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December 11, 1994

Magnus Larsson


Q. Magnus, how difficult was it serving the second time, I mean, being broke the first time with all that was at stake?

MAGNUS LARSSON: I mean, when I lost first serves, I mean, I thought a lot about what was going to happen, but the important thing was to win the first point and really, a lot of things was going through my mind, but I also thought that I wouldn't lose serve twice in a row, so still, I felt pretty comfortable.

Q. How does this compare to wining the Davis Cup just a week ago?

MAGNUS LARSSON: Moneywise it is much better, but Davis Cup is something more like what you dreamed about since you were a young kid, so it is really -- you can't compare the two things. It is two different types of tournaments, so I don't know, I mean, this is a great week, but Davis Cup, it's something that we work the whole year and normal life I have been thinking about it, so it is really hard to compare.

Q. Magnus, nobody has ever discussed the leadership of Edberg in Swedish tennis. But now in Davis Cup, you beat Martin and he lost to Martin. You won two matches in the final and he lost one match and he won the other one with a matchpoint. Here, you beat him. Who is the No. 1 Swede?

MAGNUS LARSSON: Look at the rankings.

Q. In your opinion, do you have hopes --

MAGNUS LARSSON: I mean, Stefan is getting 29 years old and obviously the body doesn't get better the older you get. So -- but Stefan is still a great player and I really admire him for what he has done for Swedish tennis, but of course, then when you play him you want to beat him, and it was a very close match and he had breakpoints to 6-5 in the final set, and if he took that, maybe I should be home one week ago, but it just feels great to beat him once in awhile.

Q. Do you think Pete played to his limit today?

MAGNUS LARSSON: Pete I thought it was -- he was a bit tired after his five set yesterday. We spoke before the match, me and the coaches and we said the longer you can stay on-court, the better it is for you, and I mean, he tried, but he was maybe not as quick as he used to be, but he had a tough match yesterday and I beat in one-half hour.

Q. Starting when you beat the Todd Martin in the fifth rubber in the Davis Cup final; finalist in Antwerp, Davis Cup final and here, are you able to explain why you have suddenly had this great run?

MAGNUS LARSSON: No. I mean, first I didn't think I was going to play the rubber tie in Gothenburg because I was playing so bad this summer and I had a few injuries, but just be able to play against in the Davis Cup at home, that really gave me a lot of confidence and since then, I mean, I guess I have been playing well thinking because everything just rolls on and the more you win, the better you play and the easier it is to go out and play and I don't know, it is hard to explain, but it just feels great.

Q. Have you thought about how you are going to spend one and a half million dollars?

MAGNUS LARSSON: If I want to, it is no problem, but I mean, at the moment I have everything I can ask for, so I mean, it is good to have the money, I mean, but what can you say? It is a lot of money, but money isn't everything in the world.

Q. I hear you a great gambler anyway?

MAGNUS LARSSON: It was more before when I was younger, I went to the casinos a lot, but now I don't gamble that much, but, you know, maybe. Maybe tonight.

Q. Magnus, how are you feeling yourself and how important is this result going into 1995 for you?

MAGNUS LARSSON: It is going to be a big difference for me, '95 because now a lot of players really want to beat me and I got more eyes on me when I play the tournaments, but really, I feel I have been playing pretty good last or very good the last few months and I think I raised my game a level, so I am looking forward to '95 and try to do the best of it, and, you know, it is -- next year, it is a new year and then I mean, new tournaments, so I can't just go out and choose the court and get a win. I will have to work maybe even harder next year to keep my position and I will try to do that.

Q. Probably shouldn't be saying this now, but habitually the players that have won this title haven't exactly done too well in the following year. Are you a little bit worried about the curse of the Grand Slam Cup?

MAGNUS LARSSON: I haven't thought about that yet. But no, I mean, it gives me a lot of confidence and I just take one tournament at a time; one match at a time and I really hope to play good next year, but if I don't, I mean, I don't feel -- I still think I can develop my game, so we will see what happens, but I really have to work maybe harder and as I said, we will see.

