02-07-2006, 12:02 PM
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02-07-2006, 12:02 PM
post news and articles
02-16-2006, 09:58 AM
McEnroe wins in doubles in return to ATP Tour
By JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer
February 16, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- John McEnroe made a triumphant return to the ATP Tour, teaming with Jonas Bjorkman to win his first match in 12 years, 6-3, 6-3 over Wayne Arthurs and Stephen Huss on Wednesday night in a match that ended 19 minutes before McEnroe's 47th birthday.
"The old dog wanted to teach the young guys new tricks," McEnroe told the crowd before a birthday cake was wheeled out and the fans sang "Happy Birthday."
His hair grayer, his temper tamer and his opponents more powerful, McEnroe still showed off some of the skills that helped him win 77 career doubles titles as one of the game's greatest players.
He hit a forehand lob winner on break point to take a 2-1 lead in the second set and then held his serve at love. He held at love again at 4-3 before he and Bjorkman broke Arthurs' serve
McEnroe got a standing ovation and waved to the crowd of 7,158 as he was introduced at a tournament he won five times in singles and eight in doubles in his career.
He hit a volley winner on the first point of the match and held his serve all four times despite having less power than the other three players. He did serve up a 107 mph hour ace in the third game and poached a return by Huss for another volley winner to make it 3-2. His fastest serve of the match was 119 mph.
McEnroe and Bjorkman advanced to the quarterfinals where they will play Ashley Fisher and Tripp Phillips on Friday.
"One day, hopefully three to go," McEnroe said.
McEnroe became the first 46-year-old to win an ATP doubles match since Mansour Bahrami teamed with Cedric Pioline to do it in October 2002 in Basel, Switzerland.
McEnroe, who now plays on the Champions Tour for players 35 and older, has not played an ATP event since February 1994, when he and Boris Becker lost to Bjorkman and Jeremy Bates in the semifinals of an event at Rotterdam.
McEnroe, who won 10 of his 17 Grand Slam titles in doubles, is playing this event to try to give a boost to the declining state of doubles. It worked for one night because thousands of fans stayed almost until midnight to watch a first-round doubles match -- something that's usually unheard of.
The ATP has adopted a new doubles scoring system to help generate interest. There are no ad-games in the first two sets and if a match is tied at one set apiece, the teams will play a tiebreaker to decide the match. The first pair to get 10 points, with a two-point advantage, will win.
Bjorkman lost his singles match earlier to Dmitry Tursunov, who came back to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the second round.
02-16-2006, 12:41 PM
"It was nice. It’d been a long time, but it felt like I wasn’t playing. It’s nice to get back and open people’s eyes about doubles. We’ll open people’s eyes about that and I’ll keep playing with Jonas. He’s so solid and rises to the occasion, that’s the sign of a great player. I think we both rose to the occasion tonight and now there will be a let down and celebrate my birthday, and then we’ll have to regroup because then all of a sudden we’ll have higher expectations and maybe we can do this, so we have to make sure we’re ready for our match."
"I’d probably still be playing, but I’m not sure I’d be playing in tournaments. There’s a lot of things I said I wouldn’t do. I’m pretty much doing all the things I said I would never do. It’s good to still be part of the game as I look back and I think this is a very important time for tennis. We’ve got to bounce back and really go after fans moving into the next 10 years to hopefully be part of a real renaissance."
"I actually expected myself to be nervous when I was walking out there and feeling the atmosphere. I was feeling pretty good out there, but I wasn’t really sharp at the net, a little bit slow, and I felt like how can I feel this way when I have this opportunity, but everything got better and better and it’s awesome to have this opportunity to play with John and I’ve seen a lot of the forehand, cross court-angle, but it’s just great to be standing next to him when he hit that one. It was good quality out there."
02-19-2006, 12:14 PM
"Fan Favourites" awards are collecting votes now...
Jonas is up for 'favourite doubles team' :)
02-19-2006, 12:55 PM
ill vote :D
02-19-2006, 01:24 PM
my vote went to Jonas & Max :)
02-20-2006, 06:26 AM
Bjorkman-McEnroe Pair to Victory in San Jose
Jonas Bjorkman and John McEnroe made the most of the American legend's
return to the ATP circuit, capturing the SAP Open title in the Match
Tie-break to cap off a perfect week in San Jose.
The wild card duo defeated the all-American squad of Paul Goldstein and Jim
Thomas in Sunday's final, 7-6(2), 4-6, 10-7 (Match TB).
McEnroe notched his 40th doubles win in the Bay Area tournament, and added a
record ninth event title. His last title in the Bay Area came with Mark
Woodforde in the 1988 San Francisco tournament.
It was the 47-year-old's 101st career ATP level final (77-23) and Bjorkman's
82nd final showing (43-38). McEnroe last appearead in an ATP final on Nov.
8, 1992, when he captured his 77th career title at the Paris-indoor with
Both teams advanced to the event final by securing semifinal wins in the
Match Tie-break; Bjorkman/McEnroe defeated Czech Jaroslav Levinsky and Swede
Robert Lindstedt 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 (Match TB), while Goldstein and Thomas
upended top seeds Simon Aspelin and Todd Perry 6-3, 6-7(4), 10-3 (Match TB).
McEnroe, who plays on the Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions, said: "I didn’t
know what was going to happen, but I felt good that first day, so I thought
we had a chance. The key to success is working together with your partner
and picking a good partner and I did that. We were able to sync our energy.
We pumped each other up. They beat the first and third seeds and we beat the
second and fourth, so we knew it was coming down to the end. Not
surprisingly it went to the final tie breaker, but the right team won.
"I’ve got to enjoy this for a little bit, so I’m going to take a few months
off and then go back to where I belong on the Seniors tour and then enjoy
this (win) and let them think about (this win) for a little and we’ll see
Said Bjorkman: It’s always tough to come through and win a title like this,
but we’ve playing great from the start. We played better and better and had
to pick it up today even more, it looked like they were running away in the
second set, but we came out strong and won the tiebreak."
02-20-2006, 03:21 PM
voted Jonas & Max
BTW, Jonas's son is named Max, right?
02-20-2006, 04:35 PM
voted Jonas & Max
BTW, Jonas's son is named Max, right?
Yes, he is ;) I also think sometimes that it´s quite funny...
02-21-2006, 06:21 AM
McEnroe rolls back the years to take doubles title
Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:54 AM GMT
By Matthew Cronin
SAN JOSE Feb 19 (Reuters) - John McEnroe capped his comeback to the ATP Tour with a surprise doubles victory in the SAP Open final on Sunday, the veteran partnering Swede Jonas Bjorkman to a 7-6 4-6 10-7 win over Paul Goldstein and Jim Thomas.
Appearing in his first ATP tournament since 1994, the 47-year-old American displayed plenty of the trademark deft touches that once made him the number one player in the world.
"I'm surprised that it went to the final tiebreaker, but the right team won," McEnroe told reporters after the match.
"Jonas carried the weight. When I came here, I thought we could either lose in the first round or win the whole thing."
McEnroe's 78th doubles title came 15 years after his last, won with brother Patrick at the Paris Indoors in November 1992.
While McEnroe sports a full head of grey hair and has slowed his pace around the court, the seven-times grand slam champion stood firm against the weight of his opponent's heavy shots.
"I'm not surprised," Bjorkman said.
"He's so smart. He plays with his head. What really impressed me was how he managed to take the power of the younger guys so well."
Although he has a busy schedule of television broadcasting and senior events this year, McEnroe did not rule out playing another ATP tournament.
"Maybe I can find some of the younger American guys to play with," he said.
02-24-2006, 07:16 AM
from his homepage:
2006-02-20 A legend returned
John McEnroe and I won the doubles title in San Jose against Paul Goldstein och Jim Thomas with 7-6(2), 4-6, 10-7. It has been a true pleasure to team up with the legend McEnroe the past week. He is still in impressing shape, should easily be ranked top 50 as a doubles player. In the seventh game of the first set in the final, he lost his serve for the first time during the whole tournament. After the second set, it felt like they might run away with the victory, but we went ahead to 5-1 in the decisive tiebreak and could secure the title. McEnroe finished it off with a backhand volley. A great comeback on the ATP tour by a legend, and a great experience and honour for me!
03-07-2006, 06:25 AM
2006-03-06 Things to practice
I haven´t been serving as good as I should lately, and that has influenced my game in a bad way. I will work hard to improve my serving before Indian Wells on Thursday. I´ll also try to increase my speed, and practice together with Max Mirnyi as much as possible, because we haven´t really been playing at our very best since US Open last year. Now, we will try a few things and practice against other teams in order to regain our best game. If I, and we, just will win a few matches in a row, we´ll be back on track again.
2006-03-06 Impressive Nadal
Roger Federer had one set and one break up on Rafael Nadal in the final in Dubai, but he still didn´t manage to equalize to 2-2 in matches between them. Nadal won 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and has 3-1 up on Federer. Truly impressive, although I think that Nadal has become a mental as much as a physical opponent for Federer. This is a great outcome for the sport of tennis, with two really strong players fighting for the no. 1 spot, and with a bunch of sharp outsiders just behind them.
2006-03-06 Borg world news again
Björn Borg will always be a world class name. That was obvious when the news broke that he´s about to sell his Wimbledon trophys later this summer. Instantly I read about it in newspapers in Las Vegas and saw it on ESPN. I hope that somebody in Sweden will place a bid at the auction so that the trophys can remain in the country.
2006-03-06 Surreal Las Vegas
Nothing compares with Las Vegas. It´s a surreal city, like a neon mirage in the dessert, created around gambling, fascinating at night, not quite so fascinating in daylight. If you notice any difference. If you´re mainly indoors, in the gambling halls, there are no clocks on the walls telling you the time so you don´t know if it´s day or night. It´s like a world of its own, with its own, or none, sense of time. During the tournament in Las Vegas, we were quite a few players that tried our luck at the tables: the Bryans, Robert Lindstedt, Malisse, Sanguinetti, quite a few. I won a little every other day, but the bank is of course the big winner all the time. They say that 30 000 people comes in from Los Angeles to gamble every weekend. In the long run, this environment gets a bit tiresome with all the noise and sounds and cheering. It feels good to have travelled three hours in a car to Indian Wells.
2006-03-06 It´s my own fault
I should have done better in the singles in Las Vegas. The win against Gael Monfils in the first round was promising, I felt good and did also own the match against Ivo Karlovic for a long time. He´s diffcult to play against, serve and volley and not much else, but all of a sudden he lands a winner from nowhere. It´s easy to lose your own rhythm against that kind of players. All of a sudden I missed a few easy points, and at the same time he managed to land a couple of returns, and then everything turned around. I really felt that I controlled the match, but fumbled it away. I was very disappointed afterwards. I have to minimize my unforced errors in the future, then I have the capacity to win more matches. My win against Monfils proved that.
2006-03-06 McEnroe still attracts
I think that John McEnroe suprised many by beeing in such a good shape and beeing able to compete so well on this level. It was an awsome experience to get to play with him for a week in San Jose, and sharing a title with him will be something to remember when I look back on my career. I mean, previously I had just won AGAINST him... in 1994 when I and Jeremy Bates beat McEnroe and Becker. Now, I´ve also won WITH him. McEnroe still draws the crowds. We had 8 000 in the audience every night in San Jose, when it normally would have been 2 000.
2006-03-06 A tragedy for Thomas
Thomas Johanssons unfortunate eye injury feels tragic. The other season he injured his knee when he was heading for the top of the list, and now his eye just when he was about to establish himself in the top 10 after a fantastic year in 2005. Instead, he is forced to rest a few months, and his sight might never be totally recovered. I suffer with him.
03-07-2006, 08:25 AM
:awww: Thanks Peggy. Jonas is such a softie. (Like a teddy bear. He's the best :yeah: )
03-12-2006, 07:59 AM
Article from LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/sports/tennis/la-sp-tennis10mar10,1,849834.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-tennis&ctrack=1&cset=true)
Putting a Charge in It
Bjorkman is one of the few dedicated serve-volleyers left on tour
Some advice for tennis fans at Indian Wells for the start of the men's tournament in the Pacific Life Open today: Get a draw sheet, find the name Jonas Bjorkman and head out to the back courts.
That's where the Swedish journeyman will be, where he has been for most of his 16-year career, other than in 1997, when he stunned everybody by going 71-26 and finished the season ranked fourth in the world.
ADVERTISEMENTHe is no longer young, no longer a frequent sighting on the big courts with the luxury suites and the people sipping chardonnay in their designer Filas.
He is also no less entertaining and no less worth watching. At 33 — he will turn 34 on March 23 — he is the third-oldest regular participant on the men's tour, after Andre Agassi, one month from his 36th birthday, and Wayne Arthurs, a week from his 35th.
As much as his age, Bjorkman's style of play makes him a tennis dinosaur.
Bjorkman follows his serve to the net, a technique last seen commonly in the era of Jack Kramer, wooden rackets and long pants. Now, in men's tennis, players go to the net only when struck by diving birds that leave them dazed and disoriented.
It isn't totally their fault. They are now asked to play with balls that weigh as much as baseballs, fluffed up like a Don King hairdo and squished into slow courts of sandy, gooey compositions. A game not long ago played mostly on slick grass has become the Pro Swamplands Tour.
Among the men who play regularly, a few renegades still try to attack behind the serve — Taylor Dent, Tim Henman, Ivo Karlovic, Mario Ancic and Arthurs, as well as Bjorkman's current doubles partner, Max Mirnyi.
Bjorkman has never quit trying to serve and volley. He has reasons, and a sense of humor about it.
"I'd look pretty stupid if I stayed back at the baseline after hitting the kind of serve I do," he says.
He is also serious about what the game has become.
"It is sad to see the game go this way," he said. "When I'm done, I won't watch two guys stay back at the baseline and slug it out."
The true artists of the last serve-and-volley era, Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Patrick Rafter and Boris Becker, are gone.
Bjorkman has persevered at what he does because it is what he knows and what he likes. It has also meant that he has had most of his success in doubles, where you'd better know how to play at the net or you'll lose.
Last month, the Swedish dinosaur shared one side of the net with an American dinosaur, McEnroe. The result was a stunning tournament doubles title at San Jose.
The tournament director, Bill Rapp, had been working on getting the still-proficient McEnroe, now 47, back into an ATP main draw. He identified Bjorkman, with his 44 doubles titles and eight Grand Slam doubles titles, as a worthy partner.
McEnroe said yes, the two quickly clicked, and the San Jose championship was theirs.
"He is a true legend," Bjorkman said. "We see doubles the same way. It worked right away."
Like all so-called doubles specialists, Bjorkman bristles a bit at the label. He has been No. 4 in the world, seen the bright lights of the big-stadium center courts, been to a U.S. Open semifinal and a Wimbledon quarterfinal.
"It is still fun," he says. "It still feels the same when you get out on a center court. I still get the same chills as I did when I was 20. And in some ways, it is even better because now, if you are successful, it is so much bigger because the fields are so much better.
"I've been lucky. I haven't had a serious injury since 1990 [a year before he had a world ranking], and here I am, still trying. I never thought I'd be playing at 34."
He hasn't finished a year out of the top 75 since 1993, has played in 48 of the last 49 Grand Slam tournaments, has made more than $12 million in prize money, entered last week's Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas at No. 64 — he's No. 68 now — and has never stopped moving forward, in his goals and on his serve.
He lists among his highlights his 1-0 record against his friend and retired countryman, Edberg, winner of six Grand Slam singles titles, whom he beat in a third-round match at the U.S. Open.
"When I see him, I always remind him that I dominated him in singles," Bjorkman says. "He, of course, reminds me of the 40 or so practice matches we played, where he won them all."
03-12-2006, 12:27 PM
Kristen thanks so much for this nice article :hug:
03-15-2006, 07:50 AM
from Jonas homepage
I lost to the Australian Open finalist Marcos Bagdatis in the second round in Indian Wells, 4-6, 3-6, on Sunday. I´ve played really good tennis the last few days, have hit the ball perfectly, but I lost that feeling today, and just played bad: to many easy mistakes; to many ups and downs when I was serving. Very disappointing. Max Mirnyi and I are playing against Jose Acasuso and Sebastian Prieto, Argentina, on Tuesday.
Strangely bad weather here in Indian Wells lately. Normally it´s warm and pleasant, but now we have had the worst storm in 50 years with a lot of rain and temperatures down to 7 degrees celsius, which has distracted and delayed the schedule. The surrounding mountains usually keeps this kind of weather away, but once the storm found its way over the mountains, it seems that it can´t find the way out again. The mountains are covered with snow!
I beat Christophe Rochus, finallist in Rotterdam, with 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, in the first round in Indian Wells. I´ve practised 10 hours Monday to Wednesday the past week, and I´ve started to hit the ball really well again, found that feeling.
03-18-2006, 02:56 PM
from JBs Homepage2006-03-17
Semi final in Indian Wells
Max Mirnyi and I have advanced to the semi final in Indian Wells. We beat Zimonjic and Santoro in a quarter final that became as close as I had anticipated: 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 10-5. Again we proved an ability to win the really decisive points. There will be two top semi finals. Simon Aspelin and the Bryan brothers in one of them, and Max and I against Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor in the other.
It starts to look good. Max Mirnyi and I played really well when beating Justin Gimelstob and Stephen Huss in the second round in Indian Wells, 7-5, 6-1. We will now face Fabrice Santoro and Nenad Zimonjic in the quarter final. They are both ranked within top 12 in the world.
Max Mirnyi and I beat Sebastian Prieto and Jose Acasuso in the first round of the doubles in Indian Wells, 6-7, 7-6, 10-3. A tough match, but we played our best tennis when we needed it the most: in the second set tiebreak that we won 7-0, and in the decisive super tiebreak. I hope that this victory can inspire us to reach our true capacity. We will play against Justin Gimelstob and Stephen Huss on Wednesday.
03-19-2006, 07:08 AM
I was so wrapped up in Vinciguerra/Marach/Koubek this week that I forgot about-
a) Indian Wells
b) the doubles draw there.
Those are 4 excellent teams! But I hope and expect the Americans to go down :D LOL! :hatoff:
03-19-2006, 07:10 AM
Noone should ever ask me for betting advice.
(1)Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) d. Simon Aspelin/Todd Perry (SWE/AUS) 7-5 6-2
(3)Mark Knowles/Daniel Nestor (BAH/CAN) d. (2)Jonas Bjorkman/Max Mirnyi (SWE/BLR) 7-6(5) 6-1
03-20-2006, 01:50 PM
from Jonas homepage
Max Mirnyi and I lost the semi final in Indian Wells against Knowles and Nestor, just like last year, 7-6, 6-1. Hopefully that will mean, just like last year, that Max and I move on to win the title in Miami.
This was a well played match, and much closer than it might seem. We just didn´t manage to get the decisive points on our side. They have won here three times before, and it seems that they have that little extra luck that is necessary to win here, besides that they are one of the best and most consistent teams in the world, of course.
No breaks in the first set - although we had four chances. The tiebreak was also close. Our only mistake came on the set point, when we made the wrong tactical move. We got ourselves five chances to break their serve in the second set, but it just couldn´t be done today. But we have played much better than in a long time this week, really working to improve a few details in our game. I think we will be even better next week, and that our déjà vu lost here will be followed by a déjà vu win in Miami!
03-26-2006, 11:54 AM
from JB's Homepage
A title to defend
Rain has delayed the schedule in Miami. Max Mirnyi and I will probably enter the tournament on Saturday against Lopez and Verdasco. We have a title to defend from last year, and it would be great if we could do that and capture our first major title this year. It looks good, we played much better in Indian Wells the other week than earlier this year.
No energy left
I am starting to feel really worn out from travelling and playing almost every day since December 27. During this period I have just been back home for two days. I lost against the young Czech Robin Vik yesterday, 6-4, 6-4, and felt early on that I just didn´t´have any energy left, even though I hit the ball well.
Perfect set up
It will be great to come home after Miami and have two weeks without any matches before Monte Carlo Open, and then another two weeks off after the tournament, before I am going to Rome and Hamburg, then resting one more week before the French Open. That mix of relaxation and building up new strength will be perfect for me before I go into the grass tournaments. I am looking forward to it already!
No McEnroe in Båstad
There were som hopes that John McEnroe would come to play the doubles in Båstad, Sweden, this summer. But that will not happen. He will work for TV during Wimbledon and feels that he can´t get enough time to prepare, especially since Båstad is on clay, which never was McEnroes home turf so to speak. The possibility that we will play another tournament together later this year is still there. If so, most likely in the USA.
03-28-2006, 08:29 AM
JB writes a lot these days :)
QF in Miami
Max Mirnyi and I are through to the quarter final in Miami, after beating Garcia and Etlis 6-3, 6-2. We are a hot item now! At least it feels like the practise time we got together in Indian Wells meant a lot. Especially tactically: we could take about how we shall act in different situations, and try a few new things. We have found our way back to our own game, and we are playing our best tennis of the year. Our returns are good, we are really strong in our own serve, we play much more aggressively, and dare to risk more. We have found a way of playing that suits us, also considering the new supertiebreak system. We will play against skillful Damm and Stepanek next.
A good start
Max Mirnyi and I got a flying start of the tournament in Miami, when we beat Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round. Feels god to start up in such a convincing way. We will play against Gaston Etlis and Martin Garcia in the next round.
Hawkeye in focus
Everybody is talking about the "linesman" Hawkeye here in Miami: a filmcamera linked to a big flatscreen TV that shows wether the ball was in or out. If they are uncertain, the players can request the point to be rerun on the flatscreen, and everybody in the arena can see where the ball touched down. Its a good thought. An extra dimension for the fans, and no more room for hesitation or arguments among the players. Hopefully this possibility will be availiable also for players outside the centrecourt.
03-28-2006, 11:32 AM
This stuff always freaks me out:tape::
No energy left
I am starting to feel really worn out from travelling and playing almost every day since December 27. During this period I have just been back home for two days. I lost against the young Czech Robin Vik yesterday, 6-4, 6-4, and felt early on that I just didn´t´have any energy left, even though I hit the ball well.
But, I'm really glad he and Max are doing well in doubles :D :hatoff:
Not long til Max is back in Australia:D:D:D
04-01-2006, 09:00 AM
more from JB
Semi in Miami
Max Mirnyi and I are through to the semis (for the second time in a row) in Miami after beating tough opponents Radek Stepanek and Martin Damm, 6-4, 6-3. We work very well together now, everythings runs smoothly and confident. Our goal is to defend our title from last year, and to win our second title in 2006. We will probably face Bob and Mike Bryan in the final, if we make it there.
04-02-2006, 02:59 PM
An interview with:
JONAS BJORKMAN and 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.
MAX MIRNYI: Yes.
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.
MAX MIRNYI: Okay.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah.
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.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yes.
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.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports...
04-03-2006, 09:43 AM
more from Jonas:
We won in Miami
It feels just super great to wake up as champion of Miami! Max Mirnyi and I beat Bob and Mike Bryan on Saturday in the final, 6-4, 6-4. We played absolutely fantastic tennis again. Just great! This is the best tournament that Max and I have played together. We haven´t lost a set. We took the initiative immediately in the final, forced them to errors, and it felt like we were one step ahead all the time. Great to defend the title from last year. I´ll go back home to relax and rebuild for the clay season now. I couldn´t have entered those preparations with a better feling!
All the way in Miami
Max Mirnyi and I are through to the final in Miami on Saturday after beating Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett in the semifinal, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1). We played very, very well again, were one step ahead all the time, and we haven´t yet lost a set. All together this year we have 15-3 in matches. The final against Bob and Mike Bryan will be very interesting. They need to play their best tennis to touch us now! We want to defend our title from 2005.
04-04-2006, 09:12 AM
This is the funniest interview ever! (And it put a huuuge smile on my face ;)) Thanks for posting it Björki :wavey:
Miami BJORKMAN-MIRNYI/Bryan-Bryan 6-4, 6-4
Q. You'll be back, right?
JONAS BJORKMAN: For a three-peat, hopefully (smiling).
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. 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. 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. :haha:
04-12-2006, 02:44 PM
Get to know Jonas Bjorkman ... a really nice guy I think :)
it's from Tennis Plus - French tennis mag. May-June 2006
- the leopard
favorite sport besides tennis?
- golf and ride (horse)
- Coca Cola
- japanese food (sushis)
- Sean Paul
- The Silence of the Lambs
- Tommy Lee Jones
- Charlize Theron
- New York during 2 weeks
your main fault?
- (no reply)
your main quality?
- i'm a positive person, I never give up... I go till the end.
best memory in your career?
- my three victories in Davis Cup
worst memory in your career?
- defeat in Davis Cup final against France in 1996.
dream in tennis?
- being Number 1
the player you admire the most?
- Roger Federer
the wta player you admire the most?
- Justine Henin.
former player you admired the most?
- Stefan Edberg
former wta player you admired the most?
- Steffi Graf
the persons you are most attached to?
- my wife Petra
... if you were not a tennis-player?
- a hockey-player
... supposed you are alone on a desert island, what do you take with?
- playing cards
04-12-2006, 05:58 PM
Thank you Interlaken :)
04-23-2006, 03:32 PM
Here is a very long article about Jonas which I got from a friend in Sweden!
I have no time to translate it now, but will do it later today or tomorrow!
Sorry, that I copied it a bit strange...
Björkman ser framåt
DN i Monaco
http://www.dn.se/content/1/c4/65/51/littorinjens.gifJens Littorin (email@example.com)
MONte carlo. Jonas Björkman ser slutet på karriären - och början på en ny. Men innan han lägger tennisracketen på hyllan vill han spela dubbel med sin barndomshjälte John McEnroe igen. Ingen blir lyckligare än Jonas om det sker i Stockholm Open till hösten.
;http://www.dn.se/content/1/c6/53/86/89/jonas153.jpg Foto: Laura LeyshonJonas Björkman har siktet inställt på en ny karriär. Men innan han lägger av med tennisen vill han spela dubbel med John McEnroe igen.
Tennis (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1306&a=455949)http://www.dn.se/content/2/c4/03/26/orangeBox.gifNyheter•Tennisdamer klarade kvalet (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=539168)•Federer och Nadal till final i Monte Carlo (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=539129)•Söderling avstår turnering i Casablanca (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=539005)
http://www.dn.se/content/2/c4/03/26/orangeBox.gifKrönikor•Tänk om en tanig ryss nått semifinalen (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=516100)•Baghdatis - Cyperns Stenmark (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=515864)•En ofrånkomlig hyllningskrönika om Federer (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=515533)•"Dubbeln behöver en McEnroe" (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=515297)•INBLICK: De tyska slynglarna har vuxit upp (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=515098)•En hatmatch då och då är uppfriskande (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=514370)•Hårda femsetare kan slå tillbaka senare (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=514025)•DN:s Johan Orrenius om Australian Open dag 2 (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=513695)•DN:s Johan Orrenius om Australian Open dag 1 (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=513402)
http://www.dn.se/content/2/c4/03/26/orangeBox.gifReportage•Kungarnas klubbar kämpar om Stockholms tennistron (http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=672&a=497095)
http://www.dn.se/content/2/c4/03/26/orangeBox.gifLäs mer•ATP:s hemsida (http://www.atptennis.com/en/)•WTA:s hemsida (http://www.wtatour.com/)•Australian Open (http://www.australianopen.com/pages/default.aspx?id=15)•Franska Öppna (http://www.fft.fr/rolandgarros/en/Frame_RG.html)•Wimbledon (http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/index.html)•US Open (http://www.usopen.org/en_US/index.html)•Davis Cup (http://www.daviscup.com/)•Fed Cup (http://www.fedcup.com/)
Det är dagen då Jonas Björkman nås av beskedet att Thomas Enqvist beslutat sätta punkt för sin karriär. "Väntat, men ändå tråkigt. Vi glömmer lätt bort vilken bra karriär han haft", säger Björkman om den två år yngre kollegans beslut.
34-årige Jonas hade trott att det var han som skulle bli först att lämna cirkusen.
- Jag hade väl aldrig trott att jag skulle hålla på när jag var 34 år, men det är så himla kul att man fortfarande kan utmana de yngre killarna i singel och framför allt i dubbel, säger Björkman där han sitter med ett glas apelsinjuice i vip-området på Monte Carlos Country Club.
Han har just i par med Max Mirnij enkelt avancerat till tredje omgången av dubbelturneringen.
Toppspelet som han och vitryssen fann vid turneringssegern i Miami för drygt två veckor sedan har än en gång fått tankarna på karriärslutet att skingras.
- Spelet i Miami var det bästa vi presterat tillsammans och vi visade hur bra vi kompletterar varandra. Max har väldigt bra serve och jag har mina returer, säger Björkman.
Annars är det med en annan partner som den svenske veteranen skapat de stora rubrikerna. Björkmans turneringsseger i San José tillsammans med John McEnroe är tennisvärldens snackis så här långt under säsongen. Även för den mångfaldige Grand Slam-vinnaren Jonas Björkman var det en av karriärens höjdpunkter.
- Björn Borg och John McEnroe var mina idoler när jag var yngre. Borg har jag aldrig ens tränat med, men nu har jag i alla fall spelat tillsammans med McEnroe. Det var otroligt kul, särskilt som vi spelade så bra och vann, säger Björkman och förklarar att det inte behöver ha varit en engångsföreteelse.
- I början på veckan sade John att han bara ville spela en gång. Efter finalen sade att han att det var jäkligt kul och att vi skulle ta ett snack och se om det går att göra om.
Både Båstad och Stockholm Open har visat sitt intresse, men när det gäller turneringen i Skåne i sommar har McEnroe förklarat att han inte har tid. Stockholm Open däremot...
- Bollen ligger mest hos McEnroe. Han har rätt mycket åtaganden på seniortouren. Samtidigt vill han inte bara klampa in och ta platsen från Max. Vi har ju våra egna mål. Det gäller att hitta en turnering där Max och jag inte har för avsikt att spela, säger Björkman.
McEnroe kommer till Rom nästa månad. Då ska han och Björkman träffas tillsammans med respektive agenter och försöka hitta ett datum.
McEnroe i comeback i Stockholm - snacka om publikmagnet.
- Ja, då får vi nog flytta tillbaka från Kungliga till Globen. Jag tror lätt att han skulle dra 15.000 personer. Det skulle vara jäkligt kul, säger Björkman.
Jonas är en av de spelare som jobbat hårt för att popularisera dubbelspelet, som han anser styvmoderligt behandlat både av tävlingsledningar och ATP-touren genom åren. Han anser att positiva saker börjat hända sedan den nye tourbossen Etienne de Williers tog över i fjol.
Björkman berättar att det slogs publikrekord i Miami och även i Monaco har det under de inledande tävlingdagarna varit fullt på läktarna.
Jonas har under sina många år på touren skaffat sig idéer om hur tennisen kan utvecklas, men när han drar sig tillbaka kommer han inte att arbeta på tävlingsledningens utan på spelarnas sida. Björkman kommer att ta en plats hos agentföretaget Podium där hans rådgivare Daniel Wessfeldt är delägare.
Podium har hittills främst satsat på friidrott, men siktar nu även på att få in tennis- och golfspelare i sitt stall.
- Det är väl meningen att jag skall bidra med min erfarenhet från en lång tenniskarriär. Jag känner i stort sett alla som jobbar inom sporten, från tävlingsledare till klädleverantörer.
Han tror att han som spelare har en fördel när han kliver över till andra sidan.
- Vissa agenter jobbar väldigt dåligt. Ligger man i toppen kommer de och frågar hur läget är, trillar man på rankningen är man bortglömd. Jag tror att det går att hitta en bättre balans, helt enkelt göra en bättre produkt för klienterna just för att jag som spelare vet vad de vill ha, säger Björkman.
04-25-2006, 12:26 PM
looking forward to the translation Birte :hug:
from his homepage
Two in a row
Max Mirnyi and I followed up our win in Miami by winning the title in Monte Carlo on Sunday, 6-2, 7-6 against Nenad Zimonjic and Fabrice Santoro. Two in a row now. Four this season. So we´ll just keep this pace now and win one title a month the rest of the year... This was my 46th title all together, and my third win in Monte Carlo.
It started to feel really good in Indian Wells, in Miami Max and I played brilliantly, and since then we´ve just kept on going with a great confidence. We played convincingly all week in Monte Carlo. Feels great right now!
I will rest a little bit now, and then play in Rome, Hamburg, and the French Open in Paris.
04-26-2006, 11:42 AM
yaay all positive :D
04-27-2006, 07:03 AM
Jonas is playing doubles with McEnroe in Stockholm?!
04-27-2006, 09:37 PM
Jonas is playing doubles with McEnroe in Stockholm?!
No, it´s not decided yet. Jonas would like the idea, but McEnroe did not decide yet. Jonas said that if so, they maybe had to move back to Globen, because so many spectators would come then... ;)
05-09-2006, 09:37 AM
JB wrotes again....
Tourist in Rome
It still hurts to lose, as always. But that can sometimes open up for a quite ok cure. My loss on Saturday, when I injured my shoulder so I just have been able to practise lightly, gave me and Petra some time to see the classic tourist attractions in Rome: Colosseum, Fontana di Trevi, The Spanish steps, The Vatican; all these things you´re expected to do when in Rome, but stops we just have had time to do a few of earlier. Besides that, we have focused on eating great food, which is something that happens almost automatically here.
My shoulder shouldn´t be causing me any problems on Wednesday, when Max Mirnyi and I will play against the winner of Huss/Suk and Grosjean/Srichaphan. Max lost against Ginepri in the first round, but he seems to be in good form. We want to win the title here this year, as simple as that!
High hopes in Rome
After visiting my family in Båstad, Sweden, I went back to Monte Carlo last Sunday, spent this week training with Thomas Johansson, Ivan Ljubicic, and Novak Djokovic. Now I am heading for Rome, the only tournament of the Grand Slams and Super Nine that I haven´t yet won. Rome and Wimbledon are the main targets for Max Mirnyi and me this season. Our form and confidence are great after two censecutive tournament victories. We are chasing the Bryan brothers as last year, and I guess we will trade first place in the rankings back and forth now as we did then - ok with me as long as we end the year as no. 1...! We are heading into a string of major tournaments now - Rome, Hamburg, Paris, soon Wimbledon - so it is important that we play top tennis, reaching better results than the Bryans preferably. The clay is reasonably fast in Rome, so I hope to be able to do a ok result in the singles.
05-21-2006, 03:41 PM
Max Mirnyi and I won our first match in Hamburg against Robert Lindstedt and Jarkko Nieminen, 6-4, 6-1. In their turn, they made a strong performance against Damm and Suk in the first round when they turned a threatening defeat around. The first set against Lindstedt/Nieminen was really close, but we could "kill" the match when we put pressure on them at the same time that they lost their edge a little bit in the second set.
We will play against Zimonjic and Santoro today. We have beaten them three times already this year, and I hope and think that we can continue that trend.
Defending the title
I just saw Thomas Johansson lose against Mathieu in Hamburg. Thomas won a round in Rome last week, which was a good effort, but these tournaments are tough to do a comeback in. Especially if you, such as Thomas, gets to play evening matches despite that you then only have 70 percent of your normal eyesight, which happened in Rome. Maybe not the best arrangement.
It still stings that Max Mirnyi and I blew a chance to reach the final in Rome, win it, and climb to the first spot in the rankings. We had a golden oppurtunity when the Bryan brothers lost in the quarter final. But - just get over it! We got a little bit closer to the Bryans, and on Wednesday or Thursday we will play against Lindstedt/Nieminen or Damm/Suk, and we are here to defend our title. The form is good and my shoulder feels okey again.
Rome haunts me
Rome is still the only one of the big tournaments that I haven´t won. On Saturday, Max Mirnyi and I lost the semi final against Knowles and Nestor, 3-6, 6-7, despite the fact that we had a 5-1 lead in the second set and plenty of oppurtunities to take control over the match. But we wanted to win this tournament a little bit too much, and made a few unforced errors too many. I have been treated with laser all week for my injured shoulder, but I can play at my full capacity nopw, so I can´t blame our loss on that either...!
Next stop Hamburg.
05-24-2006, 07:29 AM
Focused on Paris
We lost the quarter final in Hamburg against Zimonjic and Santoro, 6-4, 7-5. Feels a little sour considering that the Bryans didn´t reach the final for the second tournament in a row. We could have narrowed the gap in the rankings with a better result. Rain and long matches forced us to play our quarter final around midnight. We weren´t on our toes, but Zimonjic and Santoro also played very good tennis. Both Max Mirnyi and I feel that our form is still there, and I think that clay is our best surface, so this week I will be in Monte Carlo preparing for the French Open that starts on Sunday. We won the title there last year, and we really want to defend it this time around.
