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June 27, 2000

Magnus Norman


MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Magnus Norman.

Q. Does it upset you that you're No. 2 in the world and you are put on a side court at the French Open, put on a side court here at Wimbledon?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Not really. I mean, I was on Court No. 1 yesterday. Today was some other bigger names maybe on Court No. 1. I'm getting used to it, you know. I'm No. 2 in the world, but no one seems to take note of me. That's kind of nice in a way because you can walk around, not a lot of people recognize you. People recognize you, but it's not like Kournikova or something like that. I'm happy about that actually.

Q. Do you find that at Wimbledon particularly, people aren't bothering you?

MAGNUS NORMAN: It's not hysterical. When I practise, I can be alone. That's nice. But people recognize me for sure more than before the French and before Rome, you know. But I'm just happy to have a little bit of private life, as well.

Q. Must be professionally a little bit frustrating, isn't it?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No. As long as I win my matches, sooner or later I have to be on Centre Court. It's like in the French, you know, I kept winning. In the quarters I think I stepped on the Centre Court for the first time. Hopefully I will do the same here.

Q. What was your thought about the game today?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think I played a good game. I mean, I haven't played any grass court matches so far this year yet. But I felt fine from the beginning. My returns were working well, my serve-and-volley. I'm in good shape. I'm really looking forward for tomorrow.

Q. You seem to be having a few problems keeping your feet occasionally. You slipped over once or twice. Was that a problem with the surface for you? Do you prefer the clay and hard courts?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, actually I do. But I think all the people slide a little bit more on grass. I'm pretty heavy; I'm 90 kilos. That maybe doesn't really help me. But I think I moved pretty well today anyway, even though I slipped a few times.

Q. Was it your back that you pulled out of Queen's?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yes. Still getting treatment for it, but it's getting better every day, you know. I don't think it's going to bother me too much in this tournament.

Q. Did it bother you at all in today's game? Were you favoring it at all?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I feel it sometimes, but it's not like it's affecting my game or anything. Just have to be working out in the gym every night to strengthen the back a little bit because I think it's more weak than anything else in my body. I think it's going to be okay.

Q. You've said that Edberg was your idol. I would imagine growing up in Sweden, Borg would be most young Swedish player's idols. Why Edberg?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think Borg was a little before my time. When I grew up and started playing tennis, Edberg and Wilander was the two biggest names playing at that moment. I think Edberg, the Wimbledon final he played against Becker here, I was watching that at home. Ever since that, you know, he became my idol. When he played in Stockholm, I used to go and watch him, so that's why.

Q. It says that you're a bandy player. Can you tell us what that is?


Q. Is this a question that comes up a lot?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, every tournament. You play it on a soccer field, but on ice. It's like the size of a soccer goal, as well. You have like two goalies. You play it with skates and everything, of course, and protection, helmet. It's almost like ice hockey, but a much bigger field. Instead of a puck, you have a round ball. Instead of being five on each side, you're 11 on each side. It's more like ice hockey, but much, much bigger.

Q. With sticks?


Q. Sounds quite dangerous.

MAGNUS NORMAN: It's a rough sport. Everything is dangerous, isn't it?

Q. You appeared to be getting slightly frustrated at certain times, particularly during the first set. Was anything sort of bothering you?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I don't have the experience on grass yet this year, so I just wanted to stay on top of him. I didn't get that break in the beginning. I sort of lost my serve. I did bad games also. I don't really know where my grass court game are for the moment. That's why maybe in the beginning I was a little bit frustrated. But once I got going and I won that first set, I think I got my game going. Now I kind of know where my grass court game are, what things I have to improve to be able to win or to go into the second week here.

Q. How much do you have to adapt coming from Roland Garros to here? What do you do? What changes do you have to make?

MAGNUS NORMAN: You have to be more aggressive. You have to go to the net, follow the serve to the net sometimes to mix it up. You definitely have to shorten your back swings, especially on the forehand. On clay I go way back here (indicating); on grass, I try to shorten it because it's obviously bouncing much faster.

Q. You and Guga are both very aggressive players from the back of the court anyway. Do you see that style of play becoming more prevalent at Wimbledon rather than serve-volley?

MAGNUS NORMAN: It's the modern type of tennis, you know. Of course serve-and-volley players will always be favouring the grass court. But I think, yeah, you know, playing aggressive from the baseline is the modern type of playing tennis.

Q. You beat Hewitt in Australia. You've had more success against him than anybody. Are you surprised at how well he's been able to put together these tournaments on all surfaces?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Not really. I mean, he's a good guy. He's been able to win matches. He's very, very strong here (indicating head). Maybe his game is not one of the best, but he's so strong here, that's why he wins so many matches. It's a little bit like me, I think. We are both very strong. We had a practise the other day. You know, when we practise together, we look like 100 or 200 in the world. But once we get to the match, it's another story. I think we need that extra motivation. He's going to stay up there for a very long time because of that.

Q. In '98 you played 29 tournaments; 13 of those tournaments you were beaten in the first round. When did you turn this around? Was there a match you can recall?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, right here last year against Santoro. That's when everything kind of flipped to my advantage. I felt like everything was falling into the right gear. Since then I've been playing like better and better almost every day.

Q. What was the mental breakthrough that you had?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I don't know. It's like me and Fredrik had practised a lot up until that moment. I played great in the practise. But in the match, you know, everything was kind of, you know, didn't go my way. I was a little bit nervous. But I felt like in this match, I played aggressive. I sort of find my game there. I don't know. I played aggressive and went to the net. You know, since then I've been playing that way for a year now.

End of FastScripts…

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