend all your time with that person, or is it kind of like a work situation and at night you go your separate way?

JIM COURIER: A little bit of both. Harold's not a baby-sitter. We're in a working relationship. But I think our friendship is evolving as well. It can't help but evolve into a pretty good friendship when you spend as much time together as players and coaches do.

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Q. You're sort of known for your work ethic. Have you tried to balance that more?

JIM COURIER: Yeah. I don't work out too much anymore. I do cross training, jet-ski, water-ski, golf. That's the kind of stuff I do to stay in shape these days. Is anyone taking that seriously (laughter)? I think my game, I do have to work maybe harder than the average guy. I think as time goes by, I work a little bit smarter.

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Q. So you didn't jet-ski over here today?

JIM COURIER: No. My racquets might get a little wet. I'm not that good yet.

GREG SHARKO: Anything else for Jim?

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Q. Just talk about, you go home every night to Fisher Island?

JIM COURIER: Yeah.

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Q. Just drive home?

JIM COURIER: Just drive home.

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Q. It's nice?

JIM COURIER: It's wonderful. It's wonderful. As much as I've traveled this year, to only have to travel about 25 minutes.

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Q. How do you like living over there? Why did you choose to live there?

JIM COURIER: Because I liked it for many, many reasons that would bore everybody here. I feel very comfortable in Miami. I like Miami a lot. It just makes sense for me to live here.

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Q. Do you like the whole ferry life-style idea?

JIM COURIER: I don't take the ferry too much. Tennis courts are right there. I don't need to leave a whole lot.

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Q. Use the jet-ski?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, sure, helicopters, whatever.

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Q. Are there a lot of young people over there?

JIM COURIER: Depends on how many I invite.

GREG SHARKO: Thanks, everyone.

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End of FastScripts....

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