Thursday, 29 September 2011
Djokovic, 24, who successfully defended his China Open title last year, pulled out “due to a health problem” which he has yet to specify, organizers of the Beijing event said in a statement on their website.
The Serb won his third Grand Slam title of the season at the U.S. Open on Sept. 12 in New York. Six days later, he was forced to quit during a Davis Cup semifinals match against Argentina at home in Belgrade with pain in his back and ribs.
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Monday, 26 September 2011
Weekend was spent at the wedding of Miljan Amanovic as well as the Christening of his Daughter.
It was then off to school as part of Novak's work on behalf of UNICEF
Novak Djokovic on WhoSay
Novak Djokovic on WhoSay
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Monday, 19 September 2011
Djokovic has been the stand-out player of 2011, securing the world No. 1 ranking thanks to three grand slam victories. The Serb's season has even been labelled "the greatest year in the history of our sport" by John McEnroe.
However, it is in danger of coming to a premature end after Djokovic attempted to put his tired body through a tense Davis Cup tie with Argentina over the weekend. He was forced to retire injured when trailing Juan Martin Del Potro, citing a back injury.
There were initial fears that Djokovic may miss the unofficial fifth slam of the year at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, but the world's best player plans a quick recovery.
"Not as serious as we have thought," Djokovic revealed Monday. "It's a partial rupture of a back muscle that deserves rest. I carried the injury since the US Open. It gradually got worse through the tournament, and I felt sharp pain in the finals."
Looking ahead into the calendar Djokovic could not confirm his participation in forthcoming Shanghai or Beijing events, but he did state his desire to play if the injury heals quickly. Certainly he intends to be back to 100 per cent fitness for the World Tour Finals, which start at the O2 Arena on November 20.
"I hope I will recover by then," Djokovic said, referring to the October Shanghai Masters. "Anyway, I won't risk the worsening of the injury and that's why it is hard to predict for how long I will rest."
Sunday, 18 September 2011
"We knew my condition was not good but we believed that even so I would have a better chance against Del Potro than my team mate Viktor Troicki would, at the end of the day it was my decision and it backfired.
"I am not saying I would have won if I had been 100 percent fit because Del Potro played at a very high level today and never in my professional career did I struggle with my return of serve as I did today.
"The important thing now is to determine the extent of my injury and how long it will take me to recover, I was able to battle through the pain in the U.S. Open final but not today."
Whatever it is Novak has quit his match against Del Potro to hand the tie to Argentina.
What a sad way for Serbia's defence of the title to end. I hope Novak is ok and i'll keep looking for any official news of the injury.
Ajde Nole, we still love you :)
Friday, 16 September 2011
Thursday, 15 September 2011
On the thickly forested slopes of Kopaonik, in southern Serbia, Jelena Gencic used to host a summer tennis camp. This sprightly 75 year-old recalls one lesson in particular, watched as it was by a little boy staring through the outside fence, studying every move intently.
"I said, 'Hey, little boy, do you like it? Do you know what this is?' 'Yes, I know,' he said. 'You play tennis.' 'What's your name?' 'Novak Djokovic.' Very clear. Very strong."
It was the summer of 1993, just as neighbouring Bosnia became engulfed by conflagration. The children whom Gencic now mentors, on her dilapidated clay court on the outskirts of Belgrade, are too young to remember the Nato bombs that rained down upon the Serbian capital. But when asked who they most want to emulate, they muster an eerily familiar reply. "Novak Djokovic."
On Friday, the US Open champion will deliver the starkest affirmation of his duties as the face of a united Serbia. For he is returning to Belgrade in triumph, ready to put peerless individual glories on hold for this weekend's Davis Cup semi-final against Argentina. In Britain we may deride this competition, reduced as we are to playing Hungary in a Glasgow shopping centre, but for the Serbs it is nothing less than a pillar of nationhood.
Amid fervent scenes at the Belgrade Arena last December, Djokovic inspired his Serbia team-mates to win their first Davis Cup. In his second singles rubber he gave a graphic signal of how much the final against France meant, smashing his racket in fury when he fell a break behind to Gael Monfils. At the point of victory he was similarly unhinged, draping himself in the national colours for a dance.
If you want to identify a trigger for Djokovic's supremacy this season, or for his rapier filleting of Rafael Nadal at Arthur Ashe Stadium, here it is.
Of the 72 matches contested since that Balkan midwinter night, Serbia's slender hero has won 70 of them.
When he brought the Wimbledon Challenge Cup back to Belgrade's Parliament Square, 100,000 turned out to acclaim him. 'Nole!' posters were plastered across the sides of whole tower blocks. Imagine, then, the reception when he presents a third Grand Slam trophy this year for their delectation. At the rate Djokovic is going, there could yet be a groundswell for him to succeed Boris Tadic as Serbia's president.
On the US Open equivalent of 'People's Monday', Djokovic's status as national icon was confirmed. More than a hundred Serbian fans had congregated on the stairwells out of Ashe, unleashing a medley of Slavic anthems and whipping off their tops. "Vamos Nole," they cried, in an attempt at rapprochement with dispirited Nadal fans. Four middle-aged men in water-polo helmets leapt up and down, conducting the mob with gusto, before a security guard barked at them to put their shirts back on. "Fine," he said, when not one obeyed. "Let's go, Serbia!"
No one could deny Djokovic or his entourage such merriment after perhaps the greatest match seen at Flushing Meadows. Granted, it was one-dimensional at times — an orgy of coruscating baseline hitting — but ascended to greatness through its impression that the old order had changed. In the Wimbledon final of 2008, arguably the finest tennis spectacle any of us will see, one sensed that the Nadal era had begun as he outgunned Roger Federer in the Centre Court gloaming. At the end of Monday night's marathon in New York, the feeling formed that Djokovic was out on his own.
From the Ashe loge boxes, the drama directed by Djokovic was mesmeric.
Beyoncé, leaning forward from her seat opposite his chair, applauded as his outrageous drop shots sealed a 17-minute duel early in the second set — and as he came through a 31-stroke rally to defend a break point against Nadal in the third. Poor Nadal was simply pushed around, buffeted by second-serve returns that either came straight back at his feet or whistled past him at preposterous angles. The world's second-ranked player looked just as ineffectual on the attack, at the mercy of a devilish talent with the movement and wingspan to chase down any shot he contrived.
