Djokovic/Nadal Post match interviews

Discussion in 'Pro Match Results and Discussion' started by aceX, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. aceX

    aceX Hall of Fame

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    Djokovic

    Q. If you take out Grand Slams, this must rank pretty highly among the other tournaments you would have won, I would have thought?
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Absolutely, because of the significance that this tournament presents to me. I live here, as I was saying before, spend a lot of time in this club. I mean, for me, the most beautiful club in the world because I love the view, I love the people.
    Wimbledon is right up there (smiling).
    So I enjoy it. I cannot be happier than I am in this moment knowing what I've been through the whole week, actually two weeks, right after Davis Cup, trying to recover and make a decision to play or not to play.
    If somebody told me 10 days ago I'd be winning the trophy, I wouldn't think it's so realistic, to be honest. But, you know, I went through pain, I went through a big challenge, mentally, physically, emotionally, and in the end it was getting better as the tournament was going on.
    I knew after yesterday's match that I had a feeling that I had a big chance to win against Rafa if I was on the top of my game. The first six, seven games, eight games, were unbelievable. It's the best that I can play on clay. Well, it's the only way you can win against Rafa.

    Q. Having started so well, obviously had the momentum from the outset, how difficult is it to sustain that kind of level against someone like that when you know at some stage he's bound to start to play?
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: From winning the first set, after that was a mental game, you know, trying to maintain that extremely high level, not many unforced errors, a lot of winners. Everything was going the right way for me.
    Again, I knew in the back of my mind that even though I was wishing for no flaws, that it's going to happen here and there. It usually does when you play on clay against Rafa, best player ever on this surface. And it happened the beginning of the second. He increased his level. I thought he elevated his game.
    And for me, when I was a break down, it was important just mentally to stay out there, believe that I can come back, believe I can win. In the most important moments, I managed to make some great shots from the baseline, managed to step into the court, take my chances. I didn't allow him to really control, dictate the tempo of the match.
    So when I was 6 5 down, I think out of next 10, 15 points, I lost only one. So that's an unbelievable effort at that stage.

    Q. After 25 minutes, 5 Love up against Nadal on clay, you said yesterday about a positive mindset, what was it you told yourself to do before this match?
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, in the end the will to prepare can make a winner in these kind of matches and challenges. I've been in these kind of situations before. I played twice in the finals here against Nadal. I lost both times, but close matches.
    I knew that I'm going to need to be on top of my game. I've done everything in my power in order to prepare best that I can emotionally, physically, mentally.
    My team was there supporting me, behind me. Weather conditions I cannot affect, but I can affect my mental preparation.
    As I was saying on the press conference, post match press conference after Fognini yesterday, I want to win. There's nothing wrong about that. There's no doubt that this kind of mindset I will be having before the match.
    So I think the preparation was fantastic. The way I felt going back again what I said before the way I felt yesterday after the match gave me the right indication that I'm ready, that this is the right time.

    Q. Also in the second set when he broke you, did you have the sensation that the match depended on you?
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, analyzing the game and the matches that I had against him in the past on different surfaces, I know if I can play on that level for long period of time, I have a very good chance of winning. I knew that.
    I dropped a little bit my level in the second set in points, and he used it. That's why he's been so successful on this surface. It was a high mountain to climb for me, and I knew that. It was the biggest challenge that you can have on clay. But I managed to overcome it. I was ready to accept that challenge.
    As I said, I stepped into the court when I needed to.

    Q. Knowing that only three players have won 6 Love set versus Nadal on clay in their life, when you beat Nadal who won eight times this tournament, is like to beat Federer in Wimbledon, same sort of level? Have you ever played a game like you played when you were down 6 5, those four winners, to win a love game?

    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I've played in the past this well against Rafa on clay. Madrid, Rome 2011. It brought back the memories. I was trying to go back to years and remember what I've done on the court. So those matches, wins helped even in preparation for today's challenge.
    Regarding the comparison, Federer/Nadal, grass/clay, I don't know really. I never won against Federer on grass. But this is definitely right up there, one of the biggest wins. I've played one of my best tennis on clay courts ever.

