TENNIS MASTERS CUP
November 14, 2008
6-2, 1-6, 10-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How does it finally now feel?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I think obviously you
always have a little bit of sadness when you're
losing this match. Obviously, we were hoping to
maybe get through. But, yeah, I think both me
and Kevin felt that each day it's been going,
we've been getting a little bit more mentally
tired. It's been a long indoor season. We wasn't
as sharp as we were hoping to be for this event.
The guys, Polish guys, also played well at the
I still think it's great to end my career in the
biggest event of the year, even if I would have
gone further. 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.
You know, I'm really looking forward for the
next step in life.
Q. I wondered whether you thought it was fitting
that your final match should finish in a super
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, maybe not, since I haven't
been really the biggest supporter of it
But you also have to accept new decisions and a
new future for the doubles. I think it has
turned out to be a good success for doubles. You
have more singles guys playing. That's what I
told Etienne after we changed. I said, I will
give it one year and I will tell you that I
think it's wrong. But I came up to him and I
told him that I think it's better for the game.
Even if I'm not the biggest supporter of it, I
still think it's good.
I think it was at least better than losing in
two sets. At least you have a little bit of
drama in the end.
Q. How has the feeling been this whole week?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Yeah, I've been very excited to
come here and play this as my last one. Like I
said, you know, I think it's a great achievement
to be able to play the biggest event of the
year, to qualify, to be in the top eight in
singles and doubles. That was something I
thought was very special when I qualified for
the singles in '97. I think for every player,
this is very special to be part of.
You know, I'm very happy that we came through.
We played great the last six months, me and
Kevin. It's been such a great time playing with
him. You know, unfortunately we came up short
today. But I'll wake up tomorrow and I'll be
ready to look forward to the new future.
Q. We all know you and Thomas Johansson are
great friends. He told me he would be playing
another season next year. Are you going to come
around with him to coach him a bit?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, Magnus Norman is coaching
him right now. Magnus is going to do the
coaching for Robin Soderling and Thomas when
Thomas gets back from his surgery. Obviously
Magnus goes to Australia. It's going to be tough
for Thomas to have someone to practice with
maybe in January down in Monaco where we live. I
already told him if he obviously needs my help,
I would be there to help him out to get back in
good shape and hit some balls with him.
Hopefully he can be ready for February when the
European season starts.
That's one of the guys obviously I will miss.
Not going to see him as much. But, you know,
hopefully I can come out and watch a couple
events here and there to have a nice little talk
Q. What do you think you will miss about the
tour? Are there two or three highlights, real
memories that stick out, from your long time on
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think definitely the locker
room will be something that you will miss
because, like I said, it's very unique. 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 where you go out and both
is trying to win. 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.
That also comes to the Davis Cup weeks. I think
Davis Cup weeks are probably one of the best
weeks during the year, to be part of that. The
whole camaraderie is something that, you know, I
definitely will miss. But hopefully I'll come as
a spectator to watch and maybe be part of it a
Highlights, I forgot that one (laughter).
I would probably say winning the Davis Cup was
something that was huge to be part of. 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.
Q. Where will you be in the future tennis-wise?
In Swedish tennis there's a few things that have
room to improve. A lot of players go to the
seniors tour. Will you walk away completely from
the game or where do you see yourself?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I'm going to take advantage that
I've been playing so long that I can go straight
into seniors (smiling). Puts a lot of pressure
on the guys. I'm going to do three times a week
running now and just get ready (laughter).
No, I will be involved in Swedish tennis a
little bit. I think the sport has been giving me
so much, I hopefully can be part of helping
Swedish tennis a little bit with my experience.
I'm actually going to be like you guys: I'm
going to sit here next year and interview
players maybe because I'm the editor of a
Swedish tennis magazine that I've been doing for
a year and a half now, trying to create good
articles and get people back home more
interested in tennis.
We've been spoiled from all the 25 great years
we had. I think a lot of guys are now trying to
do whatever we can to get tennis back on track
in Sweden. I'm going to be an ambassador for a
junior program as well in Sweden. Those two
things I will start with.
I have committed to play the seniors in
Wimbledon. If it's going to be something else,
it may be one or two exhibitions but not more.
Q. There is another job available: the CEO of
the ATP. What do you think about the future of
the tour, in fact, the reform of next year and
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think the future looks great.
You know, you've got such a great story to talk
about now in the men's game. We had Rafa and
Roger as a great rivalry. Now for this year, you
know, Djokovic took the step in and has been
competing with these guys. Murray is now the
almost new prince coming in here and making it
four guys competing on what I think are a
different level to the rest of the group. So I
think it's great to see these guys taking tennis
to a new level. The way they play, it is
different, and it's also with a different pace.
I think with that it looks great. You see every
week almost records of crowds. So the interest
I still think that we need to promote a little
bit more guys out there. We all have different
styles. It is important when these guys
sometimes lose, the tournaments don't think this
is the end of the week. You know, you still have
some phenomenal players out there. I think maybe
we need to improve and get the players to get
closer to media and fans. I think that's
something that a lot of sports are doing better
than tennis. Hopefully that will be something
they can improve.
