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March 15, 1997

Jonas Bjorkman


JOE LYNCH: Jonas will pick up 196 ranking points, and heads to the Lipton where he made the semifinals in '95. This made his best Mercedes Super 9 performance.

Q. Weren't able to get the serve and volley game going today. Any particular reason for that?

JONAS BJORKMAN: My serve was not the greatest today. I never had a big serve, but I've been working on it really hard. I think it's been paying off the start of this year. I've been serving really well. Unusual coming up with some aces, even get a lot of free points, easy points. Today I tossed up. It felt -- it never felt good. My timing was never there, so I was struggling. From the back court, he was just hitting the ball so hard. I just came second all the time. I needed to maybe go up instead he was up in the lead all the time. If I could just be staying a little bit more to him, it would have been maybe different. But he got a great start in both sets. I never really got into the match.

Q. It seemed to me after you were down 4-0 in the set, that was the only time you were able to get that rhythm for a couple games?

JONAS BJORKMAN: At 4-Love I was hoping maybe not to win the set, but thinking for the future. Maybe try to work as hard as I could to just get a few games, get the rhythm back, maybe start picking up the game a little bit. I made a bad first game in the second set. All of that hard work, I just blew it away a little bit. It was not my day.

Q. He thought that your having played a lot of matches already this year, maybe you were starting to feel tired, thought you looked a little more tired than at the Australian. Do you feel a little worn out by the schedule?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I'm not used to playing so many matches like I've done this year, like you Americans. All the stats, I know I am 21-6 now. I think I won 25 matches last year. What I played last year, I've always been winning as many match this year already. I had three weeks off after the Australian Open. I think that was really important. That's why I've been still having good results this Tour so far, three semifinals and a second round losing to Pete. You know, it's been great. I'm feeling a little bit tired. You know, that's part of it, part of the game. I'd rather be tired a few days every week and still be able to be into the semis or finals every week. That's what you're hoping for. I'm just going to look into next week and be happy about this week. Like Joe said, I got a semifinal here in a Super 9. That's great for me. Hopefully I'll be able to be more consistent, even better, have a more solid level. Just got to think positive.

Q. Some more of those stats that we Americans love will show that three of the four semifinalists are very good claycourt players, Chang, Muster and Ulihrach. Is there something about this tournament or the conditions that produce that kind of a group?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I think it's the way it's been going the last year because all the claycourt guys has been working harder. They're playing more hardcourt tournaments than they did before. Normally they were back home, maybe having holiday for two months before starting in Mexico. Now everyone is over in Australian Open already. They learn the game on hardcourt, they've just been improving. I think it's just the way that they've been making a better progress on hardcourt.

Q. How difficult is it for you with your game to compete on this surface with those kind of players?

JONAS BJORKMAN: On this surface?

Q. Here at Indian Wells.

JONAS BJORKMAN: I think Bohdan is not the guy who fits me really good because he's hitting the ball on every shot. Australian Open, he hit everything out. He won the match for me that way. Today he won it because he put all the balls in almost. Normally I get the chance to move my opponent around a bit. When I play him, he's like the one who is in charge of the game already. I think all the other claycourters is quite good for me to play because I can control the game at least. Bohdan is hitting the ball really hard. It's tough to play him. There's no rhythm in the game really.

Q. Do you like the conditions here?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah. It's been the same conditions since I came over here my first time. I heard some people have been complaining, but I don't know what to complain about. You got blue sky and sunny. We can have a tournament in Sweden, you know, you definitely will not feel better. We have minus 10 every day. I can't see a reason why it's bad here. You've got the best conditions we have. I enjoy it every time I'm getting over here. You can play golf, hopefully play tennis. If you play well, you've got everything here. I see it really good here.

Q. Is this your favorite tournament?

JONAS BJORKMAN: It's definitely one of them. All the Swedish guys have Australian Open as a favorite one because we have always great support. Normally we don't get that from the Swedish people because they're a little shy. Maybe in Australia, it's a good price on the beer, they can relax a little bit. It's always great to be there. This one, in Indianapolis get this award, but definitely this one is competing to be better than Indianapolis.

Q. Maybe they should lower the beer prices.

JONAS BJORKMAN: I think the Americans, you know, know how to enjoy, to go to sports, ice hockey, soccer, tennis. You know how to handle that. You really enjoy all the games. Swedish tradition we've got is all.

Q. The judges think the beer over here is just strong water compared to Australia beer?

JONAS BJORKMAN: I don't know. Maybe it's not as strong as Australian. Definitely not as strong as the Swedish one.

Q. Jonas, where is your least favorite place to play?

JONAS BJORKMAN: Indoors is hard in Europe. Weather-wise, to be in this sort of tournaments, you don't even have to open to see if it's blue sky, you know it's blue sky, you just feel better to go to breakfast and have these conditions. I think indoors sometimes, in Antwerp, these tournaments could be hard. You see the rain, snow, whatever. It makes you a little bit depressed. I like to play in the States. I've been doing well so far. I have a lot of weeks here almost every year, so it's good.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else for Jonas? Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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