Monday, 31 January 2011

10 Reason Nadal Should Watch His Back

Novak Djovokic has to be feeling like a million bucks right now.

The 23-year-old Serbian sealed his second Grand Slam title early this morning, cruising past Andy Murray in straight sets to win the Australian Open. In a sport that is somewhat similar to the NHL in that the mainstream sports fan thinks it revolves around two stars (Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer), Djokovic has very quietly stocked up his resume as the No. 3 player in the world.

He's now reached at least the semifinals of all four Grand Slam events and reached the final in both the Australian and U.S. Opens, as he only seems to be getting better.

So is it time to start considering Djokovic as a real threat to Nadal? Here are 10 reasons why.

He Has History
Time Is On His Side
He's Adding More To His Game
He Matches Up Well With The Rest
Nadal & The Injury Bug
His Defensive Style Can Be Frustrating
Closing In On Federer
Playing With Confidence
Red Hot Right Now
Can Exploit Nadal's Weakness

Courtesy: Bleacher Report

It's all going right for the Djoker

When Novak Djokovic reached the U.S. Open final in 2007, he was brash, crass and perhaps even a little cocky.

His tennis progression nonetheless continued, and when he won the 2008 Australian Open, several pundits suggested he'd finish the season as No. 1 in the world. Djokovic played with little fear, mixing exquisite defense with attack.

Then he stuttered. He couldn't win when it mattered, while his health woes surfaced at the wrong time. There was always something wrong. At times, he was jeered by fans. Recall his postmatch lashing geared toward Andy Roddick at the 2008 U.S. Open. That didn't go over so well with the vociferous New York crowd.

All that seems a distant memory after Djokovic ended his three-year Slam drought by routing a hapless Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in the Australian Open final.

"I feel like a better player now than I was three years ago, because I think that physically I'm stronger, faster, mentally I'm more motivated on the court," Djokovic said. "I know how to react in certain moments, and I know how to play on a big stage. I have been more focused and dedicated to the sport than I have ever been before."

There was every indication the match was going to be a long, arduous battle before Djokovic rattled Murray with a break to end the first set.

Murray's day went south in a hurry. He never recovered. And of course, with it, the anguish of an entire nation persists. Great Britain's hope of exorcising the ghosts of Fred Perry sits at 75 painful years -- and counting.

"To be this good and play this poorly, this is a wake-up call," said ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe. "You need to be mentally tough to come back from this."

Murray came into the final with a surprisingly seamless draw. He did not have to face world No. 1 Rafael Nadal or No. 4 Robin Soderling, both of whom were in his section of the draw.

Who knows if his brutal semifinal against David Ferrer, in which Murray seemed to hurt his thigh, played a role? Murray admitted he could have moved better, yet didn't make any excuses.

But that's now three major finals for Murray -- and nary a set won. By this time, even his most loyal fans must be wondering if it's ever going to happen. We should point out, though, that Ivan Lendl lost his first four Grand Slam finals before the floodgates opened. Andre Agassi dropped his first three.

He's sure to get heavy criticism back home.

"I want to try and win one, of course," Murray said. "But if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. I'm working as hard as I can. But I love my life away from tennis as well. There are other things to look forward to, too."

Murray's first serve again let him down -- he faced 18 break points in the match. Although there was nothing wrong with his defense, he was outgunned from the baseline.

Nothing new there, either.

The Murray forehand simply isn't in the same league as that of Roger Federer, Nadal or even Djokovic. He can't hit it down the line with depth, and Djokovic knew that full well.

The Serb, who conceded only one set in two weeks and cruised past Federer and Tomas Berdych, did everything well. There were no signs of his ballyhooed serving woes.

On this form, Djokovic is a serious threat to Nadal. He might be better than the player who won his maiden major here three years ago. He's making headlines with his stout on-court game, not impersonations, which, hilarious as they were, rubbed a few the wrong way.

