Here's an interview from the latest issue of Sw. Tennis mag
by Lars-Ivar Jansson (I think)
Magnus Norman played his first ATP match at the 1992 Stockholm Open. He came full circle almost exactly 12 years later when he, at a press conference, declared his decision to put an end to his tennis career.
1992 the young upstart at the Stockholm Open was called Magnus Norman.This year, as you know, his name was Mikael Ryderstedt. Only an hour after Ryderstedt had played the match of his life to defeat spaniard Feliciano Lopez, it was once again Magnus Norman's turn to be in the centre of attention at the if...Stockholm Open. This time off-court.
- Most players get the possibility to say "this is my last match, when I've played it, I'll quit". That didn't happen to me, but it still feels good to have a clearcut finale of my career.
A couple of days after the press conference at the Kungliga Tennishallen, Magnus Norman feels content about his decision. He finally realised his injured hip wouldn't hold up for yet another venture at the top of tennis.
-Looking back with what I know now I can think I should've taken this decision earlier, for health reasons. But I've been so focused on my coming back, so there haven't been anything else for me. Sure, I've thought about calling it quits once in a while before, but I've always been willing to give it another go.
But at the recomendation of his doctor he finally decided to leave the life he's been leading the last ten years. Every time Magnus gave 100%, his hip ached, and the last x-ray pictures were ill-boding.
-It feels really good to have made this decision and also to have made it official, so everyone knows that I'm getting on with my life. Now I'll put everything I have into my studies instead, says Magnus Norman.
He has applied for an education in marketing, but he won't leave tennis behind completely. To work as a mentor or adviser for young tennis players and share his experiences is a way to keep in touch with the sport. He also considers helping out as a coach for his club KLTK.
-Right now I don't want a coaching job that involves a lot of travelling about in the world. But let's wait a couple of years, then we'll see if I have the urge to travel again.
After New Year Magnus moves back home to Sweden and Stockholm after many years living in Monaco. The life of a tennis pro, always on the move, will be replaced by life as a student in Stockholm.
-It will, for sure, feel awkward in the beginning. Although I didn't exactly like to travel constantly when it was happening, I probably have it in my blood a little. Not traveling will probably feel strange at first. But you always need an adjutment period. When I first came to Monaco everything felt somewhat surreal, but after a while you got used to it and started to enjoy yourself.
Magnus thinks it's a certainty tennis will still be a part of his everyday life. But he's not a stranger to letting other sports into his life.
-I'd love to play more golf, that is on the condition my hip won't take more beating. I'm also talking to an old buddy who shall play bandy for Djurgården's recently started team. They're going to have a "farm team"(????) and he wants me in it. It's very tempting, but that will also be decided by how my hip holds up, he says.
It was bandy which had to give way when Magnus chose to go for tennis. At 15 years of age he was picked for a youth national team which were going to Russia to play a tournament. At the same time a letter arrived from the Swedish Tennis Association where he was invited to represent Sweden at a tournament in Florida. He chose Florida, a choice Swedish tennis should appreciate. Now he's made another important choice, albeit not as pleasant for Swedish tennis.
-It feels good to quit now though, when several new world-class players are emerging from Swedish tennis(?! two, I guess that's several). I believe we will continue to be among the best countries also in the future, says Magnus Norman.
Magnus Norman's career in short
ATP debut: 1992 Stockholm Open, lost 1st round vs. Derrick Rostagno
ATP titles: 12
ATP singles record: 244-177
Prize-money: US$ 4 537 247
Highest rank: #2 at the entry-list after Gustavo Kuerten in 2000(july?)
Best Grand Slam results: Finalist Paris(Roland Garros) 2000, lost to Kuerten. Semifinalist Australian Open(2000), lost to Kafelnikov.
Misc: Part of Sweden's DC winning team in 1998.
Magnus Norman played his last match in Shanghai 2003, he had to retire against Novak.