September 10, 1993
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Rick and Ken, you guys have been in here before, you were up 5-Love; you blow 4 match points?
KEN FLACH: Nice way to say it. You just blew it.
RICK LEACH: I will never be in the winners circle, I was beginning to wonder what it took to win it. We didn't play bad games at 5-0. He hit some good shots and that was -- I think, both of us were thinking of that. Last year, I was up 5-1 in the second. That wasn't for the match, but we also started thinking, Wally Masur, Jamie Morgan he was at 5-0, he came back.
KEN FLACH: I was -- oh, no, what is going on?
RICK LEACH: I think anything can happen once you get to that point. Kind of just wish you rather just beat him, and thank God I served a good game and came through.
Q. What turned it around, Ken, from the first set where, you know, they wound up winning, then you guys sort of had this patch where it was clear sailing?
KEN FLACH: Yeah, I think the first set was weird, we came, lost our serve the first game, they played a very tight service game, got the break back; got a chance to go up 3-1. Didn't get that-- did not serve very well. Got a little unlucky in the tiebreaker. Played tentatively. Then we got the break first game in the second. Established a momentum. Then, to me, after just came right out firing in the third.
RICK LEACH: After I had served for the second set, I'd won that game pretty decisively. I felt like a big load was off my shoulder. We were even again, and I kind of just loosened up. I wasn't really thinking of the match situation. I was thinking about beating these guys. We got ahead 5-0 which was, you know, big lead for us. I felt like that was-- we were relaxed. Started playing better after winning the second set.
Q. You guys have only been together, what, five, six months. What did you think your chances were coming in here?
KEN FLACH: Well, we both have a lot of experience here and we have had a lot of success. I won it in 85. Lost in the finals twice, 87, '89, semis twice, so-- and Rick has had the same kind of result here, so, obviously we both like playing here. And you know, we have clicked pretty well. From the beginning we have won our second tournament that we ever played together in Tokyo, you know. Rick is a great deuce court player and he compliments my game pretty well by good net play and picking off a lot of our returns.
RICK LEACH: I think our games mesh pretty well. Ken has one of the best returns in the game and today he kept holding me in there and holding me in there because I wasn't making a lot of returns until finally I made a few and of course, he made the big ones, breaks points and stuff. But he played great and I think he knew what it takes to win this title. Because you-- I had done it; we do have a lot of experience.
Q. When you have a conference between the two all the time throughout the match, what do you exactly discuss or what do you can exactly plan?
KEN FLACH: Where we are going to go to get some dinner. So many good restaurants. One minute we are going to go Chinese; then it is Indian. It is just really tough to decide. So we-- you know, then he sees some girl in the third row, and I see one in the fifth row; a lot to talk about. We are just talking about the serve; where we are going to serve.
RICK LEACH: That is the beauty of doubles you kind of have strategies going out there and talk about things. To me I think it is more relaxing to talk about points and what you are going to do, stuff like that. It is also good if one of us is on top of our game during that particular time. We kind of help the other guy out and stuff.
KEN FLACH: Need to keep a constant line of communication going on out there.
Q. You had at least part of the other doubles team which had not had the great team of experience and perhaps you thought you could advance deep into Grand Slams in doubles. Did you go into the match thinking this is just an opportunity that we can let it go?
KEN FLACH: You don't want to think like that. Obviously they must be pretty good because they won, whatever it was, 5 or 6 matches in a row. They are a good team. Yeah, we knew it was a great opportunity. I mean, it is, you know, Jarryd/Fitzgerald or Galbraith or McEnroe and Fleming over there, so it was a great opportunity to get a Grand Slam title. I think that, you know, the fact that we hung in there and persisted was excellent.
Q. How does this compare, Ken, with some of your Davis Cup success and earlier titles, somewhat sweeter or --
KEN FLACH: It is. You know, I mean, I still feel like the Olympics was probably my finest moment just being able to be able to be a part of that and to come away with the gold medal was just a great feeling, but you know, I haven't won this tournament for eight years. Haven't even been in the final of a Grand Slam for four years, so this confirmed to me the fact that I am still capable of playing at a top level in doubles. I knew I was. But I, you know, was just -- I needed a phone call from a guy like Rick to be able to get back up there. Fortunately he made the call.
