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November 13, 1995

Jim Courier


JIM COURIER: Well, I think that normally coming into the second half of the year I have played very well earlier in the season. I have been a little bit tired after the U.S. Open. And this year, my season was a bit more up and down and I didn't play so well in the summer; until the very end of the summer I started playing well and I wanted to keep that momentum going.

JIM COURIER: I feel better this fall, better than I have ever felt mentally going into it. And I think that is a big part of why I had a pretty -- I have had a pretty good run in the tournaments.

JIM COURIER: This is my eighth year. I am finishing my eighth season on the Tour, so that is, I guess, in many ways I did feel like the elder statesman. I still think I am young enough to keep going for a couple of years.

JIM COURIER: I look forward to it every time we play. This will be no exception.

JIM COURIER: He is a difficult player. No match is an easy match. He has had a fantastic year and I certainly look forward to playing him any time that we play.

JIM COURIER: My preparation will start for Davis Cup after this is over. I just get on the clay and hit some balls and try to get used to it. Go back to the states.

JIM COURIER: You never know, I'd like to win another one. But it is not so easy, but you never know.

JIM COURIER: I didn't really know Bobby at all. Pancho, I have seen a few times in Palm Springs just at other tournaments where he would be around and I didn't really know him very well either, but obviously both were fantastic representatives in the game and I think they both did a lot to promote the game in different areas and to bring a lot of people into the game.

JIM COURIER: Well, it's a little faster than I would like it, but it is not as nearly as fast as Stockholm. But, also, I haven't played a match on it, so in practice sometimes it plays differently than the matches. You have people and it is a little bit warmer because of body heat, so we will see how it plays. I think it is certainly a better surface than what I played here.

JIM COURIER: Well, it's a little faster than I would like it, but it's not nearly as fast as Stockholm. But I haven't played a match on it in practice sometimes it plays differently than in the matches and you have people and it's a little bit warmer because you have people well, see, it's certainly a better surface then I played here two years ago. It seemed to be a bit faster.

JIM COURIER: I think, generally, they are going to the right direction for the indoor tournaments. They are slowing the balls down and slowing the courts down and I think this fall you see a lot more interesting tennis in the past where you just seen big servers and I think that's positive for everybody.

Q. You mention the balls (INAUDIBLE).

JIM COURIER: We have been playing pretty much the same ball in the last three weeks and they are a little softer and in that respect, they are a little easier so it creates a few more (INAUDIBLE).

Q. This is the last time this tournament will be in Frankfurt. The next time it will be in Hanover. What do you think about it?

JIM COURIER: I really have no feelings about it because I don't know how Hanover is. There's no real special attachment to Frankfurt.

JIM COURIER: Still dreaming about tennis? Some nights. It depends on what I see in the day.

JIM COURIER: No. It's not a dream for me. It's something I would like to obtain, but it's not something I dream about. I think about different things like to win a Grand Slam Open.

JIM COURIER: What is the difference?

Q. Yes.

JIM COURIER: Well, the court is still the same, but of course, things change, you know, it seems to be playing a lot faster now. People are hitting the ball bigger and bigger it seems. And more guys are more professional. I think every year guys get more and more serious with the game every year and well, I can go on for a long time about it. It's different for me, but in general, I think the game is still a vibrant game.

JIM COURIER: The young players, it's hard to really say. No one is really sticking out right now for me, but there has to be someone coming up. I just don't know who.

JIM COURIER: They are both extremely talented players, but it takes a lot more than talent to become No. 1, so we'll see how it develops. It will be interesting to see how it develops over the next 5 or 10 years.

JIM COURIER: He's going to have to keep playing very well and he has got a better chance than a lot of people right now. He's done very, very well so he's not very far away.

JIM COURIER: Well, he's been very deserving this year. He has had a phenomenonal year. He had a Grand Slam title and won a lot more tournaments, but for me, Sampras won at Wimbleton and U.S. Open, but for me, it doesn't matter. When you sit down at the end of the year, would you rather have Thomas's or Pete's year, I would take Pete's year. It's not taking anything away from Thomas's year because he's had one of the best years in memory, a phenomenonal year. The best year for a clay courter probably ever.

Q. The last time we saw you was with a book, what book are you reading now?

JIM COURIER: No books right now, just newspapers.

Q. Why?

JIM COURIER: Just keeping you on your toes, that's all. Two years the guy has had to think of which questions to ask.

JIM COURIER: What would I like to have from him?

Q. Yes.

JIM COURIER: I can't think of anything. I'm pretty happy with what I got.

