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September 3, 1995

Jim Courier


Q. Rolling, rolling, rolling.

JIM COURIER: Yes, yes, yes.

Q. It feels as good as it looks on the score lines?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, it is clean. Hitting the ball well, moving through the draw, that is the way to be.

Q. Bit of a step up to the next one, Muster.

JIM COURIER: Yeah. Yeah, it will be a good match for me. I like my chances. I have a pretty good record against Thomas.

Q. Are you starting to feel excited about this?


Q. Yesterday you were pretty low key or the day before you were pretty low key.

JIM COURIER: Well, I am still low key, but I am excited as well. Just in a low-key fashion.

Q. You haven't played Thomas for a while and he has had this great form this year. Do you have to play differently against him as opposed to in the past?

JIM COURIER: I don't think so, just play my same game, I think. I've got to play my best tennis and see if he plays his best tennis; we will match it up and see who plays better, pretty simple. We are both grinders, so it should be a good grinding match, I would hope.

Q. How tough do you think it is to do what he has done, to go from clay, boom, right back to hardcourt and be really competitive at the highest level on the hardcourt?

JIM COURIER: Well, obviously he feels like he he is in great mental shape, I guess, because he is on a roll from the clay. And, you know, when you are rolling, you can play on nails and play well. So, I think that that is probably his theory, was to play to his strengths and come in here. I think he is playing, from what I have read, he just feels like he is playing with no pressure. Anything he does here is a bonus for him. So, I hope he feels getting to the fourth round is about enough.

Q. When you made the transition, when you go from clay to hard, what is hard about that in short-term?

JIM COURIER: I find it to be easier to go from faster surfaces to slower surfaces. It gives you a little bit more time when you have to go to a slower court. Going to a faster court, obviously the footing is different; can't slide, and you have to be faster with your feet. You know, it's a difficult transition normally for me because I don't go from clay to hard, I go from clay to grass and it is a pretty tough transition.

Q. Jim, Sampras is in a little bit of a tussle here in his match, but if everything goes according to form, by the end of tonight there are going to be eight American players in the round of 16. Could you talk a little bit about that; I guess, it's been a while since --

JIM COURIER: I guess in probably the last four, five years there has been a bunch of Americans. I think we have done it before in other Slams where we have had eight or nine in the round of 16. We have quite a few guys and it is a good thing that it happens here at the U.S. Open, keeps our fans a lot more interested. And I know that I play with a lot of pride here and I think everybody else does too. Hopefully we can keep those eight Americans -- I don't know, I am sure some of them have to play each other now, but hopefully we can get as many on through.

Q. Are there any surprises in this group; I mean, Spadea last night?

JIM COURIER: Not really. Vince is a good player. I have played him earlier this summer and he is playing well.

Q. When you lost to Golmard two weeks ago, then you play him now, you seem to be in a good groove. What happened in that match or did he just play a great match?

JIM COURIER: He played a good match, true enough. I have been having equipment problems all summer and finally got a handle on it on my week off. That has been a big difference for me. I finally feel good with my racket and my handle and spin. It has been a long time since I felt that way.

Q. What did you do?

JIM COURIER: Took some weight off my racket. It was a little bit too heavy in the head and I felt like I was slow on the court, and it was because my hand speed was slow, wasn't able to get the racket through, and now I am feeling a lot better. And not to take anything away from Golmard, he did play a very fine match against me; played a gutsy match, but I like my chances against him any time we play.

Q. How much weight did you take off?

JIM COURIER: About five grams.

Q. Fair amount.


Q. Was that in tape or did you just ask for another frame?

JIM COURIER: No, that was in tape.

Q. Do you feel that you are close to some sort of breakthrough to take you back from where you are now to say, top five?

JIM COURIER: Well, I feel like I am in good shape today and I feel like I am in a good mental frame of mind, and I am just taking it day by day. Hopefully I will continue to feel this way for a long time. When I am feeling this way, someone has to play pretty well to beat me. I feel good about my chances here.

Q. Difference between your frame of mind, which seems to be positive, seem to be good about your game than say a year ago when you were a little uncertain about your game and your frame of mind?

