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April 8, 2004

Alan Mills

Alan Schwartz


THE MODERATOR: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the draw ceremony for this Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Quarterfinal Tie between the United States and Sweden. Please give a warm welcome to our participants. First, the Mayor of the City of Delray Beach, Jeff Perlman (applause). Referee, Alan Mills (applause). A member of the International Tennis Federation's Board of Directors, Ian King (applause). The President of the Swedish Tennis Association, Jan Carlzon (applause). Now, let's meet the Davis Cup teams. First, the team representing Sweden, please give a warm welcome to Thomas Johansson, Thomas Enqvist, Robin Soderling, and Jonas Bjorkman (applause). And leading the Swedish team will be Captain Mats Wilander (applause). Now, the team representing the United States, please give a warm welcome to Mardy Fish, Mike Bryan, Bob Bryan, and Andy Roddick (applause). Leading the u.S. team will be Captain Patrick McEnroe (applause). Now, ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the Board and President of the United States Tennis Association, Alan Schwartz (applause).

ALAN SCHWARTZ: Good morning. Davis Cup tradition always calls for the draw ceremony to be held the day before the tie itself. As many of you know, the draw ceremony determines the order of play, and our referee, Alan Mills, will, at the right time, select from a hat and that will determine who the first match will be between. It's also tradition for the draw ceremony to be held in very attractive settings. I can recall the steps of the Capitol building, some ancient castles, there was even one at the Sydney Harbour by that famous museum there. However, in terms of weather, in terms of proximity to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and the wonderful beach, it's hard to beat what Delray has done for the Davis Cup setting, and we're delighted to be here. A special thanks to two groups. First, the BNP Paribas who have been sponsors of the Davis Cup, and without whose support we would not be able to do many of the things that we do do. Then a particular thank-you to your mayor, Jeff Perlman, by the way, whose knowledge of trivia in tennis, interest in tennis, made last night's dinner conversation absolutely delightful. Delray Beach has the experience of hosting both men's and women's stops on the tour. I had occasion to visit the venue yesterday afternoon. I can tell you it is absolutely spectacular. We're delighted to be here. A warm welcome to the Swedish team. I know the kind of players you are, I know how you rise to the occasion of the Davis Cup. A special welcome to its President of the federation, Jan Carlzon. There's a great tradition there going back to the earlier days of Lennart Bergelin, Sven Davidson, then to the all-time greats in Hall of Fame - Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, and, of course, Mats Wilander. For your interest as a matter of history, Sweden has been in the finals 12 times; victorious, 7. Between Sweden and the United States combined, they have won 40 percent of all Davis Cups in the last 105 years. That's quite a tradition (applause). Having mentioned some Swedish names, I must say that the tradition that you gentlemen are carrying on goes back to such greats as Bill Tilden and Don Budge and Jack Kramer and, of more recent vintage, the John McEnroes, Pete Samprases and Andre Agassis. I would particularly like to thank the American team for their enthusiasm in playing, and I want to tell you it is singularly contagious. Thank you, guys (applause). The American sponsor of the Davis Cup team is AIG, and we thank them for their continued support. This is their fifth year sponsoring the Davis Cup for America. At this point, I would like to ask Jan Carlzon to please come to the podium and say a few words (applause).

JAN CARLZON: Taken by surprise (smiling). Let me say then that I, myself, and my beloved family are very happy to be here together with the Swedish team, and we are looking forward to three exciting days at Delray Beach Tennis Arena. Knowing the history and statistics, I think we can look forward to a very tight tie, which will be extremely exciting to all of us. So let the best team win, and hope it's Sweden (laughter). Thank you.

ALAN SCHWARTZ: The last part was a non sequitur. The next one from whom we will hear is on the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Federation, and he comes as the neutral party to see that everything is handled exactly as it should be, Ian King.

IAN KING: Mr. President of the USTA, Mr. President of the Swedish federation, ladies and gentlemen, and Mr. Mayor, the International Tennis Federation is extremely proud of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas. It is the flagship of many of our activities, and long may it last that way. I spoke last night about the enthusiasm of the players here this weekend, and I reiterate this morning they are great teams and we look forward to a wonderful weekend. Davis Cup is the largest international tennis event in the world. The competition started with 137 teams. We're now down to the last eight, and we're playing this weekend to get it down to the last four. The semifinals will be in September, and the finals at the beginning of December. So it's my job, in a neutral capacity, to wish both teams, the USA and Sweden, all the very best of luck in the days ahead. Thank you very much (applause).

ALAN SCHWARTZ: To top it off, we have with us as referee for the event, the referee for Wimbledon, whose done it now for 21 years. We found out last night he also has the only unblemished Davis Cup record in history having played one match and won 6-love, 6-love, 6-love. Let me introduce you to referee, Alan Mills (applause).

ALAN MILLS: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I welcome you to the draw, this Quarterfinal Tie of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas between USA and Sweden. The players have already been introduced to you, so I would now like to introduce to you the two chair umpires for the tie, Enric Molina from Spain and Carlos Ramos from Portugal. We go straight into the nominations. Nominations for the Swedish team: No. 1 singles player, Jonas Bjorkman; No. 2, Thomas Enqvist. Doubles, Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson. For the American team: No. 1 player, Andy Roddick; No. 2, Mardy Fish; and, of course, the doubles, the Bryan brothers. We go straight into the draw, but before we do that, I'd just like to tell you that after the singles, the first two singles, the third single can be changed up to one hour before the start of that match, and the fourth single nomination can be changed 10 minutes after the third singles finished, and the doubles pairings can also be changed up to one hour before the time of the start of their match. I have four sand dollars, I think they're called, in the conch shell. I would like to ask the Mayor if he would kindly come and draw one of them out, which would determine which is the order of play. Any one of those, sir (drawing a sand dollar). The name of the first one out is Mardy Fish. So, therefore, we have: First single would be Jonas Bjorkman versus Mardy Fish, followed by Thomas Enqvist versus Andy Roddick. The doubles teams, which would be Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson versus Bob and Mike Bryan. On Sunday, the reverse singles, Jonas Bjorkman versus Andy Roddick, and Thomas Enqvist versus Mardy Fish. Times of play: Start of play on Day 1, tomorrow, will be at 14:00 hours, 2 o'clock. The doubles on Saturday, at 4 o'clock. On Sunday, singles starting at 2:30. Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the draw for this tie, and I wish both teams the best of luck. Thank you (applause).

ALAN SCHWARTZ: That concludes the draw. I never am quite sure whose favor it is in, the way it turned out, but it certainly makes for some very exciting tennis. Enjoy the weekend. Let's hope the weather stays just like this; it could not be more perfect tennis weather anywhere. We've got some great competition coming up. See you tomorrow (applause).

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