The Davis Cup title in December was a huge boost for Djokovic, and he sought more of that winning feeling. He even donned the colors of Serbia in Melbourne.

"After we won the Davis Cup title, I was feeling great on the court, just eager to compete," Djokovic said. "Davis Cup title and another Grand Slam title. I'm living the dream of a tennis player."

The early stages of this match were pivotal, and when Murray won an action-packed 14-minute second game, it appeared to be a good sign.

But the turning point of the first set -- and ultimately the match -- came in the 10th game, when Djokovic won a thrilling 38-point rally. Gasping for breath in temperatures hovering around 86 degrees, he came to the net. Murray couldn't pass him.

How Murray hoped the heat would get to Djokovic. It didn't. Djokovic cruised from there. He broke Murray six times in the final two sets.

"As soon as Novak raised his level, Andy didn't go with it," said ESPN analyst Darren Cahill. "Big question marks."

So while Murray's frustration continues, Djokovic has clearly established himself as a threat to the Big Two. His Down Under domination just might be the beginning.

Courtesy: ESPN/Bleacher Report

The proud parents

Here is a photo of Srdjan & Dijana outside Novak Restaurant watching their kid do good in Melbourne.

Celebrations @ Novak Restaurant in Belgrade

That's where Novaks' Dad was.

More than a hundred people gathered in Belgrade last evening in front of restaurant "Novak" in New Belgrade, to celebrate together with Djokovic family Nole’s great success - winning the title at the Australian Open.

The thermometer showed minus ten degrees, but it did not prevent people to come and congratulate Novak's parents, Srdjan and Dijana, their son's second Grand Slam title.

Mulled wine, beer and roast were served, and only minutes before 8.30pm, the fireworks shined in the sky above Belgrade in honor of Nole.

"I'm proud as a father who is in every way surpassed by the eldest son. Marko and Djordje will soon follow his steps. I'm sorry we were not able to be with our son in Melbourne like three years ago when he won his first Grand Slam trophy. I'm sure that Novak will get to the top of the ATP rankings till the end of this year," said Srdjan Djokovic, Novak's father.

Post match press conference - video

Here is the press conference video.

Facebook update

Novak is getting into the Facebook posting :-)

Crazy night with Serbian folk music. I've lost my voice…

Luda noć uz narodnjake. Ostao sam bez glasa... :)))))

Novak Djokovic - photo shoot video

Djokovic - I Want More Slams

Courtesy: Reuters

Novak Djokovic belted out Serbian folk songs in an all-in party after clinching the Australian Open, but shrugged off a poor night's sleep to focus on more glory on the clay-courts of Roland Garros.

"We brought two Serbian guys who played our traditional music for two hours ... We went out of the changing room at 2 a.m. That's all I remember," said a glassy-eyed Djokovic of celebrations at Melbourne Park after his stunning straight sets victory over Briton Andy Murray.

"I was carrying myself plus my bags and the trophy," he told a small group of reporters on Monday.

"I was handling myself under the circumstances quite good ... I could not really sleep because I was still under the great impression of winning a title, so it was hard because of the excitement."

Wearing jeans and a T-shirt on a sweltering day, the lanky 23-year-old looked a little worse for wear as he sat next to the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

He perked up enough to gush about having hit his stride after fighting years of doubt as a one-slam wonder since taking his first title at Melbourne Park in 2008.

"It's been a period of ups and downs for me the last three years ... I haven't had that consistency and self-belief that I've needed to.

"Right now and the last six months, I feel that I've reached that stage that I believe that I can really win it."

"In last two months I'm probably playing the best tennis of my life and I cannot ask for a better start to the season. To be able to win the grand slam gives you a lot of confidence."

Djokovic set up his title with a semi-final trouncing of Roger Federer, and his domination of Murray has fuelled talk of a new grand slam triumvirate, with the Serbian tipped to share more of the grand slam spoils with the Swiss master and Spaniard Rafa Nadal.

