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August 31, 1995
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. How do you feel about your match today, Patrick?
PATRICK MC ENROE: I feel great about it. I had my game plan and didn't make many
errors, tried to attack. I don't think he played his best, but I think it had something to
do with that.
Q. How do you feel about your chances here?
PATRICK MC ENROE: You know, the draw in my section has opened up a little bit, so I
feel I am playing well enough to go pretty far and physically I feel good. I know I can
play as long as I have to, so I like my chances to keep going.
Q. If you got to the quarters, I know you don't like to look ahead, what would that
mean to get that far and get well into the second week here at home?
PATRICK MC ENROE: It would be great. Obviously I have always wanted to play well here
and I feel like this year I have prepared very well and I played well in the summer
tournaments and so I feel like, you know, I am going to play my best and if I am going to
get beat; then I will get beat playing my best. I can't complain about that; whatever
happens, so obviously, I'd love to get in that position. But I still have a couple of
tough matches to go, but I feel like, realistically, I have a good chance.
Q. Overhear anybody up in the booth?
PATRICK MC ENROE: No, I didn't. I was missing out. It was too bad.
Q. You said maybe the other day or somewhere, lately you felt like you had your best
years ahead of you despite your age. How do you come to that conclusion given the general
consensus that once you are close to 30 --
PATRICK MC ENROE: I don't abide by the general consensus. I feel like I have just
learned a lot as I have gone on and started to realize what I am capable of doing, you
know, and improving and I know I am improving, and I am 29 and I can, no matter what
happens, win or lose, I know I am getting better, and if I can do that, then that is why I
think I will continue to improve. I think part of the reason is I went to college and I
started late. I started on the Tour basically at 22; whereas, most of the guys now are
starting at 17. So maybe for me, it is just my peak has come later. I think most athletes
in other sports, they reach their peak at 30. Basketball players, runners, what have you,
so I don't think there is any reason, physically, why you can't do it. I just think it is
mentally tough for a lot of the guys you are seeing in tennis because they have been
playing since a young age, 17, 18. All over, I think mentally it wears on you more than
Q. Did you feel like you were improving steadily then after college through the pros or
was this a late spirit late-bloomer-type situation?
PATRICK MC ENROE: I think it was steadily. I think my first couple of years obviously
on the Tour were difficult and I just had to learn a lot of things about what I need to
do; how I needed to train and I am still learning that, and really the last two years, I
think I have made another progression, so to speak, and I think the next year or two I can
Q. How much of a support system is your family and brother, assuming they have been, is
it maybe easier still to maybe play now that John is now retired; is it easier for you?
PATRICK MC ENROE: To be honest with you, I don't really think about it that much.
Either way, he is always John McEnroe, no matter what, and you guys still know him. People
still talk about him, and he is still involved in tennis. So it is not like he is
completely gone. I mean, he is not playing, but he is still around and he is still my
brother, and he is the first guy that congratulated me when I came off the court. I know
he supports me, and he supported me from when I first started and I was really struggling
and wondering myself, hey, can I make it in pro tennis, and he was always kind of my
biggest support saying, you can make it. You have the talent. You just got to work hard
and work on certain things, so...
Q. The other night again when you were on the grandstand he was calling the match, did
you have any eye contact with him when you heard his voice?
PATRICK MC ENROE: I didn't hear him. I saw him, obviously, a little bit. I know he was
pulling for me just as he was today.
Q. Do you have any tapes of matches that you have played in that he has called?
PATRICK MC ENROE: No, I think that was the first one he called the other night. So a
few of my friends were saying that they were entertained by it, and that he was, you know,
pretty unbiased in his commentary. I think people enjoyed it.
Q. The assumption from an outsider would be that this is some sort of burden on you to
be John's brother. Being the son of a great athlete would be a burden on that person going
into football or whatever. Do we make more of it than what it has been really for you?
PATRICK MC ENROE: It has been something that I think it is just like anyone that has an
older brother and older sister if you go to the same school and people are asking you, you
know, the teachers are expecting -- it is the same exact thing except on a bigger level,
so it is not like just because the media talks about it a little bit, because you are an
athlete; you are in the public eye a little more than a kid who is going to school, but it
is just as tough for someone who is going to school or who is trying to get A.'s like
their older brother or sister, whatever. In that sense, you know, it is always there. I am
not going to lie and say it is not there. But it is something that I have certainly been
used to since I was, you know, when John first came on the scene at Wimbledon, I was 10 or
11, so people have been asking me about that for a long time. Sometimes it has been tough
for me, but in the long run, I wouldn't want to be anyone else.
