Novak Djokovic Presser: It’s A Privilege To Be Part Of This Era And Andy Winning Makes It Even More Competitive
by Tom Gainey | September 10th, 2012, 10:53 pm
  • 36 Comments

Novak Djokovic was unable to defending his title falling tonight to Andy Murray in a thrilling 5-set final. Heldover for a fifth straight year because of Saturday rain, Murray jumped on Djokovic early and then hung on for a 76, 75, 26, 36, 62 win over the Serb.

Djokovic had won the last three Grand Slams played on hardcourt dating back to the 2011 Australian Open. Djokovic had lost just one set during the US Open coming into the final.

Despite the loss he’ll stay second in the ATP Rankings and continue to lead Roger Federer in the 2012 points race.

Afterward, Djokovic talked about the match, the windy conditions and what Murray’s win does to the pecking order in the game:

Q. Is gonna be the first question in English for you: You come from Serbia; you are our brother; you showed you are brave; we love you and we admire you and we are very proud to have you as a Serbian.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thank you.

Q. So how do you feel about this final today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, any loss is a bad loss, you know. There is no question about it. I’m disappointed to lose the match, but in the back of my mind I knew that I gave it all. I really, really tried to fight my way back through. I had a great opponent today. He deserved to win this Grand Slam more than anybody, I’m sure, because over the years he’s been a top player. He’s been so close; lost four finals. Now he has won it, so I would like to congratulate him. Definitely, you know, happy that he won it.

Q. As you just said, any loss is a bad loss. Andy has been so close so many times. You and Roger and Rafa have all said at various times it’s bound to happen for him to win one. If there is any consolation in the loss? You know, is it nice to see Andy finally ascend to that hierarchy?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, it’s nice, definitely. There is no doubt that he deserves to win the Grand Slam. I mean, playing so consistently well and winning against the top players for many times on many surfaces. He has proven today that he’s a champ and he deserves to be where he is, no question about it.

Q. I mean, he looked like a man possessed out there tonight. Obviously with the gold medal and just not giving up out there. You have played him so many times on big arenas. Talk about the way he played tonight.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He played well. I mean, it was a struggle for both of us, you know, to deal with the conditions. Yeah, you know, at times we made a lot of unforced errors; at times we played some great points. Two sides of the court with two different conditions, you know. Playing down the wind and against the win is a huge advantage or disadvantage the way you look at it. But it was the same for both of us. The beginning of the fifth set was the turning point. Was crucial, you know. I should have not lost the two breaks in a row. After that, it was really tough to come back. And, you know, I definitely congratulate him, because he came up with big serving when he needed to. I’m just satisfied and proud of my achievement, you know. I know that I gave it all. That’s always the goal.

Q. The way you fired that last return of the match kind of reminded me of the return you had last year against Federer. Did you have similar preparation towards that point as you did a year ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, obviously he was 5­2 up in serve and 40­15. I mean, I didn’t give up. I mean, I had trouble moving already for last couple of games. I knew that my only chance really was to go for the shots. It didn’t work this time; it worked last year. That’s sport.

Q. Memorable night. Can you remember running so much in a single match? Do you think it contributed to what looked like cramping up towards the end?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think we both did a lot of running. Yeah, it was unfortunate really to not be able to come up with big shots at the right time. Yeah, it forced me to go for winners or mistakes. Unfortunately I did a lot of mistakes on the 2­4 in the fifth and lost the crucial break. After that, it was just a routine hold for him.

Q. Obviously he, not enjoys, but handles these conditions very well. You don’t like them. You didn’t like them in your previous match. You know, you got unlucky with net cords and everything else. I think it would be very easy for you to say, This is not going to be my night. Obviously the first two sets it looked that way. How did you push through that and get to a fifth set?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I had matches to this similar in my career, especially in the last two years. We had a long around five­hour match in Australia as well earlier this year. I really tried mentally to be out there and physically always push myself over the limits, you know. It’s a Grand Slam final and you want to win. There is no question about it. We both wanted this trophy. We were very hungry for it. You know, if I won that first set and had some chances maybe the match would go a different way. But look, you know, there is no reason to go back and say, What if? What if? He’s a Grand Slam winner and he deserves to be there.