While flattered, the Belgrade-born baseliner said he still needed to prove himself on all surfaces to feel comfortable about the compliment.

"If the people want to call me a part of the big three, then that's great. I have big respect for Federer and Nadal, they are great examples of champions on and off the court in every sense.

"If I want to become the best player in the world, I will have to win more grand slams," added Djokovic, who has never surpassed the semi-finals at Roland Garros or Wimbledon.

"But yes, my goal you can say is (not only) to do well on clay, but to do my best result on Roland Garros."

After beating Murray under the floodlights at Rod Laver Arena, Djokovic dedicated his victory to Serbia, drawing roars of approval from rows of countrymen clad in red, white and blue in the stands.

Djokovic, who led Serbia to an emotional victory in the Davis Cup over France in December, grew up through the Balkan wars that ravaged the country and said the bitter times continued to spur him on as a player.

"We've been growing up through two wars. When you turn around and analyse what you have been through, you appreciate some things more in your life and you know what your values are," he said.

"Of course everybody loves their country. I don't love my country more than you love yours, but in my case it's a more special feeling because we've been through something different.

"So to be able to help those people who I know how much they've suffered -- and they still suffer because of some problems -- it's our obligation in some way to give support and present as best we can."

Djokovic - I Want To Be #1

Courtesy: TheAge

Older, wiser, stronger and armed with newfound belief, Novak Djokovic has his sights fixed on the world No.1 ranking after landing his second Australian Open crown.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have held a joint mortgage on the top spot since February 2004, but Djokovic insists he is now far better equipped to break the Swiss-Spanish stranglehold than after he broke through for his maiden major at Melbourne Park three years ago.

The Serbian ironman knows it won't be easy but, flushed with confidence, the 23-year-old hopes his coronation may even come this season.
"My goal is to be No.1 of the world and I'm doing everything in order to achieve that," Djokovic said on Monday as he savoured his 6-4 6-2 6-3 rout of Andy Murray in Sunday's Open final mismatch.

"Every year I have the highest ambitions because I always believed in my abilities and believed in my quality and I know that I can win grand slams and I have proven that.

"I know how to handle pressure, how to handle the big stage, so I guess it's just a matter of continuous hard work and dedication and consistency in the results and the ranking will come by itself.

"But it's going to be very hard because the main rivals for that spot, next to Murray and (Robin) Soderling, are Federer and Nadal, the two best players in the world who are winning most of the tournaments they play and most of the grand slams.

"So if I want to become the best player in the world, I will have to win more grand slams and try to get more points there.

"I don't want to stop here. Definitely I want to keep my body healthy, fit and ready for some more challenges to come. I feel that I have a good game for all the surfaces. I have proven that in the past."

Indeed, Djokovic, at only 20, was the youngest man in history to have reached the semi-finals at all four majors.

In addition to his two Melbourne triumphs, the long-time world No.3 has lost two US Open finals - last year to Nadal and in 2007 to Federer - and twice made the last four at both the French Open and Wimbledon.

Djokovic narrowed the rankings gap on Federer with his second straight grand slam semi-final defeat of his Swiss rival and says the dominant duo might soon need to make room for another serious challenger for the No.1 position.

"If people want to call me a part of the big three, that's great," Djokovic said.

"I have big respect for Federer and Nadal, everything they have done.

"They are great examples of champions in every sense on and off the court, so to be able to compete with them is a huge challenge.

"But since 2008, I'm a more complete player - mentally more experienced, physically fitter and stronger and I'm hitting the ball more powerfully."

After ironing out technical difficulties with his serve by "hitting thousands and thousands of balls on the practice court" and resolving some personal issues, Djokovic has burst to life in the past six months.

Before his romp through the Open draw, he inspired Serbia to their historic first Davis Cup final victory last month, then completed an undefeated Hopman Cup campaign in Perth.

"The Davis Cup win gave me the wind in the back and I was eager to come back and compete," he said.

Facebook update

Novak has posted a short message of thanks to everyone following his victory in Melbourne.

Hi everybody! It's a great feeling to wake up as a champion! Thank you all for your support and messages you posted here and on my official website! I love you! Nole

Ćao svima! Sjajan je osećaj probuditi se kao šampion. Hvala vam na podršci i porukama koje ste mi uputili ovde i na mom zvaničnom sajtu! Vidimo se u Beogradu... Volim vas! Nole

Novak Djokovic - Media Photo call

Here is Novak posing with the trophy the day after his win over Andy Murray to claim his 2nd Slam title.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Novak Djokovic - Match Point - Video Part 2

Much better quality video of the match point.

Novak Djokovic - Channel 7 post match interview

Enjoy :-)

Novak Djokovic - AO Champion

Round up video from the Australian Open website (not available in Australia, sorry),,12594~1725266,00.html

Novak Djokovic - Locker Room Photos

Novak Djokovic - press conference

Transcript of Novak's press conference after winning the Australian Open.

Q. Do you think you could play any better than this? Is it a perfect match that you expected, that you dream of, or not?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: This was a great match. From the start to the last point, I did what I intended of doing tactically, what I talked with my coach, what I prepared for. Physically I was very fit. I had two days between the semifinals and finals match, which was important at this stage of the tournament.

Because I was aware of the fact that I am going to yeah, bring it to me. (Laughter.) That will have long rallies and I will have a player who doesn't miss a lot, a very talented player who is one of the best returners in the game.

And, yeah, you know, I had to step in. That was the key. When I had the chance to step in and try to move him around the court, that's what I did. Probably the turning point was the last game of the first set where we had some incredible exchange from the baseline, long rallies, and some passing shots that turned the match around.

You know, when you have a set advantage, it's much different, you know, instead of getting into the match.

Q. Is there a sense sometimes when you do feel a bit indestructible? Whatever he can do, you have an answer for it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't think of myself in that way. I just try in those moments to maintain the good feeling on the court and feeling comfortable. Yes, in some ways I felt today that I could get any ball and I could make a fast transition from being defensive to being offensive.

I used the serve in crucial moments quite good. I was opening the court, serving wide, so I can have the other part of the court open for a winner. I was patient when I needed to be. You know, I was changing a lot of rhythm, changing pace, because I know that he likes more pace. He likes to be the one who is going to control the match. I didn't want to allow that.

Yeah, to be able to win in straight sets against a player like Andy Murray in the finals of Grand Slam, it makes my success even bigger.

Q. When you got the match point, your celebration, you didn't do a lot. Was that sort of out of respect for the friendship you've got with him?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, in a way, as well. You know, it wasn't easy, of course. I understand how he feels. It's his third final and he didn't get the title. It's a tough one.

But as I said on the court I'll repeat it again I really have big respect for him and his game, because I think he has everything what it takes to become a Grand Slam champion. You know, I'm sure that very soon he will be.

Q. You said he's the best returner.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: One of the best, yeah.

Q. In the first two sets he made only six points on your serve. How do you explain? You were serving very well or he wasn't returning that well?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't think I was extremely well serving. I was just trying to place my serves well. And the first shot after the serve in the rally was important. It was important for me to start off the point and having the aggressive role in that points. That's what I did.

As I said, you know, that was kind of a tactic, you know, to try to open up the court more, spread him out, and then get to the net.

Q. It's been three years between getting one of those. Do you feel like now that you're older and more experienced, it won't be as long the next time?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I feel like more experienced player. I feel a better player now than I was three years ago, because I think that physically I'm stronger, I'm faster, mentally I'm more motivated on the court. I know how to react in certain moments, and I know how to play on a big stage.

It's the best way that I could ask for to start a season.

Q. Especially beating Roger and Andy, two good players?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, both of those guys play their best tennis on the hard courts, as well as I do. But to be able to win against those players in straight sets is incredible.

