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August 13, 2000

Thomas Enqvist

T. ENQVIST/T. Henman

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Thomas.

Q. What made the significant difference in that match?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Very tough to say. I think it was a very close -- extremely close match. I think Tim was playing really well in the first set. He was maybe the better player. I was a little bit lucky to get through that first set I think. But I came up with some very good shots when I needed today, and I think my second set this match was probably my best set so far in this tournament. I played extremely well.

Q. Can you talk about your...(Inaudible)?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah, I think I played well. I usually like to play people coming into the net. I played well. Tim is very good at it; it was not easy. But you have to be really, really on top of your game to have a chance to win, and I think that's what I did today.

Q. Can you talk about your serve and what was going on with it? You finished, I think, 49 percent of your first serves. Can you talk about what was happening with it today.

THOMAS ENQVIST: Well, maybe I hadn't really the right rhythm today. But I think I served really well when I needed it. Also I think I was trying to hit the big second serves, because obviously he was coming into the net all the time. I didn't lose my serve once. I mean I served pretty well. Even if my percentage was low, I think I hit good, strong serves. And when you don't lose one service game in a final like this, I think you should be very happy.

Q. (Inaudible)?


Q. Who were you waving to in the crowd, family members?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah, I have my folks here. My brother.

Q. Your brother?


Q. You were 5-5 in the first, got 15-40 on your serve. Do you remember those two points?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah, he had a few break points. Like I said, today what I did really, really good was when he had breakpoint or it was an important point, I came up with really, really strong shot. That's what I'm most happy about today I think.

Q. Yesterday against Clement, you were able to push him around with your forehand. Did you think you were able to do that successfully today?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I knew he was going to come into the net all the time and try to keep me no rhythm a little bit, and he has a lot of slice on his backhand. It's tough. He's extremely good. He has very good hands at the net and a strong serve. I didn't expect the same kind of match as yesterday. I pretty much knew what I needed to do to have a chance to win.

Q. Then at 5-5 in the tiebreaker he double-faulted. Does something go off in your head when that happens, when the other guy double-faults at a key point like that, and you have one serve to take the set? What is the thought process?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Well, you know, when it comes down to a tiebreak like this, it's so small things...(Inaudible) Of course I'm extremely happy when he double-faults at 5-all. I think both of us felt a little bit pressure when the other guy had the second serves. I was hitting hard on his second serve, and he was coming into my second serve. So we had to go for the net, and that's what he tried to do and didn't work at 5-all.

Q. Thomas, Andre and Pete are talked about, the tour is promoting all of these younger guys. You're kind of in the middle there. Do you like kind of being the guy who no one is focusing on when you come into a tournament? Do you feel like that?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah, it's pretty nice actually.

Q. In what way is that?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I like it this way. It's better. You know, I'm here to play tennis; that's what I like to do. And it's perfect.

Q. Then after, in the very first game of the next set after you win the tiebreaker, you break him at Love. Do you think that double-fault of his carried out through his first game?

THOMAS ENQVIST: That is tough to say that at one point there was this and that. Obviously the first set is very important. Tight tiebreak, you have a lot of break opportunities in the first set there. Maybe. I don't think about that. I think I won eight straight points after winning the tiebreak. I was hitting some good returns. I think I was on kind of a roll there in the beginning of the first set.

Q. Thomas, the Swedes have done so well here in the '80s and the first part of the '90s. Any thoughts on why it's taken so long to get a player back in the final to win?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I've been in the semifinal two times coming pretty close. I think Bjorkman was playing pretty well here. We had a few years there where we didn't have one Top 10 player, but I was Top 10 in '95. So it was not that, you know, it was a strong tournament, this one. And hopefully we can continue to play well here and it's not gonna be ten years till next time.

Q. Can you talk about in general how you think the Swedish influence is at this tournament?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think it's pretty strong. Magnus Norman has been the best player in the world for a long time this year. I think he showed that he can play very, very good and win some big tournaments on every surface. So I'm sure that he has a really good chance to finish out the year as No. 1. But this has been his really breakthrough year, so that's been very nice I think. I've been playing okay, I think. We have another young guy, Vinciguerra, who was here and playing well. It looks pretty good out there. We're back in the World Group in Davis Cup, won two matches this year. So it's been a very good year for us.

Q. Will you drink any of that champagne?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I don't know. We'll see. (Laughter.)

Q. Do you like champagne?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Sometimes. Yeah.

Q. What does winning this event tell you about your game a couple weeks before the Open and how you're playing?

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's very important. First of all, I think I said yesterday I work this way, I play a lot of matches, and usually I play good. It's very important for me to get a lot of matches before the US Open. But also mentally for me to win this kind of tournament is as close as you can get to win a Grand Slam. And I been showing myself I can win this three times, so why not at the US Open this year?

Q. Did the fact that he came in knowing he was 0-6 in his last finals affect him psychologically, do you think?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I don't think so. I don't know.