JIM COURIER: Well, I think his chances are probably better if he's playing on clay, but he has certainly proven that by asking that they can play on different services.

JIM COURIER: A little faster than Essen.

JIM COURIER: I have had quite a few discussions with people about that and the thing about it is it's better if they find one surface that's fair for everyone, a slow hard court surface. It's kind of a combination of all the surfaces. It would be unfortunate if they change the surface, you know, switch it around. This year Thomas had just a fine year and if this is the year that the Masters were played on grass, that would be a shame and the next year maybe he doesn't qualify for his own, clay; next year it's better. I think if they find a surface that's somewhere in the middle for everybody -- it's a very valid question, but it's a tricky one to answer.

JIM COURIER: (INAUDIBLE) yes, before they were popular, now they are very popular. Toad the Wet Sprockets, they are not very well known outside of America.

JIM COURIER: It's kind of Collective Souls, maybe a little bit of rock and roll, kind of Bruce Springfield something but a little harder than Toad the Wet Sprockets, kind of a more like U-2, R.E.M. songs. In the States, they are starting to become famous. In the States, they are very good.

JIM COURIER: No, I think that's rational. I think that if we find a surface, I think, for example, the surface in Paris was a good surface. I think if they find the surface and the balls that the players feel comfortable with, the players that serve and volley feel comfortable; the players that play the baseline feel comfortable with, I think it would be a big help to make it a standard surface, standard ball at the indoor surface so there's some continuity because it's difficult to change the balls and surface week to week, changing speeds and balls week to week. It's a little bit more complicated way.

Q. Have you asked the players what kind of surface it could be next year?


Q. What is that?

JIM COURIER: We've been talking about the Taraflex.

Q. So two years ago you were sitting here reading books.

JIM COURIER: Well, I've had weeks where I've been tired and I've had weeks where I felt good and right now, I feel like I'm in a pretty good frame of mind.

JIM COURIER: It must have been a weird translation. I would never call myself a wild boy.

Q. What would you call yourself?

JIM COURIER: Not a wild boy.

Q. Well, what?

JIM COURIER: I don't know.

JIM COURIER: I wouldn't say there's been times when I haven't been concentrating. I would say there's been times when it's been more difficult to concentrate, but I've always tried to concentrate and continue to work very hard and the cycle comes around, you know, you ride out the storm sometimes and take the good times with the bad times. That's what I've done, but I'm only a wild boy when I go out to a disco.

JIM COURIER: Have you seen me with a book since then?

JIM COURIER: No, I like the book, but the book is not teaching me any lessons. The book is entertaining me.

JIM COURIER: People have an interest in it, people that write about tennis --

Q. Excuse me?

JIM COURIER: The only people who have been interested in that are people that write about tennis. It's something that no one has ever seen on the tennis court before. That's understandable, but it's something you need when people tend to make news about it.

JIM COURIER: Orange juice. Lots of orange juice.

Q. How much?

JIM COURIER: Half a liter is all it takes. Fresh orange juice.

Q. That's all?

JIM COURIER: That and lots of sex.

Q. What?

JIM COURIER: Orange juice and lots of sex. Orange juice and sex are the key to a comeback.

Q. It has nothing to do with playing tennis?

JIM COURIER: No, it's important to have lots of calcium and be relaxed.

Q. What do you hear about Frankfurt?

JIM COURIER: I know that it is normally cold when I'm here. I know that the airport reminds me a lot of Chicago. There's a few good restuarants, a few nice museums and a river.

Q. Do you have enough time for sightseeing here?

JIM COURIER: I've seen pretty much all of it, so I'm here just to play tennis.

Q. What do you think of the orange juice?

JIM COURIER: It's not as good as in America.

JIM COURIER: We'll see, I'll do my best.

Q. Do you know Goethe?

JIM COURIER: What is that?

Q. He is a German writer.


Q. He's a famous German --

JIM COURIER: Yes, I know of him.

Q. One of the books perhaps you have to read.


JIM COURIER: I'm going there kind of expecting something to happen and being prepared for whatever comes. The bottom line is they are going to have to play on the same surface we do. Their side is not going to be any different than ours because we switch, so it should be okay for us. I'll be ready for whatever speed the court presents and should make it interesting, for sure.

Q. Do you think it could be some kind of silly idea that they tried --

JIM COURIER: I don't think it's silly at all. I think when Davis Cup people use the home court advantage the best they can. I can certainly understand them doing whatever they can within the rules which is deemed within the rules, which I'm sure that is.

