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February 8, 2002

Patrick McEnroe

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA, USA/Slovak Republic 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 7-6

Q. Is today an example where you throw out the rankings when it comes to playing for your country?

CAPTAIN McENROE: Well, I think it's an example of that and also an example of men's tennis, I mean, how strong men's tennis is. I mean, you see guys like that that can come out of qualifying and win tournaments, I mean, obviously not win Grand Slams, but, you know, there are players that qualify; end up winning the tournament. I think that has happened a couple of times last year. I think the court being pretty quick had a little something to do with it. We certainly wanted the court to be fairly quick for, especially for Pete, you know, and his serve, but I think for these guys it helped them a little bit on their serve, had them win a few cheaper points, served really with. Obviously these guys can play. Kroslak has got a lot of experience; he's played a lot of Davis Cup, and, you know, Beck showed that he has got a great future. He played great; served well. I think certainly served better than we expected, but the guys can play, and certainly forced our guys to have to dig down a couple of times and come up with some great stuff.

Q. Did you feel yourself really pushed as a coach today because both of them had pretty tight matches. There were tiebreakers, a lot of ebbs and flows; how did you feel out there yourself today?

CAPTAIN McENROE: I felt good. I felt confident all the way. I think there -- I always felt that even if it went to a fifth set that we would be in good shape, but every match is tough, it is always -- it's more difficult sitting on the sideline than playing really, but, you know, when you got guys like Sampras and Roddick out there, they got some weapons, and some firepower, so my job is just to remind them of a couple of things, and not give them too much to think about, but just one little thing here and there that I think could make the difference. And, you know, they have the tools to get it done. Without that, doesn't matter how good a coach you are.

Q. Will we definitely see Sampras and Roddick on Sunday?

CAPTAIN McENROE: No, not definitely at all. No. It depends on what happens tomorrow and it depends on a lot of things. But certainly not definite, no.

Q. Is Andy's enthusiasm sort of like a double-edged sword kind of thing back to the tiebreaker --

CAPTAIN McENROE: It's really exciting to see him do that and then see the way he handled it in the fourth set tiebreak; and then you get sort of a taste of how quickly he learns, I mean, he knew that he sort of got a little overexcited in that third set tiebreak and everybody was jumping up and down and going crazy including myself, including the guys on the bench, and he just kept his composure in that fourth set when he got the lead. Yeah, I think he's learning. I think he's learning as he goes, when the right time is -- you never want to curb the kind of enthusiasm that he has and the kind of energy that he has. But I think just for him it is a little bit about focus, focusing at the right time, but it's exciting to see someone that learns so quickly as he does.

Q. Right now, you are pretty set with Mardy and James for tomorrow?

CAPTAIN McENROE: Oh, yeah. We are in good shape with them, and they are out hitting now and it is a great opportunity for them and I think having sat there and watched these guys play you know it is going to be a difficult match because these guys are going to have some confidence, they played very well today. And -- but I think these guys play well. I feel our guys will play well. Hopefully they will -- I will try to keep them as relaxed as I can. James has had some experience which is good, and I think that will help Mardy. I know when I played the first time played with Richey Reneberg and he was helpful to me because he played a few times. So I think that will help both guys. And they get along well. They are good friends, they know each other well, so we are just going to go out there and let it fly. They have the talent and the game to do well. They should win the match. We'll see how it goes.

Q. You talked in the past about wanting the Davis Cup crowd here to be sort of like college basketball atmosphere. Did you feel like it was at times today or really looking forward to tomorrow with the match on the line?

CAPTAIN McENROE: I felt it was good. I thought it was good. It is always difficult when -- how long were we out there, about 6 hours, so it is difficult to keep up that intensity throughout the course of a whole day. That's a long time. And it is difficult for the players. You saw some lulls in sort of early in sets from some of our guys, from everybody, that's natural in best of five sets, but I thought at the right time the crowd was great and I thought they were energized and helped the players when they needed it. I think tomorrow will be even better. I think that these guys you will see play with a lot of flare and a lot of enthusiasm and always the doubles is always exciting because it is one match, and it's a lot more fun rallies sometimes. So it will be good. I was real happy with the crowd.

Q. Kroslak mentioned that the fatigue factor might be a problem since he and Beck both played four-setters today.

CAPTAIN McENROE: We hope so. Part of Davis Cup is having a lot -- one of the benefits of having depth in players is that you can roll different players out there. Certainly one of the reasons why I am rolling out these two guys tomorrow, it would be nice to get Andy and Pete to have a day off. They worked hard too. But certainly that's part of Davis Cup. Part of Davis Cup is having more players and more depth; in the long run that should help.

Q. With the cross-generational makeup of your team, does that kind of make this Davis Cup tie perhaps more important than a lot of first round Ties just for the simple fact of maybe this is a step in American tennis going in a new direction or not a new direction, but a young you know what I am saying ---

CAPTAIN McENROE: Old and a new. Well, I think we started to take those steps. I think we have taken steps basically in each of Ties that I have been captain starting with last year having someone like Gambill in there, Andy as one of our guys in there who did play in that match although it was a dead rubber; then having Andy and James; certainly having Pete back is, as I have said before, it's not just what Pete brings to the table as a player and what he does in the actual matches. But just having him around, you know, and seeing how he -- the younger players respect him and look up to him and can learn from him and also seeing the way that he's enthused by them. They are wild young boys, they are young bucks, they have got a lot of energy, and that's good for Pete. I think it's worked well. Certainly to me one of the great things about Davis Cup is sort of having those generations mix and cross and help each other and pass the baton, if you will, in a way, seeing when my brother played with Sampras in doubles how exciting that was. And when my brother first started out, Smith and Lutz, guys like them playing. That's what is unique about Davis Cup. That's why I think this is an exciting time because Pete is still playing great tennis and inspired that he can still win some big ones and these other guys are just chomping at the bit to get the opportunity to be in the hunt.

End of FastScripts….

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