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September 12, 1992

Stefan Edberg


Q. How do you feel?

STEFAN EDBERG: Good. I feel good now. No, I do, honestly. It is not too bad. We were out there for a long time, but I feel good now.

Q. What did the trainers do to you, Stefan, anything special?

STEFAN EDBERG: No, I just had to stretch and get a massage, get a warm shower, and feel a lot better, you know, after that. It is just -- good thing about today, we played a long time, but at least it was dry and cool weather. That helps a lot.

Q. You looked overjoyed at the end. How did it feel at the end of the match?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think as the match turned out, I mean, it was a very good tennis match. I think both of us played fairly well; not great, but fairly well, and we played very well in patches. It was sort of a tough match, again, mentally, because it was going back and forth from set one, set two, set three, set four. I mean, there were things, like I was -- he was up 5-2 in the first; maybe I got back, then I was up 5-2 and, like, throughout the match. And then-- so it was a tough battle out there.

Q. Ever been in a match quite like that, that it went so long with so many ups and downs?

STEFAN EDBERG: No, I mean, I have had three matches. I have been down a break in the fifth set and I have come through all three of them, which, I don't think has happened ever before, so I played sort of three matches where it has been a lot of ups and downs, but you know, I played well in the end and today, was very close. I mean, he had me 3-Love, 15-40 on my serve, and then the momentum changed after that.

Q. Can you talk about him? I mean, what it takes actually to beat this guy?

STEFAN EDBERG: The thing when you play Michael, he returns very well. So he puts a lot of pressure on you. You need to serve really well. You're going to have to make every point, because he does very few mistakes. You got to get a few free points here and there, but when I play him, I have to work for every point. I have to mix it up, but obviously, I got to attack him and I just kept attacking, attacking, and in the end I was a little bit stronger than he was.

Q. Comment on your serving today?

STEFAN EDBERG: Not very impressive. It was -- it became good in the end. I mean, from the last part of the fifth set I was serving well, but apart from that, I was hitting way too many doublefaults.

Q. Why?

STEFAN EDBERG: It has just been like that last couple of-- three matches here, and also I think he puts -- he puts pressure on my second serve. Because he returns so well and it is just getting to a little bit-- making a little bit too many doublefaults. Hopefully, it will be better tomorrow.

Q. Last couple of games, playing five and a half hours, that stretch, at the very end, was as good as you gave all day.

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, it is very true. When you get into these matches -- He had his chance. He had me 15-40. Then I played two good points and I won that game, and I was down 3-1 again in the fifth set, which has happened, you know, quite a few times. It is a good omen, in a way. And then I played a good game to break him. Then I lost my serve. Then I played another good game to break back. Then I probably played the best game of the match when I broke him at 4-All. I played an unbelievable game there. I just felt I got stronger and stronger the further the match went on in the fifth set. I didn't feel that great in the beginning, but then, I found the momentum. I found the strength, and I was a little bit stronger than him.

Q. Were you affected by having to play yesterday in the interruption of the match?

STEFAN EDBERG: It is has been sort of tough at the end for me. It just ended up that way. I had to play Ivan yesterday. Okay, I didn't play very long. It takes a toll. You got to be there. You know, it's going to be a little bit of tension. You are playing your fifth set. So you have to give a lot, even if you don't play that long. Okay, I felt okay when I came back today. I was not really into it right from the beginning, but as the match went on, it got a little bit better and towards the end, I focused very well on what I was doing.

Q. You are defending champion if you don't win. Nobody likes to fall short. Are you proud of what -- you have spent this whole week in the fifth set, and you know, I mean, do you surprise yourself a little bit that to stand in there three different times against good players and show what it takes to go on?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I mean, I think anybody has to be proud on what I have done so far, up 'till now, because I have been in a lot of trouble, but I have come out of it and I have been strong when I really have to be strong. So I feel -- I feel very good about myself at the moment. I am playing good tennis, and you know, I am fighting for my life out there, but I am coming through.

Q. Did you know that about yourself you have said you have never been in a situation like these three matches, down a break--

STEFAN EDBERG: No, it is the--

Q. Are you surprised?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, it is-- any time you can come back from a break in the fifth set, it is a good effort, I think, but to do it three matches in a row, is extremely good, I don't think many players can do that? I think that proves a lot that I build good character and I am fighting out there, and you know, I am not giving up. I just play on to the last point is played.

Q. Can you talk about if someone had told you were going to do this three times in a row. What are the chances you would have guessed it being in New York?

STEFAN EDBERG: No, not many years ago I would have never have guessed it. But I guess after last year, I feel a lot better about this place, and it is a pretty nice court to play on when you find the momentum on it. I have had some great matches now and it is really tough when you are out there. It is really tough, with, you know, once you come through, and you sort of get that towards the end, you have that sort of winning feeling, and you actually come through, then it is a great feeling when it's over. It was today.

Q. Is this and the previous two days going to cost you tomorrow?

STEFAN EDBERG: Who knows. We will have to wait and see. I mean, physically, I feel fine now. I had thought I would be stiff, but I am feeling pretty good right now. You just have to see when you wake up tomorrow morning. That is really when you are going to be tell how you are. But at least we play at four o'clock tomorrow so I have got 24 hours to rest so that is good.