Q. How did you fix your serve?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, hitting thousands and thousands of balls on the practice. It's all about hard work and patience, I guess, dedication to the hard work which in the end pays off. That's the situation. There is no secrets.

Of course, I was aware of what I do wrong. But once it gets into your head, it's really hard to get it out of your habit. Everybody was, you know, criticizing me, Why did I change my serve? I didn't change it intentionally. It just came like that.

I worked hard the last 10 months, and now it's back.

Q. You took a tough loss here last year, Roland Garros obviously, and then even Wimbledon. Did something happen in between Wimbledon and the hard courts where you regained confidence?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Something switched in my head, because I am very emotional on and off the court. I show my emotions. This is the way I am. Everybody's different.

The things off court were not working for me, you know. It reflected on my game, on my professional tennis career. But then, you know, I settled some things in my head. It was all on me. You know, I had to try to find the best possible solution and try to get back on the right track. That's what I did.

Q. Can you talk about some of those secrets that you discovered about yourself that helped you get back on track?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, you know, something switched in my head. It's been a big mental struggle, because I was trying to separate my, of course, professional life from my more private life.

But, you know, if somebody's emotional we're all humans. It's not possible. If something isn't working off court, then it's going to reflect on the court. I managed to solve that problems.

This is all part of life. Of course, everybody's facing difficult situations in their lives. To overcome the crisis and to stand up and try to still dedicate yourself to the sport was a big success for me as a person.

Q. But professionally for a time you were using two separate coaches.


Q. From outsiders looking in, you seemed to be confused. You were getting two different messages.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's not working, you know. I've tried. But with all due respect to Todd Martin, which I think he was a great player, he's a great coach, but it just didn't work. You know, it's really hard to compensate and have two coaches traveling with you. I tried.

Of course, I tried a lot of things. And if you don't try, you don't know. Now I know that it's not working.

Of course, Marian Vajda will always be a part of my team. He's just more than a coach. My physio, Miljan Amanovic, my fitness coach, all of these guys, put incredible effort into my development, into my improvement on the court, off the court. I owe them a lot definitely. It's them who deserve a lot of credit, as well.

Q. You said you were sure Andy would win one one day. What makes you sure?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I just said. He's, first of all, a very talented player and he's a hard worker. He's been in finals three times, and he just needs to make that final step.

Of course, it's not easy. You could see his struggle and frustrations tonight, because he felt his chances to win a first Grand Slam trophy tonight.

But, you know, it's a learning process, I guess. It wasn't easy for me, as well. I know how he feels. I'm sure that he knows how he feels the best. He's still young. I'm sure he's gonna have more chances to win it, so...

Q. Three sets to Federer and three sets to Murray. How different were you feeling against Federer and Murray? When you were more worried?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You're always worried, the semifinals and finals of Grand Slam. You have your own worries and little pressure and expectations and things that you feel during the match.

But, you know, you work hard to be mentally prepared for these moments and physically fit to overcome the long five setters. You know, both of those matches were different, because I played against two different types of players.

You know, I take always one match at a time. I try not to look who I'm going to play, you know, in the later stages of the tournament, even though maybe as a top player I'm expected to.

But, you know, it's always been like that. I always try to take one match at a time.

Q. You know him very well obviously. You talked about the way he plays the game. When playing against him, what's your number one imperative to impose your style of play onto his?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first of all, we haven't played for a long time because we were 3 and 4 in the world. Most of the times we were in different parts of the draws. It's strange that we haven't played for a long time, because we were making it to the later stages of all the tournaments, most of the times.

But, you know, of course, we had Roger and Rafa who were very dominant in men's tennis. You know, last two, three times he won on the hard courts. But since then we both improved a lot. Of course, I was analyzing his game, trying to implement some things what I intended to with my coach tactically, and I did it really well.

I get into the match aware of the fact that he is going to give me a lot of balls back in the court and we going to have a lot of long rallies, so I need to be patient in some ways. Yet again, if I get a short ball, I need to attack. That's more or less it.