Q. Two-part question: Were you at Stanford roughly at the same time as Jeff Tarango and
the second question is, do you think in anyways he is being made a kind of example or
scapegoat or do you think the fines and the suspensions have been fair?
PATRICK MC ENROE: I think probably both. I think that obviously I mean, you can't make
accusations like that about an official or something like that without knowing for sure
whether or not it is true or what have you in any sport - in anything, really. And so I
think he did that and I think maybe that was going a little bit too far. It is his
opinion. He is going to have his opinion, but at the same time, I think, you know, that is
a big thing and also walking off the court in the middle of a match. That happened at
Wimbledon, where there is a lot of matches going on, so the people can say, oh, okay,
maybe we can go to another match. Just imagine for a second if it was, I don't know, some
indoor tournament in Madison Square Garden; it was Monica Seles playing 15,000 people
there and one of the players decide, I am going to take off; I am going to walk off the
court. And I think that is a bad precedent to set. Obviously, it is not going to happen
too much. I mean, if that does happen at that time; then all of a sudden that is the whole
thing; that is the whole show. And I don't think you can separate well because it is
Wimbledon because there were other matches; from the fans' perspective, they paid to come
and see tennis, and just as fans who go to a hockey game, you know, the hockey team is
going to get a couple of bad calls; they are not going to just leave the ice. The people
are going to be a little upset. They paid their money to come and see a game. So I think
that is why I don't think -- I think the fines have to be, you know, significant.
Q. But in all candor, when I speak to people they often say, well, look what John did
in his history; he never got it quite so harshly?
PATRICK McENROE: I wouldn't say that. He got defaulted out of a tournament. He got
enough of, I think enough flak, you know, but sure, he got away with some things. A lot of
guys get away with things in everything, but he never walked off the court in the middle
of a match. I just think that is a bad precedent to set for that reason, because if you
are at another event and that is the only thing going on, I think the people would be
upset if you did that. If I were a fan I would be-- if I were at a Knicks game and they
decide in the first quarter to take off and that was a thousand bucks a seat - we are not
going to pay that anymore.
Q. Riley did take off?
PATRICK MC ENROE: Well, at least it was after the season.
Q. At the same time, do you think he was being made an example of?
PATRICK MC ENROE: Maybe a little bit. I guess the same thing kind of happened to Vilas
way back when. He probably got more of a raw deal. Jeff is at least not missing six months
which they they suspended him for. He shouldn't complain too much about the -- maybe the
fines are heavy, but what can you do. He brought it on himself. As much as I like Jeff
and, you know, wish the best for him, he brought it on himself.
Q. Since your success at the Australian Open what has happened since then, where is
your career gone and now it seems like you said you have got a good draw now; some special
things could happen here now. What has happened since then?
PATRICK MC ENROE: Talking '91 or --
Q. How far did you get this year?
PATRICK MC ENROE: 4th round. Talking about when I made the semis?
PATRICK MC ENROE: I still think, you know, last year, some people kind of asked me a
similar question, you know, and I think one thing that makes pretty clear is that, you
know, last year when I was ranked let us say 60 or 70 I felt I was a better player than I
was when I made it to the semis in Australia and I think I was -- 31 was my highest
ranking, so I felt like I was a much better player and I improved. Now everyone else is
improving. Obviously, guys are getting better and better all the time, but from my own
perspective, I have improved my game. I am still trying to do that and I still think I am.
That is the most important thing. Obviously, I'd like to move up in the rankings. I think
I am going to and be at my career high, so to speak, but the bottom line is you have peaks
and valleys all the time and you go through some tough stretches, but I think from that
time I still worked on things to try to improve my own game and, you know, that is the
most I think you can do. I feel like I have done it.
Q. Do you get the sense that growing up in this area it is almost like you are playing
in your neighborhood and do you get crowd support because of that and do you feed off of
PATRICK McENROE: Sure. I definitely feel like I get support here and that is nice. But
I have never done that well here. A lot of times you feel a little bit more pressure. You
feel like you want to do well. I have played some good matches here, but never made it to
the second week, so, obviously, that is what I hope to do and I think if I can keep going
I will -- I think I will get more and more support. But it is nice to play well and have
my buddies who come out there who help me, you know, tremendously with my tennis and
getting better and my family and so to see them -- to have them see me playing what I
think is good tennis and really improve, I think that is real satisfying to see that my
work pays off.
Q. Chances of playing Davis Cup?
PATRICK MC ENROE: Pretty slim. Why, they want me instead of Agassi and Sampras?
PATRICK MC ENROE: I think they are slim. But I will go any time anywhere. They know
that. So above and beyond that, it is out of my hands.
End of FastScripts