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April 4, 1998

Alan Mills

David Simmons


PAGE CROSLAND: Let's start.

Q. I think everyone was too traumatized by the interview with the Russian coach. We're confused.

ALAN MILLS: Tell me what happened with the Russian coach.

Q. We have no idea what's happening.

ALAN MILLS: I'll tell you what's happening.

Q. Tell us.

ALAN MILLS: 10 o'clock tomorrow morning is the doubles. If the doubles goes more than 30 games, they have the right, and they have actually intimated to me that they will take it, that they will not play the singles until Monday morning. But if, again -- if Kafelnikov does not play in the doubles, he is obliged to play the singles with Agassi after the doubles. The whole thing within the rules is that the No. 1 singles match has to be the fourth match of the tie. So if we couldn't play Safin and Courier before Agassi and Kafelnikov. That's the thing that overrides the actual singles. So if Kafelnikov doesn't play doubles, he is obliged to play singles after the doubles.

Q. Tomorrow?

ALAN MILLS: Tomorrow.

Q. And what happens to the fifth match?

ALAN MILLS: If Safin plays, he can invoke the right not to play his match until Monday.

Q. So they will play the fourth match?

ALAN MILLS: If Kafelnikov is not in the doubles pair. Again, to make it even more confusing, if their doubles is played for more than 30 games, it isn't automatic that they invoke it, they can say, "Well, after a certain rest, we will allow our players to play, our players will play singles."

Q. But they have indicated if one of their singles --

ALAN MILLS: I think the indication I have got, which is only an indication, which they can change, and I will not know anything in 9 o'clock tomorrow morning when they officially nominate their doubles pairing, the only thing we actually know for certain at this point in time is there will be a doubles match at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning (laughter).

Q. Do we know what time, if there was a singles on Sunday, when it would be played?

ALAN MILLS: It just depends. The only singles that can be played after the doubles, immediately after the doubles, would be the No. 1 singles, the fourth match of the tie. If Kafelnikov is not involved in the doubles, then there will be hopefully just the usual 15 minutes, 30 minutes between matches, and then that match would come out after the doubles.

Q. Is it still no sooner than 2 o'clock, as was indicated yesterday?

ALAN MILLS: No. Again, that is only if the doubles is less than 30 games. They have a maximum of a two-hour rest. So 2 o'clock is really just assuming less than 30 games. Obviously t's going to take close to noon from 10 o'clock, two hours' rest, taking it up to 2 o'clock. If it was something like that, we would definitely put sort of a "not before 2 o'clock" on that. That would help, because we're now talking sessions consequently. The two singles becomes another session.

Q. So if I'm a ticket-holder and I have a ticket for the third session, I won't know if I should come out until about noon?

ALAN MILLS: That's the whole thing. That's where we obviously will try to get as big a window between the doubles finishing and the singles starting to allow information to be sent out by some means or other, to tell the person that the singles will be started.

Q. But if Kafelnikov doesn't play in the doubles, the singles will come very quickly?

ALAN MILLS: Very quickly after.

Q. So the third session just becomes the remaining singles match?

ALAN MILLS: Right. It's a very complicated scenario.

Q. The Russians, who you said had indicated yesterday they would try to make a firm decision one way or the other, obviously changed that?

ALAN MILLS: They've obviously changed that quite a lot. They've been talking about it. When I went in there, it was really more or less -- their indication was they were looking toward Monday.

Q. If Kafelnikov does not play doubles, when the doubles match ends, how long would it be before Kafelnikov and Agassi play?

ALAN MILLS: Just the normal sort of time in between. That's what it would be. Then the thing is, Dave just mentioned, once the doubles has finished, then obviously the stadium has to be cleared. It won't be 15 minutes there. They have to clear the stadium because that's session two ticketholders in there, to get the chance for the third. That is something they'll have to pass over to the organizers to see how long it takes them just to clear the stadium, clean the stadium, then get the people, session three ticketholders, if they know about it, back in.

Q. You don't know until you know who is playing the doubles.

ALAN MILLS: You don't know really. The only thing you can look at is the scenario, and I personally, not for quoting actually, would find it very difficult to understand if Kafelnikov did not play in their doubles. What is he, No. 6 or 5 doubles player in the world?

Q. Which probably gets us to the 30 games.

ALAN MILLS: That brings us to the 30 games, in more likelihood brings us to Monday anyway. As I say, if they suddenly decide they're not going to put him in, they're going to save him for the singles, I don't know, he may be carrying an injury now or something. They might want to save him for his singles.