If we believe John McEnroe's assertion that Djokovic is enjoying "the greatest season in the history of our sport," then this was its most vivid exclamation point. Already, it appears, Djokovic is pausing to reflect upon his seismic accomplishments. When I spoke to him at the Empire State Building on Tuesday, he was lost, briefly, in memories of that stern-faced boy who so captivated Gencic.
What did he see? "I see the boy who holds the racket with a lot of love, who plays tennis with passion, who dreams of being the best." His former tutor should be proud of him. As, indeed, should every one of his jubilant countrymen.Courtesy: Telegraph
The 2nd rubber will be between Tipsarevic & Del Potro.
Doubles rubber on Saturday is Zimonjic & Tipsarevic against Chela & Monaco
Reserve singles* finishes off the tie with Novak against Del Potro and Tipsarevic against Nalbandian.
* Line-ups subject to change
Full Tie details can be found here
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
GORDON SMITH: Novak, to one of the greatest performances in the history of Grand Slam finals, to the US Open 2011, a toast.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thank you very much. I'll skip the champagne.
THE MODERATOR: First question.
Q. Congratulations. Last year at this time it was obviously a different result. Was there something that triggered in your mind that moment that made you believe that a year like this was possible? And what was it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, last year I played finals of US Open and I played another great match against Rafa. I had a tournament that could easily end already in the first round when I was two sets to one down and very close to losing to my countryman Troicki.
When I won that match, I overcame the challenge and I managed to come to the finals and win a great match against Roger. So I guess at this level you need those matches, those tough matches against top guys to win in order to get confidence, get self‑belief on the court that you can really win majors and win the big matches. So I guess it just clicked in my head. I think that throughout last couple of years I didn't change my game in any major way. I think most of the strokes are the same that they were in last two, three years. It's just that I'm hitting the shots that I maybe wasn't hitting in last two, three years now. I'm going for it, I'm more aggressive, and I have just a different approach to the semifinals and finals of major events, especially when I'm playing two great champions, Rafa and Roger. In last couple of years that wasn't the case. I was always kind of trying to wait for their mistakes or being out there and playing my best tennis and not really having the positive attitude and kind of believing that I can win. So this has changed, I guess, and the US Open 2010 was one of the turning points in my career, definitely.
Q. Was that Tylenol? What did you take when you were having the back problems?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, it was some painkiller. I don't know. They gave me ‑‑ yeah, and I had the rib problem and they had to mobilize my back as well, and some cramps in the leg. So it was more than one thing. But it wasn't a surprise, to be honest. You know, luckily for me I had the ability to ask for medical timeout, and it helped me in the fourth set. I was going more ‑‑ I felt the most discomfort and pain with my serve, so I tried to go more for the precision rather than for speed. I think that actually helped me to get into the rally better, because he was expecting maybe a bit stronger serve so he was returning short and I was taking my chances. I had to make the points very short, because it's obvious that he is the one that's physically fitter than me on the court today after the third set was done. nI knew that and I had to go for my shots, and I did.
Q. How would you describe your physical and mental accomplishments in beating Federer and Nadal back‑to‑back to win this championship?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, the result ‑ results ‑ that I had this year are amazing, and definitely something that I haven't expected. But it keeps coming because I think I have a great scheduling this year. I know when to have a little break, when to rest my body, when to get ready and prepare well for, you know, US Open swing, you know, the clay swing, now the Asian swing. So now I learned to get my scheduling right. And with the great team that I have, I guess that helps me to perform my best tennis in the most important events. This is, in the end ‑‑ the bottom line is that that's the whole point, to win Grand Slams, because these are the tournaments most important and most valuable in our sport, four Grand Slams. So this is where you want to win. Yeah, this has changed in comparison with last couple of years definitely. Right now I feel drained emotionally and physically and mentally, but it's normal, you know, after such a long year, so many matches. But I have this trophy here, and this is what I was fighting for. I'm going to take some time off, I guess.
Q. The Grand Slam year is obviously over now. No matter what happens, from here on, this is one of, if not the greatest, year a single man has ever had. What does that mean to you considering what your family went through, the bombing? This personally is a great achievement. How does it hit you emotionally?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I guess it takes some time too realize the success that I had this year, especially now, I mean, winning another major. It's going to probably all settle down towards the end of the year when I take some time off and analyze the year. But right now I'm all over positive emotions. It's really hard to find the words that can describe the feeling that I had and that I have still. But I know this couldn't come overnight. It's a long process, as you mentioned. Throughout all my life I've been working, being committed to this sport 100%. That's the only the way you can really succeed: the right balance between private life and life on tour, which is very requiring, demanding. But this is something that I love to do, and it brings me joy every single time I step on the court and make a win. Nothing can replace that feeling.
Q. Similar question: You started off a skinny kid from a little village...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Still skinny kid.
Q. Yeah. You come up in this era with Federer and Nadal and then have had this incredible run. In your private moments when you have time to reflect, what do you say to yourself about this achievement?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I go back in my thoughts in my childhood, all these memories growing up, playing tennis, spending time in Serbia experiencing a lot of different kinds of situations and experiences in the life. That helped actually to become a better person, to appreciate things in life more. You know, I owe my parents a lot, because I think they have done a great job in bringing me up and helping me and supporting me throughout all my career. And couple of other people that have always been there for me. This is individual sport, but it's not an effort of myself. I may be on the court by myself winning or losing, I maybe take the whole credit or all the blame, but it's actually the team, the family, the support, everybody around you that spends their energy as well. They sacrifice their private life as well. I mean, all my team members, they have their own families, they have their own kids, and, you know they go through this with me and they put their energy and effort into my success. That's why it's all team effort.
Q. We know you have changed your diet from the end of last year. I was wondering what you ate last night and what you ate this morning right before the match, and what are you going to do tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'll give you a simple answer: last night I didn't have any gluten, and tonight I will have a bunch of gluten ‑ and alcohol.
Q. Could you tell me what you ate last night?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know, rice. Nothing really exciting, you know. Carbohydrates, protein. That's it.
Q. Tennis on this level is played with very thin margins. Andy Murray had you down on clay; Roger had you down. What do you think makes the difference to make those margin fall on your side and not your opponent's side?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, work, I think self‑belief on the court. As you said, we're all working very hard in our off seasons. We're all dedicated, especially the top players to this sport. We all want to improve. You see what Federer and Nadal have been doing the past couple of years. They've been so dominate it's incredible. It's true, especially in the big events and matches, winner is decided by small margins, couple of points. I guess the winner is the one that believes in victory more than the other. That's all there is.
