N. DJOKOVIC/A. Seppi

 

4‑6, 6‑7, 6‑3, 7‑5, 6‑3

 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

 

 

Q.  How relieved are you to come through that one?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you’re always happy and relieved when you win.  So that’s what matters the most today.

Q.  Seppi had played great in Rome, and you respect him.  You had beat him before.  But it was the change of climate.  At the beginning you were not in the court, or what?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, of course, he’s in really good form, and he played some great matches, won against some really good players here and Rome and won a tournament in Belgrade.  He definitely showed why he’s difficult to beat.

All the congratulations for his tournament and performance today.  I think, you know, he was a better player for first two sets, definitely.  I was very fortunate to come through to this match.  I was fighting.  When I was two sets down, I believed I could win the match, and I think, you know, that’s the only positive I can really pick up from today’s match.

 

Q.  Regarding how good Seppi played, what are your thoughts about your own game today, the move or the strokes?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it’s one of those days where you don’t feel just ‑‑ nothing is working, you know, really.  My serve was well.  But aside that, I could not get into the rhythm, you know.  I was fighting, and I think because of the fight I won the match.

 

Q.  The sense of calm that you have in a crisis which you’ve shown the last 18 months or so, from your first few years on tour, how did you kind of train yourself to be that strong when you need to be mentally?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don’t think you can really train that.  You can just get it over the time and with experience.  The more you play and the big matches and the big tournaments, more you’re gonna feel comfortable, you know, getting out from the situations like today.

 

Q.  You spent obviously more than four hours in the court.  Something that is worrying you facing to the next rounds?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You know, I’m not worried.  I’m just hoping that I can wake up tomorrow knowing that I’m in a quarterfinals, and I just want to deliver my best performance in the next challenge, forget this match today, take the best out of it, you know.

I’m proud that I’ve been fighting and coming back from two sets down.  That’s all I can say now.

 

Q.  How worried you were after you were two sets down?  I saw you at the end.  You were clapping Seppi.  You normally don’t clap for your opponents.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I do.

 

Q.  All the time?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I do clap my opponents.

 

Q.  All the time?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I do.  And, anyway, today he deserved the applause.  He performed incredibly well.  He stepped into the court not being afraid.  He was going for the shots.  So, you know, he deserved after today’s match.

 

Q.  First part of the question, how worried you were, I mean, when you were two sets down.  It was important to break him up at the beginning of the third?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I was most worried about my game.  You know, I wasn’t really worried about the match itself.  I mean, his game, he played well.  That’s a fact.

But, I mean, I wasn’t managing to get into the rhythm.  I had my kind of flashes, you know, positive flashes where I was winning games in a row, and I felt that I actually can hit it now.

But most of the match I was defensive, and so that was it.

 

Q.  A general question.  At the French Open they don’t use the challenge system due to clay court.  What do you think about not having the challenge system here?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don’t think we need it on clay.

 

Q.  Do you feel that the court was too slow because of the weather condition?  Because yesterday there was rain.  And because of the wind, do you feel the conditions were difficult for playing today?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It’s the same for both players, so I can’t really find an excuse and say, Okay, it was windy or sunny or cold or raining.  So it was really same for both of us.

We have to adjust.  Conditions are something that you have to get used to.  They are changing.  Obviously it was different than when I played my last match.

But, look, you know, that’s sport, you know.  That’s something that you have to accept.

 

Q.  Was very slow, the court?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, was quite slow and very slippery, as well.

 

Q.  You said that basically it was a tough day.  Nothing was really going right for you for the first part.  Can you take that a little further?  Is it just a feeling?  Is it a rhythm?  Is it specific strokes?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Look, you know, I think it’s just a bad day, you know, for my game, for my rhythm in general.

But, look, I won.  So I don’t need to be disappointed or, you know, think, okay, you know, I’m gonna be worried now or whatever.

I’m in the quarterfinals.  I won the match.  That’s what matters the most.  That’s something that gives me, of course, always motivation to continue on and trying to, as I said, wake up tomorrow, you know, hoping for a better day, you know.

It was just not a good day.  That’s what’s happen in sports.  You have good days; you have bad days.

 

Q.  Do you remember such a bad day in the past?  Do you remember having such a bad day?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Of course.

 

Q.  When was the last?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don’t know.  I can’t recall.  But there was many days, of course (smiling).

 

Q.  In comparison of the same moment of the last Roland Garros, how do you feel?  Are you playing better?  You have more experience?  How do you feel?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I’m not going to compare my year to last one.  I was saying before just every year is different.

So I feel ‑‑ I feel good this year.  And today was not a good day, definitely.  But I’m going through, so I hope I can deliver my best next one.

 

Q.  When you play a match like this and coming back from Love‑2, in order to go to higher rounds in a Grand Slam, does it feel better winning 3‑2 than winning 3‑0?  You know what I mean?  Like it’s for the experience and the Grand Slam?  Does it give you more confidence?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think I have enough experience on the Grand Slam.  I don’t think I need to stay on the court in order to get more experience.

It’s just ‑‑ everybody plays tennis.  Look, I mean, even though you’re a favorite in most of the matches you play, you have expectations to go through these matches comfortably.  But, look, I mean, that’s why we keep on saying Grand Slams are the tournaments that are most valued in our sport and players have nothing to lose, especially in the opening week, you know.

So they step on the court feeling the ball well, like Seppi did today, and that’s why it’s very dangerous.  You have to stay committed to try to win every set you play.

 

Q.  Would you please describe this ability you mentioned already, maybe champion ability to come out of situations when not much is working?  You said already it’s not really ‑‑ you cannot practice on that, but how can you keep it up, and what are your thoughts when you really need it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, at the start of my career, I don’t know if I would be actually able to get out of this position, you know.  But now is different because of the years of experience I had and playing in big stage, big matches.

I mean, that’s it, you know.  That’s something that you gain over the time.  You can’t really exercise it on practice.

 

Q.  Can you share a thought about your next round, whether it’s against with a Wawrinka or Tsonga?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It has to be much better performance from me in order to try to win against the next opponent, because both of these guys are great quality players.

Jo is a home favorite, crowd favorite.  He has big support, obviously.  I think he’s a big match player, you know.  He loves the big stage, the pressure and everything.

Stan is one of the most consistent players we have on tour in the last couple of years.  And he loves playing on clay.  He loves playing best of five and upsetting some favorites.

It’s a quarterfinals now.  There is no more clear favorites anymore.

 

Q.  Although you don’t like to compare a few years back, looking at the stats, how many times will you have retired in best‑of‑five matches and think if you were weak mentally or physically, now you have such a good roll, best‑of‑five matches, and on the fifth set and you’ve come back from 2‑0 deficit today.  What is the difference from those years and to now?  Is on the head, the legs?  What’s new?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think everything in general, you know.  It’s normal that over the time when you’re playing at this level you learn how to improve as a player.  You’re improving every part of your game.  You know, that’s why we are still here, you know.

Even though I have achieved in a lot in my career, I still feel that I can improve a lot, and I’m practicing very hard being committed to the sport.

So hard work, in the end it pays off in this dedication to tennis.

 

Q.  You won 16 times out of 21, five sets.  Came back today for the third time from Love to 2.  But today, six serves you lost.  You said you were serving pretty well.  Seppi lost nine serves.  How do you explain it?  Are you sponsoring Seppi to come back to Belgrade next year, since he’s the winner, and yours is the family tournament, Djokovic family?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I just remember the last score today.  I would love to have Seppi next year in Belgrade.  I hope he comes.

Advertisements