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March 12, 2010

Lindsay Davenport

Larry Ellison

Martina Navratilova


MATT VAN TUINEN: Thanks for coming. I'll let Larry start by talking about his feelings about the event tonight, and open up for questions after that.
LARRY ELLISON: I think everyone enjoyed this evening's display of tennis and charm. It was a wonderful combination of both. I'd like to thank the two champions that are on either side of me and the other six champions that participated in this event and raised a million dollars for the people of Haiti.
I'm very proud to be a part of this, and I'd like to thank Charlie Pasarell and Ray Moore for putting together such a fabulous tournament. It's great to be a part of it, and we will do our best to answer whatever questions you might have.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I just want to know how you managed to make it an even million. I have a hard time balancing my checkbook, but it was perfect.
LARRY ELLISON: All the 0s are so easy. Actually, I think we hope it's going to be more than a million dollars. What we guaranteed was at least a million dollars, but people are continuing to make contributions. We have our fingers crossed, but with a little bit of luck, we'll tally everything up and we'll go over the million-dollar target.

Q. What was it like to be out there?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It was a lot of fun, but very nerve-wracking. I really felt that it was just a great experience and a great opportunity to be out there and play with the two biggest women's players of all time in Martina and Steffi, and obviously with Justine another part of it.
Very, very fun. It's nice to play in front of a packed stadium with a little bit lighter atmosphere, and the crowd very happy over all shots and all outcomes.

Q. Who's minding the kids?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: My mom, and my husband put one to sleep and came back here. So now my mom. It's tough.

Q. Considering all the causes out there, is this the kind of thing that maybe can happen not only just in this sport, but other sports a little bit more often to give back? What do you think?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I think it's a matter of somebody getting the idea and then having the platform to organize it, you know. This was a perfect venue for it, and it just really lends itself. I mean, it's hindsight saying, Oh, this was a great way to make a million dollars.
But it takes a lot of organization and ability, and Larry had the vision. Bless his heart, you know. So, yeah. It could be done more, but it's not simple. You have to have the opportunity for it.

Q. Many, many tennis players use the wonderful sport to contribute to other causes, culture, like we saw tonight. What in your great career is the one thing you're most proud of specifically giving back beyond the lines?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I've had all kinds of things that I've been involved with, whether it's the environment or the animals, children, headed my own children's charity, and of course gay and lesbian causes, which to this day I'm involved with the Rainbow Endowment, the Rainbow Card I started years ago.
It's wherever you can make a difference. But, you know, I've been part of many great charitable entities. Chris Evert puts on a great event in Florida; raised millions and millions with for women with drug issues and their kids.
Pam Shriver puts on a great event in Baltimore every year; raises millions, as well. I think tennis players have done their fair share, and I'm happy that I'm part of that community.

Q. Were you expecting Andre Agassi's standup comedy routine to be as good as it was tonight?
LARRY ELLISON: Well, I've that heard CBS is negotiating with Martina and Andre for a show starting next season. I thought they were both especially entertaining in terms of their commentary during the match.
I thought Andre's most interesting commentary was when Pete was trying to serve. (Laughter.)

Q. Larry, did you feel like Pete and Andre, there was almost a real serious feeling out there of competition?
LARRY ELLISON: Well, I think they both have a tremendous amount of pride. They're both great champions, and I think they take the game very seriously. On the other hand, I think all the kidding around was very, very good-natured. In that sense, I didn't think it was serious.

Q. This is a serious question. You see the great competition between McEnroe and Connors and even with Andre and Pete. Do CEOs have that kind of rivalry?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Have you seen their yachts? (laughter.) Yes.
LARRY ELLISON: And Martina, you're welcome any time to join us any time onboard Rising Sun. I invited Roger last night.
I think CEOs are very competitive. I think people who are running companies, people who compete in sports, people who compete in business; I do both. I'm a professional sailor, and I take it quite seriously.
I think competition is kind of an act of discovery. You discover your own limits. I think CEOs do the exact same thing. My best friend is Steve Jobs, and I can attest to the fact he's a pretty competitive guy.

Q. Could each of you talk about how gratifying this is just doing this, and what it really feels like deep inside when you know what it's all about?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, you obviously know when we first agreed to do it, and then it becomes a little bit selfish about the tennis. We get on the court and they were playing some of the videos, and then it really brings you back down to earth and why this event was taking place.
It's truly amazing, the catastrophe that happened in Haiti. You really just can't put into words to feel you're a part of that. To help out even just a little bit definitely feels good.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Yeah, that was a bit sobering on the changeover. We were cracking jokes and you see it, and you're just reminded again. You sort of try to look at it as an opportunity for Haiti, who has been in such a terrible state for so many years now. Hopefully an opportunity to rebuild and actually eventually be better. But at what cost? So many people have lost their lives.
It was just a horrible catastrophe. But it's nice we can do a little bit about it, and help, you know, who knows who? But because we hit tennis balls pretty well, we raise money for a great cause.
It does make you feel good, but you wish you didn't have to do it. Just get together for fun. But then all those people probably wouldn't show up. Because it is a charitable cause, I think everybody sort of feels compelled to do more. We can all do a little bit more.

Q. Larry, which one of these champions would you like most to hit with, and who have you already had a chance to hit with?
LARRY ELLISON: Well, let's see. I've hit with a number of good players. Just recently hit with Tommy Haas, and I'm very sorry he's injured again. He's such a great player. With John McEnroe. I would love to hit with all eight of them. I don't think -- and I imagine I can accurately predict the outcome of each of those eight matches.

Q. Can I just ask to any of you, it is obvious why it's going to Haiti, but when you look at what else is happening, you've got Chile, the earthquake there that hasn't attracted as much attention as what is being done for Haiti, and five years ago with the tsunami in Asia that devastated three countries and killed so many more people didn't get as much attention as Haiti has received.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: You don't think? Tsunami?

Q. As far as the cross-section of fund-raising with the entertainment industry and all that.
LARRY ELLISON: Yeah, I don't think it's our job to come up with a prioritized list of the best causes. I think Haiti is a neighbor of the United States, which is the wealthiest nation in the world. The devastation there caused a cost a quarter of a million lives that would certainly put it up on our list of important causes and enormous tragedies.
For the living, if we can raise money to help feed them and clothe them - as Andre pointed out, the rainy season is coming followed by the hurricane season - it's important they get help and we get help there quickly.
There are many other worthy causes. This is one where we're trying to make a difference.

Q. How has Sandy Mayer affected your game, and does he find it a frustrating experience?
LARRY ELLISON: I play with Sandy about five times a week for an hour and a half a day.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: You play that much?
LARRY ELLISON: I do play that much. I take it very seriously. Originally I started playing tennis regularly to get in shape. I found it's great. It's a sport where I won't become competitive, I will just use it as a workout and I won't be competitive.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: How long did that last?
LARRY ELLISON: It was an interesting theory. A few months. Nice thing playing with Sandy, it took a while before I could win a few games. But then when I won a few games, I thought, well, gee, I like that.
I got more and more serious and more serious. Sandy's obviously a great player. And, again, I play with him and some other pros on a regular basis, and my game is getting a lot better. I'm not sure I'm --
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Maybe next time you'll put yourself on the court. Next year. We'll find a cause.
LARRY ELLISON: As long as you mic me, and I'll play doubles with you. (Laughter.)

Q. You could probably play together in the US Open in the mixed.
LARRY ELLISON: That would be very mixed. That would be extremely mixed. The wild mix.

End of FastScripts

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