home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 7, 2002

Patrick McEnroe

Jim Courier


RANDY WALKER: Questions, please.

Q. Patrick, you said today on television that this was Andy's best Davis Cup match ever.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I think so. The other matches he's played he's fought well and competed well, which he pretty much always does. But I thought he really played well. He attacked right from the beginning of the match. He was really hitting his returns. Obviously, he served great, mixed it up, came in. So I thought he really played a complete match. He got to net when he had the opportunity. And he just, you know, he started every set with a real purpose. And I think that was -- that was crucial, obviously, serving as well as he has been. That really set the tone.

Q. Now you get to wait five months.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Yeah. Well, that's the tricky part of Davis Cup, is we play two matches real close together. And now, as you said, we got to wait a while. So Jim and I were talking about it earlier. There's a lot of things that can happen between now and then as far as looking at our team. But obviously we're real happy with the way these guys have been playing, and we know that going to France is going to be tough. They got a great team. They have great singles, great doubles. And playing there, it will be tough. But we're looking forward to it.

Q. You're happy with this team, but can you help but call Andre since he's the best clay courter we have?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, certainly going to throw it out there. I mean, I'd be crazy not to. But, you know, Andre knows that we'd welcome him at any time based on who he is and what he's done and what he's done in Davis Cup over his career. And if he wants to play, you know, we'll certainly listen.

Q. Patrick, when was the most recent time you spoke to him about playing?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I spoke to him down in Miami at the tournament a little bit, and just sort of let him know what was happening for this match and let him know about some possibilities for the next one, you know, if we were able to get through this one. So, you know, it's -- obviously we'll communicate with him and hear what he thinks. And, you know, it's his call really. I mean, we'd love to have him. But at the same time, we like our team right now.

Q. Are you sensing a flicker of interest from him?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I've always -- yeah, I've always sensed that it's possible that he would come back, just as I did with Pete, you know, I felt that under the right circumstances. And obviously I'm not going to put pressure on him. I only want him to play if he wants to play. And we've said that all along about all the players. And if he wants to and feels like it's something that's going to inspire him, then we'd be crazy not to listen to him and want him on our team. But at the same time, we're not really going to -- I'm not going to worry about it.

JIM COURIER: I wonder what the headline's going to be tomorrow. I can't figure out which way this story's going.

Q. Would you consider coming back here to bring the team back and practice on clay a little bit since it's a little similar?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: It would be a little toasty in September down here (smiling). But obviously it's a great facility. And they've done, you know, they've just taken care of us really well. So we'll certainly think about it. And we'll take a good, hard look at the schedule and see what works best for the team as far as maybe going to practice right after the US Open and try to get some clay court practice in before we head over there. So it's a possibility.

Q. For either one of you guys, just looking at Andy's start of Davis Cup, his enthusiasm to play for Davis Cup, being 19 years old, you may not look at what you're doing right as you're doing it. Can you talk about his impact, what he can mean to this team not only now but in the future of Davis Cup.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, you know, he obviously has a presence and he obviously has an energy for Davis Cup that's -- it's hard to bottle that. You know, Jim was someone that had the same type of attitude out there. Not only was he a great competitor and loved that stage, but loves being part of a team. Andy just has that naturally and he's a leader in that sense. He's not just out there looking to do well himself, he wants the other guys to do well, he pushes the other guys. So, you know, he's a perfect guy to have on your team. And hopefully we can keep him as excited as he is now for many years to play, because he brings more than just what he brings on the court. I think that's important.

Q. Patrick, do you feel a little bit blessed given that you've had Kucera, Hrbaty, Ferrero, Moya, all going down?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Not really. With our team, I really feel confident that if we play well and we're prepared, that we're going to win and it doesn't really matter who we play. nCertainly, the home matches have been an advantage for us. I mean, let's be honest, I think a lot of these guys just didn't want to come enough to play us, to be honest. Because they knew what they were up against. So that in and of itself said something to me about the team that we have. So I can't sit here and worry about who's going to show up and who's not. Agassi hasn't played Davis Cup for us either for the last couple years. So I don't see any one of the other teams worrying about that when he doesn't come. So Davis Cup is about more than one or two players; it's about having depth, it's about having individuals that want to be part of a team. And with this group of guys, we have that.

