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April 1, 2006

Jonas Bjorkman

Max Mirnyi


THE MODERATOR: They're the first team to repeat here since the Woodies, who won three years in a row from '95 to '97.
Q. You'll be back, right?
JONAS BJORKMAN: For a three-peat, hopefully (smiling). You won it three out of four years.
Q. Can you talk about today's match and what went right for you.
JONAS BJORKMAN: We played great the whole tournament, actually. We've been playing very consistent, very solid. We had maybe not the perfect start of the year. We won some matches but we didn't maybe play the way we wanted to. We did some adjustments after losing in Vegas, did some extra practice in Indian Wells, and made the semis, which was good, then we started to get some improvement.
This week we played exactly the way we wanted to. I think best tournament performance we've done.
Q. But specifically today, what shots were working? What did you do well?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, just tactically we played smart. We made a lot of balls back in play. You know, we were very aggressive at the net. There was not really one particular shot. We just in general, in doubles, there's so many shots that you need to have right.
We played our best at the right times when we needed it.
Q. You were one-and-four against them going in, according to the record.
Q. Did you have a different approach going in today? Obviously, they've been successful against you.
MAX MIRNYI: Well, it's only the record states from when Jonas and I played together as a team. But Jonas, individual, and so did I played them so many times. I wasn't even aware of the record.
We knew that they are a good team and we were just approaching this match with a lot of respect, yet we knew we were capable of beating them because we've done it so many times - individually and as a team at the French Open.
Like Jonas said, we've worked on a few things that we needed to improve based on the beginning of the year and we're happy with how we were doing it throughout the whole tournament. Today was just another good display of us, how we want to play doubles. We're happy that we're capable of executing what the game plan was.
Q. Jonas, you just turned 34.
Q. I guess you're the oldest male singles and doubles player, right?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, not in doubles. That's for sure.
Q. Playing both.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Playing both?
THE MODERATOR: Probably. Highest ranked.
Q. Martina tomorrow is in the finals and she's 49. Any comments on that?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I'm not gonna be around that long, guarantee you that (laughing).
Q. Sure of that?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Absolutely. I have so many things I'm looking forward to after the game of tennis. I mean, tennis is a sport that I love so much, and I'm going to miss it once I decide to step aside and do something else.
But tennis is not everything. I have a great family, I will be around a lot more. And having a new situation of doing a lot of things around the tennis and still be part of tennis but doing other stuff.
Q. Have you announced any plans?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, no, no, not really. I mean, you know, the way we're playing right now, I have a feeling why stop when you're so successful.
We had a great rivalry with Mike and Bob last year going head-to-head all the way to the last two tournaments, who was gonna be the No. 1. Singles, I managed to come back after dropping out of the hundred for the first time in 12, 13 years, won a title at the end of the year.
So I feel, you know, my motivation is still out there to practice, enjoy it, and still do the traveling. I'm going to try to continue. And with the partnership with Max now, I'm enjoying it that much. I definitely get more inspired.
Q. Do you feel like with the no ad scoring that it's changing your play calling early in the games? If you're serving 15-30 second serve, that can quickly become triple game point. Now, with no ad in doubles, do you feel that as a team you guys are calling different plays earlier specifically because of the no ad pressure on your games when you're trying to hold?
MAX MIRNYI: I think more than anything, it just makes a team be much more aware, less breathing room, if you can say it in that way. You still sort of go with your strength and try to attack opponents' weaknesses. You just realize that the game is shorter, and you try to just be maybe this much more alert to try to avoid unforced errors.
Still, you know, 15-30 is 15-30. You're serving to the ad court and you want to go maybe with your best serve to go to the opponent's weakest return. The elements of the game haven't changed because you still have to hit your first volley. You're still hitting tennis shots. It's just it's a little bit compact now.
Q. Do you feel as a team you've been broken more this year as a result of no ad. Do feel you guys have been holding reasonably well? Ultimately, today, obviously, there was several no ad situations. Couple key ones in the second set when you were able to get out of games at 15-30, 40-30. That was obviously critical. You could have been down 5-1 in the second set possibly with the way that was shifting. That's unbelievable, instead of a 4-All, 5-All holding until a tie-breaker situation.
MAX MIRNYI: I hear what you're saying, but I'm convinced that over the course of the year, or as long as we're going to keep this format - hopefully this is going to be the future of tennis - the better team will still win. Everybody's put in the same boat and everybody's dealing with the same problems.
You know, it will take some time to adjust, but still at the end of the year, the best eight teams will be the best eight teams. The quicker you can adjust, the better you're going to be. I think in the long run it's still going to even out.
Q. Jonas, apologies if you've already answered this question, but one Grand Slam, two Masters Series into the year, how do you feel the whole doubles situation is now? You were pretty outspoken about it the end of last year. Are you happier now?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think it's going in the right direction. I think everyone is putting a great effort into talk positive about it, we have for so many years. Tournament directors just going after it, being, you know, talking shit about it all the time. Now it's quiet and more positive feedback from it. You know, these two weeks, with Indian Wells, Key Biscayne, it's a lot harder maybe to have the doubles matches on center court that we would like to see a lot more, obviously. But it's going in the right direction. We have Stanford coming in, supporting doubles, which is great. So it's much better.
Q. The Bryan brothers the other day when I asked the same question said, you know, they could foresee a time not far off where doubles players would be basically looking for another job, which is a pretty bleak outlook. Have things improved from that now?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, it's hard for me to say because I play singles and doubles so it's hard to answer that question because, you know, for me, I'm always feeling that I'm in the game because I play both. It might be harder for only pure doubles guys, how they sort of adjust to the new format and what they've been under, going through the last year or two.

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