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July 22, 2000

Todd Martin

John McEnroe

Chris Woodruff

J. BALCELLS - A. CORRETJA/T. Martin - C. Woodruff 7-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3

USTA: Questions?

Q. What was the story of the match from your point of view?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: The story of the match? Missed opportunities.

Q. Have you been in a situation that you can remember where several opportunities have run away like that?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Probably, yeah. Unfortunately it happens. But yeah. This isn't the first or last time you'll see it on this stuff.

Q. Want to sum up your feelings now?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Well, it's obviously -- it's too bad. I mean we deserved better today and just couldn't get the breaks and, you know, the missed chances. I thought the guys played well. They should have won. It's the old story; it's the same thing. The first set was ours, we just -- there's no way in the world we should have lost that set. Instead of being two sets up, it's a set all and they're in the thick of things. Hey, guys. What's up, man?

TODD MARTIN: We should have followed our leader.

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: You should have. That's what I was trying to tell you. Also I got to talk to a lot of people that were being nice on the way, instead of people looking at us like we're...

TODD MARTIN: You're talking about the zoo?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: I didn't bring that up at all.

Q. Nobody had ever heard much about this guy Balcells. How do you feel he played?

TODD MARTIN: I thought he served very well. I think Chris and I both expected him to serve well. He, you know, there's a reason that he's on the team and that he's continued to play. And figuring his lack of success on the Tour, we knew that he was going to do certain things well.

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: He's got the greatest 83 mile-an-hour serve in the history of tennis. No question.

TODD MARTIN: Quite a serve. And he's quite an athlete. So he was a good presence for Alex up at the net when Alex was serving - or returning for that matter.

Q. Speaking of Alex, can you talk about how he played?

TODD MARTIN: Terribly. No, he played great. I mean I thought he struggled a little bit yesterday against Jan-Michael early, but then, boy, today, especially on my serve, he returned very well. And Chris seemed to have better success serving against him. And then, you know, he won so many key, key points with his athleticism or his hustle or just his defensive skills. And two in particular: One at break point in the first game of the fifth, and -- or on my first service game in the fifth; and the other one was when Chris hit an overhead at him, he reflexed it for a winner. That was at deuce or breakpoint -- deuce on Chris's serve.

Q. You both showed great resilience, having to come back in the match, Todd. But in a sense, how draining was the fact that you lost that first set with so many opportunities?

TODD MARTIN: I'm not going to let Chris talk about this one. They played a great first set, and we had tons of opportunities. And I think I had a set point on my serve and a set point on my return, and I just simply didn't make them play. And, you know, I don't think any of that -- any of what happened in the fifth had to do with what happened in the first. That being said, we're up one set to Love, things feel a little bit better, and, you know, we were a point away from being up one set to Love, and I think that was the worst set that both of us played. And, you know, obviously the second set we loosened up and started playing much better. I think that same thing would have happened had we been up one set to Love.

Q. John, is this a combination that you might use in the future, Chris and Todd?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: I thought the guys played well. They deserved to win. So it's not -- there's certainly no reason why not to use them in a sense. I thought they played well. But I mean obviously, so far in the three matches I played, we haven't won any doubles matches. So that's a problem.

Q. I know it's always difficult, John, straight off to have a setback like this. How would you sum up your first year as Davis Cup Captain?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: It's surprising and disappointing. It's ultimately -- if you don't win the big prize, it's disappointing. It's surprises along the way. But I think today is a perfect example of why Davis Cup is a great competition. I mean the people are really into it, much more into it than other events, except maybe the Majors. And that's about it, at most. So you just see it's exciting to be a part of that. It's obviously, you know, playing is the most exciting. But just to be part of it in any way, I think, is nice. It's draining, you know, in a sense. But it's certainly a great thing.

Q. Did you find it tough, Chris, the crowd cheering between points sometimes and applauding play?

CHRIS WOODRUFF: Not at all. Didn't bother me one bit. I just had trouble -- I had trouble going and getting myself going. I played with a little too much fear in the first set, and I think that was a problem.

Q. Fear of what?

CHRIS WOODRUFF: Well, I just felt a little pressure. You know, I take responsibility for the first game of the -- you know, when Todd served for the first set. I couldn't have played a worse game. I think I let two balls go. Instead of going after it and attacking it and wanting it, I sat back and was a little passive.

