September 5, 1996
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Can you imagine what you will be doing in January while the Australian Open will be on?
STEFAN EDBERG: I will be in London, I think, probably watching a little bit on television and doing my own things. Just taking it easy, I think.
Q. Will it be a strange feeling?
STEFAN EDBERG: I am not sure. Obviously, I mean, I think you have been away before for weeks, for some months, for injuries. I think it would be nice in the beginning. You will probably keep an eye on what is going on, I am sure, that I will do, but apart from that, I think I will be okay. I think maybe after six seven eight months maybe I will start missing it. I am not sure.
Q. A better conclusion to your Grand Slam career than you anticipated?
STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I was hoping for a good U.S. Open. Looking at the draw here, I knew it was going to be tough even getting through the first round, but as the week has gone on here, I played some good tennis, some solid tennis. And I felt coming in tonight at least that I had a chance, but tonight's match, I think Goran played some great tennis out there and, you know, he nearly served me off the court with some big, big serves tonight, and I don't think I served well enough there because just a little tough out there today.
Q. Does it sometimes feel only yesterday you only won the Junior title here?
STEFAN EDBERG: Not quite. Feels likes ages ago. That is a long, long, long time ago.
Q. Seemed like Americans just don't understand why you are retiring now. Do a lot of people not get it about what you are doing?
STEFAN EDBERG: I am not sure. I get this question every time. I made my decision. That is really what counts. I feel that I am doing the right thing and other people may have a different opinion, but the good thing is that I am playing some good tennis now, which was the anticipation being the last year to play some good tennis because it is much nicer that way. And I just made a decision and I will stick to that one.
Q. You don't play the semifinal of Davis Cup?
STEFAN EDBERG: I have spoken with the Captain and he will make an announcement there next week, but it is something I will definitely think about. I think there is a good chance.
Q. You said on television that in 1991 the final here was your greatest memory. Can you talk a little bit more about why that is?
STEFAN EDBERG: I think I had a tough time here in '90. I was No. 1 player. I lost here first round, and '91 really turned things around. I probably played some of my best tennis in '91. I went through the second week winning in straight sets in all the matches and I think probably produced the best serve and volley tennis than I have ever done in this U.S. Open final against Jim Courier who was playing some great tennis at the time. And it was just one of these dream matches where everything just goes your way, so that is a great memory. But, like I said, '92 was also a great year here with all the comebacks that I did have.
Q. Do you feel a weight off your shoulders now that it has run its course?
STEFAN EDBERG: I feel that I have had a good week and a half here. I have really enjoyed playing here this week, and so it has been a good way to end it playing some good tennis. It would have been a lot harder I think going out the first week and not really having a chance, but I feel quite good right now. I feel quite relaxed, tell you the truth.
Q. How is your Foundation going to work next year?
STEFAN EDBERG: It is going well. It just got started. That is something that I will take more of an interest in next year because I am way too busy here, but just getting things started. The kids are enjoying it.
Q. Do you have any comments on Pete Sampras's performance today?
STEFAN EDBERG: Incredible. That is the word for it. I think everybody was watching it in the locker room. And I have seen Pete in other matches and what he can do under those circumstances. I don't think anybody can do it, you know, it was -- it was just one of these matches, it was just hard to believe what was going on there, and I don't know how he won the match, but it was a fantastic effort.
Q. Is it true you went to see him before you came out?
STEFAN EDBERG: No, I did not. I did not see him. But I hope he is all right.
Q. Somebody said you did and then the doctor said he --
STEFAN EDBERG: Don't believe everything that you hear. (Audience Laughter)
Q. You seem a little sad. Is the finality of your decision starting to hit you, maybe, a little?
STEFAN EDBERG: Not yet. No, it is still some time to go here and I don't think I will realize it until the very, very end and that is getting towards the end of the year, so I am still into things. I am still into playing, still into hopefully have a win by the end of the season, so I still have a target and something to work for. Doesn't mean that the tennis is over because the Grand Slams is over. It is still some tournaments back in Europe that I will be hoping to have some good results.
Q. What is the one thing you are going to be miss about tennis here?
STEFAN EDBERG: I think --
Q. The media.
STEFAN EDBERG: Of course. Not to mention that. I think the atmosphere. It is such a special atmosphere when people get into the match here, all the noise and everything even -- I think that is what I will miss about it, being out on that court and having the crowd behind you and pushing you to the limit.
Q. When you see all these new courts, like the new one here and the new one at Wimbledon, don't you feel a bit of sadness that you will not play on it?
STEFAN EDBERG: No, not really. But I think they are investing for the future and I think it is for the good because the facility can be improved here. I think it would be really nice with a new stadium, with a new facility. I think it would it make a big difference in this tournament. I have seen a lot of changes in a lot of tournaments. Key Biscayne is a perfect example where there was hardly nothing from the beginning. Now it is a great event. And I think this will be great here as well as Wimbledon, and it will better for the people around. It will be better for you too, I am sure.
Q. Not for you.
STEFAN EDBERG: Not for me, but it is just -- you know, that is part of the future.