Q. You have so much in common. What's the difference between having two Grand Slams and not having one? What's the difference between you, do you feel?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's hard to say. What do you mean?

Q. Do you feel for him it's a mental issue in the big matches? You looked very confident and strong out there tonight.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it is in some ways a mental issue when you are facing a situation, playing the finals of a Grand Slam, being so close to winning a title. Every time you get it there, you know, you want to win it badly, but some things go wrong. You're thinking too much. You're worrying too much in your head. It's a mental battle, definitely. Bottom line is that this is a very mental sport in the end. Everybody is very fit.

I think tennis has improved so much in the last couple of years. It's incredible. To compare the tennis from 2007, '8, to the tennis of 2010, '11, I have the feeling the ball is traveling much faster, they're big hitters, big servers.

So in order to keep up, you have to be always dedicated professional and consistent with your success.

Q. You got your game to this level against the best players. Do you have the sense you need to make the most of it and win the big tournaments now?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's the best possible start of the season, very short off season, but I was building up my confidence, and taking the Davis Cup title, taking that confidence into the preparation for Australian Open.

And, of course, during this tournament I was feeling great on the court. The Davis Cup win may have a big role in my great performance here in this tournament. After we won Davis Cup title I was feeling great on the court, just eager to compete.

Q. There are a few people saying now that because Rafa and Roger went out before the final, the tide is turning, a changing of the guards, so to speak. Do you feel that's the case?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Still Rafa and Roger are the two best players in the world. No question about that. You can't compare my success and Murray's success to their success. They're the two most dominant players in the game for a while. All the credit to them.

It's nice to see that there are some new players in the later stages of Grand Slams fighting for a title. That's all I can say.

Q. Some of your footwork was outstanding. At the end when you took your shoes off to throw them into the crowd, you took out the insoles. Do you have to have special insoles?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. That's the secret to my footwork. You got me there (smiling).

Q. The Davis Cup win and now this, the last two months, has this been the best period in your life so far?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: On the tennis court, yes. Yeah, Davis Cup title and another Grand Slam title. I'm living the dream of a tennis player, definitely.

Q. Are you more focused than ever on your game?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I'm very focused. Yes, I have been more focused and dedicated to the sport than I have ever been before.

Q. How will you celebrate tonight? Is it going to be a big night, do you think?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, after winning a Grand Slam title, what do you think? Of course celebrations are part of the success.

Q. There are only two players but Nadal and Federer that have won two slams, you and Hewitt. Hewitt when he did it, he stopped. What do you expect from yourself, to win many?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't want to stop here. Definitely I want to keep my body healthy, fit, and ready for some more challenges to come. I feel that I have a good game for all the surfaces. I have proven that in the past.

Q. Which ones?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Hard court. Hard court is my favorite surface. Two finals in US Open and two finals here. It's obvious; results are showing everything.

But, still, I feel I can do well at French Open and Wimbledon.

Q. You've driven yourself to the point of exhaustion, overplaying, in previous seasons. How do you avoid doing that again this year?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think you're getting wiser by the time of being a part of this sport. You are more aware of the things that you should do and not do. I was spending too much energy on the things I shouldn't spend on.

I mean, it's school, a learning process. That's why I have a big team around me of people who are organizing my time and making me feel a bit released and making me perform the best that I can on the court.

Q. Are you going to play doubles with Andy on the court?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We talked about it, yeah. I don't want to ask him anything now, obviously. But when the time passes, I will ask him. So we will see.

Australian Open Trophy Presentation

Novak Djokovic - Match Point - video

Better quality video here

Won't get tired of watching this for a while :-)

Novak Djokovic - Australian Open Champion 2011 - Match Reports

Here are a few of the reports hitting the internet following Nole's straight set win over Andy Murray :-)



Daily Express

ATP website


Andy Murray press conference

Transcript of Andy Murray press conference post final.