Q. John, it's a small point now, but are they allowed to water the court whenever they feel like it? Do you object to them doing that?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: You know, I was told that in the Captain's meeting they were going to water the court after the second set period. That was what was agreed to. Chris and Todd and I all left the court at the end of the fourth set to use the restroom, and when I came back, the court was watered again. You know, I don't know what to say. Obviously it was not agreed to, but they did it. So... That's, you know, another aspect of Davis Cup you have to deal with, I suppose. Because it's not as if, you know, I don't think you get a default if that happens. It was clearly agreed to. Although, you know, I asked Gilmore about it. He claimed it had been agreed to after the second and fourth set, there would be a -- you know, they put some water on the court. But, you know, it's hard to know what to say. You sit there and they tell you one thing and then they do something else. You know, it's just like dealing with the umpires. They swear to God the ball's in and they couldn't be more wrong. Although in this case, I thought the umpires did a good job all three matches. So this is fine. I don't think, you know, any call that was missed pretty much was looked at or overruled in the proper way. So I'm just talking about all the other, you know, events that have taken place. They absolutely stare you in the face and tell you they made the right call when they couldn't be more wrong. And this is another example. I think in this case it did slow things down and help them a little bit. But, you know, I know guys like Stan Smith, and when he went to Romania in '72 I think it was or whatever, they had to deal with worse than we have to deal with. So, you know, you got to overcome those things ultimately. Although I don't think it should have been done; it wasn't agreed to. I mean, you know, the crowd yelling and stuff and all the stuff sort of like some of the guys on the team like, you know, some of the players doing that, I don't -- I think that's, you know, it's just part of Davis Cup. I don't think it's a big deal personally. I mean to me, that's -- it's a good challenge to try to overcome it. I mean it's one thing when they're coughing between -- on Chris's serve; that's pushing it. But generally, I mean, that's, you know, really what makes it exciting.

Q. John, would you have imagined that this job was so tough?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: You know, I probably should have. I thought it would be a bit easier. But it just shows you - it ain't easy. These guys are tough and they never won the Davis Cup. So it's not easy to go out and do the job ultimately. I think our history's great and these guys fought their hearts out. It's tough out there. It's really tough to beat -- I think Corretja showed you that he can -- he played a really solid doubles match. The guy played excellent doubles. And even Balcells played reasonably well. And he's got a heavy serve. He's strong as an ox, the guy. I hadn't seen him before, so, you know, these guys -- these guys are tough. They played well.

Q. How do you see the future of your team?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Well, hopefully things will get easier. I'm going to try to be optimistic, you know. I think that, you know, this has been a tough enough indoctrination. So hopefully things will get easier now.

Q. John, can you tell us who was in the Captain's meeting, and are you saying that Bill Gilmore said one thing and did another?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: You know me well enough to know that. That's exactly what I'm saying. That's what I said. Ask Jeff Ryan. He was there. Yeah, that guy right there, this gentleman. He was there in the meeting with me. Ask the other guys, Bruno and Jorge Diaz, I believe is his name. I don't know what happened. But, you know, I'm not going to -- what can I say? They watered the court. We should have won anyway. We should have won the first set, and we should have won. You know, it's not sour grapes, it's just that that clearly was not agreed to. It made a little bit of a difference. They got that early start in the fifth. You could say that we came out a little bit, you know, lost our focus for a couple of games because we left the court for five minutes. It's just annoying when they say one thing and do another. But having said that, I'm not going to sit there and say we lost the match because they watered the court at the end of the fourth set. We should have won in three or four sets. If we had won the first set, I think we could have potentially won in three sets. You know, the watering thing was -- even if you notice the first day -- and it was much dryer yesterday -- that after the second set when Costa played, they didn't want to water the court because they wanted it slippery out there. Then today when it's much heavier and overcast, suddenly the court's watered twice. You know, that's just Davis Cup. The old days, it was even worse because they had balls out of a box and watered the courts every changeover I think. We don't have it that bad, all things considered. At least every set. I guarantee you every set. You talk about heavy conditions.

Q. For either of the players, would you talk about the last point on Todd's serve, game two of the fifth, when they saved I think it was three overheads and returned. Did you think at any point you would win that point, and would you just walk us through it?

CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: That's tough. That's hitting us where it hurts.

TODD MARTIN: Well, I think it was more than three. And, you know, Chris hit a couple early in the point. I was sitting over there saying, "Chris, don't hit it to Corretja, don't hit it to Corretja." Then I got one, I think it was the easiest one of the point, and I hit it to Corretja. And then we got confused on one ball, and then Balcells shanked a winner. And I mean we didn't have it covered anyways. But, you know, that -- I felt that that was our only mistake. I think if we would have, you know -- that's one of Alex's greatest qualities, is his defensive skills. He can run anything down and get the ball back. And when I hit that first overhead, I thought I hit it well enough to win the point, but he still had had a little bit more room on the court to get to it.

Q. How tough is it when you're playing with a guy you've only played with in one tournament before - and that was a long time ago - to play in a situation like this? You're 2-Love down, you know you need to win to stay in the tie. Obviously your communication is going to be rusty because you don't play together often. How tough is that?

TODD MARTIN: I don't think it's nearly as tough as just being in this situation individually. Chris, this is only Chris's third actual match and we're down 2-zip coming in. Chris and I know each other's game as well as any two players probably, because we're good friends and practice a lot together. And I think we're -- I think as a team, we were very well-prepared and I don't think it caused too many problems having not played for a few years. But, you know, you need to play an awful lot with somebody to work like an oiled machine. You play a couple tournaments in a row, that third week isn't necessarily going to be smooth sailing.

Q. Is there any chance two guys will stick together like you two and keep playing together?

TODD MARTIN: Well, we're trying to play some this summer. And, you know, a lot -- for me, a lot is dictated by my health. I'm hoping to still try to win some singles matches here and there. It's difficult to plan on trying to play twice in a day during the course of the year. So... I think that's the meat of it.

Q. John, did you get any message or any phone call from Andre and Pete?


USTA: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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