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December 4, 1998

Magnus Norman


Q. I'm sure you played quite a few dramatic matches in your life, a few five-setters. Can you point this out as one of the most dramatic in your career?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, absolutely. Playing in front of 12,000 Italian people screaming, you know, it was unbelievable feeling. It's definitely one of my great matches I ever play.

Q. During the fifth set, you were 4-Love. Did you expect the comeback of Andrea Gaudenzi?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Well, he seemed to be very, very tired in the fifth set. I was feeling pretty okay, actually, so I was a little bit surprised when he broke me twice. But he had the crowd behind him, so I guess the power came from the crowd a little bit, as well. I was not serving as good as I did in the third set. In the fifth set, I was missing a lot of first serves, I think. I was trying to fight all the time, and it paid off in the end. It was a very sad end.

Q. Why did you start coming to the net so much in the fifth set?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I was trying to do that also in the fourth set, fourth and fifth set. He had a lot of problems, you know, when I came in on his backhand. I was playing very good volley today. I was not tired. I was more tired in the third set than in the fourth and in the fifth set. The captain told me to try to serve and come to the net sometimes, try to break his rhythm, because if he has the rhythm, he's very good. But I tried to break him with going to the net a lot. It paid off.

Q. What was for you in the fifth set the most difficult game or moment? Maybe you can recall that. What did you feel when it turned to 5-All, he came back basically in the fifth set?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I was shocked actually, because I didn't believe I should lose when I'm leading 4-Love, you know. The most sad moment was when I had match point and hit a full swing return on the frame, very, very high and back on the court. "This is not true." But, yeah, normally I have a very bad temperament, but today I was trying to not -- trying to be calm all the time, no matter what happen, try not to think about the crowd, just to look at my Swedish teammates; you know, they were cheering me on, and the captain. It paid off.

Q. What was the speed of the court? Was it slower than in practice?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No, I don't think so. I think it was pretty much the same, you know. You can't change the court just for one day. It's impossible. I think it's a very good clay court. It plays medium fast. I didn't feel any difference.

Q. Is it a little disappointing to have to win a match after what happened to Gaudenzi? How do you feel about the next couple of days and your team?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, I mean, I felt very, very sorry for Andrea because he was playing unbelievable match. He hasn't played tennis very much since a very long time. I think he was playing a great match, so I feel very, very sad for him. But, you know, I was pretty glad that I came off the court with a win. Didn't really matter. What happened in the next days, you know, I'm going to go out to try to see that Magnus is going to win. We need two more victories to actually win the Davis Cup, and that's going to be very difficult. We're going to fight for every point, yeah, see what happens.

Q. Did the crowd bother you while you were making errors?

MAGNUS NORMAN: No, not really. I was prepared for the worst, that the people were going to throw things at me and things like this. I think that the crowd was pretty fair. Of course, they're going to shout for Andrea because, you know, it's a big final and it's in Italy. It didn't disturb me. It was actually very good atmosphere, I think.

Q. Did you feel you were more prepared athletically than Gaudenzi?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, a little bit, I think. It's obvious, you know, he hasn't played a match in a long time. It's very, very difficult. Practice is one thing; to play a match like this is completely another thing. I was for sure more prepared than he was physically. I mean, I feel very sad for Andrea, but I think I deserve the win because I was fighting for five hours. I can't do anything more than that.

Q. What did Gaudenzi tell you at the end of the match when you shook his hand?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I asked him, "What was the problem?" He said something with his shoulder was broken a bit. It was pretty sad because it was such an unbelievably good match.

Q. When did you notice Gaudenzi having problems with his shoulder? Did you notice he was having any problems?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yes, he was taking two medical time-outs. The first one I realized that maybe if I stay out there a couple more hours, you know, his shoulder is going to get worse. It did, so.

End of FastScripts....

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