home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 18, 2007

James Blake

Bob Bryan

Mike Bryan

Patrick McEnroe

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Welcome, everybody. We have James Blake, Andy Roddick, Patrick McEnroe, Bob and Mike Bryan all together here. We have a lot of memories meeting the United States here. No one has played in this team before in Scandinavia. I know James has good memories from Sweden. I don't know if Patrick has asked his brother about the performance here in 1984.
CAPTAIN McENROE: Any questions (laughter)?
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the team.

Q. First of all, how do you like the surface and the stadium?
ANDY RODDICK: I like the surface. I feel like it's a good surface for us actually. We came here, first couple practices I felt like we were all hitting the ball pretty well. I think we're happy with it.

Q. What kind of a game do you expect on a surface like this?
ANDY RODDICK: It's quick, but I think there's been quicker surfaces. You know, you're still able to set up, hit balls, play from the baseline.
Like I said, I think it's okay for us.

Q. Next year they have new rules for the surfaces. They will not allow this kind of fast surface. Do you think it's a good rule to have a medium speed?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I don't think this court is that fast. So I think it's a pretty good surface, as Andy said. But I think in general that's a good rule, yes. I think sometimes some surfaces have been very extreme, some of the faster courts, even some of the clay. We've even played on some very, very slow clay that is not like clay you'd play in a normal tournament.
So I think overall that would be a good rule. But I don't think it would be -- I don't think this court is one that would be in question. I think it's a pretty fair surface.

Q. But clay I think will be excluded.
CAPTAIN McENROE: I don't think it should be. I think clay should be tested just like the other surfaces. We played on some clay that is, as I said, not like any other clay in a normal tournament.

Q. If you look at the rankings, things like that, you say you are huge favorites in this game. Do you agree?
CAPTAIN McENROE: No. I mean, we never look at the rankings. We all know what Davis Cup is about. They have players that are extremely capable. They have Jonas Bjorkman, who has played for 13 years for Sweden, won a lot of big matches. Thomas Johansson won a Grand Slam title. You know, Simon Aspelin just won the US Open.
We don't really worry about the what the rankings say. We played too many matches in too many countries where the rankings are pretty much irrelevant. We just want to play our best. I think if we do that, we have a good chance.

Q. Were you surprised to see Joachim Johansson in the team?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I was a little surprised, yeah. But we'll see if he's able to play, will be the big question for them. Obviously he's a great talent, has had a lot of bad luck with injuries. We certainly know how good he's capable of playing.

Q. Patrick, how do you expect Sweden to form their team?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I'm not really worried about it, to be honest. I mean, I'm just worried about our guys playing well. I think if we're ready to play, play the best we can play, I feel pretty good about our chances.
It would be silly for me to try to guess because I'm not even sure they know who is going to play. It would be useless for me to try to figure it out.

Q. James, you've played a lot the last couple of months with big success. How is your body? Is it okay?
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I feel great, healthy. This week so far has been great. I got a little bit of rest after the Open. Unfortunately I went out a little earlier than I would have hoped there. But it gave me time to rest and relax at home. That was perfect for me.
I'm coming here feeling fresh. Like you said before, I've had some success in Sweden, so I like playing here. Hopefully I can continue that record that I've had here.

Q. Do you like the court?
JAMES BLAKE: I do. I felt like I've adjusted to it hopefully pretty quickly. Got a few more days to get used to it.
But, like they said, I think it's very fair. I was actually expecting it to be even quicker. I think it's something that will play into our games. I don't think people will really need to completely change their games just to kind of accommodate the surface. I think we'll be able to play our games, and hopefully that will be good for us.

Q. What are your feelings for the Davis Cup? The United States, Sampras didn't play that much. Andy, what is your feeling about Davis Cup? How important do you think it is?
ANDY RODDICK: I can talk about the guys sitting up here. I don't know, I wasn't inside of the other teams before me.
But every guy you see up here has come and played every time he's been asked, so that right there should probably tell you our feelings about Davis Cup as far as this team goes.

