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June 30, 2000

Thomas Enqvist


MODERATOR: Yes, sir.

Q. How big part of luck you had because of the rain break?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Well, I was 3-2. I was having breakpoints all the time. I think he was maybe the one who had advantage for the rain break.

Q. But he had to come out and serve first. He just said that you might have had an advantage because he had to serve afterwards.

THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah, maybe if he has problem with coming out and serving after the break, of course I have an advantage.

Q. Do you think they should have been interrupted the play before?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I don't know. I mean, you try to focus out there, to play until the umpire say you should stop.

Q. How did you see the scene when you both went out before the Royal Box, when you had a little conversation?

THOMAS ENQVIST: We didn't know actually if we have to bow or not when we go out of the court.

Q. What happened then?

THOMAS ENQVIST: We did the safety thing, we bowed.

Q. You asked him or he asked you?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think he asked me. I said, "I don't know." So we did. Better to do it one more time than one less, I guess.

Q. How often have you played on the Centre Court before?

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's my third time.

Q. What's special playing out there?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Well, I think it's always a special place to come here. The first match maybe was more special because having been there these last two years I've been playing, you don't think about it too much.

Q. Were you surprised the way he played?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think he played well. He was going for his shots. He did a good match, I think.

Q. You didn't expect a five-setter?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think you have to expect everything when you're on the third round in Wimbledon. You have to be prepared it's going to be a very tough match. I think I didn't play as well as I did in the beginning of the week, but I was able to get through.

Q. Was there any time during the match where you thought about maybe losing it?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Of course, it was tough because I did a really bad third set after starting really good. I was up 6-3, 5-2. I lost the rhythm in my serve totally. Of course, it was not so fun at that point. You've been there before, so of course you try your best. You know after a while it's probably going to come back.

Q. In figures it's more than 100 places that separate you in the Champions Race. How big was the difference when you were both on the court?

THOMAS ENQVIST: You don't think like that when you're out there. You play third round Wimbledon, you just concentrate on your own game, I think, try to do your best, of course. You know whoever is going to be on the other side of the net is probably going to be very tough to beat. That's how I approach the game.

Q. What separates him in the end from you?

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's tough to say. I think I was the one maybe who was in control of the points. I did a little bit too many mistakes in the middle of the match. But I felt like when I was finding my range, my rhythm in my game, I was feeling pretty confident out there.

Q. What have you known about him before the match?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I know him pretty well. I seen him in a lot of tournaments. We practise a few times. I knew how his game was. Had never seen him play on grass before, but he played pretty similar, maybe a little bit more offensive on grass than other surfaces. I think he was moving very well on the grass. Was a good match.

Q. You and Sampras are the only two seeds left in the top half of the draw. Are you surprised to see so many dropping out?

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's always, of course, a little bit a surprise. But we know also you have to be so good from the first match in men's tennis today. So many good players out there. Of course, it's a surprise there's only two seeded left. But that's the way it is. I just try to focus on my next opponents.

Q. If you did meet Sampras, would you be confident beating him on grass?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I'll try to win my next match here first and then I answer that question.

Q. The seeding has been in question before the tournament. What do you think of the new arrangement of the Champions Race?

THOMAS ENQVIST: The Champions Race I like. I think it's a good system. The seedings here, it's tough to say if you like it or not. Of course, I think it's a little bit unfair not to seed a guy like Corretja who is 7 in the world, won the Indian Wells on a fast surface, ATP champions indoors, which is a fast surface. But it's (inaudible) not to seed Krajicek, not to seed Rafter. It's tough to answer that question. Maybe I think it's more fair for everybody if you go against the ranking. Of course there are some years when you have big rounds in the first round. If you have a system that everybody knows, I think -- on paper, there's not going to be any discussion. I think it's better to do it that way.

Q. Your next opponent will be Gambill. Did you see him playing? What do you think about him?

THOMAS ENQVIST: We played a few times against each other. We practised a few times. He has a good serve. I think he's trying to come to the net much more this year, especially here on grass of course, but even I saw him play this year, try to serve-and-volley a lot. He's been improving that. I think it's going to be a fun and good match, I think.

Q. Nicolas Kiefer said amongst the new system, he's obliged to play a lot of tournaments. If he's injured, he's losing the points because he gets a zero pointer. That means he's losing the bonus he might have got. In the future it might make him go to tournaments and drop the match in order to get the bonus. Do you see the danger?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think there's always going to be some dangerous things to do. I mean, really this is the first year we try this. I think it's a pretty good system. Of course, if we have something maybe we can improve and look after. If you look at the whole thing, I think it's pretty good.

Q. Do you see any weaknesses?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Of course, there's a lot of weaknesses. One of the reasons you said there, of course, if you have an injury or something, you miss a lot of those big tournaments, especially when they're close together, Nicolas this time missed three or four of the Masters Series, it's going to be pretty tough for him to have a fair chance this year, even if he's going to play well the end of the year. That's, of course, a weakness. We have to look at that maybe.

End of FastScripts....

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