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January 17, 2005

Thomas Johansson


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. How does it feel to win your first match here since winning the title three years ago?

THOMAS JOHANSSON: Well, today felt like a nightmare, I would say. I was very, very nervous in the beginning, and I was very tight. Peter, I think he's a solid baseline player. That's pretty much the worst you can play if you feel like you cannot hit the ball. But I was lucky because I was serving really well the whole match. I think the key, the key game was the first game in the fifth set. I broke him there, and then suddenly it felt a lot better. Then I tried to go for my shots more.

Q. Were you disappointed how the fourth set ended? You had the chance to break him in the ninth game then serve for the match.

THOMAS JOHANSSON: Yeah, I was a little bit disappointed. I mean, I had 15-40 and I think I had maybe one or two more breakpoints. But, you know, when you're tight and when you're a little bit nervous, you feel like you just want to, you know, keep the ball in the court. Against any other guy in this draw, I mean, it's not enough, you know. You have to do something all the time when you hit the ball. So I think that showed today. Because when I didn't hit the ball, Peter, you know, took initiative and, you know, hit the ball really well.

Q. Now that you've got over the first round, how far can you go?

THOMAS JOHANSSON: Well, I have to play a lot better than I did today to go far here I think. But most of the time the first round is always really tough. It doesn't really matter who you play. Now I play Calleri, which is a baseliner as well. I think I have to play a little bit better today to have a chance against him.

Q. You had that long argument with the umpire about the ball.


Q. Was that an indication of how tight you were feeling at the time or...?

THOMAS JOHANSSON: Well, I think if you sit two meters from a ball and it comes in 5 kilometers an hour, I think you should be able to see that one, and he didn't. It was a really important point, it was the breakpoint in the fifth set. So of course when you're tight you may act a little bit different. But I think, I mean, an umpire should see that ball. I mean, there was a mark and everything, so I don't know what he did.

Q. Did you find the conditions difficult with the wind?

THOMAS JOHANSSON: No, I think it was really nice to play today. I mean, it was not too warm. The wind came the same direction all the time. One side was -- you had the wind from behind, and, I mean, it's a lot easier to play in these conditions than when I played last week and it was maybe 40, 45 degrees on the court. It was a really nice day to play tennis.

Q. Do you feel the court is faster than the last year?

THOMAS JOHANSSON: No, I think the court is fine. I mean, it's -- I think it's the same as any other year. It's just that, you know, here in Melbourne, the weather can change a lot. So sometimes it's very warm and then the ball flies a little bit. But today, as I said, it was really nice to play.

Q. Do you have a good feeling when you come back here because of your 2002 win? Do you feel excited every time you're back in Melbourne?

THOMAS JOHANSSON: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I have great memories. Every time I walk in the corridor from the locker room, I see my picture. It's not in every tournament you can do that. I really love this city. I really love the people in Melbourne. I really enjoy myself here.

Q. Is that what made you nervous today, knowing that the last time you were here you won it?

THOMAS JOHANSSON: Yeah, it's a little bit -- you get pretty tight when you know how well you can play. But you cannot show it that day. But then, as you get older, you know that, you know, sometimes you have to fight a little bit more when the strokes are not there. You have to fight. And I think I did that really, really well today. So hopefully next round it feels a lot better.

End of FastScripts….

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