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March 27, 2010

Adam Barrett

Fernando Gonzalez

Gustavo Kuerten


SAM HENDERSON: I want to thank everyone for coming to this morning's press conference. We have Adam Barrett, tournament director, Fernando Gonzales, and Gustavo Kuerten.
I'll leave it up to Adam.
ADAM BARRETT: : Well, we're very excited. Earlier I guess sometime last week, I got a call from Kenny Meyerson who works with Fernando González and with Andy Roddick and said, I have two players that are very, very motivated to help down in Chile to help with the Earthquake Relief Fund.
Fernando, as he can tell you in a little bit, was down there during the two weeks of Indian Wells helping with the relief efforts, and they said, What can we do? We said, Well, let's start taking a look at it.
I've never actually put together an event in two weeks. I put together a lot of events, never in two weeks. But when you have two top athletes that are that motivated to help and really want to step up and help, we, as a tournament said, We have to find a way to do this.
So we started to work on putting together a doubles format to be held Saturday night after the women's final. So we'll do the women's final followed by the men's double, and then at 5:00 p.m. we're gonna do a charity event for the Chilean Relief Fund.
Fernando will explain a little bit more. Fernando and Andy then reached out to Gustavo Kuerten and to Jim Courier, who will round up a mixed doubles to follow a U.S. South American mixed doubles competition.
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Mixed? (Laughing.) Mixed countries.
ADAM BARRETT: Mixed doubles was one of the formats we started with. Okay, take that out of your records. Do not put that on YouTube.
We're very, very excited to host it. We have a very short period of time. We're gonna promote it throughout the week. We hope to do our best to try to fill the stadium. We hope to raise as much money for this cause and to really help the people of Chile.
I'll turn it over now to Fernando who can tell you a little bit more about the charity, a little bit more about the efforts he's done personally.
FERNANDO GONZ√ɬĀLEZ: Yeah, I would like to thank Adam, thank the tournament. I really appreciate it. I mean, with Andy as well. Since the first minute he wants to help.
And Gustavo, thank you very much. We just want to make a match to try to collect as much money as we can for Chile. I mean, I was in like 12 different cities where the earthquake and tsunami was. I saw that they really need help.
I'm trying to do this event for Chile. We can do it now. I'm really happy for that. Hopefully we're gonna have a lot of Chileans, a lot of Brazilians, and the most important thing that everybody wants to help.
We're gonna try to make a big show and hopefully the people can have fun.
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: For me it was a surprise as I got here for few days and then Fernando asked me to play this match that I felt very interesting about it. Just had to convince my mother because I would not spend the Easter back home anymore.
This was the toughest time. We had everything planned to be there and more quiet. But I think it's a great opportunity as far as we do some example and take a kind of initiative to get the people watching more that.
You know, it's been a really sad story, the catastrophe that happened. And probably with our help and just the attention that we can get also around the world, I think we get people more and more involved.
So probably that's the idea for us to be out there. I know how it is closely, because we had the problems with rains in Brazil and catastrophes, not as close as this, but close ones, too. For me it's always nice to be able to help someone else.
I'm sure I will have this opportunity much more in the future. So as I have more free time now, I think it's a great chance to come back and play again in the center court here. That's always enjoyable.
ADAM BARRETT: I'm gonna make a plea really to the media, because we're gonna do everything we can on-site to let everyone know about it. But we have a week. This event, the proceeds are all going to the charity.
I've asked our vendors, I've asked our staff, I've asked our county partners, and we're gonna ask our sponsors to all step up. At this point, a lot of our staff thought they were going home after the men's doubles for an early night on Saturday, so they're not.
They are all very, very excited to step up, and I asked the media to help get the word out to really communicate that, to talk about it, because I don't have a two-month promotion cycle.
I have these next seven days to really make this event successful. Successful is the more tickets we sell, the more money that goes to the relief effort. So we're gonna ask a lot of people for favors, for help, for support.
So if I could ask the media to really step up and put the word out and talk about it and really communicate it in these next seven days to try to really make this a successful event, because the players are all doing it. Short notice. They're doing it to help. They're doing it because they want to do it.
So let's work with these four great players. All these players have ties to Miami or to the event, either champion finalists, some of our more popular players, Fernando is one of our more popular players over the last seven, eight years with the Chilean fans and have been a huge support.
So really work with us. I'll do as many interviews, I'll do as much information to get out there, but help us get the word out so we're successful.

Q. How much are the tickets gonna be?
ADAM BARRETT: They will range from $25 to $75. $75 are really for the very lower part of the arena, but $25 to $50 will be the bulk of the tickets.

Q. Basically you're clearing out the crowds after the doubles?
ADAM BARRETT: We will clear the stadium and check all tickets, come back. So the stadium will be cleared. We should clear the stadium, takes about 20 minutes to clear the stadium after the men's doubles.

Q. Is Andy playing regardless if he's in the final? Did he tell you that?
ADAM BARRETT: Andy said he's playing whether he's in the draw, whether he's in the finals. He is committed to doing this event.
In fact, it's really Fernando and Andy that has pushed the tournament to step up and really support the event. They're the ones -- it was their idea. I would like to say it was my idea, but it was not my idea.
It was really Fernando and Andy that said, We need to make this happen. We need to find a way to make this happen. We need to come up with a format.
We worked through a lot of different formats until we found the right one and the right group of players to make it work.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: One more thing. All the money we collect is gonna go through Hogar de Cristo, they make every charity in Chile. I went to the affected places with them, so they have a website. You can check that. What they do, what they gonna try to do.
They missed like -- with the earthquake and the tsunami, they have 17 senior and child's home. They cannot live anymore there, so they're trying to reconstruct it again, and this money is gonna go for that.
ADAM BARRETT: Any other questions?

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