Q. Had you noticed the organization prepared a
farewell ceremony for you before?
JONAS BJORKMAN: If I knew about it?
JONAS BJORKMAN: No. I just saw, once the super
tiebreak started, a few people coming out in the
corner there. Maybe in a negative way I realized
that I better play well here because otherwise
it might be something happening (laughter).
They reminded me a little bit that this is
obviously maybe my last match. You know, I was
trying to do everything possible to stay alive
one other day, or maybe two.
I didn't know anything about it before. But I
really appreciated what the ATP and the people
here, Charles and Michael, did for me. That is
something I definitely will remember a lot for
Q. You were talking about highlights of your
career. Are there any big regrets?
JONAS BJORKMAN: Well, I think there is a few.
Obviously losing to Greg Rusedski in the
semifinal was a tough loss because I think that
was a chance for me maybe to go all the way.
Maybe made a few mistakes that I would regret.
I probably would regret my whole scheduling
after '97, because I played almost 150 matches
and finished somewhere mid December. I started
straightaway in Australia the first week. I got
burned out by when Key Biscayne came. If I would
have had a second chance at that, I probably
would have had a completely different schedule.
But none of my people around me, and myself, had
the experience of having a great year like that,
playing a lot. You know, we did those mistakes.
I could regret it in a way, but at the same time
there was something we didn't know about as
Q. What will you not miss about the tour?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think the umpires is not going
to miss me maybe (laughter). I've been quite
tough to those guys. It looks like since I
announced my retirement, everyone got so much
more confidence in the chair, have been doing a
much better job these days, I haven't been able
to complain. But I could be sometimes tough
against them. I also tried to give them positive
feedback if they do a good job, as well.
I'm not going to miss the traveling. I will say
probably the hectic schedule that starts from
leaving a couple days after Christmas and goes
all the way to mid November. I really look
forward to plan that maybe the first week of
February I know we can have something happening
on a Saturday. You miss so many friends'
weddings, great occasions for parties and
everything back home with your friends. Now you
can be part of that a little bit.
I think the traveling is the one that's been the
toughest in the end. Obviously when you do have
a family that can't go with you all the time,
that is something that's been quite tough.
Q. You say you have two kids who are lovely.
Would you push them to play tennis, as well?
JONAS BJORKMAN: That was a tough question
I would say, you know, if they want to play
tennis, I would not say no. If my kids want to
play tennis, definitely that would be great. Max
is already a big fan of the game. He plays once
a week back home. Every opportunity he has to
play with me or my dad, you know, he's there. He
can play for hours. He really likes it. I
already dropped on the priority list. He's more
looking to the Murray, Djokovic, Federer and
Nadal more than me (laughter).
I think if they want to play tennis, it's great.
But there are some other great sports they can
do out there. As long as they keep themselves
active. I think these days computers have been
changing the whole world quite a lot, and I
think it's good to be active and do a lot of
Q. Who do you think will win this year's Masters
Cup, doubles and singles?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think right now it's going to
be a final between Zimonjic-Nestor and the
Bryans. I think those two teams have been most
consistent through the year, and it seems like
they've been able to peak for this event. So I
think one of those two will have the best shot.
Maybe it's great in a way because they're
fighting for the No. 1 spot. I think that could
be a great final.
Singles-wise, you know, I think everyone speaks
about Murray. He's probably been the best player
so far the last couple months. But you've got a
great champion in Roger Federer. You can never
count him out.
I think what makes the best players in the world
so good is that when it comes to pressure, they
really need to step up and win matches. They
have to. It's like win or lose today, that's
when they play their best tennis. I wouldn't be
surprised if he comes through. If he goes
through to the semis, he's going to be dangerous
Q. You list the Davis Cup and a lot of doubles
wins as your highlights, Wimbledon. You also had
a lot of singles highlights. Tennis is a very
individual sport. Would you wish you had been a
little bit more individualistic/egocentric at
JONAS BJORKMAN: No, I think I've been quite
individual. I've been putting my priority to my
game as much as I can. I always practice
singles. I haven't practiced much doubles. Going
into a tournament, I never practice doubles.
It's mainly when my singles is gone for that
week, that's when I try to do a little bit of
catch-up for that week. So my priority has been
to the singles. I've been very ego in that way
of trying to get my singles prepared as best
possible for each week.
Q. As a veteran player for many years, what do
you think of the issue of Hawk-Eye?
JONAS BJORKMAN: I think Hawk-Eye is great. You
know, it gives the crowd something to look at
and be interested if you're going to be a good
call or a bad call. I think that's something
that, you know, other sports are doing great.
I'm a big ice hockey fan. If I go to a match in
the U.S., the match may be pretty bad, it could
be crap, but I still go back home with a smile
and think that it was so much fun to go to ice
hockey, I'm going to go back, because they do so
many other things around.
I think the Hawk-Eye is bringing something to
the fans to sort of take care and be part of.
You can see two of them. One can say, I thought
it was good. The other guy can say, I thought it
was out actually. It gets the fans involved. I
think a lot of those things is going to be good
for the game.
End of FastScripts