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August 9, 2000

Magnus Norman


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Magnus?

Q. How did you feel today? Were you off your game at all or just not on top of it?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Both. Both I think. I was not playing very good. I haven't played very good since I came over to North America. So I got to gather myself and try to come back, you know, for the next match I play.

Q. Why do you think you've been having trouble the last two weeks?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Well, I think I'm too tough. I'm not playing my game. There's been a lot of changes to my life over the last couple of months. And, you know, it's not only tennis; it's about everything else. And it's very difficult just to go out there and play and not to think about all these things that happened to me the last couple of months. Sure, it's affecting my life very much, and it's something I have to get used to.

Q. Can you talk about it? Are there family issues or something?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No, I mean, you know all the recent success I had has put a lot of pressure on me and it's a whole new situation for me to be all of a sudden a favorite in a tournament, and everybody wants to have an interview. You know, I have to do this, I have to do that. It's not the normal preparation I had for a tournament before. When I was 20th in the world, nobody really cared about me. I went to a tournament and nobody wanted to have an interview or have my opinion on things. I could prepare my own way. But now I have to do all these things, you know, interviews and everything, you know. And it's very hard; I have to admit it. I have to get used to it. I cannot only switch like that. It takes me a couple of months before I get used to it.

Q. Do you feel like the other players gear their games up a notch now that you're the one seed or two seed?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Maybe not as much. It's more myself I think. I have to find my, you know, my game. I have to start back from zero again and try to work on the things, you know, that I need to work on. And hopefully, you know, as I said, the next time I step on the court, I have to be more aggressive and more positive about things.

Q. You talk about the next time you step on the court. Have you decided if you're going to play in Indianapolis next week?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I haven't done it yet, no. It's too soon. I have to play doubles here first and then maybe decide if I want to go or not.

Q. A quick exit here, would that lead you to maybe lean in that direction though?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, more in that direction I think. Yeah. But on the other hand, you know, I spent so much time not only on the court but outside the court the last couple of weeks. I don't want to say that I'm burned out, you know, but I feel a little bit tired when you mention the word "tennis." So maybe it's better to go to the beach somewhere instead of -- rather than going out there and practicing. I don't know what the best decision is for me right now. I have to have someone to tell me who has more experience than I have I think.

Q. Do you have any relationship with more experienced players, guys who have been in your position?


Q. I mean do they help? Have they offered you any advice? Have you asked them, "How did you get through this?"

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah. Well, I think the one that I have more contact with is Bjorn and maybe it's time, I don't know, to give him a call. I don't know. But I think I have to go back to level one and try to forget about these two bad weeks. They were very important weeks for me, very important weeks for the Champion's Race. I wanted to be No. 1 at the end of the year, but, you know, it's only two tennis matches. I got to look forward for the next time.

Q. Has Borg given you any advice in the past that sticks out?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Well, he gave me some advice right after the French. You know, he came up to me and he said, "Well done. I follow the matches and I think you're handling --" he said I'm handling the press situation very, very good. "There's not much I can say, you know, just stick to your own plans and whatever it takes," you know. So he said only positive things really.

Q. Looking at your record against Dosedel, is there something in his game that is counteracting you?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, it seems like it. I don't know what really, but, you know, he's a strange player. He's not like everybody else. He's a little bit awkward, and, you know, you never expect what's going to happen out there. He's a very tentative player, but normally I think if I play up to my standard, I should have a good chance to beat him. But he made a great match.

Q. Magnus, you mentioned earlier about all the attention and everything. When you won the Italian Open, did you think you would be able to get all that kind of attention?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Of course I knew people were going to want to have my opinion more, but, you know, it's another situation for me when I step on the court. You know, people expect me to win. You don't do that overnight. I think it's something I have to work on and get used to.

Q. What are your thoughts on the new ranking system? Do you like the system?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah. I like it. I mean it's -- every tough loss, like after today, it's going to count. It's very important to play good in these big tournaments, and that's what I've been doing, you know, up until now. These two weeks haven't been good. It's going to count for sure. I like it. Everybody's here; it's a tough tournament. I love it.

Q. You've been winning so much lately, when you have a loss like this, does it stay with you for a long time, or is it the kind of thing where there's so much tennis that you always just focus on the next match? How long personally does it affect you?

MAGNUS NORMAN: You know, we have doubles tomorrow. I have to try to think positive about things. You know, I've had a great year - in fact, the best year of my life. There's no way, you know, just because I played bad two weeks in a row, I don't think it's going to affect me that much. The one loss that affected me the most this year is absolutely the French Open when I lost to Guga in the Finals. It took a few weeks to get over it. To be honest with you guys, I haven't played nowhere near that tennis since that match. Even though I won a title in Bastad, I didn't play very good. So it was a tough loss. It takes time to get over it because I was so close to achieving my all-time goal, you know. I lost, so...

Q. Does it take you a while to get going on the hard court surface?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yes, it does. I'm the kind of guy who needs to play a lot of matches to be self-confident. And this week I played two matches. It's a step forward. The last tournament, I played only one. Hopefully next time I will step on the court, I will be even stronger.

Q. You keep a journal about all your matches. What kind of things do you put in there, what you did right, what you did wrong?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, things that I did good or did bad this day. It's not only about tennis, also it's about everything else that's going on in my life, you know. And, yeah, the experience I have on the Tour. It's a very special life we live, so I think it's good to remember all the things, all the good things we have and all the tough times we've had. Sometimes I go back five, six years and read it. Those are tough times. And, you know, even though I lost now two times in a row, I'm Top 10 in the world and my life is very good right now. So I think it's only -- I'll try to focus on the US Open and try to be positive about things.

Q. Everybody probably doesn't realize you guys go through such a grueling thing. You guys are playing all the time, every week. I find your training regimen pretty interesting. Could you talk about it a little bit.

MAGNUS NORMAN: My practice? Training.

Q. Your training regimen.

MAGNUS NORMAN: I practice a lot. I practice a lot. The schedule is really tough as we have it. It's a lot of tennis, and -- but tennis is the best thing I know, you know. I love to go out there and practice. But sometimes I need to get away, you know. Like now I'm feeling it's a little bit too much even for me. So maybe it's time to step away for a few days before I get back on the court again.

Q. You mentioned the Open. With the Open coming up, how do you feel about the Open compared with the other Grand Slams?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Well, I feel I have a good chance in the Open to be honest with you. Now my form is not that good, but I have two more weeks to tune up before the Open. Last year I played very, very good in the Open. I had, you know -- so if I can get my game going, I think I can play on every surface. I think it's more a matter of me getting prepared and getting confident again rather than who's my opponent and what's the surface. I think it's more up to me now.

Q. Is the crowd a factor at all? What do you think about the crowd in New York?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I love the crowd in New York. I love people moving around a little bit in the evening sessions. They have one, two beers, they get a little bit loud. I love it. I love it.

Q. You talked two or three times about stuff off the court. I think that's all good stuff; that's not bad stuff, right?

MAGNUS NORMAN: It's very good stuff. It's very good stuff. People start to recognize me, you know. They start think that hey, this guy's a good tennis player. But also it's added pressure. That's something I'm not used to. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I played tennis now for many, many years. I've been on the Tour since '95 I think. This is what I've been fighting for so I'm absolutely not complaining. Absolutely not. But it takes time to get used to the changes that happened to my life over the last couple of weeks.

End of FastScripts....

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