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September 6, 1994

Jonas Bjorkman


Q. Why do so many good player come from your town?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I don't know, it is a good tradition, my hometown. The club is working really good. We have a good organization. A lot of good people around the club that's working there. So I think that's the key for so many good players coming there.

Q. 4-All and 5-All in the fourth set you had several break chances; did you notice he was always serving to your forehand on the second serves?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I mean, he served almost 100 percent on my forehand, but he started to serve on my backhand in the beginning, and even if, you know, you can't really be sure that he's going to serve all the time, so, I mean, I had two or three second serves, but I think all of them were over 100 miles, so, it was still hard, second serves, but may be got a little tight because normally at least I can make one of them. I think I made one with my backhand, but he made a good volley win, but otherwise I maybe get --

Q. Is his serve a part of his game that you're familiar with, going for the second serves a lot; you played him before?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I played him two times before, but I've been winning really easy these two matches before, and I know before the match that it's going to be really hard, he's been improving a lot also, but I never thought that he would be serving so well like he did today. He had a lot of aces and still second serves were really hard to return because he was going for it. And I know he can make a lot of doublefaults. He played at the Australian Open and he made over 20, 25 doublefaults, so I was, like, maybe waiting that it should be a reaction that he should start missing a little bit, but he had it solid the whole match.

Q. Historically, players who are still coming up or not ranked as high and upset a player as you did with Edberg, the next match seems difficult in a Grand Slam; was it difficult to prepare for this match and how did you feel going in?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, that's probably the hardest thing. I mean, this was really a big upset to beat Edberg and everything around was just so much bigger now and everything is -- everyone is interested to know who I am. Before, they maybe didn't know that. And you have to concentrate really hard and relax and prepare for this match and I know before that it's going to be really hard and also he's been improving his game since I played him.

Q. Were you getting, for instance, telephone calls in the middle of the night and all that after your big victory or what was going on?

JONAS BJORKMAN: No, I mean, I called the first -- I called my mom and dad to tell them that I beat Stefan. But it's been a lot of messages, but I've been taking care of it, I think, pretty good. I try my best. I don't have so much experience of it yet, but I think I will try my best and do okay.

Q. What did your mom and dad say when you told them?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Actually, my mom couldn't sleep and I gave them the telephone number to the practice courts we have up here, and so they said "congratulations."

It's good. It's also a dream for them.

Q. You were one of the top Swedish Junior players and through the early part of your professional career, you had a reputation for maybe not working as hard as you need to to make your talent happen, and, what, about three years ago you made kind of a commitment to play more; is that correct? What brought about this change in your mentality and who helped you with this?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, it's -- I mean, I was around eighteen-- nothing special, but not good enough to travel around -- all around the world with the Federation and I got a kick when I won the Swedish championships when I was 18 and I started to work with my coach, Fredrik (Rosengren,) when I was 17 I think, and maybe before I didn't do the 100%, but he was screaming like hell in the beginning, but it started to -- I started to know what I have to do to get better. It was not for his best, it was for my best, but I was doing my workout. And when I started to play the satellites and I was just coming up and started to work by myself.

Q. Do you consider yourself a slow learner?


Q. A slow learner.

JONAS BJORKMAN: Maybe. Everyone is growing up different. Maybe I was not prepared to start working as hard as the other guys did when they were 15. For me it took longer time to grow up and find the way to my game and everything. So, I mean, we're all different. For me it took a little bit longer time.

Q. Are you yourself surprised having reached this far in this tournament?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, of course. I played well the week before in Schenectady, I beat Sergi Bruguera and that helped me a lot with my confidence and I looked at the draw a little bit careful, check the first two and then I know I had Stefan in case I should go up to that one. But, I mean, Stefan is having a reputation to almost kill the Swedes when he plays them. So I knew it was going to be really hard, but I played a good match against Mats and then I just surprised myself after that.

Q. You were -- perhaps your name is known from the French Open doubles. Now in the last few years your singles has picked up; can you capitalize what you felt about your singles in the last few weeks?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I don't know, really, I just -- we started to change a little bit in my game. Normally, I usually hit as hard as I can on my serve, first serve, almost, and I've always been having trouble to have a good high level on my first percent and would change it may be up to 120, and now I'm between 100 and 110 and I think that's the key for my game now, because now I get a lot of points on my serve and for my game, I play a lot of vollies at the net and that's what I need. I have to work on my points.