Q. So you think there's a possibility that if this tie was played in Spain on clay that Ferrero and Moya might have found their way there?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I think there's a real good chance they would have found their way there, yeah.

Q. In addition to the pressure that Andy had, the chance to clinch the tie, there was the weather question, the who he played question. Jim, he said you talked to him a little bit before. What was your advice for him?

JIM COURIER: Well, I think that Patrick and I both, speaking to him yesterday on the bus going back, we made sure that he knew that his job was to go out there and win it point by point and not try and beat the weather as well. Obviously, we wanted to get to three first, before the weather came, and certainly not be sitting here waiting for him to finish that match and possibly be sitting a couple of days if the weather looks -- stays like it is right now. And that's, for a young player, sometimes you get out there and you will rush because you're trying to beat the weather. And I think that we just made it pretty clear to him that he needed to stay focused and concentrate on what he could control, which was the next point. And I think he did it beautifully today. He really stayed focused the entire match, which in practice this week he's been a little up and down with his focus. In this match, there were no lapses at all. It was very solid.

Q. Patrick, would Pete have tried to play for the fifth set, tried to go for his 100th set, if he was needed?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: It was really his call. We thought that he would play, actually, but I think he was maybe just a little bit stiff today. I think the weather being really windy, you don't want to risk it at this point of hurting yourself too much. And, obviously, for James and Andy, you know, they can warm up a little more quickly these days than Pete and Todd can. It was really his call. I think he wanted to play in some sense, but I think he felt that it was prudent not to. And, you know, given the conditions and given that his shoulder maybe was a little bit stiff, a little bit sore, so no reason to push it. But certainly if it was a fifth match that was live, I think he would have been ready to go.

Q. What's the status now? They said they haven't called it. You're almost at dark.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: The status is we're on hold until they call it. So I don't know what else to tell you, you know...

Q. Won't go to tomorrow?

JIM COURIER: Once we hit 7 o'clock, we're done.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I think 7 o'clock we'll be officially done, yeah.

Q. A lot was made of Andy's youth during this week. Where have you seen him mature?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, I think he's maturing in the way that he's playing his matches. He's using his serve better. He's not just trying to hit it 135 every time, he's mixing it up. He's picking the right time to serve and volley here and there. He's improving. There's still a lot of things in his game to work on - his ability to come forward, his ability to volley. We worked on that a lot this week. I also think the thing that he can really learn from these weeks, especially with the support team that we have here, is how to take care of himself, really professionally - take care of his body, prepare for his practice sessions, take care of himself when he's done playing. You know, when you're 17, 18, you just sort of think you can go out there and play and you get off the court and go play ping-pong or basketball and have something to eat and you don't do the things necessary to cool your body down. I think these weeks are good for him in that sense, because I think it gets him on a real routine where he can see what works for him and have the treatment that our guys are able to give him for his wrist and his body. You know, have him, by the end of the week, feeling really better than he did at the beginning of the week. I think that's something that he can take away from this, in addition to what he does on the court that is improving.

Q. Patrick, you said some really nice things about Pete the other day. Could you expound on them further, given what Yevgeny said today.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Oh, right. You see who the messenger is in that situation, and, you know, he pops off way too much, you know. And to make comments like that about Sampras is absurd and disrespectful. But, you know, as I said the other day, you know, Jim and I, we see what Pete can do out there on the practice court every day. And, you know, that doesn't lie. And obviously he's -- he needs to get his confidence going a little bit when he gets out there in matches. And that's going to come from gutting it out and fighting for a couple matches that maybe he doesn't play well. And, look, everybody needs confidence. It doesn't matter how good you are and how much you've done in the past, you need to win now to have confidence. And I think that, you know, Pete's putting the work in, he's got to continue to work hard on the practice court - maybe harder now than he ever did. Because, you know, everyone else is younger and stronger and playing, free-willing it a little more. But certainly from what we've seen on the practice court, we know he's capable of still winning majors.

