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August 31, 1993

Stefan Edberg


Q. Do you feel that you are being unfair to your fans here if you don't play five sets in Flushing Meadow?

STEFAN EDBERG: That is right. That is my mission. I sort of started off this year where I left last year, and I really have to work hard today to beat Olivier. He played very well today, and I just feel good that I came out of it today.

Q. Stefan, last week you had some heat stroke out at the Hamlet. Were you feeling weak today; was the heat bothering you today?

STEFAN EDBERG: No. Today I felt it was-- it actually was okay today. Okay, I didn't feel very good last week, for some reason. Normally, I cope with the heat very well. But it was just one of those weeks, but I have had two days of sort of a little bit milder weather. I actually felt good today. Physically, it wasn't a problem today at all and not mentally either. It was just a case that he came up with some really good shots and I didn't play badly at all. I played okay. Okay, there were times where I missed some easy shots, but that is going to happen sometimes.

Q. Stefan, you seem more frustrated than worried. Was there any point that you thought you were losing control of the match?

STEFAN EDBERG: No, I was always ahead. As long as you are up a set or up 2 sets to 1. Obviously, that third set was very important. Okay, I lost the fourth set, but I know I have been in a lot of five setters. There is something really special to play a fifth set out there and I really tried to say to myself, we are in the fifth set now, just give it everything you have, and that is what I did. I came up with the shots when I needed too.

Q. In that second set you got hit with a backhand, where did that hit you, in the head or--

STEFAN EDBERG: In the back of the head, I think, the ears. I am normally pretty quick out there, but I couldn't handle that one. He can hit the ball hard, I mean, really, really hard.

Q. Did it hurt?

STEFAN EDBERG: No. It did not.

Q. You fell down like you were knocked out?

STEFAN EDBERG: That is right. It didn't hurt. It was good. It was a clean shot.

Q. Were you joking a little bit when you fell down or --

STEFAN EDBERG: I felt like lying down for a while, so --

Q. Was the wind much of a factor for you as far as your serve is concerned?

STEFAN EDBERG: Not too much. The wind was sort of blowing from one end to the other, which is a lot better than if it is coming from the side, so it is always a little bit windy out there. It is something you just have to get used to. So it was not much of a factor.

Q. Set point in the third set tiebreaker he hits that topspin lob; what were -- did you think that you might make it?

STEFAN EDBERG: I thought the set was over. I really thought so. He hit it really well, but it did go out by a couple of inches, so that really saved me, but that is the way it goes. You have a little bit of luck here. That is really what you need. I had my chances before, so it was fair enough.

Q. Do you feel any reason to be concerned that you needed five sets today, or that is now that you have won --

STEFAN EDBERG: I would have preferred to win it in 3. No. But if you play a guy who has got nothing to lose and he really hits the ball well, he plays well, there is nothing you can do. I did what I could today. Okay, I didn't play my best tennis, but I still played good tennis and I won the match. In a way, it was good, because I had to stay out there for some time and then hopefully it is going to pay off.

Q. Do you like New York this year?

STEFAN EDBERG: No. I love it.

Q. Stefan, I know you don't make the schedule, but do you think-- this is a fairly important tournament, do you think it would be wise or good idea for the USTA to decide, as to what the Wimbledon people have, that the champion will open the tournament at a proper hour every year?

STEFAN EDBERG: It is an idea. But the problem we have is a lot of guys are playing the week before, so if you were to end up like me, I am the defending champion, I am playing the week before in Hamlet, if I play a Sunday final, I have to come here at Monday 11:00, it is --

Q. But I mean, if you knew ahead -- if that became the custom, I think --

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I mean, it is -- it doesn't really have to, but if it is appropriate, yes, why not. But if, like I said, if I am in a final, I can't start on Monday. It is impossible. That would be too tough, but if it fits in with the schedule, where you are not playing the week before you could well open the tournament, why not.

Q. Could you explain what you meant by the fifth set is special?

STEFAN EDBERG: I always feel when you are in the fifth set, you have been out there usually for two, two and a half hours, and it sort of becomes a little bit of a physical and mental contest out there where it is the one who has got the lost sort of little energy left that is usually going to pull it out and the guy with a little more experience because it is very different playing in a fifth set than in the first set. It is a hell of a difference, so I like it.

Q. What was it about his serve; anything that was giving you problems?

STEFAN EDBERG: He hit it very flat. He was hitting his serving very well. I mean, he was sort of averaging 105, 110 miles per hour which is a pretty good serve. And he hit his second serve well too. It wasn't easy out there today. The guy played well. I watched him play and he could play some really good tennis at times but he could also play the opposite sometimes.

Q. What about your serve? You have had footfaults problems before. Today you have had half dozen or so.

STEFAN EDBERG: I have got to cut it down a little bit. It is usually my toss that goes a little bit too far into the court, and at times I had a little bit of problems with my serve out there, but apart from that, it is not really a problem.

Q. How is fatherhood?

STEFAN EDBERG: It is great so far. It has been good. They are not here. They are at home.

Q. I know.

STEFAN EDBERG: It has been great the first three weeks I spent at home, so it is sort of a new life.

Q. Change diapers?


Q. Stefan, a few years ago you came into this tournament with about three straight titles and lost in the first round. This year you have been struggling. In terms of pleasure, is it less coming in with that streak or is it less or do you feel it is a difference in terms of the pressure you feel?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I have been hitting the ball fairly well this summer. I played well in Cincinnati and I played fairly well last week. So hopefully things are progressing in the right way, but I -- I love to come back to a place where you are the defending champion, because you sort of have it in your mind what happened previous years and when you are out in that center court, you usually feel good and okay, it is pressure because obviously you are going to defend a lot of points and things like that, but you don't really look at it that way. I take every Slam as it comes and I will go out there and do what I can do. I believe if I am -- if I am healthy, I can have another good Open this year as well because I am hitting the ball well enough.

Q. Stefan, doesn't get any easier in the next round. You have got Novacek in the next round. He is a pretty good player. How do you feel about that?

STEFAN EDBERG: He is a very good player. I have got a tough second round coming up here. But the way I look at it, all the rounds are tough and sometimes a round looks tough and it doesn't always end up being tough. You can have a guy like today where you think you are going to maybe win pretty comfortable, but it happened to be five sets today, so you could never be sure out there. But we have played enough times against each other, so I know what is going on.

Q. Anything else? Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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