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November 19, 2006

Jonas Bjorkman

Max Mirnyi


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Jonas, an easier final than perhaps you thought yesterday? Straight sets, looked pretty comfortable for you guys.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, it was a lot easier, obviously, than we expected. But I think we saved the best til last, and we couldn't have finished the year better than this way. We just played probably the best match of the year.
Felt - both of us, even when we came here this morning - we felt really good. Had no stiffness after that long match yesterday. Like I said, we used to play a lot of matches. I think that actually helped us, that we had a tough one yesterday. We came out here and was ready to rock and played almost a hundred percent perfect match.

Q. You have a lot of staying power, Jonas. Twelve years, I think it is, between championship titles. Can you address that. What keeps you playing? A lot of people lose their interest or find it too difficult to go on.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, '94 in Jakarta was just a year that everything happened in a way. There was a breakthrough with my singles. Got into the Davis Cup team. All of a sudden we won the whole thing in Jakarta, me and Jan Apell. It was just a shock almost because it was not what I was expected, that it would happen that quick.
Now, twelve years back, it seems like I need to go back to Asia a lot more often. I have had some great results in the past, but obviously it seems like I'm playing well. And now with a great partner again, I managed to have another great result.
You know, I really love playing singles and doubles. For me, it is a great game. I have so much fun to play with Max. He's probably the most professional guy I ever seen and played with on and off the court. It's just really, really nice to be around him. You know, it's been great fun these two years, and hopefully we can have the same success next year.

Q. It's not that long ago that the doubles players were at the ATP's throat talking about all sorts of legal actions, etc., etc. What do you think of what's happened since then? Where do you think doubles can go from here in the big scheme of tennis, for both of you?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, I think the big part of this whole thing has to go a credit to our new leader right now, Etienne. Many players have felt, especially doubles players, felt that we were drifting for a long time under the leadership of Mark Miles, in particular there was not enough attention towards doubles.
With Etienne being a true lover of tennis, and in particular of the game of doubles, he's managed to convince the guys and make them believe that the changes are going to be for the better.
It took some time, but the whole group united, and, you know, we see tremendous results in just one year, that more and more positive just news coming out about the game of doubles. I think we're on the very right track, and hopefully for the years to come there will be much, much more involvement of more singles guys playing. Media will be more coverage of doubles. I think we're doing a very good job with the leadership of Etienne.

Q. Jonas?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, he said most of it there, Max. I'd probably have to say since I had a reminder from Etienne here that I was -- last year I didn't believe this was going to be a success. I had a bet with him with a dinner. So I will have to pay that dinner to Etienne later on when we have time.
But I think, especially him, have made a big impact. He's in the locker room. He's trying to meet up and catch up with everyone - singles, doubles, it doesn't matter. He's the leader in this group, but he's also a friend to everyone. I think that's a difference. That's why everyone has such a confidence in this leadership. Hopefully, this is just something that could be really good for both singles and doubles.

Q. (Through translation.) Last year in the doubles finals Santoro and Llodra really performed in a very fanatic way by throwing shoes into the crowd. Did you guys try to design your way of celebrating your victory today?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think we all are different. You know, Fabrice and Michael started with that thing in Australia, I think, when they throwed all their clothes and shoes. I don't know if that became their trademark, but then we leave it to their trademark and stick to our thing.
You know, you can never say really what you want to do after a win. It all comes with what happens during the match. You know, we were very happy and excited after the match. You know, it's a great finish of the year, so I think we have to come up with something else later on in the future maybe.

Q. What is the secret of a good doubles team? Is it simple? Is it just simplicity, or knowing each other? What is the art of being a good doubles team? A lot of people strive to be a good doubles team and it doesn't always work.
MAX MIRNYI: I think it's important for styles of play to match, mainly. But even so you see many times teams don't succeed. It's styles of tennis that have to be combined, and as well as the personalties have to match. You have to make sure you find a balance between communication and the technical part of the game, being able to produce what you need to produce to win matches.
I think that, overall, Jonas and I have a good chemistry between the two that, you know, even through some tough moments - 'cause that's normally when you determine whether somebody is good or not - we were able to come through during the year and prove to ourselves that we're capable of coming out of some difficult situations. Because when something happens - today in the finals is not ideally a good point where you can judge something on, you know, everything was one way and only one way today; we were able to just maintain that momentum - I think when the tougher moments come, Jonas and I become stronger and believe in one another and try to help with each other's game.
So I think that's a big part of a good team.

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