05-25-2006, 12:41 PM
What about grass Jonas!!!
05-25-2006, 04:02 PM
It's ok Siobhan. Clay is just a means to an end... and grass is the be all and end all (for some tennis fans anyway :angel: :lol: Can't wait for the grass to get here!)
Kom igen Bjösse!
05-26-2006, 08:01 AM
I am sure he hardly wants to win Wimbledon again :D
06-04-2006, 02:52 PM
update from JB hompage.
A coming star
This Jeremy Chardy - he´s going to be really good. He was to good for me on Tuesday already, when I lost 6-2, 7-5, 6-2. His style, with a heavy forehand and a steady backhand, suited me badly. The weather was not on my side either, cold and rainy, which made the balls slow and heavy. But I would have had my hands full even on a sunny summer day - this guy, only 19, is going to be really good.
Max Mirnyi will play in the second round on Wednesday. On Thursday we will meet Robert Lindstedt and Jarkko Nieminen. A pitty that we have to meet them so early in such a big draw, seen from a Swedish and Scandinavian perspective. We beat them in Hamburg in a tough match, so we need to be on our toes in this one.
Into the French Open
Cold and rain showers in Paris. I will play my first round in the French Open today against Jeremy Chardy, a French wild card player that might look like an easy task on paper, but he will surely be hard to handle in reality. He is a promising 19 year old that won Wimbledion and reached the US Open final last year as a junior; he is big, allround, with strong serve and forehand, and he will certainly be supercharged in front of his home crowd. I will have to work hard and use my experience to pull it off!
I trained well last week and feel prepared.
As usual it is a special atmosphere here, with a demanding crowd that knows their tennis.
This is my 14th French Openin a row since 1993. My best memory is of course the doubles title I won 2005, which was the only Grand Slam title that I hadn´t´won
06-11-2006, 09:22 AM
Double pleasure for Bjorkman - Mirnyi
By Araz Gulekjian
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Second-seeded Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi lifted their second Grand Slam trophy on Saturday after successfully defending their Roland Garros crown.
The Swede and Belarusian (who remain undefeated at Roland Garros, having won 10 straight matches in the past two years), overcame a first set deficit to post a 6-7(5) 6-4 7-5 triumph over US twin brothers Mike and Bob Bryan (No1) in two hours and 30 minutes.
"It's sweet to win back to back. One or two points made the difference today," said Bjorkman, who has captured all four finals he entered this season alongside different partners.
"It was a big battle between two of the top teams. This is as good as doubles get."
The Bryan brothers were through to their sixth consecutive Grand Slam doubles final, the first men's doubles team in the Open era to do so. They were the first team to win back-to-back Grand Slam titles since Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge (who collected the 2003 Wimbledon and US Open trophies).
In the first set, both teams comfortably held their respective serves. At 5-4 up, Bjorkman squandered a golden opportunity to snatch the first set, misfiring badly on his backhand return. The two teams went toe to toe until the tiebreaker where Bjorkman double-faulted to hand the first set to the Americans.
Relying on some fine returning, the Swedish veteran and Belarusian broke back in the fifth game of the second set to level the match at one set apiece.
In the ensuing set, Bjorkman (who has won seven other majors in doubles), and Mirnyi made the difference in the twelfth game. They took their opponent's delivery for one last time, the Swede serving it out in commanding fashion in the following game.
In 2006, Bjorkman and Mirnyi have also clinched back-to-back titles in Miami and Monte Carlo.
Fourteen of Bjorkman's 46 career doubles crowns came alongside Australian Todd Woodbridge. The Swede has won at least one doubles title every year since taking his first in 1994.
Mirnyi lifted his 29th career doubles trophy on Saturday.
06-11-2006, 09:25 AM
Bjorkman/Mirnyi Win Roland Garros Final Over Bryans
Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Max Mirnyi of Belarus won their second straight title at Roland Garros in Paris over the American twins Bob and Mike Bryan, 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5 Saturday.
The victors were seeded second, while the Bryans, who also were runners-up in Paris last year, were seeded first. The match lasted two hours and 30 minutes.
Bjorkman, 34, and Mirnyi, 28, lifted their record for the year to 28-5, while the Bryans, 28, slipped to 34-8.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi are now 2-0 against the Bryans this year, beating them in April at the NASDAQ-100 Open final in Miami too. But the Bryans still have a 4-3 career edge over Bjorkman and Mirnyi (see chart below).
The winners have now captured four titles this year, previously taking Doha in January (d. C. Rochus-O. Rochus), Miami in April and Monte-Carlo in April (d. Santoro-Zimonjic). Coming into Roland Garros, Bjorkman and Mirnyi were third in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race.
The two Roland Garros trophies represent Bjorkman and Mirnyi's only Grand Slam titles together. They lost in the final of the 2005 US Open to the Bryans.
Bjorkman has won nine major crowns all together, with four different partners (Mirnyi, Woodbridge, Rafter, Eltingh). In addition to Roland Garros in 2005-06, Bjorkman won the Australian Open title in 1998-99, 2001; Wimbledon in 2002-04; and the US Open in 2003.
Mirnyi has won four major men's titles with three different partners. In addition to the two Roland Garros crowns, he won the US Open in 2000 (with Hewitt) and in 2002 (with Bhupathi).
With 611 career doubles wins, Bjorkman trails Cyrul Suk by only one victory for the most match wins by an active ATP doubles player.
The Bryans were seeking their third straight Grand Slam title (after the 2005 US Open and the 2006 Australian Open), which would have tied an Open Era record set by Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde in 1996-97. This was the Bryan brothers' sixth consecutive appearance in a Grand Slam final, which broke Woodbridge and Woodforde's Open Era record, also set in 1996-97.
The Bryans are now 3-6 in Grand Slam finals. They won the Australian Open this year, the US Open last year (over Bjorkman-Mirnyi) and Roland Garros in 2003. In addition to their losses at Roland Garros in 2005-06, the Bryans fell in the finals of the Australian Open in 2004-5, the final of Wimbledon in 2005 and the final of the US Open in 2003.
The Bryan brothers have won two titles this year (the Australian Open and Las Vegas) and were runners-up five times, including Roland Garros. Coming into Paris, they were the No. 1 team in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race.
WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID
Bjorkman: "It's always nice with repeats. I think clay is the surface on which we really are doing well. We do well on all surfaces, but I think our strength on clay comes out even better."
On his play in the first set: "That was probably the worst I returned in one set for the last 15 years I played. For my standard, that was very, very poor. I couldn't really find the explanation. I was just so shocked that I didn't put any ball in the court. I mis-hit it and mis-timed it. They served well, but, still, with my standard, I should make a lot more returns."
"I was just trying to stay positive and hang in with it. I think that's a strength in our team. Max kept pushing me and kept me positive. And then after a while, I started to pick it up, and we managed to put sort of a good finish in the end when we both played well."
On their history playing the Bryans: "We played so often, even before me and Max teamed up. I played them a lot, and Max has been playing them a lot. Last year, record-wise, we were down. Now we've been coming back strongly. So obviously, anyone can win when we go out there."
"It's been great, good quality matches when we play, normally very good tennis, good doubles to watch. I think that's going to continue for the rest of the year. It's going to be probably more matches we have to play each other and more finals."
Mirnyi: "Ranking-wise, the Bryans are the best team. But on any given day, there are maybe five, seven teams that could be just as good. But it is special to beat them for the second time to win the title, sure."
Mike Bryan: "We almost won the French Open again. So we're pretty happy with the week"
On Bjorkman: "I think Jonas, he did step it up. I thought we served good all the way through, but he came up large on some returns, especially in the second and third. It's tough when he's seeing it that well. It actually doesn't really matter where you serve it, because he's good off both sides, and you just got to give him different looks. But too good by him."
Bob Bryan: "Three [Grand Slam titles in a row] would have been sweet. But we still had to win one more to break the record. So it's not like we blew it right here. They played too tough. We had chances. We put ourselves in position to win that thing in the third. Had those four breakpoints. But they came up with the goods. They just played better than us today. That's the bottom line."
On the break in the third set: "It was deja vu, basically the same thing as last year. We'd been holding pretty much the whole way through. Then one game, they lit it up. Mike might have missed a couple first serves, but Jonas hit that return winner at I think love-15 to put us in a hole, and Max got hot on the return."
"Jonas is solid. Max is sometimes the X factor. But he was putting a lot of returns in and not missing first serves. It made that team tough to beat today."
BRYANS v BJORKMAN/MIRNYI HEAD2HEAD
(Bryans lead 4-3)
2005 Australian Open Hard SF BRYAN / BRYAN 6-1 6-3
2005 Rome Clay SF BRYAN / BRYAN 6-3 4-6 6-2
2005 French Open Clay F BJORKMAN / MIRNYI 2-6 6-1 6-4
2005 Queen's Grass F BRYAN / BRYAN 7-6(9) 7-6(4)
2005 U.S. Open Hard F BRYAN / BRYAN 6-1 6-4
2006 Miami Hard (O) F BJORKMAN/MIRNYI 64 64
2006 French Open Clay F BJORKMAN / MIRNYI 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5
06-11-2006, 05:45 PM
By Greg Garber, ESPN.com
PARIS -- Here it was at long last, No. 1 vs. No. 2, the great championship final at Roland Garros.
But Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were nowhere to be seen; they had stopped by the interview room earlier in the afternoon. Their match will be the piece de resistance of this French Open when they meet on Sunday for the singles title. In the insular world of men's doubles, however, Saturday's meeting at Court Phillipe Chatrier was a titanic clash.
It featured the No. 1-seeded team of Bob and Mike Bryan versus the No. 2-seeded team of Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi. Naturally, it went down to the end of the third set.
The score was 5-all, but Bjorkman and Mirnyi broke Mike Bryan's serve when Mirnyi hit a devastating backhand volley winner. Then Bjorkman served it out for the match. The ultimate point came on a serve that Mike Bryan couldn't keep in the court.
Thus, Bjorkman and Minyi prevailed 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-5 in a match that required 2 hours, 30 minutes. And so, Bjorkman and Mirnyi successfully defended their 2005 title here at Roland Garros.
"I hope you really enjoyed it," Bjorkman told the crowd after accepting the winning trophies. "That's as good as doubles gets."
The 28-year-old Bryan twins from Camarillo, Calif., who had already reached six consecutive Grand Slam finals, failed to match the Open-era record by winning their third consecutive Grand Slam doubles championship. They were trying to equal the feat of Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, who won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 1996 and the 1997 Australian Open.
"It's sweet to win back-to-back," Bjorkman said. "Hopfully, Max and I will get back here next year."
06-12-2006, 07:44 AM
French Open finalist!
Max Mirnyi and I will play in the final of the French Open on Saturday - in the middle of the soccer World Cup start-up and everything! - after beating Pavel Vizner and Lukas Dlouhy in the semi final yesterday, 6-3, 6-3. We won quite easily. We broke their serve at 4-3 in the first set, could serve for the set, and when we broke their serve again in the opening of the second set, it felt like they didn´t believe that they could turn the match around. We´ve had a quite comfortable ride to the final, so I hope we can let everything out on Saturday. The rivallery between the Bryans, our opponents in the final again, is similar to the one between Federer and Nadal. It´s thrilling to match ourselves against them every week in the fight over the first spot in the rankings.
The Bryans have been impressive this year. The final on Saturday is their sixth consecutive. Our record against them on clay is 1-1. We beat them in the final in Miami in straight sets in our only match this year, and if we play like that this time, they will have a hard time beating us!
Max and I won here last year. That was the only Grand Slam title I hadn´t won uptil then. That victory meant that I can play without feeling any pressure this year, I can just go out there, enjoy the moment, and give it all I have. If we win again on Saturday, I will pass Anders Järryd and be the first Swedish doubles player to reach nine Grand Slam titles.
But I have to say that the schedule for Saturday is a little bit stressful. The second match after 2 pm means that I risque missing Swedens opening match against Trinidad and Tobago in the soccer World Cup! Not good at all. I have to see the second half at least!
It might be a fantastic Saturday, though: lift the shiny trophy at Roland Garros, smoke a victory cigar, and then take a seat in front of the TV to watch Sweden play like world champions in Germany.
Then I have to have a talk with the people at Queens so they schedule our matches next week in a more soccer-World-Cup-friendly way...
A morning for champions!
There is no better way to wake up and start a day, than as a freshly baked world champion!
On Saturday, Max Mirnyi and I won the French Open final against Bob and Mike Bryan, 6-7, 6-4, 7-5, in a very close and tough match over two and a half hours. Very close, just a few points divided us. They started out best, but we were steady and strong and kept our level all through the match, at the same time that they maybe dropped a little in quality.
I think the fact that we won here last year, and I got the only Grand Slam title that I hadn´t won so far, helped us to perform so strong and play completely without feeling any pressure. We just loved beeing in this GS final, and just went out and played our best tennis. An evidence of our mental strength came at 5-5 in the third set. We broke their serve and then held ours without losing a point.
This was our fourth title of the year. We now have 28-5 in matches and 2-0 against the Bryan´s (3-4 all together). We closed in a lot on the gap and should be just a few points behind them in the rankings.
Now we will take the train from Paris straight into the grass season. First Queens, then Wimbledon which is our biggest goal this year, since Max haven´t won there yet.
What a wonderful feeling this is!
06-16-2006, 02:20 PM
more from JB
Good start in Queens
Max Mirnyi and I won our first match in Queens yesterday, beating the brits Jamie Delgado and James Auckland 6-7, 6-4, 10-6. We should have won in straight sets if the judge hadn´t made a wrong call on a set point in the first set, but we played steady tennis and were never threatened in our own serve. We will play against James Blake and Mardy Fish next. They both have good form in the singles so we have to watch out.
We´re closing in
Max Mirnyi and I are really closing in on the Bryan´s. They are still ranked as no. 1, but we are second, just 7 points behind following our victory in Paris. Now, we are looking forward to a good tournament in Queens, and then winning the title in Wimbledon and step up to first place in the rankings. That is a perfect plan!
Work on my game
My doubles game are very good at the moment, but not my singles. I need to focus on that, to practice and above all win a few matches and find my rhythm and competitive touch again. I will therefor play and practice a lot with Todd Woodbridge and Thomas Johansson the upcoming weeks.
06-19-2006, 08:01 AM
Bjorkman/Mirnyi Take No.1 Spot in Stanford ATP Doubles Race
Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi Fresh off the successful defense of their Roland Garros title, the doubles team of Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi has moved into the No. 1 position in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi replaced Bob and Mike Bryan in top spot after the Bryans fell in the semifinals of the Stella Artois Championships and Bjorkman/Mirnyi advanced to the final.
“It’s a long way to go,” Bjorkman said. “We’ve been closing the gap since the start of the year. It’s probably going to be the same tight race like it was last year.”
By reaching the final, Bjorkman/Mirnyi hold a four-point lead over the Bryans, 654-650.
“It certainly feels good to be the leader of the Race, but at the same time, it’s important to keep improving your game and just work week to week,” Mirnyi said. “The more successful matches we have, the better for us.”
06-19-2006, 08:01 AM
The fourth-seeded tandem of Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett upset the second-seeded team of Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi 6-4, 3-6, 10-8 (Match TB) to take the crown at Queen’s. This is the fourth title this season for the duo. They have taken crowns at ATP events in Rotterdam, Dubai and Hamburg.
This is the team’s first Queen’s title together but Ullyett’s second doubles title in the last three years. He captured the 2003 crown with then-partner Wayne Black.
With today’s win they will overtake the third-place team of Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor and will sit in third place in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race. Previously the team sat in fourth place, just 23 points behind Knowles and Nestor.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi finish as runner-up for the second year. Last season they fell in the final to Bob and Mike Bryan. But by finishing one round ahead of the Bryans, who fell this year in the semifinals, Bjorkman and Mirnyi take over the lead of the Stanford ATP Doubles Race.
Ullyett said: “To win this feels good. We started off a bit shaky this week going to a third set tie-breaker but after that we really got on a roll and played some of our best tennis. It was great to beat both the Bryans in the semifinals and Bjorkman/Mirnyi in the final. They’re the top two teams in the Race and it gives us lots of confidence going into Wimbledon.”
Hanley said: “Kevin and I have a pretty good record in the super tie-break so whenever we go into one we feel like we have a good chance. It was a little up and down but we tried to stay in the match and to our credit we never gave up. It was great to win an event, especially to beat two of the top pairs in the world.”
06-20-2006, 06:57 AM
On top of the world!
The good news first: Max Mirnyi and I are now ranked as the worlds best doubles tennis team, since Bob and Mike Bryan just reached the semi final in Queens, while we reached the final.
Then the not so good news: Max and I lost this weekends final in Queens against Kevin Ullyett and Paul Hanley in a very close match, 4-6, 6-3, 8-10. It didn´t come easy for us this week. We lost the first sets, came back to win the second sets, and the played really good super tiebreaks to win the matches. The final was nearly exactly the same. They broke our serve twice and got 3-0 directly in the first set. We broke them at 3-2 in the second set, and then played good into the super tiebreak. We really should have won it, we had a 5-3 lead, and 8-6 with a serve of our own, but unfortunately we made a few tactical mistakes that we will talk about and correct until Wimbledon starts.
This was the first time that we lost a super tiebreak. Not the best timing maybe, but let´s see it this way: now we have more to give in Wimbledon. And I also think that we have a slight psychological advantage against the Bryan´s.
Single in Nottingham
This week I will play the singles in Nottingham. I have fond memories from this place, having won the tournament twice, and I hope that this can help me to improve my singles game. I have to be more consistant, make less easy mistakes, and control the frustration I sometimes feel over the fact that I can´t quite manage to play as good in matches that I do when I´m training. It would be great for my game and confidence just to win a few matches. That would ease the tension that you build up when you don´t live up to your full potential.
I will play against the Argentinian Agustin Calleri on Tuesday. He is a hard hitter and good on hardcourt, so it won´t be an easy match. But the sweeter the victory!
06-21-2006, 01:31 PM
Successful crappy tennis
I won against Agustin Calleri in Nottingham yesterday, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. I tried to play my aggressive grass tennis at first, but then he almost blew me off the court, passed me all the time, had more than 20 winners. When he broke my serve immediately in the second set, I decided to play "crappy" tennis: stayed at the back of the court, sliced the ball, played slow first serves. When I didn´t hit the ball hard, and didn´t give him a high tempo to respond to, he almost paniced. I continued my variation and won six straight games, and kept on frustrating him in the decisive third set.
Very important for me to win again.
Hopefully I can make that a tradition against the Czech Jiri Vanek today. I beat him 6-4 3-6 6-4 7-6(4) in our only match so far, in Australian Open in 2000.
06-22-2006, 06:26 AM
McEnroe to Reunite with Bjorkman in Stockholm
John McEnroe will return to the ATP circuit in October when he partners Jonas Bjorkman at the if… Stockholm Open. McEnroe stepped out of retirement earlier this year when he and Bjorkman won the SAP Open title in San Jose – McEnroe’s 78th career doubles title.
“It feels extremely good to return to if… Stockholm Open, which has always been one of my favorite tournaments,” McEnroe said. “I’m also looking forward to playing with Jonas and our goal is without a doubt to win the tournament.”
McEnroe made his last appearance in the Royal Tennis Hall in 1985. He won the Stockholm doubles title in 1979 with Peter Fleming, and has captured the singles crown on four occasions (1978, 1979, 1984 and 1985).
If… Stockholm Open was founded in 1969 and will hold its 38th edition of the event from October 7-15, 2006.
06-22-2006, 07:30 AM
LMAO at him and his crappy tennis!!!
Nice work Jonas :lol:
Poor Max... Playing with Mac? I dunno... I mean, exciting for tennis, but I have a huge soft spot for Max...
06-22-2006, 07:47 AM
Max isn't playing Stockholm he plays Moscow so JB needed another partner.
However I would prefer Max as well.
06-23-2006, 08:01 AM
QF in Nottingham
I will play against Feliciano Lopez in the quarter finals today after beating Jiri Vanek yesterday, 6-3, 6-3. Feels great. Important for me to be winning again after a down period. I played smart against Vanek with good variation, and thought through attacks to the net. You have to play very effective volleys here, otherwise they will pass you immediately.
Feliciano Lopez is an aggressive player with a good serve, and like me he has found his game again in this tournament. It can go either way. But have got the taste for winning now...!
With McEnroe in Stockholm Open!
We´ve been talking about it for some time, and now it´s decided: I will bring John McEnroe with me to Stockholm Open this year, and we´ll be there to win the tournament!
It was a fantastic experience to play with John McEnroe in San Jose earlier this year. It was his comeback to the ATP tour, and it couldn´t have turned out in a better way. We won the tournament then, and it feels very special for me to get the oppurtunity to play with John again, and maybe repeat our success, on my homeground in Stockholm.
John McEnroe is a legend. An extraordinary tennis player. But also with a certain kind of magic arround his personality. To play side by side with him is a great honour for any player on the tour today.
We found each other on the court in a very natural way in San Jose. We think about tennis in the same way and use our instincts and feeling. It will be much more difficult to win in Stockholm than in San Jose. Stockholm Open is twice as big, and 3 or 4 of the 10 best doubles teams in the world comes to the tournament every year. But we come to win, anything else is out of the question.
Regardless if we will go all the way or not, it´s going to be a great "homecoming party"!
06-23-2006, 07:09 PM
Gasquet Reaches First Final in 2006; Faces Bjorkman
© Getty Images
Jonas Bjorkman Defending champion Richard Gasquet moved into the final of the Red Letter Days Open in Nottingham as the 20-year-old defeated Robin Soderling 7-6(7), 7-6(5) in one hour, 36 minutes.
The Frenchman, who improved to 9-0 at the grass court event, is looking to bounce back from a slow 2006 start. In September 2005 Gasquet reached his career-high ranking No.12 but an elbow injury sidelined him for the rest of the 2006 season.
Gasquet, one of only three players to defeat Federer in the past two years (Rafael Nadal and David Nalbandian are the other two), had failed to advance past the round of 16 in his first 11 tournaments this season.
En route to the final, Gasquet defeated qualifier Ivan Navarro Pastor of Spain, Italian Daniele Bracciali, countryman Gilles Simon and Sweden's Soderling..
Gasquet will next face Jonas Bjorkman, who breezed past Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-1 in one hour, 11 minutes. The Swede veteran will battle Gasquet (14 year younger) for the first time in his career.
Bjorkman, who is coming off a Rolang Garros doubles title with Max Mirnyi, chose to compete exclusively in the singles draw this week. The last time the 34-year-old advanced past the quarterfinals of an ATP event was in Ho Chi Minh City in September 2005, when he captured his sixth career-title.
The former World No. 4 improved to 6-10 in the season and 381-317 in his career.
06-23-2006, 07:22 PM
Bjorkman on course for unique treble
After watching Richard Gasquet (France) narrowly clinch his place in tomorrow’s final, the second semi-final of the Red Letter Days Open provided spectators with another gripping display of world class grass court tennis.
Having watched his opponent, the world no.72 Italian, Andreas Seppi defeat British no.2 Andy Murray yesterday, Jonas Bjorkman, the 34 year-old Swede and twice winner of the Red Letter Days Open title (1998 and 2002) knew today would be a stern test of his grass court play.
Bjorkman, whose career ATP titles include six ATP singles titles took the first set 6-3 in a match that was to be packed with hard hitting serves, long rallies from the baseline and deft drop shots.
The second set continued with long rallies, Seppi keeping his nerve to win his first service game despite relentless pressure from the experienced Bjorkman. In the second game, Bjorkman fought back to 1-1 then broke Seppi’s serve to lead 2-1 and draw loud applause from the appreciative and sizeable centre court crowd.
Seppi fought hard with powerful forehand and backhand drives but it was an inspired Bjorkman who took the next game to lead 3-1. After taking the second set to 4-1 in the second set it seemed that after just 1 hour and 2 minutes of play, the world no. 77, who last captured a singles title in Vietnam last year, was on course to seal his place in tomorrow’s final.
After taking his game with serve to lead 5-1, Bjorkman was in touching distance of setting up a thrilling final against young gun Gasquet. After 71 minutes of play it was indeed Jonas Bjorkman who advanced into the final with a 6-3, 6-1 win over the young Italian.
Bjorkman said, “I surprised myself today. I’ve been playing better and better (here this week) and was very happy to come through against (Agustin) Calleri in the first round and then another (match). It’s all about confidence … I just had the goal of getting through the first round.”
After defeating Seppi he added, “The game is never over until it’s over … I keep fighting for every point which is mentally tough for your opponent because they know you are not going to give up until the last ball.”
Bjorkman commenting on his opportunity to win a third title said, "It would be nice but then again I don’t think anybody has ever won a back to back title (that Gasquet will be chasing).”
“The grass courts are getting tougher and tougher these days … it’s quicker here than at Stella or Wimbledon … which suits my style. I think (the Red Letter Days Open) allows me to create my style of shots … it’s always nice to come back to a place where you have won.”
Bjorkman has been drawn against fellow countryman Thomas Johansson in first round at Wimbledon and said, “I have the worst draw … I’d almost rather play Federer than play Thomas who is my closest friend. The draw could have been better for me.”
06-27-2006, 11:16 AM
I am in Wimbledon after a fantastic week that exceded all my expectations in Nottingham. I went all the way to the final, but lost 6-4, 6-3 against Richard Gasquet. I had chances to break his serve in the first set, but he managed to turn it around, and when he won the first set, he could play even more relaxed and be one step ahead of me in the second set. All in all, it was still a super week that brought me to 59th place in the rankings.
In Wimbledon I have to play against Thomas Johansson in the first round. Worst imaginable draw for us both, since we are not just best friends, but also training together with Todd Woodbridge to improve our game right now. One of us will feel the pressure to go far from the other one, when he has the nerve to beat his buddy...
It is raining. Thomas and I will probably play on Tuesday. The doubles will probably start on Thursday.
07-02-2006, 10:07 AM
One of our chief rivals for the title, Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi, are having an incredible tournament. They have both made it to the fourth round of singles - where they will play each other - and Jonas is playing mixed, too. So far he's played three singles, two doubles - all best-of-five-set matches - and one mixed. That's a great effort for a guy who is 34. He's a great physical specimen, has legs of steel. If I had his legs I'd be Top 10 in singles, but I was given stick legs.
07-02-2006, 10:09 AM
from JB site
My form from Nottingham is intact. I am through to the third round in Wimbledon after beating Lukas Dlouhy on Thursday, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 1-6, 6-4. I controlled the first two sets, but he broke my serve early in the third, took a lot of chances and suddenly he was on a roll. I waited for his mistakes that never happened, and I served poorly until the fifth set, when I found my timing. In the fifth set, I managed to get an early break and keep that lead. He was very unpredictable, could do three big mistakes in a row, and then hit five fantastic winners. Those kind of players are hard to control, an it is easy to get passive against them. But it was a good sign that at could play my best tennis when I needed it the most, in the fifth set.
I will now play against the Italian Daniel Bracciali on Friday. He is a really good grass player, beat Dominik Hrbaty in the first round. I am sure that it is going to be a close call, but he meets an old fox in a great form...!
Max Mirnyi will play against James Blake at the same time, and later we have a doubles match against Jiri Novak and Tomas Cibulec. It is a tight schedule due to the rain, let´s´just hope that we get time to recover enough between matches.
Just better and better
I am starting to feel like a vintage wine - just getting better with age! On Friday I advanced to the last 16 in Wimbledon after beating the Italian Daniele Bracciali, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1. First set was the key to victory. He served for the set at 5-3, but I managed to break back and win four straight games. When I broke his serve early in the second set, he started shaking his head and making gestures to himself, having his missed oppurtunity in the first set fresh in memory. From then on, I could control the match, never letting him get back to his rhytm or into the match again. I was one step ahead and forced him to play to difficult. A bonus that I could win in three sets, considering the tight schedule.
I was on a roll, so Max Mirnyi and I continued the trend and beat Jiri Novak and Tomas Cibulec in three sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
The draw is quite amazing this year. First Thomas Johansson in the first round, and on Monday I will face Max Mirnyi, who beat James Blake in five sets.
Everything feels just great right now!
07-04-2006, 06:41 AM
J. Bjorkman Interview - Day 7
Monday, 3 July, 2006
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?
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.
07-04-2006, 07:20 AM
Bjorkman Ousts Doubles Partner
Monday, 3 July, 2006
You would think Jonas Bjorkman and Max Miryni see enough of each other on the doubles circuit. The current French Open champions, who are seeded two in this year’s Championships, have been partners since 2005.
On Court 18, however, the men faced each other on the opposite side of the net for their fourth round singles contest and it was the Swede who emerged triumphant with a 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 2-6, 6-3 score.
It was perhaps a predictable win. Over the years the men have met ten times with Bjorkman winning nine of those contests. And while the Swede enjoyed a comfortable straight sets third round victory over Daniele Bracciali, 28-year-old Mirnyi endured an exhausting five-setter against number eight seed James Blake.
Psychologically, the only thing the Belarusian – known as ‘The Beast’ – could count in his favour was the knowledge that his 34-year-old opponent is the oldest man left in the singles draw.
But Bjorkman showed no obvious sign of wilting, despite the soaring temperatures. He picked off the first set in 29 minutes and the second in just over an hour, thanks to beautiful passing shots that made his 6ft 5ins opponent look slow around the court.
In the third, however, it was Miryni who began to threaten. He upped his approaches to the net and read Bjorkman’s drives more accurately to secure an early break and eventually take the set 6-4.
Things then went from bad to worse for the Swede who was broken in the opening game of the fourth. As Miryni grew in confidence, errors began creeping into the Bjorkman game. He began serving double-faults, missing ground strokes and, within 33 minutes, Miryni had taken the fourth on an ace.
But it was all change in the fifth. The Belarusian appeared to choke on his first service game dumping volley after volley into the net to hand the Swede three break points, which he promptly claimed on the first with a winner down the line. Bjorkman, who is a three-times Wimbledon doubles champion, then broke Miryni again and served out the match with an ace to earn his place in the quarter-finals for the second time in his career.
After the match he said the secret of being in the quarters at 34-years-old was to have no expectations. "I think you have to drop the expectations a little bit...Going into Wimbledon I didn't have any expectations. So I think I've been putting less pressure on myself and trying to enjoy the moment of being here because obviously I know well my age...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."
Written by Helen Gilbert
07-05-2006, 08:06 AM
For a man who hardly has a moment to call his own, Jonas Bjorkman looks pretty pleased with himself.
And with good reason, as the 34-year-old Swede prepares for an unlikely appearance in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon on Wednesday.
It should be made clear that refers to the quarter-finals of the singles, as Bjorkman is still going strong in the men's and mixed doubles.
So when BBC Sport catches up with him, Bjorkman looks understandably rushed but can hardly wipe the smile from his face.
"It's been long days," he said, "but at the same time this is what everybody is looking for - you want to win and you've got to enjoy the moment.
"There are no priorities, I just try to win every match.
"If I was to make the semi-finals in singles then I'd have to think a little bit about what to do with the mixed, because the weather might not be good.
"I'll just have to see what happens and how the body is holding up, that's the main thing. So far it's been feeling really great."
Bjorkman will take on Radek Stepanek on Wednesday with a place in the semi-finals at stake, and no-one is more shocked than the Swede.
"I am surprised," he admitted. "I haven't played that well this year, got off to a horrendous start.
"I've been playing well in practice but playing poorly in matches and just losing confidence.
"I didn't have any expectations coming into Wimbledon, I just wanted to enjoy it.
"I don't know if I have another Wimbledon in me, or two Wimbledons, or if this is going to be the last one."
Bjorkman is ranked fourth in the world in doubles and has won the Wimbledon title three times, but his singles ranking has slipped to 59.
"It's tough when your ranking's dropping and you have to play qualification at my age," he said.
"The mental approach of being in the top and then being out of it is tough, but the doubles is going great so we'll see how long it lasts."
His success in this year's singles could give hope to Tim Henman, three years his junior and a man Bjorkman has sympathy with.
"I think Tim has improved his baseline game phenomenally," he said.
"But you get surprised when you see a British guy who has the potential of winning a Grand Slam and they make the courts slower, which is worse for him.
"I would do anything I could to get my man to win it and would ask him 'how quick do you want it?'"
And with a 3-0 career record against Stepanek, the chance to take on Roger Federer in a Wimbledon semi-final is close enough to make this veteran look like a kid at Christmas.
"At my age I'm not going to have too many more opportunities," he said. "Hopefully my experience is something I can take advantage of.
"But the name 'Federer' hasn't entered my head yet."
Whatever you say, Jonas.
07-05-2006, 08:23 AM
Ahh good, I'm glad you posted this one :)
Lovely article from Jonas (well, really the guy who interviewed him I suppose!). I'm glad he said 'or two wimbledons left in me' :lol: Still holding out that he'll do a Cyril Suk... then again, I wonder if Cyril has kids :scratch:
07-05-2006, 10:25 AM
from JBs homepage
QF in Wimbledon
After beating Max Mirnyi 6-3, 7-6(6), 4-6, 2-6, 6-3 on Monday, I am through to the quarter finals in Wimbledon. I started out good against Max, but all in all I didn´t´play my best tennis, had problems with my serve. But form, a great self confidence, and determination on the decisive points won the match for me. I will now face Radek Stepanek in the quarter final. I have a 3-0 record against him, but he will be a very difficult opponent here and now. But as I have said before: I am really enjoying my situation right now, and it would be fantastic to reach even further than my quarter final against Roddick in Wimbledon three years ago. Let´s just hope that I get enough time to recover after a tough schedule with matches in three disciplines, and after the five set match against Max.
07-06-2006, 06:27 AM
J. Bjorkman Interview - Day 9
Wednesday, 5 July, 2006
Q. Is it possible for you to describe what you're feeling in other than the usual cliches, 'I feel great'?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Could I say it in Swedish (smiling)? It would be easier. No, it's hard to describe. It was very emotional because obviously I didn't think this was gonna happen at this stage of my career right now. You know, just so excited after I won the point, the matchpoint, and then everything was just coming to you, you know. I realized what I've achieved something that I never thought I would do again. So it's just the best possible feeling I can have inside me, you know. It's just the greatest moment for me.
Q. 1997 when you reached the semis, very possibly could have made the final that year, did you think, I'm going to be in the semis at least once?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, obviously, I was hoping. I was hoping to stay up in the top and be consistent. I had a great '97, was very consistent. Unfortunately, I learned from doing a few mistakes. '98 I think I didn't take enough time off. I rushed over to Australia, and then once I got to Key Biscayne I was burned out. So if I would have had an opportunity to do it again, I would have have done it different, and then maybe that would have helped at least to stay up there a little bit longer than I did. But that's history. And, you know, if I can tell some Juniors from Sweden coming up who's very talented, maybe I can help them out in not doing the same mistakes.
Q. What is the secret, though, to your eternal youth (laughter)?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I wish I could know. Just a lot of Advil. I'm not really sure, but I guess having Todd Woodbridge around me makes it good, you know. He won nine times before here and semis, so I don't know. He maybe have have something magic around him that makes it possible. But you could ask me two weeks ago and I would have been happy just to come through the first round. Now I'm sitting here, going to play semis. It's just almost like a big shock. I been just trying to enjoy every single moment out there because I know I'm not having too many Wimbledon left in me. I just trying to do the best out of it and have a lot of fun out there.
Q. You've had quite a tough time with injuries. Had you thought about what your career had for you after tennis in terms of stopping playing?
JONAS BJORKMAN: It's been a roller coaster the last two years because, obviously, I'm always trying to I would like to play singles and doubles. But then singles been dropping a little bit, so after six months last year I felt maybe that was gonna be the last year of singles. Then came through, played a lot of quallies in U.S. and played a lot of matches. All of a sudden I went out and won Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, got my ranking back, obviously a lot more positive feedbacks and energy again. Hopefully, I can have another good year. A lot of disappointment because I haven't played that good this year. I started to feel that maybe I have to be realizing that I can't keep going for too long, but hopefully I can at least stay around with doubles. And here I am now. So obviously everything is changing because my ranking is going to go up again.
Q. How do you look at the next few days? I mean, obviously, you have the doubles. You're 34 and stuff.
JONAS BJORKMAN: It's a nice age. Tell you that (smiling).
Q. I remember it well. Are you concerned?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Obviously, it's gonna be tough. But what can I say? It's a dream come true to have opportunity to play Wimbledon semifinal against the best player in the world right now probably gonna be the best player ever. He's a good friend of mine. I practiced with him in Key Biscayne. Peter Lundgren came maybe when he was 16, 17, I practiced with him. Semi tanked on the practice. Thought, Jesus, what kid is this? Not really ready. I thought he would take the opportunity to practice with me and enjoy it. Then one year later, you see this unbelievably talented guy, mature guy, I think. He's just the perfect No. 1 we can have I think both on the court and off the court. I'm just gonna enjoy that moment and try to do my best in doubles tomorrow, enjoy this evening, and see what happens on Thursday.