Q. For you, is the next big goal a career Grand Slam?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sure. Why not? There is still a lot of things to prove, you know, to myself, to the tennis world. I still want to win many more events, many more major events. That's something ‑‑ as I said, you know, it's not just habit of standing up every morning and being focused on what you do. It's just that love for the sport that keeps me going. And winning on the court, that feeling, as along as it stays with me, I will keep fighting for more trophies. Yeah, so it would be unbelievable to be able to complete the Grand Slam, to win the French Open. It's something that is definitely an ambition, but it's going to take time.
Q. After winning Wimbledon, you said you had a lot of fun with that match. We know how much you like to have fun.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Everybody does.
Q. How much fun you had today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think I've played a great match really from the start to the end. Even though I lost the third set, I was three times break up in that set. Maybe I should not drop my serve in those moments. Look, when you play that well you must enjoy. You must bring your smile on your face. It's all going well, all going on your side, so... But you're focused and trying to take one point at a time and win in the end. So, yeah, I'm going to have more fun now when I know the match is over.
Q. Specific to Rafa, at the moment, how much do you enjoy facing him and the challenge of breaking down what he does best?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's really hard to say that I enjoy playing Rafa or Roger. It's a challenge. You know, it is on one side an incredible feeling if you win against them; on the other side, it's very disappointing if you lose because they're your greatest rivals. But I definitely enjoy when I'm playing my best tennis, regardless who is across the net. The way I look at it, it takes a lot of mental energy and physical energy to win against these guys, especially Rafa. He never gives up. You could see that today. Two sets and a break down and serving for the match and he's coming back. That's why he's a great champion. So when I lost this third set it wasn't fun, definitely. I knew that I am not physically there. I'm not as fit as I was in the start of the match, so I needed to do take chances, and I did. It was an incredible set for me.
Q. You just said the winner is the one who believes most in victory than the others. Do you believe at this point that you can't lose?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I don't believe anybody is invincible. You know the amount of matches that I lost this year is just incredible. As I was saying, I think that positive attitude is actually something that keeps you on top of your game. Because when you go out on the court, when I had the run that I had in the opening two, three months of the year, everybody was wondering when the streak will end. I was trying not to pay attention on that. I was trying to really take one match at a time, keep things very simple, and, you know, believe that this streak can go forever. But I knew it's not going to go forever. It's logical. You change surfaces, sooner or later you will lose matches. I mean, Roger had years when he was winning three Grand Slams in a year, when he was invincible, 40, 50 matches; Rafa as well last year. So this is you can say my year, or the year where I performed my best tennis at major events. It's something that makes me incredibly happy. It's definitely going to take a lot of effort to try to repeat even half of what I have done this year for next year. Look, I'm trying to enjoy the present, enjoy this moment, and then I will think about future later.
Q. Even though you are the most charismatic player of the tour...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thank you.
Q. And perhaps best‑liked, why would you say that the last couple matches the crowd was not with you really? How are you going to prepare for Davis Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn't say that.
Q. I felt most of the crowd was rooting...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think today the crowd was half/half actually. I think in many moments I had the crowd chanting my name, and it was great support. I think, you know, you always try to have crowd support on your side. You cannot influence the people, who they will support. Everybody has their own favorite tennis player. I'm still new in this business.
Q. How will you prepare for the Davis Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, listen, I'm going to go to Serbia now, but I have many commitments now, tomorrow. I will think about recovering the most and enjoying the victory and what I have done so far; Davis Cup comes in couple of days.
Q. Since becoming an ambassador of the game, everybody is getting to know you. What are you mostly excited for them to get to know that they didn't know before?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Um, well, it's very hard to keep the private life quiet and private, keep it away from media and from public, because as a successful athlete, you're followed. It's normal. You're getting attention and people get to know you as a player first of all. This is something that I do for life, and people come to watch me play tennis. Then they get to know you as a person as well. Now with the role that I have, the No. 1 of the world, I know that there is huge amount of responsibility on my back as well to represent the sport in the best way. I'm still learning. Every day I'm learning. I make mistakes. Everybody does. But I try to keep my same personality and enjoy every single moment of my life that I have.
Q. Could Serbia beat Argentina in the Davis Cup without you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I think so, but I'm going to be on the team anyway. So we'll see. We'll talk about Davis Cup when I come in Serbia.
Q. You seem to have a smaller margin over Federer than over Nadal, even watching the match tonight, because as a baseliner you can make winners from both sides, forehand and backhand, while he can do it mostly with the forehand.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You're talking about who can do it with forehand mostly? Nadal?
Q. Yes. You have a smaller margin with Federer because he has more variety, where Nadal can hit winners just with the forehand.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, I lost many matches in a row against Roger and Rafa last year, 2009, and now I won ‑‑ of the maybe five matches I won four against Roger, and against Rafa I won sixes in a row or whatever. It keeps changing all the time. Obviously when you start winning more often against your opponent, whoever is across the net, you feel that you have ‑‑ in next match that's coming you have a mental advantage. Maybe I just know what to play, and I get into the court knowing what to do and just, you know, playing my game. Against Rafa you have to be aggressive. You know, you have to try to go for winners, because he's the fittest player around. He's an incredible defender.
Q. May I also ask you if your endorsement Tacchini goes on for a long time. When Sampras, McEnroe all won, after one year they were not anymore with Tacchini.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm still with them. I'm happy. I don't know how long. It's going to go for long, but let's see. I don't know.
Q. How much it affected you when you won in the seventh game of the second set and this fan of your shouted? You remember? You opened your hands after you lost the point.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sorry. I'm really sorry. I don't remember. So many things happened today.
Q. What do you think was the key factor winning the complete Grand Slam in one year? Do you feel capable?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: But I didn't win...
Q. What do you think is the key factor to win the complete Grand Slam in one year? Do you feel you are capable?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: How many players have done that?
Q. You could be the first.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: One guy or two. (Laughter.) Look, if I make half what I've done this year next year I'll be happy. Look, I do have always a huge desire to win every Grand Slam that I'm playing on. I player equally well for each Grand Slam throughout the year. It's a task that you really ‑‑ I don't want to say that's not possible. It's possible. Everything is possible. But still, it's such a tough task to ask to win all four Grand Slams in a year. How many players did it in all history?