Q. How important was that Sjogren put you in the team instead of Bjorkman because after the U.S. Open there were a lot of discussions?

MAGNUS LARSSON: It was very important because we didn't play -- we might have won anyway, but I wouldn't have won the fifth rubber and then it wouldn't have been that exciting, but so I think it was very important for me to know that they have confidence in me even though I haven't won a lot of matches, so I have to thank Jon for that.

Q. Give him a commission.


Q. Can you talk a little bit about why you first took up tennis and who your real big heroes were?

MAGNUS LARSSON: I picked up tennis in Sweden Davis Cup, '75 when Borg played. That is really when I started to play. My father entered me in some kind of Christmas holiday tennis school and I liked it and we lived very close to the courts, both indoor and outdoor, and I took my father out when he finished; work we went to play a little bit. That is the way it basically it started because of Borg.

Q. Do you have any interests outside tennis apart from casinos that might now be enhanced by...

MAGNUS LARSSON: I got a lot of interests. I follow a lot of Swedish sports back home, mostly ice hockey, but. . .

Q. You are not going to buy a team?

MAGNUS LARSSON: No. I am a big fan of third division club back home, where I am from, so we have a meeting next Wednesday.

Q. Sorry.

MAGNUS LARSSON: Third league back home. It is where I was born; where I grew up and I played on that team for ten years as a junior, so I follow them a lot and that means after every match is finished -- it is a bit crazy, but I really enjoy it.

Q. It says in the book you want to run the sports bar; is that so?

MAGNUS LARSSON: We discussed this, I mean, maybe we are going to have to do something when we quit tennis, so. . .

Q. It is you and Mats?

MAGNUS LARSSON: Me, Mats and Gustafsson and Stefan Johannson, the Indy car driver, but I mean, we haven't -- I haven't -- I am not that much involved in it so far, but we had a prospect on it, and -- but it is not fun to open a bar when you can't be there, so if I am there next year maybe we can open a bar, so -- nothing next few years, we will see. Just a fun idea. It is -- the prospect is nice, though, but it will wait.

Q. The media guide says that you are one meter and 90. You look taller.

MAGNUS LARSSON: And four centimeters, 194.

Q. Pete said -- because you never beaten Pete before, Pete said you won today for two reasons, (1): That you are on a high after the Davis Cup and (2): That your game has really improved in the last few months. How do you think your game has improved?

MAGNUS LARSSON: Yeah, we played in Gothenberg, Davis Cup, I played a great match and I lost in four sets. I had a few chances to get to the fifth set, but then I played him in Stockholm, and I got killed and then Antwerp a few weeks later, it was a tough match; I lost two tough sets, but it feels -- every time it feels like I have a little bit more of a chance and I knew today I have a chance to win. I felt that before the match and just I have to take the breakpoints I get or the chances, so it was very important for me to win the first set tiebreaker, so it really gave me confidence and it is just fun to go and play the No. 1 player in the world and more games you take, the better you get and better confidence you get, so I mean, I lost six times before.

Q. But you haven't changed your approach in the last months or so about anything?

MAGNUS LARSSON: No. I mean, just playing a lot of matches, so I haven't been doing much else.

Q. When you say six times, one was in --

MAGNUS LARSSON: We played --

Q. Qualifying, right?

MAGNUS LARSSON: Right. First we played in junior tournament in Melbourne. I don't know what they call it, Coca-Cola - something. I lost easy and then one qualifying in Sidney.

Q. 6-4, 7-6?

MAGNUS LARSSON: Yeah, and Australian Open I did four sets and so on, so I lost the first set 6-Love and I am up 1-Love in the second.

Q. Is this the biggest win of your career, let us say, about the players beaten because you beat Edberg, you beat Becker; what is the difference?

MAGNUS LARSSON: I beat the No. 1 and the No. 2 and Edberg and Martin, so sure, it is the best tennis I performed during one week. I have been playing really solid the whole week, so I mean, it is just very big.

End of FastScripts....

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