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August 10, 1999

Todd Martin

CINCINNATI, OHIO, TODD MARTIN/ Ramon Delgado 6-4, 5-7, 6-2

Q. Looked like a good match, a battle.

TODD MARTIN: I tell you that's the first time I've been on the court with Ramon, I think, and he's got a lot of shots. He's got a nice serve. Fortunately, he didn't serve all that well today. And he hits his backhand down the line as well as anybody around. I was amazed. He hit -- I think it's one of the toughest shots to hit, especially off the lowballs. And he hit a lot of good shots off of -- I thought pretty good, sliced backhands. I was very impressed. He just played a couple games where he made a few too many errors.

Q. How are conditions?

TODD MARTIN: I felt like I played okay. The ball was flying all over the place. I thought the conditions at Montreal were very quick. Considering the weather, the hotter it gets, the quicker it gets. I thought today was just as quick, if not quicker than last week in Montreal. That will be something to contend with.

Q. What was the difference between the third set and the first two?

TODD MARTIN: I probably played a little bit more aggressively. Cut down on me -- actually I think probably the fact that I was a little bit more aggressive disrupted his rhythm a little bit. And so then, even when I wasn't able to be aggressive, I think his timing was a little off. And also, he felt a little bit more urgency, probably, to attack me. And subsequently, I won a number of points on his errors.

Q. Can you talk about the year that you're having?

TODD MARTIN: Well, I can count my first-round losses on just a couple hands over the last five years, probably. I usually come to tournaments ready to play; so, that's nice. It's the number of second and third and fourth rounds that I'd like to improve on. But I've played very consistently. Probably that's the best thing going for me right now. More than not, I'm playing at an adequate level. I'm not putting as many matches together where I feel like I walk off the court and just am patting myself on the back for how well I played. But I've played well, frequently. And okay, almost every match. I haven't played too many really bad matches. And if you think through it, you can play okay and win a lot. And that's where I'm at. And hopefully, one of these days I'll start clicking a bit and put a number of good matches together in a row. Hopefully, in the next month or so.

Q. What are your some of your short-term goals, just rankings?

TODD MARTIN: I try to avoid looking at the rankings. I think Pete Sampras pretty well knows that's the No. 1 player in the world, whether it's a week whether he's No. 1 or No. 2 or even a couple weeks ago, No. 3. I feel like I'm one of the better players in the world. So the way I judge my game is how I play, not necessarily what number is allocated to my name on a given week. Thus, I am focusing; my goals are definitely geared towards performance and development, not how good my results are. And that's purely what the rankings are.

Q. Are you thinking about winning more tournaments?

TODD MARTIN: That's result. I'd love to. I'm not saying I don't have a desire to win. But it's simple: On a given day, anybody can play better than me. It's just a matter of trying to manage my tennis as well as I can so that I don't allow that to happen easily.

Q. As one of the better players, how surprising is it to look at Andre Agassi's career, knowing what it takes to be a better player? (Inaudible) And also, how remarkable it is that he seems to always rebound so incredibly?

TODD MARTIN: I don't think everybody always has a focus. My range is like this. (Indicating). His range is significantly greater. In many ways, I feel like those lapses have helped Andre. In essence, he took a vacation for a while, and that's -- when he finally decided that he wanted to work at it again and commit to it, I'm sure he felt pretty fresh. He wasn't beating his body up. He wasn't losing matches. He was losing early in tournaments. He wasn't playing as many tournaments, probably. And I think we all know he wasn't investing as much mentally and emotionally as he usually does. So you put all those things together, and you've got somebody who is probably -- if he puts his mind to it, pretty ready to play. And you couple that with a talent level like Andre's, and it's just a matter of him believing in himself again.

Q. Would you consider him the best draw in the game right now, for the fans?

TODD MARTIN: I would assume. But it's certainly not my -- not my place to judge who people want to come watch more. But from the yelps from the crowd, I would think that he would be at the top of the list.

Q. How much of an impact has coaching had in your career?

TODD MARTIN: Me coaching or being coached?

Q. Being coached?

TODD MARTIN: It's had a huge impact. I think I've been very fortunate, both from the time that I couldn't choose a coach; that I just sort of took who was -- who I lived near, I guess. When I was young, in Ohio, up in northern Ohio, I had a good coach who taught me how to play. And then when we moved to Michigan when I was 10, I met a guy who has impacted my career more than anybody, other than my parents -- or impacted my life more than anybody other than my parents. From there, once I started selecting my coaches, one going to Northwestern; I had a good coach there. And then through the USTA program, I had an opportunity to work with a number of great coaches in Jose and Tom Gullikson and a few others; and then my two personal coaches as a professional, Robert Van't Hof and Dean Goldfine have had great impacts on my career.

Q. You've basically stayed at home and trained, but then there's Pete, Lindsay Davenport who were in the academy,, do you think you gained anything from not being in the academy, or did you gain something from being home with your family?

TODD MARTIN: Only gained. Not necessarily compared to the other guys, but I gained, personally. I would have lost a lot had I missed out on the upbringing I had; and so I feel like I really benefited being raised at home, with other interests and not a real serious focus on tennis. But even now, I find it easier to train away from home. As a professional, I feel it's easier to take myself away from comfort and put myself into a little bit more of an academy setting.

Q. You don't feel that your you lost anything from not having academy training?

TODD MARTIN: No. I think it's a give-and-take. I probably don't hit the ball as consistently as I would have had I hit five hours a day as I would have for eight years growing up. But I think I understand the game a little bit better than I would have. And I enjoy the game much more than I would had I played that much tennis when I was young.

Q. Is it gratifying to approach that level that you were at in '94?

TODD MARTIN: Personally, I feel like I was more consistent than I was in '94, and I feel like I am a better player than I was in '94. I don't feel like I have that sort of naive approach to the game; sort of just me-against-the-world. I understand it a little bit better. And that's almost a liability. So I hit a few more -- a few more peaks and valleys in '94 than I have in the last 10 months, probably. It's been pretty -- been a pretty even ride. Back in '94, I still think I was a fairly consistent player, but there were weeks where I just let it fly and everything went in; and there were weeks where I let it fly and -- well, days where I let it fly, and it was a short tournament for me.

Q. Has coaching changed since you turned pro? Is it more relaxed?

TODD MARTIN: Each coach has their own style. Some guys like to sort of have command of the ship. And some guys defer to the player. And there are others who have a nice balance. It's a strange -- it's always going to be strange because the player hires the coach to boss him around. And that just doesn't make much sense if you look at it logically. But it's something that most coach/player relationships rely solely on the player, in that he understands what the coach is trying to do. And although he doesn't want to hear everything that the coach has to say, it's probably best for him to listen.

Q. Who was the coach you talked about?

TODD MARTIN: Rick Ferman.

Q. How did he have such an impact?

TODD MARTIN: Well, he taught me how to play. And as I -- as I grew up, he taught me how to be on the tennis court. And obviously, I take some of that off the court with me. And then since I've turned professional, he's been the most consistent and closest consultant that I have about my career and about my life.

End of FastScripts….

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