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THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS


March 25, 1997


Jim Courier


Key Biscayne, FL

JOE LYNCH: Jim Courier moves into the quarters and will play Goran Ivanisevic tomorrow, actually probably Thursday. First question.

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Q. At 4-2 in the second set, I saw you point toward him like this (indicating).

JIM COURIER: You did? Boy, I'm not sure what you saw. I didn't do anything like that.

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Q. What was that?

JIM COURIER: Check the videotape. I have no idea what you're talking about.

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Q. He's prone to hallucinations.

JIM COURIER: Must be the mushrooms.

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Q. Food in the press room.

JIM COURIER: Stay away from that mushroom sauce.

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Q. How satisfying was this win? Pretty hard fought, obviously?

JIM COURIER: Hard fought. Always satisfying to be the top player. It's always just a little bit of a pat on the back, the work you're doing is not for nothing. It's just another step in the right direction. It's a long year this year, I know that. I've had some good weeks and I've had some bad weeks. You know, I have to persevere and keep going. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I'll have had the results that I hope for.

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Q. Do you have a year plan? Is there such a thing?

JIM COURIER: Yeah. It's called play as well as you can all year instead of playing well for half a year and then falling asleep.

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Q. But the things that you want to accomplish month by month, where you want to be month by month?

JIM COURIER: I don't have such a select month-by-month thing. It's more just a general statement.

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Q. Things that you want to accomplish that you're working on, you feel them coming in.

JIM COURIER: Well, I mean, there are those things. I have different sets of goals which I don't discuss here or in really any other public forum. They're more for myself and the people that I work with to judge. Those are the things that I hope to work on.

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Q. They exist?

JIM COURIER: They exist for sure. You can't do this if you don't set goals. You can't blindly do it. I prefer not to really spill it here.

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Q. What was most encouraging about the match tonight for you?

JIM COURIER: Well, what was most encouraging was that I played steadily all the way through. Even when I was down Love-40, I kept my composure, just kept playing my game, actually raised it a little bit at that level -- raised it a level at Love-40 to hang on that game. That's encouraging. Anytime you can get by a guy who has a Grand Slam title under his belt on a surface that he's comfortable on, that's a good day at the office. There's not that many guys with Grand Slam titles out here, so. I think they're stunned now, Joe. Get them when we got them.

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Q. I notice the crowd really reacts well to you, more than any other player. I see the crowd going, "Come on, come on." Sort of animal coming out of the crowd. Does that pump you up?

JIM COURIER: Helps, for sure. I've been living here for going on four years now. Everyone likes the local, for sure. I feel like I'm starting to become that local down here. Hopefully, it's something that will grow.

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Q. Was Harold the only person that you would talk to when you decided to switch or were there other coaches?

JIM COURIER: No. Harold was the one.

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Q. And what was it about Harold that you saw in him? Anything in particular? Was it because he was in the area?

JIM COURIER: No. I would go anywhere for whoever was the right person. Frankly, there's not that many coaches that I would consider working with. Timing is everything. Jose and I were stopping. He and Mary Joe were stopping. He became available. That's how it happened, really.

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Q. I mean, was it something that you thought the personalities would click or something about his form of game?

JIM COURIER: It's hard to say why. I was speaking to Gavin, my agent, and we were discussing it. We were discussing names. When he said Harold's name, it was like a light bulb clicked on, and I knew it was right from there.

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Q. Why?

JIM COURIER: Why are you with Anita? I'm sure just a light bulb clicked on.

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Q. It did.

JIM COURIER: I used that analogy the other day. You ask me how is it going with Harold? How is your marriage? It's the same thing. It's a relationship where you're with this person virtually every day. It has to just feel right.

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Q. Yes, but before, the name Harold Solomon and a light bulb goes on. When somebody told me Anita Klaussen, nothing went on (laughter). Fortunately later it did.

JIM COURIER: Glad something came on (laughter).

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Q. The other night you said that you were interested in somebody whose opinion you could respect.

JIM COURIER: That's why there's not that many coaches I can work with.

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Q. But the light bulb goes on when you hear Harold Solomon.

JIM COURIER: I respect Harold's opinion.

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Q. From knowing him before?

JIM COURIER: From knowing him before, from seeing him play the game, from knowing him through his work with Mary Joe.

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Q. Jim, Davis Cup team.

JIM COURIER: Yes.

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Q. This may be a tough question to ask. How do you feel about Andre being on the Davis Cup team?

JIM COURIER: Come on, you're paid to ask the tough question. Say what you want to say. Just say it.

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Q. Does he deserve to be on it?

JIM COURIER: Does Andre deserve to be on the team? Unquestionably.

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Q. Do you feel like it's going to be harder for you? Are you going to have to work harder with Andre on the team than MaliVai Washington?

JIM COURIER: Do I have to work harder?

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Q. Yes.

JIM COURIER: No. My job is the same. I have to win two singles matches, very simply. There's really nothing more to it. I'm happy to have Andre on the team. Like I was saying to Linda, there's not that many guys that have Grand Slam titles and have been to the top of the mountain. I have the utmost confidence in Andre that he will be ready to play and prepared and he will do it for us. I don't think there's any doubt. There's been many times in his career when he's been having sub-par years when Davis Cup has been his moment. Last year, for example, he wasn't having the best of years. In the summer he won the Olympics. When Andre decides to play, you better look out. I think and I hope that he will decide the time is now.

JOE LYNCH: One or two more questions before everybody's deadline.

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Q. Jim, do you have more fun playing, winning from up at the net rather than in the back court? Is it more of a fun game for you winning that way, volleying?

JIM COURIER: Anytime you say the word "win" it's fun. It doesn't really matter where. That's what I'm trying to do, whether it's at the net or at the baseline. I'm just trying to figure out a way to get through the opponent. That's the name of the game.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else?

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Q. The strings were tighter tonight?

JIM COURIER: Yeah.

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Q. That's from humidity?

JIM COURIER: Yes.

JOE LYNCH: Thank you.

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End of FastScripts....

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