February 8, 2004
UNCASVILLE, CONNECTICUT, R. GINEPRI/S. Koubek 7-5, 6,2
Q. Was it difficult to get motivated today?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Not really. Felt like, you know, first match I was fired up ready to go even though we clinched it already. I knew Stefan was going to be ready to play. It just felt like another match.
Q. You guys have sort of been touting this team's togetherness. How important is it that you think it is the team being friends?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Extremely important to have a good relationship on and off the court. I think that it makes it for fun, more energetic, more positive, all the guys you see on the court are smiling, having a good time, it's serious, and we are all professionals out there and we are doing the best we can. And then it is good to hang out off the court to keep open other relaxed.
Q. How would you characterize the team's camaraderie over the week not on the court, but, you know, during the week leading up to it, and do you have a couple of things that you are going to remember from this week?
CAPTAIN McENROE: There's a lot of frivolity with this team. They have a good time. They get along well. They compete with each other, whether it's on the tennis court or the ping-pong table, or whatever they are doing. What was it ski ball? Ski ball. Pop-a-shot. But just the way they are. They are genuinely like that. It's not anything that's canned or that we talk about. It is real. I think that the more they enjoy themselves and I think it has a big effect on the court, I mean, in the long run. Obviously matching -- bottom line is you need to be great tennis players. We all know that. But the fact that the guys enjoy it and like being around each other, and like being part of a team in a sort of a bigger broader concept is refreshing.
Q. Comment on Sweden.
CAPTAIN McENROE: Sweden is very tough. They have a great tradition in Davis Cup. The last time they played us they beat us five-zip in Davis Cup, so these guys personally don't remember that, but I will try to remind them of it over the next couple of months, that that's what happened in Davis Cup final years ago -- what in the late '90s -- 1997 Final. So the Swedes have a lot of players that are versatile, that can play singles and/or doubles. They put a young guy in for the first day in Australia, Soderling who is a good player; Bjorkman obviously is a great doubles player and then wins a big singles match for them. They have guys they can sort of mix and match a little bit. Johansson, they have got, maybe he will come back, the Australia Open Champ who looked pretty good this year in Australia, young Johansson kid who has got a huge serve. They have got some guys that are extremely dangerous. As I said, they have a great-- they have always had -- Sweden has always had a great team unity about them. They don't have as many top players right now as they had in the years of Edberg and Wilander, et cetera. Obviously Borg way back, but they don't have as many top guys but I think they get up for Davis Cup in a big way. We are going to be tested against them, but I certainly like our chance; especially playing at home, and we'll be able to choose the surface.
Q. Where do you want that match to be?
CAPTAIN McENROE: We are going to explore some options. I think we want a relatively slow hard court, whether that's indoor or outdoor we are not sure yet. But that seems to be what the guys are thinking about and what suits them. I think we are going to take advantage of our quickness, our mobility, which I think overall is probably a little better than theirs. Certainly, I think, we would be the favorite in the doubles, although they have a great doubles player in Bjorkman. But -- so obviously we'll have to make that announcement pretty soon. So we are already looking at possibilities.
Q. Given that they stay healthy would you stay with the same crew?
CAPTAIN McENROE: Depends on what happens. Obviously Robby had a great couple of matches here, and my feeling is that the way he played; especially the end of the first set and the second set today, is the way he can play all the time. I think that's something that he will start to believe and start to do, you know, match in and match out over the next few months. The other guys are all -- played well. Obviously with Marty and with Taylor, and James Blake, am I going to say it's a given that this is the team? No. I am going to see what happens the next few months. Knock on wood, everybody is healthy and everybody is playing well. But I certainly feel extremely good about what we did here.
Q. Can you talk about the end of the first set today, the first set and second set got away from you a little bit Friday late. Today late you can took control?
ROBBY GINEPRI: The situation was definitely a little different. I was a little more nervous serving out the first set in my first match. Today was, you know, I was relaxed out there. I was serving pretty well. I made the first couple of points on my serve, and really didn't look back after that. After I took the first set I was pretty relaxed and kind of still rolled through the second.
