March 24, 1998
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
Q. Can you tell us how you're feeling right now?
STEVE CAMPBELL: I'm just pretty tired. Obviously, I'm very happy. First, I just want to thank God, because without him I couldn't do anything. I want to thank God first. I mean, obviously I feel great. Best tournament of my life. I'm just, you know, struck the ball pretty well, grinding -- fighting really hard every point. When you do that, you give yourself a chance to win every match.
Q. How many press conferences have you given?
STEVE CAMPBELL: A couple. A couple. Two or three probably. I don't know. Not too many. Not too many.
Q. How many years have you been on the Tour now?
STEVE CAMPBELL: I started when I graduated from college in '92. I had a couple injury problems. It took me a couple years to really get going. I really almost quit at the end of '94, I believe. And then I had a couple good satellites, so I stuck with it, started coming up.
Q. Do you have any sponsorship help?
STEVE CAMPBELL: No, no. Been mostly on my own. There's been a couple people here and there that have given me a little help in the past. I'm most grateful to them. Without them, I couldn't have even stayed out on the satellites, because I didn't have much money. I have a lot of people to thank for my success.
Q. Is this your biggest payday up till now?
STEVE CAMPBELL: I'm sure it is, by far.
Q. Do you have a coach or someone who travels with you?
STEVE CAMPBELL: My coach is George Henry. Most of the time I travel alone. He happens to live in Miami, so he's here. I'm a little older now. I'm a little stubborn. I just prefer to be alone and do things my own way and not worry about anyone else. It's a little easier for me that way.
Q. Where do you live?
STEVE CAMPBELL: I live in Detroit City - Motown.
Q. Any plans to go over to Europe for some tournaments?
STEVE CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah. I'll probably go for the French. That's probably about it.
Q. Only the French?
STEVE CAMPBELL: For the claycourt season, yeah. I mean, I'll probably try to play Wimbledon also. Maybe one grass tournament before that.
Q. What's you're favorite surface? Is this your favorite surface?
STEVE CAMPBELL: This is probably about my favorite. It's a medium-paced, even a slow hardcourt. It gives me a chance to use my legs and speed to get to a lot of balls.
Q. What was it today that got you through? I mean, it was obviously very tight at the end?
STEVE CAMPBELL: I just kept hanging in. The conditions were pretty rough. It was a little breezy, a little tough to see with the twilight and everything. I knew if I kept hanging in there - I've been playing a lot of tight matches lately, I feel confident I could win those tight matches. I felt loose the whole time. I wasn't worried about losing. I was playing and grinding every point.
Q. Steve, the USTA is doing a lot of soul searching currently to reevaluate what's the best way to produce more men's and really women's players on the pro tours. I know you were a player - I'm not sure how much help you got from USTA - but you were not someone who was projected to be a very successful pro. Do you feel like you have been supported through your career? Do you have any thoughts on what the USTA might want to do in the future?
STEVE CAMPBELL: It's a tough situation. I mean, there's a lot of opinions out there. It's tough to say who is right and who is wrong. I don't have any ill will. They didn't support me a whole lot because I wasn't one of the top juniors and I wasn't one of the top college players. I don't have any ill will. If I was one of the top players, they would have supported me. They can't support everyone. That's fine with me. I did it a different way. I'm proud of grinding through the satellites. I'm proud of what I've done. I mean, it's tough to say what's exactly the right thing to do. I mean, I think maybe the USTA should look at what some of the other countries are doing and maybe try to experiment with that, try some different techniques.
Q. So you arrive. You're here over a week now. That doesn't happen very often, does it?
STEVE CAMPBELL: It's been a long time. It's very tiring. I'm tired.
Q. Is that perhaps the thing that keeps a lot of the people like yourself from really breaking through, that you're suddenly playing more matches than you generally play, and you're not out of condition obviously, but you're not match-conditioned to do that?
STEVE CAMPBELL: I'm not sure. I mean, I'm not going to make any excuses. You can always get yourself in better shape. You can always be ready to play as many matches as they throw at you. I played a lot of matches the week before I came here, so that might have had something to do with it. But, I mean, I'm holding up. I'm not tired to the point where I feel I can't play. Obviously, I'm having success in the long matches. I don't think that makes a difference. You've just got to get in the best shape you can.
Q. Being selected to be a practice partner for the Davis Cup, is that something that is very meaningful to you?
STEVE CAMPBELL: Yeah. I mean, one of my goals has always been the Davis Cup team, to make the team. This is obviously the first step in that. You know, I still don't see that as unrealistic goal to set for myself, to make the team one day. This is just a start. I need to, for sure, practice with those guys. I probably don't practice with that level of player as much as I need to. I like to go home to Detroit and relax. That's probably been one of the biggest criticisms of myself throughout my career. You know, it can only help my game to practice with those guys. It's definitely a good thing.
Q. Are you overwhelmed by what's happened to you so far?
STEVE CAMPBELL: What's that?
Q. Are you overwhelmed right now?
STEVE CAMPBELL: No. I really don't try to think about it right now. I mean, I've got another match to play, so I've got to concentrate on that. I try not to think about it really. I mean, it's definitely overwhelming, but I just try to put it out of my head and concentrate on the next match, try to get a little rest.
Q. Where did you actually start out, on a playground in Detroit?
STEVE CAMPBELL: Small claycourt club in the city, called Metropolitan Racquet Club. They've been my biggest support throughout my career. I owe a lot to them. They held clinics for me and a lot of kids like me. We didn't have a lot of money. I think when I was coming up, they might have charged us during the summer $15 a week for like six hours a day of play. I think they still charge $15 a week. It's just ridiculous. The people that run it, Tim Ballard, and Dr. Emeral Crosby, they want to help the kids as much as they can. Obviously, they've done a lot for me.
Q. Are you in touch with them?
STEVE CAMPBELL: Of course, of course, for sure. I go back there and get with them as much as I can.
Q. They must be very pleased?
STEVE CAMPBELL: I would assume. I hope.
Q. Did somebody ask about your next opponent, Corretja? Have you played him before?
STEVE CAMPBELL: We played one time in Columbia. I think that's the only time we played. I lost the first set 6-Love in about 20 minutes. I came back and actually won
6-4 in the third. It was on clay, altitude. That's probably one of my first big wins on the Tour.
Q. When was that, Steve?
STEVE CAMPBELL: That was at least two years ago. It was a while ago.
JOE LYNCH: '95, Bogota maybe?
STEVE CAMPBELL: That sounds right, maybe.
JOE LYNCH: We can look it up. But I think Bogota '95.
Q. What are your other good wins?
STEVE CAMPBELL: This tournament. I beat Courier last year in Atlanta, somebody else. I don't know. Byron Black last year, Coral Springs, a couple solid wins here and there. Anyone else? I don't know. I guess not too many.
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