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August 26, 2002

Magnus Norman


Q. Obviously, a disappointing result today. After last year was it good to just be back out there again?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, it's nice to be back in a big tournament again. I wasn't here last year, so it's been a while. Obviously, things didn't really go as I expected. I think I played a decent match. I mean, I played -- I think the result really shows my level right now. Costa is a little bit better than I am for the moment. So I have some things that I need to work on.

Q. How far off do you think your game is from where it was when you were in the Top 10?

MAGNUS NORMAN: My shots is the same, I think, but my position in the court is not the same. I'm a little bit more defensive. I play like two meters behind the baseline instead of on the baseline like I did three years ago. So I'm very happy with my shots. I'm happy with my serve. But there are things - big things - to improve. So I'm pretty far off my form. But, you know, I'm getting there.

Q. Why do you feel your position is more defensive than it used to be?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I don't have the same confidence. When it gets tight in a match, I tend to be a little bit more defensive instead of aggressive. With a guy like Costa, you got to take your chances when it comes because he's not going to give you anything. It's just a matter of confidence I think.

Q. How tough has the process been of trying to fight your way back up the rankings, having to deal with injury?

MAGNUS NORMAN: It's been very tough, you know. I mean, what I've been going through after the surgery, seven months after the surgery, has been like hell, you know? I'm happy to be back, but it's been a struggle since I came back as well. It's very difficult to find the confidence. You lose against guys that you normally beat pretty easy two years ago. It's been tough. But I'm hanging in there. I'm very motivated. As I said, I'm very happy to be back in US Open again. I got a tough draw here, you know, played a guy who won the French Open. He's the guy who's opposite to me, he's full of confidence, you know? So it's gonna be a tough match. But, you know, I'm gonna hang in there, try to get back here.

Q. Did you notice the planes overhead? I don't know how much you're focused on them. Just watching people in the crowd, more than ever instead of going from side to side, they looked up every once in a while like never before, more like a reaction just because of September 11th. Did you notice the noise, or are you so focused?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, I didn't really -- I didn't really notice that. I'm very focused, obviously, on the match. It's the same when you come to the US Open, the planes going like crazy there, so I didn't really take notice of it. But the security's very high this year compared to two years ago when I was here. You have guys checking the bags and guys checking the cars when you get into the courts. It makes us feel safe. It's a little bit of a hassle, but at the same time I am very glad that they are there.

Q. Did they check your bag with all your racquets in it?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah. Yeah, every time I come to the courts, every day.

Q. How many times have you come now so far?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Well, I have been here since Thursday, so they check the bag every time I come and every time I go in the locker room and whatever.

Q. They check the car as it's pulling up, too?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, under the car, and they ask us to open the trunk to search for certain things. As I said, it's a little bit of a hassle. Like this morning, I was -- the traffic was very bad and we were a little bit late. So then, you know, you're a little bit in the hurry, then they have to search the car. But as I said, I am very happy that they are here.

Q. Will you stay here or go to Tashkent?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think I will leave, yeah. I will try to -- I don't know where, but I think I will go to Tashkent, yeah, play quallies.

End of FastScripts….

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