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March 17, 2000

Thomas Enqvist


GREG SHARKO: Thomas moves into his eighth career Tennis Masters Series semifinal, the first here at Indian Wells. He's 1-1 lifetime against Philippoussis. Questions.

Q. Did you have a sense that you were getting him pretty nervous there?

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's always tough to say. Of course, I felt like he was not really hitting the ball as well as he usually do, that's for sure. Still, he's dangerous. I mean, you felt like in the second set he start to make more points. With his serve, if he get a break, you can be easily losing. I felt I had a good chance out there. It's not over when you play against him until the last point, so.

Q. Are you surprised when he's not serving well and yet he's going for those big second serves?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Well, I think he plays like that. I mean, his second serve is as hard as he hits it today. I mean, today he hit a few in the top of the net, a few out, and he usually didn't do that. Today for myself, I just tried to concentrate on my own game. That's the most important thing. You know if he steps it up, you'll be in trouble. I just tried to concentrate on my own game. I think I did a great match.

Q. Knowing that you beat him before, does that give you extra confidence?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I had a really bad record against him. I think it's like now 2-20 or something.


THOMAS ENQVIST: It's an honor to play him. Every time you go on the court to play him, you're really pumped up, it's an honor, it's a lot of fun. It's the same today.

Q. Since you had lost to him nine times, what was your plan when you went out there? Did you do anything different than in previous times?

THOMAS ENQVIST: No, not really actually. It's very important to serve good against him. I mean, you try to take control of the point. He's hitting the ball really flat and hard. It's tough. But I tried to play my game when I play against him. Today it worked.

Q. Could you sense he was struggling on his serve? Did you really see him working at it, getting frustrated over it?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Of course, I felt like he was not hitting the ball great. Like I said, I just told myself out there to, you know, keep concentrated and concentrate on my own game. That was the most important thing. I think I did that good.

Q. Where do you feel you are compared to your best level? Are you pretty much there?

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's always tough to say. But I felt I was hitting the ball really well this week, yeah. Looking forward for tomorrow.

Q. Do you think he counts on holding his serve maybe a little too much, sometimes doesn't play competitive enough on your serve?

THOMAS ENQVIST: No, I don't think so. I mean, it's tough to criticize him. I mean, I think he's the best player ever played the game. He's been winning so much with the kind of style he's playing. I don't think you should criticize that. Like I said today, I mean, the only thing I told myself is to concentrate on your own game, play my own service games, hopefully get a break.

Q. You've beaten Philippoussis before, but he seems to be playing very well this week. Do you want to give a read on him?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think we play a little bit similar. I mean, he's coming to the net a little bit more than I do. We play a little bit similar with a big serve, likes to hit the ball hard from the baseline. We had some tough matches against each other. It's 1-All. I think I have a good chance to beat him. He probably feels the same way. It's going to be who's the best tomorrow.

Q. When you get older, you're out of this game, will you tell your grandkids that you were No. 3 in the world or will you tell them that you beat Pete Sampras a couple times?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think I'm going to tell them that I beat Pete Sampras. I'm very proud of that, that's for sure (laughter). I'm not going to tell them I lost 9 times. Now I hope we don't play anymore, so I beat him the last time.

Q. Knowing that you were playing one of the best players, what are your thoughts, winning, losing?

THOMAS ENQVIST: When you step on the court, I mean, doesn't matter who you play, you always try to win. I mean, I know I have a chance against any player in the world. Your attitude when you step on the court has to be that way. Of course, you know you're playing the best player in the world, the best player I think. I mean, you know that before the game. But once the ball is in play, I think you try to win, of course. You're not out there to do just a good match; you're out there to win. Today it worked.

End of FastScripts…

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