Q. If Max came to you and said, Maybe you want to think about we shouldn't play this and everything, what would you say to him? I suspect you wouldn't go to him.
JONAS BJORKMAN: We have to see. I wouldn't I think we'd just go out and try to do the best out of it now and see what happens, do as good as we can tomorrow.
Q. What was your lowest point during those tough times?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I dropped my ranking to 126, something, last year, which was the first time I was out of the top hundred for I think over 10 years. Obviously, it was a time that I had to start thinking about what I was gonna do with my singles, so if I should just keep going with doubles. But then I played nonstop six months and I managed to win a lot of matches. Came through the qualification, which was an unusual situation for me because I haven't played quallies in so many years. But I think it's got me a lot of strength, a lot of confidence. That's why I managed to play some really good tennis towards the end of last year. So, I mean, it has been tough, but in the end I been very fortunate through my career because I have never had any serious injuries. So if you look at other players, I been very fortune. I wouldn't put my tough times in the same situations like my friend Thomas Johansson who had knee surgery, serious knee surgery. This year he was ready to get into the top 10. He had an eye surgery. Compared to him, my thing has been very small.
Q. Two part question, if I could. You're one of the few players to both see Pete Sampras and Federer up close. If the two were playing on a slow hard court, how do you think a match like that would come out?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Some great tennis. Just unfortunate we couldn't see that more often. I think we had a couple matches they played each other. But, you know, would be just superb tennis to watch the two greatest players. You couldn't ask for something better.
Q. If I could follow up, you're I think the only one to play with the two best doubles players, Woodbridge, too. But one of the few to play with the two best doubles players of all time, Todd and Johnny Mac. You had to pick one, up in Heaven's gate and St. Pete says, Who's the best, who would you say?
JONAS BJORKMAN: It's always tough to put anyone better. I think if you look at their records, obviously Todd got all the records to be the best one. You know, I had the greatest opportunity, I had just a magnificent time to play with John in San Jose. Unfortunately, I wasn't around his time to see how good he was at his peak. But obviously I could see a lot of his quality tennis that he still showed in San Jose. Two great friends on mine. I wouldn't like to put anyone ahead of the other two, you know. They might be upset to me now. So I put them equal.
Q. How do you hold yourself after winning today? What would you do if you beat Roger on Friday?
JONAS BJORKMAN: (Smiling) No, but it was more this is the type of matches I think any tennis player wants to be around, you know. It's just the greatest atmosphere out there. You been out there for a long, long time. You had the opportunity to win. Once you win, I just felt I want to hug everyone, you know, let's celebrate. You know, be staying out there for another 45 minutes if I could to just enjoy that moment of seeing all the people standing up, you know. That's something I think everyone wants to achieve and be part of, the whole atmosphere. That's why I wanted to show everyone that I really appreciated all the support through the match and give them a hug from the court.
Q. Todd on board, obviously it took a while to convince him to come and coach you. Why was it so important for you to work with Todd?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I was lucky in a way because Todd was doing the coaching for Thomas in Australia for four weeks, then Todd was gonna do Thomas, he did Thomas here for the four weeks. I just felt at the time that I know my game very well, but sometimes it's good to have someone who tell you the small details, what you have to change. I asked Thomas, you know, if it would be okay if I can join in. He will be the priority and then, you know, when Todd has a chance, he can help me out a little bit. So for me, I just felt he has such a strength in his through his career, how good he was tactically. He knows my game very well, so technically he knows me inside out. So I think that was good for me. We could we had a bad loss in Queen's, but then we could work on a few things. I think that's been improving my game. And obviously all my victories, the wins I had in Nottingham, definitely helped my confidence. At the time, I had some good feedback from him.
Q. The only Slam you missed was the 2003 Australian Open because Max was close to being born.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah.
Q. Was he actually born right during the tournament or was it later? Could you have been at the tournament and kept that streak alive?
JONAS BJORKMAN: He was supposed to come out the 31st of December, but then he wanted to stay in there a little bit longer. So maybe I would have had a chance to go, but then he came out on the 15th. So I think it was right in the first week of Australia. So there was a great opportunity to be back home and see the biggest thing happening in my life.
Q. Tendency to kind of rush people to retirement, people here are saying that Tim is coming up to 32 and it's about time he called it a day. Here you are at 34 in the semifinals. What would you say to those who want to push people out of the game probably before their time has really come?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think we have to look at how the situation when you came up. Like Bjorn Borg was 14 and I think he made his debut in Davis Cup and was out he finished at 26. But he played 12 years. For me, it took a lot longer time to develop. I was never a good junior. I think Tim was never that good as well. I think we had quite similar junior times. I started to play good at 22. So if you look now, I've done same time of Bjorn Borg, but it's just the difference of how good you were as a young kid, and then that's why I think Tim has a lot left in his career. He just had a very tough draw this one. I think everyone could have seen him being in my situation if he would have had a better opportunity in the draw. So he's playing some good tennis, and I think he should he should always enjoy it. I think when it's time, then you know it. I don't think we should push too many to quit.
07-06-2006, 08:41 AM
Bjorkman Through to Federer Semi
©ProSport / T. Hindley
Wednesday, 5 July, 2006
Doubles specialist Jonas Bjorkman came through a tense match with Czech number 14 seed Radek Stepanek to reach the semi-finals of the men's singles and set up a Friday fixture with Roger Federer.
After a see-saw match, which featured three tie-breaks, the 34-year-old Swede celebrated his marathon 7-6(3),4-6,6-7(5),7-6(7),6-4 victory by skipping around the court and showing his appreciation for the crowd's support by 'hugging' them.
The oldest man in the last eight - and the second oldest to be competing at this year’s Championships - couldn’t quite believe that, as the unseeded underdog, he had survived to take on Roger Federer in the semi-finals. Of the four quarter-finals, the Stepanek v Bjorkman confrontation lacked the star appeal offered by the other three, but after just over four hours of play, the packed auditorium rose to acknowledge a hard-fought contest.
The fluctuating match saw Bjorkman in control early on, saving two break points in the opening game only to then have his momentum broken by a rain delay after just 11 minutes of play. Serving at 40-0 with a break when light drizzle arrived, they returned 90 minutes later for Bjorkman to finally secure a 3-0 lead.
Stepanek gained a foothold in the first set by holding serve and started to assert his own brand of attacking play. That bore fruit in the ninth game when he saved a set point and, by continuing to harass with his net play, levelled the match on his third break point as Bjorkman’s more cautious play produced a netted backhand.
Two games later, with the Czech now in full flow, the rains returned to enforce another suspension to play, a timely diversion for Bjorkman who was failing to find the lines with any consistency. Again, on resumption following a 56 minute stint in the dressing room, the set went into a tie-break where a refreshed Bjorkman regained some of his early form to take the set.
The loss of the first set acted as a spur and, with Bjorkman’s serve having lost its sting, Stepanek moved ahead 3-1 thanks to a double fault on his second break point. Now it was the 27-year-old Czech's turn to show his style, a backhand volley at full stretch with his back to the net eliciting a round of applause from the spectators.
He maintained the advantage but, much like his opponent in the first set, lost his way when attempting to serve out, a well executed lob cross court into the deuce corner bringing Bjorkman back level on serve. However, it was shortlived for he immediately conceded his own serve.
The two exchanged breaks in the third but inevitably, with Stepanek looking the more comfortable, another tie-break was required to separate them, and this time it ended in favour of Stepanek. But he squandered the chance of sealing the match in the fourth, delivering three double faults in his attempt to serve out, his 11th bringing Bjorkman back into contention.
He had another chance in the ensuing tie-break but lost it with a weak backhand, Bjorkman eventually capturing it 9-7 to take the match into a decider. The same pattern continued but now Bjorkman was playing with more control and once he had carved out two match points with a flashing backhand pass, he struck a serve which was returned weakly into the net.
Disappointment for Stepanek and his girlfriend Martina Hingis sitting in the players’ box, but the marathon man from the Czech Republic, who had been on court for eleven hours and 57 minutes prior to this contest, will have to be satisfied with having achieved his best run in a Grand Slam. As regards the victor, the prospect of a Grand Slam semi-final - on his own rather than the countless he has had with a partner beside him - will no doubt be uppermost in his mind.
Written by Henry Wancke
07-06-2006, 08:43 AM
Bjorkman Ready For Federer Challenge
Wednesday, 5 July, 2006
Jonas Bjorkman says he intends to savour every moment of a match he really didn't expect to be playing this Friday - the men's singles semi-final against Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.
Of course, virtually every fan, pundit and fellow player sees Federer as just about unbeatable right here, right now, but Bjorkman can at least harbour hopes that their clash brings back memories of a much earlier meeting.
In his press conference after his quarter-final victory against Radek Stapanek, Bjorkman said: "It's a dream come true to have the opportunity to play the Wimbledon semi-final against the best player in the world right now, a player who's probably going to be the best ever."
But as Bjorkman recalled, that's not an opinion he has always held. "I practised with him when he was 16 or 17. He semi-tanked on the practice. I thought 'Jesus what kid is this? He's not really ready'.
"I thought he would take the opportunity to practise with me and enjoy it. Then one year later you see this unbelievably talented, mature guy. He's just the perfect number one we can have, both on and off the court."
Bjorkman talked about the emotion of the finish against Stepanek: "It was very emotional because obviously I didn't think this was going to happen at this stage of my career right now.
"I was just so excited after I won the match point. I realised that I have achieved something that I never thought I would do again. So it's just the best possible feeling I have inside me. It's just the greatest moment for me."
Asked why he is suddenly making such an impact in a Grand Slam singles at the age of 34, he said: "I wish I could know. I'm not really sure but I guess having [coach and former doubles partner] Todd Woodbridge around me makes it good. He won nine times here in the doubles and made semis in the singles. He maybe has something magic around him that makes it possible.
"But if you asked me two weeks ago, I would have been happy just to come through the first round. Now I am sitting here going to play semis.
"I have just been trying to enjoy every single moment out there because I know I am not having too many Wimbledons left in me. I am just trying to do my best and have a lot of fun out there."
Written by Barry Newcombe
07-06-2006, 09:02 AM
Hugs All Round for Jonas
Wednesday, 5 July, 2006
When three-times Wimbledon doubles champion Jonas Bjorkman wins a big match he usually celebrates by throwing his arms around his partner. But on No.1 Court today the Swede had no-one to hug but himself. The 34-year-old was elated following his five set win over No. 14 seed Radek Stepanek in the men’s singles and could not hide his happiness.
He hugged himself at least three times and, as he was leaving the court, he performed a jig of joy before making his leave. Almost as delighted in the stands was his coach and former doubles partner Todd Woodbridge, who two years ago played with the Swede in this same stadium and shared a similar dance to celebrate victory in the men’s doubles.
On that day it was the record-breaking Woodbridge who was centre stage but today Bjorkman did not have to share the limelight with anyone else. This was his moment and he paused to enjoy it as long as he could. And it is not surprising. Jonas Bjorkman entered the tournament without any expectations. It is a philosophy Bjorkman has employed throughout the Championships and look where he is now – the semi-final of Wimbledon for the first time in his career.
His attitude has much to do with his age. The easy-going Swede knows time is not on his side and a few months ago vowed to enjoy every match that passed his way regardless of the result. His optimistic outlook was fuelled after a poor start to the year which prompted Bjorkman to sit back, take stock and change tactics.
Rather than worry about winning every match, he decided to simply savour the moment of playing the singles tour while he still could. It was a good game plan and one which has clearly served to take the pressure off. Two weeks ago he was competing in the final of Nottingham; today Bjorkman booked his place in the Wimbledon semi-finals, despite being a match point down against Radek Stepanek.
It is only the second time he has reached the last four of a Grand Slam singles event. The last time he achieved that feat was nearly nine years ago at the 1997 US Open, when he beat another Czech, Petr Korda and is, perhaps, yet another reminder of his age. In fact, Bjorkman’s victory makes him the oldest man to reach the semi-finals on the lawns of SW19 since Jimmy Connors in 1987.
The Swede may well be in his mid-thirties but if he is hoping to catch up on rest before his encounter with Roger Federer on Friday, he will have his work cut out. He still has the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles and the third round of the mixed doubles to play. But whatever happens you can bet he will enjoy it.
Written by Helen Gilbert
07-07-2006, 07:16 AM
Bjorkman and Mirnyi Tripped Up In Quarterfinals at Wimbledon
© Getty Image
Fabrice Santoro and Nenad Zimonjic denied Jonas Bjorkman a trip to both the singles and doubles semifinals by defeating Bjorkman and partner Max Mirnyi in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to claim a spot in the Wimbledon semifinals Thursday afternoon. The pair will play Martin Damm and Leander Paes for a berth in the final.
Santoro and Zimonjic, who are appearing at the All-England Club for the first time together, are looking for their first Grand Slam title as a team. Zimonjic was a Wimbledon finalist in 2004 (w/Knowle) while Santoro’s best finish was an appearance in the semifinals in 1999 (w/Delaitre).
Santoro and Zimonjic are currently No. 5 in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race with 342 points and have claimed two titles in 2006, including a grass title at Halle. They are riding an eight-match winning streak. The pair also reached the Monte Carlo final and semifinals in Dubai and Hamburg.
Bjorkman, who is still alive in singles, came from behind in his singles quarterfinal match against Radek Stepanek to advance to the semifinals against Roger Federer. The week before Wimbledon, Bjorkman was a finalist at Nottingham (l. Gasquet) but prior to that had only won two singles matches in 2006.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi’s loss means that Bob and Mike Bryan will reclaim the top spot in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race. The Bryans are currently ahead of Bjorkman and Mirnyi by 40 points after advancing to the Wimbledon semifinal. Bjorkman and Mirnyi overtook the American twins when they advanced to the doubles final at Queen’s. The Bryans are looking for their seventh consecutive Grand Slam final appearance and fourth career Slam title. If the Bryans should hoist the Wimbledon crown they will complete a career Grand Slam.
07-07-2006, 08:48 PM
Jonas Knows He Lost to the Best
Bjorkman Congratulates Federer
©IPS / I. Kington
Friday, 7 July, 2006
The round of applause that greeted Jonas Bjorkman when he held serve in the third set, and the rueful smile he threw in the direction of the players’ box as he walked back to the chair, said it all. The Swede had just stopped one of the best players in the world from inflicting a completely embarrassing drubbing on him. “It was tough,” he said after his 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 loss. “What can you say after that?”
Plenty, it turns out, for Bjorkman still relished his semi-final outing. “I felt pretty good, very relaxed. I was out to enjoy it and I did, in a way. It was nice to be around and see how someone can play the nearest to perfection you can play in tennis. He just made it look so easy.”
Talking to Federer after the match, Bjorkman said he had told him he was seeing the ball as if it were a bowling or a basketball ball. “He also said he felt good,” the 34 year-old added, and then with a wry smile, continued: “I just wanted to check he hadn’t had a bad day because that would have scared me a little bit!”
Having been on the wrong side of one of the quickest semi-finals in Wimbledon history, Bjorkman went on to outline what it felt like to be on the same court with a man clearly destined for greatness.
“It’s hard to describe and I had the best seat in the house. He doesn’t get enough credit for his serve – everyone talks about everything else that he’s got, but his serve is very effective. He has the same toss on every serve, more or less, which is why it is so hard to read. And he hits his spots really well with good spin, and mixes it up plenty.”
Comparing the Swiss champion with Pete Sampras, Bjorkman continued: “Pete had that pure power, hitting it perfect into the corners. But Roger mixes it up with the same toss which makes it so hard, especially on grass as he hits his spots so well which makes it much harder to return.”
As a player, Federer has everything, Bjorkman said. “I always felt Stefan Edberg was one of the greatest movers out there – he looked like a cat, just so smooth. But Roger is almost above that. He never looks as if he’s moving at all but he’s always there with a lot of time to hit the ball. And with his strong wrists on both his forehand and backhand, he can create so much power. That’s probably what amazed me most, the power he can generate.
“Roger didn’t give me any freebies – I didn’t have a couple of shots where I felt he was being lazy or a little flat. He was always looking to win every point which is what makes him so much harder to play than against Pete.”
Bjorkman struggled to offer advice to Federer’s prospective challenger in Sunday’s final. “The only player who has any idea is probably Nadal. He has managed to get into Roger’s head a little with his head-to-head record.
That is going to help him in the final. And with a leftie spin he can work him out of position a little bit more often than other guys can. And he can also generate a lot of power with his forehand.”
If there is a glimmer of hope for Federer’s opponents, it is that the defending champion can make the odd error at the net, Bjorkman said. “Technically he is good all round, though he can miss the odd volley and that could be construed as a weakness.”
Not today though.
Written by Henry Wancke
07-07-2006, 08:52 PM
J. Bjorkman Interview - Day 11
Friday, 7 July, 2006
Q. Roger described his performance as flawless. What was it like playing against someone like that?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Tough. What can you say, you know. I felt actually pretty good today. I was very relaxed. You know, felt I will enjoy it. I still did, in a way, because I just felt it was in a way nice to be around and see how someone can play the nearest to perfection you can play tennis, I think. He just made it look so easy.
Q. Can he make it look that easy in the final, do you think?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, if he can do that most of the games, why shouldn't he be able to do that in the final?
Q. What did you say to him afterwards? You're friends, aren't you?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I just asked him, you know, how he felt, if he saw the ball like a bowling ‑ what do you call it ‑ like a bowling...
Q. Bowling ball.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Thank you. Like a bowling ball or a basketball ball. He said, yes, it was almost like that.
I couldn't more than just ask a little bit how he felt. He obviously said he felt good. I just wanted to check so he didn't have a bad day, because that would have scared me a little bit (smiling).
Q. You've been around so long. If you were asked, Hey, describe briefly the genius of Roger Federer as a tennis player, how would you frame your answer?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I mean, it's hard to describe. I think today it was just I felt like I played a guy who was as near as perfection you can play the game. I had the best seat in the house, in a way. He just makes it look very simple, obviously.
I think his serve ‑ he doesn't get enough credit for his serve, I think. Everyone talks about him with everything else he got, but his serve is very effectful (sic). He has the same toss in every serve more or less. That's why it's so hard to read. He hits his spots really well with good spin, with a mixup.
You know, like Pete, he had that pure power with hitting it perfect in the corners. But Roger can mix it up, but with the same toss. I think that's what makes it so hard, especially on grass against him, because he hits his spots very well. Just so much harder to return his serve on grass, I think, than another surface.
Q. Can you say what his greatest asset is? Is it legs, his hands, his mind?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I think he just got everything, most of it. I always felt Stefan Edberg was one of the greatest movers out there, you know. He looked like he was a cat, just so smooth.
I think Roger is almost above that, you know. He also in a position that he always looks like he doesn't look that he's moving a lot, but he's always there. It looks like he has a lot of time to hit his ball all the time.
But obviously his wrist in both forehand and backhand, he can create so much power with it. That's probably what amazed me most, how he can generate so much power.
Q. In your era, obviously Pete was sort of the gold standard. How do you compare him to Pete? The debate is basically starting now, especially if he wins here.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I felt Pete, like we all think and believe, that he is the greatest because all the records of Slams and everything, but it always felt that you can find a way to get some games here and there against Pete. And against Roger today, I felt I had to do whatever I can. He didn't give me any freebies. Didn't have couple of shots here that it looks like he was a little flat or lazy. He was looking like he wanted to win every point. That makes it so much harder to play Roger than maybe against Pete. That would be the difference, I think.
Q. How many times today did you say with a shot, I've got him with that, he's not gonna come back with that one, and he did?
JONAS BJORKMAN: A lot of times. I mean, if I compare, it's just the difference, obviously, because I played all the other guys I played. I actually felt good. You always have that little tension, but I think you need that when you go into a big match. But I felt very relaxed and good out there. I didn't feel that I was hitting the ball that bad.
But, you know, obviously the ball came back much more often than it has done in all my other matches here in Wimbledon.
Q. In your mind or in theories, what do you think how somebody has to play to beat Roger Federer here in Wimbledon?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I'm not sure. I think the only one who has an idea is probably Nadal at the moment, and even though it's gonna be a different matchup, because I'm not sure if they have played on grass before. He still managed to get into the head of Roger a little bit with his head‑to‑head record, obviously. That's going to help him going into a final.
But maybe with a lefty spin, he can also get Roger out of position a little bit more often than other guys can. And he also have this that he can generate a lot of power as well, with his forehand, so.
Q. It's been a while since I first saw you play, in a satellite in Portugal in '91. Can you pinpoint a time in your career that you think jump‑started your career since you became No. 4 in the world? Can you pinpoint one moment in your career that made you jump to the top, looking back?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, my breakthrough was probably US Open '94 when I beat Edberg second round. I just the year before, I started to do really well in satellites and challengers. But, obviously, that was the big moment for me to beat my idol that I been practice with a lot and learned a lot from, both on and off the court.
So reaching the quarters there was probably the step forward to something good for me, and I learned a lot from that experience.
Q. If Stefan was your idol, why didn't you do just like him, drop the second hand of the two‑handed backhand?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, he became my idol a little bit later so I already had that two‑handed backhand and I couldn't do the switch like he did. I still hit a few one‑handers during my matches here and there. I have to say, I managed to hit a few good winners once in a while.
But I think my two‑handed backhand was a good choice, because that's been my best shot for a while.
Q. Looking for weaknesses in Federer is like looking for flaws in Mother Teresa. You said "near perfection." Is there anything he doesn't do, is there anything you could point to that the guy could possibly upgrade?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I didn't feel that today, obviously. No, it's probably his mental approach going into matches. I don't know, but maybe sometimes he can feel a little off. I think that's probably what guys would hope for, to feel that he's not really there hundred percent. But most of the time he is there hundred percent, which is very impressive to be that sharp every single match when you keep winning like he does. You would normally see some matches that these big players are a little off and then will lift themself up when they need it but still not play that perfect match all the time.
But he does play really, really solid. I mean, if you look at this tournament, he hasn't looked like he had any times during matches where he's been off.
Q. So stroke‑wise?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think stroke‑wise, you know, his forehand is obviously great. You know, he got the backhand. His slice, he got massive spin on his slice, which no one else has. So I'm not really sure if he has a weakness.
Sometimes maybe he can miss a few volleys at the net, and technically it looks good, but I don't know if he still can miss a few there. That would probably be the only weakness that he comes up sometimes with a couple errors there.
Q. What was the strangest thought you had going on in your mind at some point during the match or something that surprised you that you were thinking just about the whole situation?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I didn't have any weird things going on. You know, I was just trying to hang in there and, you know, hoping for a momentum that he will switch off a little bit and drop his level and try to get back in the match. I was just hoping, you know, to have that opportunity to get back into it. Didn't really have anything weird, you know. Just had to enjoy the moment of being out there still.
Q. About the rise and fall of serve‑and‑volley tennis, what is it? Is it the equipment, including the strings? The courts?
JONAS BJORKMAN: That makes it harder to play serve and volley?
Q. Yeah, the balls, the mindset? Is it more difficult for your confidence if you lose a point at the net or lose a point at the back courts?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, no, but it's impossible to play serve and volley all the time these days because the balls is much heavier. You can see them, they almost ‑‑ they way bigger than 10 years back. It just makes it so much harder because the ball doesn't skid away, it just sits up. And with that, everyone returns better, everyone is physically stronger, so if you don't hit your volley perfect, then you gonna get passed.
Q. The role of the strings?
JONAS BJORKMAN: The strings have helped, as well, for guys to play ‑‑ to be even stronger and hit better shots.
07-13-2006, 07:21 AM
Woody looks to coaching at home
Chip Le Grand - July 08, 2006
COACHING is a fickle business in any professional sport.
In the AFL, those not sacked are said to be waiting for the day. In the FIFA World Cup, managers have resigned before the sweat has dried on their players. In tennis, some players change coaches more often than their bed sheets. Stay with a player longer than a year and you will probably get written into the will.
When The Weekend Australian caught up with Todd Woodbridge on Thursday, he was a super coach. In the space of four weeks, he had transformed Jonas Bjorkman from ageing tour struggler to Wimbledon semi-finalist. As far as the Swede is concerned, Woodbridge is Guus Hiddink and Neil Craig rolled into one. And Woodbridge only took him on as an afterthought.
By the time you are reading this, Woodbridge might be out of a job. Bjorkman was scheduled to play Roger Federer overnight (AEST).
But Australian tennis owes a debt of gratitude to Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson, the other Swede Woodbridge hoped to guide deep into this tournament.
Woodbridge had never fancied himself as a coach. Since he stopped playing he has spent more time in television and radio studios than booking practice sessions. But after his role in Bjorkman's wonderful Wimbledon, Woodbridge has got the bug.
"It wasn't a line of work I thought I would be going into," Woodbridge said. "I prefer to be doing media and TV and commentary work where I can try to get people at home to understand the game a bit better. So it is a bit of a surprise.
"I have always enjoyed the technical aspects and the tactical aspects. What I didn't realise is that I am also able to communicate that and get the message across.
"It gives me the option. Really, in the last 12 months my goal has been to give myself as many options as possible and see which ones I like and which ones I am better at. This one is proving to be a good one."
The benefit for Australian tennis is that Woodbridge has a young family and is unlikely to be tempted by the prospect of rejoining the tour as a full-time coach. A better fit would be a coaching role at home, perhaps in junior development.
"I am not jumping to anything at home yet, but I have always said since I stopped playing that I plan to give back," he said. "If the right offer came through you would have to contemplate it and think hard about it. If it was the right person and the right move and the right situation for me, you would think about it."
The first man in the queue for Woodbridge's services will be Bjorkman.
With the ranking points he gets from this tournament, Bjorkman will gain automatic entry to main draws throughout the US hardcourt season. Having made his only other Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open, he will also fancy his chances at Flushing Meadows.
Woodbridge is uncertain whether the relationship with Bjorkman and Johansson will continue but he has enjoyed working with his old doubles partner and watching his progress at Wimbledon.
"I know his game inside out because I played with him for four years and I knew what he wasn't doing that he does well," he said.
"It was just a matter of trying to get him in a position where he could give his best shot to win a couple of matches."
07-13-2006, 08:06 AM
Bjorkman blown away but keeps his dignity
Doubles specialist Swede lost in record time but still left the court a happy man, writes Richard Jago
Saturday July 8, 2006- The Guardian
If Jonas Bjorkman does now quit singles, as he is considering, yesterday will have been an extraordinary sweet-and-sour finish, in which the most emotional win of his career was followed one of his most embarrassing defeats.
Most people will understand his being able to prise only four games from a brilliant Roger Federer, especially as a tired Bjorkman has been trying to pursue the old-fashioned dream of success here in three events. But there were some distinctly unsympathetic vibes towards the 34-year-old after Wednesday's extraordinary five-set victory over Radek Stepanek, which made him the oldest semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors in 1987.
"Is it possible to describe what you are feeling other than the usual clichés like 'I feel great'?" he was rather insultingly asked. Bjorkman made his point obliquely, replying: "Could I say it in Swedish?"
Bjorkman is low-profile partly because his best successes are in other areas - he has eight career grand slam doubles titles - but also because of the emotionless stereotype often attached to the Swedish. In fact he is talkative, outgoing, sociable, popular with his colleagues and a good mimic, as well as a consistently good singles player.
And those who saw Wednesday's win will have an idea of what he is. Bjorkman welled up with tears and performed extravagant gestures to all sides, inventing a new way of celebrating in the process, the self-hug. "I was just enjoying that moment so much, seeing everyone standing up . . . that's why I wanted to show everyone I appreciated all the support and give them a hug from the court."
For months he has been considering quitting singles, because having been in the top four he plunged to 126, and although he recovered to regain a regular ATP Tour place, he won only two matches out of 11 this year until the grass season began. Of his Wimbledon run he said: "I would have bet anything it wouldn't happen."
How could it have, at his age? "I'm not sure - with a lot of Advil," he joked, referring to the pain-killers he claims his body increasingly needs. "And having Todd Woodbridge [three-time fellow Wimbledon doubles champion] around me makes it good. He maybe has something magic around him that makes it possible."
Bjorkman might also have mentioned his capacity for discipline which may be connected to his father being a tennis coach but which is related to his difficult beginnings. He was nothing special as a junior. He did not have great support from the Swedish federation and was obliged to go his own way.
Eventually that helped. He knows how to fight when it's not easy. It has brought amusingly pedantic side-effects. There are locker-room jokes about Bjorkman laying clothes out - clean things here, and dirty things there, everything pernickety and professional.
His game, too, is well planned. There is a meticulous preparation for his serve, ground strokes which run on rails, volleys punched and not swung too much, tactical caution mixed with technical variety, and no encouraging the opposition with displays of frustration. Bjorkman is also one of the best ever at returning serve.
Discipline requires release, though, and his greatest has travelled with him - his wife Petra and their son Max. But there have been times when the three-year-old has said he does not want his dad to play any more. That may be a reason why, despite this, he stops soon.
"If you had asked me two weeks ago I would have been happy just to come through the first round," Bjorkman admits. "Playing the semis is like a big shock. I have been trying to enjoy every moment because even if I still play doubles I won't have too many Wimbledons left."
07-28-2006, 08:50 AM
from his Hompage:
To be continued
It´s not only me that is 30 something i Monaco - it´s the the weather too. I have been hanging out and relaxing at the beach with my family the last few days, just kicking back since Swedish Open in Båstad. I will not unpack my training gear until Wednesday, Thursday when my trainer Daniel Hedin comes over to Monaco and starts to kick my but, until I leave for Toronto next week.
My increasing success this year - with six doubles titles, a final in Nottingham, semi final in Wimbledon, ranked as 29 and the best Swedish player in the world: all in all my best year since 1998 - has raised questions about wether this is a perfect time to end my carreer, or if this inspires me to go on further. Well, I have answered questions about if it´s time to quit for the last eight years or so! And I have said that I will continue for 2-3 years. But those years have come and gone several times, and my carreer has carried on in a fantastic way, so my answer now is that I take one year at the time and listens to my body before I decide. I still love the sport and the atmosphere that surrounds it intensively, and I feel strong. If I wouldn´t win another match this year, I would still end up around 60-70 in the rankings. So, it just feels that things are going a little bit to good to not continue at least one more year...!
5 reasons for 34
People have asked me lately how it is possible for me, at 34, to still reach success at the highest level. What is the "big secret"? Well, as I see it, these are the five keys:
1. Fitness. At the ages 18-25, I trained extremely hard and created a solid foundation that I still gain from. I won three five set matches in this years Wimbledon for instance. I don´t train as hard anymore, but I train smarter. I know my body very well, and my priority lies on quality instead of quantity. My trainer Daniel Hedin has been, and still is, of great importance here.
2. No injuries. I have managed to stay free from serious injuries.
3. Experience. I never get surprised or stressed over circumstances I can´t control, such as a row of rain delays in Wimbledon. I can change my game according to different circumstances and opposition. I have a good balance between expectations and results.
4. Passion. As I have said: I love playing tennis as much as ever before, and I truly love to get the possibility to go out in front of a enthusiastic crowd and give all that I have. I am at a position in my carreer where I can relax, play without pressure, just enjoy the situation. Especially when I manage to turn everything around after a down period, such as in Nottingham this year.
5. Surprise! I don´t have the capacity to play at my top level day in and day out, but when I am hot, I am sizzzzzling! And that is a source of inspiration in itself: to upset the odds, deliver the unexpected, and show anyone who doubts what I really still can achieve. Anything is possible, you just need to have the right mindset and attitude. 34 is not an age - it´s a combination of figures.
Everything looked so good. I had a superior lead halfway into the match. Then I lost focus in some strange way, and ended, very painfully, as second in the most prestigious tournament of the year. Off course I am talking about Björkman Open, our families golf tournament that ended our time in Båstad for the seventh time this year. After a few misses on 10-13th holes, the victory went to my father in law Petter. In some strange way...
I won the doubles title in Båstad together with Thomas Johansson this weekend. Extra special that it was together with Thomas. This was my 6th title in Båstad, more than anyone else. The 3rd title in a row in Båstad. I now have 48 ATP titles, and 6 this year. If I win two more I have a personal record of 8 titles in one year. I am aiming for that.
Ice cream and potato chips
I am not training at all this week, just relaxing in the splendid sun, eating ice cream and potato chips and being lazy in general... On Thursday I will go back to Monaco, stay there for 12 days before the hardcourt season starts in Toronto.
At home in Båstad
I am back in Båstad. Feels just great to be back home again, very satisfying, and to bring the latest couple of results with me. I´ve had a great welcoming here, and I feel stronger both mentally and physically than in recent years, so hopefully I can do a few good matches, despite the clay.
Thanks to my performances in recent weeks, I have climbed to spot 29 in the rankings, squeezed in between Guillermo Coria and Sebastien Grosjean. Whith that, I am Sweden´s highest ranked player.
Maybe it´s true what they say - not too bad for a 34 year old...
What a fantastic few weeks I´ve had. In the final in Nottingham. Semi final in Wimbledon. A great interest and reception from all kinds of media and legendary players like Stan Smith, John McEnroe, Henri Leconte, Michael Stich, Gene Mayer. Have been called Iron Man, among other things. I guess they just want to enroll me for that veteran´s tour that I am qualified for next year... but they have to wait, I haven´t won Wimbledon yet...!
Everybody wants to know how it is possible to reach the semi final in Wimbledon, further than ever before, at 34.
Loving the game is a good start. For me, it feels like it´s still growing. I don´t know if I have ever enjoyed playing tennis as much as I do right now. I really like challenging that number, 34. What can I still achieve? What can I still improve? For how long can I stay competitive? How can I use all my experience the best way possible?
My experience is another answer to the 34 question. If I just manage to bring the right amount of self confidence with me, of the kind I gained in Nottingham, I know myself and the circumstances around the game so well that I can use them in a smart way. I know how much I need to practise and play to be on top, I can handle all match situations without getting stressed, I can adapt my game suit the circumstances as good as possible and my opponents as bad as possible. And then the old man need some luck too!
07-28-2006, 10:20 PM
Thanks! So many interesting articles about Jonas :)
I hope he'll rejoin again soon with Max to play doubles
07-29-2006, 09:21 AM
they will play together in Toronto :)
08-07-2006, 12:07 PM
from his Homepage:
Start up in Toronto
After one week of vacation, one week of intense training, and one stubborn cold, I am now ready to throw myself into the Northamerican hardcourt season. Starting in Toronto. I will face Tim Henman today, Monday. I have a 5-4 lead up on him, 3-2 on hardccourt. It´s´a tough draw for a first round, but in the upcoming tournaments there is only tough matches including all the best players, so it´s just to go in there and go for it.
It feels like I have managed to preserve my great form, and that I can play completely without pressure, having collecting a lot of important ranking points already. Let´s just hope that the heat in Toronto and my own cold don´t get worse, then this will be just fun!
08-11-2006, 08:49 AM
Lost against Tim Henman in Toronto´s first round, 2-6, 3-6, and the best I can say about that is that my doubles game now can get some well deserved attention after a longer run of great results in the singles. We will face Blake-Ginepri or Safin-Tursunov next.
08-16-2006, 08:36 AM
I played fantastic tennis in a very good match against Juan Carlos Ferrero in Cincinnati yesterday, had 6-5, when my back just locked up - in the middle of my set point, after a forehand! I got treatment and tried to continue, but I had to give up after just two points. I had to have help getting back to my hotel. I´m going to see the tournament doctor right now, the I will see if I have any chance to get better and play the doubles.
08-21-2006, 06:18 AM
Bjorkman and Mirnyi Snap Bryans Win Streak For Cincinnati Title
© Getty Images
Second seeds Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi successfully defended their Western and Southern Financial Group Masters title with a 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 (Match TB) victory over top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan on Sunday. Bjorkman and Mirnyi become the first team since 1937 to repeat at the Western and Southern Financial Group Masters.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi snapped the Bryans undefeated streak and improve to 3-0 against the American twins this year.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi pick up their third ATP Masters Series shield this season with the victory adding to titles from Miami and Monte-Carlo that they picked up earlier this season. Bjorkman earns his third event title after taking home titles in 1999 (w/ Black) and 2005 (w/ Mirnyi).
Bjorkman and Mirnyi improve to 39-8 this season with the victory and earn their third hard court title and fifth overall title this year.
The Bryans fall to 57-11 on the season with the loss and had their 21-match win streak, which dates back to Wimbledon, snapped. The Bryans, who have appeared in the final in each of their US Open series appearances this summer, have captured five hard court titles and six overall titles in 2006. They were looking for their second consecutive AMS shield after claiming the Toronto title last week.
