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February 9, 2001

Patrick McEnroe

Jan Michael Gambill

BASEL, SWITZERLAND, J. M. GAMBILL/M. Kratochvil 6-3, 7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Jan-Michael, given the circumstances, I should imagine that's a very satisfying win for you?

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: Absolutely. It's great to have any wins. This is my first live win in a Davis Cup match. I've had some disappointing and very, very hard losses in my last couple of ties. Like I've said, I think I told you guys before, it's the worst feeling in the world, you know, to be down 2-0 on the first day. So, you know, I was very focused this whole day. I was, you know, out on the court for the first two sets with Todd and, you know, I feel better out there. I get a little nervous when I'm watching it on TV in the locker room there. But I was focused, came out and played well from the start there. Served good pretty much the whole day. There was a few little mental lapses in there where I let him dictate the points, which I won't be able to do against Federer, but I think that I stuck it to him pretty well there and really made the shots when it counted.

Q. Patrick, of the whole day, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Is it emotional or is it score? Just anything .

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: It's a lot of fun, number one. It's great to see, you know, someone like Jan-Michael go out there with, you know, with a lot of expectations and live up to them and play as well as I knew he would play. I mean I knew that he would come here, play well. He practiced hard; he practiced his butt off. To me, that's what's exciting about it. Obviously to see Todd play well, and unfortunately, get a little bit injured because it was a great match. Federer's a tremendous player. He played, you know, an incredible match. I thought Todd fought as he always does. To me, just to be part of these guys and be around them, to try to be not too much of a hindrance to them on the sideline, and to help them if I can in any way is enjoyable. So it was a great first day. I'm a lot happier now, after that win.

Q. Do you know, Patrick, what the prognosis is of Todd's availability or not for Sunday?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: No, we don't know. Obviously one of the things that I looked at when I picked this team was having more than two singles players. I'm thankful at this point that I have them, and we have the option of going to someone else if we need to. Obviously, we're going to get Todd the best treatment possible and try to get him ready to play. But if not, we do have a couple other options.

Q. Patrick, how do you look forward for doubles now? It seems to be the key match of the tie.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, they're all key. Every match is key. It's certainly -- it's just as important as the two matches today. But the way Jan-Michael played I think is a great sign for us. Obviously, Roger played well. But I like our team. I like the way they've worked together this week. They're going to bring a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm to the court, and that's going to be important. And, you know, we're looking forward to it.

Q. Jan-Michael, you remember your first match against the Italians. That's obviously not a great experience. How far do you feel like you've come, especially with the way you handled the pressure today?

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: I think I have come quite a long way. Before, the circumstances were -- actually, it was different because I played the first match there in Italy. But the last tie in Spain, even there, I think that I had -- I put a little too much pressure on myself out there against Corretja. I did come out strong. I played a very good first set. After that, it sort of got to me. When I started getting down, I thought about it too much, maybe, you know, thinking about how important it is to me to play for my country, to be able to participate in Davis Cup. It's such a great opportunity. And so today I went out there and I played it more like a normal match for myself. I think that I didn't let the outside, you know, things get into play and I blocked it out. I blocked out the cowbells, and actually sort of fed off it a little bit. It was nice. The crowd out here is very fair. Very fair, so...And we had our nice little American cheering sections, and our team is very vocal, so it was a good opportunity. But, you know, I'd like to say that Patrick out there is, for me, the best captain I've served under in any circumstance. I think that he's saying --.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: How much do I have to pay you to keep talking like that?

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: I'm going to say flat out he's saying the right things. Something that's also helped this week is my dad's been here. Patrick and my dad and also Scott Shogreen, who helps to coach me as well some of the time, have all been speaking together. They know the right things to say. We're simply better-prepared.

Q. Was it a case of once you had him not letting him go?

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: Absolutely. That first set, got out pretty easily. Got up a break really quickly there, almost had two breaks there. Second set was a little bit tougher, but I had a lot of opportunities. He had only the one or two break chances in that one game. You know, I think I was making him work on all his serves. Patrick and I knew -- on changeover he was saying to me, "Keep up that kind of work," you know, "Make him work for those points like that and you're going to get that break opportunity." I did in each of the sets and capitalized on it. That's the best kind of tennis, you know, when that kind of thing's happening. But I need to learn too, you know, also when it doesn't go like that you can play well, too.

Q. Spain was very hard. With the doubles team that John then picked you didn't have the chance to really come back and try and vindicate what had happened in the singles. Are you pleased now that you've got a chance to play again straightaway tomorrow having come off a victory?