Q. Can you talk about when it was 5-5 he's on serve, you break him there.
ROBBY GINEPRI: I told Pat that I was going to try to make every ball and, you know, he wanted me to mix in a couple loopy balls and drive them. But I got a few returns back and, you know, just stuck with my game plan and got the break.
Q. Pat, can you sum up the Davis Cup experience here.
CAPTAIN McENROE: I used frivolity before. That was a good one. Were you not here for that? It's another outstanding team effort. I think it was a fun week and Robby playing in his first match to come from two sets down was a tremendous effort, mental effort really more than anything. Andy doing what he does and the Bryans, stepping up in their first home match and dominating. It was a dominating performance overall for us. That gives me a lot of confidence. Obviously it is going to get tougher from here, but I am pretty pleased. I couldn't be more -- in a way I am sort of pleased that Robby had to have the match he had, looking back I am sure he's not, but I think that's a big -- it's a big step for him to win a match like that, to be under that type of pressure and come through. And not play his best early in the match and come back and finish as strong cases he did.
Q. When did you make the decision about Andy playing?
CAPTAIN McENROE: Andy wanted to -- we talked about it and he wanted to play. Obviously I wanted him to play. If he had played a five set match on Friday and he was a little sore, now know, et cetera you take all those things into consideration, he had a relatively easy match Friday, he can use the match. He wanted to play. He's pumped up to play with the crowd. We had a great crowd today. Andy gets the whole thing. He gets the big picture. He gets his responsibility of the game. People want to see him. He has got a tournament coming up in this week and it was a perfect situation for him to come out and play. It's nice to see. I think he's also got his sights on trying to make some Davis Cup history in his career. So he has got to win a lot of matches to do that. I think he knows that.
Q. Playing Davis Cup, will this give you more confidence going into tournaments from now on?
ROBBY GINEPRI: It's always good to get experiences like there before a tournament coming up because it gives you a lot of confidence, especially when you are coming away with two victories and coming back from two sets down will always give me confidence because I know I can do it. I have been in the situation before, and hopefully I am not in that situation again, but if I am, I know that I have done it before.
Q. With the Davis Cup sometimes fighting for importance in a world stage, how important is it, you have talked about establishing a dynasty with an American team ---
CAPTAIN McENROE: I have?
Q. An era of dominance, was that ---
CAPTAIN McENROE: You said it.
Q. Dominance. Frivolity.
CAPTAIN McENROE: All right.
Q. How important is it to raise that importance for the American teams to be good?
CAPTAIN McENROE: First thing you have to do you have to care yourself and you have to be passionate yourself about whatever you are doing, and these guys are passionate about playing for the Davis Cup. I am. And if the rest of the people start to take notice, that's a bonus. But no one is going to care anymore if we don't care. That's the way I looked a it from the start when we first started this, when the only question I was asked is how come Sampras and Agassi don't play. I said well, I am interested in the guys that want to play. Because those are the guys you are going to build around and those are the guys that are going to get interest, you know, we can sit here all day and talk about the Davis Cup format, et cetera, et cetera, lost in the marketplace, BLA BLA BLA. There's only so much I can control. And only so much these guys can control. They can control how much they want to play; how much they love coming, competing, being professional but enjoying it. At the end of the day if the rest of the sports public slash media takes more notice, great. But I don't sit up at night worrying about that.
Q. How much of a priority are you going to make Davis Cup, do you think for the rest of your career?
ROBBY GINEPRI: Any time Pat gives me a shot I am going to say yes. I am always looking for opportunities. He knows that I am there for him any time he needs me. I think that the case with the three or four other guys are as well, and that's, you know, a plus for Patrick, whenever he wants to go to somebody, he knows that they are going to be there. That's extremely important.
Q. Indoor or outdoor?
CAPTAIN McENROE: We are going to explore those options. We are going to look at the best options available to us.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.