What The Players Said:
Bjorkman: “I think Max was playing good in the beginning. I played decent. I just screwed up in Max's service game. Bob and Mike are very good front runners, so you can't really do that against any team, but especially not against Bob and Mike. I totally screwed up, and that was unfortunate. But we showed strength in the team again that, you know, it's always best-of-three sets. We managed to keep going. We are working on our game. Played our best in the last-- end of the second and in the tiebreaker.”
Mirnyi: “Well, once you're playing, you never think of things like that (First team to repeat in Cincinnati since 1937), you know. It's nice being part of history, but in the spur of the moment, there are other things you take care of. Today was a difficult team for us to face, especially the confidence that they gained. So it's nice to be in the history book in that regard, but it's not what you play for in a way.”
08-21-2006, 07:51 AM
August 20, 2006
3-6, 6-3, 10-7
JONAS BJORKMAN and MAX MIRNYI
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Did it take you a minute to find your rhythm?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think Max was playing good in the beginning. I played decent. I just screwed up in Max's service game.
Bob and Mike is very good frontrunners, so you can't really do that against any team, but especially not against Bob and Mike. I totally screwed up, and that was unfortunate.
But we showed strength in the team again that, you know, it's always best-of-three sets. We managed to keep going. We are working on our game. Played our best in the last -- end of the second and in the tiebreaker.
Q. Your thoughts on repeating a win? Hasn't been repeated since 1930, I think.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Just heard that, yeah, it's good.
MAX MIRNYI: Well, just, you know, once you're playing, you never think of things like that, you know. It's nice being part of history, but in the spur of the moment, there are other things you take care of.
Today was a difficult team for us to face, especially the confidence that they gained. So it's nice to be in the history book in that regard, but, you know, it's not what you play for in a way.
Q. They entered the tournament on quite a bit of a roll. They had won a lot of matches. You guys have beaten them three times now. Any reason for that? Just comfortable playing with them?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I think if you look at the history last year, this was No. 1, No. 2 team in the world, and this year again. You know, for us, last week it was the first one we played together since Wimby, so...
We obviously don't play as much because we play singles, as well.
It's a good rivalry, I think. It's a little bit like the Nadal-Federer on the singles. We've been having great matches. We been winning the last three now. Last year they won some, we won some, and I think it always is a very high quality of tennis. I think people enjoy it, to watch.
Q. You guys are different than the Bryans because you do play singles. Do you think of yourself as a singles player, doubles players? Does that change?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, it's different because, you know, certainly we've had more wins in doubles. But with the way we grew up from the very junior age up until now, you know, there's always been a priority in getting ready for singles matches and trying to do the best we can on the singles court.
But the doubles for myself as well as Jonas has been a big part of our careers and a great addition to our styles of tennis. Working on our serves and coming forward and attacking returns is what we do a lot on the singles court, so it's been a combination that worked great for Jonas, and I'm still working on, you know, getting up to the standard of Jonas' singles career.
It's been a good combination for us. You know, some say that, you know, I was called a "mixed doubles specialist" early in my career, but, you know, it's a part of my athletic career. As long as I could be remembered as a specialist at something, it's good already.
Q. Jonas, in your singles match you hit a forehand, and I saw you on your back. Are you feeling okay?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah. Yeah, much better. Obviously, I had treatment for two days, didn't do anything. But then they managed to manipulate my back and managed to have a little pop in the end. So with a lot of treatment, I managed to start slowly and get some doubles in and been feeling much better now. I'm still very stiff before and after matches, but hopefully it shouldn't be anything serious.
You know, it was too bad, because I felt really good in the match and played some good tennis. I think I would have had some good opportunities in the week.
But I'm very happy with the way the week ended. I didn't know that I was going to be able to play, and now sitting here, winning the doubles again, you know, it's a lot of confidence going into next week.
Q. I'm sure you guys have played a lot of the match tiebreakers this season. How does the match change once you get to that third-set tiebreaker?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, it's obviously -- you can't really take advantage of the momentum you built from the second set maybe normally going into the third. Now it's just a shootout more or less. Every point is important, and just gonna be aggressive and take your chances. You can't really hope the other guy's gonna miss, you got to try to come up with the goods. It's quite an interesting finish of a match, I think.
08-22-2006, 08:00 AM
Three in a row
Yesterday Max Mirnyi and I became the first doubles team since 1937 to defend our title in Cincinnati. And we did it in style, by ending first seeds Bob and Mike Bryan´s winning streak with a 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 victory in the final. Really a intense match. And a minor miracle, considering my back problems this week, that forced me to give up against Ferrero (who later advanced to the final against Roddick) when I was serving for first set. My back isn´t good yet, bet getting better.
The title victory yesterday gives us 39-8 in matches this year. This was also the third time in a row that we beat the Bryan´s in a final this year (Cincinnati following Miami and the French Open in Paris).
We´re loving it!
08-22-2006, 10:35 AM
Björki, thank you for posting and thanks to Jonas for writing the blog :)
08-24-2006, 09:13 PM
Back (!) in New York
I am in New York, after withdrawing from New Haven due to my back problems. I strained my back on my right side in the match against Ferrero in Cincinnati, got treatment for a few days, got better, tried to push on when i practised on Monday, but compensated to much and strained my back on the left side. So I had to withdraw. I am taking it easy right now, getting treatment, and hoping that I can play without pain before US Open starts on Monday.
Happenings on the side
This week, when I have to take it easier than normal because of my back problems, I am trying to find some time to enjoy New York, one of my favorite cities in the world, between all commitments on the side: tonight, a lot of us tennis players will cook together with the best chefs in New York in a benefit gala, on Friday there is a joint ATP and WTA social party, an on Saturday we have a players meeting.
08-31-2006, 09:28 AM
New York in rain
It is raining in New York City. And raining and raining. The schedule has been changed because of that, and I haven´t gotten the time to practise that I hoped for, but on the other hand my back gets some rest. I am feeling better and better, and hopefully I can play my first match today against Scoville Jenkins, a 19 year old wild card player who has a good serve and forehand, but also a tendency to spread his points under pressure.
My grandest Grand Slams
Max Mirnyi and I hope to go all the way in US Open. It is the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, which made me think about and sum up which of my (9) Grand Slam titles that have been most important for me. It is a close race, they have all been moments that you dream about during a career, but this is the top 3:
1. Wimbledon 2002
With Todd Woodbridge against Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor: 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5.
My first Wimbledon title. The most classic tournament in the world that everyone dreams about winning. A truly great feeling.
2. French Open 2005
With Max Mirnyi against Bob and Mike Bryan: 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. It´s always nice to beat the Bryan brothers... and we have a brilliant record in the finals against them now. The title at Roland Garros closed the circle, being the only Grand Slam title that I hadn´t won so far.
3. Australian Open 1998 Med Jacco Eltingh mot Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge: 6-2, 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
My very first Grand Slam title in a very tough five set match against a top team on their home turf. The first one is always special, and this one had all the right ingredients.
09-05-2006, 03:56 PM
Nothing really... just a little snippet from Spadeas literary masterpiece:
Jonas Bjorkman also felt uncomfortable with the idea of Spadea discussing things that happen behind closed doors on the tennis circuit, particularly about players Spadea doesn’t know well. Spadea says he’s not close to any player on tour.
“I wouldn’t think of reading it,” said Bjorkman.
Bjorkman himself, however, has little to worry about – in Break Point, Spadea writes:
Jonas is a great competitor, a classy, friendly guy who everyone on tour likes. He even travels with his family a lot.
09-05-2006, 03:57 PM
thanks for posting GWH :)
09-05-2006, 04:22 PM
thanks for posting GWH :)
Why GWH ?? :confused: You also got irritated by the same avaters of GWH and Kristen, or? ;)
09-05-2006, 04:56 PM
I sent him the pic I was going to use for my avatar over msn, then I got disconnected from the internet.
In the morning, when I had time to upload it, he was already using it. wtf!
So I crumbled under the pressure and used the other one I made :(
09-06-2006, 07:59 AM
:haha: yep when I saw the avatar I thought it was GWH not Kristen :)
So thanks Kristen of course.
09-08-2006, 11:13 PM
Bjorkman and 'The Beast' Devour Opponents, Move into Men's Doubles Final
by Brian Cleary
Friday, September 8, 2006
Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi, the No. 2 seeds, are one imposing doubles team. Mirnyi, of Belarus, whose nickname is “The Beast,’’ is 6-foot-5, has a booming serve and one of the biggest wingspans you’ll ever see across the net. Bjorkman, from Sweden, who reached the singles semifinals at Wimbledon this year, has quick hands, great volleys and one of the games best return of serves. In the semifinals Friday they overwhelmed their unheralded opponents, Ashley Fisher of Australia and American Tripp Phillips, 6-1, 6-4.
Fisher-Phillips did all they could, employing a number of different formations, including both staying back to return serve and the classic Australian doubles formation when serving. But they couldn’t withstand the power of Borkman-Mirnyi, who own 80 doubles titles between them. Fisher has one doubles title in his career, and Phillips none.
“They complement each other so well,’’ said Phillips earlier in the tournament of Bjorkman-Mirnyi. “Bjorkman returns so well. Mirnyi has just incredible reach around the net. It makes them very tough.’’
Fisher-Phillips were surprise semifinalists. They had only played six tournaments together this year before the Open. Tripp served to open the match and he was broken right off the bat, and again the next time he served. Bjorkman-Mirnyi capitalized on Tripp’s three doubles faults. In the second set, Fisher began serving for his team, but Bjorkman-Mirnyi broke him right off the bat as well. Later in the set Fisher-Phillips had a chance to break back, their one break-point of the entire match, but couldn’t convert.
Bjorkman-Mirnyi move into the finals, looking for their first US Open title as a team. They each have won the title with different partners, Mirnyi in 2002 with Mahesh Bhupathi, and Bjorkman in 2003 with Todd Woodbridge. Bjorkman-Mirnyi own two Grand Slam titles together, having won the French Open twice.
09-11-2006, 02:21 PM
Wheelchair tennis catching on at Grand Slam events
(This has bugger all about Jonas, but it combines two of my great 'tennis loves' (JB and wheelchair tennis :lol: ) so I'm posting anyway :D
NEW YORK — When Robin Ammerlaan played on one of the outer courts at Wimbledon during the championships this year, so many spectators came to watch that his match was moved from Court 15 to Court 2.
"They were hanging on the flower boxes," the Dutch player said.
Considering that his event, men's wheelchair tennis, wasn't part of any of the Grand Slam events just a few years ago, that is saying quite a bit.
"I think it means recognition from the people who love the sport," said Ammerlaan, the No. 2 seed in the event who defeated Robin Vink 6-2, 6-4 yesterday on Court 10.
Wheelchair tennis will be part of the French Open next year, among the mix of juniors and seniors events held in conjunction with the major. This year at the U.S. Open, siblings Eileen and Mike Kraft watched a men's semifinal before going into Arthur Ashe Stadium for the women's semifinals.
"I'm just impressed by their athleticism," Eileen Kraft of Tarrytown said.
The game is a little different. Since it is more difficult to propel a wheelchair and wield a racket at the same time, players are allowed two bounces. Other than that, the lines, service rules and points are pretty much the same.
"I know plenty of able-bodied players who couldn't do this," Mike Kraft of White Plains said. "I don't think this is a charity event, these are world-class players."
Ammerlaan won the gold medal in men's singles at the Paralympic Games in Athens, and was competitive in the able-bodied version of the game before losing the use of one of his legs after back surgery. But wheelchair tennis has given him access to a world it would have been difficult to see otherwise.
"If you go into the locker room, Roger Federer, Jonas Bjorkman are talking to us," Ammerlaan said.
09-12-2006, 08:40 AM
Some of you might be interested in this...
[ http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20060912.W01&irec=1 ]
Todd Woodbridge: Spreading his passion for tennis to the young
Bruce Emond, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
There was not a dry eye in the stadium when Andre Agassi -- the only men's player of the last 30 years to win all four Grand Slams -- ended his career at the US Open in New York City last week.
It was a fitting farewell for the 35-year-old American, who in recent years had shorn the frosted wild-child locks and Vegas showman attitude of his youth to emerge as a reformed and revered grand older man of the ATP Tour.
But when Todd Woodbridge closed out his professional career as the winningest men's doubles player of the professional era that began in 1968, his penultimate match was played and lost on lonely Court 17 at Wimbledon 2005.
The only outpouring of emotion was his own: The Australian covered his head in a towel and cried.
"Your whole life has been spent thinking about winning a tournament, you're very driven, and then you decide there won't be anymore of that. It's a big hole," Woodbridge, also 35, said in Jakarta, where he was coaching juniors and corporate VIPs at the invitation of Bank Commonwealth.
He does not begrudge for a moment the attention and plaudits heaped on Agassi, for he is a confirmed fan.
"It was well-deserved," Woodbridge said. "What I loved about him, not only in playing against him but as a spectator, was that he was a real person, and he understood life; what it is to be famous, but also to respect people."
Agassi talked about the joy of not having to live out of a suitcase anymore; Woodbridge, who is married with two children, proudly announces that he "hasn't been bored once during the past 12 months". The tour, he added, can be a lonely place, a "head-to-head, dog-eat-dog world" that can support few friendships.
Today, he is focused on new challenges -- TV commentating in his homeland and motivational speaking. He also coached his former doubles partner, Jonas Bjorkman, to the Wimbledon semifinals at the age of 34.
Woodbridge won 83 tournament titles, including a record nine Wimbledon crowns.
It's one more than the legendary Doherty brothers, who collected their titles in the 1900s, when the defending champion did not play through the tournament but waited for the winner to play the Challenge Round.
He knows his distinguished place his history, his partnership with Mark Woodforde putting him in the long tradition of Australian men's doubles champions dating back to Frank Sedgman-Ken McGregor, Lew Hoad-Ken Rosewall, John Newcome-Tony Roche and the more recent Paul McNamee and Peter McNamara.
As for doubles not getting sufficient respect, increasingly sidelined by the glare of attention placed on singles and the controversial final-set, sudden-death tiebreak, he is not concerned.
"I have had plenty of respect. I would like to see a little bit more of a focus on doubles sometimes, but the thing for me is that tennis is a complete game -- it's singles, doubles, mixed doubles.
"There are all these different shots you have to learn ... But it (doubles) is never going to be the number one part, you have to be realistic ..."
Woodbridge now talks about spreading his "passion" for the game to the younger generation, including in Asia. With the advance of the Chinese women on the WTA Tour, and Asians getting bigger and taller, he believes they will come to hold their own on the court.
"I always felt that in the past Asian players were intimidated by the traditional tennis nations -- the Americans, the Australians and the French. I think that once the Chinese crack the big time, then other Asians will say, 'Well, if they can do it, then so can I'."
From playing with his parents at their local tennis club in Sydney, his love of the game was kindled at the age of six, when he got to hit with Ken Rosewall.
"He was my inspiration," he said of the famously graceful and gracious Aussie, who reached his first Wimbledon singles final at the age of 19 in 1954, and his final one 20 years later. "He still loves the game more than any man or woman I have ever seen ..."
He was a five-time junior Grand Slam doubles champion with Jason Stoltenberg, but realized that the latter was not that interested in the pairs' game. He then turned to Woodforde, a left-hander five years his senior.
They won Wimbledon in 1993, the sweetest victory of his career because he finally could say he was a champion of the world's most prestigious tournament.
A perfect doubles partnership, he said, hinges on a marriage of opposite strengths. "I always looked for partners who did the things well that I didn't ... I did that with Mark -- right-hander and left hander, he was calmer, I was more spontaneous on court, so our personalities and temperaments jelled."
When Woodforde retired in 2000, Woodbridge turned to the Swede Bjorkman, whose aggressive game had given him fits.
He likes to joke that it was, in a way, an extension of the "Woodies", for 'bjork" means wood in Swedish. They won Wimbledon in 2002-2004.
The partnership is also about communicating. "It would be tough for me to play with somebody I disliked ... it would be difficult to put that aside to concentrate on the match".
He knows that tennis today has its problems. For one, the efforts to control the all-powerful serve -- through heavier balls and slower courts -- have given rise to baseline slugfests, with players increasingly reticent about moving into the danger zone of the net.
Woodbridge admits the game is more "boring" without the classic baseliner-net rusher rivalries of Evert-Navratilova, McEnroe-Borg and Becker-Wilander.
"It's trying to change the game to become more attractive, but in essence it's actually detracted from it ... you've taken an element and a style, the aggressor, out of the game ..."
There is also another problem, the dearth of tennis courts for young players. Woodbridge he has seen it in his native New South Wales, with courts swallowed up by urban development.
"If you could get tennis courts in areas where the average person could play; get young kids on tennis courts instead of basketball courts, but there are just not enough courts."
The Woodies were a household name in Australia, and two years ago he relocated his family from the U.S. to Melbourne. It was a practical decision; he knows his reputation and achievements carry a much greater cache there for his future.
But, even as one of the modern greats of the game, Woodforde does not stand on ceremony or pull rank. As he left Saturday for Bali for more appearances and clinics, he bypassed the special transport for business-class passengers to stand with the rest of the strap-handlers on the bus ride to the plane.
There were no double-takes, no Agassi-like clamor for autographs from the most successful man in men's doubles.
And he did not seem to mind one bit.
09-24-2006, 08:00 PM
Not brazzed off!
The Davis Cup tie against Brazil starts today in Belo Horizonte, 1 000 meters above the sea. It looks fairly good for us. We have a good spirit in the team, and compared to earlier this summer, when we had injuries and poor form, our situation has improved. Andreas Vinciguerra is in the middle of a very promising comeback with three finals and one win in the challengers. He looks very strong and confident, and he is always tough to play against, never gives up. He will face Flavio Saretta in the first match, the same Saretta that he beat in his last DC match three years ago and thereby gave us a 3-2 victory. Robin Söderling will take on Ricardo Mello, while Simon Aspelin and I will play against Gustavo Kuerten and Andre Sa in the doubles on Saturday.
I believe that the high altitude will work a little bit to our advantage.
The ball flies faster, your serve gets more importance, and that is good for a player like Robin Söderling who has really heavy ground strokes.
The fact that Gustavo Kuerten is in the Brazilian line-up guarantees sold out stands, 8 000 spectators, and it will be a great atmosphere.
10-04-2006, 06:59 AM
As seen in the May/June 2006 issue
Bjorkman & Mirnyi
By Sandra Harwitt
What makes the pairing of Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi stand apart from most of the other full-time doubles players on the tour is that they both remain solid singles players as well.
The reigning French Open champions, both Bjorkman and Mirnyi have had tremendous success in the doubles arena.But both came to their love of doubles in a very different way.
For Bjorkman, who grew up in Sweden, playing singles and doubles was a decision based on being a copycat: "That was the way I was told and learned how to play. Everyone at the time when I started and that I was looking up to was playing both. I was told to be a good singles player you had to play doubles – you needed to be able to play from the back and to be comfortable at the net. Doubles was a great game to learn how to play good volleys and good reaction."
For Mirnyi, who learned the game under the Soviet rule in Russia, thinking in a doubles frame of mind was a matter of having no choice: " It started out for me at a very young age and I was limited to court time. We had one indoor court for 20 kids and you were made to play doubles, or mixed doubles, and sometimes, even triples. So when I became older it was normal for me to play doubles."
As a regular team these days, they compliment each other in their serious work ethic and meld their different strengths – Mirnyi is the guy with the serve, Bjorkman the guy with the return-of-serve.
Not surprisingly, their statistics speak volumes for the fact that doubles is a crucial element of their careers.
In total, Bjorkman has won six Grand Slam doubles titles and Mirnyi has reeled in three during his career. Both are currently top five doubles players and just successfully defended their NASDAQ-100 Open title with a victory over the world No. 1 brother act of Bob and Mike Bryan.
Among the reasons the two have gravitated to doubles is that it prevents boredom if you lose early in singles at a tournament, and it also provides a forum to work on your game in a competitive setting.
But, as mentioned, singles has also been a top priority.
Bjorkman, at age 34 remains a top 75 ranked singles player, but back in 1997 enjoyed a career high singles ranking of No. 4. He's won six titles, reached the singles semifinal of the 1997 U.S Open as well as five other quarterfinal appearances at the Grand Slams.
Mirnyi has ranked as high as No. 18 in singles, has won one singles title and reached the 2002 U.S. Open quarterfinals.
According to Bjorkman, today's players are missing the boat by skipping out on doubles.
"The singles competition is getting stronger and stronger each year, and unfortunately, a lot of the coaches are telling players that playing doubles is taking too much energy out of you," Bjorkman said. "We need to get the coaches to change their approach."
These days both are family men – Bjorkman travels with his wife, Petra, and 3-year-old son, Max, while Mirnyi travels with wife, Xenia, and 16-month-old daughter, Melanie.
And although they get along extremely well both on-and-off the court, where their interests divide is when it comes to down time.
For Mirnyi, who occasionally trains with his younger brother Peter's basketball teammates at Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Fla., he'll exchanges his racket for a guitar, where he will pick out some favorite tunes of 1980's Russian rock stars.
And it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to find Bjorkman lacing up a pair of ice skates and holding a hockey stick in lieu of a racket as he takes up a defensive left-wing position in a pick-up hockey game.
10-12-2006, 09:04 PM
FROM JONAS' MESSAGE BLOG ON ATP WEBSITE:
I lost to Robin Soderling in the second round of Stockholm Open today, 6-0, 6-2. The evil virus-infection that Petra and Max have been carrying for a while now has really jumped on me too. I had no energy at all. But to be honest that probably didn’t have an impact on winning or loosing, but maybe if I had felt better it would have given me a few more games at least.
This evening, two of the Swedish fans that have supported us Swedish players in Melbourne and the Australian Open during the years (they are both loyal and loud!), nicknamed “Candle” and “Pippi”, came to visit at our hotel, and handed over a bottle of champagne and a few Davidoff cigars. The reason was, that we made a bet some time ago, about which of our favourite football teams, their AIK or my Hammarby, both from Stockholm, would win the derbys between them this season. Needless to say, Hammarby won them both… Almost an embarrassingly easy way to earn the glory, and a zip of champagne… They are both great guys, just not so clever when it comes to football…
Speaking of football. I just watched the Swedish national team win their fourth straight victory in the qualification for the European Championships 2008, 2-1 away against Iceland. Despite injuries and internal trouble, they have found the form that has made them so successful since the late 90s - only three losses in the qualifications for the European and World Championships since 1998 for example. Great to see that the team spirit is back.
And speaking of spirit… I think I have to consider employing my son Max as my mentor! After my poor performance today, he told me: “Dad, it’s okay. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. I do that too!”
Max really loves tennis. They have mini tennis courts for the kids at Stockholm Open. Yesterday he played there for almost two hours, the queues were starting to build up behind him, but he just didn’t want to stop… He was still charged up when we came back to the hotel, and it took some time to get him to sleep. With the benefit that we all slept in, until 8.30 this morning…
John McEnroe and I had a seminar with the sponsors and the business elite at lunchtime today. I really like that kind of gathering; they are both interesting and entertaining, and they always broaden your horizons a little bit.
At the seminar, McEnroe said, jokingly, that he is worried that I will be a little bit too kind against my good friends Joachim “Pim-Pim” Johansson and Thomas Johansson in the doubles tomorrow. He is here to win, he wants to show why he is considered to be a legend! The moderator asked him if the mix between a “Mr Nice Guy-on the court” and a “Mr Not So Nice Guy-on the court” makes the perfect balance, and from what I could hear, John agreed.
Our doubles match tomorrow is sold out! It’s even impossible to get tickets on the black market! It would be such a fantastic feeling if we could show our best side and win.
When we came back from the tennis tonight, Max said: “What a nice house we have," about the hotel. What else can you do but agree…
Another late night, another room service dinner.
Alright, nighty-nighty, talk to you tomorrow (and if you can’t sleep, visit my web site jonasbjorkman.com...)
10-12-2006, 09:49 PM
I just love his blog :)
10-13-2006, 07:30 AM
I wish that you all had been in Stockholm tonight. John McEnroe and I beat Andreas Vinciguerra and Johan Landsberg 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the doubles in Stockholm Open.
But it was not the result that was the most important thing this time. It was the atmosphere. Sheer magic. Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg were both there.
The lights were turned down, then turned on when each of us walked on the court. The three of us “ordinary” players got great ovations, but when John McEnroe made his entrance, everyone got on their feet and gave him a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes. It seemed that it would never end. John had to thank the audience two, three times before we even started to warm up…
I think that some people might have doubted that McEnroe is still capable of delivering first class competitive tennis, but if so, they were all surprised how very good he was moving, returning, and playing his volleys.
We were supposed to play against Joachim “Pim-Pim” Johansson and Thomas Johansson tonight, but Thomas’ wife Gisella is expecting their first child, so they had to cancel.
Before the match, Bjorn Borg came into our locker room, and it was a thrill just to see them together again, and hear them catch up, talking about old times, their current situation, our upcoming match tonight, and their own form and the match that they are going to play against each other in Dubai in three weeks time.
You know, in this world of tennis, when you are part of happenings like this, it feels like you are part of history…
John and Bjorn had dinner together last night, and they both agreed that they have to spend more time together from now on.
The atmosphere was just incredible tonight, and I am sure that it will be at least as good tomorrow when we face Simon Aspelin and Todd Perry. It will be very tough. They are fighting for a place in the Masters play offs, and they lost in the semifinals in San Jose, so I am sure that they are very keen on beating us this time.
Earlier today, I stopped by the former Swedish international football star Tomas Brolin’s restaurant Undici in the centre of Stockholm to hold a speech together with other Swedish athletes, and that is also the place where we are going to have a late dinner tonight.
My son Max learned how to fold and throw a paper plane from Michael Llodra yesterday, and he wouldn’t stop showing me how to do it today (Max, that is!). We also played hide and seek, and Max hid behind the same curtain every time, totally impossible to find!
This was a mind blowing day, and I can’t wait to find out how everything turns out tomorrow.
Take care, and talk to you soon again!
10-14-2006, 12:00 AM
10-15-2006, 12:43 AM
Thanks for the article .
Im new here and i really enjoy Jonas game..
10-29-2006, 07:14 PM
On my way to Paris
Thomas Johansson and I lost yesterday against Mahesh Bhupathi and Mario Ancic, 6-3, 3-6, 11-13, in St Petersburg. We had one match point and could have won as well, despite a tough draw, but we didn´t have enough luck on our side this time.
I will go to Paris tomorrow to prepare for one of the last tournaments of the season.
Doubles with Thomas J
I reached the semi final in Madrid last Friday together with Max Mirnyi, where we lost Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor 6-4, 6-4. We got a poor start in both sets, and that was enough. Still, we got a few good bonus points, since we didn´t play at all in Madrid last year. This upcoming week I will just play together with Thomas Johansson in St Petersburg. That gives me a chance to finally get rid of a stubborn cold, so I can arrive in Paris totally fit.
11-03-2006, 10:03 PM
Semi in Paris
I am in the semi final with Max Mirnyi in Paris. In the first round, we played really poor tennis against Cermak and Damm, but managed somehow to save six match points and win, 2-6, 7-6, 15-13. Then we beat Dlouhy and Vizner 6-3, 6-4, and we started to function more normally again. In the semi final tomorrow we will face Clement and Llodra, who always are dangerous, especially on their homeground.
Focusing on the doubles
I lost a very tough three hour match against Nicolas Almagro in Paris yesterday, 7-6, 6-7, 6-7. No breaks in the first two sets, even if I had my chances in the second, and 7-7 and my serve in the second tiebreak. Almagra hits the ball very hard, and yesterday he served approx 20 aces, scoring points with his serve at crucial moments. Unusually, I made several easy mistakes from my backhand, and as the matched progressed, I started to get passive, waiting for his mistakes. Obviously, it showed that I have been slightly injured or ill since the tournaments in USA, and I miss the flow and feeling and confidence that you get from beeing fit and play a lot of matches.
Max Mirnyi and I are determined to do a good show in the doubles here, so that we can go to the playoffs in Shanghai with a with a great confidence. We are playing against Cermak and Damm on Thursday.
11-06-2006, 01:47 PM
Semi and out in Paris
Max Mirnyi and I lost the semi final in Paris against Llodra and Clement, 3-6, 4-6. We hade our chances to break them and get into the match and find our own best game, but we didn´t manage to take advantage of them, and we simply didn´t play as good as we can.
We are now aiming for Shanghai this upcoming weekend, where we want to perform better. I am leaving for Shanghai already on Tuesday.
11-15-2006, 12:51 PM
NEWS November 15, 2006
Bjorkman & Mirnyi Edge to Knowles-Nestor in Gold Group
By Sandra Harwitt
It didn’t come easy for Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi, but they improved their record in the Gold Group to 2-0 with a hard fought 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) win over Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor.
The match was a constant nail-biter as both teams were battling for a 2-0 record in the group. But in the end, it was Knowles and Nestor who had to settle for a 1-1 record.
“Well, we're very happy and pleased with the win because we had some tough matches this year with them - winning some, losing some,” Bjorkman said. “The problem we had is that we've been coming off to bad starts every time we play them, and it's not ideal when you play such a good team. The good part was that we fought well and that's a strength in our team. We managed to come back. With a little bit of luck, we managed to win that second set and turn the match around.
“In the third I think we were the team who had more chances and closer to come up a break. You know, we just finished it off with a great tiebreak.”
It took a monumental effort but Fabrice Santoro and Nenad Zimonjic (audio) elevated themselves to 1-1 in the Red Group with a 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 win over Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski, a win that took two hours, 15 minutes to earn.
For Santoro, who won this title with Michael Llodra last year, a partnership where the partners get along is an essential ingredient.
“It doesn’t matter who’s playing well, who’s playing not very well this day,” Santoro said. “We have to be a team and just try to be positive even when we are in trouble.
“When I’m playing bad, he’s here to support me, and if he’s in a bad day, I’m here to support him. We have to try to be positive and take the chance when they are there.”
And the partnership between him and Zimonjic seems to be working well in their debut season together.
After taking the first set, Santoro and Zimonjic surrendered a 4-2 lead in the second set to eventually lose the set in the tiebreaker. Racing to a 4-1 lead in the third set, the twosome was able to hold on to their advantage to place themselves at 1-1 in the round-robin standings.
And in case you’re wondering if Santoro and Zimonjic are hanging out off the court – they had dinner just the other night with Santoro picking up the check. But Santoro made sure to say that it would be Zimonjic’s turn to pay on Wednesday night.
11-16-2006, 07:24 AM
TENNIS MASTERS CUP
November 13, 2006
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You are one of the three pairs that doesn't change according to last year's Masters Cup.
MAX MIRNYI: The streak doesn't change?
Q. It doesn't change, your pair, according to last year's Masters Cup. There were eight pairs. Only three of them doesn't change according to last year's Masters Cup.
JONAS BJORKMAN: As a team?
Q. Yes, as a team. I'd like to know, how can you maintain such a consistent cooperation?
MAX MIRNYI: I think the easiest and the most natural answer to this is to look at the results of teams. The ones that are satisfied with their results end up staying together, and the ones that tend to not work well together, they lose more matches; therefore, they look for different opportunities, different matchups. That's why teams break up. You normally don't ever see teams separate when they had the results at least we've had in the last two years.
So, you know, we have a similar approach as to our tennis. We both play singles and doubles and help each other when there is a need for it. That's why I think we've had good success in the last two years.
Q. Can you talk about the match today.
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I think we got off to a good start in both sets and didn't make too many errors. The only few mistakes we did was at good times in the game, early in the games. Returned well. I think we played a solid match in general, not too many mistakes, and took our chances and kept very solid at the net.
Q. A question for Max. You played mixed doubles with a Chinese player in Wimbledon. I wonder, how did you meet each other, and how did you make this agreement?
MAX MIRNYI: Actually, the first time we played was at the US Open -- I mean at the French Open this year. I was just planning on playing as much tennis as I can during that time of the season, that's clay courts. It is not always that I do well in singles there, so I was hoping to find a mixed doubles partner, but I had no idea that she was that good.
My father approached maybe their team manager who travels with them, and it was a great approach. Actually, a Swedish coach, a friend of Jonas', told me that she was available, Thomas Hogstedt, who's helping the Chinese women's tennis. So it was this kind of a connection at the French Open.
You know, I have no look-backs, no regrets. It was a great experience, and I hope we can play again and maybe win one of the Grand Slams.
Q. Do you pay attention to what's going on in the other group? If so, what do you make of Bob and Mike's loss yesterday? Is it too early to say, "Maybe they're not on top of their game here"?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, I think you follow both the singles and the doubles results yesterday, watching the matches, and take notes of what happened.
But, you know, it's just too early to say, obviously, because it's such a long way to go. I think everyone has been in the situation of losing the first one, coming back strong and, you know, end up winning.
You know, in a tournament you're not supposed to play your greatest matches in the early stage, you know; you need to save it to the last. It's just too early to say.
Q. Max, could you say a little bit more about Jie Zheng?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, we got on the right foot very quickly. There were a few miscommunications in the beginning when I was thinking she understands what I'm saying, but she's so shy and polite that she never, you know, she never told me that she doesn't understand, so there was a few mis-matchups. When I said left, she thought right, and the other way around.
But once I figured this out -- her coach told me that after the first match at the French Open, that, you know, I should tell her and then she explains. But then, you know, basically a month later at Wimbledon she spoke so much better English that I didn't need to speak to the coach.
It was a great experience, but that was really the only thing that I can point out. She's a great player. I think she'll be at the top of Chinese tennis for a long time. Hopefully, she's not far from being at the top of the world. They've already done so well in doubles. We see more and more Chinese players coming up and starting to dominate, so I think it's a matter of time before she'll be as successful in singles.
Q. Max, just like you said, China's women's doubles players have done a great job this year. The country's men's players are so far in a very low level. Do you think they could or should more focus on doubles just like Jie Zheng does?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, I think any successful sport has to come up and thrive on good tradition. You know, we know that China for a long time was part of a different regime, and table tennis, for instance, was much more popular than tennis. So I think it's the beginning of a long-term success for China because we see that very quickly women's tennis is making an impact just for the reason that maybe it's a little bit less competitive as a whole than the men's tennis.
So I'm sure that the work is being done, and it's a matter of time before we'll see more men's players coming out. But the women are setting up a great tradition for the sport in this country, and I'm sure there will be many more to follow.
Q. (Through translation .) Max, you once were ranked No. 18 in the world in men's singles. That was your best record. It seems to me right now you focus more on doubles instead of singles. Does that mean you actually shift a lot more to doubles now? Also, throughout the whole match today you and your partner really talked quite a bit. Does that mean that actually your partner, Jonas, because of his age and also experience, really is more experienced in that sense and you need to get advice and suggestions from him?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, any good -- any doubles teams tend to communicate, and, you know, we're no different. A lot of little elements need to be discussed on the doubles court.
But as far as my primary focus, trust me, you know, if I could choose to be playing singles here at this tournament, I would give anything I have for this. Not always that you get something that you want, and it's a long process, something that I work for. My focus hasn't shifted from singles in any way. It certainly is getting more difficult because we all get older, and more and more young players are coming up. Different variables. The game is just advancing so quickly.
But I still believe in myself, stay strong with both singles and doubles. It's just by the virtue of having a good partner, good attitude, I have better doubles results than singles results. But I pay attention to both.
Q. Since you cooperate so smoothly, any common interests in your spare time off the court?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, it's such a technology-oriented world we live in now. I think with the computers and everything that's involved with the high tech, you know, we try to keep up and maybe have the latest models of Canon camera, but I always have a tough time keeping up with Jonas.
Q. Bjorkman, your son's name is Max. Does it have anything to do with Mirnyi?
JONAS BJORKMAN: You put me in a position where I have to say yes now (smiling).
MAX MIRNYI: I don't think he's got the winningest record against anybody in singles, and he's beaten me nine times. There's a reason why he calls his son that (smiling).
JONAS BJORKMAN: We thought it was a good name for our son, so we're pleased with it, as well. You know, he's a true tennis lover already, trying to follow our matches as much as he can. You know, unfortunately, they're not here but, you know, we see them next week.
End of FastScripts
11-20-2006, 08:39 AM
2006 TENNIS MASTERS CUP
SHANGHAI, CHINA, November 18, 2006
BJORKMAN-MIRNYI/Damm-Paes 6-7, 7-6, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was that as exciting to play as it was to watch?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I have to say that. It's not often you play matches with such a good quality that went almost like all four are playing their best tennis. You know, it was a great crowd, as well. Really got into it. I think they really appreciate it and gave us the nice support of the good doubles.
So that was very exciting.
