September 11, 2021
New York, New York, USA
N. DJOKOVIC/A. Zverev
4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: If you could, your thoughts on the match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, biggest battle I had so far in the tournament. It was expected. I mean, Zverev was in tremendous form. He hasn't dropped too many sets in this tournament. He was on a roll, winning Olympics, winning Cincinnati.
I knew that he's going to be a huge challenge and task to overcome Zverev tonight and to prevail. He started off well. I thought we were quite close. I lost the first set. Again, like most of the other matches that I won during this tournament, when I lost first set, I started to play really, really good tennis in second and third.
A couple of very long points, exchanges, in the end of the third set. Obviously clinching the third set was a huge relief and advantage. But I just lost the focus a little bit in the fourth. He used it. Once you lose your serve and you're down a break against Zverev, it's really tough to come back because he's serving so precise and so strong. First 10 seconds he had a couple of 130-whatever-miles second serves in important points.
Yeah, it's a great win. I'm proud of the fight that I delivered. Yeah, I probably could have played better in some moments. Again, I have to be satisfied with delivering the best tennis I possibly could in the most important set, which was the fifth set.
Just looking forward to another battle on Sunday.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You said during this tournament that you have visions of holding the trophy and winning every slam, and you have very clear images.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah.
Q. What images are in your head for this Sunday?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Exactly that one: holding the trophy.
Q. Anything else in your mind?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, just that one.
Q. What is your process of moving on from that within the next 24 hours?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Just keeping things simple, guys. I know we want to talk about history. I know it's on the line. I'm aware of it. Of course, I'm aware of it.
But I'm just trying to lock into what I know works for me. I have my routines, I have my people. I isolate myself. I gather all the necessary energy for the next battle, only the next match, the next match.
I said it on the court. I'm going to treat this match as it's my last one because it's arguably the most important one of my career maybe. Maybe not, I don't know. But of this year, for sure.
It's going to be a battle against another guy who has been in tremendous form, Medvedev. He's won a lot of matches on hard court so far. We played earlier this year in Australian Open finals. I know what's expecting me.
He's already had couple of Grand Slam finals behind him. I think experience-wise it's different for him know. I'm sure he's going to give it all to win it, to win his first slam.
On the other side, I'll be giving it all I possibly got in the tank to win this match. I'm focusing on recovery, recalibrating all the systems basically for Sunday. I'm not going to waste time or energy on anything that can just be a distraction and deplete me from the vital energy that I need for Sunday.
Q. I remember when Serena was going for her Grand Slam, starting in Cincinnati she was refusing to answer any questions about the Grand Slam. You've been relatively more recent than that. You seem to be enjoying this whole process. Are you having fun now? How much is there pressure?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I remember I won 2015, I won that year US Open. I was talking to Serena. She was very emotional about everything that was going on. I can relate to what she's been going through right now. I understand it now. Obviously, once you're in that situation, you can really comprehend what a player goes through.
I understand why she wanted to avoid all the questions about it because in the end of the day, you have to go out on the court and deliver. You're expected to always win. For a great legend that she is, she always has that expectations from everyone, including herself.
It's no different with me. We all have different formulas that work for us in terms of how we want to feel on the court, how we prepare ourselves, how we recuperate.
I don't mind answering the questions what you guys have. I don't think I have anything additional to say what I already said. Of course, I can talk more about it in details probably after the Sunday's final. I'm trying to obviously keep things simple and respect my next opponent and prepare myself well.
Q. In the NBA Finals, when you get the first three wins, there's only two days till the fourth one, not a lot of time to think about it. For you, since Wimbledon is two months, is it as hard as it seems to not think about it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: One of the Kobe Bryant and Lakers rings, I can't recall exactly the year, they won I think the fourth game of the NBA Finals. They were 3-1 up. It's his famous interview where he said, Why should I be happy right now? Job is not done.
He's been someone, as probably millions of athletes and people around the world, have been looking up to him, admiring him. That's kind of an attitude I have. Job is not done.
Excitement is there. Motivation is there, without a doubt. Probably more than ever. But I have one more to go.
Q. Sascha was saying that when it comes to the most important points in matches, he'd rather play anybody but you at those moments. When did you realize you had that ability to come through at the most important points? How do you think you developed that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you don't develop that kind of reputation I guess instantly. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of matches won at the biggest stage when you are down match points, so to say.
Probably all these big matches that I won, big titles over the years, have kind of built that kind of aura around me that players know there's a never-die spirit with me, especially when I play Grand Slams. They know that until the last shot, you know, things can turn around, which was the case in several occasions throughout my career.
So I'm glad that my opponents think of me that way. I want them to feel that they are under extreme pressure when I'm facing them on a big stage in Grand Slams.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports