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adidas International

January 12, 2001

Jonas Bjorkman


THE MODERATOR: First question for Jonas, please.

Q. A disappointing way for a wonderful match like that in such difficult conditions to end.

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, we were out for almost two hours and 40 minutes, and losing on a point which was good is definitely frustrating. But that's life. I mean, that's how it goes sometimes. I've been quite unlucky, even if I've been playing some good tennis for the last six months. I had some tough losses and I had a few calls that, you know, normally would have been my way. But that's the way it is. And if I keep working like I have done and still continue to play good tennis, sooner or later that little luck will come to my side.

Q. Magnus just said it's the best he's ever seen you play at the moment.

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I still have a few steps that I can go up even higher. I think I wasn't really 100 percent in my legs today, so I didn't manage really to play from the baseline as maybe I wanted to build up my game a little bit more. But I'm playing good tennis, and I'm happy with that. I'm just frustrated, you know, to lose a match like this, you know. I had so many opportunities and so many breakpoints. I felt like this match was definitely mine.

Q. How difficult was it to play outside today? The weather conditions.

JONAS BJORKMAN: I was hot. (Laughing.) I was really hot. I think I struggled a lot the first hour and a half, set and a half probably, that I felt more I was fighting against the heat than fighting against Magnus. But then second part of the match, I felt much better. I was surprised by that, but I started to feel much more comfortable out there. I don't know if it went down a few degrees or not, but I managed to feel a little bit better in the end.

Q. Any thoughts on your first round next week?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I just heard that I play Lleyton after my match now, so I didn't know that before. Tough match for me. Tough match for him. He's having a lot of pressure, everyone expecting him to do really well this year. I think he can't be too satisfied to play me in the first round. I definitely feel that I'm one of the better players who's outside the seeding group. So I think he definitely is going to need to be ready and play some good tennis if he's going to beat me. So I saw the section as well, which is almost a scary section I will say. But if you are gonna do well, you got to beat everyone. So hopefully the luck will change almost next week already.

Q. Scary because of the first couple of rounds you're likely to encounter at the Australian Open? Is that why it's scary?

JONAS BJORKMAN: No, I meant scary because if you look at the guys who's not seeded, we all were in that section: Marcelo Rios, Tommy Haas. I think it was one or two more guys that was extremely good tennis players who's not seeded. Then you saw sections that it was wide open, you know, it was very easy for guys. So I think for all, you know, seven, eight guys who's in that group, it's been maybe little bit unlucky with the draw. But in the same time, the one who will get through the first week will definitely look good, I think, for the rest of the tournament.

Q. There's always the possibility of it being even hotter in Melbourne. What is your general record like for playing in extreme heat?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I'm normally having a very good record I think in the heat. I haven't lost too many. I'm normally very strong in five-set matches as well. So hopefully I can keep up that record. But in the meantime, I know that my preparation has not been 100 percent for going into Melbourne and this Australian trip this year, since I got married and had a couple of weeks off in December, which I normally would have been doing some more practice. So this match was good to get before the next two weeks coming up.

Q. You played some great serve-and-volley today. Is that the plan for the Australian Open, and do you think that style of game will get you a long way in that tournament?

JONAS BJORKMAN: The game I played today was more to be concerned of how to be in the spotlight for winning this event. Since I haven't been checking my draw for Melbourne, I haven't been too concerned how I will play in Melbourne. I try to play one week at a time. And I haven't won a match in Sydney before this week, so I was just trying to have a good week here and, you know, play the game that I always play. So it's nothing I really have been looking ahead of Melbourne or trying to change something for this trip. I always have been very aggressive.

Q. There's a lot of talk that the serve-and-volley game is going to disappear altogether. Do you feel that's true?

JONAS BJORKMAN: It's very true. Since it's been a lot of complaints over courts and surfaces, it's too quick, they've been changing it to the opposite - making it too slow. And I think we are in a situation that we might, if we don't take it serious, we might be in a position in two, three years we'll have extremely boring tennis with just guys standing on the baseline, and I think that will die out the tennis quite a lot. We need to keep those guys who play very good at the net, like Pat Rafter for example, we need to have guys like that around. And if you see the young guys playing at the moment, it's not too many serve-and-volleyers coming up. So it's a very serious point we need to take care of.

Q. Is that a crusade for the Players Council?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I'm working hard on it because it's been so many complaints that, you know, the courts is too quick indoors and stuff like that. I definitely agreed with everyone saying that we need to slow it down. But in the same time, we can't go from quick to really slow. And having slow courts plus heavy, big balls is just going to make it harder for everyone and it's also going to hurt the players with injuries. So I think we need to find a way to go halfway, and I think a surface like rebound ace and hardcourt is a perfect surface because you get all the guys playing serve-and-volley, you can have the guys playing winners from the baseline. And if you have like today, one baseliner and one serve-and-volleyer, it creates good tennis.

Q. What sort of impact is your campaigning getting so far? Are you winning any converts over from people that are sort of higher up above you that make these decisions? Very often the players' views aren't always taken as much into account as they perhaps should be.

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, but I think at the moment we are a pretty good group sitting in the Council. We already have been very concerned about the indoor season which has been shortened up a lot. Like this year we're going to have Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Basel at the same time at the end of the year, which I think is very, very bad for tennis. Having two events like Basel and Stockholm that's been around for so long being put together in the same week is something I feel very strongly about, and Marc Rosset and the Council as well. So those things plus the surface is something we gonna work hard for this year, and we're gonna start on Sunday already. And I hope they will help us out with that.

End of FastScripts....

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