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August 18, 1996

Byron Black

Grant Connell


Q. Right away you broke them, got a good charge quickly. They came back with that. Was that kind of game plan you wanted to do?

GRANT CONNELL: It's always nice to start fast. We did come out even faster than normal for us and played really well. When they came back and broke us, got one of the breaks back, we didn't think too much of it because, you know, they're a really good team. They just took a little bit longer to settle. We knew it was going to be a dogfight, but we were really happy that we did get off to two quick breaks.

Q. Have you played them before?

BYRON BLACK: I played with them Sandon Stolle in the finals of New Delhi tournament. We lost 7-6 in the third. It was nice to get a little revenge, playing with grant today.

GRANT CONNELL: I actually lost to them with Todd Martin in Monte-Carlo in the semis this year. Not too much luck against them with different guys.

Q. This is the right combination?


Q. You guys have played at night most of this week.

BYRON BLACK: Yes. It was tough at night seeing the ball, really tough. I struggled a bit. It was nice coming out during the day the last two matches. I think we're seeing the ball a lot bigger, a lot better. We definitely struggled our first few rounds, then we settled down and played really well today, played very aggressive, really stuck it to them, especially early on.

Q. When you started at night?

GRANT CONNELL: One was very late. Didn't get finished till midnight.

Q. Seems like you guys are heading into the Open with just the right type of momentum.

BYRON BLACK: Yeah. Actually, you know, we did this sort of before the French Open. We did well in Rome, we expected a lot out of ourselves, you know. This time I think we should just approach it a little different.

GRANT CONNELL: We have one more week, the Canadian Open, to mess up. We can peak for the US Open. We struggled our whole week with our form. This is the first match we played very well. We're pleased with it, but we still have a lot of work to do.

Q. (Inaudible)?

GRANT CONNELL: We played a lot. We played a lot for a while. Hadn't played again for four weeks prior to this. No, Cincinnati we played. We hadn't played too much since Wimbledon together.

Q. How much pressure is there on you in the Canadian?

GRANT CONNELL: Not that bad. I've been playing it for years. Earlier on when I was playing with Michibata, two Canadians, they always wanted us to win the title. The last few years when I haven't won it, they've sort of eased up on me a little bit. It's just like any other tournament for me.

BYRON BLACK: Did you guys win it?


Q. (Inaudible).

GRANT CONNELL: No. We sort of covered this the other day with some people. It's a long day of tennis. Some people choose not to stick around. I would like to see when at all possible the doubles first earlier in the day so that people have a chance to filter in, you know, and sort of catch -- even if they only catch the last set of the doubles, at least you're playing in front of a full house, at least more of a capacity crowd. A good warm-up for the singles.

Q. Why do you think tournaments don't do that? It seems like a very logical idea.

BYRON BLACK: Because TV starts. They want to know when TV is going to start. That's the problem. But we could always start a little earlier so that we know we're going to finish before the deadline, you know, before the time is set for singles.

Q. I know you talked a little bit about this yesterday, about playing the singles and doubles, satisfying to play doubles when you weren't doing as well in singles. Is that what happened this week?

BYRON BLACK: Yeah. I was struggling with my confidence at the beginning of the week, hadn't been playing too many matches, winning too many singles matches. Nice to get some confidence through this doubles win, hopefully. It's picked me up a bit, feel a lot better about myself. Hopefully I'll take that into the next few weeks. Even though it's a different game, doubles, it will still keep me going in the singles, you know.

Q. (Inaudible)?

BYRON BLACK: We had a Goodwin in Dubai. We won 6-Love, 6-1. Played really well there. This team is obviously a lot better than the guys we played in Dubai. We beat Vacek and Kafelnikov right after they won the French Open. I think we played very solid today. Haven't played much better than this all year.

Q. How much do you guys look forward to this Hartford event, strictly a doubles event?

GRANT CONNELL: I love it. Last year my partner and I won in Holland. It's a round robin. Nothing like it for us during the year. It's something to look forward to.

Q. Who was your partner?


Q. Byron, technically you're more known as a doubles than a singles player. Winning a tournament gives you a pick me up for singles. Did what Alex O'Brien do today do the same thing? He's technically known as a doubles player, come out here and won his first singles. He says, "I can do that, too."

BYRON BLACK: Sure. I won my first title in Seoul this year, in Korea, my first singles title. My singles has been coming along since last year in the US Open when I got to the quarterfinals. I've been picking my singles tournaments, at the big Super 9s, championship series tournaments, been trying to do the singles and the doubles. I'm happy with the progress I've made in singles the last nine, ten months. It's good to know that Alex can come through. He's been playing qualifiers the last few weeks as well for some tournaments. He's been getting through and getting his confidence going. You know, he did great job today coming out and finishing it off.

End of FastScripts….

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