Q. Talking about the match, can you talk about the frustration and angry at the conditions? You fought to the fifth set. Do you think maybe the start of the match was the key to it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, we were both frustrated. It’s the same for both players, you know. It’s just the way you handle it. Even though I was two sets down I still believed I could come back to the match. I played really well third and fourth. Yeah, a little bit slow start of the fifth and cost me the victory today.

Q. Every year the journalist have to decide who is the best player of the year. This year since 2003 is the first year that there are four players who won four different majors, but he won the Olympic Games plus he was in the final in Wimbledon. Do you think right now even if the year is not over he deserves to be possibly the No. 1 of 2012?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I’m not a journalist. (Laughter.) I guess it’s on you to decide.

Q. I want to ask you to just reflect on your year, which has been a tremendous year and a lot has gone on. I want to ask particularly what was physically going on with you at the end of the match? What was the problem?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was great two weeks for me overall. I played really good tennis when I needed to. Today it was just not meant to be. You know, we played almost five hours. A lot of running, a lot of rallies. I think that says enough about the effort that we both put, you know, physical, mental effort. This time I didn’t win the match, and that’s sport.

Q. You had some good early wins and then you had some real tough times. You were in the shadow of Rafa and Roger. You hung in there, kept on going, and then you scored your incredible breakthrough. Andy now has persevered through many, many losses and has broken through. My question is: How does a pro deal with that? How does he keep on going? How does he keep his arc of his career going upward?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think in my experience it was just a matter of belief, really mentally to mature and to understand what you need to do to become a Grand Slam champion and to become the best in the world. Andy has all the capacity he needs, all the talent on the court. He’s dedicated; he’s professional. He has proven that many years already, you know, with his results. Us four, you know, we are taking this game to another level, and it’s really nice to be part of such a strong men’s tennis era, you know. Obviously last couple of years ­­ I mean, I’m sure he’s gonna answer better ­­ but it was a necessary experience for him also to understand, you know, what he needs to do to be in the position that he is today. So it was kind of similar story for me couple years back. You know, he has done it.

Q. Two years ago after the final you mentioned Rafa made one step; last year you made giant step; this year four different men can day, four gentlemen, four musketeers. What do you think about today’s men’s field? It’s so competitive, so close.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m not sure what’s gonna happen next couple of years. Obviously nothing is predictable. You know, I’m trying to think about myself. As I said, it’s a privilege to be part of this era. It’s obvious that the four of us, you know, we get to the later stages of every single Grand Slam. Andy winning tonight makes it even more competitive and more interesting for people to watch it.

Q. Does it change your approach for the fight for No. 1 in any way? Andy Murray winning today, does it change in any way your approach to the fight for No. 1?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. My approach is always the same, you know. I’m going to continue on to do what I’ve done so far. I have a great team of people around me. Being No. 1 of the world this year, end of this year is, yes, one of the objectives. I’m going to try to recover from this and move on.

Q. You seemed to play a lot of slice tonight especially on the backhand side especially early in the match. Was that a tactic to adjust to him or to adjust to the wind? Both?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah, the conditions were requiring a lot of change of pace and variety. I think we both used the slice efficiently, you know. It’s really difficult to predict because the wind was blowing very strong from all parts of the court. You know, sometimes ball just sits there and you have to make an extra step to come to it. You know, it was difficult to play, yeah.

Q. You came around the net to congratulate him and hug him in a very sporting gesture. You’re the first person he sees in an extremely historic moment for Britain. What did he seem like to have having won it and what did you say to him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What I said is what I said to you, that he deserves to win and I’m glad that he has won this trophy. I mean it. I mean, it must feel great for him. It’s his first Grand Slam.

Q. Could you see on his face…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I mean, you know, at that point a lot of emotions go through your mind. He’s gonna answer better how he feels.

Q. Going back to the match a little bit, you spiked that ball into the stands to win the fourth set; can you take us into the into your mind going into the fifth set?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was serving against the wind the first game. Was 30­15 up; he played couple good points; then, you know, 4­2, to make a break, I didn’t ­­ it was a bit lucky shot. But, look, you know, that’s sport. You know, you are lucky; the opponent is lucky. You can’t affect that. You try always to fight and give your best. Fifth set was decided in first couple of games.

Q. Not many people in Britain can remember the Fred Perry match in 1936. You have to be I guess in your 90s to have any memory of that. Do you think that the gold medal match for Andy Murray gave him the self­confidence, the self­belief that was the critical psychological issue for him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s again a question for him, I think. He’s gonna answer better. But from looking at it from the side, I mean, he definitely changed his mindset, I think, you know, towards the big matches. I mean, he has won gold medal in his country. A lot of expectations. He has won it in a very impressive way in finals, so it must have been a great confidence boost for him.

Q. I wasn’t here for the first question. When you played in Australia the long, long match, and this one, can you compare them? Was this more difficult because of the wind? Also, you were more tired then or today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, conditions are there, and you have to adjust as a player. Both of the Grand Slams are played on hard court but obviously a different setting, a different conditions that you’re playing.

Q. The rhythm? Everything?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah. I mean, as I said, it was obvious. We had to make a lot of improvization with the shots. We had to try to stay in there and stay focused and be in a good balance. You know, the wind was doing everything to keep us out from balance. So it was tough to play in.

Q. That match in Australia he only had obviously started working with Ivan Lendl. Now they have been working together for eight months. What are the main differences that you see? Is it mainly mental or is there a change in his game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think it’s mental in the end mostly. He has maybe couple of adjustments in his game. Maybe he goes for forehand more than he used to. But, you know, he was he was always out there one of the best players to play in the men’s game last couple of years. It was always a challenge to any of us on any surface. I think it was mental for him in the end to really, you know, make a breakthrough.

Q. What’s the key for you to get over this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Have days without tennis.


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36 Comments for Novak Djokovic Presser: It’s A Privilege To Be Part Of This Era And Andy Winning Makes It Even More Competitive

harry Says:

Classy interview by Nole. Great guy :)


Danica Says:

Thank you Nole for being nice and not a grumpy, sore loser.


jane Says:

Thought this was pretty classic:

Q. What’s the key for you to get over this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Have days without tennis.

Ha ha. :)

Good interview Nole – Ajde!


salleh_ahmed Says:

Player of the season is tough one to choose

Think who finishes as the no 1 at the end of the year deserves it. To say murray deserves it more than fed and nole is quite misleading. He won only 3 tournaments this year . Fed won wimbledon + 6 titles in totals+ reclaimed no 1 at the age of 31 and broke the all time record+ won a silver medal. He deserves it as much as nole who reached 3 gs finals and won one or murray. But going by the long historical background and wait most jounalists will go with murray

Any1 agree?


Michael Says:

I have never seen a better sportsman than Novak. He has this stellar quality which makes him special. He is the only player today who applauds opponent shots and also treats victory and defeat in a similar fashion. That is a rare quality in such a competitive era. He never fails to congratulate his opponent with a smile even if he is on the losing side. I think Novak need not be dejected about this victory. He had a spectacular year by any standards and the only grey area was that he was defeated in many finals. May be 2013 would be different for Novak, who knows ?


Eric Says:

I think Djokovic will probably reclaim the no. 1 at the end of the year. With his consistency in the slams (best of the big 4), good results elsewhere, etc., if he gets the ranking back too I don’t see how you can say otherwise than he was the best of 2012. If Roger holds on, well, we’ll see. It’s gonna be fairly close, I suppose. Murray is still not in the picture, although, obviously, his Olympics and now especially the USO are huge for him. I hated him a year ago, now he’s one of my favorites, so I guess 2012 was his year after all too… ;)


Nadalista Says:

^^^^not sure I agree that Novak
A. Treats victory and defeat the same way. He is magnanimous in defeat and obnoxious in victory IMHO
B. is being a good sportsman by applauding his opponent’s good shots. Could be seen as condescending.

