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March 7, 1995

Jim Courier


Q. Can we talk about the Davis Cup or do you want to talk about the match first?

JIM COURIER: Whatever.

Q. Well, have you made your definitive decision about the Davis Cup and if so, can you explain that thought process?

JIM COURIER: Well, I was -- really not much I can say because I am still talking to Gully on the process and, you know, it is a difficult decision I think for all of us and, you know, hopefully what is going to happen is a good team is going to come out of the selection process and going to get the job done for us.

Q. What is so tough going to Palermo, going to clay, shooting over from the Lipton, I mean, seems that nobody really wants to play it; that is going to give the Italians a great chance?

JIM COURIER: I agree with you. The scheduling is very difficult for us. The players that are potentially involved, there is only one player that is going to be playing on clay after that, the best of us are going to be playing on hard courts or not in Europe, rather. . .

Q. Talking about Pete?

JIM COURIER: Pete is going to be playing in Europe. I think Todd is going to be staying in America and Andre and Michael and myself will be going to play in Asia on hardcourts. It is a real difficult schedule for us. You know, my options are still open. My thought process is, you know, coming this year I was the fifth ranked American; I didn't really schedule myself around the Davis Cup because I didn't think that I would be selected, so I played the first four weeks of the year in Australia. I was not expecting to be asked to play the first round; was asked to play; didn't want to play on a scheduling basis because I thought, you know, it is going to be in Florida; just doesn't make sense playing four weeks in Australia; I have to play in Florida; then come back and play in San Jose, but figured it was needed to be done, so I went played the first one; I told Tom that I am playing the first one and this is the kind of thing that got me in trouble last year by playing too much and that is what kind of talk took my fire away a little bit. I don't want to relive that, if I can avoid it. You know, hopefully if in the future -- I know that the ITF is in discussion with the ATP on the scheduling; hopefully, we are going to get a better schedule because the Davis Cup is such a great event that it deserves a schedule that allows the top players time to play at their best because right now, you can't expect the top player to travel across the continent and change surfaces and in four days plays his best tennis. A top player is going to be playing on fumes, and it is difficult for everybody involved; for the Italians as well. If they were playing in America, you know, it is not a good schedule; hopefully it is going to get better, but that is my short winded version on it.

Q. Just one more thing. Is it more going over to clay, or what if it was in Rome or Atlanta would that make any difference?

JIM COURIER: Put it this way; I went to India last year from Lipton and played on grass which is far and away my worst surface and got the job done. It can be done. For me, going to hard court/clay court, I did that all my life growing up. I am playing morning on clay; afternoon on hardcourts. That is not a problem for me. It is just - it is a factor of looking at the schedule and saying, well, I want to keep on playing tennis after this or am I going to be tired or what - you know, as I said, I haven't really -- didn't think out. I am still talking to Tom about it, but, you know, it is difficult for all of us.

Q. Anybody come as a package, I mean, if Pete play, you play; if Chang --

JIM COURIER: Talk to Andre about that, I am not involved in that one. I think in my opinion that, you know, if you want to play, you should play -- shouldn't be dependent on somebody else. That is my thought on that one.

Q. Jim, in golf a lot of great players have had success and then they seem to hit a kind of a wall like distance runners out there. They have to play through it, or some don't.


Q. Most of them do. Nicklas talked about that. I wondered --- you mentioned last year -- I wondered if tennis is somewhat the same?

JIM COURIER: Well, I think that it is. I think that golf and tennis are similar in that the schedules -- there is not a real off-season in either sport which can build up on you year after year, and I think that to play at a very high level, it is very intense and looking on the golf side, I guess the last guy that I saw that happened to be Curtis Strange, he had the great run and it seemed like when he didn't win his third U.S. Open, he really suffered mentally, he kind have had a big let-down. I can totally, you know, understand the feelings that he had because I didn't have any definitive moment where I didn't win something I was banking on, but it was just a gradual thing for me where I was just playing too much; not having enough time at home and just losing interest.