Q. Jim, playing at the level you guys play at, is it an individual decision when it's time to retire?

JIM COURIER: Of course it is. And if anybody's earned the right to make that call without hearing it from The Peanut Gallery, I think it's Pete Sampras. And Pete Sampras will know when it's time, and it will be his time and he'll let everybody know I'm sure. And I doubt Yevgeny will be on the call --.


JIM COURIER: He won't be on the Top 10 list there. I think Pete has got a lot of good tennis left in him if he wants to. And from all indications of what we see in these weeks, he's willing to do the work. And what he needs is, as Patrick said, a few wins sooner rather than later, and he needs to keep putting the work in on the practice court. And, slowly but surely, the worm will turn for him. He's got -- let's not forget the run he had at the US Open last year, which was merely six months ago, a great match against Andre. I mean, no one's questioning his ability then. But everyone forgets pretty quickly in this sport.

Q. Is there something that told you it was the right time for you?

JIM COURIER: For me, it was the -- the desire to go out and train was gone. And Pete still has that. Pete's hired a new coach, a guy I'm very familiar with, and he's going to work Pete. If Pete is willing to do what Jose wants him to do, I don't see -- as long as his body is also willing, I don't see a reason why he's not going to get back to playing a level that he is very proud of and comfortable with. And certainly I think we all wouldn't say he's going to go back and be No. 1 in the world, because he's probably not going to play enough tournaments to achieve that, even if he were playing at that high level. But it's never far with Pete. With that arm, with that serve, you know, he can turn it on at any moment.

Q. Jim, where do you think Jose can make the biggest difference in Pete's game?

JIM COURIER: Well, for starters, it's a fresh look, which is good. And it's someone that knows that hard work is basically the answer. It's been a while since Pete has put a ton of time into the practice court, and now's the time for him to do it. Gretzky told him a few years ago, he said, "If you want to play into your 30s, you have to train more, not less. You have to train smarter." And I think Pete has taken that to heart. And he's doing the work, doing the effort, and I think the results will come. I think by the time we roll around to the next Davis Cup tie, Pete's going to be looking pretty good.

Q. Patrick, Merv Heller said on a scale of one to ten he would give Houston a ten, maybe better, as far as the Davis Cup. What's your opinion?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Oh, definitely. It's been an outstanding week start to finish. From the time we got here on Sunday, the courts have been in great condition. Obviously, the facilities here are great. The smell in here is a little shaky (laughter). But, no, I mean, having the facilities that we've had here, the gym, the ability to get around, you know, great restaurants, and just them really opening up their doors to us and welcoming us. I think obviously -- and the crowds have just been amazing. I mean, from the minute that we walked out to the match, there wasn't a seat to be had. And that's exciting. The players enjoy that. Even in the rain delay yesterday, the people stayed around. I probably don't think they're still out there now, but it's just been great. I mean, we've really enjoyed it.

Q. Jim, having won Paris twice, reached three finals, obviously you know that it's a bit of an obsession for Pete to win over there. Would you venture to offer him advice, or would it be a case where you'd wait for him to ask you? Or is it a case of too many cooks?

JIM COURIER: You have to be careful to put too many cooks in the kitchen. I think Pete and I at this point no longer are competitive, so it's a little easier for me to offer some advice. But, you know, I'm not going to be over there telling him too much of his business. That's really more for Jose to do. But I'm kind of supposed to be the watch dog on a week like this and know what Pete is working for and working at on the court. And certainly on the clay I think I would have a little bit more of his ear than on the grass (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297