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January 28, 2001

Ellis Ferreira


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Were you relieved to get out in less than four and a half hours this year?

ELLIS FERREIRA: Yeah. Last year's match was just incredible. Yeah, this was nice to win a big match like this that convincingly. It's very rare.

Q. Congratulations on the victory. How did you come together as a team?

CORINA MORARIU: I asked Ellis in Sydney. And can I say you don't have a very good reputation?


CORINA MORARIU: He doesn't have a very good reputation for putting in 100 percent effort in mixed. So I just wanted to make sure that I was going to get 100 percent effort. But he played great, obviously, and we've known each other for a while. He's around the same age as my older brother, and so they knew each other and we just came together. Neither of us had partners, so that's how .

Q. He's promised to give 100 percent?

CORINA MORARIU: I think that was pretty obvious today. Yeah, he did. Obviously, he played great. We had a great time playing together.

Q. Is that an unfair reputation, that you don't give 100 percent in mixed?

ELLIS FERREIRA: To be perfectly honest, when I played mixed before, I used to try really hard to win, but I would get so frustrated with myself so I would try to do more in mixed doubles than I would do in men's doubles. In men's doubles, I've, you know, learned how to just do the minimum or, you know, play within my game and then work with my partner to win points. When I played mixed, I always felt that I had to do more, then I would miss shots and get frustrated with myself. You know, I mean a lot of times I was trying really hard but I was just playing horrible. I think a lot of it, you know, had to do with trying to find, you know, a good partner to play with. And, you know, Corina is just a great player. So I don't feel like I have to do as much. This whole week I've just been playing basically men's doubles, dumping the volley, she crosses. It's a big, big difference.

Q. Who's the boss out there?

ELLIS FERREIRA: Oh, she's definitely the boss. (Laughter.)

Q. Who sets the tactics?

ELLIS FERREIRA: She does. If you -- (laughter.)

CORINA MORARIU: Yeah, well, I do everything, really. I mean... (Laughing.) No, we're equal partners.

ELLIS FERREIRA: Corina's very experienced, obviously, playing with Lindsay. She was the No. 1 player in the world last year, so she knows how to play. Then we just try to work out our strategies based on -- a lot of times I don't know the girls and she doesn't know the guys. I'll ask, "Where's better to serve for this girl, that girl," something like that.

Q. You're obviously having a lot of fun out there.

ELLIS FERREIRA: We try to. Mixed, it's unique because your players sometimes show a little bit more of their personalties and have a little bit more fun out there. But I thought we played really well, you know, together.

Q. Corina, it's been a great tournament, I would think, for you. Is this a nice jumping off point for the rest of the year?

CORINA MORARIU: Yeah, definitely. Played pretty well the couple weeks coming into the tournament, and unfortunately my singles was a bit of a disappointment. But sometimes that's tough to get over. But, you know, playing doubles and mixed, obviously, just getting some more matches and being able to hit the ball every day in a match situation, really it benefits your singles game as well. So, yeah, I feel really good out there. I feel like I'm hitting the ball well. Geez, I mean, if I can finish off some Grand Slams like this, I won't complain too much. I think it's great and I'm really happy that I was able to step it up and to play good tennis these couple weeks after not playing so well in the singles.

Q. Just on that point about how well this has gone, you two going to team up for the rest of the year at the other Grand Slams? Has it been discussed?

CORINA MORARIU: It hasn't been discussed, but I would love to, obviously.

ELLIS FERREIRA: I was under the impression it had been discussed, you know. I don't know what she's talking about. (Laughter.)

CORINA MORARIU: Well, it's been discussed in passing but hasn't been, you know, cemented. I got to get Ellis to sign the contract that he's going to give 100 percent every time we go out there and all those stipulations. (Laughter.) But, yeah, obviously we're playing really well together and we have a good time, so I don't see any reason why we wouldn't continue that.

ELLIS FERREIRA: I'm two big thumbs up. No, it's been a lot of fun playing with Corina, so, you know, I think if you're going to have fun with mixed doubles, you've got a good chance of playing. A lot of times you just arrive at the Grand Slams and just try and find someone at the last minute, you know, you don't really think that you can really win it. So if you have a set partner, you say, "Okay, we're going to play these," you come into it feeling, you know, we can win these. I'd like to play.

