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March 25, 1997

Jonas Bjorkman

Key Biscayne, FL

JOE LYNCH: Jonas Bjorkman turned 25 on Sunday moves into the quarterfinals here for the second time in three years, reached the semifinals in '95. 24-6 for the year now, which is the second most wins behind Goran Ivanisevic. He's on a pretty good roll. One of four Swedes still in action here. First question.


Q. Can you just talk in general about the match, how it went?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I was feeling great today. I went into the match with at lot of confidence, beating him last time we played. Last time I started to read his serve better than the first time we played. I think I still had the same feeling today. I came right to his first serve more almost every time. I was able to return well and put a lot of pressure to him, so that gave him no easy points in his serve, like he normally gets. I think that was a big help.


Q. Jonas, two years ago you looked like the next great Swedish tennis player. What happened the last two years?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, it's easy to win and improve your ranking every year, but it's getting harder and harder. Mentally I wasn't ready for that. Like last year, I put too much pressure on myself and wanted to improve my ranking even more. I was not able to do that. I don't think I was ready mentally as well. This year I'm not concentrating on who I'm going to play, looking far away on the draw, you know, who it could be if I win and everything. I'm taking one match at a time and just try to enjoy the life.


Q. Without giving away any secrets, how do you cope with someone whose reputation is that powerful of a server?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I'm trying to get my own reputation to have good returns. That's something I'm working on. But I maybe need to work a little bit harder. It's just a feeling you get. You can see sometimes when he's tossing up, he's maybe coming more with his shoulder and everything. That's some things that you can see what he's doing when he maybe go wide or down the line. Those things, you know, have been working good for me against him. Hopefully you're not going to tell him that when he's having his press conference. Sometimes you get that feeling that it's coming wide and you go wide, so it's a little guess.


Q. What did beating Edberg in the '93 Open, that match where you blew him off the court.



Q. Was that the best match you've played?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, it's one of my best memories because Stefan at that time, I don't think he lost to a Swedish guy for five or six years before that. You know, coming up as an unknown Swede, all of a sudden beating Stefan in almost a blow-out, it was a really great feeling for me, especially when I've been practicing a lot with him before that. I was working a lot when he was back home with him. That helped me. I lost the respect a little bit. That was one of my great memories.


Q. Is that what gave you the confidence to really be a top player, that match, or did you already feel you could be a top player?

JONAS BJORKMAN: It's always nice to get this Top 10 wins. If I would beat anyone at that time, it was good to beat Stefan because he was the big star in Sweden at that time. That definitely helped me to mentally see that I was ready to go one step further than I was at that time.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else for Jonas? Thank you.


End of FastScripts....

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