from Matchball (issue of January 12th, 1995)
by Enrico Schiavina
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
Clipping dedicated to STE...fans donor Alexander Lößner with a huge thank you from all the community!
The plans of the "old" Edberg: two or three more years of tennis and one more big triumph. Maybe in Australia.
Stefan Edberg's press conference in Doha 1995, after his final win against Magnus Larsson
DOHA. In three years, Stefan Edberg played 13 matches at the "Khalifa Stadium", winning 12. He really likes Qatar, even if, during the week of Doha, unlike the other players, he has always avoided many desert trips, sightseeing and evening parties.
With Annette and little Emilie he remained shut in his room at the eleventh floor of the Sheraton, to only get out of it to go practicing or playing. "This is a special tournament for me - he said after his second straight win at the Qatar Open - the atmosphere is completely different from that of all the other tournaments, the climate is good, nice people, the stadium and the hotel are beautiful, we are treated like royalties. I'm glad, very happy."
- '95 has started in the best way.
«I feel good, physically fit and rested. I stopped for a bit, in December, although the holidays were not as long as I would have wanted. In '94 I played a lot, and there was the Davis Cup that has burdened the season, extending it until mid-December. In '95 the schedule is distributed better, there are more chances of having a break between one season and the other. Now I'm going to Australia, then there is the Davis Cup first round, then I'll stop again for a while.»
- Ivan Lendl quit tennis.
«It 's always sad when a great champion leaves. And even more sad to see that he is forced to do so by physical problems. Hadn't it been for his back, Ivan would have certainly continued. Maybe he should have stopped last year, who knows... Anyway he was one of the greatest of all time, having played him so many times I can say that.»
- Now you're the biggest winner among those remaining in business.
«I had not thought about it... Well, it's a nice feeling. But I'm only 29, I feel good, I can't see myself as the wise old man.»
- It is said that modern tennis lacks big rivalries. Who has been your biggest rival during all these years?
«Boris Becker. For at least six or seven seasons we were at the top together, we faced each other in important matches countless times, just think of the three consecutive Wimbledon finals I played with him. It was important for me to have a rival like him, and, I think, equally important for him to have me in his career. We pushed each other to give our best. I see that lately Boris has started to play well again, I hope he found the desire he had in his heyday. Tennis needs someone like him.»
- By the way, here in Doha tennis has rediscovered the talent of another veteran, Henri Leconte.
«He played in a way that has surprised everyone, perhaps even himself. He is one of those who can appear from nowhere, who in any match can pull out three or four consecutive winning shots knocking you out mentally and heating up the crowd. It's true, there are only a few left who can have such a strong impact on the audience and the media, those who know how to entertain. If I can, I akways watch a Leconte match very willingly.»
- Since '95 you have split up with Tony Pickard.
«It was a step that had to be done, inevitably. Recently, Tony was traveling with me less and less, had other business to take care of, and at the same time I felt always less the need of a coach to follow me. In fact I have not searched for anyone else, I go on like this and I think I can handle it alone quite well.»
- Did you remain in good terms?
«Of course. We have been together uninterruptedly since 1983, he has actually been like a second father to me. A strict father, who has always been able to push me to work, what it took for a person who tends to be lazy like me. I owe him a lot. And we remain very good friends, we often hear each other on the phone, he still gives me good advice.»
- What is it that pushes one who has already won everything, who has so much money in the bank to still go on?
«You need to know how to motivate yourself, to always find new targets. It doesn't take much to lose focus, to get off. I never liked poor showings, so every morning I try to find a good reason to get out of the bed and go to practice.»
- How much tennis is left still inside Stefan Edberg?
«Enough. I still want to play, win matches, win tournaments. I can still have two or maybe even three good years, if I can stay physically healthy. I want to win more: I don't care too much of the ranking, I want to win tournaments. Maybe one Grand Slam.»
- And is this your last challenge, win another Slam before closing your career?
«Yes, I think that would be great. I feel I can do that, and in the end I'm still young enough to look forward without thinking that every tournament I play is my last chance. The time is there, the desire as well.»
- Where do you think you have more possibilities?
«In Australia. Now hardcourts have become my favorite surface, and on Rebound Ace I feel fine. In short, I won't go to Melbourne to take a trip...»
- Edberg to BBC: "Federer is the greatest in my eyes"
- Edberg: "No one thought Federer and Nadal would be here today"
- Edberg: "It was like the script for a movie"
- Edberg Talks Past And Present Of Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
- Edberg: "Swedish tennis is still behind"
- Edberg supports tobacco sponsorship in sport
- Champ Agassi, Edberg provide tennis as hot as weather in D.C. final
- Edberg beats Rafter and returns to Classic final
- The day of Edberg and Chang
- Stefan the Sheikh
- A matter of family
- Edberg Regains Form, Beats Stoltenberg
- Edberg: 71 minutes, $87,500
- Down the Coast
- Edberg, the pain and the dream