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April 5, 2007

James Blake

Bob Bryan

Mike Bryan

Patrick McEnroe

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. (No microphone.)
JAMES BLAKE: I'm never really worried about these kind of things. I've played tennis matches first in the day, I've played them last in the day, at night. So I'm not really worried about what time I'm playing.
I'll be prepared and ready to go. The only thing it does change is it gives me a definite start time as opposed to following a match when you don't know when to eat and how the match is going to go.
So it gives me a definite plan. I think I'll be as prepared as possible and be and ready to go. I'm sure he will be too, so hopefully it will be a great match.

Q. (No microphone.)
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, it will be great for my confidence to get a win either way. I hope that happens first. I know Andy is playing great. He's been hitting the ball unbelievable in practice, so he's feeling confident as well.
So maybe it is better for me to start out and hopefully gain some confidence and him just feed off that. I don't think he's going to have a problem getting up no matter what.
Whether I win or lose he's going to be ready to go and he's definitely playing confident, and I'm not too worried about his preparation.

Q. James, Tommy is a very complete player, forehand and backhand. What are you going to have to do to beat him, such a competitive player?
JAMES BLAKE: Hopefully be an even more complete player. I like to think I am. I hope I am. I feel like I had a weakness when I started on tour in my backhand, and I've worked on it hard enough or the past five or six years that I don't feel like it's a weakness anymore.
I feel like Tommy is the same. I feel like his backhand is probably not as dangerous as his forehand. I feel like I'm the same. Hopefully I can just execute a lot better tomorrow. We'll see.
He is an excellent player. He's been Top 10 in the world and had a lot of success on every surface. I hope -- this surface is a little more to our liking, and I owe him a little payback for him getting me at the Tennis Master's Cup. So hopefully I can get that done tomorrow.

Q. Can you talk about how you've hit this week, and do you feel you'll be confident out there despite struggling the last few weeks or so?
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I feel great. I think if this was four or five years ago I would have had a tougher time standing up here with a straight face saying I was confident, because I probably would have let a couple losses get to me and get to my confidence and affect me.
Being a little older and hopefully more mature I've realized that there's going to be ups and downs in everyone's career. Those were, I think, a large part due just to hesitating on big points and not having that confidence.
But after having a great week and a half of practice, I think that was maybe the best thing, because I really am eager to get out there and play again. Sometimes when you're playing so many matches you don't have that same anxious feeling when you want to play and you want to be in a competitive atmosphere.
I have that now. And being someone that tries to see the silver lining, I think these great for me. I haven't played that many matches and I'm fresh and ready to play and excited to be out the on the court and hopefully get a win.

Q. Where did you watch the '04 final?
JAMES BLAKE: At my house in Tampa. I watched -- I was cheering for the guys. I don't think they could have quite heard me over the 27,000 cheering against them. But I was back in Tampa cheering for the guys. I know it was a tough task. They did their best, they fought hard, and hopefully we can get back there and go one step further this year.

Q. (No microphone.)
JAMES BLAKE: I think I sent a couple e-mails just to the guys to wish them luck, but that's about it. They know how to play tennis. I couldn't quite help them out that much from Tampa. All I could say was good luck and wish them the best.

Q. Patrick, entering today the big question was about Andy, but as it turned out the real drama was about the Spanish roster. What do you make of the Verdasco substitution for Ferrer?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I wasn't really that surprised. I think Verdasco is very talented and can play well on fast courts. He has a pretty big game. So to me, one of the strengths of their team is they can mix and match a little bit.
They're all competitive guys, and Verdasco is -- as I said, he's got a little more firepower. Maybe he doesn't have the same consistency as David or Robredo, but he can hit a really good ball.
So it doesn't change anything about they way we were approaching the match. Andy is feeling great. James has played better and better every day in practice, and I think the conditions really suit us and suit our games. It's just a question of going out and playing, playing well.
And I think if our guys play their game in these conditions on this surface I think we'll be in good shape.

Q. Andy, can you just update us again on the hamstring and how it's felt since we last talked to you Tuesday?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. It feels all right. I'm going to play tomorrow and I'm excited about it. That's about it. I'm going to go out and do my best to get us some wins.

Q. Patrick, you had said in the conference call that you thought James' issues were confidence. Are you seeing that confidence in this practice?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Yes, I am. I think, as James said, he maybe over-scheduled himself a little bit at the beginning of the year, not just playing a lot of tournaments but maybe having a lot of off-court stuff.
I think it's a little bit of an adjustment for James coming into this year. He was Top 5 when the year started, so I think he learned something from that. I think having a week that he was able to practice and then come here early and put the time in on a court that's very well suited for his game and allows him to use his strengths pretty consistently.
So I've seen a huge difference from James on Sunday to James today. So I think that's just him getting out there and, as he said, he's excited about playing. It's a great opportunity for him to make a big statement for him and for us this weekend. I think his movement is great. He's in great physical condition, and I think that's going come together for him this weekend.

Q. Bob and Mike, in many ways you guys have been the one real constant on the team at 10-1. You guys always step up and deliver the point. Given the state of the team right now with Andy's injury, getting over that and James' confidence, do you feel this is a really good opportunity for you guys to step up and lead?
BOB BRYAN: Yeah. I don't think this is any different than any other tie. We like taking the pressure off Andy and James. They count on us. They feel like it's a gimme point. But we know how tough it is. We come here every week and we work really hard.
We're playing two lefties. It's going to be a little different. There's really only team on tour that are lefties. It's Murray and Butorac, a new team. We've only played them once. So Pat hired two practice partners that are lefties. They're showing us the serves and we're getting comfortable now.
Mike's seen a lot of lefty serves during his day. But it's going to be different. We've got to be patient. It's a quick court, so we're going to take our time and see what we can do.

Q. Mike, just talk about the team element. In a sense how does this team, you guys, compare to the team you guys played for in Stanford?
BOB BRYAN: It's a little different. At Stanford we're living together, we're together for a whole year. We see these guys 30 weeks out of year and we have dinner probably once, twice a week. We love these guys. We stay at Andy's house. Gone to James' place. We play poker together. These guys are great guys and we have a lot of --
ANDY RODDICK: How do you normally do in those poker games?
BOB BRYAN: I don't normally win too many. Down a couple hundred for the week. It's a little different. More professional now. At Stanford we'd win a match and we'd have a couple drinks. Yeah, it's different. We have a lot of respect for what they do now and they have a lot of respect for us. We've all had great careers, and hoping to add this Davis Cup thing to our illustrious...

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