Q. Do you think it's going to be kind of a pretty intense kind of final?

JIM COURIER: Normally it should be intense, yes.

Q. Are you to travel on the tours with your coach, with your family, with your friends?

JIM COURIER: Well, it's important to be basically happy wherever you are going and different people travel with different entourages, so to speak. I like to travel with one person, normally my folks and I think I'm a bit more self-sufficient. Some other people like to travel with more people and there are some people that like to travel by themselves.

Q. Can you explain your relationship between your racket and yourself; is there a relationship?

JIM COURIER: My relationship with my racket? It's a tool.

Q. It's what?


Q. Only a tool?


Q. If you handle it like a tool and not very careful --

JIM COURIER: That is a very bizarre question. My racket is something that I play with.

JIM COURIER: It's too bad really because he had such a fine year. It's a shame that he is unable to come here and compete. He certainly deserves to be here and it's a shame that he's not here because it's (INAUDIBLE) he really should be here. But, you know, we can't control those things.

JIM COURIER: He is tall. He's Swedish. He's good looking and he just (INAUDIBLE).

Q. You don't always look happy?

JIM COURIER: Always. Sometimes I choose not to show it.

JIM COURIER: Well, it's serious business on the court. Serious business on the court, you have to be serious.

JIM COURIER: Well, it's been hard work. All along my whole career, it's been hard work and this has been another challenge for me.

JIM COURIER: Orange juice and lots more sex, basically.

Q. It's on the tape anyway?

JIM COURIER: Yes, that's my story and I'm sticking with it. You should read that in the papers.

Q. You don't like talking to the press?

JIM COURIER: No, it's not true, I always enjoyed them.

JIM COURIER: I think it's important to just, basically, this is something that I do and it's important that I take pleasure from every little thing because otherwise it becomes a lot more difficult, you know, something that you do day in and day out, you're better off taking pleasure from it than considering it, you know, work or something you must do.

JIM COURIER: Of course people want to know that stuff and there's some things that I think people can know and I think there are some things that are part of my life and my life alone. I don't particularly live my life for the public. I live my life for myself.

Q. What?

JIM COURIER: I don't live my life for the public. I play tennis in front of the public, but that's where it ends. You very rarely see me in a magazine like this doing photo shots and stuff like that. It's not really interesting for me. I would prefer to keep my time in private.

Q. You are a musician playing guitar; is that serious?

JIM COURIER: I have ambitions to play music, but not professional. I love music, absolutely.

Q. What CD should I buy?

JIM COURIER: You should buy the New Oasis. That is very good and you better buy the new Collective Souls too, they are two you should probably pick up.

JIM COURIER: Well, I just think I'm playing some very good tennis. Simply put. I think there's really not that much to say '91, '92, '88, '94 is neither here or there it is '95 and I have been playing fairly well and that's pretty much the story for me.

JIM COURIER: Well, it is certainly better than the alternative for me. I would prefer to play the baseliners as opposed to the serve and volleyers, but as you say, there's no gives out there. You have to fight for everything and I intend to do that. We'll see how it goes.

JIM COURIER: As always. I expect a very good match from Michael and we've had quite a few matches this year. They have all been interesting and we'll expect this one would be equally as difficult with me as always.

Q. Does it get easier?

JIM COURIER: No. Every time it's just as difficult.

Q. Is it still that sometimes you are bored with tennis?


Q. Often?

JIM COURIER: Whenever it comes. It doesn't come in regular intervals. It just comes sometimes.

Q. What do you do then? What is your reaction then, reading a book?

JIM COURIER: Well, usually when you are bored, hopefully you're just about finished playing and you can go home and do something else and put the rackets away and go on the beach or play golf or go see a concert or whatever, just do something else you enjoy. It has to be something you like to do.

JIM COURIER: I like Miami. I have a lot of friends down there.

Q. The big city is not far from Miami?

JIM COURIER: It's like one hour by plane, 45 minutes by plain. America is a big country.

Q. Our life has changed, are you feeling you are doing the same thing you were doing three years ago or not?

JIM COURIER: In certain ways, I'm doing the same things and in certain ways, I'm not obviously -- I'm a different person so I see things a little differently.

Q. Give me an example.

JIM COURIER: An example, well, when I travel, when I'm going home now, I'm going living in Miami now as opposed to to living in Dade City, so I have a few more options and things to do when I'm home. So, I enjoy myself a little bit more.

Q. What kind of books do you read?

JIM COURIER: All different kinds. Normal novels, factual, biographies, whatever. Random stuff. Different things.

