December 6, 1996
Q. Jim, how were you reacting to Kafelnikov's service trouble?
JIM COURIER: By walking to the other side when you double-faulted. I mean, I don't
control his serve, you know. When a player doesn't serve well, you try and take advantage
of it as best you can. That's what I tried to do today.
Q. But it didn't affect his groundstrokes at all? I mean, he was as effective with
those as ever.
JIM COURIER: He's very effective off the ground. He's normally very effective with his
serve. I didn't see the stats of the match yesterday, but I don't think he serve add very
high percentage of first serves, seemed like he had a lot of double-faults.
Q. Early on, the first set, you looked like vintage '92 out there. When you're playing
like that, do you think, "Man, now I'm on a roll, going to do it all again"?
JIM COURIER: I'm just trying to basically try and keep a high level like I was playing
out there in the first set, early in the second set, just try and maintain it. Basically
if I can maintain and level and maintain it, the whole match, it's going to be very
difficult for someone to beat me.
Q. It seemed like you had a problem with the crowd at the very end. Am I
JIM COURIER: It gets a little old sometimes, them disrupting the flow of the match.
They mean well. They're very supportive. I'm glad they're there, don't get me wrong. But a
lot of times I'm ready to play the points and they're still clapping. It disrupts the flow
of the match. I'm not a kid at this. I mean, I've been doing this a while. I understand
that that happens. I need to be stronger when that happens and not let it bother me. I
think that was just frustration.
Q. I asked Kafelnikov this, and he said I interpreted it wrong. It seemed like you were
playing a mental game with him early on to disrupt his serve, to delay it some.
JIM COURIER: No. No, not at all. I try and play at a constant speed every match I play.
Some players like to serve faster than others in between points. I always have a ritual
that I follow in between points.
Q. Are you here alone or is your trainer with you at all? I saw you training with
JIM COURIER: I'm here by myself.
Q. Is that typical?
JIM COURIER: No. I'm usually traveling with somebody. Like I said, I'm a big boy these
days, all of 26 years old. I think I can swing a week in Europe by myself. I've done it
before. It's actually quite pleasurable to have a week by myself and kind of go where the
wind blows me.
Q. I wanted to ask along that note, I saw you last year at Frankfurt, and you were at a
disco and so sort. It seems like you're not as tunnel visioned as some other players. You
said you enjoy Paris when you're there, you said you enjoy Europe. Are you balancing that
with your career, saying, "The heck with No. 1, let me enjoy life now"?
JIM COURIER: No, not at all. Actually I think there are moments when it's appropriate
to go to discos, if that's something that interests you, basketball games, whatever
hobbies you have. I don't think you can just eat, sleep and live tennis. You have to have
other things. I always have. But there is a time and a place for everything. Certainly at
Frankfurt last year, I didn't go to the disco until I was out of the tournament. Certainly
that's the case here. I'm very tunnel visioned at the moment when it comes to taking my
tennis seriously and doing the right things, being in bed at the right time when it's time
to be there. But tonight, you know, let's go find a disco (laughter). I have about 12 more
hours and my plane will be leaving. Certainly no reason to sleep, is there?
Q. As you can see, I'm a photographer. Normally I don't write. Are you glad that you
must not play against Boris in the final because the crowds are for him?
JIM COURIER: No. I mean, I would relish an opportunity to play Boris here in the final.
I'm disappointed that I'm not there. Those are the matches you play for, where it seems
like the whole world is against you. I love match situations like that.
Q. What is your opinion about this year, about your play this year?
JIM COURIER: Well, it certainly hasn't been the best year of my career. It's been a
pretty trying year on all fronts for me in my life. It's been a very long year. I'm
hopeful that this next year is going to be a little bit more pleasant for me.
Q. Jim, you're one of the more introspective players from Feinstein's book, et cetera.
What is your opinion of the guys who did not appear in this tournament, who qualified and
JIM COURIER: It would be quite hypocritical for me to Slam them for not coming, seeing
as I missed four years running that I qualified. I think obviously if they could be here
and they were physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to be here, they would be.
They've all played here in the past. I think for whatever reason, injuries or fatigue or
lack -- need of a rest. I think I certainly commiserate with those guys, because I'm been
there. They're doing what they feel is right for themselves at this point in time. It's
too bad for a tournament like this that has normally such a strong field to miss a couple
of the top players. I don't think come tomorrow that there will be too much complaining
about the quality of tennis with the field there in the semis.
End of FastScripts