I agree however that he handles defeat better than any of the big 4, and considering that it is easy to be nice when you win, this quality of his is special and deserving of the tag, good sportsmanship…….


Margot Says:

Hugs to Nole fans. Love him almost as much as Andy.
Well, I did say “almost” :)


Wog boy Says:

Margot,

Well deserved and overdue, enjoy it:)
Pity it had to be against my man;(


Eric Says:

Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki is now ranked 11… the vicissitudes of fickle, ever-changing fortune and all that.


harry Says:

@Wogboy –

Commiserations. But Nole fought like a warrior. Great things will come from him. Dont worry!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

So far this season Andy had beaten the best Grass court player at Olympics final and best HC player at USO for both his titles. I’m not sure if he would get enough credit for this achievement. It’s stupendous.

I’m thinking he may go on a tear for the rest of the season, where typically he performs very well. It’s going to be a fantastic season till WTF with all the 3 in best shape and will go toe to toe in their favorite surface.

If one of these 3 win the WTF then probably they can rightfully claim this as their year. I think the best player of the year is hanging in balance.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

You can be sure. Andy deserves all the accolades that he can get. And, what kind of pressure he might have been in his 5th final after losing the other four playing against the best Hard court player today and the nerves that should have got to him when Novak displayed his fighting qualities to grab the third and fourth set. When it went to the fifth set, I thought for sure Novak would win given the pressure Andy is in. But, he proved me wrong with his superb play. He outplayed Novak in the fifth set although we can argue on Novak’s behalf that he was suffering physically. Yet it was a tremendous effort on the part of Murray when we analyse the match overall. I am sure he will make rapid strides from now on and I atleast expect a few more majors from him. For me, he is the favourite for the next Wimbledon even with Roger around and I think at 32 it would be too much to expect from Roger although he can surprise us yet again.


Huh Says:

CLASSIEST INTERVIEW!

well tiger, bounce back!

and yes, thou olympics is huge, but i’d always rate a GS final way ahead.

And to me, it’s easy as to who’s the player of the year!

Not rafa for sure, just clay wins!

not roger either, just a wimby n a few HC masters.

murray doesn’t come in the picture either, the guy’s just started his career today(after all winning a slam is the start)

———————————

But novak, winning the most gruellin match of the year at AO and winning the tournament(along with winning that amazin match with muzz at the same).

Then thrashin fed in superstyle and reachin FO final and givin a true fight to nadal there(if nole had not served DFs in that match, may be he’d have streched nadal easily to 5 sets, he was clearly matchin nadal there).

then losin to a super-determined fed in wimby and finally reachin the USO easily and as mat4 quoted ”fightin like a tragic greek hero with destiny against him”,

nole is the man of grandslam matches this year(starrin in three 5 set epics n losin in two 4 set classics to the very best)…

For me- nole has done best in slams and so for me nole is the best of 2012 by a comfortable margin, winnin one and reachin 3 slam finals, nobody else comes even close!


Wog boy Says:

harry,

You are a very kind person, thanks:)


Brando Says:

Good interview. He’ll be back, no doubt about that that.


Maso Says:

Very gracious in defeat. I thought it was a great moment when he went around the net to congratulate Andy. Novak’s an amazing champion. He will win more slams, no doubt. I just hope Fed can manage to keep the #1 spot until the end of the year but it will be very difficult.


Polo Says:

Of the top 4 (yes, there are now 4 legitimate members of the top 4), Nole is indeed, and I agree with Huh, the leader of the pack for this year. Murray, by virtue of his Olympic gold and 2 major finals appearances, is behind him. I would put Rafa in third for his 2 major finals with one win. Roger is very close behind Rafa.


