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November 16, 2012

Jan Kodes

Ivan Lendl

Pavel Slozil

Tomas Smid


THE MODERATOR:テつ We will begin with the international media.テつ The floor is open for your questions.

Q.テつ In general, for Jan Kodes, the most veteran, you made a great Davis Cup team.テつ Apart from that, in the old times, you used to play in Spain on clay.テつ What has changed in general?
JAN KODES:テつ In what way?

Q.テつ I'm talking about the court.
JAN KODES:テつ Well, mainly when we played Spain, we played on clay.テつ We played once in '71 here in Prague.テつ Once we played in Barcelona.テつ It was also on clay.テつ It was a different time of the year.
Of course, Spain as a country at that time had very good players, clay court players.テつ For us, this was very difficult match because Juan Gisbert was a very good player on clay.テつ So I remember these matches very well, grueling matches.
We won in Prague; we lost in Barcelona.テつ But especially the Davis Cup finals is always playing in December, so it's indoor.テつ The home team can choose the court.テつ So this is going to be a little bit different tie this time because it's going to be on a fast surface.

Q.テつ Ivan, could you tell us if you think the Spanish chances are hindered by Rafael Nadal's absence.テつ And if and when he's coming back, do you think he's coming back full strength?
IVAN LENDL:テつ I think you have to look at what Rafael Nadal you would have.テつ If you have Rafael Nadal who played all year and was healthy all year, it's obviously much better player than Rafael Nadal who would be coming back as the first match after six months off.テつ That would be very, very difficult, even for a player like Rafa.

Q.テつ When he comes back, do you think he'll come back at full strength?
IVAN LENDL:テつ I hope so.テつ I hope he can come back at full strength.テつ I'm looking forward to him coming back.テつ He is a great champion and a very nice person.テつ I always enjoy seeing him and I hope he's well and coming back soon.

Q.テつ Ivan, this year Czech Republic defeated Argentina in the semifinals in Argentina.テつ You did the same thing 32 years ago.テつ It was against a team with Vilas, Clerc.テつ A big chance for Argentina at the time.テつ There were problems in the Argentinian team.
IVAN LENDL:テつ What problems are you referring to?

Q.テつ They were arguing.
IVAN LENDL:テつ Who, Vilas and Clerc?テつ They didn't seem to me they were arguing that week.

Q.テつ You knew very well this generation.テつ Do you think there is a kind of Argentinian disease, illness?
IVAN LENDL:テつ Let me stop you right there.テつ I'm going to be rude and cut you off.
First of all, I don't know enough about them.テつ Even if I did, this is not the place to discuss it.テつ Sorry, I don't know enough about it.テつ But I don't think it's right to talk about it.テつ That's something you need to ask the Argentine players and it's not our place to judge them.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Also, it was announced that this press conference was about the 1980 Davis Cup winning match here in Prague.

Q.テつ Tomas and Pavel, you were a great doubles team.テつ Is it going to be again in this final the doubles a key point?
TOMAS SMID:テつ I think doubles in Davis Cup is very important.テつ Me and Pavel, we played many doubles together.テつ I think the secret of the doubles is to have a good partner.テつ Pavel was a good partner.
I think in this Davis Cup, the doubles is going to be very important.テつ I think so.
PAVEL SLOZIL:テつ I think it will be a very important match.テつ If it's 1‑1 after today, it's going to be deciding match probably tomorrow.
It's very important.テつ Spanish team is playing really well right now.テつ Also our team is very strong.テつ I think they have a very good record in Davis Cup ties.テつ I'm looking forward to a great doubles match tomorrow.

Q.テつ Ivan, what do you think a Czech win could do here for tennis in this country?テつ Would it follow on the heels of what the women have done?
IVAN LENDL:テつ First of all, again, I think Jan would be more able to answer the question because he lives in the country.
But anytime you have success, as Czech tennis has had over the last few years, with Petra in Wimbledon, two other girls winning doubles and mixed doubles, the girls winning Fed Cup two years in a row, the boys being in the final twice in three years, so on and so on, I don't think it's going to be necessarily any different whether there is a win or a loss.
I think it's going to be good for Czech tennis to have that much exposure.テつ Hopefully it will be a very good match and more and more kids will play.

