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September 8, 1992

Stefan Edberg


Q. Stefan, how scary was that?

STEFAN EDBERG: It was a tough battle all the way through, I felt, and it was a lot of ups; a lot of downs in this match. So it happened-- a lot of things, you know, fourth set, fifth set, so I don't think-- okay, I won the first set. Then I had a chance to win the second, 6-4 in the tiebreaker, but a few bad points. I won the third set pretty comfortable. I had the break in the fourth set, then, suddenly, I lost four or five straight games. To be down a break in the fifth set, so at that time it was not good news, but somehow, I managed to get back in the match, and I fought the way through, and it was nice to come through.

Q. With your performance of today, do you think you will be able to get through, eventually?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I think a match like this helps a lot, because I had to be out there for a long time, over four hours, and I am feeling, you know, good, physically, so that is not a problem. I think with a day off tomorrow I am going to be fine here, when I come back to play the quarters. So it is a good one for me, I hope.

Q. How does it help you?

STEFAN EDBERG: It helps me, because mentally this was a very tough match for me. I mean, with having chances-- almost having the match, losing it, getting it back, and that is always going to help you when you are-- when you go into the next round. Being out there for over four hours, you know, that is going to help me too. Because, I guess, sometimes you need one of those matches, because the other matches I played, I sort of played under two hours. So it is sort of good to push yourself in a match like this, physically, and mentally.

Q. Stefan, that backhand return that you hit in the fifth set that he stood and watched along with everyone else, if you were on his side of the net, is that a shot that you would have to go for; coming back at you?

STEFAN EDBERG: As it all ended up, I had a bit of luck because it was a reflex off the return and the ball took a funny curve in the air. He didn't really have any chance on it, because it was a perfect lob. It was a little bit of luck that I had there. And it is great, because sometimes you need a little bit of luck. That is what I needed at that stage, and that brought me to life again.

Q. And also, we are not accustomed to seeing such emotion from you; up and down emotion, especially, you actually through a towel after losing the second set and constantly punching your fist in the air in the fifth set.

STEFAN EDBERG: This was a match I really wanted, because I lost to him twice. I have never beaten Richard before, and I said to myself, you know, before today, I am going to give everything I have. And if I do that, I know I have a good chance of beating him, because he is a tough guy. When he is on with that serve, you know, and he also plays well, returns pretty well, occasionally. He has got hands-- he is a good player, when he is playing well, and he is tough to beat.

Q. As you came back after losing that second set, did you think the match-- at that point, it had the potential to being about a 90-minute, two hour match; you came back in the chair. Did you realize this was going to go four hours?

STEFAN EDBERG: I had no idea. After that second set, I was disappointed, because I had played three or four bad points, lost the tiebreaker when I had the chance, then, suddenly, I got the first three games of the third set, then I was actually feeling very good. There was no problems. I had the chances, Love-40 first game of the fourth set. I didn't take that. I went on and then I broke him, and I lost, like, 4-5 games. I lost the rhythm, lost everything. So that was sort of it.

Q. The previous two times that you had played him, do you think he lost because he was mentally stronger because his game was on?

STEFAN EDBERG: I lost to him in New Haven last year. I wasn't playing great then. Then, he played a very good match against me in Tokyo, Suntory, the semi final this year, and you know, I guess I knew he had a good chance; had beaten me twice before, I guess he felt pretty confident going in.

Q. Despite that record of 0 and 2, would you consider with your overall record coming in to Grand Slam like this, that you would be a favorite?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I think the way I looked at it today, we are playing best of 5 set. It's a slam, so I think in that way, I have an advantage over him because I played enough Slams to know what it all takes to come through these matches. So I had that in mind and it is like when I was down three sets in the fifth set, you know, I thought, you always think back, being down 3-1 in the fifth set in Wimbledon against Boris, and that went through my mind, sort of quickly, and that makes you sort of believe in yourself.

Q. You said this was good to push yourself physically and mentally. What do you take out-- what can you carry out of this kind of match into a quarters or the rest of the tournament?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think like I said, I will be more prepared mentally if it gets close like breakpoints. That is why you have-- where you have the edge. I think also when you push yourself for four hours; sort of you are going -- you always feel a lot better the next day, even if you are sore, you are really feeling that you are hitting the ball well. I am sure that is going to be the case tomorrow. It is always nice when you feel you are -- you feel like hitting that serve for four hours. You need those, because it is not the same thing practicing for four hours. It is you know, playing a match like this, it is like 20, 30 hours of practice.

Q. In a tough long match like today when momentum shifts, do you sense like he is a younger player so he like gets down on himself or you just concentrate on yourself?

STEFAN EDBERG: He didn't get down on himself. I mean, okay he makes mistakes, but he also makes great points sometimes, because I think he has got nothing to lose really. I mean, he is the underdog in this match, and okay, once he gets tight, he may not have as much experience.

Q. You are looking across the net. Do you sense he is down or do you concentrate on your game?

STEFAN EDBERG: Of course you notice what your opponent is up to. He didn't look to tense at any point of the match really. He was concentrating pretty well, I thought.

Q. Anyway that you can tell-- last year when you got to this stage, you played super tennis, great tennis for three, four matches. Anyway you can tell from this kind of thing that maybe you can click it in to the same way?

STEFAN EDBERG: If I can tell you, I would tell you. I think the momentum is there, at least I am feeling, -- I felt good all the way through in this tournament, and you know, I got a tough battle next round here, but I know the potential is there, and sure, as long as I go in with a positive mind, it should be a good match next one.

Q. What do you think about playing Boris or Ivan in the next round?

STEFAN EDBERG: They will have to play first, but I think there is-- I think Boris will be the favorite because he has beaten Ivan quite a few times now, and I am not sure whether Ivan is playing well enough right now. But you never know, if he gets up to it, he can give Boris a tough match, I believe.

Q. Did you hear somebody call "fault" on his last serve and do you think it interfered with his last volley?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think it was a doublefault. Something happened, I didn't really know. I just hit the ball over the net. But something happened. I thought it was a doublefault, but I just hit the ball, and then I saw him hesitate, so there may have been somebody called in the air.

Q. How strange would it be if you would have to play Becker in the quarters finals after you guys have played so many times in the--

STEFAN EDBERG: It is like going back to 85. That is what would happen. In the last few years, we are always going to be on one-half or we play in the semi-finals. So it would be a little bit different if that would happen, but you know, whenever I play Boris, that is something which I know it's a tough one to beat. Is he a tough cookie. On the other hand, if you can beat him, you are always going to feel good after that.

Q. You talked about losing your rhythm at the end of the fourth set, early in the fifth. How did you get it back?

STEFAN EDBERG: I had to work, I had to work for it. Sometimes if you fight for every point, just give that little bit extra, it is going to come back. And it did. But you also need to hit a few good shots, that is always going to help.

Q. Before this match did you know-- you said the potential is there. Do you know now that the potential is there to play great tennis?


Q. Before this match did you know that the potential was there?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I did, because like I said, I have been hitting the ball well during this tournament, and I just need to keep it going. Just need to keep you know, fighting every match here. That is what it is going to take, I think.

Q. You were much like they were saying earlier very emotional today. Are you at all conscious of being an entertainer at all or are you only thinking tennis?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I am still a tennis player.

Q. I realize--

STEFAN EDBERG: No, I mean, the way I play on the court, it is sort of a day like that, it was exciting and I wanted to win, and then it is always going to help if you push yourself, you know, you keep the fist going, and get excited; that is always going to bring you that little bit of extra. And it did today. It helped me today. But of course, it helped the crowd to get going a little bit. I guess that is nice.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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