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December 5, 1998

Jonas Bjorkman


Q. Compliments to the Captain and all the team from the Italian press, because you played very well and you won. I want to know this from the captain: Do you suppose before this match to win 3-Love?

CAPTAIN HAGESKOG: Yes, of course, because I have very good players, and I have trust in them. I knew it's going to be five tough matches, but I also know we can win all five of them.

Q. Jonas, how did it feel to grab your foot again?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, it was nice. Last time was against Spain. It's a good feeling to have a chance to grab it in the final as well. You know, this is just a great feeling to win the Davis Cup. It was a lot of fun sitting on the bench yesterday to see these two guys here working so hard like I did. That was a lot of heart in that. Definitely a lot of credits to them.

Q. Can you talk about the match? Did you feel threatened at any time?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I think we had a little bit of advantage in the beginning. They had a lot of respect for us, I think. We sort of waited a little bit to see how they were playing. We started with control. We dropped it a little bit. We came up another level in the tiebreak. From then on, we had everything under control. We played a very solid doubles. We were always a step ahead of them.

Q. Nicklas, you weren't there at the beginning this year. Here you are again in the final. Talk about your feelings about winning another title in today's match.

NICKLAS KULTI: Well, of course, it's a great feeling to win Davis Cup back-to-back. The reason why I didn't play the first match this year was I got a little injured at that time, but I knew I could trust all the other guys here in Sweden. Gustafsson, Tillstrom and Norman did a great job in the first tie. I mean, it's a great feeling. Normally is an individual sport. It's not often that tennis player can get together and play for a team. There's one chance a year, and that's in Davis Cup. To represent your country, in this case Sweden, it make me feel really, really proud. Just we have a great time off the court and on the court. It's just an unbelievable feeling to win it for your country and for your friends.

Q. Magnus Gustafsson, how does it feel winning the Davis Cup after not playing it for four years?

MAGNUS GUSTAFSSON: Actually, it's pretty strange because I thought when I was injured four years ago, I was close to quit. Actually, never had the expectation to play Davis Cup until I got the chance in Bratislava this year. I took the chance there. I got the chance here in the final. For me, it's only a bonus. It's just something that I never, ever expected. What can I say? I will never win a Grand Slam, so beside a Grand Slam, this is the best you can win. When I finish my career, I know that I created something. To do it together with all my team friends I think is even better feeling.

Q. Is it as nice the second time as the first time, Captain Hageskog?

CAPTAIN HAGESKOG: No, it's not nicer; it's just different. Every final is different. I think we never get satisfied with winning, so it's a nice feeling. We want it more and more.

Q. Next year is the Centennial year of Davis Cup, hundredth year. Does that mean something to players around the world or do you think it's just another date, another year in the history of it? Is it something you guys think about?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, definitely I think it's something special to be part of the celebration of Davis Cup for all of us. When it's just a new year as a defending champ - I don't know the history that good - but I think it's something we definitely look forward to is to repeat it again and win it three times in a row. If we can do that, that would be, you know, a really good effort. I think it's already a great effort of all the guys here to win it back-to-back. That prove right now that Sweden is No. 1.

End of FastScripts....

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