Q. How hard is it for you at the moment?

ANDY MURRAY: It's better than it was last year. You know, it was obviously tough, disappointing. You know, I thought Novak played unbelievably well. And, yeah, it's tough, but got to deal with it.

Q. Why do you say you feel better this year than last year?

ANDY MURRAY: I just do. That's it. I was in a much worse state last year than I was this year. I don't know why. That's it.

Q. Did you have a feeling at any time you were going to get back into it?

ANDY MURRAY: You always have to try and find a way to get back in. You always have to try and believe. I mean, you know, he defended, I mean, unbelievably well tonight.

So when I got ahead in some games, you know, and even just in points, uhm, you know, he was sticking up lobs that were landing on the baseline, passing shots that were very close to the lines.

So it was quite difficult to find parts of the court where I was getting free points from. You know, I think I broke his serve maybe twice in the third set and still lost it 6 3.

So, you know, I was trying to find a way; I just wasn't able to put enough good points together.

Q. The first two sets, on his serve you only made six points in the first set and again six points in the second set. How do you explain that?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don't know. I just finished, so I don't know exactly why that would have been.

But, you know, he played a great match. He hardly missed any balls. You know, it wasn't like I was missing loads of returns or making a lot of mistakes off returns. You know, we were getting into a lot of rallies.

I saw the stats up on the thing at the end of the match. Not like he hit way more winners than he. I made way more mistakes than him and he defended very well.

Q. You didn't seem to move as well as you had done in this tournament. Were your energy levels down? Was there an injury problem at all?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I would say the semifinal match was a tough one, a long one. But I felt okay. You know, when it's a Grand Slam final as well, the adrenaline helps. You feel a lot better with that. That definitely helps.

No, that definitely wasn't the reason why I lost.

Q. Can you put your finger on why it just didn't click for you? Wasn't the real Andy Murray out there, was it?

ANDY MURRAY: It was. But he played great. I mean, I would have liked to have played better. But, you know, I think he would have beaten every other player on the tour if he played like that tonight.

He served well. He didn't make many mistakes from the back of the court. He moved really, really well. He hit the ball very clean. That was it.

Q. Agassi lost three finals before he went on to win a career slam. Do you still have belief you can win?

ANDY MURRAY: You know, I want to keep working hard, try and improve. You know, but I said before the final, it's not something that, you know, I don't lose sleep over at night. You know, it's going to be tough for sure for a few days.

But, you know, I want to try and win one, of course. But if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. You know, I'm just working as hard as I can. I train very hard. You know, I take tennis very seriously.

But, you know, I love my life away from tennis, as well. You know, that's why maybe this year, compared with last, I'm very, very happy off the court. I'm enjoying myself. There's other things to look forward to, too.

Q. Did you get the sense that the first set was always going to be the crucial one today, that that one getting away from you gave him that extra incentive to go for his shots?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think he definitely loosened up after the first set and started playing better. You know, it was a long first set. The match was even quite long for the scoreline. There was quite a lot of long rallies and stuff.

But, yeah, the first set of all matches in majors are important. But just because you lose the first one, you still have a lot of time to get back into it. You know, I wasn't able to get back into it.

Q. Can you describe how different it is physically and mentally playing in a Grand Slam final as to a regular tour final?

ANDY MURRAY: Physically there's no difference to playing any of the other matches. I mean, mentally, you know, there's a bit more pressure and stuff. But that gets less, you know, after you start the match. It's more the buildup in the beginning of the match.

You know, the pressure is different obviously to playing the first round of a Grand Slam because you're playing to win it. But physically it's the same as all the other matches.

Q. You said off the court you're very happy. Is there a sense of frustration having been there three times and not getting one yet?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, anyone who played in three finals would have loved to have won one. But I haven't. And, yeah, I mean, I just need to keep working hard and, you know, try and do it.

But, yeah, I would have preferred to have won one than lost three.

Q. Were there any improvements in Novak's game that surprised you?

ANDY MURRAY: He's a very good player. I haven't played him for a very long time, you know, but I've played him when he's played well and when he hasn't played so well.

