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April 6, 2006
CHILE vs. USA , RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA
TIM CURRY: Questions for the US team.
Q. Dean, motherhood seems to have become a factor in this tie. Are you married, and if you are, do you have any kids?
DEAN GOLDFINE: Yes, I am married. Yes, I have two kids at home.
Q. Do you suppose you would have responded to Patrick McEnroe's situation just as he has?
DEAN GOLDFINE: I would like to think I would have done the same thing. Obviously, until you have a child, you don't know what it's like to be there when your child is born.
You know, there's nothing like it. It's definitely the most unbelievable thing in the world. I hope I would have, yes, responded the same way.
Q. I gather then you were present when your children were born?
DEAN GOLDFINE: That's true. If I wouldn't have, I probably would have been single. It probably wouldn't have been a long marriage.
Q. Can you tell us the names of your children?
DEAN GOLDFINE: I have a little boy Max, four and a half, and a little girl Emma, two and a half.
Q. Andy, can you talk about how you're feeling coming off of Key Biscayne, the week of practice?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I feel a lot better than I did going into Key Biscayne. That was kind of -- it was good tournament because I won some matches. Even when I lost, I did things really well in patches, which is progress, which is pretty much all you can hope for.
I left there feeling a lot better about myself and my game than I did going there. That was a step in the right direction for me.
Q. James, talk about yourself. Two losses to Roger in a row. Got to be feeling about pretty good how your game has been going overall.
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I'm really disappointed in those losses. He's not a very good player (laughter).
Yeah, I feel really good. Luckily Roger's not Chilean. I feel great about the way I've been playing on hard courts. Felt comfortable at the start of this week on the grass. Hopefully I'll continue that way on the court tomorrow.
I still feel like I'm gaining confidence every time I get on the court. I feel like I'm getting better. That's pretty much my goal each time. Hopefully I can continue that tomorrow and Sunday.
Q. How can you compare or describe the court in use here with, say, Wimbledon, which is pretty the only other chance you guys have to play on grass?
JAMES BLAKE: Andy has the most experience at Wimbledon.
Q. The playability.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, the grass court here, it's nice. The balls are coming through clean. There aren't bad bounces. To be honest, it's probably the toughest surface to put together in a span of six weeks. I think they did an exceptional job.
I was definitely pleasantly surprised when we got here and hit on it the first time.
Q. What about the bounce?
ANDY RODDICK: Bounce is good. It's a clean bounce. It's similar to Wimbledon. It allows for back court rallies, but also if you put something on a shot, it's going to get through the court. We feel like it's a pretty true surface, it's pretty fair.
Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised by the condition of it.
Q. But you chose it to get an edge?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't choose it.
Q. "You" speaking of the team?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I feel like obviously we as a home tie, it's your responsibility as a team to come up with a surface that you feel gives you the biggest advantage to win.
Q. James, can you talk about the prospects of playing the last match on Sunday. That could be the deciding match.
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah. I hope that's kind of the reason they put me on this team, was that I hope the rest of the teammates have the confidence in me to deal with the pressure of playing a fifth match.
But I also have the confidence in the rest of my team so that if it's in a fourth match, I know we've got what we call our closer, Andy Roddick, coming into a fourth match. He's I think six times clinched a tie for us. I have total confidence in them. I hope they have the confidence in me to succeed if it does come down to that situation.
I'm feeling pretty good about the way I'm playing. Hopefully I'll do the same on Sunday.
Q. Andy, 2002 I saw that you played with Fernando in doubles. In Madrid, you lost to the Bryans. Can you reflect on that match, what you remember about it?
ANDY RODDICK: I promise you, if you would have asked me who we lost to, I probably would have spaced. I wish I could give you a really insightful answer and come up with something cute for you.
My best wins in the doubles was beating you guys once. I'm about 1-15 there. I honestly don't remember too much. I know it's always fun playing with Fernando and watching him because you never really know what he's going to do out there. He's capable of pulling off some amazing shots.
I probably would have remembered it more if we would have won, but...
Q. Bob and Mike, do you remember that match?
ANDY RODDICK: Say no.
THE BRYANS: Yeah, we do. They were hitting the ball really hard, and we were just running for cover. They have the biggest forehands on tour, these two guys. Yeah, no breaks. We made some volleys in the breakers, 6-6. We exposed Andy's volleys (laughter).
ANDY RODDICK: They paid me before the match (laughter).
Q. James, this weekend is a little different than La Jolla. You're up first. Can you break down your match with González.
JAMES BLAKE: Hopefully the maintenance crew won't have as much to do on the court after the first match here (laughter). Andy actually came up that joke, so I blame him.
No, I feel great about being -- I think I said this is the first time my name has been picked. I don't know, I think I'm usually second. But playing first, it should be fun. Kind of start off the tie, hopefully start off open a good note. I don't really feel like I read too much into playing first or second. I generally try to worry about my side of the court, the things I can control. I feel like I've done a much better job of that now having kind of a different perspective on the game. I feel like I don't worry as much about what's going on the rest of the time.
I saw Andy's result obviously in La Jolla, felt bad for him. Then I still tried to manage to kind of put that out of my mind and do what I needed to do to help the team out there. That's what I'm going to do in the first match, as well, just try to treat it as another match, but also one where I have to control my side of the court. I don't worry if it's at 11:00 or 2:00 or whoever's on the other side of the net. I try to control what I can control.
