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September 22, 2000
Confidence was the key: Woodies
Australia's world number one pair of Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge said their confidence going into the match against India's Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in the Olympic Games tennis doubles played a crucial part in the outcome.
"Confidence is a wonderful thing," said Woodforde.
"We've had all the wins and confidence coming into this event...they (Paes and Bhupathi) have had just three matches."
"But no matter how good you are, you still need to go out and do the right things."
Woodbridge said their second round clash with the Indian duo had the potential of being a blockbuster.
"Tonight's match was hanging in a balance. It was big match and had the potential of being a blockbuster for we all know how good a pair the Indians are," he said. "They knew if they had to beat us, they'd have to play their best because they haven't played much.
"It was just a matter of trying to raise the level of play which we did."
Paes said the Australians' service was the key to the result of the match. "Their service was the key to the Woodies' victory...they gave us very little chances to counter their service," he said. "Their serving percentage must have been high 80s or 90 per cent and that turned the match in their favour."
Peas said too much should not be read into the effect of the break-up of his partnership with Bhupathi. "We've been playing together for five years and the understanding does not go away," he said. "If you look at our injuries, we wouldn't have been playing (together) much anyway.
"But we are going to continue playing together."
Bhupathi too emphasised that the partnership with Paes was for keeps.
"We're going to carry on playing as a team...we'll go and play some tournaments and try to get back our ranking," he said. "We're getting together with every match and the confidence is coming back.
"I think we are going to get the top status quickly. I think we played a very good match. Obviously, it didn't go as well as we would have liked it to but we are getting better with every outing.
"We are disappointed that we are out of the Olympics, but not too disappointed the way we played...so I think things are looking good, " he said.
Peas said they will be back for the next Olympics.
The Woodies, who will finish their partnership after this year, said they were still a far way from the 'much cherished gold" and were trying not to think of that too much.
"Our goal this year was to play well enough to win an Olympic gold," Woodbridge said. "We want to walk away with the gold but try not to think about that too much...they could put a lot of pressure."
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