Q. You played two great matches in a row. Which opponent are you more proud of beating, Federer or Nadal?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm proud of winning US Open. I don't really rate my wins against Roger or Rafa more than ‑‑ more one than the other. I just try to win a tournament. That's what is different. So this is something that makes me proud.
Q. Rafa talked about the difference in the match. Talk about the third game of the second, that really, really long, long game.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, he was 2‑0 up in both opening sets, and I managed to break back. Yeah, that one side was very ‑‑ on one side end you feel that you had very strong backwind. You could play easier on that side than the other side. We both knew that. If you look at the statistics, most of the breaks that came in the match happened from the side where you had the wind in your back. It affects the whole match.
Q. He said he didn't get enough free points on his serve.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was so windy it was hard to find the rhythm and be consistent with serving. I would say definitely that he served better last year in US Open than he did now. But, you know, I tried every time that I had second serve to step in and take my chances.
Q. How would you compare the level of play it took to win versus all of the matches you had to win to get to this point and the satisfaction of achieving this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you obviously prepare differently for each opponent that you play against. I can't really compare the last two matches with the opening couple of matches, because it's obvious that when you're playing the top players you feel more stressed on the court and your approach is different. It's normal to have, you know, the longer matches, the more difficult encounters where you have to step in and step up and play better than you do in opening rounds of a Grand Slam. If that's what you want to...
Q. What I wanted to get at is, when you were out there today, how did you feel about the way you were playing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I felt great. As I was saying before, maybe it is the best match I played in the US Open so far this year. I stepped on the court believing I can win, and I was hitting the balls from the baseline really strong and flat. You know, I didn't give him any comfort, any rhythm. I was kind of trying to keep the control of the match; it was working well.
Q. About your public profile, earlier this summer you went out and did the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, you went on the Conan O'Brien show. Do you like those kinds of opportunities? Are they something you feel is important for yourself or the sport?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I think it's fun for myself to be a part of the great shows. Those shows, Jay Leno, Conan O' Brien, they had the shows for many years already, and I was flattered and happy to be invited to be on those shows. I was spending some time in L.A. before the US Open series tournaments started. I was practicing there, so it was fun. I like it. I like the fun TV shows, you know, something that ‑‑ somewhere where I can laugh, where I can reveal my personality. Those shows offered me that. I think it's as well very important for my career, for my PR.
Q. Similar question: No one in our game likes the stage more than you. What's it like to perform on the New York stage? Are you proud how in just three years you've advanced from that tough moment a while back to so much acceptance now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, when you go down the road and when you're on the tour for so long, you experience different situations. You make mistakes in your career, but you learn from those mistakes. It's normal. You cannot be always on top of your game. You cannot be always in the right mood. You play so many matches, and it's always ‑‑ as a top player, it's always under radar. Many people watch when you're playing. This is the biggest court, biggest center court we have in our sport, so every time you step out there, it's not only about playing tennis, it's about representing yourself in the best possible way.
Q. You the new world No. 1, and you talk about learning from the other two, Roger and Rafa. You are quite different from those two. How did you manage to learn something from the person who's so different from you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think everybody is different. I don't compare myself to Rafa or Roger or anybody else, but I do take a look on their careers, the way they are handling everything, and I learn. I definitely learn from both of them how to represent myself in public, how to carry the responsibility. I'm open for everything.
Q. Give us an example.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Too many things.
It is coming up for 2am here and I am falling asleep. I shall post everything tomorrow morning. All the interviews, analysis and photos will be out then so I'll be able to post a great selection.
Bad luck Rafa
Monday, 12 September 2011
It’s a shopworn cliché, but seldom has it been as meaningful in tennis as right now, on the eve of the U.S. Open men’s singles final: What a difference a year makes.... Full Story Here
Novak Djokovic is taking nothing for granted ahead of Monday evening's US Open final despite having beaten Rafael Nadal in five successive finals in 2011.... Full Story Here
Remember to join us at MyTennisLounge for all the match chat
Well 2 members have taken time to give their thoughts on today's final. I have copied the article here. It us free to join the Forum & takes less than 5 minutes. Come & join us today :)
US OPEN FINAL
Aurthur Ashe Stadium:
Djokovic (1) vs Nadal (2)
Time- 21:00 BST
Head to Head: Nadal 16-12 Djokovic
Last meeting: Djokovic 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3 (Wimbledon)
Titles this year: Djokovic 9-3 Nadal
Path to the final:
R1- Niland 6-0 5-1 (R)
R2- Berlocq 6-0 6-0 6-2
R3- Davydenko 6-3 6-4 6-2
R4- Dolgopolov 7-6 6-4 6-2
QF- Tipsarevic 7-6 6-7 6-0 3-0 (R)
SF- Federer 6-7 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5
R1- Golubev 6-3 7-6 7-5
R2- Mahut 6-2 6-2 (R)
R3- Nalbandian 7-6 6-1 7-5
R4- Muller 7-6 6-1 6-2
QF- Roddick 6-2 6-1 6-3
SF- Murray 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2
Rafael Nadal’s performance was a long way off his best coming into the US Open. After his confidence destroying loss in the Wimbledon final, he lost to Croatia’s Ivan Dodig in R1 of Montreal. Cincinatti wasn’t much better losing to Mardy Fish in the QF. That is why some may be surprised to see Nadal’s name in the final of the US Open again.
Nadal was poor in his opening match, but came through after saving several set points against Golubev. Mahut’s retirement helped him in Round 2, but he did discover his form in Round 3, coming through a tough match against Nalbandian. In Round 4, Nadal went down a break early on to Muller, before rain stopped play but Nadal lost just 6 more games the next day. Roddick was Nadal’s next opponent in the QF. It was Nadal who broke straight away though, and gave a masterclass in passing shots against the big serving American, to set up a semi final against Andy Murray. Murray’s game plan was unclear for the first two sets, before an aggressive Andy turned up for the third set. Nadal gradually picked up his level again, to defeat the error-strewn and angry World No. 4 in four sets. His past two wins could give Rafa the confidence needed to win his second US Open title.