Q. Could you say a few words about your opponents? Obviously Josh Eagle didn't play his best today.

ELLIS FERREIRA: Well, you know, I thought the way we were returning and hitting, it was really difficult for him at net when Barbara was serving and she was staying back. You know, I'm sure he was feeling he was at a shooting gallery or something with Corina hitting forehands down the line. It's just really difficult to be at net there and try and, you know, you get a rhythm for when he has to move. Men's doubles we don't serve; we stay back. So....

CORINA MORARIU: I think obviously Barbara has improved a lot as a doubles player. I don't know Josh that well, but obviously maybe he didn't play his best game, but I think we started to put the pressure on from, you know, the first game. Ellis played just an unbelievable first game, and from then on I think, you know, maybe we had something to do with the fact that, you know, Josh didn't play his best or maybe Barbara didn't play her best because I think we were, you know, hitting the ball really well and clean and pressing a lot and putting a lot of pressure on them. So I think maybe we had something to do with that, too.

Q. You're obviously expecting Todd Woodbridge and his partner at the Finals?

ELLIS FERREIRA: I was, yeah. I thought that was a great win for them. I mean, Todd is just so -- I have a tremendous respect for his game. He's just a great doubles player, and Rennae is great, too. She won it last year here. So that was a good win for them.

CORINA MORARIU: Yeah, I mean obviously, mixed doubles on a certain day, you know, if a couple people, you know -- team's off or one player's off, that can make all the difference sometimes. You know, maybe Todd was a little bit tired. He played a couple night matches. But Barbara and Josh must have played really well so, you know, they deserved to be there. They won it in straight sets. Sometimes with the tiebreaker third set you can kind of get some teams that are the underdogs maybe, because in the tiebreaker it's just a bit more of a crap shoot. But they won in straight sets so they must have played some pretty good tennis.

Q. Do you encourage Ellis to go for a ball with his shots if he's going after the female on the other side?

CORINA MORARIU: Yeah, we never really talk about that. (Laughing.) No, he's pretty good. When he has to hit it to the girl, he will. But, you know, obviously not to the extent where every ball should go to the girl and try to take her head off, I mean, obviously. And all the guys that we've played against have been really, really good with that and really nice, and that makes mixed doubles fun as well. Sometimes when the guys are just hitting every ball as hard as they can at the girls and just trying to win so badly that they don't really take into consideration that, you know, it's meant to be a little more fun and a little less serious, so he's been great with that. And if I have to tell him to go after the girl, I will next time. (Laughter.) But I haven't had to yet.

ELLIS FERREIRA: I mean, obviously we're all, you know, top professionals. It's so easy to redirect a volley at their toes or around them, you don't really have to hit them. Even that one time when Josh had that big smash, he just hit it at her feet.

CORINA MORARIU: I'll have a bruise on my shin, but that's okay. I forgive him.

ELLIS FERREIRA: Better that than in the head. You know, I think most of the players understand that we're supposed to, you know, enjoy it and have fun. And luckily the people we've played with, you know, have all played in the good spirit of the game and it's, you know, we don't play mixed except in the Grand Slams. So it's fun at least to try and play a little bit. You can hit at the girl without having to, you know, hit it too hard. You just dip it down. Sometimes the harder you hit it, the better they do. If you get a little softer, it's tougher for them to deal with.

CORINA MORARIU: Women's doubles can be a little brutal sometimes anyway, so the girls are kind of used to it I think.

ELLIS FERREIRA: I find sometimes the change of pace is what actually gets them. When I serve really hard, they return it easier. When you put spin on it, it moves slower, they sometimes miss it.

Q. When you climbed the wall, Ellis, did you say something to that spectator?

ELLIS FERREIRA: I did. I think I scared her. Because I came up and I just went, "I missed that one, didn't I?" She kind of looked at me thinking, "Oh, my God. This guy's crazy."

CORINA MORARIU: She thought you were going to plant a kiss on her or something.

ELLIS FERREIRA: "He's coming over that wall!" Anyway, no, I just said, "Gee, I missed that one." I don't think she was expecting me to come up that way.

End of FastScripts....

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