Q. Not to cause any trouble, but can you get that level of excitement and everything in the super tiebreaker kind of match, or am I crazy thinking that you can't?
MAX MIRNYI: Well, you know, this was in a way a different league because there was so much at stake to play for. Not only it's the tournament that we're playing at, but it's also sort of bitter feelings because we lost to them the finals of the US Open not too long ago.
That all taken into consideration, you know, made it so special just to play. The longer the match went on, the more painful it would have been to lose the match, seems like.
So I don't know if you could have gotten the same intensity. Well, first of all, time-wise, it wouldn't have been as long. To answer your question, probably this format really made it to the fullest the whole emotion of the match.
Q. What about tomorrow's final? Is it going to be more difficult than today's match?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I think we just have to keep up the same level of tennis, what we have done in the past matches.
If you look at the matchup we had in the group against Knowles and Nestor, it was very close, and we played for 2 hours and 45 minutes, I think.
Yes, I think we're gonna have a really close final. Two teams is playing really good tennis now. I think it's been -- most of the teams been playing well here, but definitely these two teams have been very consistent. So, you know, we've got to maybe even step up one extra knot for tomorrow.
Q. Jonas, was that more mentally draining rather than physically draining, that match? Did it take a lot out of you guys mentally?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think it was good for us because we used to play even singles and doubles the same day. And this was a good workout both mentally and physically. Yeah, I mean, when it gets that tight in a match like today, you know, obviously it's gonna take a lot of -- a big effort to come through. The good part is that we used to this situation to play a lot, so I don't think it's gonna be any problems for tomorrow.
We will feel pretty fresh and sharp, and hopefully we can continue the same run.
Q. Last year Santoro and Llodra, they are the champion. They took off their shoes and threw it to the crowd. So if tomorrow you wins, what kind of behavior will you do for celebration to all the audience?
MAX MIRNYI: We don't have a high-profile producer traveling with us to set up those moments, so, you know, we'll go with the flow and depending on how the match goes. I think it will be all natural.
Q. Jonas, once you mentioned that you wanted to hire your son Max as a mentor. So I want to know, have you shared your opinions during this tournament? If so, what's his suggestions for you?
JONAS BJORKMAN: He hasn't had too much interest in me the last week purely because I have been away quite a lot. I think I need to catch up a lot of days so he will feel comfortable and maybe help me out with some tricks for the tennis.
But at the moment, you know, he's more satisfied with his cars and his own tennis racquet back home and enjoying that. Then hopefully I can catch up with him next week.
End of FastScripts
11-21-2006, 11:42 AM
2006 TENNIS MASTERS CUP
SHANGHAI, CHINA, November 19, 2006
BJORKMAN-MIRNYI/Knowles-Nestor 6-2, 6-4
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.
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.
End of FastScripts
11-23-2006, 11:08 AM
Festivities in Stockholm
The Swedish Tennis Association celebrates its 100 year anniversary this week, and all the famous players will attend. There is a number of activities during the week, culminating on Saturday with an event in the Royal Tennis Hall in Stockholm, and a dinner at the Grand Hotel.
Including this week, I will take some time off for three weeks. My physics trainer Daniel Hedin will come to Monaco December 13, and then we build up for Doha January 1 2007, the Australian Open, and Davis Cup against Belarus.
My favourite year
A slight disappointment surfaces when I sum up 2006, and realize that Max Mirnyi and I ended just 29 points behind the Bryan brothers, and also the number 1 spot in the rankings. But still, 2006 is my best year ever as a doubles player. I have never before won eight tournaments in one season, and many of them with a special feeling about them, too: the one with McEnroe in San Jose, the French Open, and the play offs in Shanghai of course, and the one together with Thomas Johansson back at home in Båstad.
A masterful ending
We became champions! Max Mirnyi and I won the final in the Masters play offs in Shanghai against Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor, 6-2, 6-4. After the extremly tough semi final against Leander Paes and Martin Damm (7-6, 6-7, 7-6), we had worked up such a speed and touch that we really outplayed Knowles and Nestor in the final. We didn´t lose one match in Shanghai, but set up a perfect ending to the year that truly inspires us for 2007.
12-28-2006, 12:23 PM
Off for a good start
The three weeks off that I had in late November and the beginning of December went extremly fast…! I started my practise December 13. It felt surprisingly easy to get going again. I feel strong, compared to the last two years when I have started very poorly due to sickness and injuries. One of my goals this season is to get a good start, especially important in the Australian Open in front of all the Swedish fans. It hasn´t felt good not to be able to pay them back for all the support they are giving.
I want to stay top 50 in the singles 2007. Max Mirnyi hasn´t won Australian Open, Wimbledon or Indian Wells, so that is our top concerns this year. I have still Rome to conquer.
December 26 I leave for Doha. We have a doubles title to defend. After that Australia, Davis Cup, Marseille, Dubai, Indian Wells and Key Biscayne.
But right now – it´s christmas!
I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! Thanks so much for all the support 2006!
12-31-2006, 12:07 PM
There is an interview with Jonas on tennis.se
Jonas says mainly that he has taken 3 weeks off from tennis after last season and that he practiced hard with Thomas Johansson and his physical coach in december.
Jonas goal for 2007 is to stay in the top 50 and to start the season better than last year.
They also asked him if 2007 will be his last year and Jonas answers that he takes one year at the time. It depends how his body feels after 2007 and how big his motivation will be to continue.
01-05-2007, 08:06 AM
It has begun
The new season has begun. I beat Nicolas Almagro, Spain, 7-5, 7-5 in the first round in Doha, but lost 3-6, 4-6 in the second against Nikolay Davydenko, Russia. I was content with my own game, again, but he was incredibly strong. We will head for Melbourne next, and the Australian Open, where I, as I´ve said before, want to perform better in front of all the Swedish fans than I´ve done the last two years.
01-08-2007, 08:21 AM
It has begun
The new season has begun. I beat Nicolas Almagro, Spain, 7-5, 7-5 in the first round in Doha, but lost 3-6, 4-6 in the second against Nikolay Davydenko, Russia. I was content with my own game, again, but he was incredibly strong. We will head for Melbourne next, and the Australian Open, where I, as I´ve said before, want to perform better in front of all the Swedish fans than I´ve done the last two years.
From us to all of you: a happy new 2007!
01-11-2007, 08:08 PM
find this on tennis.se :)
Vinn Björkmans racket! (http://tiebreak.tennis.se/ArticlePages/200701/05/20070105142824_icaf590/20070105142824_icaf590.dbp.asp)
01-12-2007, 03:53 PM
Unfortunately I got a very tough draw in the Australian Open. If I beat Olivier Patience, France, in the first round, I will face Roger Federer in the second. But I just have to handle it the best way possible. I have been training very well since I got here last Saturday, easy the first couple of days, much more intensive since then and up until now. It has been quite a few injuries and cases of sickness here, but I am spared so far, knock on wood.
My son Max will turn 4 y.o. on Monday, so we will have a party together with a few kids of other players and trainers on Sunday. A perfect preparation!
02-11-2007, 12:23 PM
DC draw done
The draw for our Davis Cup tie against Belarus in Minsk this weekend is just done. Robin Söderling will face Vladimir Voltchkov in the first match tomorrow, before Thomas Johansson goes up against Max Mirnyi. Simon Aspelin and I will face Mirnyi and Voltchkov in the doubles on Saturday.
We might be slight favourites, but home ground and previous results are pro Belarus. It will be a tough task for us. They have won 10 out of 11 DC matches here, against nations such as Argentina and Spain. Max Mirnyi is their anchor, and he always plays fantastic tennis in Davis Cup. Voltchkov has been around a while and he has a great capacity, advanced to the semi final in Wimbledon five or six years ago and beat David Ferrer in straight sets here last year. Recently he has been playing fewer matches on the very top level, and that is a fact that we hope to use to our advantage.
We are ready to go. We really want to win so that we finally get a home game in the next round. The last one was four years ago when we beat Brazil 3-2 in Helsingborg.
Minsk is a pleasant surprise. A nice old city with similarities to both Stockholm and St Petersburg. The organizers are doing a great job. When we arrived last Sunday, the arena, built for indoor football with a capacity of 3 000-4 000 spectators, was already completely ready to use. Usually there is always some last minute preparations going on, but this time we have been able to practise in perfect conditions.
Max the perfect host
We had lunch at Max Mirnyis newly opened restaurant today, and we will go there for dinner tonight as well. Let´s just hope that Max is not planting anything in our food... Max has been great these few days, asking us all the time if we have everything that we need or if he can help us with anything else. He is proud to have us here and to be able to present his hometown to us. Hopefully I will get some time to visit him in his home on Monday.
02-17-2007, 11:09 PM
SKA BLI AGENT Själv blev han blåst på flera miljoner kronor och efter tenniskarriären tänker Jonas Björkman bli agent som skyddar andra från att bli lurade. Men den 35-årige smålänningen ska inte lägga av än. En medalj i Peking-OS hägrar
”Spelar du fortfarande? Singel också?”
Det händer inte dagligen men ofta stöter Jonas Björkman på personer som känner igen hans nuna men har noll koll i övrigt.
– Ibland är jag sugen på att säga att jag la av för tre år sedan och börjat plugga juridik men samtidigt vill jag inte vara fräck.
Så du förklarar att du är näst bäste svensk på rankingen och att du så sent som förra sommaren var i semifinal i Wimbledonsingeln?
– Äh, de som inte vet det är ändå inte så intresserade utan vill nog mest snacka lite, så jag säger bara att jag håller på fortfarande.
Han har hållt på länge. Proffsdebut 1991 då han med sin 691:a plats på rankingen var 41:a bäste svensk. Att samma placering i dag räckt till en 13:e plats på Sverige-listan säger mycket om sportens tillbakagång i landet.
– Det ser inte lovande ut men jag tror ändå att det förr eller senare vänder igen. Titta bara på slalom där det varit jättetunnt i många år och där alla väntat på en ny Stenmark. Även om vi inte får någon sådan stjärna igen har det kommit fram nya killar, som bland andra Markus Larsson. Det är jättekul. Handboll och pingis är andra sporter som hamnat i svackor efter otroliga framgångar och också där kommer det säkert att svänga tillbaka.
Har du dubbla känslor av att vara snart 35 år och ändå näst bäste svensk på rankingen?
– Nej, det är bara häftigt. Samtidigt vet jag att både ”Tompa” (Thomas Johansson) och ”Pim-Pim” (Joachim Johansson) legat före mig om de fått vara hela. Det hade inte gjort mig något, tvärtom, jag är 46:a i världen och det skulle varit precis lika häftigt även om jag hade fler svenskar framför mig.
På listan över spelare med mest inpelade prispengar har han inga landsmän framför sig, ja, inte många spelare överhuvudtaget. Jonas har dragit in närmare 14 miljoner dollar, cirka 100 miljoiner kronor.
Du kallas ATM bland kompisarna?
– Ha, ha, vem har berättat det? ”Tompa” va? Haha, ja, jag får bjuda på det. Jo, ATM är ju en sån där penningmaskin och grabbarna tycker väl att jag fungerar som en sådan eftersom jag ofta toppar listan med prispengar. Jag brukar ju gå långt i dubbelturneringen och är ibland med och hugger i singel.
Tennisproffs har alltid förknippats med enorma prispengar men är sedan länge passerade av bland andra golfspelare och i dag tjänar halvtaskiga NHL-backar lika mycket som framgångsrika tennisspelare vilka dessutom har stora utgifter på resor.
Det var inte givet att Alvesta-sonen skulle bli tennisproffs även om han ville det och var helt såld då han som tioåring satt framför tv:n och såg Mats Wilander triumfera i Öppna franska.
Men till skillnad från Wilander och flera av de andra svenskproffsen kallades Jonas Björkman aldrig för underbarn och till skillnad från merparten av dem var han inte ett stort juniorlöfte.
Då andra 18-åringar spelade internationell topptennis lirade Jonas en liten turnering i Norrköping. Ändå var det just där allt började ta fart på allvar. Jonas var med i Team Wilander som leddes av coachen Fredrik ”Fidde” Rosengren.
– Jag hade spelat två matcher på kort tid och var trött. ”Fidde” gav mig två mackor och en dricka och sa att vi skulle åka för att träna. Det var bara att lyda och jag tränade i två och en halv timme.
Jonas ser med tacksamhet tillbaka på tiden tillsammans med Rosengren.
– Utan den hade jag inte kommit igenom. Det var ner i gruvan och så körde jag i fyra, fem år. Jag snittade 150 matcher per säsong vilket är enormt mycket och på så sätt härdade jag mig. Jag spelade små satellitturneringar där inte mycket fungerade och jag bodde på sjabbiga hotell i de skumma kvarteren. Det handlade bara om att överleva. Att bli så bra att jag kunde ta mig därifrån.
Tvivlade du aldrig på att du skulle lyckas?
– Hela tiden. Som liten var jag väldigt tillbakadragen. Jag satt i mitten eller längst bak i klassrummet. Jag räckte aldrig upp handen och ville inte synas eller höras. Det där hängde med länge och det dröjde innan jag började tro på mig själv. Men till slut insåg jag att jag faktiskt var bra i tennis.
Med denna insikt kom självförtroendet och efter det framgångarna. Eftersom stark självkänsla var något helt nytt för Jonas är det egentligen inte så konstigt att han inte kände sig helt trygg med den utan skaffade en attityd som av vissa uppfattades som egensinnig. Även om Jonas under den korta period som han ansågs vara svår skaffade sig en del kritiker hittade han snabbt rätt balans med sitt självförtroende. Han är sedan ett antal år en stor lagspelare och åtnjuter förtjänad respekt som sådan.
Han vet också att ta ansvar för sporten. Då han bjuder på sig själv gör han det lika mycket för sportens skull som för sin egen.
– Svensk tennis har ett enormt bra rykte utomlands och det är viktigt att vi som spelare i dag för vidare det Björn, Mats och Stefan representerade, säger han och tänker på de tre världsettorna Borg, Wilander och Edberg.
Själv var han fyra på singelrankingen för tio år sedan men trots det lär han – precis som Anders Järryd – en dag bli ihågkommen som främst dubbelspelare.
– Under en tid var jag trött på att kallas dubbelspecialist. Men ”Ante” och jag får väl skylla oss själva eftersom vi varit så dominerande i dubbel, säger Jonas som har 50 dubbeltitlar – varav nio Grand Slam– med 17 olika partners.
Han saknar bara en sak.
– En OS-medalj skulle vara stort. Jag och ”Pim-Pim” hade nog haft bra chans i Aten men så sträckte jag en magmuskel. Jag bara skrattade åt ”Pim-Pim” då han sa att vi får satsa mot Peking men nu är det bara drygt ett år dit så det kanske blir så. Jag vill gärna i alla fall.
Utöver skadan i Aten-OS har Jonas tvingats lämna återbud vid en handfull tillfällen under sina 15 proffsår och det trots att han spelar fler matcher än de flesta.
– Jag har en gynnsam spelstil där jag utnyttjar motståndarens kraft. Det plus att min kropp är härdad och att jag rör mig lätt är förklaringen till att jag hållt som jag gjort. Och så handlar det om tur också förstås. Men nu börjar det komma lite småskavanker som inflammation i axel och arm.
Han har planerna klara för livet efter karriären.
– Jag samarbetar nu med Daniel Wessfeldt på Podium som hjälper mig samtidigt som jag försöker hjälpa företaget att komma in i tennisen. Jag ser en framtid som agent där. Jag har lärt mig mycket av egna misstag och misstag som folk i omgivningen gjort.
En miss kostade Jonas flera miljoner i uteblivna sponsorsintäkter.
– När man blir topp-fem har man rätt att omförhandla sina kontrakt men den klausulen hade min dåvarande agent glömt i kontraktet. Därför fick jag spela vidare med samma ersättning som tidigare.
Från att ha varit tillbakadragen och tystlåten har Jonas Björkman blivit mer utåtriktad än något av de de andra svenskproffsen. Han lägger ut texten på presskonferenserna, älskar att uppträda och gör på spelarpartyn bejublade imitationer av både gamla och nya stjärnor.
Men det bästa betyger på sin begåvning fick han i ett annat sammanhang. Han är är kompis med Jan Rippe och de andra i Galenskaparna som förra året övertalade Jonas att uppträda som Madonna i Ladan i Båstad.
– Jag var hur skitnervös som helst. Galenskaparna är ju mina idoler och jag skulle uppträda med dem inför 1 500 pers. Ingen sa till publiken att det var jag som gjorde Madonna och efteråt var det några som tyckte att Anders Eriksson fått muskulösa ben. Ha ha.
Det blir fler shower med artisten Jonas Björkman. Både på och utanför banan.
Av Jonas Arnesen (SvD)
Genombrott i dubbel 1995
Gjorde Grand Slam-debut i US Open 1993 och genombrottet kom två år senare – i dubbel.
I par med Jan Apell tog Jonas sju dubbeltitlar och duon debuterade i Davis Cup.
Det blev fyra raka DC-segrar under säsongen som avslutades med bortafinalen mot Ryssland där paret avgjorde. 1995 fick Jonas singeldebutera i DC sedan Magnus Larsson insjuknat natten före matchstart mot Danmark.
Jonas förlorade sin första singel men blev på söndag stor matchhjälte då han i den avgörande matchen vände 1–2 mot hemmafavoriten Frederik Fetterlein.
Hade sitt stora år 1997 då han tog tre singeltitlar och nådde semifinal i US Open och ATP-slutspelet, rankades fyra och avgjorde DC-finalen mot USA i dubbeln i hop med Nicklas Kulti.
Året därpå säkrade Björkman/ Kulti Sveriges senaste DC-titel borta mot Italien.
Har missat bara en Grand Slam-turnering sedan debuten (Öppna australiska 2003 då sonen Max föddes). Har sex ATP-titlar i singel och 50 dubbeltitlar.
Fakta: Jonas Lars Björkman
Född: 23 mars 1972
Längd: 184 cm.
Vikt: 84 kilo.
Familj: Hustrun Petra, sonen Max, fyra år.
Bor: Monte Carlo.
Tjänat: 13 461 699 dollar, runt 100 miljoner kronor (prispengar i karriären)
Stolt över: Familjen, Max utveckling och att jag aldrig ger upp.
Rädd för: Ormar och hajar. Jag har inte gillat vatten sedan jag som liten höll på att drunkna i simskolan och de där Hajen-filmerna fördärvade mig helt.
Glädjer sig åt: Att se andra människor glada.
Styrka: Positiv, blir sällan arg.
Svaghet: Dålig på att passa tider. Otålig. Jag skruvar på en Ikea-möbel i en kvart och sen lägger jag ner.
Oanad talang: Korttrick. Men Joe Labero som hjälpt mig lite tycker nog det är mer intresse än talang.
Det största som går att vinna i idrott: Titeln årets största idrottsman som senast gick till Federer.
Främsta upplevelse som åskådare: Då Hammarby säkrade SM-guldet i fotboll och när Tre Kronor slog Ryssland i VM –92.
Person i världen som du skulle vilja prova på att vara: USA:s president. Roger Federer.
Gud: Inte troende.
Vem eller vilka får Bragdguldet 2007: Någon friidrottare.
Politiker: Fredrik Reinfeldt, det är inget smilande utan enkelt.
Resmål: Safari i Sydafrika.
Dryck: Vin till maten.
Tv: Prison Break.
Aktuell: Världens bästa dubbelspelare som spelar Davis Cup mot Vitryssland i helgen.
02-25-2007, 11:47 AM
Waiting for Dubai
I am back home in Monte Carlo, having a few days off before I go to Dubai on Thursday, where I will get Friday, Saturday and Sunday to acclimatise. Besides the singles, I will play together with Tommy Haas for the first time in the doubles in Dubai. He is an awesone singles player, and also really good at the doubles when he plays. Max Mirnyi is becomming a father for the second time and have stayed at home in Minsk. Hopefully we play together in Indian Wells again.
I am very content with the results and the way I have been playing the last few weeks, with the victory against Belarus in Davis Cup, and then last week when I reached the quarter final in Marseille. I lost against Gilles Simon after having one break up and serving for first set. When he eventually got the first set, he started to play even better, at the same time as I felt more tired. Simon then went on to beat Robin Söderling in the semi final and Marcos Baghdatis in the final. Before Marseille, Simon had lost in the first round four tournaments in a row, which certainly shows how fast and decisive everything can turn around in tennis.
03-07-2007, 07:57 AM
Indian Wells next
I am on my way to Indian Wells after a weekend at home in Monaco. I lost early in the doubles in Dubai together with Tommy Haas, against Zimonjic and Santoro, 2-6, 5-7, who then went on to win the title. I played unusually weak tennis, I don´t know why, but I will now have three days to find my fine form from earlier again, before Indian Wells starts on Friday. Max Mirnyi and I were planning to play together again now, but Max is still back home in Florida waiting for their child to be born, so we have to wait and see.
03-11-2007, 08:08 PM
Petra Mirnyi :) However the story about Max isnt true for sure.
JB was playing with Todd, it was just bec they liked the name.
It's A Girl: Mirnyis Welcome Second Daughter
By Tennis Week
The Beast has embraced another beauty. Max Mirnyi, nicknamed "The Beast", and wife Ksusha welcomed their second daughter to the world. Petra Mirnyi was born at 11:39 p.m. on Thursday in Florida weighing in at about seven pounds.
Both mother and baby are healthy and happy. The baby's birthday carries special significance in the family's native Belarus: March 8 is "Women's Day" in the country.
The baby's name honors Mirnyi's extended family: doubles partner Jonas Bjorkman and his wife, Petra. The Bjorkmans named their son "Max" in honor of Mirnyi. Max Bjorkman celebrated his fourth birthday in January. The Mirnyis named their daughter "Petra" after Petra Bjorkman.
The couple's first child, daughter Melashka "Melanie", was born on Dec. 16, 2004 and both daughters are destined to follow in their father's footsteps in at least one way: "Max" is the middle name for both Mirnyi daughters.
Mirnyi, ranked No. 1 in doubles, is still entered into the Indian Wells doubles draw with Bjorkman. The Beast and father Nikolai are planning to fly to California later today in an effort to play the Pacific Life Open. Bjorkman and Mirnyi reached the Australian Open doubles final in January, bowing to the Bryan brothers, 7-5, 7-5.
04-02-2007, 05:34 PM
QF and DC
Max Mirnyi and I lost a close quarter final in Miami against Martin Damm and Leander Paes, 6-7, 3-6. They went on to take Bob and Mike Bryan to a very exciting super tiebreak in the final. Right now, I am looking forward to our Davis Cup tie against Argentina this weekend with huge anticipation - finally a DC tie on our home ground!
04-08-2007, 01:07 PM
A perfect start
What a start! 2-0 against Argentina after the first two singles. Thomas Johansson beeat David Nalbandian and played as great as he has done during the practise this week - 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 7-6 (7-0). Robin Söderling followed with a thriller where he showed that he just refused to give anything away - 7-6(7-4), 7-6(7-4), 6-4 against Juan Martin Del Potro.
Tomorrow I will play together with Robert Lindstedt for the first time. He beat the Bryan brothers recently together with Jarkko Nieminen so he is in good form. We will do everything we can to beat Nalbandian and Sebastian Prieto.
Finally DC at home
Finally - a Davis Cup tie at home! And against the world class team of Argentina. I have been longing a long time for this, and it will be very inspiring. Thomas Johansson is facing David Nalbandian and Robin Söderling the new young star Juan Martin Del Potro in the first two singles. Thomas has been fantastic in training, but it will of course be a tough task to fight down Nalbandian, who I believe have won 12 of 14 DC singles in his career. I think that Robin Söderling will be hard to beat today. He has been strong lately, and the fast surface suits him well.
04-12-2007, 08:27 AM
I was just wondering if any of you are really big Bjökman fans. The reason Im asking is that when I was cheering in the swedish squad against Argentina I happened to catch Jonas sweatband that he threw into the audience (Its one of those in you avatar BJörki).
Anyway, its a cool thing for me to keep, but if there are big Björkaman fans out there, maybe they will appreciate it more. I would just wash it and use it.
04-12-2007, 08:45 AM
Marcus thanks for the offer, very nice of you :)
Anyway I also got one from him few years ago.
04-12-2007, 12:09 PM
I was just wondering if any of you are really big Bjökman fans. The reason Im asking is that when I was cheering in the swedish squad against Argentina I happened to catch Jonas sweatband that he threw into the audience (Its one of those in you avatar BJörki).
Anyway, its a cool thing for me to keep, but if there are big Björkaman fans out there, maybe they will appreciate it more. I would just wash it and use it.
Marcus, I also think it is a very nice offer from you :hug:
I like Jonas a lot, but there are many bigger fans of him (like Björki for example), so I wouldn´t ask for the sweatband.
But I also want to thank you and the whole Swedish supporter squad for the great atmosphere you created in Gothenburg :worship: :worship: I have also been there and for me it has been one of the best DC matches ever, not only because "we" won, but also because of the wonderful atmosphere and great sportsmanship :hug:
04-12-2007, 07:27 PM
I have also been there and for me it has been one of the best DC matches ever, not only because "we" won, but also because of the wonderful atmosphere and great sportsmanship :hug:
oh you are so lucky :yeah: any pics or reports? :wavey: :bounce: :bounce:
04-13-2007, 07:04 AM
Splendid in Monte Carlo
I have started my preparations for the upcoming Monte Carlo Open. It´s great to be able to play a tournament like this back at home where I live. And it is a great tournament: good courts, good organization, excellent weather, and a certain glamorous feel to the buzz at the terrace with the finest view on the tour. I will play the singles and with Max Mirnyi in the doubles.
Sundays new starting time
This Sunday ATP will try a new starting day for the tournaments. Mondays have been the first day of a tournament, but the ambition now is to make Sundays the first day of play, in order to put more focus on the start up of each tournament and attract people when they are free from work and have time to come.
A semi worth its focus
Semi final at home in Davis Cup in September - the big TV networks surely have to cover that! It is said that the poor coverage of Swedish tennis nowadays depends on that the Swedish players doesn´t deliver big enough results. But when we do, like now, being one of the very best teams in the world, we anticipate that the media will reach that level as well. To early for speculation around the match itself. If USA comes with James Blake, Andy Roddick, and the Bryan brothers in their best form, they will be a tough team to beat. But we have done it before in the Scandinavium arena in Gothenburg, and the Americans still whine about that nightmarish Scandinavium, so that sounds like a suitable place to do it again...!
A raving draw
A draw for my favorite football team Hammarby in the first match of the Swedish season. After a very troubled pre-season, that is a result to rave about! They scored! And let just one goal in! I love it.
Fantastic DC match
We made a tremendous match against Argentina in the Davis Cup quarter final last weekend. Thomas Johansson played his best tennis in 15 months when he beat Nalbandian and gave us 1-0, which gave the whole team a boost, and put extra pressure on Argentina. Robin Söderling beat Del Potro in three very close sets (Del Potro is really good already and will be even better). It felt especially good for me to secure 3-0 and the match together with my friend Thomas Johansson.
Gothenburg became Little Australia
The Crowd was not as big as we had expected in Gothenburg, but the atmosphere was awesome. A bunch of loyal fans that we had invited saw to that - the same bunch that comes to the Australian Open to support the Swedish players each year. They started up the rest of the crowd and made sure that we won the match in the stands as well. Greeat job!
04-13-2007, 10:36 PM
oh you are so lucky :yeah: any pics or reports? :wavey: :bounce: :bounce:
Nadie, I am sorry, but I didn´t have time for a report yet :sad: I will go to Monte Carlo tomorrow, so maybe I have a bit more time afterwards, but can´t promise.
Pics will definitely come after Monte Carlo! As I still have a "normal" camera I have to scan the pics and that takes a bit more time, but they will definitely come ;) :hug:
04-13-2007, 10:42 PM
Nadie, I am sorry, but I didn´t have time for a report yet :sad: I will go to Monte Carlo tomorrow, so maybe I have a bit more time afterwards, but can´t promise.
Pics will definitely come after Monte Carlo! As I still have a "normal" camera I have to scan the pics and that takes a bit more time, but they will definitely come ;) :hug:
:lol: it's ok :hug: I stil haven't written any report from DC against Belarus.
Shame on me :rolleyes:
Have fun in Monte Carlo! :banana: :yeah: :bounce:
06-01-2007, 08:32 PM
Player portrait: Jonas Bjorkman
Player portrait: Jonas Bjorkman
Friday, June 1, 2007
By Benjamin Adler
Still ranked No. 39 in the world, Jonas Bjorkman made light of his advancing years to twice fight back from two sets down to win his first two matches here at the French Open. Incredibly, the Swedish veteran has won his last nine matches in five sets, a figure that speaks volumes about his ferocious will to win and exceptional fitness levels for a 35 year-old. The day before he takes on Oscar Hernandez for a place in the fourth round, Jonas agreed to let us in on his secret for longevity.
“The magic ingredient? Anti-inflammatory pills!” jokes the genial Swede with a laug. Seriously though, Bjorkman’s recipe for success is refreshingly uncomplicated: "I really enjoy myself when I’m on court, and when I win it’s great. I just try to take pleasure from winning each point, without worrying about the result. If I lose I know I can go home and be happy with my family." In short, Jonas loves tennis, loves competition and loves his family. No wonder he hangs on in there!
Bjorkman last made the fourth round as long ago as 1996, and since then has never made it past the second round of the singles. A world number 4 in November 1997, he has become known as a doubles specialist over the years, winning no less than eight Grand Slams, including the last two French Opens, alongside Max Mirnyi. Not your average tennis player...
Often to be found in the company of his wife Petra, (“my soulmate”) and young son Max, who was born in 2003, Bjorkman has lots of plans for when his playing days are over. He dreams of becoming his country’s Davis Cup captain and intends promoting wheelchair tennis. The BNP Paribas Paris Masters finalist of 1997 can also see himself working in television and indulging his love of ice hockey, and the NHL in particular. “Tennis isn’t my only centre of interest, unlike most of the young guys I come across on tour,” he explains
So much for the future then, but when he does finally hang up his racket, what will be the abiding memories of his long and illustrious career? “Three Davis Cups, just ahead of a win over my idol Stefan Edberg at the 1994 US Open.”
Those are happy memories indeed, as is the final anecdote told by Bjorkman. One day back in 1998, Jonas was in Monaco preparing for a Davis Cup tie, accompanied by Anders Jarryd and Calle Hageskog (who both went on to become Davis Cup captains themselves). Bjorkman decided to play a joke on his buddies and told them Prince Albert had invited them for dinner. Imagine their surprise when they turned up at the front gates dressed in the best attire, only to be turned away by the startled royal guards...
06-01-2007, 09:02 PM
Thanks Peggy :hug:
06-02-2007, 09:38 AM
A classic chaos
There is often a sort of sophisticated chaos about Paris. When the rain is pouring down, as it has the last days, the French Open is no exception. Impossibly crowded with people in the clubhouse, nowhere to go to relax or practise. Today we managed to find a few indoor clay courts on our own, paid the entrance and got some time to practise.
When I beat Peter Luczak, Australia, 3-2 in the first round of the French Open, that meant that I have won 11 out of my 12 latest five set matches, and 6 in a row. It can be a new "fiveseter" today. Or three sets. Or anything else. Anything can happen when you play against the huge (at least 209 cm tall) Ivo Karlovic from Croatia. He moves and plays unpredictably, mixes the highs and the lows, but always serves extremly powerful. It is hard to find your own rythm when you play against him.
But if it comes to five set, he will not stand a chance...!
I feel strong and I have played some very good singles despite the fact that I, as usual on clay, I have won in a limitied extent. I have threatened several of the best clay court players - Ferrer, Massu, Acasuso - and won as many, and even more, points as them, but not been able to win the decisive points.
I will play against Peter Luczak, Australia, in my first match in the French Open. He likes the clay, has a strong topspin forehand and is a good server.
Three in a row
Max Mirnyi and I arrive to Paris as reigning champions. We have won two years in a row, and we are aiming for a third title. But our season has been up and down so far. We haven´t been palying our very best since Australian Open. We haven´t been steady enough, mixing highs and lows, done to many own mistakes, and along the way our confidence has been dropping a little bit. But to arrive here as champions gives us a new boost, and I am happy that we will play best of three sets in Paris, avoiding the unpredictable super tiebreaks.
06-03-2007, 01:20 PM
Bjorkman turns back the clock at Roland Garros
PARIS -- Even as Oscar Hernandez' last service return skidded past the baseline, Jonas Bjorkman arched his back, squeezed his hands into fists and screamed as loud as he could.
And then, the old Swede produced his singular, signature celebration: the self-hug. Bjorkman wrapped his arms around himself and, by association, the cheering patrons around Court 7. With joy radiating from his tired, sweat-soaked body, he saluted all four sides. And then, after he had finished blowing kisses to the cheering patrons, Bjorkman bent over in his changeover chair. When he looked up there were tears in his blue eyes.
Thus, for another day, a 35-year-old man defied gravity.
He defeated Hernandez 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-0, 6-1 to advance to the round of 16 at Roland Garros -- something he hasn't done in more than a decade.
"It's only a third round, but for me to be in the forefront in Paris, it's like making the semis in Wimbledon," Bjorkman said. "Because it's obviously a huge surprise for me, for everyone, and I've been amazed.
"I just wanted to give [the Swedish fans] a hug and thank you for the support. It was just a perfect atmosphere out there."
Seriously, how is this possible? How has Bjorkman managed to get older and better?
"Well," he said, "I guess you get brighter. I managed to tactically play, maybe, a little bit smarter than I have in the past. These days everyone is so good on hitting the passing shots, so I'm more patient. Trying to get my opponents to not be aware of when I'm coming to net, trying to take them by surprise all the time.
"Today was a perfect example. I got him to the stage where he was very frustrated. He didn't know when I was coming to net. In the end, I got a lot of unforced errors from him."
In terms of tennis, Bjorkman is beyond ancient. He's the oldest player in either draw and the oldest player ranked among the ATP's top 100 players. It is not a stretch to say that, biologically speaking, he could be the father of Austria's Tamira Paszek (16) or Juan Martin del Potro (18), the youngest players in the women's and men's fields, respectively.
Bjorkman turned 35 back on March 23, but considering the wear and tear on those ligaments that tether the muscles in the daily grind of the game, the amiable Swede is probably pushing 50. Advil, he says, is how he combats the aging process.
And staying in perpetual motion.
In addition to singles, Bjorkman and partner Max Mirnyi are the second-seeded doubles team here and, in theory, headed toward a finals collision with the Bryan brothers. When the joyride in the singles draw ends, Bjorkman and Mirnyi will be eyeing history. They are trying to become the first men's doubles team to win the tournament three consecutive times. Bjorkman and Italy's Francesca Schiavone were the No. 3 seed in the mixed doubles competition, but after his win on Saturday, Bjorkman withdrew.
His singles matches, in particular, would have been taxing for anyone. Bjorkman sent the statisticians scurrying to the archives after he rallied from love-two-set deficits in both his first and second-round matches.
First, he rallied to beat Australian Peter Luczak 6-7 (4), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1, then took down Ivo Karlovic (who beat James Blake in the first round), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-3. According to the International Tennis Federation, it was only the fourth time in the Open era that a player has had back-to-back 0-2 comebacks at Roland Garros, and the first time in 13 years.
It was also Bjorkman's seventh consecutive five-set victory and 12th of the last 13. Bjorkman leads all active ATP players in the category of five-set victories; he's an extraordinary 29-12. Was he upset that Hernandez didn't get off to a two-set lead?
"I don't want to have that experience again," Bjorkman said. "Even though I've been very successful with it, it's still a bit of a lottery when you come down two sets to love. I have a great five-set record, and it's good to keep it that way."
Before last year's Wimbledon tournament, Bjorkman had played in 50 Grand Slam singles events and reached the semifinals once, the 1997 U.S. Open. He actually considered quitting singles and carried a 2-10 record into the grass-court season. And then, inexplicably, he advanced to the semifinals at the All-England Club, making him the oldest Grand Slam semifinalist since 35-year-old Jimmy Connors at the 1987 U.S. Open.
Bjorkman won just four games in his loss to world No. 1 Roger Federer, but he could only marvel at his good fortune. "I played a guy who was as near as perfection as you can play the game," he said. "I had the best seat in the house."
So far, 2007 is tracing a similar trajectory. Bjorkman has had a wretched singles season up to this point. Not including a dead Davis Cup rubber in Sweden's 5-0 quarterfinal victory over Argentina, Bjorkman entered Roland Garros riding a seven-match losing streak. Previously, he had won back-to-back matches only once this season and now he has won three straight.
And now he will play 1998 French Open champion Carlos Moya, who at 30 is a relative child.