Q. Do you think Andre's injury is partly psychosomatic?

JIM COURIER: No, I wouldn't think so. I would think -- I'm sure he wishes he was here. He has had a great year and should be here:

Q. (INAUDIBLE). Would you like to play doubles?

JIM COURIER: We'll see. I don't think there has been any decisions made on who is playing with who, but I'll be willing to do whatever the team needs me to do.

JIM COURIER: I didn't realize that we were ever unfriendly. No. I have disagreements with people all the time, but that shouldn't change my friendship.

Q. Who are your best friends in the tennis circuit?

JIM COURIER: Here we go. I knew this question was coming. Who are my best friends in the tennis circuit? Well, mostly American guys, but Mark Knowles, I've known since I was nine years old so he's one of my best friends out here. It just depends, you know, it's mainly the people that you practice with and you see a lot, so whoever comes out to see, to work. Todd Martin, Jon Stark, people like that. I hate to name names like that because sometimes other players might read that and say, hey, why didn't you name me. I get along well with 99.9 percent of the players on the tour, if not 100 percent.

JIM COURIER: There's no one right now that I don't get along with on the tour.

JIM COURIER: Yeah, Todd probably puts up a conservative republican side.

JIM COURIER: It's a rumor. Todd is a very bright and funny guy, but he very rarely let's his guard down in public.

JIM COURIER: It's hard to say. It is going to be a very difficult match.

JIM COURIER: It's hard to say. I don't make predictions like that.

JIM COURIER: We don't know who is playing yet. It hasn't been announced. They haven't told us yet.

Q. You look pretty relaxed up there I must say.

JIM COURIER: I have a good suit on. I look like I'm in the mafia.

JIM COURIER: They are all dressed and I didn't have a suit.

JIM COURIER: The shoes and belt are mine, but you think I would buy a shirt that is this big?

JIM COURIER: I think that gave me a big boost. It's exciting to play (INAUDIBLE) it's exciting to play.

Q. I was watching you on TV (INAUDIBLE) did you know all along it wasn't there?

JIM COURIER: I knew all along the rackets were weak and I knew I had a problem, but trying to correct it, I couldn't quite find it. After three balls, I knew I had it when I picked it up and took the weight off and only took three balls and I said where has this been. (INAUDIBLE). But I'm just glad, for whatever reason, I figured out the racket. That's something that feels good in my hand.

JIM COURIER: No, because I had the same specs in my rackets for probably eight years. It was the old racket. Now it's the new racket because the new racket is a lot shifter, I don't need the same weight for power. It's quite a big help.

JIM COURIER: It's just exciting, you know, it's exciting that I can go play and it's almost like getting a new lease on life.

JIM COURIER: I think it's been a fairly exception year. Obviously Muster has had a phenomenonal year. For him to have at run like he did leading in the French Open and winning the French Open and continue on in the summer winning all of those events, he's had an outstanding year, no doubt and the year was very interesting also with Pete and Andre. During the year Andre seemed like he had an upper hand on the clay after awhile and Pete was struggling on the clay and then it kind of turned around. Once the grass court season started, Pete did well at Wimbleton. Andre is still having a great run in the summer and he ran out of gas in The Open. I think he has overplayed. I'm sure he wishes he lost first round in one of these tournaments to save himself a little bit. Basically, the match for No. 1, is The Open for all intents and purposes, that's the match for No. 1 that match and Pete gets it. I think so. Pete gets him and Andre gets hurt right after (INAUDIBLE) obviously everyone would like to see Pete and Andre here. It's kind of puts an exclamation point to the season that we've had together.

JIM COURIER: I don't know yet, Qatar. There is a possibility that I might be coming down there. If (INAUDIBLE) as far as Qatar goes in January, I just don't know yet.

JIM COURIER: I played in the Australian Open and after the Australian Open, I'll be going to Dubai.

Q. (INAUDIBLE) who do you think is going to be the winner?

JIM COURIER: That is a great question. I don't know the answer. We'll see on Sunday.

JIM COURIER: Slower, it is a little slower and the balls are slower.

Q. Which is good news for Jim Courier?

JIM COURIER: It should be. I don't know. I played well every time I've been here.

JIM COURIER: Well, it's hard to put it in perspective because obviously Pete is still young in his career. And I think Pete's record is going to be one of the best you'll ever see. He had a lot of injuries over the year,s but yet he still manages to finish No. 1 in the three years. So he's quite a player, no doubt.

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