Q.テつ I want to know how really the success in 1980 changed your life and if you remember some funny stories about the reaction of the people with you after that success.
PAVEL SLOZIL:テつ I only say that any win for your country those days was very important because only a few people could really travel to the western world.テつ Only four or five players got the official passport.テつ It was very important to be on a tennis team, a Davis Cup team, a Fed Cup team, to be able to travel to the west.
Every match, there was a lot of pressure for us to win.テつ We felt it.テつ When we got through, we felt really, really good about it.
IVAN LENDL:テつ I agree with Pavel, what he said.テつ I don't know that it changed my life in any way.テつ However, it gave me a great memory.
JAN KODES:テつ You want to know more what the success means in Czech Republic for tennis?
IVAN LENDL:テつ How it changed your life.
JAN KODES:テつ Well, what I'd like to say is that, of course, our political regime was changed.テつ I was living in two kind of periods of tennis.テつ It was tennis before in the communist regime, then was the tennis after.テつ There are two different periods for me.
That's why I wrote this kind of book, which I brought it here.テつ It looks like this (showing book).テつ The book says, 'A Journey to Glory From Behind the Iron Curtain'.テつ Everything that says in this book says how is before and how is today.
I'm not writing only about myself, I'm writing also about Ivan, Tomas, Pavel, what we achieve and how the situation is today.
I'm sorry, but the book is only in English.テつ I don't have it in Spanish.テつ But I bring it to one of my friends from Spain because he like to have the book.テつ If you like to have more stories from the past, you can have it if you get the book.
IVAN LENDL:テつ You missed the point.テつ You have to buy it (laughter).
JAN KODES:テつ You need to buy.テつ If you are interested, I'll bring you one tomorrow (laughter).

Q.テつ Ivan and Tomas, I'm curious to know by your words, in your opinion, compare Prague and Rome, where did you find the best and the strongest crowd, and the best and the worst referees?
THE MODERATOR:テつ It depends on you if you want to answer, but this is not a Davis Cup question.
IVAN LENDL:テつ It is because we played in '79 in Rome and '80 in Prague.
Well, obviously I liked the crowd in Prague better.
I think the worst referees, I hate to name cities or towns, but there were some tournaments where referees were overaged and they needed help to call the lines.
TOMAS SMID:テつ (Answer in Italian.)
THE MODERATOR:テつ We have only one Italian journalist here, but can you tell us for the rest?
IVAN LENDL:テつ But I think he was the only one interested in that question.テつ Nobody else cared (laughter).

Q.テつ Tomas and Ivan, can I ask you what sort of stresses and strains it puts on a team when they just play with two players, like this Czech team does?
IVAN LENDL:テつ The game has changed since we played.テつ The game is more physical now.テつ However, I can say for myself that I never found it stressful playing three days in a row.
TOMAS SMID:テつ For me was the same.テつ I mean, I play singles and then I played the doubles.テつ For me it was automatic.
Even the tournament Grand Slams, I played singles and I played the doubles.テつ I didn't make such a record in the singles like Ivan, because it is always compliment how many Grand Slams he won.テつ And Jan, he won three.テつ Compliments.テつ I only won two Grand Slams in the doubles.
In the singles, to play good in the doubles was very, very difficult.テつ These days, they are specialists to play singles and then to play the doubles.

Q.テつ Ivan, this is the 100th final.テつ What does that say to you about Davis Cup, its longevity, its place in the game?
IVAN LENDL:テつ I don't think you can answer that over a couple minutes.テつ I think that's something you can talk about for hours and hours and hours, about Davis Cup, the format, how it has changed from the past, the future.
I know it's a subject which has been discussed extensively over the last few years.テつ Its hundredth year is of course a special year.テつ Whichever nation wins it, they're the only one that can say, We won it in the hundredth year.テつ No one else can say that, so it's special.

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