    Q. You looked very emotional after the match point. Can you share what you were thinking and what this win could mean for the weeks to come?
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think anybody who saw my expression in the end saw that it was a very emotional win for the reasons I gave you already, living here, what I've been through in the last two weeks. It's a very joyful moment for me. I wanted that trophy badly all my life, especially in last six, seven years that I've been spending my time and living here between the tournaments in Monaco.
    This is a great confidence boost before the rest of the clay court season, definitely.

    Q. Can we say this is a symbolic victory for you?
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: For the reasons, yes, I gave you already. It's definitely very special because I live here.

    Q. What makes you to take this decision? You said this is the best decision you ever took.
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's not just me. It's the medical team that I have, the whole team that was with me, also the medical team of the tournament, that supported me in the decision making, actually gave me the green light to be a part of the tournament because there was no risk, no big risk, of damaging my ankle furthermore. So that was the reason.

    Q. This is one trophy you've wanted for a very long time. The other one which you want probably more than any other would be the French Open. I guess the two could be connected.
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah, this trophy could not come in a better moment for me. It was kind of difficult last two months for me. Been through some ups and downs emotionally, physically.
    But I'm right in the place where I want to be this moment confidence wise, game wise. I just need to do what I have done always: stay committed, to rest well, prepare well, and then I have the next two weeks for those things, getting ready for next challenge.
    Of course, I want to win Roland Garros. That's no secret. But I need to keep on having the right positive mindset for the next tournaments that are also very important. Just trying to stay healthy.

    Q. A lot of the game is the mental side of the game. Players before they play Nadal say, I have nothing to lose. You don't have that attitude. You say you want to win. If you approach him with that steely mentality, do you think it may intimidate him?
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We played so many times. It's true that in the end it's very mental on the highest possible level when you're playing for trophies, big tournaments. Physically you're ready, you're getting ready, your game is there. Mentally, emotionally if you manage to cope with pressure in those tough moments, tough moments, manage to play your best, you have a better chance of winning.
    I'm filled with joy when I play this sport. It's a huge drive force for me to be able to perform my best always. Of course, that kind of focused winning mentality. I think I have enough success in my career that gives me enough reason to have that kind of particular mindset.

    Q. I know every time you win a trophy or you lose a trophy you're very polite with Rafa. But winning this trophy and breaking the record of Rafa makes this win something a little bit more special.
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he allowed me to win it once, and I'm very thrilled for that. He won it eight times in a row, so he's been saying how much he loves and enjoys this tournament.
    On the other hand I do, too. It was a third lucky time for me. That's why it's very special because it's the first time I won this trophy at my home basically.

    Q. When you started the match, it seemed like you had a very good game plan, playing to his backhand. He tried to get your backhand, but you would run around and hit your forehand. Is that a game plan?
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There is a certain game plan there, of course, I tried to implement on the court. Very important for me because knowing that Rafa starts very strong from the first point, was to have the right intensity on the court, the right kind of focus. I've had it. As I said, first five games was a perfect, perfect play.
     
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  2. aceX

    aceX Hall of Fame

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    Nadal

    Q. He came out so strong. He's won games against you before, but when he started that strongly, how did you feel?
    RAFAEL NADAL: I think even if is true that he started very strong, my feeling was 4 0 was too much. I had very good chances to win the second game. Then I had a tough game, the third one. Then I had 30 Love with my serve another time. So all of this at the end he was playing great, yes, but I was feeling that I was not playing bad.
    These kind of matches, 2 All can be possible. So is not something that you start and you don't feel the ball, the opponent is winning every point. No, that was not my feeling this afternoon.
    Is true that he was playing great, probably better than me, but not that different. If you are there 3 1, you are inside the set. 4 0 is too much, no?
    That's what happened. I think he played a little bit better than me, especially in the first set. I didn't had that feeling in the second. I had 15 40, then I had the break, then 4 2, 6 5. I felt that I was playing really well the second set and I was having more chances than him.
    But I need a little bit more physical performance. That's the real thing, to play all that points with the same intensity. I get tired more to play with that intensity, earlier than what I used to do it.
    So, yeah, even like this I had the chance to win the set. But I get tired in the 4 2. Then to win 5 All, have the break, was a few very intense points. I get tired to play the 6 5. I didn't play with that intensity. When you start to have that feeling, is tough.