"This victory is almost sweeter than some victories when you were 25, because you were so focused on tennis," Bjorkman said. "And maybe you didn't enjoy them afterwards. You just went on the bike and, 'OK, it's another day tomorrow.'
"Now, I enjoy it a lot more."
Greg Garber is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
06-04-2007, 10:13 PM
Radio Roland Garros - Interviews
Day 9 - An interview with Jonas Bjorkman - Monday, June 4, 2007
Q. It seemed you had your chance in the first set, but you didn't take it. Do you think things could have been different if you had won the first set?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think it still would have been very tough for me today. The only good, positive thing was I saw that he was pretty nervous today in the beginning, and, you know, I could control the points, which I was hoping.
But he starts being much more aggressive and making sure that I did not be in a position of controlling him. And on that court, I was already, when I saw the schedule to be schedule on Suzanne Lenglen, I know I was in trouble. It is so much heavier, that court, and it doesn't benefit me at all.
If I win the first, maybe, you know, it is still possible to win. But it's a long way just to win the first. I still think it would have been very tough to beat him today on that court.
Q. You seemed to have some treatment for your shoulders. What was happening in the end of the second set?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Oh, you know, I'm 35. I had just been having a sore shoulder on and off. And especially on that court, when the ball gets a lot heavier, it is so much clay on the boards, so I haven't had any pain for the clay court season.
But then being on that court it was so much heavier to hit the balls. And my shoulder just got more tired than it normally does. Just needed some treatment to get it more relaxed, because it just got really tight.
Q. So is it your right shoulder?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Right shoulder, yeah, yeah.
Q. You say you're 35. Does that mean that you now attack these kind of matches with more of a devil‑may‑care attitude? Is it that enjoy yourself on court because you know it's the other side of the career, and that you've perhaps become a much more dangerous opponent, because you're trying shots which you wouldn't have tried 15 years ago?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, it could be. I think I'm obviously, hopefully, more smarter on the court with all the experience I have. I guess in a way, I might be dangerous to play, because I am relaxed and I'm enjoying everything to be here, and I'm enjoying the atmosphere around the tennis much more than ten years ago. You were so focused, you didn't realize that there were some people here that maybe said hi, but you didn't say hi because you didn't see them.
So, in a way, that might benefit me at this stage of my career.
Q. Are you enjoying the Grand Slams where you do get to the second or third round, do you feel this is much more fun than you remember it?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, I think for me, it's always been something special to come to the big events. The four Grand Slams, the Masters Series events, that's where you're really looking for the atmospheres there. It couldn't be anything better when you play on the big stadiums where there are a lot of people watching. That's where you really want to be.
So I always felt that it was something special to come to the Grand Slams.
Q. Physically, how is it different to play at 35 than it was at 25?
JONAS BJORKMAN: There's no aching the day after. When you're 25, you probably could play every day, four hours a day or six hours a day. And, you know, at 35, you've got to be smarter and try to save energy.
But fitness‑wise, I'm feeling great. I'm still feeling that I can compete, and as long as I do my fitness training and keep healthy, it's obviously still okay. But the recovery is not the same. That is probably the only difference.
Q. So after a really difficult match, can you describe exactly how you feel the next morning when you step out of bed?
JONAS BJORKMAN: It could be tough, sometimes, to put the socks on. (Laughing).
Q. Bearing that in mind, and knowing that you were playing on Suzanne Lenglen, how did that effect the way you were thinking before the match?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I knew already before the game that I needed to take more risks than I have done in the past matches. So my game plan had to change a little bit. But then he started a little nervous, I think, and wasn't that aggressive. So I could still be surprisingly in control from the beginning.
It was just unfortunate I just couldn't take that first set. At least it would have put some more pressure on him. Then I think he had a better idea of how to play me, because we've known each other for such a long time. So he made sure that I was never in a position to try to dictate the points. He made sure that he was doing that, and that made it so much tougher for me.
Q. Do you have any memory of the first time you played him? It was about 11 years ago?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I think we played in Marseilles. Never heard of him at that stage. I think it was his first indoor event ever, and I lost.
Q. Reports before the tournament were that the Davis Cup was going to be played on a fast court. Is that still the case or is it up in the air? What is the status on that?
JONAS BJORKMAN: We have no possibility to change. It was already a deadline a couple weeks ago. So it's going to be the case, that if you look to my results in the past 11 years, I still think it's a good choice that we play on fast and play on the best surface we have.
Q. No remorse then?
JONAS BJORKMAN: This is great day. I obviously surprised myself to make the fourth and still having a great match today.
But Soderling and Thomas Johansson's best surface is definitely the one we're choosing for that match. And I have seen so often in Davis Cup people thinking too much about their opponents and forget about what's their strength in their own team.
We played Holland one year. They were putting in clay because they were going to take away Edberg. Then we brought in Larsen, and I think Gustafsson, and we won 5‑Love.
So I think you've got to go with your strength. Even though the U.S. is going to love that court as well.
Q. On a totally different topic, you have some of the most delightful, celebratory gestures in all of tennis. If you were a journalist, how would you describe them in a word?
JONAS BJORKMAN: In a word? In a word. Emotional.
Q. Did you just create them on your own?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, the hug was just something in Wimby that just came up, because I was so happy because it was just such a surprise to make the semis after winning three matches going in that event, more or less. It was an event that I'd always been hoping to do well and almost gave up, because I didn't really believe that I could make it that far.
So to have that atmosphere on that day, I think we played a total nine hours, the hug was just such a spontaneous gesture, because I just wanted to hug everyone out there because I was so happy. I felt that was the same in my last match. The victory step has been there for many years. It's more a crazy one.
Q. I was struck by what you said a few moments ago about Suzanne Lenglen. Why is it so much slower than the other courts?
JONAS BJORKMAN: It's a good question, but they have done it differently. They must have done that court differently because it's much darker, even if it's a sunny day with the new balls, you start with the new balls, you get clay on the ball, and it's more or less ‑‑ like if it's water coming underneath. It's just a different system there. It makes your balls a lot bigger and fluffier and heavier.
Q. Do most of the players feel this way?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think so, yeah. There was some guys straight in the locker room saying he played on the wrong court. Not that I ‑‑ Carlos is just in great form now, so I'm not saying that I should have won on another court, but at least it would have helped me to put some more pressure.
Q. And on another topic, you don't play the type of game you normally associate with Spanish players. But do you subscribe to the theory that certain regions can produce certain types of players, or even the national psyche has something to do with the way people play?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I'm not sure. I think me and Mats coming from the same place, we're very opposite, even if we have the same opportunities of practice. We had a lightning carpet in our club. But he was more natural to play clay, and even thought their indoor season longer, and for me, that sort of matched my practice much better to be an aggressive player.
So I'm not really sure. But maybe it comes up with the idols. You follow up some players and you like to be like that guy or something like that. But otherwise, I think it's just instincts what you like to play.
Q. Speaking of idols, it's sort of a perfect segue to what I wanted to ask you. If Carlos and Rafa played in the next round, do you think even with all of Rafa's accomplishments, that there's still a bit of a psychological dynamic there that he'll have to overcome playing Carlos, someone he admired?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I'm not sure. I think Rafa, when he came up, he was winning most of the matches against the Spanish guys, which maybe was surprising that early stage already, taking that edge from everyone. But I think now he has also seen Carlos playing. I think Carlos now may be playing his best tennis than in the past years, because his shoulder seems to be better.
He had a great match in Hamburg; he nearly won that one. If Rafa, first of all, comes through this match, I think he feels that Carlos is playing much better now. So it is definitely going to be an interesting match. Who knows if he will have some more respect for Carlos, purely because his idol.
Q. Can you relate that to yourself? Were you ever in a situation like that with a player that you grew up admiring in?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I played Mats, and I couldn't sleep the night before, '94, in where was that, Washington. Then I played in 110 Farenheit, which is just perfect for him, because he's just the opposite of all the Swedes. He's loving the heat. Barely get a sweat when it's over 100. So, but that's different. That was the first time I met Mats.
And Carlos and Rafa, are they spent so much time together, I think it was mainly first and second match they played against each other that you had that chemistry on court, that is maybe sometimes a little tougher when you play a friend. Now they've been around for so many years, I wouldn't say that it would be putting something extra in it.
Q. When you're a veteran like you are, do you think that helps or hurts you to be playing serve‑and‑volley tennis as opposed to say baseline tennis? What are the things that start to go a little bit soft first, the things that work for the clay court game or fast court game?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I can't play in a serve and volley anymore. It's impossible on the surface we have these days. I stopped. I think, in general, you've seen Henman, myself, most of the guys who have been playing serve and volley before, we all stopped, because, you know, it's just not possible to do that anymore purely because the competition is so good. All of the players are hitting it stronger. But then the strings, racquets, the heavy balls, slow surfaces, obviously making it more or less impossible.
So I wouldn't say that has something to do with age. I feel if I have a quick court, I can still play a great serve and volley. But it's just you've got to have some benefits. Especially when you hit a volley, you need to see that the ball takes off and not just sits up.
Q. Do you think the courts ought to be speeded up? Do you think it's unfair now toward the slow court players?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, I wouldn't say it's unfair, really. It's part of the game to have ‑‑ you know, I think, what was it, midnight is when we had this lightning courts. It was not so much fun to watch Becker, Ivanisevic hitting 45 bombs each. But sometimes we can look for what is the medium. I think like on clay, we have really heavy balls in Hamburg, but it makes no sense. It's only going to be 7, 8° every day. So maybe we can have a quicker ball in Hamburg, a little bit slower one in Monte Carlo. So you're just finding a better balance sometimes. Or if you have a slow court, you can have a quicker ball.
That's more that you can work on. Because I think it's good to have a variety of different type of player styles.
Q. One of the fun things in our game is you see certain countries rise up and get really hot. The Spaniards and the Argentines and the Serbs today, and others sort of struggle, the Aussies to a degree. We Americans are sort of in a tough patch. Things get kicked off sometimes like when there is a big star like Bjorn Borg or the Barcelona Olympics or federation, but what are the keys in the cycles of the rising of a nation and sustaining it, and then one that falls off? How can you try and prevent that?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think it has to come a downside. In our case, we were so successful since Bjorn, '75, more or less, '74. Then it kept going on, more or less, to the end of the '90s, that we had just a bunch of players. At one stage, I think Nystrom was Number 10 in the world, he didn't even get to the Davis Cup squad because he was not good enough.
And it has to come to a stage where you will drop off a little bit. Then it will peak again later on. If you can manage to stay in the top and producing great players all the time, I think that's exceptional. The only countries who can do that is obviously the ones that have money.
Some federations wouldn't have the same possibilities, like the French, you know. They have one coach to each junior player from probably 14 to 18. And in Sweden, Mats Wilander nearly works for free for Davis Cup. So it's just a different situation. Some teams can always maybe have a little bit easier, but it's got to be ups and downs in all sports, I think.
Q. Can you describe how your shoulder felt out there as you hit those heavy balls. Was it more achy or a sharp pain?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, it's not really sharp pain. It's more it's just so tired. It's no energy left, really, in the muscles. It just gets so tight, and it gets like a big knot out there. So I just needed Stephane to release it, and I got a painkiller just to see if it could drop the pain a little bit.
Q. Can you describe your regimen after the first round or second round after the match? Do you have a masseuse, or do you have to sleep extra?
JONAS BJORKMAN: My wife (laughing).
No, no. I think, yeah, everyone is taking massages down in the locker rooms. You know, you go on the bike and try to get the muscles smoother. You know, I felt great after the first two, three matches. There were no problems at all.
But Carlos is playing at a different pace than all the other guys I played. It was putting so much pressure, so I had to do a lot more running today.
06-06-2007, 09:14 AM
QF in the doubles
Max Mirnyi and I are through to the quarter finals of the French Open after beating Rogier Wassen and Jeff Coetzee 6-4, 6-3. We will face Mahesh Bhupathi and Radek Stepanek in the quarter final.
My best ever on clay
After playing fantastic tennis and winning three intense matches, it all ended in the fourth round against Carlos Moya on Monday. Moya won 7– 6 (7–5), 6–2, 7–5. Naturally he was a hude favorite, and he is a tough opponent when he gets to control a match with his forehand, but it stings that I couldn´t take further advantage of the oppurtunities that I had. I went on to a 5-2 lead in the first set, and I had 5-3 in the tibreak. I also had ten chances to break his serve in the third set. If I had played with the same quality as in my previous match, the 3-1 victory against Oscar Hernandez, the outcome of the Moya match would have been very interesting.
But still, all in all, I have been playing better clay court tennis than maybe ever before, so I am very happy with my performance in Paris.
06-12-2007, 07:57 AM
The great grass
The grass season starts today. I will play against Justin Gimelstob, USA, in the first round of the Queens tournament in London. He is tall and powerful and likes to play serve and volley, so that should suit me well. I have just met him once before on grass, when I beat him in three sets in Wimbledon 2003.
06-13-2007, 08:49 AM
Free today, so I´ll take the oppurtunity to collect my thoughts, sum up the French Open, and look ahead.
I played superb singles in Paris. That I should be one of 16 remaining was the biggest suprise of the tournament. It gave me a lot that I had met and played even with several of the worlds best clay court players before Paris.
When I beat Ivo Karlovic, it was my 400 victory on the ATP tour.
My results in Paris lead me to 30th place in the rankings, and to the fact that I will be seeded in the upcoming tournaments, such as Wimbledon, and get more favourable draws.
The doubles was also a step forward. The three matches we won were the best we have played in a long while. We had three matchpoints in the quarter final, that we didn´t win was just bad luck this time. We will take several positive facts with us into the future: we made fewer mistake, co-operated better, forced our opponents to play really well to win the points, we didn´t give anything away.
I am through to the second round in the Queen´s tournament, which in itself is a better result than the past two years. Nicolas Mahut is next, and I want to win that one too. Then I have a final in Nottingham and a semi final in Wimbledon to defend. Somewhat of a challenge...!
Won first on grass
My grass form seems to be on its way. I won in the first round at the Queen´s Club against Justin Gimelstob, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Nicolas Mahut, France, is next.
06-16-2007, 03:41 PM
Staples of matches
I lost to Nicolas Mahut, France, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, in the second round. He´s in a flow right now, beat Ljubicic today, and when he´s playing like this, he´s really good on grass, serving equally fast first and second serves and constantly attacking. I haven´t been moving as well as I hoped, been a little bit stiff and slow, and then it´s easy that you lose your timing and length and get put under pressure.
The schedule for the doubles hasn´t been the best, adding a little bit rain it has resulted in matches beeing stapled on each other. Winning teams get to play several matches a day to end the tournament in time. Max Mirnyi and I have a 5-2 lead on Del Potro and Gonzalez in a postponed match in the second round.
06-17-2007, 03:08 PM
JONAS SAYS RELAX
Jonas Bjorkman has identified a more relaxed approach as the reason he can still compete with the new generation of stars sweeping the game.
Rafael Nadal leads a crop of youngsters which includes Novak Djokovic, Richard Gasquet and Britain's Andy Murray who have emerged to challenge Roger Federer's dominance on court, but the 35-year-old, who arrives for the start of Monday's Nottingham Open bidding for a third title, has remained competitive on the tour in spite of his advancing years.
It took Federer to end the Swede's Wimbledon challenge at the semi-final stage last year and his bid for a hat-trick of Nottingham victories was ended at the final hurdle by world number 11 Gasquet.
And after reaching the last 16 at Roland Garros - equalling his best-ever finish at the French Open - the evergreen veteran admits he has benefited from simply taking the pressure off himself.
The world number 30 said: "You're getting wiser, as you get older you learn from your mistakes in the past. I am much more relaxed going out on the court.
"You take advantage of everything around you like the great atmosphere. I know it's a game. Win or lose you just have to go out and do your best - that's helping me now towards the end of my career."
And the three-time Wimbledon doubles champion believes the change in approach was a key factor in his superb run at the All England Club last year.
"It was probably one of the better two weeks I had in my career. It was so unexpected for everyone and even myself included," he added.
"I also think that's why I could enjoy it more because at this stage of my career I'm much more relaxed and could enjoy the atmosphere around and people cheering me on while maybe 10 years ago you are so focused on the tennis there is not much else you think about.
"I am much more easy-going now and I think that actually helped me. I was happy to enjoy such excitement at such a stage in my career."
Yet the experienced campaigner remains cautious over his chances of repeating the run at SW19 this year.
"You never know. The good way to approach is probably to have no expectations at all. Obviously you want to do well, I think I just need to go in there and take one match at a time and just try to enjoy it," he said.
"You never know if it's going to be your last one so you go out there and do your best. Obviously I'm hoping, but it's a strong competition and I will have to see how the draw comes out."
Nonetheless, Bjorkman, who reached as high as four in the world 10 years ago, admits the prospect of returning to the grass is one which excites him, especially the fast courts of the east midlands.
He said: "It is nice to be back on the grass and as every days goes by I'm feeling much more comfortable out there as well.
"The (Nottingham) court suits me better. It's much quicker which suits my game. I think once you have that first win you always like to come back to a place where you have been winning.
"Grass is something that always gets me very excited. It's a unique surface to play on, maybe that's why it is so much fun because you know it's only for four weeks."
06-17-2007, 06:38 PM
Thanks Eden :)
06-19-2007, 07:21 AM
I want to send out a huge "congratulations!" to the Swedish wheel chair tennis team (Niclas Larsson, Martin Kjällberg, Peter Wikström and Stefan Olsson) that won a historic bronze medal at the World Championships in Sweden this weekend, beating France 2-1. Sweden has never before been among the top four in a WC. Good work, guys!
Once good, always good
Just the singles for me this week in Nottingham. Have fine traditions to defend: two titles, one final, and one semi final. Will play against the British wild card-player Richard Bloomfield in the first round. Haven´t seen him that much, but he is a strong grass court player on home ground, so I have to look out.
The grass is faster in Nottingham than at Queen´s, which suits me better. And if you have played really good tennis once in a certain tournament, you bring that with you whenever you return.
Todd is arriving
Todd Woodbridge will arrive today to work with me during this week and at Wimbledon. I want to polish a few details in my game, improving stability when serving for instance, and Todd is the right man to bring in.
Close in the semi
Max Mirnyi and I lost a very close semi final against Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor, 5-7, 6-7, at Queen´s on Sunday. I felt that we were much better in the first set, when we had a number of break points and three set points, but we hadn´t that last touch of luck that you need, while they are in a flow right now - winning the French Open and beating the Bryan brothers in the Queen´s final. In the second set it was a couple of points that decided the match. But we played as good at Queen´s as we did in Paris. It feels that there is something big waiting around the corner for us. And soon Wimbledon starts...
06-25-2007, 02:30 PM
Very sweet article about Jonas (and Max) in Aftonbladet today:
Foto: STEFAN HOLM
Sonen har gjort Jonas till en bättre spelare
LONDON. För Jonas Björkman har Wimbledon blivit en barnlek.
Tacka Max för det.
Fyraåringen har gjort sin far till en bättre tennisspelare.
– Hans leende hjälper mig att glömma förluster och komma i positiv stämning.
Björkman hade en lång dag på jobbet i går. Allt berodde på regnet, det där förbannade regnet. Den första träningen kunde visserligen genomföras som planerat, men sedan tvingades han vänta, vänta och vänta.
Förmiddag har blivit kväll när han äntligen kan öppna dörren till familjens tillfälliga lägenhet i den grönskande regnby som heter Wimbledon. Han har all rätt att vara lika sur som sina kläder, men är på solskenshumör.
Kastar sig runt halsen
Hur det är möjligt?
Förklaringen både hörs och syns.
Jonas har knappt hunnit kliva in i den ljusa hallen förrän en fyraåring kommer rusande och kastar sig runt hans hals.
– KOM PAPPA, KOM!
Max sliter bort skorna från Jonas fötter och leder honom till vardagsrummet. På tv:n, på golvet, på bordet... Överallt står de, leksaksdjuren.
Tennisspelaren Jonas Björkman existerar inte längre. Här och nu är han pappa. Plötsligt är en gepard i plast betydligt viktigare än Fernando Vicente, spanjoren som står för motståndet i morgon.
– Papparollen har förändrat mig. Jag är mycket mer avslappnad och har dragit en enorm nytta av det. Tidigare var jag ganska intensiv och när det gick dåligt tryckte jag ner mig själv ännu mer. Då tog det tid att komma i positiv stämning, berättar han.
”En perfekt balans”
Jonas Björkman minns Wimbledon 2003. Han hade spelat världstennis och var plötsligt klar för kvartsfinal mot
– Jag förväntade mig att slå honom men gjorde en skitmatch (4–6, 2–6, 4–6). Jag var fruktansvärt besviken och kom hem väldigt nedstämd. Då fick jag världen härligaste leende från Max. Så snabbt har jag aldrig glömt en svidande förlust. Det där har utvecklats mer och mer och hjälpt mig väldigt mycket.
– Det finns så mycket annat som gör mig glad och det är Petra och Max förtjänst. Det känns bra att kunna koppla bort tennisen helt. I går spelade vi fotboll och lite tennis. För min del är det en perfekt balans. Kanske är det därför jag har lyckats hålla mig kvar, trots åldern.
Du är väl inte gammal? A. W. Gore hade fyllt 41 år när han blev singelmästare 1909.
– Nej, 35 år är egentligen ingen ålder. Titta på hockeyspelare som (Steve) Yzerman, (Brendan) Shanahan och (Nicklas) Lidström. Även inom fotbollen är det många äldre som håller hög klass. Ålder är bara en siffra. Det viktigaste är hur fräsch man är i kroppen.
Din form är bevisligen god. Du har bara förlorat en match på gräs i år.
– Ja, det känns väldigt bra. Jag gjorde min klart bästa grussäsong och självförtroendet har jag dragit nytta av på gräset.
Hur ser du tillbaka på fjolårets Wimbledon och semifinalplatsen?
– Det är de två häftigaste veckorna jag har upplevt som tennisspelare. När jag är inne på banan är jag hundraprocentigt fokuserad, men så fort jag går därifrån kopplar jag av. Varje morgon gick jag mellan anläggningen och stället vi hyrde. Jag kände atmosfären och såg de kilometerlånga köerna. Jag är glad att jag fick uppleva det i slutet av karriären. Då kunde jag ta del av allt runtomkring.
Mixed med Anna
Du debuterade i Wimbledon 1993. Vilket är ditt största ögonblick från alla år?
– Mixedmatchen med (Anna) Kournikova. Vi spelade på bana 13. Folk hängde i träden för att kunna se matchen. Jag har nog aldrig sett folk vara så ofokuserade när jag skulle serva. De hade annat att fokusera på. Ha, ha, ha. Nä, det största är första dubbeltiteln med Todd Woodbridge (2002). Som liten drömde jag om att få vinna något stort och som svensk har Wimbledon blivit så otroligt stort tack vare Björn Borg. Han är en ikon. Jag måste vara kvar i turneringen den andra veckan, så att jag får se honom på plats. Hela landet har längtat efter det, att få hit honom. Det vill jag vara med om.
Ringde han och gratulerade till semifinalplatsen i fjol?
– Nej. Inget illa ment, men jag vet inte om han har mitt nummer. Jag skulle vara stolt om jag hade hans. Det är en hjälte vi pratar om. Han brukar ha bra koll på hur det går. Det är uppskattat. Jag pratade med honom i Båstad förra året. Direkt kom han fram och gratulerade.
Har du någon kontakt med Kournikova i dag?
– Hon ringer hela tiden. Det är så jävla jobbigt. Jag är såååå trött på henne. Ha, ha, ha. Nä, vi har ingen kontakt.
Tror på Roger
Kan någon hindra Roger Federer från att ta femte raka titeln i år?
– Han är storfavorit. Man undrade om någon skulle tangera Björns rekord, men Federer har alla förutsättningar.
Själv har du en semifinalplats att försvara. Du är laddad till Max, va?
– Ja, i dubbel bemärkelse, säger Jonas Björkman.
If someone is interested, I can of course translate the article :)
06-25-2007, 02:32 PM
Don´t know why the photo to the article didn´t appear, but here it is :)
06-25-2007, 03:41 PM
Thanks Birte but I dont understand it :sad:
06-25-2007, 03:45 PM
Thanks Birte but I dont understand it :sad:
Peggy, ich übersetze es gerne :) Spätestens morgen Abend, vielleicht schaffe ich es auch heute ;)
06-25-2007, 03:59 PM
1000 Dank :worship:
06-25-2007, 08:57 PM
Okay, here is the translation:
His son made a better player of Jonas
For Jonas Wimbledon has become a childrens toy, he can thank Max for this.
The 4-year old son has made a better player of his father.
- His smile makes that I forget looses faster and that I get in a better mood.
Jonas had a long day at work yesterday, mainly because of all the rain. He could practice once, but afterwards he could only wait, wait and wait.
When Jonas finally arrives to the flat where he is staying in during the Wimbledon time, it has become evening. But Jonas is in a great mood anyway.
How can he be in such a good mood?
You can both see and hear the reason.
Jonas couldn´t even open the door to the house, already comes a 4-year old boy, runs to him and hugs him.
- Come daddy, come!
Max throws away Jonas shoes and takes him to the living room.
There you can see toy animals everywhere. The tennisplayer Jonas Björkman doesn´t exist anymore. Here he is only daddy. Suddenly a hunting-leopard (Anmerkung fuer Peggy: Gepard, kannte das englische Wort auch nicht ;) ) is much more important than Fernando Vicente who is Jonas opponent tomorrow.
- To be a daddy has changed me a lot. I am much more relaxed and take many advantages from that. Earlier I was much intensive and when I was playing badly I pushed myself down even more. Then it always took a longer time to get into good mood again, Jonas says.
Jonas thinks of Wimbledon 2003. He played wonderful tennis and reached the quarterfinal against Andy Roddick.
- I was expecting to beat him, but played a very bad match (4:6, 2:6, 4:6).
I was so sad and got home very depressed and sad. When I got home Max gave me a huge smile. I have never forgotten a bad defeat that fast. This has developped more and more and it has helped me a lot.
- There are so many more things which make me happy and I can thank Petra and Max for that. It feels good not to think about tennis all the time. Yesterday we played football and a bit of tennis. For me this is a perfect balance. Maybe this is the reason why I am still playing so good, despite my age.
You are not old at all. A.W. Gore was 41 years old when he won the singles tournament 1909.
- No, 35 years is actually not old. Look at the hockey players as Yzerman, Shanahan and Lidström. Also in football there are many older players who are playing very good. The age is only a number. The most important thing is how fresh your body is.
Your shape is good. You have only lost one match on grass court this year.
- Yes, it feels very good. I have played my best ever claycourt season and the confidence I got there helped me on grass.
How do you look back on last years Wimbledon and your semifinal there?
- This have been the 2 best weeks for me as a tennis player. When I am on the court, I am concentrated to 100%. But as soon as I get off the court I relax. Every morning I went between the house we rent and the venue. I felt the atmosphere and saw the long queues. I am happy that I could experience this in the end of my career. I could enjoy everything around.
You played your first Wimbledon in 1993. Which is your best memory from all the years?
- The mixed with Anna Kournikova. We played on Court 13. People were hanging in the trees to see our match. I have never seen people been so unfocused when I was serving. They had other things to focus on. Hahaha.
No, the biggest thing was the first doubles title with Todd Woodbridge in 2002. As a little boy I was dreaming about winning something big and as a swedish guy Wimbledon has become so big because of Björn Borg. He is a legend.
I wanted to be in the tournament in the 2nd week to meet him, I wanted to see him.
Did he call you and congratulate on your semifinal last year?
- No. I don´t even know if he has my number. I would be proud if I would have his. He is a real hero. He is following the results, this is very much appreciated. I talked to him in Båstad last year. Directly he came and congratulated me.
Do you still have any contact with Kournikova?
- She is calling me all the time. It is so stressful. I am so tired on her. Hahaha. No, we don´t have any contact.
Is there someone who can avoid Roger Federer fifth title in a row?
- He is the big favourite. Everyone was wondering if someone ever could bother Björn record, but Federer has all the qualifications.
You have to defend a semifinal in doubles. You are also loaded Max, aren´t you?
- Yes, in the double meaning, Jonas says.
06-25-2007, 09:04 PM
what a lovely article!! thanks so much for the translation Birte :worship: :worship:
06-25-2007, 09:17 PM
what a lovely article!! thanks so much for the translation Birte :worship: :worship:
No problem ;) I also agree that this is a very cute article ;)
So, good luck for Jonas in Wimbledon :yeah:
06-30-2007, 02:30 PM
Max Mirnyi and I lost directly in Wimbledon against Robert Lindstedt and Jarkko Nieminen 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-3. A big dissappointment. We played well in the first and parts of the second set, but all in all we didn´t manage to put them under enough pressure in their games, and did to many own mistakes in our games.
Third round Wimbledon
After beating Fernando Vicente (3-0) and Yeu-Tzuoo Wang (3-1) at Wimbledon, I will now face Wayne Arthurs, Australia, in the third round.
Looking forward to Wimbledon
Going into Wimbledon, my form is really good. Reached the semi final after beating Paul-Henri Mathieu in the quarter final in Nottingham, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Massive rain forced us to move indoors for the quarter- and semi finals, and we had to play them after each other. My 2,5 hour long quarter final still reminded me in the semi final against Arnaud Clement, and the felt carpet isn´t my favourite. Topping that, Arnaud have been playing really good lately, so he won 6-2, 6-4.
I am really looking forward to Wimbledon. I am taking it easy this weekend with my family, mostly plaing with toy cars with my son Max. The atmosphere is fantastic as usual at Wimbledon, and I have a lot of great memories to bring with me into the tournament, such as my semi final last year. With that said - there is probably a lot of players that would like to bring this old man down to earth this time, so I will have to work hard to prove myself now...
My first round is on Tuesday against Fernando Vicente, Spain.
07-02-2007, 09:06 PM
J. Bjorkman - 2 July
Monday, 2 July, 2007
J. BJORKMAN defeated W. Arthurs 6‑2, 6‑1, 6‑4
Q. How difficult was it to keep focus with the various rain delays?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, it's never easy. I mean, Saturday was a long day, yesterday was sort of kind of a relief to have a little break, and today it didn't look like it was going to start, and once we start, then it's obviously a lot harder because when you go back and forth like that, you're warming up a lot of times and trying to prepare. But at least I got a lot of experience from it in the past, and I managed to keep myself in good spirit.
Q. Did it amuse you, the buildup to this match, everybody focusing on your respective ages, you and Wayne, the combined age? How old do you actually feel?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I don't feel like 35 (smiling). I feel much younger, and I think I'm moving great to be 35. You know, it's not a problem. There's always going to be talk like that, but that's just the way it is and you have to accept it. I take it positive. You know, it's great to still be doing that well at my age and at this stage of my career. So I'm just pleased and trying to enjoy it.
Q. Do you think that gives you ‑‑ perhaps not against Wayne but against other guys, does that give you a distinct advantage, especially in games like this where there's rain delays, the experience that you've got?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I'm not sure. I think most of the guys who are here in the second week have been playing several Wimbledons before, so most of them are handling it quite well.
Then obviously there's going to be some who's a little bit more frustrated. But I hope I can benefit from it and try to take advantage of it at least.
Q. What is it about this place and this surface that brings out the best in you year after year after year?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, you know, this is my favorite tournament, I think, just got so much history here, the tradition, the atmosphere, got so many things that just so unique for this tournament. Once you just come in here, you really get fired up and you get that little extra energy and you really want to do well here.
And then obviously grass has always been suitable for my kind of game, as well, which always helps.
Q. I think I'm right in saying Wayne was going to make this tournament his last tournament?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yes.
Q. You've obviously got no thoughts in that respect?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, not at this point. I'm trying to take one year at a time, and it depends a little bit how my ranking goes, how the body is holding up. But obviously right now I feel great. I'm pleased to be in the fourth round again, second Slam in a row, so I'm hoping to continue. But you always have to wait and see; a lot of things can happen. I'm trying to hang in a little bit more.
07-04-2007, 07:44 AM
what are the topics? :help:
does it mean (at the end) he will go back to Sweden after his career?
Tuffare motstånd för fenomenet Björkman
LONDON. Jonas Björkman är ett fenomen. Att en spelare som har åldern inne för veterantouren ska spela åttondelsfinal i Wimbledon väcker uppmärksamhet även här i England. DN har träffat den 35-årige smålänningen för ett samtal om tennisen, familjen och livet efter karriären.
Sverige hade bara tre spelare med bland de 128 i herrsingeln. Hur ser återväxten ut?
- Man vill alltid att det ska vara många svenskar men jag är i Sverige så sällan så jag har inte riktigt rätt att uttala mig om hur det ser ut på hemmaplan. Alla idrotter har sina svackor, för tio år sedan trodde väl ingen att Sverige skulle ha så bra friidrottare. Handboll, pingis och tennis har haft en lång period med enorm framgång, och nu kommer vi kanske att ha en period när det går lite sämre.
Efter karriären, kan du tänka dig att jobba med tennis hemma i Sverige?
- Vi får se. Först måste man få lite distans till det. Resandet vill jag trappa ner på, ta det lite lugnt och vardagligt och vara hemma i helgerna. Det kommer att bli något nytt som jag ser fram emot.
Hur många nätter om året sover du borta från hemmet?
- Det ligger mellan 30 och 35 veckor.
Och så har det varit i 15 år nu. Är det fortfarande kul?
- Ja, förvånansvärt. Men packningen är förbaskat tråkig. Att flyga går fortfarande bra, man kan sitta och läsa, jag är bra på att sova. Men, vilket är fullt förståeligt, de tuffa säkerhetskontrollerna tar lång tid. Det var lättare att resa förr. Det är bra att kontrollerna finns, men det blir påfrestande att gå igenom dem två-tre gånger varje vecka.
Du reser ju ofta med din familj. Vem sköter all logistik?
- Vi är rätt duktiga både jag och min hustru Petra. Vi bokar flyg själva, vi är ordningssamma och gillar att ha koll. Man kan ha agenterna till hjälp, men så strular nåt och då står man där. Det känns skönare att ha koll själv.
Hur tycker er son Max det är att resa jorden runt?
- Det har gått fantastiskt bra de första fyra åren. Han är lik sin pappa och har lätt för att sova på flygplan. Han pratar nästan flytande engelska redan, och nu har han börjat förskola hemma i Monaco och är på väg att bli trespråkig. Han kommer att ha en otroligt bra grund att stå på. Men nu kommer det nog att bli tuffare, det blir viktigare för Max att ha sin bas på hemmaplan. Så fort jag får en stund över vill jag fokusera på honom. Han har ju blivit äldre och smartare. I början kunde han säga "vad synd att du förlorade, pappa" och ge mig en klapp på kinden, men nu säger han "pappa, jag är inte ledsen", för nu vet han att jag får mer tid för honom då.
Det måste vara bästa trösten du kan få efter en förlust?
- Ja, hela papparollen har betytt jättemycket för mig. Jag tror det är därför det går så pass bra fortfarande. Jag kopplar bort tennisen på ett annat sätt, man kan komma hem och få världens goaste kram och då är de där matcherna inte så viktiga längre. Jag kan acceptera förluster på ett helt annat vis nu.
Hur är det att säga hej då när du reser iväg utan familjen?
- Det är tufft, för Max också. Man ser att han blir ledsen ibland. Vi vet inte hur länge tennisen kommer att hålla på, vi vet ju att jag är inne på sista resan. Jag ska försöka njuta av det så mycket som möjligt. Tennisen har varit en så stor del i mitt liv och kommer att betyda mycket även efter den dag jag slutat. Därför är det viktigt att jag har familjen med mig, från och till. Nu har det ju blivit tuffare eftersom Max börjat förskolan.
Du har varit med länge och följt utvecklingen på nära håll. Det finns nya regler som hawk eye och kortare dubbelmatcher. Hur mår tennisen i dag?
- Vi mår bra. Vi har nytt bra folk i ledningen som kommer från annat håll, en från Coca Cola och en från Manchester United. De har en helt annan syn på tennisen och kommer med många bra idéer. Vi tjänar fortfarande bra, men jämför man med andra idrotter så har vi tappat mark till fotboll, hockey och framförallt golf. Vi har knappast ökat våra prispengar på 15 år. Nu gäller det att ge bättre förutsättningar för ungdomen, framtidens stjärnor. De i toppen tjänar alltid bra, men man måste se på dem som ligger på nivån under ATP-touren. De tjänar inte så bra och många tvingas kanske sluta i förtid, spelare som kunde blivit riktigt bra om de haft andra förutsättningar.
Var kommer du att bo efter karriären?
