April 2, 1999
BIRMINGHAM, GREAT BRITAIN
Q. Todd, Greg said he wouldn't mind being hurt if he could play that well.
TODD MARTIN: Implying -- talking about my injury?
TODD MARTIN: I didn't feel injured today, so I'm very fortunate, thankful and hopeful that that sustains itself for the next few days. And also hopeful that I'm able to play as well as I did today.
Q. Were you able to serve full out, Todd?
TODD MARTIN: Yes, I didn't let go of a whole lot of serves, because I didn't feel that was the appropriate plan, but when I did, I didn't feel it, and I went back for a couple of awkward overheads that didn't bother me, and I certainly didn't take it easy on myself, and I'm very pleased with the way it held up.
Q. Greg also said that the way you played today you'd have beaten anyone in the world, do you think that was a fair assessment? Do you feel that you almost were unbeatable?
TODD MARTIN: Well, I feel like I could have returned anybody's serve today. I felt -- I also served fairly well. But I didn't serve flawlessly, and I didn't play flawless games on my serve, so there's a few guys who could, I'm sure, challenge my serve a little more than Greg did today, but from the returning side I don't think I could ever be happier than I was today.
Q. It was obviously a very wise choice to do what you did in preparation, to take that Lipton tournament off?
TODD MARTIN: I said earlier, it was necessary. And it probably would have been good for me to have taken Indian Wells off, and then maybe I would have been healthy for Lipton, and then come in here with a little bit fresher match practice, and also more practical match practice. I played the Indian Wells tournament from the back court, basically, and I knew I was going to be serving and volleying a lot here.
Q. Could you tell us about your feelings, Tom, were you expecting it?
TOM GULLIKSON: You certainly hope that things go like they did today for us. And playing two players the caliber of Henman and Rusedski, not only are they very good players, they're very good competitors, as well. And Davis Cup it almost matters more how you compete than how you play, sometimes. And to be up 2-love is a great position. We're not relaxing, we know you have to get to three and we know the British team will come back strong tomorrow. So I couldn't be more pleased, but yet I'm not relaxed.
Q. It's a tremendous vindication of your team selection, isn't it, to have Jim play the way he played followed up by Todd?
TOM GULLIKSON: Not really. Jim's record speaks for itself. I don't think you have to justify playing Jim Courier on the Davis Cup.
Q. They've got the same two beaten players coming back tomorrow in the doubles, do you think that could be tough for them?
TOM GULLIKSON: Henman had a long, physical match today with Courier. Rusedski's match with Todd was obviously much shorter and shorter points, as well, most of the time. I'm sure they'll want to bounce back strong tomorrow, and their backs are against the wall, they're going to come out hard tomorrow, so we've got to match their intensity level, and hopefully really come out firing, ourselves, tomorrow, in the doubles.
Q. Are you planning on sticking with the same team or see how Jim feels tomorrow?
TOM GULLIKSON: We have a few options. Todd is a pretty good player, and we've got a few other guys that can play pretty well. We'll discuss it tonight over dinner and a beer, but just for the Captain.
Q. Was there a time when you were thinking about not being able to play here recently, when did you make a decision that you'd be able to come?
TODD MARTIN: I haven't felt -- my stomach, since Indian Wells, really. I took a week and a half off after Indian Wells and did a lot of therapy. And that was very helpful. And the training I've done here has sustained the level of health that I came here with, and unless that would have dropped, I really would not have looked at playing this event. I was determined to play this event, and the only reason I wouldn't have is if it would have affected the chance of the team moving on.
Q. What went through your mind? Did you watch a lot of Jim's match today?
TODD MARTIN: I watched almost all of it. I watched the first set out at the court, and unfortunately there was a TV in the locker room, so I had to deal with sweaty feet and sweaty hands for about three hours.
TOM GULLIKSON: You couldn't turn the TV off.
TODD MARTIN: I didn't have a remote control.
Q. When you see that, when you see the kind of emotion he's going through and coming out on top, doesn't that take you out on the court on a cloud a little bit more?
TODD MARTIN: Made my job a lot easier; 1-all knowing we've got three chances of points on Saturday and Sunday makes -- let me finish -- makes -- that proposition makes it much easier to go out on the court, and had he lost, there's a lot more urgency in my job, then. It's fun to compete when things are important and it's difficult sometimes to compete when things are urgent, so he allowed me to go out firing and right from the get-go I played very well, put myself at ease on top of the lead that he already gave us.
Q. Tom, you obviously were there all day on court. Did you sense the sound level going down a little bit, as the day wore on, amongst the fans?
TOM GULLIKSON: In which match?
Q. Both of them. During the course of the day do you think the sound level from the fans got lower?
TOM GULLIKSON: I think the Henman-Courier match, Henman saved those four matches points in the four set tiebreaker, it was deafening there for a while. There was some serious crowd noise, which was very great. It's great. I was kind of hoping to end it, and force a tiebreaker, myself. But the amazing part to me about that is Jim did not flinch. As soon as he lost that four set breaker, the crowd erupted like Henman had won the match, and obviously I said to Jim, "He didn't win the match, he just prolonged it, but I like your chances". And Jim didn't miss a beat. He was not upset about having to play that fifth set. And Jim had his game face on, and he toughed him out in the fifth set. And it was great tennis.
Q. He seemed like he served particularly well today?
TOM GULLIKSON: Jim?
TOM GULLIKSON: I was looking at the statistics, and the fifth set he won 95 percent of his first service points. The fifth set he served better in the fifth than he did in any other set, which proved, that, A, he's in great shape, and B, he had the adrenaline going, he was really getting up after the serve, and the serve was very, very effective in the first set. And certainly to not have any dramatic service games in the final set was key for him, because anytime he was in trouble, if he would have been in trouble in the fifth set, the crowd really would have helped him in that situation.
Q. He was down love-30 in one game and came back.
TOM GULLIKSON: He fought out of that nicely with some good serving. And like Todd said, he won that match, it just gave the whole team a big boost, and we got fired up, again, before Todd's match in the locker room. And I think Todd felt some momentum going into his match, for sure. I know I sure did.
Q. You guys might not subscribe to this theory, but to those of us on the outside, it seems that it's been a tough few months for Davis Cup in the States. Is it nice to see 2-0 on the scoreboard for that reason?
TOM GULLIKSON: We're happy with our start. We couldn't be happier with our team. Todd can speak probably better than me. We've got a great group of guys that are committed to it, and we've had a great week. We've been working hard all week, we've put in a lot of practice time, and spent a lot of time together. Had every meal together and had some good times, and it's a good atmosphere.
TODD MARTIN: Just fine (laughter.)
TOM GULLIKSON: He usually corrects my English.
TODD MARTIN: Even if we would have had a great few months as far as Davis Cup is concerned, it still has to be up 2-0.
Q. Do you get a chance to go and sample any of the local kind of food, culinary delicacies, or do you just stay in?
TODD MARTIN: Most of us haven't, but a couple of the more active players on our team have visited a few places around town.
TOM GULLIKSON: Some of the practice partners have ventured out a few nights.
Q. Some countries bring their own food and water to an event?
TOM GULLIKSON: We have our own chef, Chef David from New York, who has been with us for a long time, and he does a great job. So we're eating Chef David's food.
Q. With a kitchen?
TODD MARTIN: He shares the main kitchen and carts it up.
Q. That's quite nice of him.
TOM GULLIKSON: Yes, it is quite nice. He even showed my wife how he cooked the salmon last night, so now she's got a good recipe that I'm quite pleased about.
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