How he can win:
Obviously Nadal will need to serve well, his second serve has been particularly vunerable in his meetings against Djokovic this year. It is also crucial he wins the longer rallies as Djokovic has done a good job of coming through in the longer rallies against Nadal this year. Normally with Nadal, you’d expect the first set to be the deciding factor, but given his losses in Indian Wells and Miami, I would say Nadal needs the first two sets to win. Nadal needs to be aggressive as well and take advantage of Djokovic’s inevitable tiredness from his epic against Roger yesterday. If he can do all of these, he will have a chance.
Novak Djokovic looks simply unbeatable this year. In total the matches he has lost equal the number of Grand Slam wins this year-2. He will be very keen on making that three on Monday. After coming to the US with Wimbledon in his bag Djokovic started confidently in Montreal. He was tested by Fish in the final but managed to come through in 3 sets. Next week in Cincinatti it was obvious Novak was fatigued and had a shoulder problem. He scraped past Monfils and Berdych but his level was not high enough to survive against Murray and he had to reitre. When it came to the US Open Novak looked compltely refreshed after a weeks break. He was clinical against Niland and Berlocq and was not troubled by Davydenko. Against Dolgopolov in R4 he struggled for a set (had to come through an epic tiebreak) but came through eventually without dropping a set. In the QF he faced a barrage of attacking tennis against Tipsarevic for the first 2 sets. With the score at a set a piece Tipsarevic broke down with his injury problems and had to reitre in the 4th set after a bagel in the 3rd. His SF final match was against Federer. And it was epic. Djokovic somehow managed to come through after being 2 sets to love down and 2 match points down in the final set. Djokovic danced in delight after the match: he was through to the final.
How he can win:
Nadal has been in Djokovic's pocket all year. He has already beaten him in 5 finals including in the Wimbledon final. If he stickts to the same aggressive tactics and keeps on dominating the baseline rallies he will fancy his chances.
TOM's final verdict:
The start is crucial. Both players are in great form and have a lot at stake. For Nadal the mental demons from his previous five losses must be completely banished. Djokovic is looking to secure his No. 1 spot and come closer to the career grand slam, while Nadal is looking to defend a hard court grand slam title for the first time and win his second grand slam of the year. Djokovic will have a great self-belief, but I believe that a determined Nadal will take confidence from his performance so far and end a five match losing streak against the World No. 1 and come through in four entertaining sets.
Nadal 76 62 46 75
AMRITIA's final verdict:
Djokovic's 5 wins over Nadal this year will give him a lot of confidence and belief. He knows he has the game to beat Nadal on any surface now and will trust himself in the big moments. Meanwhile Nadal has been very poor in the important points against Djokovic this year. He needs to step it up and be more aggressive if wants to have a chance.
Djokovic 6-4 7-5 6-4
Thanks for reading
New York - Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will meet in the US Open men's final on a Monday for a second straight year, but things could not be any different than they were 12 months ago.... Full Story Here
Rafael Nadal insists the player who displays the weaker mentality will walk away from the US Open a beaten man as he prepares for a showdown with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.... Full Story Here
With Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal set to meet in their second straight U.S. Open final on Monday, the men's tournament appears to be in replay mode.... Full Story Here
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Q. This time last year you got to match point, you said you closed your eyes and went for it. Was that your mentality on that first match point today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I tend to do that on match points. It kinda works. (Smiling.) No, it was a very similar situation like last year. I had to take my chances. I was very close to being on my way back home. He was serving. He was 40-15 up. Yeah, I mean, I managed to hit that amazing forehand return which got me back. I got a little bit of energy from the crowd, and I fighted back. I needed to stay positive, and I definitely didn't want French Open to happen again. It was incredible last two games.
Q. Talk about your belief in your shots, that you'd be able to go for something like that. Roger almost seemed baffled that you would take that much of a gamble.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, if you're playing somebody like Roger, you have to take your chances when they're presented; otherwise you're losing a match. I don't want to say, yeah, I've been in control of the fifth set, because that's not true. He was serving for the match. He was match points, and I could easily lose. But this is what happens at this stage of a tournament when two top players meet each other. Just a couple of points decide the winner.
Q. While this match does not yield a trophy moment, can you say that it is perhaps one of the greatest victories of your career?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is, and it's probably, under the circumstances, the greatest victory I had in 2011. I definitely think so.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Why? Because I was two sets down, and I haven't won many matches in my life when I was two sets down. You said five, six years ago was the last one, so... Especially against Roger, who we all are aware of his quality. When he's a set or two sets up, he doesn't let you win. When he's in control of the match he's confident, and it's really hard to get back into the match. But I managed to play better, to switch gears, and I managed to play two incredible sets: third and fourth. Then I felt it's the moment. You know, it's the moment when I should step in and show what I got, and it paid off.
Q. Back to a specific moment in the second set, it was one game apiece and you were ad out and you were second serving. I want to get a sense of how do you compose yourself in a situation like that? And then what kind of plan do you have on a second set serve in that moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't remember the moment. It's 1 All second set, you said?
Q. 1 All and you were serving. It was ad out, and nobody had broken yet.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Okay. It was the first break points I think of the match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, I have been serving great in the first set, winning quite comfortably my service games as well as he did. But we both knew that the chance will come sooner or later for me or for him. Unfortunately for me it came for him first, and he used it. He used it, you know. He's definitely one of the best returners in the game. I needed to stay calm, stay positive, because it's a best of five match. I knew I could come back.
Q. Just back to that first match point where you had just dropped your serve at love; the crowd is not really on your side; you are getting frustrated. In that shot, was there some anger and frustration? And then what was in your head when you reacted to the crowd after that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I needed to get some energy from the crowd, you know. I mean, it's kind of normal to expect that maybe they're a little bit more on his side because he's somebody that has won this tournament five years. He's the greatest player ever results you know, I mean, you don't need to spend words about him. Crowd loves him everywhere, especially here. So it was okay. It was no surprise. But, you know, I thought at that certain moment I needed to get a little bit of the crowd energy behind my back and try to get back into the match. And I did. That forehand return, I cannot explain you because I don't know how it happened. You know, yeah, I read his serve and I was on the ball and I had to hit it hard, and it got in, luckily for me.
Q. But you seemed to say after that, you know, rocket winner, What do I have to do to get people behind me, no?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, no, I mean, look, you know, it's semifinals of a major and two top guys are playing against each other. It's so close. I mean, maybe it did seem, and it was maybe true that he had more crowd on his side, but I think I had fans on my side, as well. It was very exciting, very loud, and I was just trying to focus myself, to be positive, and trying to take one point at a time. It happened for me. He missed a forehand on 40 30 and I got back into the match; he makes a double fault. This is what happens, you know, under pressure. For these kind of moments you train every single day. You work hard on the court, off the court, because you want to be in this position.