Q. How tough it is to play Michael because of the pressure? He is not going to give you any free points. What about mentally, what kind of fighter is he?

STEFAN EDBERG: He is very tough mentally. He doesn't show you what he is thinking; what he is up to. He just keeps fighting and guttsing. He has won a lot of tough matches this week because he has been guttsing and he did the same thing today, but he just run out of gas a little bit towards the end, and he is a tough player when he is playing well and he is playing well at the moment. But the other thing, he is always going to let you play out there, you know, he is not going to blow you away or anything. At least you can play the points against him but you have to be pretty solid to beat him.

Q. Were you a lot physically fitter and stronger than you were in '89 when he beat you in Paris in the final there?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think the last couple of years I have become mentally stronger and even physically too, because that is why I have been at the number one ranking because I have had that little bit extra, and at least today I am in pretty good shape, but it has taken sometime to get there.

Q. Stefan, when you have five sets and all are close like that, you think that people are really be on the edge of their seat they really didn't get revved up really to the end. Did that surprise you at all?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I didn't really notice the match what was going on out there, and I mean, as far as I know, it was pretty good standard, the tennis match, but it is going to take something for the crowd to get them going.

Q. Do you think people are tired -- do they get drained out there too?

STEFAN EDBERG: No, I don't think so. They always get into it, especially if it's the fifth set, you know, they are going to be there.

Q. Stefan, back to your serve. Do you remember the last time you had 18 doublefaults ever and what--

STEFAN EDBERG: I guess I didn't break my record because I have had 19 one time and I won that match. That was against Milan Srejber in Davis Cup, this is the second worst.

Q. What was the mechanical rut?

STEFAN EDBERG: I am not sure. It is just that today -- I wasn't missing them by much, okay, there was a couple of bad ones but a lot of them I missed were one or two inches. It is just -- I don't know why. But I guess it is the toss or something. It has got to be something. That is the way it is. I just have to face it. I have been hitting a lot of doublefaults in the last couple of matches, but--

Q. What year was the Cup match and where?

STEFAN EDBERG: Davis Cup back in 86 or 87.

Q. Yesterday, you said that it might be better to play the first match because you know what time you are going to play?


Q. Could you put yourself in their shoes if you had to wait the other guys to wait five and a half hours; is there a balancing factor?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, the good -- it is always good to start like I started 11. I think I prefer that to do. I mean they never know what time they are going to be on-court. They are going to face a pretty late match now. At least they have had two days off, so they can wait a bit.

Q. How many times did you think you had a shot put away today at the net and were you surprised because Michael would run it down?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, it happens quite a few times, because you can never be sure you hit a winner until you really see it bounce twice when you play Michael, because he is going to go for everything. Not even if he -- even if he hasn't got a chance to get it, he is still going to go and run for it. That makes him tough.

Q. A lot of people might look at the length of the match and say it must have been a great match. Would you say it was a great match and also would you characterize the quality of the tennis?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, what can I say. The quality of tennis was good. It wasn't great. It was good tennis out there. It ended up to be kind of an interesting match the way it went sort of back and are forth. Overall I think it was a good tennis match.

Q. Did you know before your last three matches that you were this strong mentally?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I know I am a lot stronger, mentally, now than I was four, five -- that is something where I what I have worked on very hard to become -- I have always been good mentally but I have always had some room to improve it. At the moment, I am feeling good mentally, but it has all got to do with your physique, because if you are physically strong you are going to be fine upstairs too.

Q. You were also sort of fighting yourself. I mean, your serve wasn't working for you. You were almost battling; your head almost had to beat your body?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, like I said, I had a little bit problems today, mentally. I am not sure why, but that is just the way I found myself today. And I was fighting myself a bit. I got a bit irritated which is not good, but you know, you can't help it sometimes. You are going to have to face one of these matches once in awhile.

Q. I think you faced 34 breakpoint opportunities. I don't remember how many converted. Could you ever remember numbers like that?

STEFAN EDBERG: No. I don't think that has happened ever. I am not sure. I mean, I don't look that much at a statistics because it doesn't always tell you the truth, but it is a lot of breakpoints. Even in an a sets match.

Q. Can you talk about each of them, like envision a final against each of them for you what would you look for Courier or Sampras?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, starting with Sampras I think he plays very similar to what I do. He doesn't come in as much as I do. But he is a very talented player and he is very -- depending on how he serves. Courier is a player who gets his a lot. He is going to chase down a lot of balls like Michael does. At least, he is not going to come in as much as Pete. So at least you are going to be able to play a little bit more with him, I think. I think the points will be a lot longer than if I had to play Pete.

Q. Stefan, last year you had played almost a perfect final.


Q. You felt wonderful coming in. Which do you feel better about playing the perfect final or coming in after today or after had the last three days and sort of winning mentally, and getting past these tough 5 set matches?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I feel -- the at least I am in the final I have a shot at winning once again and that is great, I think. And okay, last year I played you know, perfect final. That is not going to happen very often. But I know if I am just fighting and guttsing and playing the way I have been playing here I have got a chance tomorrow; whether I play Pete or Jim. So that is enough for me to know when I am going into the final.

Q. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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