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April 20, 1994

Stefan Edberg


Q. Stefan, you must have been very happy with that performance?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, I mean, I felt that I was playing quite well today, and I played a lot better than I did yesterday. I mixed my game up very well today. So it was a comfortable win today, but I felt better.

Q. Do you think he was totally shocked to find someone coming at the net at him like that, he presumably plays a lot of players like himself?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think always if you play a claycourter like himself, if you let these guys play from the baseline, they get into a rhythm, they play very, very well. It is very hard to beat them. I think they probably don't get to play against players like me too much on the clay who come in on nearly every shot, and it makes it probably a little bit more difficult for him; plus I was feeling quite good today.

Q. It seems to me that during the first five games you tried any kind of approach shot you could find: the slice, the flat, drop shot. Is it because it was the first time you played against him and you were trying to test him or --

STEFAN EDBERG: I think, like I said, with these claycourters, if you let them play from the baseline, they are getting it a long rally. The longer the rally, it is the better; they think it is. I really try to really attack - especially in the first half of the match - and I succeeded. I got him out of rhythm, and I actually started playing better myself. I started moving better. And so it was the right way to play him today because I don't think he knew exactly what to do, and he got a little bit frustrated. So it was a good move today.

Q. Stefan, are you any different on clay this year to previous years?

STEFAN EDBERG: It is hard to tell. I thought I played quite well last year on the clay. I had a lot of very consistent results in all the tournaments that I played on the clay. So last year was a move in the right direction, and I am trying to play a little bit the same this year with the same schedule; playing a lot of clay court tournaments, and I think that is the way to do it. I think you need to play a lot of tournaments in order to win the French Open. I think it is - for me it would be very difficult just to play one tournament beforehand and just going in and playing the French Open. You have to give yourself time.

Q. When you play a young player like him, who has a quite good reputation already on clay, do you think to find some advice from other players, or how do you prepare matches like that?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, you always have to ask around because this is the fourth player in two weeks that I have never seen play before, so you sort of have to ask a few questions. But what I heard, he is a young promising claycourter, so I expected it to be a tougher match today than it really ended up being. Maybe I was -- I was prepared today to play my game. That was the plan that I had, and hopefully with a little experience that would be a good help for me.

Q. Is that kind of approach with your opponent perhaps something that Tony would have done in the past? And, also, what is the situation? How much are you going to be working with him now?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, this year we have said because we have been working for such a long period of time we are working a little bit less this year. He basically - just doing the Grand Slams together with me this year, and that is the approach we are taking this year. Obviously, if I were to play somebody like Alberto Costa today, he probably would have been out watching that for me. But, you know, I don't particularly go and watch. And I can't, because if I go and watch somebody, I just get too many people around me, so I wouldn't be able to concentrate anyway. So that is the way it is.

Q. Anything beyond this year with Tony or not?

STEFAN EDBERG: I mean, we have always taken one year at a time. And I think we have been working for such a long period of time, it is time that he needs to spend more time with his wife, I think, because I think he has probably seen more of me than his wife in the past ten years. We have come to a stage where I have started a family, too, so it is just the way it is going to be for this year. And by the end of this year, talking about next year --

Q. Were you surprised, Stefan, that he ended his connection with the Davis Cup team for Great Britain?

STEFAN EDBERG: I have inside information, so, also, I really - I wasn't really surprised, no.

Q. Were you surprised by the Agassi result last night?

STEFAN EDBERG: No, not really. I thought he would find it tough because it is -- it is not easy coming from America playing your first clay court tournament in Europe, because it certainly is different. Playing against a guy like Kafelnikov - which he is a very, very good player - so I actually thought Kafelnikov would win yesterday, and he did. I didn't see anything of the match, so it didn't take me by surprise.

Q. Do you top guys still fear Andre going to Paris, will he still be a --

STEFAN EDBERG: I think he will be playing well in Paris. You know, he is always a threat; especially on those courts which will be better for him. But if he wants to do well, he needs to play a few tournaments on the clay beforehand. That is my opinion, because it is not easy coming in haven't played on clay.

Q. That first round defeat then, would it been really bad for him because it is the time he really needs to get the matches in, isn't it?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, he needs to play a lot of matches because he has had so much time off. He is one of the players who can really come back and play very well the first tournament he plays. He has proved that a lot of times, but it is very hard to build up any consistency, and so it is not going to be easy for him. So my advice to him would be to play a lot of tournaments beforehand.

Q. You said you are happy today to have played your own game. Did you ever think about changing your game in order to win on clay like Lendl did, trying to win on grass?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, but it is not going to work, I know that because the only way I am going to win on the clay is playing my game. I can't sort of stay back and rally for the remainder of the day. It is not my game, and it is just wouldn't work that way. You need to play, you know, use your strength, my strength is going to the net, so it - there is only one way to do it.

Q. Do you see the French this year as being rather more open than it has been for two, three years?

STEFAN EDBERG: It is hard to tell. I think there is a few strong players on the clay like Bruguera, Courier who were in the final last year. They are going to be tough this year as well, I think. Then you have outside players like Agassi; maybe a little bit myself, Sampras. I think can do pretty well, too, so I wouldn't say it is more often than this year than it has been in the past. It is pretty of the same.

Q. What do you think to play the next Davis Cup round in your hometown, on your favorite surface? Do you think the French made the right decision?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yeah, for me, yes. I was quite happy that they choose to play this part of France, which, I mean, all of us are familiar with. And that they are going to play on hard court is, obviously, better for me, and it is a lot easy coming off the grass and starting to work on hard court which you are going to play on coming to America, so they made a good choice.

End of FastScripts....

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