February 8, 2001
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the U.S. team.
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I think we expected it. He's obviously been playing well, had a good result in Australia. But, you know, we realize that we're going to have to beat a couple of different guys to win this match. So we got to win three points, and however we get to three is how we get it.
Q. Todd, can you talk about this first match. You're expected to play Roger here.
TODD MARTIN: Well, I think it will be interesting for us both. Roger's one of our best young players on the Tour and obviously sort of a hometown hero and fresh off of some success last week in Milan. I've been around the block a number of times, and it's important for me to use my experience to my advantage and hopefully exploit some of -- well, not only exploit, but find some weaknesses, then maybe exploit them in his game.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: How many trips around the block is that, Todd? Quite a few trips. Quite a few trips around that block, huh? Sorry.
TODD MARTIN: (Laughter.) Ladies and gentlemen, Justin Gimelstob. (Laughter.)
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Get ready for Justin.
Q. What could you exploit?
TODD MARTIN: Well, I think Roger's a guy who likes to be in control of the point, as am I. You know, I think for a little while it will be a bit of a power struggle to see who can grab control of the bulk of the points. And then from there, I feel it's going to be very important to be able to take some of the points that I'm not in control of and reverse them and use some creativity and get some point wins out of that.
Q. Todd, you said you've been around the block a bit. Is this, do you think --?
TODD MARTIN: I've been around the block long enough to know not to bring a cell phone in to a press conference. (Laughter.)
Q. Sorry. I deserved that. Do you think this is an opportunity, a new beginning in a sense, for American tennis? I mean, you've got a new captain and a fresh face of lads around you. Do you sense this is an opportunity for a new start for America?
TODD MARTIN: Well, I don't like to put quotes around too many things. But it's important, it's an important stage for us as a nation of tennis. And I think Patrick's done a great job of orchestrating it for this week especially, but also in Melbourne, being on the court with a bunch of the young guys day in and day out. And now having, you know, a pretty diverse team: Two 23- or 24-year-olds, an 18-year-old and a 30-year-old. What's happened is it's provided a pretty good atmosphere for the week and also is going to give Jan-Michael and Justin some more experience in being part of the Davis Cup team, and especially Andy, giving him the opportunity to know what it's like to prepare to play in the Davis Cup for the ties that they're a part of in the future.
Q. Patrick, is it fair to say that you had the easier job picking your singles players than Jakob?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, I think it's -- obviously, we have some options, which is nice. All of us have been very impressed with what we've seen from these two guys right here (indicating Justin Gimelstob and Andy Roddick) in practice, and I'm happy with the two guys on my left (Jan-Michael Gambill and Todd Martin) because I think right now they're our best guys in singles. But I think that to have a couple of options potentially that we may need, for whatever reason, is good. And that was a point to have these guys here (indicating Justin Gimelstob and Andy Roddick), to have Andy come and be on the four-man team, he's been impressive to say the least in practice, and I think that we'll probably be seeing him playing sooner rather than later.
Q. Jan-Michael, can you give us a little perspective of your match tomorrow and how you feel before this match.
JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: Well, I think that I feel like we've had a great week practicing. We've played plenty of sets. We've played enough doubles and done enough drilling to say that this is, by far and away, the best week of practice that I've had in any Davis Cup. I think Patrick has infused, you know, a new sense into how we're practicing. I think that he's very knowledgeable. He's getting through to me quicker than any of the coaches I've served with before, and I'm honored to have him on the courrt out there with me tomorrow. So I couldn't be more prepared for this match, and I'm very excited to play it.
Q. What do you expect of your opponent? Do you know him, how he plays?
JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: I think that when you're on the Tour, you see most of the guys playing out there. He's really been improving the last year. He's a good player. I'd like to say that anybody in the top 100 these days is a good player, even in the top 200. The depth is amazing these days, and, you know, anybody out there can beat anybody on a given day. Davis Cup is no different. It's even an exception. I mean, because when you have a whole country or the entire stadium against the American team out there - as it should be - I relish that opportunity but, you know, it can change things. It can make it both hard on him being the hometown player, playing for his hometown country is every bit as tough as coming to a country and having them all against you. I think it can work both ways. It's just an exciting atmosphere to be in.
Q. Patrick, have there been any brotherly tips on how to cope with the first match in charge?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: No. I feel pretty confident to handle it the way I need to handle it.
THE MODERATOR: Anything else? (No response.)
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: You guys are easy.
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