Q. Patrick, you can compare with old times. Do you see a difference?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I can just say from my experience that I've been the captain for seven years now, and not one of these guys has missed a match that they've been asked to play. So I think that speaks for itself. I've been very lucky being the captain in that sense, that these guys just love to play. They love to play for each other and for their country.
It's been a blessing, you know, for all of us that everybody's that passionate about it. So I feel extremely lucky that I came around at this time.

Q. If you compare, because your brother was not in the same situation as you are, I think he quit because the guys didn't play, is that right?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I'm only going to talk about what I've experienced, and that's total commitment from our guys, from all of our guys. You know, what happened in the past happened.
But, you know, my brother played Davis Cup for a long time himself as a player, and so did Andre Agassi for a long time. There's a lot of instances of players that really performed, and there are some instances where guys didn't.
Again, we're just dealing with what we have, that we have a chance to do something special this year.

Q. Sweden's record against USA in this stadium is 3-1. Is that a factor or not when you start play?
CAPTAIN McENROE: No, I don't think it is.

Q. Not at all?
CAPTAIN McENROE: No. I mean, we have a lot of respect for Sweden, for their players. We know they play well in Davis Cup especially. But, you know, what happened 10 years ago or 20 years ago I think is pretty irrelevant to this team and to these guys.
We're just going to try to go and play our game. If we do that, you know, the rest should take care of itself. But we're certainly aware that playing in Sweden against them is not easy.

Q. What do you see about the schedule of Davis Cup? They discuss maybe to play Davis Cup the week after Grand Slams because some players want that, to have a bye for the finalists the next year. What are your thoughts about Davis Cup overall? Is it a good format as it is or does it need any changes? Will you have five players in the team or is four...
CAPTAIN McENROE: These questions have been going on for so long, I don't really think it's worth getting into it right now. This is a Davis Cup semifinal. It's a huge match for us and Sweden. It's going to be a great event. I don't really think that stuff is relevant to what we're here to try to do.

Q. Maybe four players, do you think it is some kind of reason to have a doubles pair?
CAPTAIN McENROE: Of course. You know, that's the nature of what it is. But, you know, would me as the captain of the U.S. team like to see five players? Selfishly, yes. It would make it better for us. As I said, that's a discussion for another day.
If anyone has any questions for the players, because we have to get to practice, particularly for James who is going to practice at 12, if not, we say thank you very much.

Q. Maybe the doubles team, how do you feel about the court?
BOB BRYAN: We expected is to be faster. We're pleasantly surprised. It's a nice court, it's a fair court. We know Sweden has one of the best doubles teams in Davis Cup. I think it's going to be one of our toughest matches, especially with Aspelin winning the US Open. He's confident.
But, you know, we walk into every match expecting to win. We'll be very disappointed if we don't. We had a good summer also. We lost to Simon at the US Open. He played really well. But we're still feeling good.

Q. Do you prefer if Sweden plays Joachim Johansson instead of aspirin?
MIKE BRYAN: I mean, we actually played Aspelin, played him many times before, know what to expect.
Joachim is kind of a wildcard. We haven't seen him play in the last year. We know he can serve big.

Q. Andy, your five-setter against Thomas Johansson, you beat him pretty badly in the US Open. I don't know your record against Bjorkman. .but you have some difficulties against Pim-Pim. What do you see about him in the team?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, we're 1-1. The last time we played was over three years ago. A lot's happened since then so I'm not sure how relevant that is.
But, like Patrick said, I don't know if it's good for any of us to sit up here and try to play a guessing game as far as who we're going to face. We're going to know it soon enough. Once we know, then we'll make adjustments and prepare accordingly.

Q. I didn't mean the record, but his way of playing on this court. If you look at it from the outside, would he be a bigger threat than Johansson and Bjorkman?
ANDY RODDICK: We don't know. We haven't seen Pim-Pim play in over a year, so I don't think anybody can sit here and say they know what to expect from him.
I think we have a lot of respect for how he's able to play. He's very dangerous. But, like I said, I haven't seen him play for a long time. I don't know if I can sit here and analyze the match at all.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297