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April 3, 1998

Alan Mills

David Simmons


RANDY WALKER: We apologize for the delay. I want to introduce Alan Mills, who is the ITF referee, and joining us shortly will be David Simmons, the Vice-Chairman of the Atlanta City of the Year Committee, the organizer of the United States v Russia Tie. We'll start with Alan, and David will join us shortly. Questions for Alan.

Q. What is the schedule, Alan?

ALAN MILLS: Well, the schedule is slightly different from what Tom may have mentioned to you earlier on. Earlier we were going to try to play the two singles and the doubles all in one day. But this is proving a little bit difficult because the Russians, within the rules, if Safin, who may play doubles tomorrow, plays more than 30 games, then he's not obliged to play the doubles. So, therefore, what we've decided is it's going to be a 1 p.m. start with the two singles that should have been played today. Sunday, 10 o'clock will be the doubles. Then, not before 2 o'clock, is the possibility of the third and fourth singles. But, again, that all depends on the length of the doubles match. If that takes more than 30 games, then the Russians will have the option of saying, "We're not going to play them until Monday." They also have the right to say that they will play. I think they would probably like to finish the tie on Sunday evening, so we just have to wait and see how the results turn out. That is as far as we can go. It seems a long time making these decisions, but there have been other circumstances to take into consideration, which I'm sure Mr. Simmons will talk to you about in a few minutes.

Q. If they're unwilling to piggyback the doubles onto tomorrow's schedule, why would they be more willing to play the three on Sunday?

ALAN MILLS: More of a possibility of a result being obtained after the doubles, obviously. I think a lot depends on the situation of the tie at the end of tomorrow. There again, they said that they were willing to consider playing the doubles on Saturday night, but there is no way they would be definite about it. Therefore, there's obviously a ticketing situation involved.

Q. So now you're definite on two singles on Saturday, you're definite on a 10 a.m. doubles start on Sunday, but we're not definite about our final?

ALAN MILLS: We're not definite about anything on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. That's the situation.

Q. How definite are you about how the weather is going to be?

ALAN MILLS: From what I'm told, it's supposed to be beautiful from now on (laughter).

Q. Sounds line Wimbledon.

ALAN MILLS: Yes, it's like Wimbledon, that's true (laughter).

Q. So on Sunday, if fewer than 30 games are played, the singles must be played afterwards?

ALAN MILLS: The singles will be played. The player involved in the first singles on Sunday has a maximum of a two-hour rest after the doubles, if it's less than 30 games. If it's more than 30 games, they can obviously take the two-hour rest and play. That's their option, or say, "We're not playing again today."

Q. Also, Safin was not originally in the doubles lineup. His name is now coming up.

ALAN MILLS: I'm just saying, there is a possibility. They are allowed to change their doubles nominations up to one hour before.

Q. And if the Russians decline to play singles tomorrow, and the match is clenched, will there be matches on Monday regardless?

ALAN MILLS: You're talking about Sunday? Say it's 3-0 on the doubles, then I would think they would want to play the dead rubbers on Sunday afternoon. I think it's live matches that we're talking about at the moment in this scenario.

Q. But the dead rubbers must be played?

ALAN MILLS: They have to be played, yes. But it can be that if there is a result obtained, by the consent of the captains, if we got to Sunday evening, then they'll play.

RANDY WALKER: Any other questions?

Q. I'm totally confused now.

ALAN MILLS: That makes two of us (laughter).

DAVID SIMMONS: That makes three of us. Again, just to restate the ticketing standpoint, the only thing we know with certainty now is today's tickets will be good for tomorrow's matches at 1 o'clock, and that Saturday's tickets will be good for Sunday's matches, which will start at 10 o'clock.

Q. What percentage of ticket-holders have seats for the series?

DAVID SIMMONS: The series tickets were probably, I'd say, 85 percent of sales, somewhere around there.

Q. Can you say how many tickets you have sold?

DAVID SIMMONS: I haven't had a chance to get into the numbers yet on that. What happened today, what we sold today. I can't really comment on that. I didn't know we'd be in this position and I'd have to have that number.

Q. So you're saying that the people who have tickets for Sunday represent only a small --

DAVID SIMMONS: No, it represents a third. We will have to make another statement, obviously, about the Sunday matches, about how we're going to handle those tickets that are good for Sunday. We have not come to a conclusion on that yet.

Q. If fewer than 30 games, definitely going to play everything?

ALAN MILLS: Then we will play to a result on Sunday.

Q. Is that kind of a lean cutoff. You could have straight sets.

ALAN MILLS: 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Q. Yes.

ALAN MILLS: It's in the rules.

Q. I understand that. I was just asking for opinion.

ALAN MILLS: Well, I think 30 games is a very low number, for a doubles, yes.

Q. These guys are in kind of good shape.

ALAN MILLS: Supposed to be.

Q. Is it 30, more than 30? What if it's exactly 30?

ALAN MILLS: 30 games or more.

Q. 30 or more?


Q. Do you remember the last time there's been a rain-out?

ALAN MILLS: Oh, yes (laughter). The last time I was involved was in South Africa when we started outdoors on grass. Of course, I brought the rain with me there. Started raining. Eventually, we went indoors. We had this same situation because they played the first two singles halfway through the doubles. Then it became absolutely impossible to continue the tie on grass. Then we had to go indoors, so we had to set up an indoor stadium.

Q. For the last two singles?

ALAN MILLS: And the half of the doubles. Then we had to sort of invoke the same sort of rules. There were huge gaps in between. We ended up finishing reasonably late on Monday night. There weren't too many people still there.

Q. Who was involved?

ALAN MILLS: That was Austria and South Africa. Joanne that will know the exact date.

Q. What year was that?

ALAN MILLS: Last year.

Q. First round last year, Austria-South Africa?

ALAN MILLS: Yes. Last year or two years ago? Last year.

Q. So from the promoter, the worst scenario would be to play everything on Sunday.

ALAN MILLS: Well, it was two years ago. Time flies. Well, I mean, that would be a good option for us. We're here to work with the ITF and the USTA.

RANDY WALKER: Any more questions.

Q. Just to make sure I understand, if I have tickets for what used to be Sunday, and singles are played on Sunday, then I'm able to come to that singles only, if it is played?


ALAN MILLS: I am hoping to get a definite decision from the Russians tomorrow, at the earliest after the first singles tomorrow, latest at the end of play, of what they intend to do the following day.

Q. But they don't have to give you a decision until Sunday.

ALAN MILLS: They have told me that they will do. As I said to Dave, I can only say that's what they've told me. If they decide not to, then they can wait until after the doubles.

Q. Their decision if they'll play Sunday or not, but it's --

ALAN MILLS: Their decision is going to be that they will play.

Q. Or not play?

ALAN MILLS: That's right.

Q. You'd have to find out for fans what happened like that morning?

ALAN MILLS: The whole thing is, that's right, you have to give the fans as much notice as possible. That's why I've been trying to get the Russians to agree to certain things. But, of course, it's very difficult for them - I understand their situation - when perhaps they're playing with a two-man team.

Q. Do we know why there would be just a two-man team?

ALAN MILLS: If there is a two-man team. I'm not saying there is. I'm saying, if there is a two-man team, then they have the problem, whereas the Americans, of course, have got two singles players and a doubles team.

RANDY WALKER: Anything else? We'll have a hot line number for fans to call in, get information. 404 881-1107, Davis Cup hot line number. It will have all the pertinent information.

End of FastScripts....

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