Q. Everyone now talks about the match point and that it's easy, no? Before there was some different moment when everything changed. After the first two sets, Federer loses his second game in the third set, and he made a lot of mistakes then. Then everything changed. How do you explain what changed then and afterwards? You won all your serves so easily, and then suddenly in the fifth again you are in trouble.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, at this level, really couple of points, as I was saying, decide the winners. So when he was two sets up, I was trying to convince myself I can get back into the match. I was feeling good physically. There was no problem. Mentally I had the motivation. I mean, come on, it's semifinals of the US Open, you know. What more you're asking for, you know? Full stadium, very exciting match against a top player, so I needed to fight. That's what I did. I think when I made that break early in the third set I relaxed a little bit. I started hitting the shots that I maybe didn't hit in the opening two sets, and he started making more mistakes. But that's a switch of the momentum. That's what happens. You can't always be on the same level. It's normal. Somebody, you know, feels at a certain stage of the match that he has control, and then it's very hard to get back. I think we both knew in the fifth that -- in the fourth that when I made the second break that he was kind of maybe a little bit saving the energy for the fifth. He started very strong, so it was a great set.
Q. If you had been on the other side of the net watching what happened on that forehand winner that saved a match point and then your communication with the crowd, what do you think you would have been thinking at that point?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What do I think?
Q. If you had been watching that happen as the opponent, what do you think would have been going through your mind?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know. Look, I don't know, because at that stage you're trying to get as much support as you can. You're trying to get energy. I mean, I haven't done anything against my opponent, you know. I was trying to get the crowd on my side, and, you know, I did. That's what he does. It's what everybody does. It's normal. We are professional athletes. At this level you need that in order to win.
Q. How about, though, on the shot itself? If that had been done to you, saving a match point...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know, really. I just answered the question.
Q. Roger wasn't real happy with what he did with that serve at double match points, but the next one he put it right into you and you fought it off. It ended up being almost just as clutch and almost as important, correct?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: On the second match point? Yeah, I mean, look, I was a little bit lucky in that moment, because he was playing tremendously well the inside out forehand throughout the whole match. It flicked off the net and went wide, and it got me back. It was deuce, and then I still, you know, believed that I could get back into the match. It was very close. I mean, this is what happens at this level. You know, couple of points can really decide the winner, and we are both aware of that.
Q. In the game he ended up breaking you in the fifth set, after he just won that first point to go to Love 15, you were talking to yourself there. Did you already let yourself get too negative even in that moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I talk to myself too much. (Laughter.) You don't want to know what's going on in my head at that moment.
Q. Was there any point in that match where you thought you were going to lose? Also, do you think your amazing run this season helped pull you through that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I would lie if I say, you know, I didn't think I'm gonna lose. There was a couple of situations and moments in the match when I thought, you know, I'm losing or, you know, when he was match points up. It's always important to be calm, to stay positive, and to believe, to believe that you can win. I mean, since you are already in the fifth set and he's serving for the match, it's only one break of difference. So if I make the break, I'm back in the match. That's what happened.
Q. What did you exchange in conversation? What did you say to one another? I know it was quick, but what did you say to one another after the match when you were shaking hands?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, usually we say just, Bad luck or, Great match or, Well done. That's all.
Q. There's a saying that if you hold yourself through a disaster you will win. When you were coming into the fifth set, you get that feeling?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm sorry, it's really hard to understand. Can you repeat, please?
Q. There's a saying that says if you hold yourself through the disaster, you will win. My question is: Did you get that feeling when you're coming into the fifth set?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't think it was a disaster. Look, it's a sport, you know, where one wins, one loses. But, you know, we have saying, What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So I guess since I didn't lose that game, I managed to come back in the match and I got mentally stronger and it was easier for me to play from that moment on.
Q. Just considering the season you're having and going into that match, the difference between having two majors or three majors, can you talk about how that affected you going into the match and maybe even during the match how that might have played out in your head?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's obvious that this is the best year of my career, by far. The confidence level that is very high at this moment for me helps me to get into this big matches and go for the shots that, you know, that I maybe in some situations wouldn't, that I wasn't going for those shots in the past couple years. But it's all I think a process of learning and getting experience and maturing as a player, as a person. And, yeah, it might have been the case that it helped me in this match, knowing that I have such a great season and knowing that I have such great confidence. I really have nothing to lose, even though it's semifinals of a Grand Slam and playing somebody that is a great rival of mine. But for these matches you're working hard and you want to be there. You want to be there and you want to win against guys like Federer.
Q. Why are tennis crowds so different than crowds in other sporting events? I can't imaging at Madison Square Garden and the Knicks winning by a million points and the crowd starts rooting for the team that's losing.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I can only give you an answer that, you know, it's just the difference in the sports, because I guess in tennis you're not allowed well, you're not allowed. You're kind of not expected to talk, to scream, to chant, to shout during the points; where in the other team sports you're able to do whatever you want whenever you want. I guess that's the difference. The crowd really has to get into the match, has to understand the sport they're in. But I think actually here in US Open we have the loudest crowd, you know, except the Davis Cup matches. I think here crowd really gets involved. It's all about show. On the changeovers you see a lot of people dancing, the kiss camera, all these kind of things. It's interesting. You know, it's interesting. It's not like any other event.
Q. On court you said that the return of the shot was lucky. Could you talk about that? And secondly, you probably hit millions of shots. Was that the best shot Novak Djokovic has ever hit?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Under the circumstances, maybe, yes. I mean, match points down and I read his serve. I read his serve. I anticipated well, and I hit it, so I don't know if it was lucky or not. It was just maybe it was lucky because it was in the right moment, but I took my chances. I took my chances, and I hit it very clean.
Q. There's another exciting match coming up later tonight, a friend you're close with, Caroline Wozniacki. How do you see her game against Serena Williams?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, Caroline is No. 1 player of the world but someone who hasn't still won a Grand Slam, so I'm sure she's very much motivated to have a shot at the Grand Slam this year. Why not? She's been in a couple of finals, semifinals. She's much stronger, I think, than she was in the past couple years, and Serena is someone that is most successful in the WTA. So it's going to be interesting.