- Sverige, som det känns nu. Monaco har varit fantastiskt, vädret är suveränt året runt. Men vi flyttar nog för barnens skull. Det är så litet allting, det finns knappt en grön yta där man kan gå ut och spela fotboll. Sedan är det många barn som utvecklar allergier. Det ligger ju mitt emellan havet och bergen och det är mycket avgaser.
Blir det hem till Småland?
- Nej, Stockholm.
Då kan du gå och kolla på Bajen?
Hur bra koll har du?
- Jag följer det bra. Det var lättare förr. Utan familj kunde jag sticka till Stockholm i tre dagar och kolla en match. I fjol kunde jag inte se en enda match. I år har jag sett matchen mot AIK på tv, tyvärr gick det inte så bra. Jag kommer att följa det mer framöver, absolut.
07-04-2007, 09:46 PM
I am sorry, I don´t have time to translate the whole article, but basic parts are:
how tennis has changed in Sweden with now only 3 players in the top 128 draw, Jonas says that it has been quite easy to travel with Max. He says that Max is growing up with 3 languages and he is already speaking quite good english, so this will help him a lot in the future.
Jonas says that it is sometimes very difficult to leave Max and Petra, but it has been more difficult to take the whole family with him to the tournaments since Max started pre school.
Then Jonas says that they will live in Stockholm when he stopped playing tennis and he says that it is great for him, because then he can always see his favourite soccer team, Bajen, play in Stockholm :)
These are the main points :)
Peggy, I think next time I can translate the interview into German, it seems there are not so many other people here apart from us :)
07-06-2007, 06:38 AM
Thanks Birte :) I believe only Nadie and Kristen are interested too.
07-06-2007, 07:30 PM
it's good that I used to study Deutsch :lol: :angel:
07-15-2007, 11:17 PM
Jonas will become a daddy again. :) probably in January. It was written in a Swedish newspaper last week.
07-16-2007, 12:22 AM
Petra och Jonas Björkman har väntat med att skaffa ett till barn på grund av tennisen. Men nu var läget rätt. Foto: Sven Lindwall
Jonas Björkman får allt fler skäl att lägga racketen på hyllan. SPORT-Expressen kan i dag avslöja att hustrun Petra väntar parets andra barn.
- Det ska bli fantastiskt kul, säger Björkman.
Jonas Björkman, 35, ser slutet på karriären.
– Jag spelar det här året ut och kanske ett till. OS nästa år hade varit jäkligt kul att spela.
Vill vara med
– Det är fortfarande otroligt kul med tennis. Jag har glädjen och glöden. Men man försakar mycket.
– Jag lägger mig på mycket minus med Max (sonen). Man vill gärna vara med så mycket som möjligt, säger han.
Och snart får Björkman ett barn till att ta hand om.
– Vi ska bli föräldrar igen i januari. Vi sa förut att jag skulle lägga av innan vi skaffade ett till – men jag slutar ju aldrig (skratt).
– Det här är något vi har sett fram emot men vi har som sagt avvaktat på grund av min tennis.
Ännu ett skäl till att sluta med tennisen?
– Ja det är klart, det blir betydligt tuffare att resa med två barn.
– Framför allt för Petra som får dra det stora lasset.
Lille Max har hunnit bli 4,5 år nu och är en frågvis ung man.
– När jag skrek på domaren i Wimbledon frågade han varför jag blev så arg. Jag försökte förklara att jag inte gillade domarens domslut, säger Björkman och skrattar.
Tuff uppgift väntar
Han har precis slagit sig fram till andra omgången i Båstad – för första gången på fyra år.
I dag väntar spanjoren Almagro – en mycket tuff uppgift för svensken.
– Jag får chansa en del om jag ska slå honom.
08-02-2007, 07:54 PM
Bjorkman: Cocky Americans lose
Eurosport - Wed, 01 Aug 18:34:00 2007
EXCLUSIVE! Jonas Bjorkman tells Eurosport that over-confidence could prove the US team's downfall when they visit Sweden in the Davis Cup semi-finals.
The 35-year-old elder statesman of tennis talked to Eurosport.se about his career plans, his doubles prospects at the US Open, and Sweden's Davis Cup tie with the United States in September.
Q: Things have been going well for you in the singles this year, with round of 16 appearances at both Wimbledon and the French Open. Why have things started to happen now?
Bjorkman: "I have done pretty well this year, even though my results have been uneven. In January I did okay only to play badly a couple of weeks afterwards. Then things started to happen during the French Open and especially in Wimbledon. I wasn't really surprised considering that grass is my favourite and last year I made it to the semi-finals there. But generally I have a more relaxed attitude to tennis today, maybe that can explain the results. It's great that I can still challenge the younger players and still do okay in the rankings. But the most important thing is that I still enjoy playing at this point of my career."
Q: James Blake is sure of winning the semi-finals against Sweden in the upcoming Davis Cup in September. He has said, (quote) "We have the world's best doubles pair players and Andy Roddick's serve is a killer." What is your response?
Bjorkman: "Self-confident Americans who come to Sweden and play in the Davis Cup have always been welcomed, because they lose every time. On the paper they are stronger, but that has never been a guarantee of victory. With the support from the audience and well prepared players we still have a great chance at winning. We are not afraid of the United States, even if they are big favourites."
Q: You have been in tournaments since 1991 and you only have a couple of years to go as a professional, for how long will you keep playing?
Bjorkman: "I cannot answer that at this point, I consider my results from the last two years as a pure bonus, if I were to fall to 120-150 in the rankings, I would quit. But things are looking good for me now. I had 600 points to defend from last year's grass season and I ended up with 400 so I lost a little. But at the same time I had to leave the US Open early last year, which gives me the opportunity to make up for that during the autumn. It would be great to be part of the Olympics next year, but we'll see."
Q: What's your goal this year? Is it to reach the top 50 in the singles rankings or focus more on the doubles?
Bjorkman: "I've haven't had any specific goals as for the rankings in the last couple of years. The most important thing for me has been to rank well enough to be able to play the big tournaments. The day that that is no longer possible, I'll probably quit."
Q: You played the doubles with compatriot Thomas Johansson in Båstad, will you and Belarusian partner Max Mirnyi continue to play together?
Bjorkman: "Yes, we have played as many tournaments together this year as all the other years: Monte Carlo, Rom, Hamburg, Paris, Queens and Wimbledon. Max is off every day I play at Båstad and due to lack of results in the singles, he plays several tournaments when I have off and the same thing happened last year. So luck has not been on our side but now we're focusing on the US Open."
Q: How do you explain this year's poor doubles results?
Bjorkman: "Both me and Max play singles as well as doubles in the big tournaments so we don't have much time to play together, but go straight into the doubles when we lose in the singles. That means that we don't have enough time to get back into the game as we had last year."
Q: Did you get tired of all the media attention that followed your row with the referee at Wimbledon?
Bjorkman: "(Laughter) The thing that surprised me the most was all the stir it caused at home. I have been angry at referees before but it has never been publicised in Sweden. It is very common that players express their opinions on a decision. To me it was not a big deal and today I don't think about it at all."
Q: Is it true that you are going to settle down in Sweden?
Bjorkman: "I like it a lot in Monte Carlo, but when tennis is over I might move back to Sweden".
Q: Will you become an agent when your career is over?
Bjorkman: "Yes, I have already started to work for Daniel Wessfeldt's company which works with a lot of our top sports stars. And now they are looking to work with tennis and that's where I come in, even though I don't have a specific job title yet".
The US Open kicks off in New York on August 27th and Sweden will meet the United States in the Davis Cup semi-finals on September 21st.
Interview by Peter Juman (Translated by KB) / Eurosport
09-25-2007, 07:31 AM
We couldn´t move USA this time. We were facing a team that is incredibly strong on paper, and which played on top of their ability in real life. At the same time things didn´t work to our advantage with injury on Robin Söderling and with Thomas Johansson sick prior to the last two single matches. In the double match we would have needed to win the first very close set. When we all are in our best shape we have a tremendous team, but this time USA were the better team. We have made a strong season though, reaching the semi final, which means that we will be seaded next year.
It will be interesting to follow the Davis Cup final between USA and Russia. Russia have a very impressive team. When they turned the semi final against Germany around by winning the last two single matches, they did it with Davydenko - ranked 4 in the world - on the bench. A player like Marat Safin didn´t even make into the team. USA have a slight advantage playing at home, but they are more vulnerable, while Russia have five or sex top players to chose from for the singles.
A slight chance
Max Mirnyi and I still have a slight chance of reaching the playoffs, but we need to win in either Madrid or Paris and go far in Stockholm Open and St Petersburg.
No matches this week. I will stay with family and friends in Sweden. Next week I will start preparing for Stockholm Open in Stockholm.
Joachim Johansson will face Andy Roddick in the first single match of the Davis Cup semi final against USA in the Scandinavium arena in Gothenburg, and Thomas Johansson goes head to head with James Blake in the second single match. Joachim has everything to win against Roddick, who has an uncomfortable task here. Joachim has been away injured for eight months, but he has shown before that he can play fantastic tennis directly in his comeback (he beat Nadal immediately in a similar situation earlier), and he has beaten Roddick in big matches before. Jochim has been looking great in practise. If we win the first single, the second will be wide open, with a slight advantage for Thomas mentally.
Good build up
We´ve had the best possible preparations for this semi final against USA. Started up already last Thursday, and we have been able to build ourselves up without stress. Everyone is in good shape, and the atmosphere is full of hope.
Of the last 20 years, the team who has won the double match have also won the whole Davis Cup final, which shows how important the doubles are. The Bryan´s are very strong and consistent, really a team that USA can rely on. But I think that Simon Aspelin and I have a slight chance on Saturday. We have been able to practise enough together this time, and Simon has a giant confidence since his US Open victory, which also rubs off on me. The Bryan´s have said that this might very well be their toughest DC challenge yet.
Sweden v.s. USA is a modern classic by now. I know that the Americans are aware of the sensational support that we enjoy in the Scandinavium arena. We have great memories here – having beaten USA 3 out of 3 times. I have been playing in two of these matches, and they have given me memories that I will carry close to my heart forever.
USA have a great team (Roddick, Blake, The Bryan´s) and they are clearly favorites. But they might underestimate us, and with a injection of the Scandinavium atmosphere, we will do everything in our power to keep a fine tradition alive!
10-15-2007, 08:52 PM
First of the season
Max Mirnyi and I beat Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra in the Stockholm Open final, 6-4, 6-4. Our first title of the year, finally! We have had a tough season, which has dropped our self confidence a little bit. Therefor it felt really good to play maybe our best tennis of the year at this point, and that we could bring it on in Stockholm
Stockholm finalists Max Mirnyi and I are through to the final of Stockholm Open! We beat Olivier Rochus and Rohan Bopanna in the semi today, 6-3, 7-5.
Swedish results Filip Prpic, Björn Rehnquist and Michael Ryderstedt - through to the second round of Stockholm Open. Very positive for Swedish tennis that our players outside the Davis Cup team reaches good results - especially on our home ground.
Lost against Blake Inglorius enough, I lost against James Blake in the first round of Stockholm Open, 7-6, 5-7, 3-6. It was a close one. It felt like I was the better of us in the first two sets. In the second set I had 4-2 and 5-4 with 30-30 and 40-40, just two points from winning. It was a very good match. Both of went for it, putting pressure on each other with good returns. I needed to serve better, but there is still positive facts to bring with me from this match.
Through with Max... Max Mirnyi and I won against Becker and Haggard, 6-1, 7-6, in the first round in Stockholm. Luczak and Hernandez are next.
Changed plans Petra and I are expecting a new family member in January during Australian Open, as we did with our son Max. Therefor I might play a few challengers directly after Paris if Max Mirnyi and I fail to reach the play offs, to shorten the gap between this years last tournament and the first of next year.
10-31-2007, 09:12 AM
We have a chance
Max Mirnyi and I played a few really good matches and reached the semi final in Madrid last week, where we lost against Fyrstenberg and Matkowski, 6-7, 7-5, 6-10. We should have earned 25 race points if we had won the semi final, so that was a petty, but all in all we have instead earned a chance to reach the playoffs by strong performances lately, from being almost counted out. We have 11 points to gain on Erlich and Ram, and everything will be decided in St Petersburg this week and in Paris next week.
10-31-2007, 12:17 PM
Thanks Peggy :)
I so hope they will make it to Shanghai :worship:
10-31-2007, 12:35 PM
me too :scared:
I put some money on Melzer/Kerr :lol:
10-31-2007, 07:57 PM
an article about Jamie Murray’s search for the doubles partner
and one part from it :scratch:
Jamie is as eager to play as his sibling, having arrived for the BNP Paribas Masters on Friday, finding the place so free of hitting partners that he practised with his mother, Judy. The brotherly combination here is a stop-gap arrangement as Jamie continues to see who he can tempt to join him for the 2008 campaign and beyond.
Leander Paes, of India, had been his first choice, but that arrangement was scuppered and he then approached Kevin Ullyett, of Zimbabwe, who has agreed to join him until Jonas Björkman, the veteran Swede, returns to the tour for a final year after the birth of his second child, which is due in January.
11-01-2007, 09:48 AM
Lets see and wait. I really like Paul Hanley and it would be sad if he and Kevin wont play together next year.
11-01-2007, 10:05 AM
:shrug: I guess anyway he won't play with Max anymore :awww: :sad:
Bjorkman/Mirnyi Clinch Final Shanghai Berth
Oct. 31, 2007 - Third seeds Max Mirnyi and Jonas Bjorkman (pictured) will have the chance to defend their Masters Cup doubles title after clinching the last berth for the season finale with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Austrian/American pairing Jurgen Melzer and Todd Perry at the BNP Paribas Masters on Wednesday.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi won their first title of the season recently in Stockholm, defeating Wimbledon champions Clement and Llodra in the final. The Swedish/Belarusian duo also finished runners-up at the Australian Open at the start of the year (l. to Bryan/Bryan). In last year’s Masters Cup they defeated Knowles/Nestor in the final, and will have the chance to defend that title in Shanghai 11-18 November.
Afterwards, Mirnyi said: "Having won it last year it would have been so sad not to have had the opportunity to defend the title. It's what you play for - to be there in the last week of the season. We want to re-live it once again. We're thrilled to have qualified and now we can focus on winning matches this week instead of counting the points.
"After losing in the third round of the US Open we knew we didn't have enough points to qualify, so we looked at the schedule and knew that we had to play every week. But we also needed some of our rivals not to do so well. The title in Stockholm gave us some points and confidence."
Bjorkman added: "It's pretty sweet. It was a win-win situation. Go home and have a holiday or qualify for Shanghai and play the Masters Cup. We haven't had a great year but it's great to have a chance to defend our title. We have nothing to lose going into Shanghai."
Pairing up for just the second time this season, Perry and Melzer were finalists in St. Petersburg last week, losing to Nestor/Zimonjic in the final.
11-01-2007, 06:12 PM
It will be a dramatic end to this season. Since Erlich and Ram surprisingly lost in the first round here in Paris, Max Mirnyi and I will get the last ticket to the playoffs in Shanghai if we beat Todd Perry and Jürgen Melzer tonight. It will not be easy, they are in great form, reached the final in St Petersburg last week, but we have everything in our own hands now after a season in which we have been struggling - and it will be a drama!
11-02-2007, 07:00 PM
Tickets to Shanghai already booked!
Max Mirnyi and I beat Jürgen Melzer and Todd Perry 7-5, 6-1. Feels very good! We were two breaks down in the first set, but fought our way back, and in the second set we played great tennis. We will go to the playoffs in Shanghai without any pressure, and that will make us tough to handle!
11-02-2007, 08:00 PM
I am so happy they qualified in the end :bounce: :bounce:
11-05-2007, 12:56 PM
Thanks for the translation/s :)
YAY for both qualifying, and child #2!
"Changed plans Petra and I are expecting a new family member in January during Australian Open, as we did with our son Max. Therefor I might play a few challengers directly after Paris if Max Mirnyi and I fail to reach the play offs, to shorten the gap between this years last tournament and the first of next year."
With the changed plans, what does this mean? Does he skip Australia, as with preparations for Max's birth? Obviously, this sucks for me and other Aussie fans... but I'd probably be annoyed if he didn't ditch the Aussie season to be with Petra and Björkman jr! :)
11-07-2007, 08:57 AM
Kristen, yes JB will skip the AO :sad: until the baby arrives earlier than expected.
I am sorry for you :hug:
11-10-2007, 02:09 AM
haha it's alright. slightly devastated!]. I like to think that in years to come, he will still be involved in tennis somehow. Whether it be on the oldies tour, or with Wheelchair Tennis which he has expressed interest in. I'm oddly confident I will see him again :)
11-11-2007, 01:40 PM
Bjorkman & Mirnyi Begin Title Defense
Defending champions Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi begin their quest to salvage a disappointing year with a bang Sunday as Tennis Masters Cup begins in Shanghai. Bjorkman and Mirnyi had to wait until October to claim their only title of the season (Stockholm) and were the last team to qualify for the circuit finale.
On Sunday the duo plays 2006 US Open champions Martin Damm and Leander Paes and Bjorkman says he and Mirnyi will go in confident despite their lean year.
"We're very happy to be back and we can now play without the pressure we were under the last five or six weeks as we were attempting to qualify," Bjorkman says. "We can really go for it this week and it's always nice to come back to a tournament as the defending champions."
Mirnyi added: "Winning the Stockholm title reminded us of the form we had this time last year in Shanghai. We're very excited to be back here defending the title."
Bjorkman and Mirnyi charged to the title in 2006 with an unbeaten 5-0 record and Bjorkman said that the team was looking to make a fast start this year. "You always want to get off to a good start but at the same time we began 2-0 last year and still weren't guaranteed to qualify. Yet in the other group a team got through with only one win."
In the other doubles match on Day 1, Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett tackle Israelis Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, who came in at the last minute to replace Bob and Mike Bryan (injured right arm). Hanley and Ullyett are playing their final event together.
Ullyett, who will play with Bjorkman after January's Australian Open, said: "The feeling is quite weird. The last time I split up with a partner was in Shanghai two years ago when Wayne Black retired. We've had two great years together but we're both optimistic of trying something new. And we're trying to finish strong in Shanghai this week."
11-14-2007, 08:50 AM
can anyone (Birte? :worship: ) translate at least the bold parts please?
Björkman och Mirnyj kan splittras
Först publicerad: 13 november 2007 21:28
Dubbelsäsongen i tennis har varit en besvikelse för Jonas Björkman och Max Mirnyj. Därför går de troligen skilda vägar nästa år. Jonas Björkmans nye partner kan bli Kevin Ullyett från Zimbabwe.
Efter förra årets säsong, då Jonas Björkman och Max Mirnyj vann en rad tunga titlar, hade de flesta väntat sig ett nytt bra år för duon. I stället har det bara blivit en titel i år (Stockholm open).
I säsongsavslutningen, det pågående Mastersslutspelet i Shanghai, är de regerande mästarna utslagna efter två raka förluster. En match återstår, men redan nu har Jonas Björkman och Max Mirnyj mer eller mindre bestämt sig för att prova lyckan med någon annan nästa år.
– Det är klart vi är väldigt besvikna båda två. Vi har haft den sämsta säsongen för oss båda på länge. Det är inget vi hade förväntat oss efter den fantastiska säsongen förra året, säger Jonas Björkman.
– Jag och Max har känt båda att vi har kämpat hela året och hoppats att det skulle komma en vändning, men i nuläget känner vi väl att vi kanske ska testa något nytt båda två. Förhoppningsvis har vi båda bestämt oss när den här veckan är över.
Det svensk-vitryska paret hade behövt ta åtminstone ett set i tisdagens match i Shanghai. Men i stället blev det förlust i två raka set, 6–7, 4–6, mot australiern Paul Hanley och Kevin Ullyett från Zimbabwe.
Just Ullyett är ironiskt nog ett av Björkmans alternativ för nästa år.
– Det är inte till hundra procent bestämt. Det är riktig high chaparral i dubbeln, det är väldigt många par som ska byta inför nästa säsong, säger Björkman.
– Jag har pratat med både Kevin och (Fabrice) Santoro av dem som i nuläget är lediga. Max har gjort likadant.
Vad är det som har gått fel för dig och Max i år?
– Vi känner väl att vi egentligen har gjort vad vi har kunnat, det har bara låst sig lite. Vi har tappat självförtroende, som gör att vi gör lite för mycket enkla misstag.
– Det som är tufft för vår del är att vi inte hinner träna dubbel eftersom vi spelar singel hela tiden också.
Det är redan bestämt att Max Mirnyj spelar Australien open i januari tillsammans med Santoro, eftersom Björkman och frun Petra då väntar sitt andra barn. Björkmans och Mirnyjs sista match tillsammans kan därför bli torsdagens avslutande gruppmatch mot israelerna Jonathan Erlich/Andy Ram.
– Det är klart att det vore trist. Vi känner varandra otroligt väl. Vi får väl se vad som händer om det blir en fortsättning eller inte.
– Men oavsett vilket så har vi lärt oss oerhört mycket av varandra och kommer att ha bra kontakt även efteråt.
Is Max playing with Santoro (AO only?) next season?
11-14-2007, 10:05 AM
:scratch: well as I understood: :scratch: :scratch:
Ullyett is one of alternatives for Jonas next year. It is not 100% certain, a lot of pairs are changing next year.
Jonas has spoken both to Ullyett and Santoro because they are "free". Max did the same.
Max for sure will play AO with Santoro while Jonas and his wife are waiting for the baby coming. Probably Björkman and Mirnyj will play together last time on Thursday against Erlich/Ram.
-It is sad because we know each other very well. We will see, maybe there will be continuation. :eek:
11-14-2007, 10:13 AM
but two artocle said JB is playing with Ullyett after the AO.
11-14-2007, 10:19 AM
as for Max, I haven't heard yet about his plans for next year partnering :shrug: :rolleyes:
11-14-2007, 04:29 PM
seems to be in real that Jonas will play with Kevin.
11-15-2007, 09:17 PM
Sorry, I was quite busy the last days, but here is the translation of the article:
Björkman and Mirnyi can split
The double season has been a big disappointment for Jonas Björkman and Max Mirnyi. This is the reason why they will probably go different ways next year. The new partner of Jonas can be Kevin Ullyett.
After last season, in which Jonas and Max won some very big titles, they had accepted a similar year this year. But instead they could only take one title (Stockholm Open).
In the Masters Cup in Shanghai the defending champions are already out, after 2 straight loss. There is still one more match to play, but already now Jonas and Max have almost sure taken the decision to try their luck with a new partner for the next season.
- Of course we are both very disappoint. We have both had the worst season in a long time. This was not what we have been expecting after the great year we had last year," Jonas Björkman says.
The Swedish-whiterussian pair would have needed at least a set in their last match in Shanghai. But instead they lost in two straight sets against Hanley/Ullyett.
It is a llittle ironicle that just Ullyett is an alternative for a possible doubles partner of Jonas for next year.
- It is not decided to 100% yet. It is really a lot of high chaparal in the doubles right now, there are a lot of pairs who will change for the next season", Björkman says.
- I have talked to both Kevin and Fabrice Santoro who are both still "free" at the moment. Max has done the same."
What went wrong for you and Max this year?
- We both feel that we did what we could, it just didn´t work like we wanted. We lost our confidence and as a result we started to make easy faults."
- What is also difficult for us is that we often don´t manage to practice for the doubles, because we play singles all the time as well."
It is already decided that Max will play the Australian Open together with Santoro, because Jonas and his wife Petra will expect their 2nd child during that time. Therefore the final round robin match on thursday can be the last match which Jonas and Max play together.
-Of course it would be very sad. We know eachother so well. We will see what is going to happen, if we will continue to play or not."
-But no matter how it will finish, we have learnt a lot from eachother and will have close contact even in the future."
11-15-2007, 09:22 PM
thanks Birte :worship: :worship:
11-15-2007, 09:27 PM
thanks Birte :worship: :worship:
You are welcome ;)
But you translated the main parts also perfectly :yeah:
11-16-2007, 09:47 AM
Thank you very much Birte :hug:
I am surprised JB still didnt confirm he will play with Kevin while Kevin did.
(2 articles from the Masters Cup. But of course it might be wrong?)
11-19-2007, 06:34 AM
That's the on court stuff; the off court happenings are more interesting this year. Doubles is in for some big changes next year, and this time it's the teams, not the rules. You've probably read about Knowles and Nestor, who are splitting after 13 years (Nestor teamed with Nenad Zimonjic for the last four tournaments of the year). Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi, together for about eight years now, have decided to part ways, too. No friendship lost here; the two remain close. But a down season this year--one title, a decline in the rankings, and now an early exit from the Masters Cup, which they won last year--called for a change, they felt. Bjorkman will play with Kevin Ullyett next year; Mirnyi hasn't decided, though Fabrice Santoro is a possibility.
Three other teams--a total of five out of the eight in the Masters Cup--are breaking up. Paul Hanley, Ullyett's partner, will play with Leander Paes next year. Martin Damm, Paes' current partner, will play with Pavel Vizner (Vizner's partner, Lukas Dlouhy, wants to concentrate more on singles).
I caught up with Bjorkman after he and Mirnyi dispatched Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, the Israeli team that slid into this tournament after the Bryan brothers pulled out. Bjorkman, 35, said he'll miss the Australian Open next year because his wife, Petra, is due with their second child, a girl, in January (Bjorkman has missed one major since 1993, in 2003 when his son Max, 4, was born). He'll start his season with Davis Cup, and then play singles (another full schedule) and doubles.
Here's the bulk of my interview with him:
Why the change? "The game just hasn't been there this year. We both felt that even if we made the Masters, this was probably the worst year in seven or eight years for both of us. We only won one tournament, we didn't make too many finals or anything. You have high expectations being number one, number two, number three in the world for a long time. You are out there to win the big events. The toughest part for us is we play singles and doubles, and once you've been losing confidence, it gets very tough. We both felt that right now it might be a good idea for both of us to try to find something new."
Would you consider playing only doubles? "I'm so used to playing singles and doubles that it would be very tough for me to just become a doubles player. Not boring, but not enough excitement. I'm so used to playing a lot of matches and to all of a sudden only play doubles, which is less energy, I think once I feel the singles is not there and I can’t get the results I'm hoping for, I think it's time to step aside and do something different. I felt maybe last year was going to be my last one because I had such a bad start the first five months, I think I won two matches. The semis at Wimby obviously changed everything."
Is it difficult to stay together for so long and not come to dislike each other? "It's all about business in a way. We both want to be at the top. You've got to find the best way to do that. That's not going to affect your friendship or your relationship. If it does, then it's probably not a good friendship anyway.[Max] has become a great friend."
Has doubles improved since the 2006 lawsuit over proposed changes? "I think the most important part is that people speak positive about it. We had so many tournament directors talking negative about doubles, how bad it is, blah, blah, blah. We got that away. Then they do some promotion, trying to help it out, but if it's been better or not, I'm not that sure actually. I'm not sure how much more TV we have. It hasn't changed that much, but at least the positive talk is out there instead of the negative. That's better."
Do you like the new rules (no-ad scoring, super tiebreaker instead of a third set)? "I don't like it. I think it's just a crap shoot. Especially if you play the biggest event at the end of the year and a let cord or an umpire makes a bad decision--you don’t get the chance to really play when you play a super-tiebreaker. I think also fitness wise, you can play doubles now and you don't even feel that you've had an exercise.For the worse teams out there, it's a much better opportunity to beat the better teams. It doesn't take as much to beat a top team as it did before. On the other hand, if the crowd loves it, maybe we’re going to keep it, we need to keep it. I would like to go back to the old format, but I'll be soon done, so my voice is maybe not that important in a way.
On playing tennis with his son: "He plays pretty good. He's hitting forehands and serves, and I'm pushing him to play backhands. He doesn't want to be like Dad maybe, so he wants to have the strength of having a good serve and a forehand, which have been my weaknesses. Backhand is coming maybe later on in his career."
On missing the upcoming Australian Open: "Only two Slams since 1993. It's a good excuse."
11-20-2007, 08:24 AM
Max Mirnyi and I finished this season in good style, when we beat Erlich and Ram in the last match of the playoffs in Shanghai. We lost against Knowles and Nestor and Damm and Paes in our first two matches, so we didn´t make it to the semis, but it felt good to win the last match of the year: 6-4, 3-6, 10-7. And, not least, we finally won a super tiebreak in this one.
Simon Aspelin has done a great season together with Julien Knowle. The US Open title on top of everything, but also a place in the final in Shanghai, and ranked as the 4th best team in the world. Good job!
11-21-2007, 03:47 AM
I like Jonas with Kevin, I hope it works out!
I'm sad he'll miss AO :sad:
I was hoping for Ai & Jonas doubles, but that is a fantasy!XD
12-06-2007, 10:56 PM
Jonas will be writing sort of a blog on the Swedish site alltombarn.se
(all about children).
There is a first interview with Jonas on the site, I will translate it tomorrow. And Jonas says that he will tell in the blogg about travelling with family, funny stories and stuff like that.
I am sure it will be lots of fun to read it :) And of course I can do the translation ;)
12-07-2007, 07:51 AM
It would be very nice of you Birte. :worship:
I am very curious :)
12-08-2007, 04:24 AM
:D I never realised he was expecting a girl! Very happy for him :)
12-09-2007, 10:29 PM
Okay, here is finally the translation from the "allt om barn" article:
Jonas Björkman will be father again
Jonas Björkman is taking a rest from tennis - he will be a father again. And Jonas is also currently working as a blogger on alltombarn.se.
- People say that the career is over when you get children, but this is not true", Jonas says.
Together with his son Max, Jonas is on a short trip in Sweden. The tennis season is resting and it can take a while until Jonas will be on the court again- he will have a child again together with his wife Petra.
- I only have some meetings and will see some relatives before I will fly down to Monaco and to Petra again. It was usually planned that the child should be born in Stockholm, but the child is already in the right position and Petra is not allowed to travel anymore. So the child will be born in Monaco", Jonas says.
The child was due to be born in the middle of january, but now it can be earlier. In any case this means that Jonas will take a short rest from tennis. When Max was born Jonas was away from tennis the whole january.
- You can say that I gamble with my ranking, because depending on when the child will be born I will probably not play the whole of january. But I want to be with when Petra is giving birth to the child and I don´t want to leave directly after.
I know from when Max was born that I wasn´t mentally fit and you need your head when you want to play. I think therefore my first tournament will be in february.
How is it when you are professional sportsman and get a child?
- It is fantastic, you have read so many things that people say you can forget your career when you have a child. But for me it has only helped my tennis career.
In which way?
- I have always very high expectations to myself and had it easy to push myself down when it went bad. It is always hard to get up again, but since I am father I take defeats much better. I remember especially a match in Wimbledon 2003, I should meet Roddick in the quarterfinal and had high expectations to beat him on grass- but I went out and played a very bad match. I was so unsatisfied, but after the match I met little Max and got the cutest smile from him. I never got over a defeat that fast, I got totally into his world- he had no idea how it went for me. This was the best medicin", Jonas says.
To travel a lot has both advantages and disavantages according to Jonas. But that the family is with him as often as possible is a must for him.
- This was the requirement before we got children that the family could follow with me on the trips. I don´t want to be a father at distance, I want to follow Max in his development and want to have the family by my side all the time, then I feel the best."
Does Max play tennis?
- I had a bad influence on him, so he started with it. He also plays a lot of football. It is great for him, maybe we will try something different sometime.
Do you want him to be a professional sportsmen?
- It is not important that he will be a professional sportsman, but more that he keeps on doing sports because of the health and for the friends when he plays in a team. From my point of view I would prefer to keep him away from a professional tennis career.
What will your blogg be about?
- It will be about how it is to travel with family and children, some funny stories from the passing year and I want to share how it is to be a parent under an active sports career. It will be lots of fun!
Soon you can read Jonas Björkmans first blogg on alltombarn.se!!!
Very nice interview, I think :yeah: And I am already looking forward to the blog :)
Kirsten, how do you know they are expecting a girl? It is not written in the article...
Da ich in den nächsten Tagen evtl. nicht so viel online sein kann, weil ich z.B. mit der Firma in Berlin bin, vielleicht könntest Du die Seite auch ab und an mal checken, damit wir keine Episode seines Blogs verpassen ;) Wird bestimmt lustig, was er so schreibt ;)
12-14-2007, 02:43 PM
Birte hab die messages gerade erst gesehen. Hoffe wir haben nichts verpasst. ich schau gleich mal und schick dir ne pm.
Thanks for the translation :worship:
And yes it's true it will be a girl.
12-16-2007, 09:08 AM
Tennis: Early birth key to Open
5:00AM Sunday December 16, 2007
By Michael Brown
At 35, Jonas Bjorkman doesn't wish for Christmas to come early any more but he is hoping his second child does or he will have to pull out of both the Heineken and Australian Opens.
The 59th-ranked Swede and his wife Petra are expecting their second child on January 15 and, while this might appear to rule him out of New Zealand's premier tennis event, signs suggest the baby could arrive early.
"It's 50-50 at the moment," Bjorkman says from his home in Monte Carlo. "I have entered just in case because if it arrives early I will head over to Auckland and Australia. The baby is already in position so it might be two or three weeks early. If not, I will take January off."
He took January 2003 off when his son Max was born and that year's Australian Open is the one Grand Slam tournament he has missed in 14 years. This translates to a record of 55 appearances in the past 56 Slams.
If Bjorkman pulled out of the Heineken Open, it would rob the tournament of two of its original starters.
Last week No 2 seed and world No 15 Guillermo Canas of Argentina withdrew because of wrist tendonitis. He is likely to be sidelined for four months.
While Canas is one of the better players going around, Bjorkman is better known having won six singles and 51 doubles titles and more than US$14 million since turning professional in 1991.
He banked US$43,000 when he won the 1997 Heineken Open, his first ATP Tour singles title. He added a further two singles titles that year as well as helping Sweden claim the Davis Cup in a watershed year.
"It was an incredible year, my best," he remembers. "I finished the year at No 4 in the rankings. Auckland started that all off.
"Your first title is always going to be a memorable one. I was mentally ready to win it because I had played in a couple of finals the previous year. I remember we had to play the final on a Monday because there had been a lot of rain all week.
"My only regret [from that year] was that I lost to Greg Rusedski in the semifinals of the US Open because I would have played my friend Pat Rafter in the final and would have had a really good chance of winning a Grand Slam title."
The closest Bjorkman has come since was reaching the semifinals of last year's Wimbledon, when he ran into Roger Federer. He's also reached the last eight five times.
He's managed to console himself by winning eight Grand Slam doubles events, largely with Australian Todd Woodbridge, but it's in singles that he takes the most satisfaction.
It might come as something as a surprise for a player once ranked the top doubles player in the world but he doesn't often practise doubles. It's become something of a specialist discipline with most top doubles players opting out of singles.
"I'm really proud of what I have achieved in doubles but making the semifinals of the US Open and Wimbledon in singles are the highlights of my career," he says.
"Before Wimbledon, I had only won a couple of matches and I had been telling a lot of people that it could be my last year. I'm so glad that I haven't taken that step yet because I am still having so much fun and actually feel like I am still improving.
"I am looking forward to retirement, to putting my feet up and having a beer, but I still look forward to playing on centre courts around the world in front of a lot of people and causing an upset. It's also a great challenge to play all of these youngsters coming up and I still feel I can play some great tennis."
A lot of the younger generation admit they find it uncomfortable playing against Bjorkman.
As the oldest player in the world's top 100, it's unsurprising that he plays an old-school style. He's also got a few tricks in his tennis bag that a number of the young clones aren't taught at their regimented training schools, largely because he's not capable of smacking down 200km/h missiles rally after rally.
"These days it's all about power," Bjorkman says. "There's not enough finesse, which is unfortunate because the game needs different styles. Federer plays with power and finesse which is why I love watching him.
"A lot of guys only go for power. They don't really want to play me because I'm different to all the others. I sneak into the net, slice a few balls. They don't really like that."
As a veteran on the circuit and a former president of the Players' Council, Bjorkman is well placed to evaluate tennis' development over the past 10-15 years.
He's quick to point out that the standard has improved dramatically, although in a fairly robotic way, but he lamented the fact it hadn't taken advantage of its place in world sport.
"We are doing well [as a sport] but I think we could have done so much better," he says. "We lost a lot to golf. One of the dominant sports of the 1990s, we are now quite far behind.
"Just look at the prize money. This year is the first time it has improved since 1990. There's no doubt the guys at the top make huge amounts of money but, for a lot of the guys in the top 100, you can't guarantee you will make a living. It's a bit of a gamble.
"Golf is way ahead. There were 85 players who made more than $1 million [in golf] but there were only 11 in tennis last year. People only see what the top guys earn but it's tough for those below that level. We have ice-hockey players in Sweden who have never played for the national team earning a great salary [compared to tennis]."
