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March 18, 1994

Jim Courier


Q. Jim, 5-4 you broke Petey at 5-4 --

JIM COURIER: He doesn't like it when you call him Petey.

Q. -- broke Mr. Sampras at 5-4?

JIM COURIER: "Pete" will be fine.

Q. You hit that awesome point there.

JIM COURIER: Yeah, basically, I made a real bad decision - couple of bad decisions - that game-- that cost me. Really good last point was a good point. No problem with that one. I just made some bad choices, so --

Q. What do you think, Jim, about the match in general? I mean, Pete obviously seems to serve well and everything.

JIM COURIER: My summary, I thought he served pretty badly, actually, for the way he has been serving against me. You have to ask him. Overall, I didn't think that either of us played anywhere near our best. I thought it was a good competitive match even though we weren't playing our best. The points were pretty close, obviously. The sets were fairly competitive and it made for some good exciting tennis for the people to watch anyway.

Q. Do you think that when you guys got into some of the rallies that seemed like you weren't really able to pressure him or to hurt him in the rallies. He was just hitting the ball; especially forehands?

JIM COURIER: I did exactly what I wanted to do. that is the way I wanted to play him. So, no; no problem there.

Q. Did you feel that your passing shots weren't there when you really needed them?

JIM COURIER: No. Did you?

Q. Yeah. Couple of times. Not a lot.

JIM COURIER: That is why you are writing and I am playing.

Q. You would have beat him, I guess, if they were there?

JIM COURIER: Just if I would have made a few better decisions during the match, I wouldn't have had any problem. But, you know, take the positive from the match and go on.

Q. Did you feel the crowd was on your side today?

JIM COURIER: They are pretty equal.

Q. Jim, what was sort of the positives that you would take from the match today?

JIM COURIER: I just think that I am on the right track. I think I kind of bottomed out at Indian Wells. I think mentally I am the best I have been in a long time as far as having a clear picture of how I want to play the game and how I need to play and how -- what kind of player, you know, I am as far as my style and I feel like I am doing the things that I need to do to get myself for the bigger tournaments coming up which are the French, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. I think that I am on the right track. Hopefully I am going to keep playing well like I did this week; although, I didn't play as well as I would have hoped today. I thought I played some good tennis in some earlier matches, and I think I am climbing up again, picking myself up.

Q. Jim, do you think much has been made when you dropped a couple of spots on the rankings?

JIM COURIER: People think you are too good when you are winning and you are too bad when you are losing, there is always a level ground that I have to find.

Q. Jim, did you think that the serve at 2 to 1 hit the line, 30-40, breakpoint?

JIM COURIER: Absolutely.

Q. You didn't seem to argue; you only argued it after the second serve. You didn't seem to push it too much after the first?

JIM COURIER: If he doesn't overrule it immediately, he is not going to do it. So there is no point in getting yourself upset and not being able to play the point. Play the point and state your case, I guess, more just to maybe, I guess, I hope I get another call later, kind of retribution.

Q. Jim, you had three set points in the second set. Pete hit a pretty good serve on one of them, but you had a clear shot on the first one off the second serve; you had a clear shot on the passing shot. Could you tell us what happened?

JIM COURIER: He hit a good serve on one of them. Another one I just hit a bad return, just kind of got tight on - basically I was real tight on the second serve return. And next point that I had a set point on, I thought I was playing it-- fairly good point; could have been a little bit more aggressive. He shanked the ball into the corner; kind of put me on the defensive and just -- it is kind of par for the course.

Q. Do you feel you have to be more aggressive against him the next time you play, or are you happy to sit back and bang backhands with him?

JIM COURIER: I am happy to play backhand to backhand all day; sit out there as long as it takes.

Q. Don't you think that if you made any mistakes in those rallies that you would let him make the quick move to the net before you might have made a move to push him into a corner?

JIM COURIER: Oh, you guys. So what you are saying is you think I should play more aggressive-- are you trying to be my coach?

Q. Not every time, sometimes?

JIM COURIER: I don't really want to get into that with you guys. I think I know what I am doing. I think my record will show that I know what I am doing. I will leave it at that if that is all right with you all.

Q. You are such a great player on the clay. There is a lot of talk how Pete will do when he gets to the French. How do you address his --

JIM COURIER: If he serves well I think he is good on anything. He could play well on nails. It is going to be his toughest surface because that is the most physically demanding tournament, you know, if you are going to play, you are going to have to beat some guys to the grind with three out of five set matches, that is tough. He has been to the quarters, so if he can get out there he can probably go a little closer. It will be tough for him. But shoot, if I get to the finals of Wimbledon, I think he can do all right in the French. There is hope for everybody.

Q. When you hit that return serve were you going for the head or were you going for the feet?

JIM COURIER: I just caught that late, I thought. I thought he was going to serve to my backhand and he just caught me off guard.

Q. Did he say something to you when you walked there to sit down? Did he think you tried to hit him on --

JIM COURIER: He asked me if I shanked it. I said no. But I caught it pretty late. I am not going to try to hit Dana. Dana is one of the best guys on the tour out there, and I like him a lot, and I think the feeling is pretty mutual, and I am not that good aiming a 120 mile an hour serve, I couldn't hit him anyway.

Q. Would you like to see this tournament, the semifinals, best of five?

JIM COURIER: It is hard to say. I don't really know. This tournament feels more like it is a lot closer to a Grand Slam than any other tournament. I think, particularly with the new stadium, it feels a lot more for some reason. It seems more important to me; a lot more professional. I think if you are going to make it three out of five, then you have to do what we have done and play, have a day off before the semifinals. I don't think that you can expect players to play four days in a row and then continue on to the semis and then play a three out of five set match. You kind of have to give the guys a day off if you are going to do it.

Q. Do you think if they could do that it would be acceptable?

JIM COURIER: Sure, would be. Be okay with me.

Q. What decisions did you make that you thought were poor today or ones that stick out?

JIM COURIER: Few times where I tried to play a little too fast.

Q. You were talking about the stadium. How do you feel about the new stadium and the facilities within?

JIM COURIER: I love it. I think it is great. The stadium court is really everything a stadium should be. It is comfortable for the fans. It is comfortable for the players, and everything for us is enclosed. The lounge, and the food, and the lockerrooms are all in the one complex, so you know, we are pretty relaxed as far as moving around. We are not real pressured, so, quite an improvement and the weather hasn't been uncooperative this year either, so that is good.

Q. Jim, when you say you tried to play too fast, do you mean you were rushing yourself too fast?

JIM COURIER: That is exactly what I mean.

Q. You got to go to India tonight or tomorrow?

JIM COURIER: I am going to see if Andre will let me take his plane; try and go whenever I am ready.

Q. Jim, you said you have a clearer picture now of where your tennis is in a long time. Can you talk about what that picture is?


Q. Is it a strategy thing?

JIM COURIER: It is just an idea in my head of what I need to do, and I have gotten a lot of the crap out of my head, I guess, and cleared it up, and now everything seems simple again. And when things are simple, that is the best time, I think, for all of us in our lives. When things are simple, you know, what you are trying to do is a lot easier and that is for me. Things seem pretty simple now, and I know what I am doing.

Q. Anyone helping you with that or is that just you yourself?

JIM COURIER: Brad and I had a really good discussion this week. It really helped kind of get a lot of things that had been building up inside out in the Open. We both feel real good about it and ready to head on forward.

End of FastScripts....

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