Q. You had a high profile fan rooting you on today in Sean "Diddy" Combs. How did that come about?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (Smiling.) Well, it was great to have him there. We met at one party that I cannot talk about details. (Laughter.) It was fun, you know. He's a huge star obviously in show business, and he's a character and a very successful man. So it was great to have him there. I think it was very interesting the way he supported me.
Q. You're having a great season. Andy Murray is having a good season, already four semifinals in 2011. He could be your opponent in the final.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He could. We're still waiting to see, because he's playing defending champion. Both of them are great players. I mean, we are top four players in the semifinals once again. I cannot say that I'm a favorite in the finals because you really don't know what's gonna happen. It's very unpredictable at this stage. I'm expecting another tough match, another match that will be decided by small margins. Andy is somebody that is definitely looking for his first Grand Slam, you know. Motivation is there. He has the potential.
Q. Considering that you're amidst a historic season, on Monday do you think you'll have the crowd support wanting to see you complete this incredible year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I wish. You know, I don't know. You never know what's gonna happen. You know, I'm really looking forward just to get to the finals and be out there on the court and compete with the best. I'm sure that we gonna have a full stadium, 23,000 people, and I'm sure I'm gonna have a lot of supporters there.
Q. When you lost to Federer at Roland Garros, everyone said it was the best Federer of the season. Today you lost the first two sets. Were you thinking that he was playing even better? I saw you were looking at your corner a lot, like, What can I do?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I definitely didn't want Paris to repeat. You know, I was trying to stay focused and then push myself to stay out there, to fight, because physically I'm ready, I'm fit. I didn't feel tired after two sets. Mentally I needed to get a little momentum going on my side. I mentally needed to get myself in the match, and tried to be a little bit more aggressive. That's what happened. You know, it changed when I broke him in the third set, yeah. But, you know, it's really hard to compare those two matches because it's two different surfaces. But definitely the Roland Garros loss that I had against him was painful.
Q. But my question was if Federer was playing better or...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sorry. I mean, he's always playing in such a high level that it's really hard to say if he's not playing good. You know, he's always, I think, lifting his level of performance towards the end of the Grand Slam. That's how he has been playing throughout all his career.
Q. You addressed the possibility of facing Andy Murray. If it is Rafa, what sort of challenge is that for you, knowing your history, knowing that you met in the finals last year, finals at Wimbledon, everything else? What is the key for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Just try to play my game. You know, I know that I have a game that is good enough to win against him. I proved that this year in three different surfaces, so I believe that I have a good chance. I need to go out on the court believing I can win. But, you know, we're talking about a player who has won 10 majors already in his career and he's only 25. He's defending his title. I think last year in 2010 throughout the whole tournament and in the finals I never seen him serve better than that tournament. So I think, you know, again, depends from my serve and his serve, as well. But, yeah, it's gonna be a tough match.
Q. You have been in such an incredible zone this year. At the level that you're playing, are you past the point of being surprised by anything that you do on the court? What I mean is, when you launched that forehand on match point and it sticks, are you like, Well, that's the level I'm at now, or are you stunned by what you're able to do every once in a while still?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: When you are match points in the fifth set after four hours of play and you hit that forehand winner, you must be a little bit amazed under the circumstances that you hit that shot. You definitely don't expect yourself to come up with it. It's all mental I think in the end. It's all mental to be able to handle the pressure well, to be able to step in, and take the chances that are presented.
Roger's Press Conference. Link to video here
Q. This must hurt, Roger. Can you tell us what your feelings are now and where you think it slipped away?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it's awkward having to explain this loss because I feel like I should be doing the other press conference. But it's what it is, you know, I mean. Yeah, I mean, it's the obvious, really. He came back; he played well. I didn't play so well at the very end. Sure, it's disappointing, but I have only myself to blame, you know.
Q. You seemed like you were taking control in the fifth set. How disappointing is it to not be able to kinda keep that momentum going? You certainly had it in that fifth set.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I had it. There's no more I could do. Snaps one shot, and then the whole thing changes. It's strange how it goes, you know, but it was a good tournament for me. Sure, I'd love to be in the finals and give myself a chance to win the title, which is not the case now. So I have to accept that and move on.
Q. You just said I have no one to blame but yourself. Where do you lay the blame?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe I said.
Q. Do you find it amazing that he can come up with two blinding forehands in successive years on match point? The odds are pretty remote, aren't they, of him doing that twice?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, it happens sometimes. That's why we all watch sports, isn't it? Because we don't know the outcome and everybody has a chance, and until the very moment it can still turn. That's what we love about the sport, but it's also very cruel and tough sometimes. It got me today. It hurts, but it's fine. Could be worse. It could be a final.
Q. Could you hit a much better serve for the return he hit that winner?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, much better. I didn't hit the best serve. But it's just the way he returns that. It's just not -- a guy who believes much, you know, anymore in winning. Then to lose against someone like that, it's very disappointing, because you feel like he was mentally out of it already. Just gets the lucky shot at the end, and off you go.
Q. What did he do better this time than when you played in the French Open?
ROGER FEDERER: Are you serious? I mean, I thought it was a close match. I should have won here. French Open was very close, too. He could have won that. It's just one of those matches, you know. I mean, I set it all up perfect, but I couldn't finish it.
Q. What did you see of Novak's reaction and playing to the crowd after he hit that forehand winner? What were you thinking at that point?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I see probably 2% of what he does or other players do because I am focused on my stuff, and I don't look what they're doing. I don't really care. As long as it's sportsmanship, I don't care. I don't know what he did, so it's not an issue.
Q. When a guy hits a shot like that forehand on match point, is that a function of luck, of risk, or is it a function of confidence that someone would make kind of...
ROGER FEDERER: Confidence? Are you kidding me? I mean, please. Look, some players grow up and play like that. I remember losing junior matches. Just being down 5 2 in the third, and they all just start slapping shots. It all goes in for some reason, because that's the kind of way they grew up playing when they were down. I never played that way. I believe in hard work's gonna pay off kinda thing, because early on maybe I didn't always work at my hardest. So for me, this is very hard to understand how can you play a shot like that on match point. But, look, maybe he's been doing it for 20 years, so for him it was very normal. You've got to ask him.
Q. Comparing this loss to the Tsonga loss in Wimbledon being up two sets, how do you react to that? Are you more frustrated with this one?
