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September 2, 1992

Stefan Edberg


Q. Being the defending champion, added pressure?

STEFAN EDBERG: No, not a lot. I guess I felt a little bit nervous to begin with, when you first step on the court. Apart from that, I hope everything went quite okay today. I ended up in trouble in the first set, down a break; same thing in the second set but I came out of it. I started to play a bit better towards the end, sort of to feel the court a little bit. It is a big court to kind of play on. I haven't played a match here since last year. So it's good to be back.

Q. Did you do anything special to avoid an upset like two years ago?

STEFAN EDBERG: No. You have to be focused. Once you go on the court, you have to say to yourself that you have to wait for every point and just keep on trying and if things don't go well, just got to hang in there. That is the attitude you have to go in with, I think.

Q. Did you come into New York this time feeling pretty excited about it or do you still have a little bit of it is not really your favorite place to be?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, after what happened last year things changed because I tend to like it a bit more now. Which -- but it is a fascinating place. I wouldn't say it is the best place to play tennis at, condition wise. It has the crowd. It has the noise. It has a lot of things going on around it. So that is what makes it special, I think. And it takes time before you get used to it, I think.

Q. What was the hardest thing to get used to here? I mean, the jets are kind of gone now.

STEFAN EDBERG: I think that was the toughest thing for me, and that is out of the way, so that is-- let us hope it stays that way. And you know, I think it is tough with the conditions here, because it can really change here. Like today, it is a dry day, sunny, cool, you know. Tomorrow can be hot and humid. It has been very windy, the last couple of days. So it varies a lot, which makes it harder, I think.

Q. You may have read this last year when Pete Sampras was defending champion. He came here and talked about having the monkey off his back and all the pressure, and New Yorkers didn't like it. They thought it was a real not tough way to be. Do you sympathize with him or do you not understand that feeling, or--

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I can only talk for myself. I mean, I have been around now, so I have been defending champion quite a few times now, coming back. I guess that was the first time for him, so maybe he felt a bit awkward. I know what it takes to come back and defend it again. It is not easier. It is as tough, if not even tougher to win it again, so--

Q. Why?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, because it is as it is. The event is tough. There is a lot of good players out there, and in order to win here, you need to play your best tennis. That is the way you are going to win it, I think, and I think you are going to have seven matches to go through to be able to win it. It is a long way, but it is-- as long as you see the light at the end of the road, it is good.

Q. Can you picture yourself playing at this level when you are 40 years old, like Connors?

STEFAN EDBERG: No. I don't think I will be playing at that stage. He is very exceptional. I think he is -- he has been lucky, hasn't had too many injuries. He has a very light body and he is just -- he has been able to keep going, having the motivation. I don't think I can. I don't think I want to play at that age. It would be too tough.

Q. Is it difficult to play against a guy like that now, even though?

STEFAN EDBERG: It is not easy because, you know, he feels like he has got nothing to lose now. Every match he wins, that is a big-- that is a win for him. He just goes out there and enjoys himself, and he has got a lot of experience, and you know, so, it is a different thing for him to go out there than me. I have more pressure because people expect me to win and he has to have the crowd behind him. So it is different.

Q. What is your impression of the other players on the tour? Do you think they like it that he still wins as long as it is not against them? Do you think he adds something to tennis?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think he did a lot, what happened last year. I think he added a lot to the game of tennis. You need to have some profiles around. I think Connors has been around for a long time. McEnroe is another profile, which as long as he keeps playing, I think that is good for the game of tennis. Why not have them around, once you get to 40?

Q. Do you get more excited or challenged by winning tournaments you have never won or do you get attached, like now, that you have liked winning here? Is it very important to you here or is the French more important to you?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, the French, obviously I haven't won it, so that would be priority today, but any time to win a Slam, it doesn't really matter whether it is Wimbledon, U.S. Open, as long as you can win a Slam, you would be the happiest man on earth, and that is the special thing you know, winning a Slam. It doesn't matter where it is. So it has a lot of importance.

Q. Are you doing kind of the same thing outside of here that you did last year, not staying in the city, kind of keeping away from the hubbub?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I will try to make it as close as possible. I mean, that is the way I wanted to do it. As long as you feel good about it, that is the way to do it.

Q. When you look at the draw, what strikes you as the toughest hurdles or --

STEFAN EDBERG: I haven't really looked too far into the draw. Now, I mean a tough quarter section with myself, Becker, Krajicek, Lendl. For me, it is not necessary to look more forward than a round or two ahead. I know who I play next round and a lot of things can happen on the way there, and I am in a pretty tough section, but in order to win it you need to come through it somewhere.

Q. Do you or the other players feel Connors has gotten special treatment especially at this tournament?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think he deserves it. He has been around long enough. Obviously they are looking to put him at the best time, like playing tonight. I guess it is his birthday today, so he is always going to have a special care, and that is quite normal. It would happen anywhere, I think, especially here, I think.

Q. Did winning here change how the crowd received you now or the fans on the street, do you see any difference from New York, now that you are a champion?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I guess some of them probably were here last year, so I think I do have some support here. I think it is a different thing when you are playing an American, because they are very patriotic and things are going to be different, but I think I get treated pretty well in the world, which feels good.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts.....

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