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Old 07-05-2006, 07:06 AM   #62
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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.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/5148106.stm
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