Q. Are you worried about the lack of preparation on grass or not so much? Do you feel comfortable?
JAMES BLAKE: No, I feel comfortable on it. I don't think any of us have a ton of time practicing on grass. It's the shortest season of any of the surfaces. We have about a month to play on it in June and July. We've had a good week of practice. I've gotten to practice with one of the best grass court players in the world in Andy Roddick. I feel like I'm as prepared as I can be with a week of practice on grass.
Q. Andy, how much honor represent to play for your country?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, there's probably no bigger honor. It adds a whole new element to it when you see the Stars and Stripes. It's always been fun. It never loses the novelty of being asked to participate for your country. It never doesn't strike home to be regarded as one of the top players in your country. And to be asked to play for your country, it's a pretty humbling experience, and it's something that I'll always cherish.
Q. Bob and Mike, looking ahead this Saturday, it seems like we have a really good match on tap against González and Massu. The Olympics are still in the back of your mind maybe with that?
THE BRYANS: Yeah, you know, we were disappointed to lose to them at the Olympics. We're a little bitter. They took a medal from us. We were shooting for a medal.
But, you know, they're a tough team. I think they beat us once or twice. I consider this one of our toughest Davis Cup matches as of yet. You know, they serve big. They're going to be tough on grass.
Q. Dean, do you feel like the favorites? Are you expecting to win the tie?
DEAN GOLDFINE: Well, I think on paper, yeah, everybody's going to make us the favorites. Obviously, playing at home on grass, we feel good about it. But, you know, like I think we've all seen, anything can happen at Davis Cup. I mean, we were also the favorites last year at Carson against Croatia, and look what happened there.
Especially against these guys, we see what these guys are capable of, Nicolas and Fernando, when they're playing for their country, the added incentive they have when they're doing that. It's going to be an extremely tough match. We're not taking anything for granted. We just need to go out there and try to find a way to get three Ws.
Q. Do you need to take a super aggressive attitude into the match? Any particular attitude that the guys need to bring to the court to make sure that an upset doesn't happen?
DEAN GOLDFINE: Definitely. I think all the guys on their team play their best tennis when they play aggressive tennis. With that being said, that's a given.
Then also I think on grass courts, you need to be aggressive as well. It's really pretty tough to consistently play defensive tennis on a grass court. With those things being said, yes, we definitely need to be aggressive in our style of play and take the play to these guys. I think whoever does that is going to come out on top.
Q. Looking at the records, I saw Nick has a good record against both you guys. Can you talk about what Massu does to give you guys problems?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, same thing he does to everybody to give them problems: he serves pretty well, has huge forehand, and he competes every time he goes out there. There's no question on what his effort level's going to be. That's a tough combo.
Q. Dean, can you tell us when was the last time you were in communication with Patrick? What have you discussed relevant to this match?
DEAN GOLDFINE: I've been in constant contact with Patrick this week. I talked to him the last time about maybe 45 minutes ago. So, yeah, I mean, so far we've just been obviously talking about each day. I've been at the beginning of the day giving him a call, letting him know what we have in store for the practice schedule, what the guys are up to. At the end of the day, talking to him as well about how practice went, what's going on with the guys.
He's also been in constant contact with the guys as well. Obviously, it's unfortunate not having Patrick here, but he's right now got bigger fish to fry. I think we're going to do all right without him. It's just like him being here because, yeah, we can be in constant contact with him and talk about whatever is at hand, the task at hand.
Q. This make you feel like an expectant father?
DEAN GOLDFINE: Not really, no (laughter).
Q. Andy, there seems to be a general feeling on the ATP Tour that the schedule is too long, too tough, too demanding. There's also calls for people saying that Davis Cup is also too demanding, maybe the format should be changed. You seem to be ready to answer the bell on a tie-to-tie basis. Are you okay with the format?
ANDY RODDICK: Which one are you talking about?
Q. How often you play. There's been talk of spreading it out.
ANDY RODDICK: There's a lot of talk about a lot of things. Basically the way I look at it, I'll play the format that I have. I have no other option right now. The only other option is not playing. In my mind, that's not an option.
It's pretty irrelevant what my opinion is on the situation because I'm not the one who's making decisions. You can only really play the hand you're dealt. I love Davis Cup. I love competing for my country. There are no other options in my mind.
Q. A kid named Webb won the women's championship here last week. There's a tradition here for golf that the winner jumps into a pond. If the team is victorious, would you all jump in that pond?
ANDY RODDICK: Are you jumping in?
Q. If you do, yeah.
ANDY RODDICK: Shirtless (laughter)?
Q. If you do, I said.
ANDY RODDICK: You'll jump in shirtless if we jump in shirtless?
Q. Why do I have to jump in shirtless?
ANDY RODDICK: See, for once I'm putting you in an uncomfortable position.
Q. I'm glad to go in a shirt, jacket, whatever.
ANDY RODDICK: All right. We'll let you wear a jacket. I don't know. To be determined. We would be happy if that was even an option.
Q. It's a golf tradition. I wondered if a tennis tradition would be begun.
ANDY RODDICK: We'll see.
TIM CURRY: Thank you, again.
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