Q. Do you foresee yourself in five years playing the Champions Tour? Do you see yourself playing any more competitively after you get away from it?
STEFAN EDBERG: I don't know. I can't say that today. Maybe. Maybe not. I have no idea.
Q. Your coach just said this will be the end of something that has been magic. Do you see your career in those terms too?
STEFAN EDBERG: No. The way I look at it I have been lucky enough to be able to perform in a sport that I love, and I think I have performed well over the years, that I have played and that I have been lucky enough to have as much success as I have had. And a lot of kids dream about it and my dream came true, and so I will look back at it as a great opportunity that I took.
Q. Do you miss Boris in the tournament?
STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I think we have had a lot of battles out there and we have been pushing each other and it is sad to see him that he is injured at the moment because I think it is going to be tough for him to come back after this injury, but, you know, hopefully his wrist will heal so he can get back to competing again. I think he will be back this fall in the indoor tournaments. Maybe we will meet up in one of the tournaments.
Q. Do you think you might come back here and sit in the stands and watch a match some year?
STEFAN EDBERG: I might do it. I don't think I will do it next year, but there is a possibility finding my way through here.
Q. You have relied more on finesse than power. Are you in a way glad that you are going out now with all of these power servers dominating the game?
STEFAN EDBERG: I think everybody has their time on the court. I have had my great years and obviously the tennis is changing more to the power and physical, so plus I am getting a little bit older too, so I have played my best tennis. It is time for other people to take over and new guys that are going to come along.
Q. Is that a development that you like or not?
STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I think in today's tennis, I wish there were some more finesse and more thinking behind the points out there, but, you know, that is the way the guys play tennis today because they are trying to find the most effective way and people are just going for their shots, first opportunity that they have. I think you still see some great tennis out on hard courts on the clay, the biggest problem has been indoor tennis and at Wimbledon because there has been a little bit too few rallies and that is a little bit of a problem, but I think tennis will survive that too.
Q. When you played Karbacher the other night you said you didn't see the ball so well. Was playing at night a factor?
STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I never really liked playing here at night. I much prefer playing in daytime because it is a different, different court in daytime where you have a little bit of wind and sunshine. Especially when you play a big server, when you are playing at night, there is no wind and no light; it is always hard to pick up the ball because everything appeared to be faster than it is, but I think the way he served it wouldn't have mattered if it was daylight or nightlight.
Q. If you could bring back one facet of your game when you were No. 1 and just have it for one day in your Farewell Tour, what facet of your game would that be?
STEFAN EDBERG: I think I have been playing good this week, but obviously I think I served better than before and maybe was serving a little bit better, but apart from that, I have been fine here. It is competitiveness now. When you are at the top of your game, you play the big points well. That is really the difference.
Q. For those of us who love the serve and volley game, do you feel sad? Do you feel like it is leaving the men's game.
STEFAN EDBERG: In a way I am because there is very few true serve and volley players left out there and it is always great to have a mixture of guys the way they play, having guys playing from the back, guys playing serve and volley, but you know, you need to be a very complete player today in order to perform and even if we just don't have serve and volley players, you have guys that can do a lot of things. Sampras is a perfect example out there. He can do whatever he wants out there. He can stay back. He can play serve and volley.
Q. Do you see any hope for it in somebody, somebody specific? Have you seen anyone?
STEFAN EDBERG: Nothing really. If you watch most of the guys today, they hit the ball very hard and that seems to be the tendency right now, but it may change.
Q. You certainly remember those night matches against Krickstein and Connors when the crowd was rooting for the Americans. It is kind of odd the way they were rooting the last days for you.
STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, you know, you can believe in changes, it can happen, but I am not sure it would have happened if I played an American at night this year. That is what you expect here and you have to go through here.
Q. If you hadn't announced your retirement before the year, do you think that would have changed the attitude of the crowd?
STEFAN EDBERG: Perhaps a little bit, yes, I think since they know it is my last year, they probably are more into it than if I wouldn't have announced. It would have been a little different.
Q. Do you ever regret announcing your --
STEFAN EDBERG: No, I believe that I did the right thing for me, so other people may say differently, but I think it was a good thing to do.
Q. Before tonight, when the schedule came out, we all expected you to be in the spotlight. This would be the main story line. Does it seem typical of you that that didn't happen and that you are leaving more quietly?
STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, but if you look, you never can expect what is going to happen because tennis sometimes is very unpredictable. I thought we saw a fantastic match out there today, Sampras/Corretja, very, very memorable match and that is got to be the highlight for tomorrow's paper, definitely, but, you know, I always liked to be in the background a little bit and maybe that is a good sign to go out.
Q. Do you ever toy with the idea of changing rackets with the way the game evolves with the big games and stuff or lifting weights or....
STEFAN EDBERG: No, I have one of the greatest rackets that has ever been produced. Sampras has got the same and there is nothing wrong with the way he plays, so it is nothing wrong with the racket.
Q. Are you going to stay to watch the final?
STEFAN EDBERG: Of course not. I am going back home.
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