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: Absolutely. I'm excited to play the doubles. And in Spain, I was up for the doubles and John went with a different team. You know, it wasn't my place to, you know, argue with that. I think he made good decisions over there and that was a tough tie. We were against a, you know, clay court team on the clay, and this is a lot different. You know, this surface that we're playing on is fair for everybody. Nobody out there has an advantage. I think the big serves are simply big serves, and the rallies are fair because the ball's bouncing nicely and it's a mover's court.

Q. What's it like to play doubles with Justin?

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: I'll tell you, I mean, Justin and I have been friends for a long time. This is the first actual match that we're going to play together since the Twelves Nationals, which we won.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: They're on a winning streak.

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: We're undefeated. We're on a winning streak of I think five. I'm excited to go out there. We're both extremely intense guys out there on the court. I think we complement each other's games well. I know him well. I know when he gets down on himself, I think, what to tell him, and I know when to back off because he can get a little angry and so can I. I think that we can help each other out there. He has all the strengths where my weaknesses are in doubles, and I think vice versa. Hopefully, we'll do well.

Q. Patrick, in view of what Jan-Michael just said about the fact that these guys are pretty excitable at times, what's going through your head when you hear that?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, I know that. I knew that when I picked them. That's one of the reasons I picked them, because I think it's important to have that enthusiasm, that intensity, especially in Davis Cup where I think it shows up even more. But, you know, it's a good test for me. I mean, it's part of my job to work with these guys and to get them up, not let them get up too high, not let them get too low, keep an even keel throughout the match. I think if they can do that, I think they can win the match.

Q. Are you better prepared compared with Spain?

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: I think so. We simply had smarter practices. We didn't go out there this week -- Patrick told us very early who's going to play. He said, "This is who's going to play the singles, this is the doubles team unless something weird happens. You're the guys that are going to play this week." You know what? That's nice. That's peace of mind. In the last couple ties I played, it's been Thursday night or Wednesday night meetings, you know, "Who do you think should play," this kind of thing, where the captain is asking the players' opinions. That's just not how it is. The captain decides. The captain picks the team, then he decides. I think knowing early is a huge deal. You know, I knew I was going to play the singles. You know, I was prepared for that. I prepared the way that I wanted to prepare, played some sets, did some drilling that I haven't done in the past, and we also got here on Friday. So, you know, we've had a lot of time on the courts and to get to know each other as a team. Everybody is friends out there and it's just been a good week. So, you know, win or lose, this is a good tie and I think that it's going to be a great, you know, future for us as Davis Cup.

Q. Patrick, what did you draw on to bring in the team that early? Is this a combination of having played Davis Cup or Patrick McEnroe does captain his way? What made it go?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I think a little bit of everything. I also had help from Todd Martin. We were talking about it when we were in Australia, actually. He said -- we were talking about when we should get up there. He said it would be a good idea if we got there early. I said it would be a great idea, we should get there Friday and have a couple days. We knew the court wouldn't be ready until Sunday or Monday. To me, that's what it's all about. It's all about us working together. And obviously what Jan-Michael said, I'm the captain, and I have to make decisions and I want the guys to respect that. I want to be clear with them. And sometimes they're not all going to be happy with my decisions, but that's my job. I want everyone to feel like they're part of the process and working together. And it makes it fun. You know, it makes it fun. It makes it a more enjoyable experience for everybody and I think that that will translate into wins for us.

Q. You were playing in Milan on Friday, weren't you?

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: I was playing in Milan. I was playing quarterfinals there.

PATRICK McENROE: We all let him get here a day late.

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: That's just as good if all our guys were also in the quarterfinals of an event, I mean, great. Roger was in the Finals over there. So, you know, if that kind of thing happens, awesome. But if you can have the team get here a little early as well, you know, all the better.

Q. You said that the crowd was very fair. Does that mean it was a bit too quiet?

JAN-MICHAEL GAMBILL: I don't think so. I think they got into it. I almost think that surprisingly they got into it a little bit more in my match when it got close there in the second set, around 4-all, 5-all, the crowd became pretty vocal. They were stamping the ground. I love that. I get chills from that kind of stuff. That's the kind of tennis, you know, that I strive to play under. That's the conditions that I love. So, you know, they're against me, but it's all in the good name of sport. It's good that they're for their country and that we had a pretty good turnout out there. But it was a good match.

Q. Patrick, I suppose you kind of took a long time to think about what it might be like sitting there when you actually are sitting there. Was there anything about today that surprised you?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Not really. I've watched a lot of tennis. I've always analyzed it, what's going on on the court. For me, the first thing that comes into my mind is exciting, great to be there with these guys and be part of the team. I mean, to me, that was the most exciting. Was I nervous when Jan-Michael was serving for it? Yeah, I was. But I was glad he was out there, not me. So that's what makes it fun.

End of FastScripts....

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