    Q. I know you say that you felt you were not the favorite with the time you had spent out of the game. But does it hurt to finally lose here after so long?
    RAFAEL NADAL: Hurt or not hurt, I don't know. I like to win more than lose, but that's sport. Is not a tragedy. I lost after eight years without losing here. That's something. That's the more normal thing that can happen after all the success that I had here.
    I think for me it was a positive week. That's the thing. Was a really positive week for me. I didn't have the practice in Mallorca, I just practiced here before the tournament. With not much preparation, I was able to play in the finals, a few matches. This week going to help me be fit for the next weeks. Hopefully I can play another great week in Barcelona next week, play some matches that will keep helping to put me in the 100% condition physically talking. If we talk about tennis, I was pleased about my tennis this afternoon.
    So that's all, no? I think I'm in the right way. Five finals in a row. If you tell me that four months before, I will be crying for emotions, no? Just very happy to be able to play against the best players of the world another time, and play with real chances. That's very, very important for me and is fantastic new. I feel emotions about that.

    Q. Will you have enough time between now and Roland Garros to get the energy levels up to what you need to retain the title?
    RAFAEL NADAL: I play Barcelona. That's my schedule. Roland Garros is very far. I will try my best now to play a very good week in Barcelona. Is a tournament that I love. Roland Garros is there. We have Barcelona, then we have Madrid, then we have Rome. It's enough time, I think yes. It's more than enough. If I am keep doing as well as I did during all this week, why not?

    Q. The second set 4 2, chance to serve for the set at 6 5, was it just physical or were you nervous or was there something else?
    RAFAEL NADAL: Seriously, 2011 I felt against Novak a few times the tension. I feel a little bit anxious in some important moments. Was not the case today. I didn't felt that way this afternoon. I fighted to be back on the match after a tough first set.
    Is not only physical, but is mental too. But you know at the end is not easy to separate that, no. When you are bad mentally, you feel worse physically. But I really am not bad mentally today. Not in that moment I am bad mentally. I am fresh. I am enjoy to be on the tour another time.
    When you get tired physically, the mental part is very difficult to maintain there. Even like this, I tried hard, I tried hard for moments to put one more ball inside. When that happened, I really didn't feel that I was far to have the chance to win a match against him.
    Today he was better than me. I just can congratulate him and his team. I really hope that I will have another chance.

    Q. It's a little bit strange. You won on hard court and Novak Djokovic lost. Today you lost on clay and Djokovic won. How do you see that?
    RAFAEL NADAL: No, is not the first time that happen. Is not the first tournament I lost on clay. Indian Wells was not the first tournament I won on hard. The same for him. Is not his first victory on clay and is not his first lose on hard. That's tennis.
    Historically I played better than him on clay, little bit, yes. Historically he probably played better than me on hard, yes. But we were not one here and one there (indicating far apart). I don't know how many titles I won on hard and how many titles he won on clay.
    I think both of us, we are complete players and we can play on every surface. Win or lose, we were in the finals both.

    Q. When you were one break up, you lost your serve 4 3 at 15. When you were 6 5, you lost your set to love. Then on the three points of the tiebreaker, you lost three out of four. Do you think the serve also wasn't helping you enough maybe in terms of percentage? I'm asking, in these moments was the serve somehow important?
    RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I felt better today from the back. That's the real things. But I was able to serve faster today, this afternoon. I really served much better than what I did the previous days.

    Yesterday I had an average 150 something. Today was higher. That's a positive thing.
    I felt better. The treatment worked well. I feel more, you know, healthy this afternoon from the back than what I felt the last two days. So that's a positive thing.
    But in general I am playing against probably the best returner of the world. So was not the question of the serve. The serve can give me some points. But when I'm losing these points in a row, it's because something goes wrong from the baseline, not from the serve, no. That's my feeling.
    Serve can help me more, yes. But was not the fault today.

    Q. Can you explain what you still feel is difficult in Djokovic's game regarding your game, what are the issues when you're facing him?
    RAFAEL NADAL: Which ranking is him (smiling)?