Q. Was there any discussion about moving all the times back to 1 o'clock, having doubles tomorrow and two singles Saturday, all starting at 1 o'clock?

ALAN MILLS: Not really. My job really is to try to get the match finished by tomorrow evening, if at all possible, within the rules as stated. Consequently, if for instance we had a 29-game doubles, we'd already said we were going to play the singles on Monday, then I wouldn't be doing my job properly. Consequently, we have two things really, which are critical things: The nomination of the Russian doubles team I think is very critical, and the 30-game doubles. At the moment, they're both.

Q. Just for clarity, if I come in here tomorrow at 10 o'clock with a Sunday ticket, are you going to let me in or I'm going to wait till the doubles match is over?

RANDY WALKER: Dave Simmons, Vice Chairman, of the Atlanta City of the Year Committee, local organizer of the event.

DAVID SIMMONS: As you're sensing, this is a very difficult situation for the local organizing committee. But right now, the only thing we can do is make sure that sometime tomorrow morning, hopefully around 11 o'clock or 10 o'clock, we have to have the hotlines manned, we have to get as much information out as we can as to what is going to be session three. We're finding out now that session three may be called tomorrow at 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock, whenever the doubles match ends, give us a couple hours, or if elected, it's on Monday. What we're understanding as the organizing committee, the only thing we can do is tomorrow morning at about hopefully 9 o'clock, depending on how the nominations are, but probably as late as 11 o'clock, we will find out what the Russian team will do, and we'll have to try to get the information out. You all understand the information, we have a problem with our tickets. The Sunday session, Sunday is the name, it's the third session. That ticket is only good for the third session. Right now, the second session ticket is good for tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. We're not in a position to just open the gates and say, "Whatever ticket you bring gets you in." We have to stick to the sessions.

Q. Today every fanny that was in those seats today was a first session ticket?

DAVID SIMMONS: Every ticket taken was a first session ticket. Let me explain that. There were certain individual cases, but I can't -- I can't make any other comment than that. I can't agree to just saying, "Come on in, we're going to change all the tickets."

Q. So if you were writing my story for me, what would you tell 800,000 people?

DAVID SIMMONS: Believe me, I'm not trying to be hard here. This is very difficult for us, as well. We were not aware. Just to be honest, we weren't aware of all this when we walked in. We're kind of learning this as we go. But we have to put the story out that session two tickets are good for 10 o'clock, and session three tickets, we're going to have to give you information tomorrow, somehow either through the hot line number, we'll try to get it out to the radio and television. We can only announce the session three time tomorrow. As bad as that is, I wish it was different, but these are the rules that have been communicated to the organizing committee. It's making me very nervous, too. I'm not real happy about this either, but that's the situation. We are not making the statement that session three tickets will be good for session two.

Q. I think I'm clear on that part. Kafelnikov does play, it doesn't last 30 games, so he would have to play. Then how much of a rest will he get?

ALAN MILLS: A maximum of two hours.

Q. And the same would go if it went over 30, but then the Russians for whatever reason decided, "We'll play the singles anyway"?

ALAN MILLS: Then, obviously I would, let's say, be a little bit more lenient towards them. If it had gone over 30 games, I would negotiate with them anyway for the time. We'd be looking at approximately a two-hour gap.

Q. So what is the best way to get information? If I have a session three ticket, what's the best way I should find out when I should show up?

DAVID SIMMONS: Through the hot line number. We've repeated it a bunch, as well as we'll try to communicate it through ESPN, so forth. Just from my standpoint, the time it's going to take to clean the stadium, sweep it, I cannot envision this window being much less than two hours. It's just going to take me that much time to clear it out, clean it, get it ready to go. And it will be on the website as well.

RANDY WALKER: The Davis Cup website.

Q. In all scenarios, we can expect it will be at least two hours between the doubles and the singles, if it's played at all?

DAVID SIMMONS: Given their rules --

ALAN MILLS: Sorry. The only time it wouldn't be two hours is if Kafelnikov didn't play in the doubles. But then we're going to clear the stadium and, as he said, that's going to take two hours to clear it, clean it.

DAVID SIMMONS: Yes. It's going to take physically two hours, comfortable with the two hours.

RANDY WALKER: The Davis Cup website is http\www.daviscup.org. Also the phone number for fans to call, (404) 881-1107.

Q. So there's a chance session three can last two days?


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