Re: Good Luck, Thomas
Here's an article on Tompa.
Enqvist Finds Game in Time for Open
By RON DICKER
f any seeded player in the United States Open was hoping to play a journeyman qualifier in the first round, then drawing Thomas Enqvist will be a profound disappointment.
Enqvist has known success on a large scale and is suddenly playing well again. His 6-4, 6-2 victory over Michael Kohlmann yesterday in the third round of Open qualifying at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows vaulted Enqvist into the tournament's main draw.
He will be an underdog, but no pushover. Enqvist, ranked fourth in the world in 1999, did not lose a set in three qualifying matches and surrendered his serve just twice. He said he cannot remember when he last won three matches in a row. In fact, since losing in the first round of Wimbledon in June, he has not won twice in a row.
Enqvist's big serve and power baseline game have resulted in 19 Tour titles.
Then a nagging injury turned into a career-threatening one. He dropped to ninth in the world in 2000 and underwent surgery for bone spurs in his foot and a nerve impingement in his right shoulder.
The foot healed, but the shoulder did not. Enqvist tumbled in the ranking to No. 24 in 2001 and to No. 44 in 2002. He shut down after last year's United States Open. He is now 144th, having to earn his way into a major tournament by beating those who have not accomplished nearly as much.
"The most important thing is that the people you care about treat you exactly the same," Enqvist said after dispatching Kohlmann in less than an hour. "But of course there are certain unwritten words on the Tour that you get advantages if you are higher ranked."
Enqvist, 29, said the inflammation in his shoulder had eased enough to where he can practice frequently. He believes he can play among the elite again.
"He really wants to come back," said his coach, Mikael Stripple. "He knows he can play well, but if you don't win the matches, the confidence is low. But I think it can turn around pretty quick."
Enqvist rose in the ranks with a forehand that never let opponents get comfortable even when they roamed behind the baseline.
"He's not worse than he was before," said Kohlmann. "He's going to win a few rounds."
On match point, Enqvist showed his patience. He and Kohlmann locked into a long rally, with Enqvist firing 12 of his first 13 shots from his forehand side.
Then Kohlmann hit a fat ball to Enqvist's backhand, and Enqvist topped it for a winner.
Several fans waited for autographs. They remembered Enqvist when he was near the top. "It's obviously a new situation, but I still enjoy to play," he said. "I still feel when I'm playing well, I can compete with the best players in the world. I don't have problems motivating myself to play."