JIM COURIER: A year ago I was tired. I played a lot more tennis than I have to this point, and had been on the road a lot more, and was just basically burned. I didn't want to travel anymore. I wanted to go home. And although I like to go home, I am happy to be here playing and hope to stay here for a lot longer.

Q. So do you start feeling something inside trying to get back to the top, that it becomes more important?

JIM COURIER: Keeping it on the short-term, there is no reason to look long-term because I have to take the first steps before I can start running again, so...

Q. Do you think that the media is overstating the Sampras/Agassi rivalry or do you think it is as great as everyone has built it up to be?

JIM COURIER: I think their matches have been really exciting this year when they have played, and certainly they have been playing for the past year the best tennis out there outside of Muster on clay, of course, but obviously you guys are doing your part to build it up. I think it is great for the game. It is bringing a lot of people that might not necessarily be as interested in tennis -- those two guys are bringing them to the park, so to speak, and we like that. The more people the better. I like playing full houses and if they come to watch them, maybe they will come watch me too.

Q. I know that you have said before during your off days you tend to not watch tennis. Would you watch an Agassi/Sampras final yourself?

JIM COURIER: Probably not.

Q. So it doesn't excite you as much as it does the fans?

JIM COURIER: Well, I have got things to do. Too many good golf courses out there to be bothered.

Q. The only discordant note here this afternoon was Muster coming in and saying that he should have been on that grandstand court and not you. That he is No. 3 in the world and that -- but thought you were American in America in an Open; do you --

JIM COURIER: He wears Lotto so does Boris Becker and they should know that Nike does all the scheduling -- a lot of players get -- they have no privilege. He is lucky to be playing on the main side -- I mean, I am surprised he is not playing in Central Park.

Q. When Mr. Nike does the scheduling, does he do it on the --

JIM COURIER: Phil pretty much just decides what court he wants to sit and watch a match on, basically.

Q. More seriously, Jim, what he was alluding to he says when you guys go over to Europe you get a lot more respect; that you are put on bigger courts due to your seeding.

JIM COURIER: I played on court 16 my last match. I don't have a problem with that. That is Thomas' business.

Q. Do you have an advantage over Muster on this surface?

JIM COURIER: I feel good when I line up against him on any surface. I am ready to go anytime, anyplace, anywhere - I am there.

Q. I know you did the RCA commercial with Pete. But overall, it has been the Pete and Andre show this year. When you are at home surfing on TV and you see another Pete or another Andre ad, do you ever kind of wish that you were more in the limelight?

JIM COURIER: No, definitely not. I mean, if I get myself back up in the rankings -- I feel like they deserve everything that they are getting. There is no doubt, and I have been up at the top and I know what that is like and I am striving to get back there, but I don't -- there is no pride lost not seeing my face on commercials. I don't want -- I don't watch that much TV in any case, so I think it is great. And it is great for the game. Also they are on different commercials where, you know, not just the tennis tournament. If you see a basketball game, you see those guys, that is good for tennis. I like that.

Q. Is it safe to say that you are not striving to get back into the public eye, but you are striving to get back to where your game was?

JIM COURIER: Yeah. I am a tennis player first. I am not a consumer advertiser, so to speak. I am an athlete. That is my primary goal. That stuff, you know, is on the side. This is why I am here is to play tennis, not to try and get on TV for commercials.

Q. When you played Pete in Australia this year, a lot of people were saying maybe Jim is back; maybe he could win the tournament. Did that match set you back a bit?

JIM COURIER: No, not at all. I played well in Davis Cup the next week after that. So it didn't set me back at all.

Q. Besides Pete and Andre, who do you think at this point has the genuine chance?

JIM COURIER: Anybody left at this point.

Q. Anybody?


Q. Nobody has a better shot?

JIM COURIER: Some have better shots than others, but everyone has got a shot. There is no question about that.

Q. Jim, how close are you mentally to your frame of mind when you are on top?

JIM COURIER: I am in a good frame of mind, it has been so long -- no -- I feel like I am in a good state of mind. I am just -- I feel very in control on the court so I am happy with that. I am taking baby steps, one at a time see what happens. Thanks.

End of FastScripts...

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