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September 22, 2007

Simon Aspelin

Jonas Bjorkman

Mats Wilander



Q. How important was the first set?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, after the match, you know, I think it meant a lot because they raised their game after that set and didn't give us too many opportunities. So maybe if we would have won that set, we maybe would have been able to put a little bit more pressure on them, and they would have been in the position to work harder to find a way to come back.
Yes, it was an important set. But in the end, you know, I think the boys played exceptionally well today.

Q. Can you comment on the general level of the match, the high level of play.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Simon or me?

Q. Both, please.
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think it was high-quality tennis. First set was obviously back and forth, a lot of opportunities. I think we had maybe on the set points at least the ball in play. When they had their set points, they came up with some good serves and didn't have to play any volleys.
After that, I think second and third they saw the ball really well. I don't think we played really bad in the second and third, but they played better. We had to work really hard to get any free points.
It was tough. With Bob and Mike, you know, they swing a lot. Sometimes they hit it clean and sometimes they hit a lot of shanks. Today those shanks went all in. It's really tough to play them because, you know, you have to maybe take a step back and then get in position again.
So, you know, they didn't give us any opportunities.

Q. Considering you and Simon haven't played that much doubles together, were you pleased with your performance overall? Is he someone you'd like to play with again in the future?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, we haven't even been having the time to sit down and speak about the match. But, you know, like I said, I'm not sure what Simon feels, but I don't think we played a bad match. We knew we played the best team out there and came up short.

Q. There seemed to be a lot of communication, especially early on in the match, between the two of you. Were you figuring out your game plan as you went along or did you have a specific strategy in mind?
SIMON ASPELIN: I think we had a game plan going into the match. But, you know, obviously -- well, I think playing against the Bryans, you want to play even with them from the beginning. I think, like today, they like to be frontrunners.
When you look at the match as a whole, they ended up winning the first set, then second and third they played extremely well. They like to dominate. When they can be in the lead, it's easier for them to play well.
I think we played a very good first set. We played them really close. You know, could have gone either way. We were really, really close to winning that first set. Then it's so much more pressure for them to try to come back into the match.
But I think we played well today. It was just they were serving too big today. I think that was the key. And Bob, I mean, Bob always is a big server. Mike, as well. But Mike served extremely well today.

Q. How much did it affect your game to play on the right side, especially on the return of serve?
SIMON ASPELIN: I don't think it made a difference today. When they're serving that big, when they're making, both of them, a lot of high-percentage first serves, they're serving more than 200, and they're hitting the lines, it wouldn't have made a difference if I was on the backhand side.

Q. Jonas, your serve was broken three times in the second and third sets. Was that the quality of their returns or was there anything on your side you were unhappy with?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I didn't think I served really bad, so I didn't think there was a problem. The big problem, they didn't obviously give us any freebies. Once we had the opportunities at the net, we couldn't put the ball away. It felt like when we played (indiscernible), they connected well to what we were hoping, to not find a way of getting through us. It seems like they saw the openings quite well. I think that was probably more the key.
Bob normally didn't return this well. Like Simon said, Mike served much better than he normally does, and Bob returned much better than he normally does. That definitely put so much more pressure for us.

Q. Jonas, you faced the Bryans many times in Grand Slams. Simon, you have, as well. Jonas, you faced them in Davis Cup. Do you sense something different from them across the net in Davis Cup, even than in a Grand Slam final?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No (laughter).
I think all of us, we love to play Davis Cup. We love to play slams. We love to play big matches. I don't think they prepare different. We don't prepare different. You know, we all are looking forward to these matches. I would say mainly everyone up on the tour is preparing the same, playing the same.

Q. Jonas, you're 35 now. Are you expecting to continue to play Davis Cup much more?
JONAS BJORKMAN: In Sweden, we never really had a situation that we start thinking on retiring if you're still going to continue to play tennis. If I'm still going to continue to play, and Mats decides to pick me, you know, this is the best situation you can have, you're playing for your country. I don't see why I would focus on my own career.
It's part of tennis to play Davis Cup for your country. I think that's the biggest achievement you can have. So as long as I stay healthy and continue my career, Mats picks me, I will be playing Davis Cup.

Q. Mats, you said yesterday that you needed to see how well Jonas was going to play today and how long he was going to play before making a decision on tomorrow's lineup. Has anything changed in your mind?
CAPTAIN WILANDER: I hadn't really, to be honest, thought about tomorrow that much yet.
I think, to talk about the doubles, they both played a good match. I've seen Jonas and Simon play quite a few Davis Cup matches now. I would have to say that this is maybe their best match together as a team. If they win the first set, I'm sure it would definitely have been their best match. But the Bryan brothers just kept it coming.
It's something I'm going to have to talk to the guys about, talk to the coach, and we'll think about it. But so far we're just trying to figure out what happened today.

Q. Has Jonas approached you already about wanting to play?
CAPTAIN WILANDER: I haven't dared to approach him yet, no. No, we'll talk about it later.

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