Polo Says:

@Nadalista: “…is being a good sportsman by applauding his opponent’s good shots. Could be seen as condescending…”

I am among those who see it as condescending. Novak probably does not it intend it that way. Sometimes he tries too hard to appear nice.


harry Says:

thanks WogBoy :)


Neda Says:

With all respect to Andy, I need to mention that Nole had a 3 hours of very competitive play with Ferrer day before in semifinals, while Andy had that time to relax and prepare for monday final. So, from the start they were not in the same position. I blame organization for handling timing poorly. Final should be moved to tuesday. Nole never mention that in his interview, so classy. Not because I am his fan, but I think he is the most talented tennis player in this era!


Thangs Says:

I always thought Murray will be his toughest opponent than Federer, Nadal.

It’s usually Nole to win to the 5th set with 6-2 or 6-1 score…This time its opposite..Tsonga’s FO curse??


skeezer Says:

Neda,

wrt that, Andy had a much harder draw….

Scheduling. IMO, they still can have a nice final on Sunday, when you have a big audience. Where there messing up is not in the end, its in the beginning where they start waaay to slow in getting matches going ( 3 days to play on rd??? ).


juljo724 Says:

Congrats to all the Murray, Nole and true tennis fans!!! That was some great tennis fight out there by both, moving each other around the court and dictating play. I thoroughly enjoyed the match of two of the best players right now. It was friggin great to see Andy finally win it!!!! Will never forget it! Is up there with the Rafa-fed 2008 Wimby match. In fact, it’s a tie!


juljo724 Says:

Best quote from Nole that everyone should remember:

” there is no reason to go back and say, What if? What if? He’s a Grand Slam winner and he deserves to be there.”


skeezer Says:

“it’s up there with the Rafa-fed 2008 Wimby match. In fact, it’s a tie!”

Uh?


Huh Says:

tennis-wise, neither fed-rafa wimby 2008 was that high quality(fed was honestly sub-par there, he’d have lost in straigth, just the rain saved him from that), nor this match is.

but tension wise, this match was AS BLOODY F###### TENSE for me as was that wimby 08 final!

coz in these two matches fed and muzza were involved, nothing more needed to be said.


Huh Says:

exactly juljo724, no ifs and butts is gonna change the result anyway.


juljo724 Says:

Skeezer: Both had great tennis and players that fought for each point! Point construction and strategy and handling the elements was “top tier”


Sienna Says:

nothing more needs to be said.

Says someone who doesnot watch slamfinals but think he can observe a match on the livescoring fead by his friendson tenis x.

LMFAO this must be somekind of sick joke.


Wog boy Says:

One question, is there limit for how many 500 tournaments one can play that count for ATP rankings like it is with 250 ones (two best ones)?
Thanks in advance.


NYC Says:

Shame on you americans,shame on you!
Treat Novak like that in 5th set,for calling a doctor..
Americans…


jamie Says:

Nole is the most likely to end the year as #1.

He is a great sportsman, the best when he loses of the top 4.

Hopefully he wins the YEC like in 2008.


Wog boy Says:

jamie,

The same thought cross my mind yesterday, he won AO and YEC in 2008. There is still alot to play for, we will leave yesterday behind and look what lays ahead of us:)


Huh Says:

oh boy, here’s a sick joke goin here by sienna who says that the 3rd and 4th set went to novak only coz muzz choked. i wonder, after watchin the higlights as to which match she was watchin.

one more funny thing is you’ve to sometimes ponder she has even the slightest knowledge or not as to what a situation is a particular match really is, otherwsie who would say that a non-slammer like muzz(with all the pressure he had) would blow away djoko who was playin not only well, but has won slams many times before!

and it’s nothin else than hallucination to say that i haven’t watched slamfinals live! the only slamfinal i didn’t watch live was this, but the comments here gave me some idea as well as tthe history leadin to the match, n not to mention the gut feelin of novak bouncin back anytime to threayen muzz even thou it looked like muzz’ll win easily!

oh my bad, i called her out so many times rightfully!


Tennisfan Says:

I saw the match ..this was not good tennis from either side. Djokovic was just even worse in wind ..l

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Rankings
ATP - Aug 25 WTA - Aug 25
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga10 Jelena Jankovic
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