home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 8, 2000

Jonas Bjorkman


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jonas?

Q. Can you talk about the way you played today?


Q. Can you talk about the way you played today?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I think I played a pretty good match. I can play better, but I'm just in a stage where I've been playing very well. I've practiced the last two or three months, I have some good results on the grass. I need a few more big wins on the hard court to get more comfortable out there and take my chances a little bit early. Today I had to fight very hard to get up the breaks. But other than that, I'm very pleased I think. The rest of the year is going to be a good finish for me.

Q. As the Player Council President, can you talk about what players like and don't like about the changes this year?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I think some guys have been having the feeling that I think the mandatory system is not really good. Some like it; some not. They think it's making the schedule a little bit too tough. But, you know, basically everything is tough this year because we have the Olympics to fit into the schedule, and we are busy this year. But for next year, we are going to have a much longer break in November, December. So we're trying to short down the seasons, and I think it's just going to get better and better.

Q. What's your opinion on the proposal that they're talking about as far as doubles go?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I think that it's a good proposal the tournament directors have been coming up with. We're not going to give them exactly what they want. We're going to find something in between. But I think we have done some research and we have seen, going down to Futures and Satellites, a lot of guys is going just to play doubles. And I think that is wrong idea of how you're going to play tennis. And you should start playing singles. You just maybe have the doubles to combine with. I think we need to be careful with that, and that's why I think that this is a good step for making more guys play singles than doubles already from the lower level. And be ready at the time they get up to the top as well.

Q. Do you feel that that will encourage more of the top players to play?

JONAS BJORKMAN: We have done some research as well, checking the guys, the interest of playing doubles. A lot of them, it's very keen to play doubles, and we know a lot of these guys know that they have to play doubles to improve their game, to make them a better singles player as well. We had Richard Krajicek last week who was trying to play, he couldn't get wild card. That is also something we have to try to work out. Maybe we have three and a half wild cards to the Canadians, maybe. One wild card there was too much, but two guys maybe were not on the highest level they gave it to. Maybe it's better to give it to Richard than someone else. So a lot of these things I think just are going to work out very good. And most of the singles guys are more interested to play doubles these days and we're going to sit down with them as well to find a good way.

Q. Do you think something has to be changed to save doubles?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah. Honestly, I think so. I think it goes well when you have some of the top names playing out there. It's definitely much easier if you have maybe two doubles specialists playing. It's tough to promote because they haven't done so much. There are good players in doubles, but they still haven't done so much to make them known more than we can. So if we can get more top guys out there, I think that would just be something that would be really, really good. If you watch it, the crowds and everything, most of the people are just playing for fun when they're playing doubles. And I think it's a great game to watch. So I think it's looking good if we can find a good way here.

Q. Is the number one concern of the players getting some time off and having a shorter season?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I think we will avoid a lot more injuries if we can have a longer break at the end of the year. So that will also help the game of tennis I think. So, you know, we're working hard to get everything better and better every year, and I think we're on the way to get it better. It's always going to be times when you don't know if it's good or bad, but, you know, you have to wait and see the future a little bit. You have to try something out as well.

Q. The ATP Tour is about a decade old now. When it originally started, it was the players that were running their own Tour. Do you feel like with the way the system is now and the way you guys have meetings that you guys still have a lot of input?

JONAS BJORKMAN: We do, we do. We're having a Player Council, so those ten guys that is in it, they're representing the players from each category. And if the players is not in the Council and have something they want to change, they just come to us and we take it up on the meetings. And, you know, it's tough if you have a company -- if you're going to have 350 guys voting on each thing. It's the same working here. You have these ten guys and they're trying to do absolutely the best for the players.

Q. Your ranking history, you played at the very top, then in the qualis, you've gone up and you've come down. Is today's match an indication of where you are right now?

JONAS BJORKMAN: No, this is just the beginning of the way up to the top again. After '97, I played too much. I didn't have enough experience. You know, I just burned out. And then I made a bad decision with the new coach for last year, which didn't work that good. And basically I have a great, experienced coach and I'm having a lot of fun out there and I've been working hard. I feel my game is still good enough to be out and be around the top 20 again. So with a chance, I got here, with a wild card. I appreciated Paul and Bruce to give me this chance. I'm really glad that I could take it as well and show everyone that hopefully in the future I will not be needing a wild card again.

