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May 7, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Madrid, Spain

N. DJOKOVIC/K. Nishikori

6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. Closing out the match is never an easy thing despite ranking or titles. One player can win.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Indeed, especially when you're playing a top player, a quality player, that will use every opening and every opportunity that he's got to come back to the match.

Which happened today. You know, easy forehand to finish off the match, 40 love, couple of double faults and couple of good points from Kei and the break was there. I obviously should not have let that happen.

The other hand, I was happy the way I handled the games after that. In tiebreak I think I played very solid tiebreak under the circumstances, and knowing that I missed four match points was very solid after that.

I think mentally it's good to go through these particular situations for the confidence.

Q. We all enjoyed the match. Do you think the match today will help you for tomorrow mentally and physically because you had to fight until the very end?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't think that it can affect me physically in any way, that it can take some kind of freshness or energy out of me. I haven't had too many long matches. Last couple of weeks I was training and getting ready, so I feel physically fit and obviously motivated to perform my best in the finals.

As I said, winning against one the top players in the world in this particular situation like they experienced, especially in the last half hour, will definitely serve as is great confidence boost and incentive for tomorrow, playing against a player tomorrow that's in form, that won against Rafa and winning against Rafa on clay. We Amélie know how difficult that is, so it's going to be a good final. I hope so.

Q. Could you tell me what was going through your mind after 5-4. You are starting to closing second set. You usually don't do this kind of mistake.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It happens. It happens. The match can turn around very quickly. This was a real example of that. In sport things can happen. As much experience as you have in these moments, you know, again, this can occur.

Especially if you're playing somebody like Kei that has a lot of quality and is very aggressive and that jumps at first opportunity he has. That's what he did. He started swinging freely. Started dictating the play a little bit more.

I backed up because I got a little bit tight. We got to the tiebreak, and in the tiebreak I just kept my nerves together and kept fighting and played a very solid tiebreak.

Q. Compared to previous three matches you played against Kei, today's was way closer. Do you think it's because Kei played differently, he tried different tactics, or more about because of the surface?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think Kei has started exceptionally well first three points, winners from all corners, so he obviously knows what his game plan is and what he wanted to do, and he started executing very efficiently from the very first point.

So I knew it was going to be a tough match. Obviously he was feeling the ball very well, trying to be aggressive on every shorter ball, hitting through, and trying to finish off the points.

It wasn't easy because the conditions were different as well. I played practically an indoor match yesterday in very pleasing conditions. Today, windy and very cold.

So you had to handle all these circumstances and try to maintain mentally tough. I'm just proud to overcome this kind of challenge. Kei did play well. No doubt about that.

It was a close match.

Q. You played against Andy a whole heap of times. Just recently seems most have been on hard court. That French Open semifinal last year was a top-quality match. Do you adopt any kind of different aspect to your game, different mindset playing Andy on clay than you would on a hard court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he has improved tremendously on clay the last couple years. He won this tournament last year against Nadal and won against Nadal again today. Playing another finals of one of the biggest clay court tournaments in the world.

We all know that clay was not his most preferred surface in the past, but he's known to be a very hard worker, a guy who has lots of dedication, and is always trying to improve and get his game to another level.

That's what he has done. He gets the results. I think he's moving better and sliding better on the court. He is more patient. He constructs the point better, which is very important for clay.

Yes, last year we played that five-set match in semifinals of French Open, which was a high-quality matchup. So you know, again, depends really how we both start the match. I think that's quite crucial for both of us.

And we have very similar styles of the game. I'm sure that both of us will try to be protecting the baseline and try to be getting in the court and dictating.

But it was the case in many previous matches we had against each other. Yeah, I'm expecting a big challenge.

Q. You said that you still feel physically fresh for tomorrow. Do you think it's a bit unfair with the scheduling to have such a difference in time between the first and second semifinal?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it is a little bit strange, I must say. There are some factors that affect this kind of scheduling that is not only related to the players.

It's related it TVs and many different off-court factors that are obviously an interest in the tournament to benefit out of.

So we have to accept it, but it is better that there is a smaller gap between the two semifinals, definitely.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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