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September 2, 1995

Stefan Edberg


Q. Stefan, what was your plan going in, why didn't it work?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I needed to take some chances today I felt and, you know, I got off a little bit to a slow start a little bit which didn't help my game. After being down 5-1 I had a good period for the end of the first set, beginning of the second set, but I blew all the chances that I had in the second set because I had a good chance to level at set-all once he got the second set. It was pretty much one-way track after that. Then he started to relax and play a lot better because he wasn't playing great, and after 5-1 he was a little bit missing a few and I was trying to mix it up.

Q. Why do you think that second set turned?

STEFAN EDBERG: I felt that I had opportunities. I had breakpoints to go 4-Love. I had game points to go up 4-1 and I had breakpoints again. So all the chances that I had in the second set, I didn't take one of them. And suddenly he was ahead 4-3 with a break and after that I didn't have much of a chance. It was over.

Q. What is different about his game now as opposed to four years ago?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, he is very solid now. His greater strength is obviously return of serve, and he is playing with a lot of confidence; especially when he gets ahead in the match. He is taking the ball very early and he makes you work very hard. And I, as a serve and volleyer, I need to be very, very sharp, serving very well. I didn't particularly serve well enough today, and that let me down a little bit because that was the only chance I had was serving well and mixing it up, coming in a lot and breaking his game up, but it didn't quite work.

Q. What is the feeling like out there when he gets on that kind of -- you know, when you go from 3-Love to all of a sudden, you know --

STEFAN EDBERG: I was very frustrated because I felt the second set to begin with was my set. I felt I was in charge and doing all the right things; suddenly 20 minutes later I was down with a break and that was very frustrating. And after that, he started getting really confident, taking my serve on the rise and just hitting winners from all over and it is very hard to play the best player in the world when he gets confident and he did once he got on top of me.

Q. For a third round match there was a really big crowd out there. I wonder if it felt like a bigger match.

STEFAN EDBERG: When I walked in I felt like it was a semifinal or a final because it is a tremendous crowd and it is not very often early like this you play in front of a crowd like that. And I just wish it would have been a tougher match out there and even the people to have some more time to spend out and see a better match than it ended up being. It had potential. If I sort of got to set-all, things could have been a little different.

Q. How would you -- if it comes to Becker, Agassi, and I know you practiced with Boris, he said you destroyed him, how would you see that -- who would you give the edge to in that?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I think on a hard court I would give the edge to Agassi. Definitely. But Boris is always a threat when he is on top of his game.

Q. What do you think has to happen, let us say, in the next few months or the next year in order for you to get back to where you once were?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, it needs plenty of work, playing hopefully a lot of matches and I need to have a little bit of a breakthrough, winning some good matches. That is what I think it is going to take.

Q. Do you think the work will be harder from a physical standpoint or from a mental standpoint?

STEFAN EDBERG: You can work so hard physically, prepare yourself mentally, but you need to win the matches out there. That is what it all comes down to. I played two good matches here. Today I played okay. I need to perform a little bit better than this. That is what it is going to take.

Q. Are you a definite for the Davis Cup?

STEFAN EDBERG: Definitely on the team, I think, yes. But, you know, it is still 14 days to go and we pretty much know what the team is going to be like. We are not 100% sure who is going to play what.

Q. Stefan, as a serve and volleyer do you feel like you lost that half step or step that makes you able to be a force against a strong baseliner?

STEFAN EDBERG: That has been a little bit of a problem for me. Maybe I lost a half of a step and it makes me make a few more mistakes than I did before, and especially if you are playing somebody returning as well as Agassi, then you need to be very, very sharp. I can -- I am playing a lot of good service games, but you need to play them one after one. Maybe I am playing three, four service games; then I have a half game and can't afford to have that.

Q. Is there anything in Andre's game today that was a little bit better than you expected from him today; maybe his service game? Anything you saw that --

STEFAN EDBERG: I didn't think he particularly played very well today. He played well in the third set, but apart from that, he made quite a few mistakes. But what he did good today was playing the point that matters, that is where he was far better than I was.

Q. Could you take a moment and speak about your streak of 50 straight Grand Slams in this day and age, it is pretty incredible?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, it is. Yeah, when you think about it, at the same time I have been very lucky because I have had had injuries. Probably have had fewer injuries than the normal tennis player, but it occurred at the times of the year -- had been at times I haven't been feeling great going into a Slam, but it really hasn't been a case where it has been a close call. I have always been ready for the Grand Slams - I don't know why, but it is quite a nice record to have, because it is not going to be beaten for a while, I think. But we will see.

Q. Other than your early years here when you didn't particularly like it is here, did you always like every surface, every Slam, did you always want particularly to be in each one all the time?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I have said it before, I didn't enjoy it that, coming here in the beginning. Things have obviously changed after you are winning it, even a place where you don't like to not to be in, turned out not to be a bad place. I enjoy coming here. It is far better than it was before.

Q. Like you never went through what other players did, not wanting to go play this one or that one.

STEFAN EDBERG: No, I always felt that being responsible as a top player to play all the four Slams whether you are not in shape or whether you are in shape or you are healthy, that is where everybody should get together. That has always been my feeling.

Q. Boris dropped out of the top five, early 20s and you are there now. Can you see getting back into the top five and do you think you have one more good run left?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think getting back in the top five is going to be very difficult. Obviously it is possible, I think, if I can get into the back 10, that would be my first goal because those top five, it is still another level going up there, so I am sort of just thinking about getting into the top 10, that would be my next move.

Q. Can you take something positive out of this? Talking about losing half of a step but is there something positive?

STEFAN EDBERG: It is not that I am playing very poor. I am playing still lots of good matches, but I need to be a little bit more consistent and I need to have a few good results because once you have a few good results you are going to start believing in yourself. That is what is lacking out there when it comes to the crucial point. Before I knew exactly what to do and I did it. Now I know what to do, but I am not doing it. I am just missing it, but it is by that much. (indicating inches) a lot of volleys close by that, and that makes the whole difference out there.

Q. Having just played Andre, would you give him the edge over a potential matchup with Sampras?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think it will be pretty close call because the court is playing sort of a little bit quicker this year than it did last year, I feel, and if they had to play -- I wouldn't give anybody an edge at the moment. It will be a very close call.

Q. Last time Sweden played Davis Cup in America if I am correct it was in Minneapolis which has a huge Scandinavian population. Have you ever been to Las Vegas and, if so, what advice would you give to your Swedish teammates to get ready?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I have been to Vegas once before, 1984. I really enjoyed being there for a week. It probably IS going to be a little different crowd with what we have seen before. Maybe -- it is going to be playing at Caesars Palace, I mean, I would just give them the advice to bring a lot of money to Vegas.

Q. Would you like too see Agassi again there?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I think it would be great for him to play in his hometown and it will be great if he is there for us to have the opportunity to play him there.

Q. At any point did you feel very frustrated about not getting results? Have you always been sure that you will stay with it? Have you thought about giving it up or do you feel you still have a lot of tennis in you?

STEFAN EDBERG: There is still tennis left in me, I believe so. I have had a bad spell, but it is, like I said, there is always a way out of it, and got to keep on working. That is all I can do.

Q. If you felt like taking time off, would you think about going to Australia just to keep the streak going, would that be a factor these days?

STEFAN EDBERG: Going to Australia? Definitely going to Australia next year, that is the way I feel, so I will probably be there.

Q. Is the streak a factor in it, though?

STEFAN EDBERG: The streak, I mean, I think once you reach 50, I think you have done a good job - to be a little modest -- just keep playing. It is going to be there as long as I keep playing.

End of FastScripts....

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