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July 3, 2006

Jonas Bjorkman


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jonas.

Q. The two oldest remaining players, two doubles partners, two serve and volleyers. What do you think? Great achievement today?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Max is not that old (laughter).

Q. The two oldest remaining.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Oh, okay. He's still not 30, so we shouldn't put him there.
Yeah, I mean, it's always tough to play your doubles partner. It's been kind of weird. You know, I played my best friend in the first round, have to play Max in my fourth round. We just tried to go out and may the best man win.
It ended up being very close. You know, I'm just glad I got through.

Q. Question of serve and volley. Nowadays...
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, it's hard to play serve and volley these days obviously because it's a lot slower and the ball's a lot bigger. Everyone is much stronger from returning point of view. It's not easy. But when we play each other, it's always quite a lot of serve and volley because we both can take advantage of it.
It all depends who you play, how much you can play serve and volley. But it's nice to at least still be able to do it here and there.

Q. The fact it went to five sets, does that make your chances, the two of you winning the doubles, a bit harder? You've tired yourselves both out?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I'm not sure. You know, tomorrow we're going to play doubles, so it's not going to affect us I think for tomorrow. Hopefully, I mean, we quite used to the situation. We've been in the situation before, which is good. We just need to do the same procedures: taking care of the body well after the matches, try to prepare as good as we can for tomorrow.

Q. Is it going to be a bit strange, the fact tomorrow you're going to be on the same side the day after you knocked him out?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Unfortunately, we have played each other quite a lot. Key Biscayne we had the same situation last year. I think you get used to it. We try to make it as simple as possible, don't talk about it too much. We just focus on the doubles when we're ready to play tomorrow, and don't mention my singles too much, just make it easy.
He's such a good guy, he's a great partner, a true friend. I try to make it as easy as possible.

Q. Did you feel during the match it's an advantage for you having beaten him nine times in ten matches?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Not really because I felt really good after going up two sets to love. Unfortunately, I had a couple chances to go up a break, then screwed up a bit, lost my serve, lost my momentum. That's very tough against Max because he always lifts himself, lifts his game up. Had the same situation in the fourth set, got down a break. Started to serve not as good, couldn't really keep up with my tactics.
Once we got into the fifth, it felt like it was wide open. You know, the good part was that I managed to put myself together and get up a break and be on top of him a little bit more. I think that was the key.

Q. How do you feel physically, singles, doubles, mixed?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I feel good. You're winning, you always feel good. No, it's always tough playing five sets obviously. But today wasn't too many rallies. I was more tired after my second round than today.

Q. Which is the secret to be in the quarters at 34?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No expectations, I guess. I had a lot of expectations going into the year and hoping that I could play well. Been practicing really good, been feeling good in practice, but I haven't been able to perform well in matches. Then you lose confidence. I think you just have to drop the expectations a little bit.
Going into Nottingham, I didn't have any expectations on winning. I was just trying to perform and fight to the last point. If that was going to be the last one that I won, that would be great, you know. I managed to win a couple matches there and got my confidence back. Confidence is a lot in tennis. It's such an advantage if you can keep winning, feeling good. That's been happening right now.
Even going into Wimbledon, I didn't have any expectations. So I think I've been putting less pressure on myself and try to enjoy the moment of being here because obviously I know well my age, but I don't have too many more Wimbledons, and that's why I need to be even more in a situation that I'm going to have to enjoy it.

Q. How can the doubles help the singles?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I've been very strange because I haven't been able to take advantage on my success in doubles. My doubles has been going great for the last couple years. Even if my singles has been up and down, I haven't really been helping as much.
I think in the past, I had a huge advantage of getting used to the bigger courts because of my early success in doubles. I think also I'm used to play a lot of matches. Makes me mentally very strong with singles and doubles. That's probably been a big key for me through my career.
But I wish in a situation like this year, I've been winning a lot of doubles, but I could take a little bit more advantage of it and lift it over to my singles. But it hasn't been working. But now it's going well, so...

Q. How do you fancy your chances in the quarterfinal?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Against Stepanek?

Q. Yes.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, Stepanek has just been playing better and better. I mean, last year he had a great year. This year has been very solid, consistent. He plays well on all surfaces. You know, obviously going to be tough to play him because he's one of those guys who's knocking on the door to be a solid top 10. You know, I have to play really good tennis to beat him obviously.
I did beat him end of last year, and obviously that's going to help me going into the match. But I still think that I can do it. Even though he's a big favorite, I still feel that I have a slight chance.

Q. Do you think your involvement in doubles could harm your chances of progressing in the singles?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, not really. I have nothing to play more today. Tomorrow I will have a doubles. Hopefully that's just going to help me to get the body going a little bit. Sometimes I can be quite stiff the next day. If you only do a little practice, it doesn't really help. So for me, I'm so used to play a lot, I think if I keep winning, I'm going to feel great going into Wednesday because it's nice to win matches. That's what I'm hoping to do tomorrow.

End of FastScripts...

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