July 28, 1996
Q. Why the decision in the first place? Did you think this would end up happening? What happened?
KEN FARRAR: I actually never thought there would be such a riotest (sic) situation develop. Problem was that we had a lot of matches to play, and we had a very inclement weather forecast, so it is very common and standard at tournaments to switch the last matches of the day to different courts. We knew we couldn't put Agassi out at court 5, 8 or 15. We felt Court 1 was a good court for him. He played there the day before. It is important for us to get Agassi's match through because he has to play again tomorrow. We don't like to have players play twice in one day if we can help it. We have had a few times where we had to, but wherever the situation dictates, we can only do one match a day. It is obviously much better for the player. Agassi will have to come back to play tomorrow already. He knows this.
Q. Did you ask him, consult him on it at all or maybe either --
KEN FARRAR: Which one, the first or the second?
Q. Either going or coming.
KEN FARRAR: No. We made the schedule up, revised the schedule, we put -- as you probably know, we opened up two additional courts and had two matches in each court, so we could use whatever good weather we had to get hopefully the whole program through today. At that time you don't consult the players, you make the moves, then you tell them what you have done. I made announcements in the player's lounge that there had been many changes made in the schedules and all the players should be aware of it. And then we go around to tell them what we have done. Obviously, after the displeasure of the fans, we did consult the players and tell them they were faced with a pretty hostile crowd out there, we thought it best if we moved them back. Both the Ferreiras and Agassi and Washington said fine.
Q. Why did it take so long to make that decision?
KEN FARRAR: When we first made the original decision to put them there, we really didn't think it was going to cause problems such as it did, frankly. And then once -- obviously a lot of displeasure, both people on Court 1 and Court A -- sorry, Center Court, we wanted to talk to both players first before we made another decision.
Q. This caught you by surprise, the reaction of the fans?
KEN FARRAR: Certainly did.
Q. Ever happen to you before, anything like this?
KEN FARRAR: I have been doing this a long time, I can't remember anything like this, frankly.
Q. You have been doing this for a long time. Do you know any tournaments that build their draw around Sergi Bruguera and Greg Rusedski? Do you know how many tournaments build their tournaments around Andre Agassi?
KEN FARRAR: I gather you are pointing at the named players. We try to play the singles matches given such a chance to play on center court to prepare themselves for future matches should they win; we have tried to give every player here who we project out forward a chance to play Court 1 or Center Court. And Agassi was playing a doubles match. We thought the singles match had more priority.
Q. Was the Rusedski schedule a television deal with the BBC?
KEN FARRAR: No.
Q. You could have put that one --
KEN FARRAR: We ask people, like team Captains, if they have preferences of where they want their players to play. Players will come up to us and say gee, I'd like to play first, last, here and there. We do have them tell us, ask us where, give us their priorities. And we try to take it all into consideration, when we make the schedule up. I think up through today we have been able to honor everybody's request, that I can remember, as to where they want to play. I mean, some people want to play early. Seles wants to play early. We try to honor that request. Other players like to play late. Team Captains don't want their same players from the same country playing at the same time, so we play American here, American here or whatever.
Q. Do you think, though, given this is the Olympics, most of the crowd is American and you moved an American team, and also given the fact that Andre Agassi -- do you think you underestimated Agassi's celebrity status and also the partisanship of the American crowds wanting to see an American team?
KEN FARRAR: I guess the Americans did. Pretty vociferous crowd out there.
Q. Would you say today you took the fan's wishes into consideration?
KEN FARRAR: Geez, I wanted to get home tonight, sure did. You know, it was a pretty angry crowd, and when I was out there, had the lady's match finishing, pretty obvious they were pretty upset about it. And then we wound up getting reports back that the people had moved over to Court 1 and couldn't get in there because the ticket doesn't allow them into Court 1, so it was anger over there. And we recognized that, gee, we have created a pretty bad situation here and we better try to rectify it. And, you know, you do what you can. You make a mistake, you try to correct it. We did.
Q. Who had asked for all those extra cops that came?
KEN FARRAR: Not me. I don't have any idea. I was just told there were like 20 police cars pulled up.
KEN FARRAR: I don't have any idea.
Q. 35. Who else could have done it if not ACOG? Who would have done that?
KEN FARRAR: I don't have any idea. Really, I don't. I didn't know they were there until somebody told me. I know we had people upset, but I didn't know they were that upset.
Q. How concerned were you about the situation?
KEN FARRAR: In what respect?
Q. With the crowd.
KEN FARRAR: Well, you know, we are here to put on a program for the public, and that is what this is all about. And they are the ones that are paying the tickets, and obviously, if we had made an error, we will try to correct it; give them what they want. When we first made the change, we really didn't think it was going to cause a problem. Obviously a lot of people were upset about it, so we tried to correct the situation.
Q. Was there any discussion about reversing the decision before the crowd moved over to Court 1? Was there anything where you were thinking about it at all?
KEN FARRAR: No. As a matter of fact, when we published the revised schedule, there wasn't one single adverse comment by anybody. It really came about when the crowd started acting up. But everybody-- I mean, we checked this over with a few people to make sure there was no problems with security of that nature.
Q. So the point you went to Center Court and addressed the crowd after that, were you still going to move the match or did you start thinking then that maybe you ought to reverse it?
KEN FARRAR: I guess we started thinking about it and then we got reports people had moved to Court 1 and they were pretty angry and it became pretty apparent we better correct it.
Q. When you made the decision that you should move it, who made that decision to move it to Court 1, it is you alone or do you do that --
KEN FARRAR: We have a scheduling committee in there and I am the final -- I am the guy who makes the final decision where it goes, so it is my call.
Q. Nobody on that committee queried the possibility of all the people who had bought tickets for Center Court, waited in the rain, being a little miffed, that they now were not able to see Agassi?
KEN FARRAR: Believe it or not, nobody did. I mean, you know, we just don't -- we have reasons why we place people in certain places. One of the reasons we had to getting Agassi through today's match so he could play tomorrow. Tomorrow's schedule calls for the quarterfinals for the women in singles and quarterfinals for men in doubles and Agassi is a round behind - as are the Woodies. So we had to get those matches played. That is why we moved the Woodies to Court 5 -- Court 7 - put them out there. You know, nobody questioned the Woodies. We had to the get the Novotna match in because she is in singles and doubles; we moved that match. It was part of the overall procedure to make sure the schedule is better for the players so they don't have to play twice in one day. I think overall it was a pretty good move. Obviously, very unhappy -- the public was very unhappy.
Q. How many people on the committee?
KEN FARRAR: Well, there are three of us that is in there working schedules. Main guy is Stefan Fransson, my right-hand man. He presents it to me. We go over it with the secretary general. We go over it with ACOG. We talk to security people about it and just make sure it fits into everybody's program, everybody's plan. This change, had no problems from anybody - outside of 10,000 people. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER)
Q. Was it the weather situation that you were playing around with?
KEN FARRAR: We have been very cognizant of the weather problem and the radar right now does not present a very good picture. If Agassi's match doesn't go on tonight then he is going to have to play twice tomorrow and that is obviously not a good situation. He is aware of this.
Q. Twice in the sense of singles and doubles; not two doubles?
KEN FARRAR: Play two doubles tomorrow. Probably -- I mean, we haven't even addressed tomorrow's schedule yet, frankly, because we are concerned about getting through today's. But we are planning on playing the four women's singles and four men's doubles. Now if we don't complete today's program because of weather we will have to reassess that.
Q. Who would have the authority over there to call in more police?
KEN FARRAR: It is certainly not me. I don't know. I mean, probably ACOG, probably security, I don't know.
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