He served well tonight in comparison to how he had been the last year or so. That's definitely helped him.

Q. Do you think you can still get close to his level when you're at your best? Is there a gap there now that you need to bridge?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think I could have played better this evening. Yeah, I mean, I'm going to need to improve. You know, obviously I lost in straight sets, so I'm going to need to get better.

Q. Is it tougher for you to have lost in straight sets like the other two finals, or it doesn't change that much because what is important is to win?

ANDY MURRAY: I don't think it changes that much. Uhm, you know, obviously, you know, if it's sort of a five set match, you feel like you're very, very close to winning, I'm sure that's very difficult, you know, when you get so close.

You know, I wasn't particularly close tonight. I mean, it's disappointing I'm sure every time you lose, whether it's three sets or five sets.

Q. Rafa when he came in said he didn't want to talk about injury. He did eventually say he did have a problem. Are you saying you were a hundred percent?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, I thought I moved decent. I think I could have moved better. But, no, like I said, yeah, I wasn't injured.

But, you know, I had a tough match in the semi. I moved very well the whole tournament. I felt like I could have moved a bit better tonight.

And against someone like Novak, you know, you need to be firing on all cylinders, and I didn't move as well as I would have liked.

Q. I know it is what it is, but this idea of playing, you've got 24 hours less...

ANDY MURRAY: I think they do a great job at this tournament. Last year I had some extra time. The US Open you have both players don't have any time really. You play Saturday, Sunday. I mean, I think it's fine the way they do it here.

Q. What were you talking about to the umpire in the first set? You seemed to get into a discussion with the umpire.

ANDY MURRAY: No, I hit a backhand cross court, and I think it was quite clear in the end they called it out and he overruled. I just said to him, like, you know, I thought that was like almost inside the line. You know, he sort of like bit back at me even though he'd overruled it and we were agreeing.

I just said to him, like, to get defensive toward me, I was just saying I thought it was a quite clear mistake.

That was it. It wasn't anything more than that.

Q. You've played him a lot. Has he ever been better at retrieving and playing defense?

ANDY MURRAY: No, he always moves great. But, you know, tonight there was probably five, six times when, you know, I got into good position. He stuck up a lob that landed right on the baseline. You know, so it's difficult to smash because you don't know whether it's going in or not.

Then a couple of times, you know, we played I think at 5 4 in the first set we had another unbelievable point at 15 30. You know, he did some unbelievable retrieving in that point. You know, he came up I think to break me in the third set. You know, I had him going side to side. He hit one backhand passing shot down the line from way back in the court.

When he was on the run tonight, he hit the ball very, very well.

Q. You changed to Plan B against David Ferrer. Did you have any tactical changes that you would have liked to have made tonight?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I started trying to go for my shots more as the match went on. You know, at the beginning of the match, both of us, you're sort of trying to feel each other out a little bit. As you work your way into the match, you start to find patterns and go for your shots more.

Started taking more chances. You know, managed to break serve a few times, but wasn't able to keep it up for long enough.

Q. It took you a little over three months to recover last year, yet you seem to be saying you can handle it better now, not have the same effect.

ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. Might do. But right now I feel better than I did last year. I'll see what I do from here, you know. I don't know, I might not play for a few months. I might feel like playing in a week's time. It depends. See how I feel.

Q. Is the other way to switch it around to say, first major tournament of the season, another final?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I look at the tournament as a whole, it was excellent. I don't think anyone would say that reaching a slam final is a bad achievement. It's a very, very good achievement.

Obviously right now there's disappointment because you just lost the match. But, you know, when you look back over the tournament, you know, there's not many people that can say they've made slam finals.

So, you know, I'll be very happy with the way the tournament went. But I would have obviously liked to have gone one step further.

Novak Djokovic - match photos

Match photos from today's final win over Andy Murray

Novak & his trophy - photos