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October 12, 2016

Viktor Troicki

Shanghai, China


6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's a great victory. What's the key point do you think that help you to beat Rafa today?
VIKTOR TROICKI: Well, I played him five times before this match, and in a few matches I had chances really to win before. Even had few match points before to win against him. And I never did it.

So I knew what to play against him and how I'm supposed to play, and, yeah, that helped me a lot. And I played really well. I was aggressive, I served well, I hit the ball nice.

It was great feeling on the court playing like this and playing like this against Rafa Nadal who is a great champion. Yeah, it makes it extra special to beat him for the first time, especially in such a big tournament like Shanghai.

Yeah, I'm really glad how I played. Happy how I played. I hope I will continue to do that in the next rounds.

Q. You played him many times. You know his game really well. Do you see any difference between the Rafa you played today and the Rafa you played previous days? Because he said he needs to create more pain on his forehand. He's disappointed that he feels his forehand doesn't hurt his opponent anymore.
VIKTOR TROICKI: Well, in these conditions, these balls and this court, suits me a lot, my game. It suits it really well.

As I said, it's not the first time I had a chance to beat him. I was close a few times. I never did it. But today I believed more. Yeah, I stepped up in the big moments. Yeah, it was just -- it's always tough to beat him, no matter when it is and how it is, but it's always tough to beat him. He's a great player, great champion. He always fights till the end.

For me personally it was the same as before. He was playing his game, big forehands, running, fighting, you know. But for sure maybe he's not playing like he did in the best days, but still, against me he plays always similar game which suits me. I think I have an okay game to play against him on hard court (smiling).

Q. You have always been closer to beat those top guys, many chances. Does this win have a special meaning for you?
VIKTOR TROICKI: Sure, yes. Yeah, out of those top four or five players that are in the top for the last ten years, I only beat Novak once professionally, and I was really close few times against all of them, but, yeah, it feels nice to do it against Rafa. I still need to do it against Roger, Andy, and Stan (smiling).

But it's always extra special to play against those guys, you know. You give your best, your extra what you have, and then it's sometimes not enough, but, you know, sometimes it works. I'm super glad that it happened here.

Q. How do you feel when you heard fans just cheer for Rafa a lot? Do you feel like it's kind of pressure or just kind of motivation for you?
VIKTOR TROICKI: For sure he had a lot of fans. More than me, for sure. But I heard a lot of cheers for me, too. It was not as somewhere, like if you play somewhere against Rafa, like let's say in French Open or somewhere where he's winning a lot of tournaments, you know, Monte-Carlo, for example, fans mostly cheer for him, you know, like 95% they cheer for him.

But today I didn't feel it that way. Of course he had many more fans than me, but I felt I had my own fans and they were by my side and they supported me always. I saw a lot of Serbian flags, too.

It's nice to see that. Also, a lot of Chinese talking some Serbian words, so it's cool.

Q. You have a very tough time, two years after you have the chance to come to play on the court. So do you think after this victory you really find your own game back, has really come back?
VIKTOR TROICKI: Well, yeah. I was struggling in the summer. I didn't play my best game. I didn't feel it very well. This season was with a lot of ups-and-downs. Start of the season was great. Clay was so-and-so. It was good on Roland Garros.

After that, I didn't perform that well, but last couple of tournaments I feel that I'm really playing really good. I'm feeling my serve, my shots from the baseline. I think I improved a lot, and I worked a lot to do that.

So it's nice to see that it's paying off. Looking forward to each match that I play. Hopefully I will do good for the rest of the season. I mean, not many more tournaments this season, but I still feel fresh and ready to perform at my best level in the next years even though I am turning -- I'm 30 already, and next year I'm turning 31. I don't feel it that way, and I feel like I can play for many more years. Hopefully I will stay healthy and play better and better.

Q. Your first win against Rafa. Rafa is a kind of fighter. He won't give up till last point. What was your mindset during that tiebreak when you have three match points?
VIKTOR TROICKI: Well, I had a match point on 5-4. I think he was a bit lucky to win that one. But in the tiebreak I said to myself, Just go for it, be aggressive, I have nothing to lose. And I did.

I played well, returned well, served well in the tiebreak, so that was helpful.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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