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May 10, 2018

Dusan Lajovic

Madrid, Spain

D. LAJOVIC/J. Del Potro

3-6, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Novak Djokovic is not here, but you are. The Serbian tennis is still in action.
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Yes, thank you. Thank you. Is there a question (smiling)?

Q. I mean, is it difficult to be a Serb and not be Djokovic?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Yeah, I mean, till now, I was never Djokovic. I'm just really happy to be in the quarterfinals. I know that Novak lost yesterday. It's not often that another Serbian is longer in the tournament than Novak.

I'm just happy to be in the quarterfinals. I'm looking forward to play tomorrow.

Q. Where does that win rank in your career so far?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Number one, for sure. First top-10 win. And in a Masters where everybody is playing their best tennis, I mean, it's a huge achievement for me. I've lost the previous 10, I think, matches again top 10.

It's for sure my best win, and definitely one of the best matches I played. I really felt good on the court today. I felt I had my chances throughout the whole match. I was fighting from the first point till the last. It paid off.

I still am not believing it 100%, but I know that I deserved to win today. I'm just feeling the whole week very good on the court, and everything is working so far. I just keep going with it.

Q. After a good game against Gasquet, too, what made the difference to improve your level?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, yeah, also in the match against Richard I was thinking that I felt I improved my game because he's also used to be top 10, one of the best players on clay. I was feeling that we played equal the whole match.

Today I needed to raise also even more my service. I was serving really well. The first serve was working really well through the whole match. I saved couple of bad situations with the serve, especially in the second set. I was able to win with good serves. I think this was the key today, to serve really big, in the big points.

On the court I was aggressive with both sides, doesn't matter backhand or the forehand. I was just going for it. At the end this is what got me the victory.

Q. Did you speak to Novak before this match at all, how to approach it? Did he offer you any advice?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Before this match, no. He congratulated me now after the match. I didn't want to bother him after the loss yesterday. Just said bad luck.

But I spoke with my coach. He had some good tactics, as always. We keep in touch, yeah. And bad luck that he lost yesterday. I think he's on the right way. He played a good first match, a good set yesterday. It's just not easy to come back after being off for so long.

I think if he keeps practicing, keeps playing tournaments like this, it's going to come for sure very soon.

Q. Is there some explanation for you being so good this specific week?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Yeah, I didn't change anything. I came from Istanbul on Friday, I was flying on Friday, just practice one hour, and started playing matches on Saturday. Everything is working. Would be good if this is every week.

You keep working to maintain confidence. It's really easy to lose confidence. I just hope that this kind of level I can produce in many weeks during the year. If it comes like this, I think I will improve my rankings and my game and everything. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season as well as this tournament.

Q. I remember a bad match in Monte-Carlo against Novak. Were you impressed?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Yeah, whenever I play against a fellow Serbian and a friend from the same country, it's never easy. Then to play against a player like Novak, I think it was too many things involved. I was too much thinking, not being relaxed on the court.

When you play against a player like this, and he starts playing well in the first set, then it's very hard to come back. I felt that I didn't play my best game. I didn't play even close to my best game. That's why the result like that.

But this is not the situation this week. I'm happy that I can show what I can do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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