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Old 01-09-2003, 05:49 AM   #1
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Default Good Luck, Thomas

ENQVIST'S RENEWED OUTLOOK
Thursday, 9 January, 2003
by Kevin Diggerson

Every player at the Australian Open loves tennis. From the time they first hit the little yellow ball across the net, players love to compete, to seize the opportunity to pit their skills against their opponents in one-on-one battle. But few players can appreciate the game in the same manner as Swede Thomas Enqvist, who has battled back from two injury-plagued years with a determination to regain his place among the elite.

But it was Enqvist's time away from the court that has given him a new outlook on the sport.

"When you are away from the game you really feel how much you miss it," Enqvist said of the last two years.

"Sometimes it is good to have a little break. You really feel like this is something that you love to do and I am happy to be back playing again and hopefully I can play on the level I think I should play on."

The level Enqvist is referring to is that of the sport's upper echelon. When healthy there are few better players on tour. The popular Enqvist was a regular top 10 player before succumbing to a series of injuries that saw his ranking fall to No.42 by the end of last year. But now healthy, Enqvist sees no reason why he can't return to the top 10.

"I know that when I am in form and when I am playing well I can beat anybody in the game," he said. "I think nothing has changed from that."

Now back to full health after foot and shoulder problems, Enqvist embarks on his 10th Australian Open campaign confident of a return to the form that took him to the final in 1999.

"Before I got to Australia it was tough to have expectations, because you have no idea how you are (playing). I just started to play before I got into Adelaide and I feel like I am improving everyday. I feel that the last week I have been improving, I am playing better everyday. Hopefully I can continue to improve and by Monday I can set a big goal for myself.

"I am doing everything I can to stay healthy and I am putting a lot of effort physically to stay in shape. I have been working out a lot and put a lot of hours into work on my body to stay healthy. I have been working very hard and strengthening myself up and hopefully I will hold up."

Enqvist obviously enjoys his annual visit to Australian and to playing at Melbourne Park, with its history of knowledgeable crowds and the popularity of the Swedish players. The Open has a tradition of Swedish success, and of a large horde of traveling Swedish fans that annually make the journey down under, giving Enqvist and his compatriots a large and vocal support base.

"I love to play in Australia," Enqvist said.

"It is a good country to be in and I always feel at home here. We have great support coming from Sweden and it's nice. We have a good tradition here of doing well. (The Swedish fans) definitely help you, that's for sure. It is a good atmosphere on the court and its something you look forward to every year to play in front of that."

Enqvist turned professional in 1991, and has claimed 19 career titles, 13 of which have come on hard courts. In addition to reaching the final in 1999, Enqvist claimed the junior championship at Melbourne Park in 1991. With a healthy body and the confidence of a champion, don't bet against a return to glory at Melbourne Park.
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Old 01-09-2003, 10:42 AM   #2
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Heja Thomas! This guy made me start to follow tennis in the first place and although he lost my interest a little bit, I still have to root for him during the Aussie open. Especially now that the other two Swedes withdrew.
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Old 01-10-2003, 09:20 PM   #3
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Yeah, i am a fan of Thomas Enqvist too.
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Old 02-11-2003, 09:49 PM   #4
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Still hasn't get back to his form as he lost another match . Well, I'll just keep cheering for him until he gets back.

What's wrong with the Swede, Thomas is still catching up after the injury, Johansson has operation and Magnus' still struggling. We need more cheering for the Swede.
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Old 03-04-2003, 12:50 PM   #5
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Thomas defeated Agassi in the first round of Scottsdale...

It's funny to see that his (I guess) only two wins this season had been against two top players, as Agassi and Schalken.

Well Done Thomas !!!!
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Old 08-23-2003, 01:01 PM   #6
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Default 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."
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Old 10-12-2003, 08:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Good Luck, Thomas

Thomas Enqvist (SUE) d. Anthony Dupuis (FRA) 6-3, 7-5
Tennis Masters qualifying-madrid.
He now plays Juan Luis 'Tati' Rascón.
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