ROGER FEDERER: Same thing. I felt like I played okay today. Maybe better at Wimbledon, but then again, it's a different surface, it's different opponents. Today I clearly felt like I never should have lost, where in Wimbledon it was I don't want to say it was more out of my control, you know but it's, you know, a bit of reaction tennis on grass. I was never up a break in the third, fourth, or fifth at Wimbledon, which today I was. I was one serve away, really. Yeah, I mean, I get over these losses quickly. Wimbledon didn't get me down.
Q. You were really dominant until the first game of the third set, and you made quite a few errors in that game. Kinda let him back in the match. Given how much longer it went and all the things that happened, how important or unimportant was that game?
ROGER FEDERER: You have to figure that Novak was gonna get his teeth into the match at one stage, right? It's a pity that it happened then, because I think I had a couple of game points, too. So it hurts getting broken that way. You know, if it goes 15-40 and you never really have a chance to close it out, it's more acceptable. So like this, it was a bit -- again, a bit unfortunate, I thought. He played well. I didn't serve my very best. It was a combination of many things. And then what he does really well this year, he front runs really well and he started playing great. It was hard to counter his playing. That's why it was very important to push for the two sets to love lead. Everything I did today I thought was the right way. He just played really well in the third and the fourth.
Q. After the shot that everyone's talking about, double match point, your next serve was right into his body and he fought it off. That was a good serve, right?
ROGER FEDERER: It was a better serve. I don't know, I mean, who cares right now? Yeah, maybe I get a bit unlucky with the net cord. Who knows? Seriously, at this point I don't care anymore. It's all in the past.
Q. In Melbourne, after your run there, you said not so fast, everybody. Hold on. Let's see how the year unfolds. A lot of great runs, a lot of good victories this year. No slams. What's your assessment of your season? I know you're just coming off a tough loss.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, that's a great question. Look, I think the top four guys again had a great season at slams. I definitely had some serious chances to do a bit better, and I still made, what was it, semis, finals, quarters, semis? But I think in a few of them I could have gone all the way, if not a step or two further. It's maybe, you know, a tough year in terms of some tough losses at some crucial stages of the season. Look, it's not the first time it's happened. I have had big matches where I ended up losing some, but the majority I was able to win throughout my career. Some of them you just have to move forward with also losses like this and not get too down about it. Sure you always feel like what an opportunity, what a pity, because you got to wait for a year till the US Open rolls around. But then again, the season is not over yet. I'm looking forward to what's still to come. Like I said, the year could have definitely been better, but then again, there was some reasons for that too, I'm sure.
Q. Can you put into context this year for the competition, the level of quality of play among the top four compared to, say, the past five years?
ROGER FEDERER: I would say similar, isn't it? I mean, Novak has finished No. 3 for three or four years in a row. Murray has been in the top 5 for quite some time. Rafa, myself, anyway, we have been around for what, six years, seven years together at the top? What's it been eight now I have been in the top 4? So it's been pretty much similar. It's just that this year someone else won slams than Rafa and myself.
Q. When you lost the fourth set or you were close to losing the fourth set, were you trying to save energy for the fifth? No, you didn't have any strategy?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't play that way. I don't give away stuff and just hope and save and do that stuff like other players do. I mean, yeah, I believe I can turn it around. I believe in, you know, making things happen and work hard, and, yeah, believing it doesn't matter what the scoreline is. It gives you a bigger lift if you're up 5-1 than being down 5-1. Who cares? You never know, like we saw today.
Q. Did you notice the crowd's spontaneous eruption in your behalf as you entered the court in the fifth set, and did that contribute to your good start in the fifth set?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, the goal clearly was after, you know, not getting that many chances in the third and the fourth that I was definitely gonna come out sort of running and, you know, ready to go and excited about being in the fifth set, because I love playing five setters. It's what it's all about. I've worked extremely hard throughout my career that, you know, I can win these matches. So that the crowd got into it was fantastic. I mean, you know, I don't want to say I expected it. But it's true, every time you get reminded how great the crowd is here in New York, you know, and that they actually wait for something to happen. For them, that was a key moment. They were happy with our performance, and I think they were really hoping I was gonna win today. I felt that. It definitely gave me a lift on top of that, and that's why maybe it's even more disappointing I couldn't deliver that lift today.
Q. You spoke a moment ago about the tough finishes in the slams. How was your belief in yourself different, if at all, today than it was maybe before this season?
ROGER FEDERER: Same thing. I mean, look, I did all the right things in so many tournaments. But like I said, sometimes in sports it just goes the other way, you know. Maybe you've already won so much that it evens it out a bit sometimes. I don't know. But for me, anyway, it was still a good run here. Like I said, I played great. I thought I was playing some really good tennis these last few matches, and that's definitely gonna give me a lift. Sure, it's a bit of a bummer here, what happened today. I guess it happens occasionally.
Q. Your first slam was in 2003 and your last one was 2010. At the end of this year, will you have a different feeling than the last seven?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I mean, it's not January 1st yet. Let's see what happens. There's still some stuff left: hometown tournament in Basel, the World Tour Finals coming up still where I'm qualified for. So there's still a lot to play for this season, but definitely I've had better seasons, yeah. But then again, you can't play every season identical. You don't want it to be, otherwise it becomes boring, too. I guess I will be extremely hungry going to Australia next year. It's clear and obvious, and I know if I keep on working hard now that I'm feeling so good right now it will all pay off. I know it. I haven't felt like this in a long time, so this is a good time.
Q. Players have been very vocal and effective in making their views known here. You know the game. Do you expect to see major changes here, or do you think things will just revert again and the schedule will be as it is next year again and so on?
ROGER FEDERER: It will be disappointing if that's the case. I don't want to have to say that. Without putting any pressure on them, I think it's obvious that there needs to be a change, especially at the back end of the tournament. I believe also at the front end you can't play first rounds over three days in a place where you do get rain and you don't have a roof so you don't have that protection. Yeah, I mean, it's not the first year we're finishing on Monday. I just think the competitive advantage that maybe one player has over another in any Grand Slam final, at the US Open it's just unfair for the player. I just hope that a tournament, they understand it, they see that. It shouldn't even be like a debate and trying to put them in a corner. I just think it's common sense. We'll hope for that, otherwise we will have to make ourselves heard again, which is not something we like doing.