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February 11, 2021

Mikael Ymer

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

M. YMER/C. Alcaraz

2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk us through your match and how you were feeling on the court today?

MIKAEL YMER: Obviously very happy. About my feeling on court? Good, very good mentally. Physically also. The actual play could be better, but I'm working with it, so, but overall I'm very happy with this performance.

Q. Can you talk about how difficult it is for you to play against up and coming player who has nothing to lose kind of a mentality?

MIKAEL YMER: Yes, it makes it a little bit tougher, of course, because depends also how you see it, but it's in the back of your head, of course that this guy is young, I had some of these thoughts before too.

But of course it helps that he's done some great results before. He's already taken out so many good players and had a fantastic 2019 I think it was. So that makes it a little bit easier, but he definitely makes it hard for you so...

Q. You're not in hard quarantine, you are allowed to practice during two weeks, right? During the quarantine?

MIKAEL YMER: Yes, I was allowed to practice.

Q. So who are you practicing with?

MIKAEL YMER: With Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Q. So I think it's very unusual situation to keep practicing with same players for two weeks, so what makes it?

MIKAEL YMER: How is it difficult to play with the same guy for two weeks?

Q. Yeah, that is one thing and maybe it's very unusual to play only with, practice with one player. Maybe you get used to play against that player, but at the same time it makes you a little bit difficult to play against the player who has totally different play style.

MIKAEL YMER: Yes, that's a good point. It was the cards that were dealt to us and out of the tour players, this is one of the best you can get, so I actually enjoyed it and I had some really good sparring, obviously very good tempo, so it was the perfect, I would say I couldn't ask for much of a better preparation, sparring-wise, leading up to the tournament. So for me I was happy.

Q. We don't know who you are going to play next but maybe it's Tsitsipas. So do you think it's strange or kind of an advantage for you?

MIKAEL YMER: No, we have known and played each other so many times, of course only on the professional tour only once, but I wouldn't say it has that much of an impact, because he does what he does and he does it very well, so you kind of know what's coming and it's not like, Oh, I practice with him two weeks, I got some, I got a brand new tactic. It really doesn't work like this, I don't think, against these kind of players. So we'll just see. But that's if he wins. They're still playing, right?

Q. Yeah.


Q. Carlos fought very, very hard, 17-year-old kid. What did you make of playing him and what do you think about his game?

MIKAEL YMER: I think he plays very good tennis and this of course I knew walking in, but what made me more impressed was that at this age he played so committed to his game style, no matter the score, even if he was down, even if he was up, breakpoint down, tiebreak. I assume this is what him and his team wants him to play, but I was really impressed because playing younger guys before -- I'm not going to talk like I'm old, but I'm also looking back into my own career, that was one thing that takes a lot of time that I still face and I think there are players that face too, to really committing to what you have to do and he did it all through out the match.

So I was really impressed and I think I would have sat there and said the same thing if he would have won, which he definitely could have, that I think he is the big possibility to be the future of our sport. Not only to be a very good tennis player, but he's a very, he looks like very, very nice -- my first impression is that he's a very nice guy.

So I think he will be one of, not only good tennis player, great tennis player, but one of these kids that, one of these players that the kids are really going to look up to and have as a big role model.

Q. Obviously spending that time with Stef, Stef does this interesting stuff, whether it's the filming and all that, what was, besides obviously the great tennis, one of the best players in the world to practice with, what was the most interesting part for you about spending all those practices with him?

MIKAEL YMER: You mean off the court?

Q. No, just like the experience, like some practice partners are more light hearted, some might be more serious and just focused on the tennis. Like what was the experience like overall on the court with him?

MIKAEL YMER: I enjoyed it. They're really fun people to be around. So it was him and his dad mostly, so we actually had a really good time. The practices went by pretty quick, it felt. We had some fun training, played points, played volley, volley points, so they made it really fun. Then we had some time to eat lunch after so it was nice. It felt like a little bit with the junior days because I spent some time also with them when we were young, so it was a bit of a deja vu and I think they're really fun people to be around.

Q. Sweden having this long tradition in tennis and it's been quite a long time since there's been a Grand Slam champion. So I'm wondering if you could talk about how you and your brother have dealt with the expectations throughout your up bringing and career to be this next Swedish champion and what your journey's been like?

MIKAEL YMER: This is a question we have gotten a lot, so I would say it's the same answer as I was giving when I was young and I got asked this, I always play for my country and I will always try to do my best and more than this I cannot do. Even if I play for my country and I love my country, it's, I never felt like I owe, like I owe my country something or I have to fill in a certain spot in any kind of way.

I will do what I can do. If I manage on the way to lift up Swedish tennis, that's great. If not, I will, I don't -- it's tough to explain but I don't see it in the way where it's an expectation. That really doesn't -- because I think it's also dangerous because we have one of the strongest nation ever and the sport is different today, it's not, I don't know how many years ago it was, but the sport has changed and to compare Sweden or what we have today to when we had so many, it's, I think, both for the future before the next generation in Sweden and also to the ones leading up who will try to do their best, it's tough, I think, to put this.

So I don't feel it and I don't necessarily think the other upcoming players in Sweden should think about this. It's their own journey and this is the most important and whatever comes with it is a bonus for Sweden that they can enjoy. This is my opinion.

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