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March 13, 1994

Jim Courier


Q. Just a slow start, Jim?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, I just-- I didn't start off serving too well there and kind of set a tone for the way I played in the first set. I finally got my serves together a little bit in the second and the third and that really helped me out to get some free points I needed. Jeff was playing pretty well.

Q. Did you see him go for your racket back there?

JIM COURIER: Yes, Jeff's got quite a personality.

Q. Did you see him showing off his muscles to the crowd; did you see that?

JIM COURIER: Yes, my peripheral vision caught that, I wouldn't look at it. I have seen Jeff's body, it is not a pretty sight.

Q. Were you a little surprised when you saw Stefan take the wild card?

JIM COURIER: Stefan took a wildcard here? I had no idea.

Q. You knew he was playing the tournament?

JIM COURIER: I saw him here, I don't really look at the entries, so I just kind of see who shows up.

Q. You know it could have moved you around in the draw?

JIM COURIER: I don't pay much attention.

Q. Do you know who you play next?

JIM COURIER: Yes, I just found out. I do know that, that's all I need to know.

Q. How satisfying was tonight or was the slow start discouraging to you; do you feel you need to eliminate that from your repertoire?

JIM COURIER: I certainly would like to eliminate it from my repertoire. Slow start is not something you want to keep in your bag of tricks, but, no, I'm very happy that I was able to come back and, you know, I played some good tennis in the second and third sets, and, you know, just played intelligently. That's a real positive sign for me.

Q. Do you feel a reason to be fresh and motivated at the moment?

JIM COURIER: Yes, feel very good.

Q. As strong as the men's game is right now, you and Pete and even like the up and comers, Todd Martin, can you get a sense of the women's game missing players and they've got no sponsor and now no executive director --

JIM COURIER: Well, it certainly-- I think it's difficult to create excitement when you have a girl that hasn't lost a match since the number one player got hurt. I think that creates a little bit of a stigma, kind of an asterisk situation which is kind of undeserving, nothing to do with Steffi, she had nothing to do with it and she has been the benefactor of it through no doings of her own and certainly is playing fantastic tennis, but I think that it is a little bit-- it's just too much of a foregone conclusion that she's going to win tournaments and I think no one likes to see a sure thing. That's what men's tennis has going for it is the parity. People can come out to a match today-- I'm playing guys not even ranked in the top hundred, and guys I know have played many times and played tight matches with and know it's going to be tough, but they think, well, here's a top guy playing out of the top 100 and he should cruise, and certainly on the women's side that happens and that doesn't happen for us. Sometimes it does.

Q. One of things Steffi mentioned about the reason that there's a gap between her and the others, she thought a lot of the other players didn't work hard enough for it. Do you think the men players generally work pretty hard to get to the top or is there complacency in the middle ranks as well?

JIM COURIER: I think that-- I think that most of the guys on the men's side in the singles really work hard. The women's side, I mean, Steffi, you look at her body, she's got very, very little body fat, she's extremely fit and I look at a lot of the other girls and I can't say that. They're fit, but not relative to Steffi. She's in a whole another level. She's kind of like Martina was maybe eight, nine, the ten years ago, I can't remember, when she went on the diet and started weight training and took off and Steffi is kind of there, right now.

Q. Do you feel like the men kind of have to carry the women through the sport right now?

JIM COURIER: I wouldn't say that. Don't put any words in my mouth. I don't need that grief.

Q. Jim, do you change anything about your preparation for this season knowing the kind of run that Pete has been on? Does Pete's success alter anything you do?

JIM COURIER: Not at all. Anybody's success doesn't change the way I approach the game. I'm playing for me, not for them or for anybody else. So, you know, I'm kind of in my own little tunnel with my blinders on and what everybody else does is great. I'm just worried about what I'm doing.

Q. Yeah, but he said he used you a little bit as an incentive, that you having won the French and it showed him that he could do it, he could win Grand Slams; are you learning from him at all?

JIM COURIER: Everybody has their own way of motivating themselves. My motivation has always been me, seeing how good I can do.

Q. Which is the most important tournament for you after the Grand Slam and Davis Cup?

JIM COURIER: I don't have one in particular. Not one in particular. It would be tougher to pinpoint one after that. Probably the Grand Slam Cup. I want that. A million six, that's what I want.

Q. Are you agreeing with the new ranking system? Is it good for you? What is your opinion?

JIM COURIER: I don't even know much about it. I know what I'm doing, I know they've added points for the Grand Slams which I think is something that should have been done before, and, you know, the points-- the tournaments should be weighted by their value to the game of tennis and that's the way it should be done and that's what they're doing now, so I'm in agreement with that.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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