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September 8, 1998

Jonas Bjorkman


Q. Was it difficult to play two matches against one opponent? Was it difficult to come back today and find your rhythm again?

JONAS BJORKMAN: No, not really. After this summer we had in Europe, you know, we've been mentally prepared for rain all day. Actually, it's been plenty of matches this year where you had to come back and play, or you have to go in to the locker room three or four times. You definitely had more experience to yesterday, after all the rain we had in Europe this year. It isn't too bad. For me, it was good. I didn't feel so comfortable out there yesterday. Even if I won the first set, I didn't felt as good as I've done the other matches. So it was definitely much better for me to go out here again today.

Q. Looked like you were struggling with your serve a bit in the beginning of the match. After you started the third set, you felt more comfortable?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I was more -- a little surprised that Jan was returning that good. Normally, he's a very solid serve and volley player, he comes up once in a while with some returns. But he puts a lot of pressure on me, that made me a little surprised. I had to settle down a little bit. I finally got my rhythm back. As soon as I started to make more returns, I finally got the pressure back on him.

Q. You played a very tight five-set match against him at Wimbledon. What was the difference here? The surface?

JONAS BJORKMAN: No. You know, I should have won the match in Wimbledon, as well. I wasn't really mentally strong at that time. You know, I had up to 20 breakpoints that match, and I still couldn't win it. That was just a matter of lack of confidence, didn't believe in myself, I didn't take my opportunities.

Q. Two Swedish players in the quarterfinals so far. How do you explain this year's success?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, it's not a big surprise, I think, that we have two in the quarters. We had it last year, as well. I think we have almost six guys in the top 40 for the moment. Johansson has been playing well since Cincinnati. He's getting more and more experienced to play Grand Slams and to play big tournaments. I mean, he's still young, and haven't played a lot. So, you know, for him to go out on a centre court or something like that doesn't bother him anymore. I think he does feel that he sees it to his advantage just to go out and play big matches now. That's why I think he's doing well for the moment. I feel that myself, even if, you know, I didn't expect it to come, with my tennis for the moment, to be up in the quarters. I still know when I play my best tennis, I can. When I play my best tennis, I'm not surprised I be up in the quarters. I hope I can go much further than that. Now we have to wait and see. We could even have three guys. I think Larsson is having a very, very good chance against Gross.

Q. You've been struggling a bit with your form after the great year you had. Do you feel more confident now?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, definitely. It's been a tough year, but I've been learning a lot. I've done some mistakes. You always learn on mistakes. I finally find the positive thinking again. I haven't had fun on the court the last couple weeks here in the States. It was in Boston finally I started to have more fun, got more relaxed, and tried to enjoy the tennis a little bit more. So then coming into US Open, I was feeling much better. You know, I had a big match against Pioline, but I won that one. That helped me a lot to feel much better, and playing much, much better tennis.

End of FastScripts….

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