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November 27, 2000

Thomas Enqvist


MODERATOR: Questions for Thomas.

Q. What for you it means that you are patriot of your country? What is the meaning of this?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Well, I think that tennis is an individual sport. Mostly we play for ourselves, of course. I always feel like you represent a little bit your country.

Q. (Inaudible)?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Like I said, not patriot maybe, but I'm very proud to be able to represent my country the way I'm supposed to do. I play for Sweden, I'm happy to play Davis Cup every year.

Q. Were you skeptical at all when the race was announced or it began? What are your feeling on the race now?

THOMAS ENQVIST: We had the race last year. We didn't really publish it the same as this year. For the players, I don't think it makes a huge difference. It seems like the public and the fans like it. For us players, it still comes down to winning matches, to defending points from last year. The seedings and everything is still involved in the old system. For us it really doesn't matter. It's a way, I guess, to get the sport more interesting. The fans seem to like it.

Q. Do you think on a worldwide basis that it makes sense? Do the fans in your country understand it? Do they follow it that closely?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think every time when you change systems, it's always going to take a few years. I actually thought the last system was okay, too. The people who is interested in the sport, they learn the system. Doesn't really matter how difficult it is. I don't think, first of all, the system was difficult to follow. But it's going to be the same here. I mean, you can have positive and negative sides already. Maybe it's tough for people to understand at the beginning of the year how somebody can be ranked No. 1 or 2 or 3 in the beginning. On the other hand, maybe this player get more publicity. I think it's a good thing. After a year, it still comes down to win the matches, win the tournaments. It will be the same results, the same players.

Q. What do you think if they started the race later, if the points began in January, but maybe they start publicizing it after the Ericsson, maybe even as far along as Roland Garros?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think when people are going to understand it's not the ranking, it's the race. We start from a certain point. They're going to understand it's going to change a lot in the beginning. I think it takes a few years maybe. After that, I think the system is pretty good. In January, for example, you see who started the year best. In April you see who is leading. It's going to be like we wanted it to be, a big race until the end of the year.

Q. What is the hardest thing for you with the race?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I don't really think about it so much. Like I said, for us players, it comes down to win matches, to defend our points, the seeding system which is an important issue in tournaments. I don't feel a difference at all.

Q. With the way the ATP has presented it, are you happy with that, with the ATP?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah, I think so. I think it always takes time when you change to make it perfect. I think it was a good idea to do something. For me it seems to me that it's been pretty successful. I'm sure it's going to be even better next year. In two years' time, I think it's going to be good.

Q. What about your commitments as a player? You're responsible for playing so many events. Are you comfortable with that?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think it's a good thing, the Tennis Masters Series, that they guarantee all the players which makes the tournament really special for everybody, I think. I still believe that you can choose the schedule okay. Maybe, like this year, has been extremely tough, we had the Olympics. I think my personal thinking is we should try to shorten down the season. It's probably going to cost some other smaller tournaments be able to exist. I think if you look at the sport, you have to get a little bit longer off-season. If you look at the sport, that's what you have to do, get a little bit longer off-season. The big tournaments, it's going to be more interesting and more easy to follow. Now this year, it almost goes into each other. You're going to have this World Championship, Davis Cup final, Christmas, then the Australian Open. I think sometimes the people get tennis all the time. We tell them, "This is important, this is important, this is important." All the tournaments are important, but it's the whole year-round. Sometimes it's nice to maybe have an off-season. "Oh, now the tennis season starts."

Q. How much, if you could, would you like to shorten the season?

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's so tough to say. It's always easy to say what you want to do. Then you look at the end, this tournament does not exist. It's not easy to do. In the future I believe we have to do something about this, to have a little bit, at least two months maybe, off.

Q. (Inaudible)?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Obviously a disappointment. Unfortunately, I didn't play as well as I usually do indoor. I started off good in Basel, winning that. I was really positive. I thought I'm going to have a good indoor season again. I did not play as well as I hoped to. That's the way it works.

Q. In a way you gave up at the end?

THOMAS ENQVIST: No, not gave up. I had a good chance.

Q. I saw your match with Pozzi in Paris. After I saw the results with Johansson.

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think Pozzi in Paris, it was a tough match. This time I had a really good chance to go (inaudible). Next week in Stockholm, played the winner. He played very well. Sometimes that's the way it goes.

Q. You came in late to the Hannover three or four years ago.

THOMAS ENQVIST: 1996 I played two matches as a substitute.

Q. (Inaudible)?

THOMAS ENQVIST: You never know.

Q. What about next season?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Hopefully I can continue to play well.

Q. Top 10?


Q. How does it feel to be here in Portugal?


Q. Your first time?

THOMAS ENQVIST: No, I've been here when I was a junior playing.

Q. (Inaudible)?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I don't know. It doesn't look so good, I think.

Q. Everybody's healthy.

THOMAS ENQVIST: Everybody seems to be healthy. It feel like if you don't qualify the right way, it's not as much fun to play as it would be if you qualified the right way, that's for sure.

Q. Beginning of the year you were expected (inaudible)?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think I expected to be better. I think I've had an okay year. I finished Top 10. I think I could maybe have done a little bit better.

Q. You will be watching the tournament?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I have no choice.

Q. Who do you think could win?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I hope Magnus will win, of course. I'm going to support him.

Q. After Magnus, which one do you think you can beat all the guys and be No. 1 here?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I don't know because I haven't seen the court yet. I don't know the speed of the court. I think I have to wait until I know the speed of the court before I say:

End of FastScripts....

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