September 21, 1995
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Q. Stefan, could you talk about the decision for you not to play singles and how much input you had on it?
STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I think it's a decision between the team here. It is not just me making the decision, but we thought it would be better for Mats to play singles this time, and you can -- it is hard to tell -- I have had a cold here for some time. I am not sure whether I will be fully fit to played three days in a row and Mats has been playing quite well in practice here. So we thought it was the best decision for the team, for Mats to be playing singles and for me starting out playing the doubles.
Q. You and Stefan, Mats, have both had good success in a lot of outings against the American team; seems like the Swedes always was a stumbling block. Do you communicate that to the younger members of the team? Can you just comment on that good luck you have had over the past --
MATS WILANDER: I don't know how you can communicate it, but I think you have to read the history books and realize that we have beaten the States one time before when they had a No. 1 and No. 2 player in the world on the team. I think, in general, Sweden has a great record in Davis Cup, so it is just for them to realize that. I think we all rise to the occasion when it comes to Davis Cup.
STEFAN EDBERG: I think I agree with the same terms that we have got a very good record in Davis Cup. We play as a team and we help each other the best way that we can and it is just the way we are.
Q. Is there a special pride about playing the U.S. in Davis Cup?
STEFAN EDBERG: I think it always is because the States has won most Davis Cup Ties and they are a great team, always a great team and a very difficult team to beat as well.
Q. Talk a little bit about the -- just the state of the game internationally, where you see it now and where you see it going; sort of the state of tennis?
MATS WILANDER: What do you mean, the professional game?
Q. Yeah, just how the game has developed; where it is now; where you see it going; the popularity, the style of play?
CAPTAIN CARL-AXEL HAGESKOG: Sorry, I am just practicing for the weekend.
(HANDING OUT WATER TO THE PLAYERS)
MATS WILANDER: It's a very popular sport and I think it is going in the right direction. No major rule changes which are good. I mean, we still have two serves and all that, so I think it is going to be sometimes in a down period and sometimes in an up period depending on who the personalities are that are ranked high.
Q. What do you see it at now? Do you see it as the same kind of up period for example when Borg and Connors and McEnroe were were at their peak?
MATS WILANDER: Yeah, I think it is pretty similar. I think then it was just one of the first big professional sports with two huge personalities Borg, McEnroe and Connors and today it is just a big sport, I think we don't need the personalities as much today as then, so yeah, I think it is going in the right direction, for sure.
Q. Thomas, how do you feel leading the team in a place like Las Vegas against the American team? Is it a big moment for you or --
THOMAS ENQVIST: I don't see that I am leading the team. It is four players on the team and we are going to try to do it together and hopefully win three of the five matches.
Q. Mats, Andre gave you a pretty tough time last couple of times you ran into each other. What can you do differently this time? What are you going to try to do to change the outcome.
MATS WILANDER: I am not sure. I have sort of an idea how I am going to play. I think the biggest difference is that by the time I have played Andre the last two times in the summer, I already played four matches. For me, that was a real thrill to be in the semis. I think I just sort of ran out of steam at the end of the tournament, especially when it's a surprise for yourself and then you are playing the No. 1 player in the world. It is not that easy to come back from winning four matches and then suddenly trying to beat Agassi. Now I see it very different. You have one mission and that is to play Agassi on Friday and focusing for a week on that whoever was going to play the singles. So it is a little different; a little easier. I am fresh and he is fresh. That is the difference, the circumstances.
Q. Jonas, how difficult is it to make a switch? How hard is it to make a switch on your doubles partner? You played with Apell for a long time. Is it hard to make the adjustment?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, I don't think so. I am playing with Stefan who has been No. 1 in the world in doubles, so he is having a lot of experience, and I think he have a lot of things that he can help me to play a good doubles, so even if it is -- I rather have Apell here when I had him since I started to play Davis Cup; I still having a great time to be with the other guys and I think it is going to be a really good time to play with Stefan.
Q. Why did you decide to name Mats to play singles instead of Stefan?
CAPTAIN CARL-AXEL HAGESKOG: We thought from the team, we discussed it and as we said before here, we think that this is the best team to play in this way.
Q. How much did it have to do with Stefan's health?
CAPTAIN CARL-AXEL HAGESKOG: We thought that Stefan would have problems with playing three, five set matches during three days in the heat and Mats is playing very well at the moment.
Q. How do you like the court surface, altitude?
MATS WILANDER: You mean, the one yesterday or the one two days ago? It changed everyday.
Q. The one you are going to be playing on tomorrow.
MATS WILANDER: Depends which one it is going to be, the slow one? The fast one? No, I think it is pretty good. I think the balls are very fast, which because of a little bit of altitude and actually the surface is not that fast, I don't think. So I don't know, I think it is pretty good. I think that is the way it should be fast balls and slow courts, so I like it.
Q. Altitude bother you?
MATS WILANDER: Not really. I suppose it should suit the guys that hit harder, but at the same time, you have to keep the ball in play, so if you play with a lot of spin, I think it is a little easier to keep it in play, so I think it is -- maybe could be advantage for somebody who keeps the ball in play.
Q. Thomas, what do you think of the surface, altitude, the balls?
THOMAS ENQVIST: I think it suits all of us. Like Mats said, the balls are pretty fast and hopefully you can get some points after your serve and it is also good because you have to keep the ball in play and balls are flying a little bit. It is not that easy to just go on the court and hit winners, so I think it suits our game pretty good.
Q. You guys seem a lot happier than the American group. They were here not smiling. Is the pressure on them or is it on you guys? You guys seem to be handling it much better.
ART CAMPBELL: Who would you like to direct the question to?
STEFAN EDBERG: I think the pressure obviously is on the American team. They are the favorites. They are supposed to win this match. We are the underdogs, and we have been in this situation before, and we feel good about coming here and we got everything to win, so I think we got every reason to be relaxed here and it is probably going to be a help, hopefully, too. But at the same time, you have to stay focused on what you are doing.
ART CAMPBELL: Thank you very much.
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