Before, I had almost just second serves and all the guys are just too good to go to the net on the second serve all the time.

Q. While people have been asking you who you are, there's also been a feeling out there by some people that Andre Agassi is sort of saving tennis, that he's what tennis needs; do you have any reaction to that; and I'm curious how Andre's act plays in Sweden or is this just something that crazy Americans like?

JONAS BJORKMAN: No, I mean, Agassi is a big tennis player even in Sweden, I think. And, I don't know, I -- when I make a good point, I like to do the same, show my feelings that I made a good point. So, I don't know if that's helping me to pump me up to the next point also, and that's what I need. We are all different, but maybe I'm the same like Agassi a little bit.

Q. Which player do you take as your idol among the Swedes, especially the young Swedish players?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I had-- like I said, Wilander is coming from my town, so he was maybe my idol when I started to play, but I've been going and in practicing with Stefan, he plays the same game like me. And I played the same game like him, and I've been trying to learn a lot of things after him.

Q. Is Bjorn Borg almost forgotten now in Sweden for the young players?

JONAS BJORKMAN: No, it's just different. When he was good, I was like five, six years. It is not so easy to remember his unbelievable carry and for me when Wilander was winning French Open, I was ten and when I started to watch TV a little bit more, and that's what you remember more. But he's still big. He's one of the best players in the world.

Q. Are you going to play Davis Cup?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I don't know if it's been out yet, but I probably will be in the team, yes.

Q. Singles?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Never know. I was close to playing France and now I've been playing good here the weeks before. Now-- and I will, of course, maybe have a chance. But we're going to have a lot of practice and we will see who's the best guy for that.

Q. Do you prefer singles or doubles?

JONAS BJORKMAN: If I can, I can play both, that should be best for me, but, that's the Davis Cup coach, the captain's word to pick the best guys for that match.

Q. In Sweden are the people generally kind to the Swedish players who have not won Grand Slam championships or are they critical in expecting them to win Grand Slam championships; it was Stefan and Mats and Bjorg have--

JONAS BJORKMAN: That's maybe be the problem for Sweden, we had so many good players, five, six, seven guys who was top 20 during the 80s and we won almost everything in Davis Cup. We won finals all the time, and now we finally -- I mean, everything has been just so much tougher now and maybe they still expect us to do so well, like Wilander, and the guys did before. But, you see, all the countries now coming up with good players, so it's just so hard to do the same. I don't think it will ever be like that because Sweden is a small country and I know that we still have -- we are the second country in the world who's having like 10 or 11 top hundred guys. Just the States are better than us and I think we can't compare to the States because you have more people living here.

Q. If you were asked to describe yourself as a person, what would you say?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I don't know. I think I'm a little bit shy, but, I've been growing up and trying to be better, obviously, trying to get confidence. I've always been having bad confidence when I was younger. I never believed in myself that I could do well and that's what has been helping me a lot when I come up here and I'm starting to believe in myself and believe in my tennis, and that's what I think. Otherwise, I'm -- I think I'm like other Swedes, came, and try to be nice to all of them.

Q. Are you sort of a good guy and a bad guy in Sweden right now; you're doing well, but you beat Stefan Edberg?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I don't know, I hope that I'm still a good guy. Hopefully, I think positive. It's coming up, maybe they see how far I can go.

Q. How did it feel the next day; did it change the way you look at yourself and carried yourself at all or were you able to put aside -- do you build upon a win like that? How does it carry you?

JONAS BJORKMAN: That's -- that was so hard to still concentrate that you're still in the tournament, it was -- it was a big upset to beat Stefan and in Sweden it was really big and I had a lot of congratulations and a lot of fax from my friends, but that's positive for me. But it's still hard that you remember the match, and now you have to concentrate on your next match and it's the hardest thing to do. But I was trying to be relaxed and concentrated.

Q. Can I ask one more thing; do you have any superstitions?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yes, I have, a lot.

Q. Like what?

JONAS BJORKMAN: No, I had a lot before, but I've been trying to take them away, because it is not good that you have too many, but I never walk on the lines. I can give you that.

Q. What else did you have?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Before I always have to go to the net first in warm-up, otherwise I thought I would lose a match, but I've been taking that away because it happens a lot I lose the match just because of that. It is a few things you have and you need that.

End of FastScripts....

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