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Old 02-07-2006, 11:02 AM   #1
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:58 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:41 AM   #3
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John McEnroe:
"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."

Jonas Bjorkman:
"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."
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Old 02-19-2006, 11:14 AM   #4
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"Fan Favourites" awards are collecting votes now...
Jonas is up for 'favourite doubles team'

http://starsforstarsmiami.com/fanvoting/
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Old 02-19-2006, 11:55 AM   #5
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ill vote
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Old 02-19-2006, 12:24 PM   #6
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my vote went to Jonas & Max
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:26 AM   #7
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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
brother Patrick.

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
what develops."

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."
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:21 PM   #8
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voted Jonas & Max
BTW, Jonas's son is named Max, right?
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midsommardagen
voted Jonas & Max
BTW, Jonas's son is named Max, right?
Yes, he is I also think sometimes that it´s quite funny...
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Old 02-21-2006, 05:21 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 02-24-2006, 06:16 AM   #11
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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!
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:25 AM   #12
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http://www.jonasbjorkman.com/

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.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:25 AM   #13
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Thanks Peggy. Jonas is such a softie. (Like a teddy bear. He's the best )
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Old 03-12-2006, 06:59 AM   #14
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Article from LA Times
Quote:
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."
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:27 AM   #15
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Kristen thanks so much for this nice article
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