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November 23, 2009

Max Mirnyi

Andy Ram


6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you surprised with the result or... ?
MAX MIRNYI: No, we've played them many times over the years, knew exactly what to expect.
Today was a good day for us. We did what we wanted to do and managed to execute the game plan we had. So when that happens, it's a good indication for our game.

Q. Can you talk about a pairing above you by way of seeding, how difficult is it? Do you go in with a particular strategy or... ?
MAX MIRNYI: You said how difficult is it to play the higher seeds?

Q. Yes.
ANDY RAM: We played them many times before, the Bryans. We had success, we lost, we beat them. We play confident every time. Every time Max and I go on the court, we're pretty confident we can beat any team.
The ranking is just there because, I guess, the Bryans, Nestor/Zimonjic, are much more consistent during the year. If you play head-to-head, I think we can beat anything.
Going out there, I think we're pretty confident and we showed it today.

Q. What sort of goal would you target?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, we're here to play our best tennis. In the round robin format, we know we're going to be in for three matches, and we want to make sure we do our best each point at a time, each game at a time, see what happens at the end of the round robin.
We certainly are happy, excited, confident about playing this tournament, and look forward to winning every match we can play.

Q. What was your game plan going into today to beat the Bryans?
ANDY RAM: What was the game plan? Well, I guess the Bryans are really tomorrow, so we don't want to tell you (smiling).
Be aggressive, play with energy. The Bryans is a team that always plays with high energy. You have to keep up the same intensity. We did it good today. We have to serve very well against the Bryans and stay all the time ahead, if you can. When they're ahead, it's tough to catch up.
We did all those things today good. We beat them twice earlier this year. We were confident we could beat them again. So just happy to win the first match and looking forward for our next matches. It's a long way to ask for a title. But we're ready to do it. We can do it. Point by point, baby steps.

Q. You practiced at Queen's Club last week. Is there a difference between the court there? Supposed to be the same surface as this one.
MAX MIRNYI: I think surface itself is pretty much the same. I'd say identical. The difference that it makes, the surroundings are very small. The practice area is like a box. The tennis that's played, the perception is different.
Here you're in a massive arena, the ceiling is up high, so that makes a little bit difference for adjustment. The surface itself must be identical.

Q. I've heard some people say the surface plays fast, some people say it's medium. What was your feeling?
ANDY RAM: I said it's medium-slow. That's my thoughts about it. Well, it's not fast, for sure.
MAX MIRNYI: Definitely on the slower side.
ANDY RAM: I don't see it fast. We're playing many indoor tournaments. I don't see it as one of the fastest. I don't know who is the player, maybe Federer, Soderling. Everything looks fast when they play a lot. Not for us.
I think it's slow.

Q. And the bounce, quite low?
ANDY RAM: Yeah, bounce is low. But, like I said, you don't really pay attention on the court. You enjoy the atmosphere, the way they put the court, the attention the player gets. Everything is dark, the light is on the player. Something new for the player, I think, and we really enjoy it.
MAX MIRNYI: Very theatrical like.
ANDY RAM: It's how tennis should be.

Q. Like on a concert stage?
MAX MIRNYI: Theater stage.
ANDY RAM: Max almost started to sing today (laughter).

Q. Since we have more crowds for the doubles, how has the doubles as a game evolved over a period of time?
ANDY RAM: I think in England, the doubles crowd is very supportive, come to watch a lot of doubles. Wimbledon, we see their support. We get there in Queen's. Hopefully with the new system, a much more exciting system, the points, crowd gets into the match. Today we saw a lot of crowd coming out, supporting. It's good for us, for the doubles, for the doubles players, and the game. We enjoy for sure. I'm pretty sure the crowd enjoyed it.
Correct me if I'm wrong.
MAX MIRNYI: Well, to me, it's quite simple. Sure, it's a great spectacle when you see two bulls battling best-of-five-set matches for four hours. The idea is, why is golf so popular? Because so many people can relate to Tiger Woods when they're 65 years old. Same scenario for tennis: there's 90% of the people that want to play tennis are only able to play doubles. It's impossible to ask of any club player to come out there and try to go side to side, play a singles match.
You go to any clubs, 90% of the time, you'll see women's leagues, seniors, juniors, 40s, 50s are playing doubles. That's what we're trying to bring the message across.
We have a great platform to promote doubles. That's what we're doing. We hope that more and more people realize that it's a great game; it's a great show. It's very dynamic now in this new format. It's short and predictable for TV time. I see no reason for doubles to be a sideshow.

Q. It's heading in the right direction?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, that's what we're trying to do, yes. There's been a long talk by putting the tournament together with the singles finals. For many years, there's been a separate site for singles and the doubles. Now it being in the same venue, it certainly benefits doubles tremendously. The crowds that we had today, I'm not sure, maybe they were half a stadium full, but seven or eight thousand watching a doubles match, which is very special.
Hopefully some of those seven thousand are going to come out and try to do some of those things we did on the doubles court, 'cause they're not going to be able to do what Roger does on the singles court, that's for sure.

End of FastScripts

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