April 8, 2004
SWEDEN vs. USA, DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA
TIM CURRY: We'll open the floor for questions in English first.
Q. Jonas, are you looking forward to playing three days, possibly 15 sets, similar to Brazil?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, hopefully I can keep up the same result, then it would even be more fun.
Q. Do you find yourself getting into the match more, did you on the third day, for instance?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I think I'm always trying to - since I was a young kid - I would always try to prepare mentally to play a lot of matches. I do that on the tour every week, so that's something that I'm used to, and you just got to be mentally prepared for it. That's what I'm here for.
Q. Is it a matter of personal pride?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, not really. If I will feel Saturday night that my body is not 100 percent, I will let Mats know, and he will pick someone else. It's not about winning for myself; this is a team event. Last time I didn't play the Friday and then played Saturday and Sunday, and Mats wanted me to play on Sunday. If he will change his mind this time, and I play Friday, Saturday, and he wants me to step aside on Sunday, I have no problem with that as long as the team wins.
Q. Mats, what went into the thinking of having Jonas play singles and doubles for you?
CAPTAIN MATS WILANDER: Well, he's got a real good record against -- I watched the match against Andy Roddick in Key Biscayne, and that was encouraging. I like the matchup, Jonas against Mardy Fish. Mardy is pretty new to this, and Jonas is not. I guess it's a good draw, the fact that Jonas plays first - if there is any good draws in this.
Q. Was there any concern that, obviously, he's an older statesman on the tour, that he can do the three days?
CAPTAIN MATS WILANDER: Well, as he just said himself, he doesn't have to be injured for him to step aside. You'll see, I mean, that's the beauty of Davis Cup these days - you can play two matches and take him out on Sunday without lying. So we'll have to see. I mean, at the moment, he's going to prepare to play three matches, and so is Robin and Thomas Johansson to prepared to play on Sunday and prepared to play on Friday if something happens. Really, everyone knows they have a chance of playing until about one hour and a half before the match.
Q. Jonas, how do you feel your game matches up with Mardy's? You haven't played him very often.
JONAS BJORKMAN: We played very often, you said?
Q. You haven't played Mardy very often.
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think it's a good matchup. Obviously, he improved a lot the last six months of last year. But at the same time, I'm playing my best tennis right now. I think if I can keep up that game I have been playing, I think anyone out there needs to, you know, be ready when I'm coming out with my game. But he's very talented, serving well, and he improved his forehand a lot. The rest of the game has always been solid. So I have to sort of try to get the serve back and hopefully get him to move a little bit.
Q. Can you talk about playing the doubles, how often you guys have played together, how you're looking at that against the Bryans, either one of you.
JONAS BJORKMAN: We played two Davis Cups, and we played in the World Team Cup, and we probably played once or twice on the regular tour as well. So we have been playing a bit, yeah.
Q. So you're comfortable, knowing what each other's going to do and stuff like that?
THOMAS JOHANSSON: Yeah, it's always a lot of fun to play with Jonas because I think he's one of the best players in the world in doubles. So I just have to go out there and try my best and try to focus on my serve and my volleys and my returns. But it's always fun to play with Jonas. It's a pleasure.
Q. Thomas, what about these courts, do they suit you guys?
THOMAS ENQVIST: I think it suits all different kinds of tennis. I think it's a very fair surface, you can play all different kinds of tennis on it. Maybe a little bit higher bounce than usually hard courts is, but I think that suits both the teams. I think both teams are going to enjoy to play on this surface, and I think you're going to see some good tennis.
Q. Can you talk about playing Andy a little bit.
THOMAS ENQVIST: It's always a challenge to play Andy. I mean, he's obviously No. 2 in the world. Hard courts is his best surface, I would say, even if he's an all-around player. But I think I know what I need to do to have a chance to beat him, and hopefully that's going to work.
Q. What is it you need to do?
THOMAS ENQVIST: I'm not going to tell you (smiling).
Q. Robin, can you talk about if you're disappointed that at the moment you're not in the lineup? You're cheerleading.
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, it's Mats' decision. Of course I wanted to play, but if Mats thinks this is the best team tomorrow, that's more than fine for me. It will be very fun to be cheering tomorrow.
Q. Jonas, how is Mats perceived back in Sweden by the public at large? What kind of a role did his tennis have on you when you were growing up and playing?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well... (laughter). Obviously, you know, he was a big idol for me since we're coming from the same club. It's not easy to grow up outside my small village, but he actually did. It's just been a pleasure to have him around, and what he's done for the Swedish tennis. Even though my game hasn't been exactly the same game he played when he played his best, you know, it's always a lot of things you can learn from these guys. That makes it even more special to have him as a captain and have Joakim Nystrom as an assistant. All the experience that those two have, we have a chance to learn a little bit from them and hopefully improve our game.
Q. How many tennis courts are in that village?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, in mine, we have two indoors and three outdoors. I'm not sure what they've got...
CAPTAIN MATS WILANDER: Yeah, in his village - mine is a suburb to his village, that's how small it is (laughter). So we had one. It's now a parking lot (smiling).
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