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Discussion Starter #181
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?)
 

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Discussion Starter #182 (Edited)
tennis.com

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."
 

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Discussion Starter #183
jb.com

2007-11-19
Fine ending

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.

2007-11-19
Great, Simon


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!
 

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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
 

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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 ;)

http://www.alltombarn.se/aktuellt/jonas-bjorkman-blir-pappa-igen-1.4030
 

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:D I never realised he was expecting a girl! Very happy for him :)
 

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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...

@Peggy
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 ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #189
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #190
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=72&objectid=10482580&pnum=0

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

Age: 35

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.
 

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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: [;)]
 

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The link: http://monacorevue.com/events/sd1071212.php

The story...
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.

 

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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.

Jonas Björkman
 

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Discussion Starter #194
: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.
:worship:
 

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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.

Jonas Björkman
 

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Discussion Starter #199
jonasbjorkman.com
2008-01-15
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!
 

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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.
 
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