For Bjorkman, it's not about the money, as he has more than enough after 16 years on the circuit. Whether he makes the Heineken Open, though, is up to his unborn daughter.
JONAS AND THE WOW
Name: Jonas Bjorkman
Singles titles: 6 (including 1997 Heineken Open)
Doubles titles: 51
Career earnings: US$14,019,594
* Bjorkman is well-known on the tennis circuit for impersonating other players, particularly Stefan Edberg. Players now are starting to impersonate him.
* He also has a trademark victory step, known as the Brussels Step, which involves grabbing the base of his shoe and performing an exaggerated step. It was taken from a group of Swedish comedians and he does it when he wins tournaments or the Davis Cup.
* Bjorkman is superstitious and never step on lines.
12-16-2007, 01:31 PM
wow I never knew he was superstitious. Players like that annoy me, but I will need to make an exception. =)
I don't remember where I read it will be a girl :scratch:
lol... but all the cool kids are born premature. I was around a month I believe, and I turned out ok :retard: [;)]
12-16-2007, 02:26 PM
The link: http://monacorevue.com/events/sd1071212.php
Getting behind the ball for the environment
Monaco tennis fans got an exceptional treat this week (December 11, 2007) when top tennis stars, including the world's number 1 women's player Justine Henin, came out to serve for the environment. The occasion was an indoor exhibition tennis match to benefit the Prince Albert II Foundation, which tackles climate change, loss of biodiversity and access to drinking water.
No title was at stake, but the players gave a good show, with the men's doubles, for example, producing a hard-fought 8-9 result. In addition to Belgium's Henin, players included Dinara Safina (Russia), Alize Cornet (France), Mario Ancic (Croatia), Jonas Bjorkman (Sweden), Thomas Johansson (Sweden), Ivan Ljubicic (Croatia) and Filippo Volandri (Italy). Although they hail from different parts of Europe, all but Cornet and Volandri are actually now Monaco residents. So not only were there giving the environment a helping hand, they were giving back to the community where they have the pleasure to train outdoors year round, as one player said.
Among those enjoying the evening's action were Monaco's sovereign Prince Albert II and his cousin Elizabeth de Massy, president of the Monaco Lawn Tennis Federation.
12-17-2007, 09:47 PM
Thanks Peggy and Kristen for posting these great articles :yeah:
Jonas wrote the first blog on alltombarn.se, it is from last friday. I thought I post it here already, in case it will be gone when the new blog is up. Don´t have time to translate it now, but hopefully one of the next days :)
"Först kräktes han välling på planet - sedan ratade han lokala barnmaten"
Läs Jonas Björkmans krönika.
Jag satt på planet på väg hem från årets sista turnering, Masters Cup i Shanghai, då jag började tänka på vår familj som snart ska utökas med en liten tjej. Närmare bestämt säger de att beräknat datum är 15 januari, samma dag som sonen Max är född. Rätt lustigt…
Vart tog förresten hans "bebis-år" vägen? Så fort det gått. Det finns en hel del minnen från våra år som kringflackande tennisfamilj…
Året var 2004, sonen var då ett år. Vi hade precis landat i Sydney från Doha, Qatar – en hyfsat lång resa men allt hade gått rätt bra. Max hade både ätit och sovit bra. Detta var visserligen efter att han kräkts upp hela vällingen på mig precis efter att planet lyft. Jag luktade långt ifrån rosor, men, men, nu var vi äntligen framme.
Vid bagagebandet så började våra väskor droppa in en efter en, och för en gångs skull var de INTE sist av planet. Härligt. Flyt. Det gillar vi. Jag längtade rätt mycket efter en dusch och ett klädbyte vid det här laget. Ja, nu var väl alla väskor här. En, två, tre, fyra… Fyra? Kollar bandet. Alla väskor är ute. Shit! Vi saknar Max resesäng. Nåja, det kan ju inte vara hela världen. De har ju "babycots" man kan låna på hotellet.
Kommer till hotellet. Tyvärr hade de strulat bort vår ena rumsbokning så istället för att ha två rum, fick vi bara ett rum. (Vi brukade alltid ha ett extra rum så jag kunde sova ostört inför mina matcher, för bästa möjliga förberedelse). Alright, det var bara att hoppas på att det skulle bli en okej natt.
Men. Vaknar mitt i natten av Max som gråter, tröstlöst. Givetvis, stackaren är ju ”jet-lagged” och vet ej var han befinner sig. Min fru, Petra, tar upp och tröstar honom och lägger försiktigt ner honom igen. Alla somnar om, men en kvart senare vaknar jag av ett ljud. Ett störande, prassel-liknande ljud.
Vad i helvete är det där? Max börjar gråta igen. Samma procedur. Petra tar upp honom, han somnar om och hon lägger ner honom igen. Nämen vad i (ytterligare svordom) är det som låter sådär?
Max börjar gråta igen och ett ljus går upp för mig. Inte konstigt att stackaren inte kan sova när hans säng låter som när man knycklar ihop en chipspåse så fort han rör på sig. Max får sova mellan mamma och pappa istället. Problemet löst.
Nästa dag. Dags för lunch. Max medhavda barnmatsburkar tog slut på planet. Så efter min morgonlöprunda sprang jag förbi affären och handlade nya.
- Eh.. Vad är det här för märke på barnmatsburken? frågar Petra.
- Ja, jag kunde inte hitta den han brukar ha, så jag köpte några andra som såg goda ut.
Första tuggan. Max spottar och hulkar. Andra tuggan. Max vänder bort huvudet och vägrar öppna munnen. Okej, okej... Vad gör vi? Min fru, som är effektivitetens moder, föreslår att vi ska täcka av varsitt område i stan (likt två agenter från nån TV-serie) för att hitta några burkar. Petra sticker iväg med Max i vagnen åt ena hållet och jag springer snabbt över gatan. Hittar ett annat litet supermarket. Kollar bland alla märkena. Hittar inte Max favvisar. Köper på mig av olika sorter av alla de andra märkena.
Inget duger. Han vägrar äta. Vi börjar bli lite lätt stressade... Jag beger mig ut på jakt igen. Stöter i foajén på en australiensisk tennisfru, som tipsar mig om en affär där hon tror att jag kan hitta Max favoriter.
Slänger mig i en taxi. Ja! Där hittar jag dem! Lycka!
Max glad. Petra lättad. Jag själv, uppvärmd och klar inför min eftermiddagsträning…
Så att snart börja resa med liten bebis igen som ammas känns som en baggis. Konstaterade därför tacksamt (där, på planet från Shanghai) att det lär dröja ett tag tills vi ska ut på barnmats-burks-jakt igen! Thank God.
12-17-2007, 10:03 PM
:awww: I only understand the words Preta and Max :lol:
btw I did not see the entry when I looked after it at the weekend.
it's not hurray Birte. I am very glad when ever you have time for the translation.
12-18-2007, 05:47 PM
:awww: I only understand the words Preta and Max :lol:
here the same :rolls: but also I've understood "Nästa dag" = next day :lol:
12-29-2007, 08:45 PM
Here is now the translation from Jonas blog entry :) Sorry it took me a little bit, but I was quite busy over christmas :)
"At first he puked on the plane - later he didn´t like the local baby food"
(don´t know if this is the right word to puke. In German it should mean "sich uebergeben")
I was on the plane back home after the last tournament of the year, Masters Cup in Shanghai, when I started to think about my family which soon will have another member, a little girl. The date on which the girl should be born is the 15th january, the same day on which our son Max is born, quite funny...
I still wonder where his "baby year" went? It went so fast. There are a lot of memories from all the years as a travelling tennis family...
It was in 2004, our son was 1 year old. We had just landed in Sydney, coming from Doha, a quite long trip, but everything went quite okay. Max both ate and slept well. But it was also after he puked his milk soup on me, directly after the plane had taken off. I wasn´t directly smelling like roses, but now we were finally there.
At the luggage claim our bags came in one by one and for once they haven´t been the last to come out. Wonderful. We like this. I was really longing after a shower and a change of clothes at that time. Well, now are all bags there. One, two, three, four... four? I check the belt again, all the bags are out. We miss Max travel bed. We thought it can´t be that big problem, they normally have babycots which you can rent at the hotel.
Then we get to the hotel. Unfortunately they had lost one of our room reservations, so instead of getting 2 rooms, we only got one. (We used to have one extra room so I could sleep well before my matches, as the best possible preparation). Okay, I could only hope it would be an okay night.
But. I wake up in the middle of the night because Max is crying loudly. Of course, the poor little guy is "jet-lagged" and doesn´t know where he is. My wife, Petra, takes him out of the bed, tries to make him more quite and lies him down again.
We all fell asleep again, but a short moment later I woke up from a noise again. A disturbing noise.
What on earth is that? Max starts to cry again. The same procedure. Petra takes him out again, he falls asleep again and she lies him down again. But, what is this f.... noise there again?
Max starts to cry again and I suddenly know what the noise is. It is not strange that the poor guy cannot sleep when his bed sounds like a bag of chips whenever he moves. Max has to sleep between mum and dad instead. The problem is solved.
The next day. It is lunch time. Max baby food we took with us was already finished on the plane. So after my jogging tour in the morning I went to a shop and bought new baby food.
-Eh.. What is the brand of the baby food here? Petra asks.
-Yes, I couldn´t find the ones he normally has, so I bought some other ones which looked good.
The first bite. Max spots. The secound bite. Max takes away his head and refuses to open his mouth. Okay, okay...What shall we do? My wife, who is the mother of efficiency, suggests that we take both our part in the city (like 2 agents in a TV show) to find the right tins.
Petra goes away with Max in his baby buggy to one direction and I run fast over the street. I find another small supermarket. I check all the brands they have, but don´t find Max favourite ones. I buy some different tins of all the other brands they have.
Anything is good enough. Max refuses to eat. We start to get a little stressed. I go out on a searching trip again. In the hall I meet an australian tennis girl who suggests me to go to another shop where she thinks I will get Max favourite ones.
I run to a taxi. Yes! There I find them, total happiness!
Max is happy. Petra is lightened. I am also, and warm and ready for my afternoon practice...
So it feels good to travel soon with a small baby again which will get the breast milk for a while first. So I discovered thankfully (there, on the plane back from Shanghai) that it will take a while until we will go out on search for baby food tins again! Thank God.
12-29-2007, 08:53 PM
Thanks so much Birte :hug:
what a lovely article :)
01-16-2008, 12:35 PM
lovely DEUCE article online
01-16-2008, 01:17 PM
Max 5 år!
Idag är det vår son Max 5-års dag! Grattis grattis till våran lille prins! I vanliga fall brukar vi fira honom på ett hotellrum i Melbourne, men i år firar vi hemma med svensk tårta, ballonger och presenter!
01-16-2008, 04:51 PM
Jonas is one of the most kindlies guys in the history of sports! Never seen such a nice guy! And his game is also so big one!!! There will never be another Jonas! Not another player who could ever be him.
01-17-2008, 09:18 PM
Thanks Peggy for posting this GREAT article :yeah: :hug:
And I absolutely agree with what you said, Chris :yeah:
01-21-2008, 03:54 PM
the new baby girl arrived today :) :)
congrats to Petra, Jonas and Max! :hug:
01-21-2008, 04:08 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo: :D
01-21-2008, 06:10 PM
Congrats to the Bjorkman family! :banana:
Is Jonas planning to play Davis Cup in two weeks time?
01-21-2008, 06:16 PM
I think it was his plan to play DC.
01-21-2008, 07:43 PM
Which wonderful news :bounce: :bounce:
Congrats to the whole Björkman family :hug:
01-21-2008, 08:33 PM
Finally there is a new blog entry from Jonas on alltombarn.se
He describes the feelings how it is to wait for the new baby to arrive. Quite funny, he has written it yesterday and today the child was born ;)
I will translate the article, but probably I won´t have time before the weekend...
"Hur länge ska jag behöva vänta på bebisen?"
Jag förstår att det kanske är jobbigt för alla gravida kvinnor som går över tiden. Speciellt för de som har problem med ryggen, svårt att sova, har en halsbränna som gör livet betydligt mindre trivsamt och som av ren längtan helt enkelt är totalt fed up på att vänta på att det där lilla miraklet inne i magen någon gång ska komma ut.
Men, nu måste jag också få säga vad jag som väntande, blivande pappa, känner för varje dag som går. Det är ju faktiskt väääldigt jobbigt för oss blivande pappor också!
Hur länge ska jag behöva vänta på den lilla bebisen? Vi har ju redan väntat i de där nio månaderna. Har man fått ett datum – är det inte meningen att hon eller han ska vara färdig då?
Det är ju som att förbereda sig järnet inför en Grand Slam-turnering och när man väl kommit dit, mötas av beskedet att hela turneringen är uppskjuten. Och att ingen ens kan säga vilken dag den ska börja. Vilket jäkla antiklimax…
Förra gången vi väntade barn var beräknat förlossningsdatum 31 dec. Tja, det är ju faktiskt inte det roligaste datum att fylla år på (om man tänker på det faktum att man får ta körkort och gå på systembolaget sist av kompisarna i samma årskull). Då uppmuntrade jag givetvis Petra att kniiiipa igen så gott det bara gick tills det nya året istället.
Men hon knep nog så hårt att det blev lite för länge. 15 dagar över tiden! Ja, ni hörde rätt. 15 hela, långa dagar. Just det, INTE kul!
För mig alltså. Ja, för inte verkade det bekomma Petra, trots 30 extra kilo och en massa vatten överallt i kroppen. Nejdå, hon njöt av att vara gravid. (Vissa saker är svårt att fatta för en man…)
Jag ville ju ha leverans och det nu!
Visst hade Petra en massa förvärkar. Vi andades tillsammans. Jag höll hennes hand och peppade henne, men så vips så försvann förvärkarna och hon hade ingen känning alls på att det var på gång.
Men hallå – jag är ju tävlingsmänniska! Detta är ju som att komma in på banan, värma upp, få gå av för att det börjar regna. Sätta sig och vänta och vänta i spelarloungen, vänta på att få gå in på banan igen. Höra sitt namn bli uppropat, förbereda sig mentalt, göra sig redo, in på banan igen, värma upp och så kommer de där jäkla regndropparna igen och allt får avbrytas. Ja, ni hör ju själva. Vääääldigt frustrerande…
Till slut kom han då, vår lille Max, och så där i efterhand så hade ju de där 15 dagarna trots allt gått ganska snabbt och han var ju så klart värd all väntan!
Det är väldigt sällan en omföderska går över tiden, säger alla, så jag har denna gången varit väldigt säker på min sak. Nu skulle vi inte behöva vänta. Kanske kommer lilla bebisen till och med några dagar före beräknat datum.
Så det är ju med total uppgivenhet jag nu konstaterat att vi är över tiden – IGEN! Hur är det möjligt? Vi är nu fem dagar över tiden (jaja, det kanske inte låter så mycket, men tro mig – det är en evighet!). Jag vill ju träffa vår lilla bebistjej, som med bestämdhet håller sig kvar därinne i magen. Jag vill inte behöva vänta längre nu på att få hålla henne i min famn och pussa på henne!
Men, hon vill annat och det är bara till att konstatera. Det är som en regnfylld speldag i Wimbledon, där dagens matchspel till slut blivit cancellerat. Vi får åka hem och mysa ännu en kväll framför TVn istället. Men, i morgon är en ny dag. Med ett nytt spelschema. Kan knappt bärga mig.
01-21-2008, 09:45 PM
Congrats to his family!!!
01-22-2008, 07:52 AM
Looking forward to the translation Birte. Thanks in advance :)
01-22-2008, 11:54 AM
Our daughter is born!
Today at 13.40 our longed for daughter was born . Her name is Bianca and she is 52,5 cm tall and weighs 3885 grams. We are all feeling great and we are so happy!
02-03-2008, 07:37 PM
Sorry, that it took so long, but here is finally the translation of Jonas 2nd blog on "Alltombarn!" I think he just wrote it one day before Bianca was born ;)
How long should I wait for the baby???
I understand that it can be tough for a pregnant woman who is over the time. Especially for those who have problems with the back, cannot sleep well anymore, have problems with their throat which all makes life less funny and which makes them feel fed up with waiting for the little miracle inside them and hoping it should come out soon.
But now I also have to tell what I, as an expecting father, feels for every day which goes. It is really also very, very tough for us expecting fathers!
How long do I have to wait for the little baby? We have already waited these 9 months. We have got a date for the birth - doesn´t this mean that she or he should be ready that day??
It is like preparing hardly for a Grand Slam tournament and if you finally get there, you get to know that the whole tournament is postponed. And that not even anyone can say which date it will start. What an anticlimax...
When we were expecting our first child the calculated date of birth was the 31 dec. This is really not the nicest date to have birthday on (if you think that you get your drivers licence and drink alcohol officially latest of all your friends which are born in the same year). Therefore I animated Petra to wait as long as possible to get in to the new year instead.
But she waited so long that it took a little too long. 15 days over the expected date. Yes, you heard right. 15 whole, long days. Exactly, NOT funny!
For me at least. It didn´t seem to bother Petra, despite 30 extra kilo and lots of water everywhere in the body. No, she really enjoyed being pregnant (some things are just difficult to understand for a man...)
I want that the baby will be born now!
When Max was born, of course Petra had some pain problems before. We were breathing togehter. I took her hand and gave her energy, but suddenly the pain was gone and she didn´t feel at all that is was time.
But hello, I am a match person! It is like getting on the court, to warm up, and leave the court again for it´s starting to rain. Sit down and wait and wait in the players lounge, to wait to go out on court again. To hear that your name is announced, to concentrate mentally, to make yourself ready, go on court again, to warm up again and then these bad raindrops come again and it has to be cancelled again. Yes, you hear yourself. Veryyyyy frustrating...
In the end he came, our little Max, and now afterwards these 15 days went quite fast anyway and of course he was worth all waiting.
It is very seldom that a woman who is not giving birth for the first time goes over the time, everyone says, so this time I have been very sure. This time we won´t have to wait. Maybe the little baby will even come some days earlier.
But I have to state we are over time- again! How could this happen? We are now 5 days over time (yes,maybe it doesn´t sound that much, but trust me- it is an eternity!). I want to meet our little babygirl, who with certainty keeps herself inside the stomach. I don´t want to wait any longer, but want to hold her and kiss her!
But, she wants something different and you can only accept it. It is like a rainy day in Wimbledon, on which finally all the matches of the day will be cancelled. We have to drive home and enjoy another day in front of the tv instead. But tomorrow is a new day. With a new schedule. But I cannot wait any longer...
02-13-2008, 12:17 PM
That was so cute! Thanks for posting it! :awww:
From South Africa (http://allafrica.com/stories/200802120086.html):
South Africa: Swedish Stars Flying in for SA Open Shaken Up By Freak Storm
A slow news day at Selborne Park livened up dramatically when a freak storm tore into the tennis centre just after lunch yesterday.
The SAA South African Open tennis championship was almost literally uprooted as torrential rain, driven by gale force winds, slammed into the tennis centre almost without warning, flooding the players' lounge and the media centre.
Water poured through electrical fittings supplying power to computers, printers and other equipment.
Marquees put up for entertainment purposes were blown down, and branding and banners were torn to pieces. Debris was left on the courts. Passengers in an aircraft bringing third and fourth seeded Swedes Thomas Johansson and Jonas Bjorkman to East London were trapped in the plane after landing, while the storm raged.
East London locals, appointed to a tournament task force to deal with exactly this kind of emergency, worked furiously to remove water lying centimetres deep in several of the carpeted work and reception rooms.
The arrival of Bjorkman and Johansson at the courts was further delayed by a traffic jam between the airport and the city centre.
"We occasionally have storms and lightning, but never like this," said one of the tournament officials. "Normally it is just steady rain, typical of the coast. This was very unusual."
The storm gave Bjorkman and Johansson the kind of welcome they would have liked least, but neither was too shaken up on arrival at the courts for their campaign in the SAA South African Open tennis championships, which started yesterday.
Bjorkman laughed as he remembered the pilot saying "we could have ended up in Port Elizabeth, folks," but Johansson was not quite as amused.
"As we were landing it was quite light but as the storm broke, it went completely black," he said. "I have never experienced that before."
Bjorkman and Johansson were the heroes of the Davis Cup tie against Israel at the weekend, Bjorkman winning the final reverse singles to give his country a 3-2 win and Johansson winning both his singles.
The intensity of the weekend left a strong impression on both.
"The spectators really try to get into your head but we were very proud of the way we managed to stay focused," Bjorkman said.
"I think the experience will help us. Our confidence is high, our games are sharp and we are feeling quite good," he said.
Johansson was very enthusiastic about the quality of the field playing in East London.
"Considering the size of the event (a 90-point R875000 ATP Challenger) they have an excellent field here," he said.
"You have five players in the top 100, one of them (Ivan Ljubicic) in the top 10. Stefan Koubek is ranked 55. I think it is going to be a wonderful tournament," he said.
02-13-2008, 01:22 PM
Birte :worship: I love this article :)
Thanks for the other one Kristen :)
02-13-2008, 06:26 PM
Für alle deutschsprachigen Jonas-Fans (und vielleicht hat ja jemand von Euch Zeit und Lust für eine Übersetzung ;) ):
"Djokovic muss an sich arbeiten"
Am 23. März feiert Jonas Björkman seinen 36. Geburtstag, doch noch ist der schwedische Doppel-Spezialist kein bisschen müde und findet sogar noch Zeit der 20-jährigen Nummer drei der Welt, Novak Djokovic, Tipps zu geben.
Am vergangenen Wochenende fixierte der 35-Jährige Spaßvogel den Viertelfinal-Aufstieg des schwedischen Daviscup-Teams. Der neunfache Grand-Slam-Sieger im Doppel holte gegen Israel den entscheidenden Punkt zum 3:2-Erfolg und war einmal mehr im Mittelpunkt der schwedischen Medien.
2001 fieberte Björkman in Wimbledon mit Wikinger-Hut und Zigarre auch als Zuseher mit.
Björkman bleibt Nummer eins
Diese Erfolge dürften Björkman nun zu Kopf gestiegen sein, als er vor kurzem verlautbarte: "Ich möchte nicht überheblich klingen, aber ich würde Novak [Djokovic, Anm.] noch immer Prinz nennen. Er macht seine Sache ganz gut, jedoch muss er weiter an seinen Schlägen arbeiten."
Mit einem breiten Grinser sagte der 35-Jährige weiter: "Novak ist ein netter Kerl mit einem guten Sinn für Humor und wenn er sich weiterentwickelt, trete ich gern bei Seite und überlasse ihm den Thron des Königs." Das war die Antwort des schwedischen Tennis-Clowns auf die Frage, ob Novak Djokovic der bessere Imitator sei.
Nicht nur im Doppel spitze
Seit 1991 ist der zweifache Familienvater auf der ATP-Tour unterwegs und erspielte über die Jahre hinweg etwas mehr als 14 Millionen Dollar Preisgeld. Im Doppel hat der schwedische Oldie alles erreicht, was es zu erreichen gibt. Björkman feierte an der Seite von Max Mirnyi, Fabrice Santoro, Mahesh Bhupathi, Radek Stepanek, Todd Woodbridge, Leander Paes, Sebastien Lareau, Nicklas Kulti, Rick Leach, Brett Steven, Tommy Ho, Jan Apell, Jakob Hlasek, Patrick Rafter, Lars-Andres Wahlgren und Jon Ireland 51 Titel auf der Tour und war die Nummer eins des Doppel-Rankings (zuletzt 2001).
Der Schwede "genoss" die 0:3-Satz-Niederlage gegen Roger Federer.
Doch nicht nur im Doppel sondern auch im Einzel hatte der extrovertierte und humorvolle Skandinavier seine Erfolge. 1997 war das Jahr des Jonas Björkman: Neben drei Turniersiegen erreichte der damals 25-Jährige das Halbfinale der US Open. In der gleichen Saison spülte es Björkman bis auf Rang vier der Weltrangliste vor. In den Jahren davor und danach schaffte es der Schwede jedoch nicht in die Top-20 des Einzel-Rankings.
Zuschauer bei Federer-Show
Wie aus dem Nichts erlebte Björkman 2006 seinen zweiten Frühling, als er sensationellerweise bis ins Semifinale von Wimbledon vordrang. Dort wurde er schließlich von der Nummer eins der Welt, Roger Federer, in der Luft zerrissen und mit 2:6, 0:6 und 2:6 vom Rasen geschickt. "Ich sollte vielleicht nicht sagen, dass ich es damals genossen habe, dass er mich so bösartig zerlegt hat", erklärt der 35-Jährige mit einem Schmunzeln im Gesicht und fügt hinzu, "Ich hatte damals das Gefühl, den besten Platz in dem Stadion zu haben, um den besten Spieler dieser Welt bei einer seiner Gala-Vorstellungen zuzusehen."
Am Freitag (15.2.) erfahren Sie im zweiten Teil des Björkman-Specials, warum James Blake und Björkman wohl nicht mehr beste Freunde werden und was die Ex-Freundin des US-Amerikaners damit zu tun hat. Außerdem erwarten Sie Infos zum Familienvater und Magazin-Herausgeber Jonas Björkman.
02-13-2008, 07:14 PM
02-14-2008, 02:36 PM
The only damage of any significance done to the SAA South African Open tennis championship field yesterday was by unheralded 24-year-old Frenchman Augustin Gensse.
He beat fourth-seeded Swede Jonas Bjorkman -- 11 years his senior -- 6-3 7-5 on centre court at Selborne Park on a hot, blustery day.
In a match that lasted only one hour and 45 minutes, Gensse sailed through the first set against his experienced opponent, who struggled to get going. Bjorkman, despite losing, was happy to spend time talking about the match.
"I'm afraid my body did not feel good today," he said.
"My legs felt very heavy and that led to my timing being out. It is possible that our strenuous Davis Cup weekend had something to do with it.
"At this stage of my life, the body does not recover as quickly as it used to," he said.
No such troubles for Gensse, however. His main problems were with nerves and a lack of experience.
"This is my biggest win so far, and at 4-1 in the second set I started feeling very nervous. As we crossed over I told my coach I was feeling very tight and he said I should just try to focus," Gensse said. [coaching! lol]
Gensse's nerves almost got the better of him as Bjorkman fought back from 1-4 down to 5-5 in the second set. But the young Frenchman summoned up a huge effort to serve a flawless 10th game and draw ahead 6-5. Then it was the older, more experienced Bjorkman's turn to feel the pressure and he succumbed, serving three double-faults in the last game to give Gensse the set 7-5. [:tape:]
Gensse, ranked 249 in the world, said when it came down to the final few games, he was keeping his nerve by trying to recall how he won the first set.
"At that time it was quite easy because the pressure was not there. So I just tried to visualise that."
02-20-2008, 06:38 AM
Freitag, 15. Februar 2008 von: Fabio Tiani
"Es war Blakes Ex-Freundin"
Der schwedische Doppel-Spezialist Jonas Björkman ist nicht nur Tennis-Profi, sondern auch zweifacher Familienvater und Herausgeber eines Tennis-Magazins. Dass es nicht immer leicht ist, all diese Aufgaben unter einen Hut zu bringen, zeigt eine Auseinandersetzung mit dem US-Amerikaner James Blake.
Jonas Björkman zählt nicht mehr zu den Jüngsten auf der ATP Tour, doch nach 17 Jahren Profi-Tennis (alles Infos zu der langen Karriere des Schweden in Teil I des Björkman-Specials) denkt der 35-jährige Schwede noch lange nicht an ein Karriereende. Zum Jahreswechsel trennte sich der 35-jährige Schwede von seinem langjährigen Doppel-Partner Max Mirnyi, um noch einmal voll durchzustarten.
[© GEPA pictures]
Start zu einer Formel-1-Karriere? Björkman mit Markus Larsson, Fredrik Johnsson und Thomas Johansson in der Red-Bull-Box.
Alt aber nicht müde
An der Seite von Kevin Ullyett aus Simbabwe visiert Björkman seinen zehnten Grand-Slam-Titel im Doppel an. Der Schwede, der 2006 (Wimbledon Semifinale) und 2007 (vierte Runde in Rolland Garros und Wimbledon) für persönliche Bestleistungen im Einzel sorgte, erlebt momentan seinen x-ten Frühling, genau aus diesem Grund rät der 35-Jährige seinen gleichaltrigen Kollegen: "Meine Leistungen zeigen den alten Jungs da draußen, dass es nie zu spät ist. Nur weil man die magische Zahl 30 überquert, heißt das nicht, dass man nicht noch etwas erreichen kann."
Neben seiner Tennis-Karriere hat sich Jonas Björkman gemeinsam mit anderen schwedischen Tennis-Größen wie Mats Wilander oder Catarina Lindqvist ein zweites Standbein als Herausgeber eines nationalen Tennis-Magazins aufgebaut. "Diese Arbeit ist überaus interessant und ich erlebe viel Neues." Neu war auch, dass es sich der beliebte Doppel-Spezialist mit dem US-Amerikaner James Blake verscherzte.
Petra und Jonas sind seit 2003 verheiratet und haben miteinander zwei Kinder.
Funkstille zwischen Blake und Björkman
"Mein zweites Interview habe ich mit James [Blake, Anm.] geführt und da ist uns gleich ein kleiner Schnitzer passiert. Nachdem er in die Liste der Top 50 Sexiest Men gewählt wurde, habe ich James nach seinem Charme und seinen Beziehungen zu Frauen befragt. Daraufhin haben wir uns im Artikel auf seine Freundin bezogen, aber ein Bild seiner Ex-Freundin verwendet," berichtet Björkman von der unangenehmen Seite des Journalismus.
Beim Daviscup in Göteborg wollte sich der Schwede beim US-Amerikaner entschuldigen, doch dieser witzelte nur: "Dir werde ich nie wieder ein Interview geben." Neben seinen Tätigkeiten als Herausgeber und Tennis-Profi ist Jonas Björkman auch zweifacher Familienvater.
"Ich habe von den vergangenen 58 Grand-Slam-Turnieren lediglich zwei verpasst. Die Australian Open 2003 ließ ich aus, als mein Sohn Max geboren wurde und dieses Jahr war ich erneut in Down Under nicht mit von der Partie, weil meine Tochter Bianca das Licht der Welt erblickte," erklärt ein stolzer zweifacher Papa. Nach seinem Karriereende "in ein bis zwei oder auch mehr Jahren" möchte sich der 35-Jährige noch mehr seiner Familie widmen.
02-26-2008, 10:21 PM
Jonas is doing a video blog from Memphis.
Here is the link to todays entry:
03-01-2008, 03:03 PM
Update from Memphis
I won the first match against Paul Capdeville from Chile 6-3, 6-1. I played really well and it feels like I'm on my way back in form. It will be interesting to see what I can do as this week progresses. In doubles we unfortunately lost yesterday against the Ratiwatana twins from Thailand 6-3, 6-7, 9-11. We were in the lead the entire match and had a match point but unfortunately we didn't have any luck on our side. We played solid in our serve games but didn't win the right points in the tiebreak or in the super tiebreak. We felt we were in good form so it was a disappointing loss, but we hope we can improve our game until next week when we play in Las Vegas.
South Africa - a tournament with mixed results
It was great to come back and play in South Africa again. The results were mixed for me in the tournament. A disappiontment in singles but a great start with a win in doubles with Kevin Ullyett. It was a fun week and I got to see my former coach Gary Muller again and we could work a little to improve my game. The tournament was extremely well organized and we hope that they will get an ATP-tournament next year as they wish.
Win over Israel in Davis Cup
After the decisive match between me and Harel Levy from Israel, we managed to win and are now qualified for the second round in Davis Cup where we will face an away match against Argentina. Thomas Johansson played really well and was the big team anchor with two single wins. Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt fought bravely in the double match. It feels very good to have won this first round of Davis Cup and great to have gotten a good start of 2008!
03-06-2008, 07:30 AM
Small article (http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/mar/02/no-headline---2008-03-01-233909733108/)
Glad he stayed
Bolstered by his run to the RMKC semifinals -- following strong performances in several Grand Slam events the past two years -- Bjorkman is glad he didn't retire a few years ago when he first broached the subject.
'I've said two or three more years for quite some time,' Bjorkman said. 'Then I started to change and say I'd take it one year at a time. I'm pretty happy that I said that because, otherwise, I wouldn't have achieved my semifinal at Wimbledon (in 2006) and my fourth round at the French Open last year.
'It seems like this year would be good and nice to finish off with. The body is not holding up as good any more.'
Nice comment from Steve Darcis:
"It's great to see players like this play that long and at that level; the way he played this week he could play more years.'' -- Darcis, 23, after beating 35-year-old Bjorkman.
03-06-2008, 08:27 AM
Thanks Kristen. Where did you find it?
03-06-2008, 08:54 AM
Nice comment from Steve Darcis:
"It's great to see players like this play that long and at that level; the way he played this week he could play more years.'' -- Darcis, 23, after beating 35-year-old Bjorkman.
Well yeah its a nice quote, but it still doesn't really excuse him beating two swedes in the semi and then the final :lol:
11-14-2008, 04:43 PM
November 14, 2008
Bjorkman Retires After 17-Year Career
© Getty Images
Jonas Bjorkman retired from professional tennis after the popular Swede and his Zimbabwean partner Kevin Ullyett failed to qualify for the Tennis Masters Cup semifinals on Friday. The pair lost to Polish duo Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-2, 1-6, 10-6 in their final Gold Group match.
"We were hoping to maybe get through [to the semifinals]," said Bjorkman. "I still think it's great to end my career in the biggest event of the year. But you can't get everything. I've been mentally prepared for this because I'm mentally very ready to retire.
"I've been very fortunate to be able to play for so long. It started as my hobby, and I've been able to do it for 17 years, which is great. I'm really looking forward for the next step in life."
Bjorkman enjoyed a glittering career in both singles and doubles. On November 3, 1997 he reached a career high of No. 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, that same year winning three ATP titles, including the Stockholm title (d. Siemerink) in front of his home crowd, which he cites as one of his greatest memories.
Bjorkman’s career has spanned 17 years and some of his finest moments have come in recent years. At the age of 34, the right-hander reached the 2006 Wimbledon semifinals, where he fell to World No. 1 Roger Federer, who went on to claim his fourth title at the All England Club.
"I think definitely the locker room will be something that [I] will miss because it's very unique," explained the Monte-Carlo resident. "You're all in a way enemies and everyone wants to win, but you can still sit next to each other preparing for a game. I think everyone treats each other with great respect. It's also a lot of fun to be around everyone. To listen to all the trash talk in the locker rooms will be something that I will miss."
In doubles Bjorkman has enjoyed huge success, highlighted by reaching the No. 1 spot in the Stanford ATP Doubles Rankings on July, 9 2001 and capturing nine Grand Slam doubles titles, including three successive titles at Wimbledon (2002-04 w/Woodbridge).
As Sweden's longest serving Davis Cup representative, Bjorkman had the honor of winning the coveted title three times in 1994 against Russia, in 1997 against the USA and in 1998, defeating Italy in the final.
"I think Davis Cup weeks are probably one of the best weeks during the year," said Bjorkman. "The whole camaraderie is something that I definitely will miss. But hopefully I'll come as a spectator to watch and maybe be part of it a little bit.
"I would probably say winning the Davis Cup was something that was huge to be part of. [I was] very proud to be representing my country.
"To win the Stockholm Open, to win at home, is always something that you dream about. You know, winning Wimbledon, the doubles titles with Todd Woodbridge. It's the most prestigious tournament you can play, to be part of. To win that is something that I will remember well."
11-14-2008, 10:53 PM
Thanks for the article, Peggy :hug:
11-16-2008, 09:12 PM
Interview with Jonas.
11-16-2008, 11:16 PM
Great interview :yeah:
Thanks for posting it, Peggy :hug:
11-17-2008, 08:46 PM
A big hello to all you Jonas fans:wavey::hug:
I have come across an article in December issue of Ace Tennis which I bought today. There is 4 pages dedicated to Jonas:worship:
11-17-2008, 09:45 PM
Thank you!!!!!!! :worship:
11-17-2008, 10:01 PM
Thanks so much for the great article, Di :yeah: :hug:
11-17-2010, 01:32 PM
11-21-2010, 07:27 PM
Danke Doris :)
01-10-2011, 02:56 PM
Jonas playing doubles together with Pat Rafter in Wimbledon 2000 against Federer/Hewitt
06-19-2012, 10:33 PM
Jonas features on the latest 'Tennis Weekly' podcast from Sky Sports News Radio UK.
You can listen here - http://tennisweekly.jellycast.com/podcast/feed/2
Or via iTunes here - http://t3nnis.tv/redirector.php?url=...is/id532708891