Q. And the fact that you've won, did it work against him?

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's tough for me to say. I don't think so. I think he played good in the first set. Usually you can see that maybe in the beginning of the match if he's tight or something. He didn't seem tight to me. I think he played really well in the first set.

Q. I missed your interview when you were talking about the bone chip sitting on your right foot. I wasn't in the interview, I was just reading the transcript and you pointed at your foot, where it is. Could you point it out for me, where it is.

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's right here.

Q. Front?


Q. (Inaudible)?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah, I think I need to take it away. Hopefully I can do it at the end of the season. I had the same thing in '98 and I took it away. It's not a big thing - you go in, take it out, and you maybe have to rest for like two, three, four weeks. That's it.

Q. Do you go in day to day hoping it's all right? How does that work?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I played with it a long time in '98, too. So I know it's okay to play with it, and probably it's not going to bother me at all. In Toronto was a little bit bad luck I guess.

Q. Is that the first time it's happened since '98?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah. I didn't know I had it actually. This is the first time I had it again. It's actually in the same spot I had it last time.

Q. How fast is the surface playing this week, and how do you think that affected...(Inaudible)?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think it was a good surface for me. It's a medium fast I think. You can serve good on it, but you can also stay on the baseline. The balls bounce up a little bit, which I like.

Q. That kind of helped you against Henman in the serve-and-volley.

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think so, yeah. It's not extremely fast, but it's definitely not slow. So to me, it's a medium, it's a fast surface.

Q. At this point in your career do you sort of reassess and look at the goals that are out there that you haven't gotten to and sort of plan your schedule and do things like that to get some of those things?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah. I think so. I think my goal is maybe to have a chance to win a Grand Slam before I stop my career, and I've been close one time. And I think that I showed myself I can beat anybody in the game. And I should have a chance to do well, I think, especially in the US Open, the Australian Open.

Q. Do you look at maybe winning the Race or getting to that point at all at this point in your career?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Of course that would be very, very nice. But for me, honestly, it feels like the most important thing to me is to one day maybe be able to just win a Grand Slam.

Q. Do you take treatment on that bone chip, or does it just -- it's there and you just live with it?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah, you don't have to do so much with it. I ice it a little bit afterwards, and more because sometimes it can get a little bit irritating if you play a lot with it. But it doesn't bother me. It's all right now. Hopefully it can stay like this and I can take it away.

Q. When you wake up in the morning, there's nothing there? It's just like there's nothing there?


Q. When you turned pro, did you look at trying to fill the shoes of Wilander and Borg and those guys, become part of that next generation for your country of champions?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Not really. Of course I was proud to be one of the upcoming Swedish players. We had such big success in the '80s. But I always try to focus on my own goals, and, you know, because it's -- I think it's very tough to look at players like Edberg and Wilander and Borg and try to fill those shoes. You have to be more than -- how do you say that --

Q. Realistic?

THOMAS ENQVIST: -- Yeah, realistic, to compete and see what you can do with your game. And I think it's realistic for me to say that I have a chance to win a Grand Slam. Winning this event is as close as you can get. I think it's realistic for me to say that is good for my career.

Q. Which would you say is the most realistic?

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's US Open or Australian Open.

Q. When you look at your career at this point, how do you evaluate it?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I think so, I think so. I had a lot of injuries. After my breakthrough in '95, '96 I was struggling with a lot. I think at the time I've been injury-free I think I've been playing all right.

Q. Do you ever worry that you might get to the end and not have that Grand Slam?

THOMAS ENQVIST: I just try to stay positive, you know, and believe that you can do it. That's what I think keeps you really motivated, just continue to play and practice hard, and it's a lot of fun. I think it's very, very -- it's as close in the Top 10 as it's ever been. You feel like when you go to a tournament that you really have a good, good chance to win. On the other hand, you have a good chance to lose in the first round because it's so close. It's nice, you know, it inspires you. You don't feel when you step on the court that this guy's too good. Every time you go on the court, you have a good chance. It's very interesting.

Q. Are you more relaxed at a tournament like this than some people and less relaxed at a Grand Slam?

THOMAS ENQVIST: No, I think everybody is looking forward to the big ones like this and the Grand Slam. And we've been playing now for such a long time on the court that you don't prepare or think differently in a Slam than you do, you know, in this kind of tournament. It's about the same.

Q. Is this a bigger check than you won when you were runner-up at Australia, this $400,000?

THOMAS ENQVIST: Hmm, I don't know. I have to check my account. (Laughter.)

Q. I believe it is.

THOMAS ENQVIST: I hope so, because I think I was not so much paid in Australia. I deserved more. (Laughter.) I was pretty angry after the final. (Laughter.)

Q. You have a 3-1 record in Tennis Masters Finals for you, but I think it might be 4-15 for Tim. What do you think he...(Inaudible)?

THOMAS ENQVIST: It's tough to say for me. Different players think differently. Like I said, today he seemed positive to me when he got out on the court. He did a great beginning of the match. So I think he knew before this match that he had a good, good chance to win. He's been playing very well this week. You have to ask him about that. But I didn't see that he was nervous or like that.

End of FastScripts....

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