Q. Sometimes in golf they have taken instructions and lessons from too many people and really lose -- then they get back to it after a while?

JIM COURIER: Seems to me that it always takes a look inside rather than outside to get back to what, you know, what you do best. I think that when you look at elsewhere for answers you get a lot of different -- you get a lot of different responses; perhaps they will help you in the short-term, but I think long-term, you know, it always comes from the inside for the champion, I think that is where it is.

Q. In the vein, are you finding that the best way for you to get back into tennis is to play less? You were talking in Australia about practicing less too.

JIM COURIER: For me, I had a wonderful off-season; had about seven weeks where I didn't play tournaments; really didn't travel. Just resting, and enjoying, you know, life and working hard, but working smart. I wasn't burying myself on the court. You know, I think that for me, it is a thing-- the working smart is a big thing for me. I don't need to spend as many hours on the court as I once did. I don't know if I ever really did. I just felt that I needed to.

Q. Did you feel that when you got to the top and then things started to go a little bit down, everyone was just trying to get a piece of you too much; you weren't doing your own thing?

JIM COURIER: Well, that is kind of part and parcel of the job. There is lots of outside interest that, you know, when you are ranked at or near the top, you know, there is a lot of commitments that you have to make. And the guys that handle that best are the ones that stay there the longest. I think that I have handled that fairly well and I am trying to handle it better and better and I think it is also a maturing process. We are very young when we start this, although, in linear years we are inside a little bit older. I think for myself, I will be getting better and better as I get older, just live a little longer; see it from a more mature vision maybe, hopefully.

Q. Jim, you haven't played you Zoecke for three years. He started to come back pretty much in the second set. Did you expect that or did you have a game plan to kind of figure how to top him?

JIM COURIER: I knew that his game is a very powerful game and I just had to be aware of what he was doing and try, you know, try to get his serve back anyway that I could because once I get the serve back on the court I think that I am going to win most points. So that was -- I was having trouble getting the serve back.

Q. Jim, can I just ask you about your thoughts on Philippousis having played him a couple of days ago?

JIM COURIER: I think he is a very bright promise, a good looking prospect for Australian tennis. He has got a huge game which is I think essential these days. You have to have weapons and he has certainly got those. And he is young and he is fearless and, you know, I think that is a good combination, young fearless and with weapons. If he gets some good instruction, I think he will be a very fine player. He already is a very good player. I just think he just needs a little bit of seasoning.

Q. Jim, if you don't play Davis Cup, will you feel guilty about it?

JIM COURIER: I will tell you what, if I don't play Davis Cup and nobody else does, I am going to be ticked off that I made the effort to go to Florida. That is what I will do. Because I think we all have to sacrifice at some point and I have been making the sacrifice and, you know, it is a team thing. I can't win Davis Cup by myself. I can only do two points, possibly three, if I play doubles, and it takes, you know, at least two to tango in Davis Cup. I need a tango partner to help me out. I think Todd Martin, you know, is a guy that has been there every time and, you know, we would like to see some other guys help us out.

Q. Ever gone from No. 2 to No. 9 like this?

JIM COURIER: Well, let us see, I went from number -- what was I in Australia?

JOE LYNCH: Sidney was 3, I think, right.

JIM COURIER: I didn't play Sidney. Adelaide, I was maybe two or 3 to 11. Doesn't matter. Six matches to win the tournament.

Q. Becker is getting 2 and a half million dollars to play Davis Cup; Stich 1 and a half million. What are your thoughts about that.

JIM COURIER: Good for them.

Q. What about the USA?

JIM COURIER: We get $25,000 a man per Tie, plus we have a little bit of the prize money. I mean, we get paid far below market value, but Davis Cup is something that to this point, you know, I think that we all feel good about playing and I don't think that throwing 2 and a half million dollars is going to change a lot of our minds, but good for them. If they throw it at you, I think we would take it. Who wouldn't, but, it is not about money. And when people say it is not about money, it is always about money.

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