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March 11, 1995

Stefan Edberg


GREG SHARKO: Stefan's fifth semifinal here at the Newsweek Champions cup.

STEFAN EDBERG: What do I get for that?

GREG SHARKO: A chance to go on.

STEFAN EDBERG: Fair enough.

Q. Why was Thomas able to overwhelm you so much at the start; then you seemed to do the same to him?

STEFAN EDBERG: It was kind of a funny match, I thought. I thought Muster played very, very well. He hardly made a mistake for a set and a half. I was struggling, I have to admit, maybe because Thomas was playing so well, and I had a tough time getting the rhythm, tough time playing serve and volley, but it changed one or two points, sort of around 3-4, 4-All and that is really what turned the match around. I got the break, he served a set love; then I was playing very well for a couple of games. It is just one of these matches. I have to consider myself very lucky winning and maybe some of the stops actually helped me. That is what I believe. But that is the way it goes sometimes.

Q. Do you have some good talks to yourself during the rain delays?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I think -- I think when you are playing like I was -- I wasn't playing well. Muster was playing well. But I was still staying with him. You know, it was one all, 2-All, 3-All, 4-All, and then you still have the hope that something is going to happen, but you have to make it happen and I started playing a lot better and I started to make a good few good shots and started to believe more in myself and also the fact that I never lost to Thomas, I think that makes the difference, that you still have the hope of getting through.

Q. Set 4-All, Love-15, it was starting to rain; it seemed like you were going to play that one point. What was going on?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I knew that was the last one we were going to play. It was one of those points where, you know, I hit a very close volley. It was probably more "out" than "in", but it could have caught the line. On the other hand, I slipped when I made the move too, so this was a little bit of a break for me. We sat down; then I played a great point against Love-40 and suddenly, you know, the match turned around completely. And he -- obviously he must be very disappointed. You could see it in the third set that he lost momentum.

Q. Stefan, what are your thoughts about tomorrow?

STEFAN EDBERG: Hopefully no rain to start with.

But I think, you know, there are two good guys playing out there. Obviously Pete, No. 1 player in the world, always tough to beat. We did have a great match last year and he is always tough to beat. Todd Martin, you know, he started to play a lot better since he won in Memphis and that did a lot for him and he is hitting the ball quite well. Obviously, I think Pete is the tougher one to play, but we will have to wait and see what happens in that match, but it is two similar players and, you know, I feel like I have no pressure tomorrow. I can go out there and play my game and just enjoy myself and hopefully play well.

Q. I read somewhere, I think it was this week that you said that you weren't worried about the ranking system at this stage. What are your main goals or motivation for this coming year?

STEFAN EDBERG: I still am capable of playing well - I know that. And I still want to keep winning tournaments and I have had a win the first week of this year and I feel like I am starting to play a little bit better again and obviously everybody is trying to play well when it really counts. Grand Slams are still very important to me; still feel within myself that with a little bit of luck it is still possible to win one. We have got Davis Cup this year, defending champions, so it is quite a bit this year, but I just want to get back playing good tennis again and just don't put too much pressure on myself because there is no reason to.

Q. Is Wimbledon the most likely Grand Slam in your mind?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, not necessarily. I think maybe I have my best chances at the Australian Open and the U.S. Open playing on the hard courts. That is where I play the best tennis in the last couple of years, but, you know, grass has always been a good surface to me, so that is possible too.

Q. What has caused this improvement in your game that you acknowledge that you are playing better now; how did that come about?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think it is very much mental. It also has to do with a physique. I feel like I am getting a bit stronger again and I think winning matches like today, that makes you a better tennis player; makes you believe more in yourself; just need to get a little bit of momentum and play solid for a period of time and I have played pretty decent this year. This is my fourth event in three of the events I have been in the semifinal or better, so that is what I want to achieve to get a little consistency. If I get the consistency back I can always have chances of getting into the finals and winning.

Q. Is it possible that the change in coaching had anything to do with this?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, at the moment I am sort of working my own mind and thinking what I am doing and doing my own things and, you know, that might be good to do that for a period of time. I mean, it is sort of -- something a little bit new, even if I played a lot on my own last year, sort of this year I am pretty much on my own, but I think it can be good for you at times and take a month at a time if need be if, I need to get somebody else; I could possibly find somebody, but it is not easy. I mean, you got to find somebody which you believe in and that you find that you can get along with.

Q. Stefan, what kind of person will that be, if you had to look for somebody, who could it possibly be?

STEFAN EDBERG: It is very difficult to say because, you know, Tony and I have done it for such a long time and little bit tough to find somebody as good as Tony, and I don't know. I really don't know.

Q. Is he out of the question totally?

STEFAN EDBERG: No, not. He is not. I mean, he is sort of thinking of what he is going to do, so that is not totally out of the question. If he wants to start traveling again, if his wife wants him to start traveling, that is the question. So it is not totally out of the picture.

Q. Is it possible you have to have a coach or you --

STEFAN EDBERG: I have to wait and see. I have been around long enough to know a lot about this game and obviously coaches can do a lot of help for you especially in the beginning of your career, but if you think about it at the end you are out there on your own on the court; you have got to do the playing; you have got to do the thinking. You are going to make your own decisions once you are on the court. You can't forget that. But some players need to have people around -- need to have a lot of people around; some players like myself, don't want to have a lot of people around me. We are all very different.

Q. I want to ask you about a commercial that you made for Adidas, I think, in Europe. I don't know if it has been shown in here. What I saw, you were in a lot of sort of different disguises; sort a lot of fun. Can you describe the experience; how much input you had? It seemed a little bit our of character.

STEFAN EDBERG: They came up with the idea. Adidas came up with quite a few, but basically what it was about, doing some different sort of strange, what we would call, jobs, and, you know, it was kind of fun to do it, even if it was a lot of hard work because it took about 40 hours of my time and when you do go to the studios, you do it; you have no idea what it is going to come out like. No idea. I mean, to me, it was kind of crazy the things that I did, but it was something very unlike me and that is sometimes what commercial is all about, "is this really Stefan Edberg," you know, it makes people realize he is really doing this and it catches your eye, so it was a good commercial and it did its purpose, I think. I am not sure whether it has been shown here in the states, I have no idea. But. . .

Q. So you thought the end product reflected a lot of different personalities that are in you?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, it was something very, very different, but it turned out to be quite a good one. I have heard a lot of positive things about it.

Q. Is there a mad scientist in you?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, you know, Craig, don't you? I am not going to answer that one. (Stefan says in a deep voice.) Maybe I don't know about it myself.

End of FastScripts!

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