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November 27, 2000

Magnus Norman



Q. Your expectations?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think if I could go through to the semifinals, it would be a great achievement for me.

Q. Tell me the funniest thing that happened in this year for you.

MAGNUS NORMAN: The funniest thing, probably reaching the final in the French Open. That was the biggest moment of my career, and this year obviously. I never dreamt about being in a Grand Slam final. I was pretty excited.

Q. I think you won five tournaments this year. Last year you also won five tournaments. What is your expectation for next year, for 2001?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think I have great expectation for next year. My main goal is to continue to be a regular member of the Top 10, to be in a Grand Slam final again would be nice. That's my goals for next year.

Q. What are you going to do after this tournament?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I don't know really. I think I'm going to go back to Sweden and Monte-Carlo where I live, try to spend some time there, try to live a normal life, meet with my friends, don't think too much about tennis, try to relax and go to the beach, whatever, go skiing. I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, but something like that.

Q. What is your (inaudible)?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I like to sleep in the morning when I'm not playing tennis. I think I'm going to sleep a lot in December. I'm going to spend time with my family and friends at home, go for dinner.

Q. This is the first year with the new Champions Race. Tell me, do you like the Champions Race?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think I was a little bit skeptical in the beginning of the year. I think I have to say that I have to change my mind a little bit for the second part of the year. Things got very exciting. Everybody got excited. The fans got into it. It's very easy to follow, as well. I think it was a good improvement from the ATP Tour, yes.

Q. Who has the best serve on the ATP Tour?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Best serve is probably still Pete Sampras. He's getting older, but he still has the best serve.

Q. What about the backhand?

MAGNUS NORMAN: The backhand? I have to go with probably Andre Agassi or Lleyton Hewitt has a good backhand. Gustavo Kuerten has a good backhand. Also depends which surface you play on. I think Gustavo has the best on clay and Agassi on the other surfaces.

Q. The forehand?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think Enqvist, when he's in good shape. He's got the best forehand in the game.

Q. The volley?

MAGNUS NORMAN: The volley, I think, probably Patrick Rafter. Yeah, he's got the best volley.

Q. I missed your name. What is your favorite?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I'm a little bit in between everybody. I'm a good fighter. I have a strong head, very strong in the head, you know, mentally. I never give up. I think that's my best side on the court.

Q. Do you think you can really win this tournament?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Absolutely. Everybody can win here. I think like the last week, my game got together a little bit. I think if I'm healthy and I get off to a good start, I think I can win the tournament.

Q. Are you superstitious?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I don't have any superstitions. I don't like -- I like to do my shoes. I go on the court like this (indicating). When I go on the court, I sort of get ready for the game like that (indicating). I never do it before the match, just when I get on the court.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I was very tired. I think it was because I had the flu. I had like a bad throat, I got a cold.

Q. And the leg?

MAGNUS NORMAN: The left leg is still a little sore, a little tight. But it's getting better and better. I think for tomorrow it's going to be no problem. Today I still felt it a little bit. I still feel stiff. I feel like my body needs a little more recuperation. Until tomorrow, everything is going to be a hundred percent.

Q. With the Champions Race, you mentioned initially you were a little skeptical. Now you've bought into it. With that in mind, what do you think of the situation that talks about giving some points towards the next year?

MAGNUS NORMAN: It's not a bad idea. It's not a bad idea. What I was skeptical about in the beginning of the year was the fact that we had many different leaders. The first week Santoro was leading. Things got really true like after the French Open perhaps, even through to US Open. Perhaps it's a good way to deal with it, I don't know, but certainly something to think about.

Q. You used the French Open as an example. Several people have mentioned that as a mark, to start there. Obviously there are a lot of tournaments before, but maybe after the French Open. Do you think that would be a good test of who is the leader?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think so, yes. After the French, after Wimbledon, we played two or three Grand Slams already. Yeah, we play six months up to French Open. Then you can say who is going to be -- almost who is going to be in Lisbon.

Q. With the race this year, you did very well. It seemed like you got tired and beat up during parts of the year. Is that typical or do you think it's because of the race?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No, I think it was the amount of tennis I was playing in the spring. I was almost semifinal, quarterfinal in every tournament in the spring. I played some very good tennis. As you said, I got tired, mentally and physically, during the US Open and during the Olympics. At the same time, I had such a fantastic year. You took two, three weeks off, I was fine again.

Q. With the commitments you have to make, do you think that's a problem? Do you think there should be fewer commitments?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, I think so. That's another problem that we have. We get almost like handed a paper, "These tournaments you should play." It's a lot of tournaments. It's 14 tournaments. It's a little bit too much, to be honest with you. Maybe the Tennis Masters Series, you should play the Tennis Masters Series, and the Grand Slams. Other than that, I think you should be able to play as much as you want.

Q. How many tournaments would you be comfortable playing?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Well, as it is right now, I feel like 22, 23 tournaments, perhaps. As far as this year, I played like 28. It's like four weeks too much really.

Q. You looked pretty tired at the end of Stockholm. Did you feel tired going in?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No. I think it was more like I was very, very sick before Stockholm. When I got home from Paris, I got very sick. I'm still on penicillin.

Q. Is it a throat infection?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, something like that. It's getting much better. I think it was more because of that rather than being tired. I feel fresh. I feel like really motivated again. I feel much better than before The Open and during the Olympics. I'm ready for this week.

Q. Now that this event is circulating again, are you one of those who would like too see it played outdoors?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, I do. When I've been asked the question, I always say it should be fair to have it perhaps on clay indoors or on a hard court outdoors. Indoors is not my best surface. I think it should be fair for everybody, for Pete to maybe go outdoors on clay. I think it would be a good idea.

Q. What does it mean to be a patriot of your country?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I always want to play the Davis Cup and the Olympics and everything. I think it's very, very important to be loyal to your country, to be loyal to your Federation because the Federation has helped me so much when I was younger. I really want to give something back to them now.

Q. John McEnroe has just resigned as the American captain, saying the format has to be changed. It seems to me that it's only America that struggles to get their players. I've never seen Swedes turning down playing. Do you think the Davis Cup needs changing?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No, I don't see a reason why. It's the oldest sporting event we have. As you said, I'm always very happy to play for Sweden, even though we don't get paid or anything like that, no points or anything. I feel like it's a duty, it's an obligation. It no sacrifice for me because I enjoy it so much to be able to play for your country, to be able to give something back to the Federation.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I cannot reach the No. 1 position, I think, at the end of this year, but I'm really looking forward for the tournament, to be able to finish the year as I started the year. I am very eager, motivated to do well here to show everybody, and also myself, that I'm a good indoor player, as well.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think it's good for me. You see all the media focuses on them. I'm kind of a little bit underdog here. I like the situation. It takes the pressure away from me. I had all the pressure this spring, you know, during Rome, French Open. Before the US Open, everybody was, "Magnus Norman, maybe he'll be No. 1." That's an added pressure that sometimes is difficult to deal with in the beginning.

Q. Does it help you?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, it helps me. No one really thinks I can win here. I can only surprise myself and everybody else.

Q. Do you have any opponent that (inaudible)?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Not really. I fear everybody, really. Everybody is very good and very talented. Everybody has their own style, everybody has their own personality here. You have eight different personalities here, eight different playing styles. I think that's what makes it interesting.

End of FastScripts....

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