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adidas International

January 13, 2001

Magnus Norman


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Was that partly the price for how much you had to put out yesterday?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Well, a little bit I think. My legs weren't moving very good today. But I feel like my game is coming together even though I lost, you know, to Lleyton. I thought my shots were a little better today than it was yesterday. My movement on the court was perhaps a little bit slower today than it was yesterday.

Q. 4-all in that game, when he then held very comfortably for 5-4. You suddenly looked a little disconsolate. You seemed to look up at your coach. You didn't pull anything, snag anything?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No, I just felt like I was a little bit tired. At that, as you said, at that moment of the match, I felt like, you know, I had to -- it's going to be very tough. That's why I looked up at my coach. But, you know, Lleyton played a good match and, you know, he's very solid. I mean, if you're going to beat him, you have to play very good tennis.

Q. So are you feeling ready for the Open?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah. I mean, I just had a practice now for 45 minutes after the match, and, you know, I'm getting there. I'm getting there. As I said yesterday, I was sick for three weeks at the end of the season so, you know, I'm still trying to catch up with it, you know.

Q. Lleyton's obviously full of confidence after the win against you. He's looking forward to the Australian Open, perhaps capturing the title at age 19. Do you think he could go all the way, or do you think it's a little premature?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No, of course he can go all the way. He's one of the favorites. At the same time, he is playing under a lot of pressure in Melbourne, you know, everybody wants to beat him. But as I said yesterday in an interview that he's a good match player. You know, he's a winner. One day sooner or later I think he's going to win a Grand Slam. He's mentally very strong, and, you know, yeah, he's a tough player.

Q. Can you recall a situation where you've walked on to a court and you've had to sit down for 15 minutes, then listen to three songs and --?


Q. Never? There wasn't a mention of Sweden once. We thought they might have played an Abba record to equalize it. Not a usual way to prepare?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No. I thought maybe it was better to wait until after the, you know, so we could warm up a little bit more. I was very stressed in the locker room. I had to get taped, you know, because I had a lot of blisters. All of a sudden we had to walk on court and we had to sit on the court for 15 minutes while I could have warmed up my body a little bit and gotten ready. But, you know, it's the same for both of us.

Q. Did you think there might have been the Swedish National Anthem played?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Why not? It would have been a good thing. There was not a lot of people yelling for me out there, so at least the national Swedish, you know, song would be at least a good way to show appreciation, yeah.

Q. Will you have a word next year about changing that?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No, not at all. It's a great tournament and it's a great organization, and, you know, Australia, you know, everything is fine here. So, you know, I don't care if they miss Swedish song or not.

Q. Hopefully next time you get to Sydney it will be for the Masters Cup?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Exactly. You got that right. I don't know if it's being played here or not.

Q. Yes, the SuperDome?


Q. Is it Lleyton's game or his presence on court that diverts you the most, does the most damage?

MAGNUS NORMAN: He's very quick around the court, and he's got a bigger serve now than when I played him a year ago in Australia down in Melbourne. He's got a better serve now. And, you know, as I said, he's a match player, you know, he's a tough player. He's very strong mentally. If you want to beat him, you have to play a good match.

Q. Does his posturing on court, does that bother you?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No. I mean, we are both there to win and he's a nice guy outside of the court. And if some player has a problem with his attitude, I mean , I don't understand that because, as I say, he's a match player. He wants to win. But he's not unfair to me. I think he's fair, but he wants to win. It's the same with me. You know...

Q. In the betting, I see they still got Sampras and Agassi as the top favorites. Do you think in view of the way they played in the last six, ten months that that's an accurate reflection, or would you think there's a better chance, say, this year of perhaps somebody else coming through and taking over at the top?

MAGNUS NORMAN: It's difficult to say because I haven't really seen them play so much after Lisbon. But I know that Kuerten and Safin, you know, Safin is injured I read in the paper, and Kuerten hasn't had a lot of match practice. So I think Lleyton and myself, we are in good shape. We are ready to, you know, to do a good tournament in Australia. But I think Sampras and Agassi, they look strong as well from what I've seen on television. So yeah.

Q. Yesterday you said you were looking forward to some big, long matches and that you're a big point player and you'd take on all challenges just about. How does today's minor setback hold in stead for your Aussie Open preparation?

MAGNUS NORMAN: It's not a major setback. Of course I wanted to, you know, to win today. I always want to win when I go on the court. But, you know, it doesn't bother me that much. I just had some practice again outside here, and I feel as ready as I can be, you know, with the preparation I had beforehand for, you know, for the first Grand Slam of the year.

Q. Do you do that? Do you want to go back on court again, or was that your coach?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah. I -- I played well, but my mind wasn't really there today so I wanted to punish myself for 45 minutes.

Q. Would you have gone back had you won the match?


End of FastScripts....

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