August 30, 2003
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. I have a question. I think it was the second point in the match, you got an underhand serve. Kind of like the Chang serve, I like to call it. Were you surprised?
ELAINE MASON: No, Gardnar got that serve. Dodo hit the serve.
DODO CHENEY: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. He was the first one to serve underhand to me. I dinked it back.
ELAINE MASON: I didn't know that.
DODO CHENEY: Later, when I served to him. I gave him an underhanded flip-flop. He got it back and passed it right down between us. Right, Gardnar?
GARDNAR MULLOY: Why are we talking about one silly shot?
Q. I thought it was the shot of the match. You came up with a dropshot winner.
DODO CHENEY: He didn't get it.
GARDNAR MULLOY: I guess I'll never live it down.
Q. Gardnar, when was the last time you played in the tournament here?
GARDNAR MULLOY: Before they built the Ashe stadium. I don't know what year it was. I was playing doubles with Pancho Gonzalez.
Q. When did you last win here at Forest Hills?
GARDNAR MULLOY: 1952.
Q. With whom?
GARDNAR MULLOY: Frank Sedgman.
Q. What about you, Dodo?
DODO CHENEY: He knows how to get the good partners, doesn't he? That's the way to win doubles, get a good partner.
Q. Dodo, when was the last time you played here?
DODO CHENEY: Oh, now wait a minute. I can't think back that long ago (laughing). Last time?
DODO CHENEY: Oh, come on. Ask me something easy (laughing). I can't remember.
Q. Elaine, were you ever a competitor here?
ELAINE MASON: No, just 15 minutes ago.
Q. Dave, how about you?
DAVE CAREY: No, I didn't start playing tennis until I was 65.
Q. How did you start?
DAVE CAREY: Well, I was retired. I knew how to play. For the first time, I had time to play. Tennis, you need someone to play with. You can go out and play golf at 6 in the morning and get nine holes in and go to work by yourself. But tennis, you need people to play with you.
DODO CHENEY: You always have a back door, a garage to hit against, though.
DAVE CAREY: Sure.
DODO CHENEY: But it's boring.
Q. When you played doubles with Billy, who were your toughest opponents over the years here at US Open?
GARDNAR MULLOY: I don't know. We were No. 1 in the United States for 10 years. We didn't lose to an American team for 10 years. But I guess our toughest was Sedgman and McGregor. Can't be any better than they are.
Q. I think Dave and Gardnar should tell you they're going to play their own national championship, which is much more than this one here at Longwood Cricket Club in Boston next week, the US super seniors.
DAVE CAREY: Tomorrow.
Q. Starts tomorrow, Dave, right? That's got a great deal more meaning. This is a Johnny-come-lately.
GARDNAR MULLOY: Yeah, this is a very small tournament (laughter). We get up there on grass where you used to play barefooted.
Q. Forgive me if this question's been asked. Do you still contact Wimbledon every year and ask for a wildcard into the main draw?
GARDNAR MULLOY: Do I what?
Q. Contact Wimbledon every year and ask for a wildcard into the main draw.
GARDNAR MULLOY: Yeah, I write to Mr. Gorringe and ask for a wildcard. Every year he sends back, "He'll make it next year." Usually he says, "I'm sorry, but entry's are closed. You filed your entry too late."
Q. Gardnar, back in Miami, how often are you playing typically in a week?
GARDNAR MULLOY: I play three or four times a week.
Q. Where do you play?
GARDNAR MULLOY: Fisher Island. I'm the tennis director emeritus. I go around, look important and settle squabbles.
Q. Could each of you pick your favorite player nowadays?
GARDNAR MULLOY: Favorite player nowadays?
GARDNAR MULLOY: Bill Tilden.
Q. Has he come back?
GARDNAR MULLOY: Well, Agassi and Sampras and Boris Becker and Jim Courier play Fisher Island usually before the former Lipton tournament. I hit with them a little bit. I make them hit with me because I'm the tennis director emeritus. If they don't hit with me, I don't give them a court. Then I go around telling everybody that I hit with these big shots.
ELAINE MASON: Very good.
DAVE CAREY: I'd like to add one thing. As I said, I started playing at 65. All these people are tennis legends.
ELAINE MASON: Not me.
DAVE CAREY: It's really an honor for me to be able to play with them competitively and as friends. The thing that I'm thinking about today, 30 years ago, if you had a hip replacement or if you had a bypass surgery, you were an invalid for life. Today, with modern medicine, we're all playing with all these different things. I've had two hips put in. I couldn't play if I hadn't had these hips put in. We've got guys playing in the seniors, in the 85s or 75s with two knee replacements, five bypass. You name it. They're all more healthy than they were before. It's a totally new conception.
DODO CHENEY: Well-stated.
DAVE CAREY: In another 10 years we're gonna have people normally living 105, 110. What people are worried about now is, "Are there enough younger people to support these older guys on their social security?" (Laughter). I mean, this is serious.
GARDNAR MULLOY: I only had my tonsils out.
Q. What's your fondest memory of playing the US Nationals US Open, Gardnar?
GARDNAR MULLOY: Forest Hills?
Q. Either one. Fondest memory.
GARDNAR MULLOY: Playing Ken Rosewall in the semifinals, beaten Vic Seixas in the quarters.
Q. What year?
GARDNAR MULLOY: 1952, before you were born. He had me 4-2 in the fifth and I lucked out on him.
Q. Dodo, what about you, what's your fondest memory here?
DODO CHENEY: They were all wonderful memories. Everything in my life that's been really wonderful has been because of tennis. All right, now to get back to your question, my most memorable match...
GARDNAR MULLOY: Is today.
DODO CHENEY: (Laughing). Well said. I think the one -- I'll specify and say the one that I was most proud of was the year I beat the champion, Alice Marble. I beat her in the quarterfinals.
Q. You remember the year?
DODO CHENEY: But she had been sick (laughing). But I did win that match. That's my most memorable.
Q. Dodo, I've heard it said you once played Venus when she was very young.
DODO CHENEY: Oh, yes. That's a long, long story. But in Los Angeles, one day a year, they have what they call Youth versus Experience. So they get all these 70, 80s players and 60, 70, 80 seniors to play against these kids. This was about -- at least 10 or so years ago. I believe Venus was probably nine or 10 years old. I was... well, I was about 70. I was still playing pretty well. So they pitted me against Serena -- I mean against Venus. We were scheduled to play on the center court. Just before we were going out, someone came to me and pointed out and said, "That's your opponent, Dodo, standing over there. That's Venus Williams. That's who you're gonna play." I looked at her. I looked at her feet. I swear, she had size nine shoes. She was tall. We went out on the court. I don't think I won -- I might have won a couple of games, maybe. But she was so powerful and even at that young age, and everybody who was watching the match said, "That girl is going places." Not meet meaning me, but... (Laughter).
Q. Elaine, you're the spring chicken up there.
ELAINE MASON: I am.
Q. You're from Fresno. It gets pretty darn hot there in the summertime. Are you able to play?
ELAINE MASON: Early in the morning. Early in the morning, yes, definitely. Uh-hmm.
Q. How often do you play?
ELAINE MASON: Probably three times a week, yeah. Three or four, yeah. But...
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