Q. You were playing too many matches?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I played 160 matches, and I only had a two-week break going into Australia again. And I just kept going. And then after that I didn't have any energy left in my body; I got sick and I had to start over. But '98 was still okay. I was ranked 20, and that was not bad. But last year I just played awful. I lost a lot of confidence and had a few other things that I made some bad decisions about. This year's looking much better for me. I had to sort of come back from a long way down there to go up here again. And after Wimbledon, I'm feeling that I'm competing good again, with the top guys again. Last week I was maybe one or two points away to beat Safin who won the tournament. Now I'm beating Alex. I'm feeling that I definitely have a good chance to get back to the top 20.

Q. When you're winning, it's difficult to pass up that next tournament, isn't it?

JONAS BJORKMAN: If you're winning?

Q. If you're winning and you're feeling good, it's difficult to pass up the next tournament. You played too much before you really realized what was going on; is that what happened?

JONAS BJORKMAN: No. I think I didn't have enough experience. And even my people around me didn't have enough experience. The body needs more rest than I took. And playing so many matches, finishing with the Davis Cup so late in December in '97, I probably should have maybe been coming over just a couple of days before Australia Open. And then from then on, having a longer break, and then maybe shorting down maybe one or two tournaments in the spring as well. But I kept going. And finally, you know, I didn't have any energy left. That's something you learn. And hopefully if I can go further than top 20, I have a lot of experience about it to not do the same mistake.

Q. What was your breakthrough in '97? How did you get to No. 4? What happened that year?

JONAS BJORKMAN: What I did, you mean? I won four tournaments, quarters in Australia, semis in US Open. I think I had eight or nine semifinals as well.

Q. What happened? What happened to your game that year that you rose so quickly?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I just played tough. I've been playing -- I need to play aggressive out there. My game is that way, you know. I'm playing quick and I need to take that opportunity to get the guys in the situation where they don't really know where I am on the court, and they're not going to be sure if I'm coming in or if I'm staying back. I'm going to change it up and I'm going to use my skills, and that's my speed and my returns and my volley. And that's what I haven't done lately, but I'm feeling that I do it much better now again. And I have to take some more rest. That's what you do when you're winning matches - you take more rest after winning matches as well.

Q. You were up 4-3 and 40-Love on Corretja's serve I believe it was, when he came back and got that kickback from the first set.

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, it was Love -- I had 40-Love.

Q. He got back at 4-4 even though you were up Love-40 on his serve. What went through your mind at that point, and how did you regroup?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I mean that is a tough situation when you're not winning those points which you normally should have maybe, or taking the chances a little bit better. But I felt pretty good out there and I was very motivated after getting this wild card, so -- and I did a good game after that. I just said that I had a good chance today. You know, I like to play the Spanish guys on hard court, and those guys have a good game for me. So, you know, it was a tough match to play Alex, but I was very optimistic about it.

Q. You were raised on hard courts?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I was raised on indoors and clay, but I've been improving my game on -- it sort of fits my game, the hard court, probably better than the indoors with that carpet back home. And it's just a medium, in between clay and indoors, and that's what fits me best. That's probably where I've done my best results.

Q. The carpet you say is in between clay and --?

JONAS BJORKMAN: No, hard court is in between clay and carpet.

Q. Carpet --?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, that's lightning back home.

Q. With the US Open coming up in a few weeks, how do you approach that as sort of a Grand Slam? How do you like that?

JONAS BJORKMAN: That's one of my favorite spots. It's my breakthrough in '93 -- in '94, beating Edberg. I love that place. Two weeks in Manhattan is perfect for me. I like to be in the States because Americans get really into the matches. I'm that guy who likes to show a lot of feelings out there, and I get, you know, a lot of feedback from the people. I think that one and the Australian Open is my two favorite spots in the Grand Slams. I always done well since then, so I'm hoping I can sort of have a better run than the last two years.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297