    Q. In some player's game you have something that is more difficult than other ones.
    RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, but I am playing against best player of the world. He's a fantastic player. If you are not at your 100%, is very difficult to win against these kind of players. That's all. His game is great. His game is very complete. To win, I have to play my best and I have to bring him to the limit.
    When I was in my 100% in the past, probably he had the same feeling. But that's the sport. That's the good thing about the sport. Bring your tennis or your body to the limit to do a bit more and win these kind of matches. These kind of matches are special ones. To win against players like Novak, if you are not at your 100% full, is almost impossible.

    Q. You had the breaks in the second set, but he returned really well. Is it disappointing to lose, because you did play well the second set, that makes it more disappointing to lose because it could have gone to a third set and been a different ballgame?
    RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. Was more disappointing if I was losing 6 2, 6 2. That's the real thing. Was disappointing? Yes. I don't like to lose, I say before. But for me certainly it was a very positive week. Nothing to say.
    I feel for moments in the second set I played my best tennis of the week. So that's important thing. When I was doing that, I wasn't far of him, even if I was playing in the right way to win. I needed a little bit more. I needed more physical performance. I needed more matches to play with this intensity all the time. I need to be completely focused in every moment. That gives you the competition, gives you this special things, extra things, when you are playing against some players maybe you don't need sometimes. But to play against Novak, to play against few players, you will need, and I need. I going to work on that.
     
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  3. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    many thanks for the interviews.
     
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  4. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    I get tired more to play with that intensity, earlier than what I used to do it.

    So, yeah, even like this I had the chance to win the set. But I get tired in the 4 2. Then to win 5 All, have the break, was a few very intense points. I get tired to play the 6 5. I didn't play with that intensity. When you start to have that feeling, is tough.

    Seriously, 2011 I felt against Novak a few times the tension. I feel a little bit anxious in some important moments. Was not the case today. I didn't felt that way this afternoon.

    I think both of us, we are complete players and we can play on every surface. Win or lose, we were in the finals both.


    Very interesting stuff from Rafa. I like his honesty here.
     
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  5. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Both very classy in their on court speeches.
     
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  6. sbengte

    sbengte Legend

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    I am confused. Does Nadal mean he was tired or that he was not 100% :confused:
     
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  7. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    The problem is if you are confused about Nadal's injury you will become a hater. So drive away the confusions and just believe that when Rafa loses there has to be an injury or reason
     
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  8. malbaker86

    malbaker86 Professional

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    Mentally tired and his focused waivered. He wasn't taking anything away from Novak, just saying that it gets harder to maintain that constant mental strength now a days throughout the match like he use to do in the past.
     
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  9. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    He says he was tired, tense and anxious. (Lucky day for you, Nole!)

    He also says "we were both in the finals". I sort of also got that feeling, what about you ?
     
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  10. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    I like that Nadal just said he wasn't going to talk about his back cos if he does that's all they will write. He knows the way they spin things. A lot of times players play with tape so i think he's probably ok but i hope it holds up ok through all the events he's playing.

    Also funny that he thinks he's been only a "little" bit better than djokovic on clay and Novak has "probably" been better on hc. very diplomatic Haha.
     
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  11. merwy

    merwy Legend

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    Good interviews, especially from Nadal. I like his honesty.

    I loved this. Because of the message and also because of the bad english
     
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  12. pds999

    pds999 Hall of Fame

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    It's clear a few things went wrong:

    - Djokovic played a pretty fautless first set
    - Rafa wasn't physically 100% (why would he be after 8 months off)
    - Too many UE's from Rafa
    - Courts were heavy/damp and the topspin didn't bite as normal

    Not excuses, but reasons for the defeat. Very similar reasons for him losing a 6-2 set to Dimitrov (unheard of) and losing 5 games in a row to Tsonga (again unheard of).

    Rafa clearly wasn't himself this week. The serve was 20-25mph down on usual and he just didn't look quite right. Too many UE's as well. That is why after the Dimitrov and Tsonga matches I had Novak as the favourite - rightly so. And he was the deserved champion.
     
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  13. pds999

    pds999 Hall of Fame

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    Disagree. I think both were very humble in defeat/victory.
     
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  14. merwy

    merwy Legend

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    Yep, he was pretty much saying: "He's just a better player than me in general"
     
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  15. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Great interviews. Nadal very candid and honest. Refreshing.
     
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  16. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    #16

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