Q. Why did you call him? Did you have a lot of thought going into it?
RICK LEACH: Well, yeah, first of all, I had a lot of respect for Ken as a doubles player and we had talked a little about it the previous years of playing but it never really worked out because we had other partners. But at that time in April I was struggling. I only won one match the whole year and Ken was struggling a little bit. He wasn't sure he wanted to keep playing, actually. I thought of all the guys that were available, Ken was at the top of my list. He has a lot of experience like I do. I feel like we are the veterans out there. We have been through it. I played a lot of Davis Cup too. Between us, I felt we had the chance to do well together to win Grand Slam tournaments. You never expect it, but I think we had a shot at it and I guess this proves it.
Q. Is this your sweetest win, Rick?
RICK LEACH: This is. I have won Wimbledon and was a member of the Davis Cup team. We won twice. We were actually the clinching match in 90. This ranks up there definitely the top 3. It is very sweet for me because I have been in the finals a few times; haven't been able to come out a winner. You never think you are going to get a chance to play again for the title so this is a great moment for me.
Q. You are both Davis Cup veterans, someone said if John McEnroe became coach it would real really bring a spark to the team news of Davis Cup on the front page, so to speak. Do you think John would be a good person as Davis Cup captain?
KEN FLACH: Yeah, I definitely do. I think John has matured a lot as a person and there is nobody that knows more about on-court strategy which is probably the one thing that we have lacked in a captain over the years. You know, great diplomats and Arthur and Tom Gorman and Dennis Ralston, great ambassadors of the game. But always there has been the generation gap between the player on court and the captain. Now, John can bridge that gap and you know, the communication will be tremendous on-court, which is where it has been lacking and, hopefully, the way John has matured and the way he is handling himself in the commentating, I think he could be ambassador or diplomat that is also required for the position.
Q. Do you think there is any chance that the Davis Cup committee of the association would actually appoint John?
KEN FLACH: Geez, I would hope so. They would be foolish not to. I think he is the top candidate, prime choice.
RICK LEACH: He is also a great team player. Done really well in doubles, last year, I mean, all the years through Davis Cup. He really -- that is what makes him click. So --
Q. Brad Gilbert also been interviewed for the position. He is a current player and knows the guys pretty well. What is your assessment of Brad as a potential coach?
RICK LEACH: He would be good as well. The key of a new captain has to be able to get the top players to play. That is the whole key. Whoever can do it, should get the job, I think.
KEN FLACH: I think John would be better.
Q. When you say that, you know actually Rick said that you were not sure you wanted to continue playing. I mean, what got you back going, I mean, was-- does that all extend to team tennis too; were you wondering about that?
KEN FLACH: What happened was Seguso told me -- we had a great year '91. Finished No. 2 in the world in '91, he told me that he was going to retire after 92. He said I am sick of playing. That is when I had talked to Rick originally in November of 19-- I asked Rick if he would want to play. Because I knew Pugh was stopping, and he said that would be great; just let me know. Seguso decides he is going to play in 92. So we get up-- we start in 92 he plays 4 tournaments and realizes he is going to quit. Then I end up last year, 92 with no partner. I am stuck, I played with Todd Witsken and some different people did okay and then again this starting out this year, I had no top legitimate person that I could feel like I could play, you know, and win a Grand Slam title with - until Rick called in April. So I was getting frustrated. I do not think I was going to quit. I was some kind of hanging around waiting for my brother to mature enough to be able to play or a phone call from a top guy, and it finally happened. I was hoping that one of the top teams would have poor results so they'd split up. It just happened to be Leach/Jones that had the poor results. So I was very happy to see Rick losing earlier in the year.
Q. All the upsets in the singles draw. Do you think this is a shift in some way? Is it a move in men's tennis? You thoughts on that.
KEN FLACH: There is no question that the way -- everybody is working out now. Everybody is so fit. There is so much more depth in the game. I just don't think that you will ever see anybody dominate the way McEnroe did in the year he won, 74 and 2. It is too tough from the first round on.
RICK LEACH: Even doubles, nobody has dominated at all this year; been really spread out.
KEN FLACH: Too many good players working too hard.
RICK LEACH: Too much power.
KEN FLACH: Guys stay on the tour longer. You have the young guys coming up earlier. There are just a plethora of good talent, just more guys.
Q. Thank you.
End of FastScripts....