Re: Todd Martin Cheering Thread!!!
Monday, 19 January, 2004
T. MARTIN/A. Dupuis
4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-3
An interview with:
Q. Why don't you just tell us what you're thinking.
TODD MARTIN: A statement, that's great.
Q. Kind of made another statement today, one of those comebacks.
TODD MARTIN: Well, I'm glad I didn't retire after the US Open. It's a good feeling to win a match, period. But, you know, it's extra special when you need to rise to the occasion. I did at least a little bit of my part. Anthony was struggling with an injury, so that certainly helped, too. But I thought he played great.
Q. What does that mean at this stage in your career, compared to when you were in your mid 20s?
TODD MARTIN: Well, it does a couple things for me. One, it reminds me that I still can compete mentally. Today, specifically, I think I surprised myself a little bit physically. I haven't exactly been able to prepare as well as I would have liked, considering I took four months off, you know, the last month and a half did not go the way I was hoping. But, you know, the last few weeks here I've worked real hard, and it's obviously benefitted me.
But most importantly, it sends a psychological message to myself, just knowing that I'm not home sick enough to pack it in and I'm really where I want to be.
Q. Did you need that message?
TODD MARTIN: It helps. I don't think I needed it. I certainly -- this trip, which started with a few days' visit in Palm Springs for training, my attitude's been great; I've really been eager to play. You get down 6-4, 6-4, 5-4 serving, and certainly it leads you to doubt if all the work's as worth it as you thought when it was just the work.
But, you know, I think -- I don't think that's the right attitude to have, and I was disappointed with myself for having it. I hung in there enough, and was able to keep the door open once Anthony opened it a bit.
Q. Did you almost retire after the US Open?
TODD MARTIN: No. Had you asked me around Wimbledon time, I was certainly thinking about it. After Washington, D.C. and Montreal, I was thinking there was a 95 percent chance to retire.
But Cincinnati and the US Open, obviously, I had better success, but more my attitude and the enjoyment that I had in those couple weeks was so much greater than I had been having. I had a real tough time last year being by myself on the court, and then Jose came and visited me in Cincinnati then helped me in New York. That really helped, and he's with me here, so...
I really lost my way a bit last year and I, you know, feel a little bit more zeroed in than I did last year.
Q. Is that because of Dean not being here?
TODD MARTIN: Well, yeah, Dean, as you know, Dean took a job with the USTA. He was real sensitive to me in that decision-making. I was encouraging him to, because I knew I didn't have 10 years of employment for him left. But he was real concerned about me and if I was going to be comfortable. He expressed his opinion that he thought I'd do just fine, and I honestly thought I'd do just fine, and at times I did.
But, boy, there's so many times throughout the course of a year in this occupation - and maybe in other occupations as well - where that snowball just grows and grows. If it's going the wrong way, it's nice to have somebody there to step in the way of it. At times, I really needed that last year and didn't have it.
And I didn't necessarily realize it when it was happening. That's, you know, also the benefit of having a coach, is for him to let you know, "Hey, you're not going forward, you're going backwards."
So I'm really excited about this year and having Jose take away a few of the hard knocks for me (smiling).
Q. Is it more motivational this year or is it more analytical this year?
TODD MARTIN: It's a little bit of both. I think I'm fairly well self-motivated. But when I don't analyze things properly and when I'm not as perceptive about my career or specific points or shots or whatever, depending on it could be broad or real specific, once that -- once my ability to analyze those situations isn't as honed, my motivation -- because before you know it, you're losing three and four matches in a row. When you're losing them, you don't feel like you're competitive, and I think that will zap anybody's self-motivation.
Q. Do you still enjoy the political side of your job?
TODD MARTIN: It's the best part of my life. My son turns one-year-old in two days, I'm really excited about the politics (smiling).
It's a difficult -- it's more difficult than it was 10 years ago when I first started. One, because there are different issues. You know, 10 years ago it was, "What do you think of this ranking system?" I was like, "We need to change it. That's fine, that's great."
Now it's just broader. Certainly with increased family responsibilities, it's hard to enjoy it as much. And also it's frustrating at times to, you know, not be able to make the players happy.
Q. Was that a factor, you think, last year in getting lost?
TODD MARTIN: No, no, not at all. I think the one thing I did was I did a pretty good job of - I guess you'd say compartmentalizing my life. Maybe a couple times I let, you know, the business side of the ATP get in my way at home, and that's not good. But I wouldn't blame it on any of my lack of success last year on that.
Q. Mal Washington, Jeff Tarango, David Wheaton, Pete, Jim, Michael, they're all gone. You and Andre are still here. Is there a fun part about still being around?
TODD MARTIN: I tell you, if I had the type of success Andre has, yeah, there's tons of fun parts (laughing).
But, yeah what can I say? I certainly didn't have the success of a few of the guys that you mentioned, but I can have success over a longer period of time. And that's not why I'm doing it. I'm not competing with the memories of those guys. But it's nice to know at 33 I'm still at least competitive. I like knowing that I can walk out on the court thinking that I can beat anybody, and more or less feeling like the guy on the other side of the net feels the same way.
But more than anything else, I still feel like there's a lot to learn and a lot to improve. And there's only one way to do it, and that's make the most of it while it's here. So from that standpoint, I'm just excited to still be challenging myself in this arena rather than, you know, seeing what else I'm capable of doing.
Q. Has anybody like Jim or Pete told you to enjoy it, because it's tough adjusting to those first couple of years of retirement?
TODD MARTIN: I haven't spoken to Pete in quite a while. Jim, frankly, I think has adjusted to retirement awfully well. I wouldn't expect him to be saying a lot of, "Stay, stay, stay, keep playing." He's made the most of his retirement, and I intend to do so as well when that time comes.
But so many of our older peers have sent that message. They all, whether they felt like they made the right decision or the wrong decision, they've all let me know that there's nothing quite like this professionally, and I've always felt that way.
Q. What kind of match do you expect?
TODD MARTIN: I think from your accent, I probably play Ivo Karlovic. The trainer was right.
What do I expect? I was aced 28, 29 times today. I imagine that it will be about a similar number. Hopefully, I can keep it down that much.
And I don't know much what to expect. I've seen Ivo play a few times. He's obviously an impressive player. People used to think I moved okay for a guy my size, and now there's a guy who makes me look silly out there.
I'm looking forward to it. It's a great opportunity for me to play again. It will be a great challenge because he's an attacking player, and that's often times difficult for me to play against.
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