September 11, 2021
New York, New York, USA
N. DJOKOVIC/A. Zverev
4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Your thoughts on the match.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: It was a great battle. Kind of a little bit disappointed with the start of the fifth set. To be honest, apart from that, it was a good match. I think we both left it all out there.
Yeah, I mean, the second break in the fifth set was so ridiculously unlucky that it sometimes happen. But he's No. 1 in the world for a reason and he showed that tonight.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. That rally was 53 shots.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah.
Q. Did it take something out of you in the long run? Do you know Jimmy Butler from somewhere?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, Jimmy is a good friend of mine.
Look, we didn't give each other anything, so that naturally happens. It was a set point, as well. Physically, to be honest, I felt fine. I felt okay. I felt like I could have played on.
What was in the match, yeah, the fifth set, the beginning, I played not great. The second break, as I said, was extremely unlucky I thought. But one thing that was very good from him is how he served on breakpoints. I mean, most of the time I didn't have a chance. That was the big difference tonight.
I feel like every time it was an important moment, he came out with massive serves. Yeah, didn't go into the rally.
Q. What lesson do you take from this?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, as I said, I played a very average two games in the beginning of the fifth set. I was down 5-0 very quickly.
But to be honest, I mean, we are the best players in the world. Me and him, we're probably two of the three best players in the world right now just on form, just on how we're playing.
The match that goes like that, there is always going to be back and forth. I mean, I fought back. I left it all out there.
It's very upsetting that I lost, but at the end of the day, I have to look at him and say in important moments, as I said, he was serving better than me, and he was playing maybe at some stages better than me, but in the end, maybe still spent three-and-a-half hours on the court. I took him a very long way. I think he will say that himself.
I mean, the match could have gone both ways, but it went his way. Yeah, it went his way. Very often it does.
Q. What is your perspective on the history that he has an opportunity to make on Sunday for both the year and his career?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, I mean, I think it's great for the sport. Nobody thought anybody will do it again, what Rod Laver did. To see him have the chance on Sunday, I do believe that he will do it is great. He's breaking every single record that there is.
If you look at the stats, if you look the pure game of tennis action, he's the greatest of all time. Nobody is there with him, because most weeks world No. 1, most Masters 1000s titles, most likely going to be the most Grand Slams at the end of the day. And he has the chance of winning all four in the same year. How do you compete with that?
Q. Could you talk about all the guys you played? The experience of being up against Novak on the big points, the psychological toughness, how would you compare that aspect of his game to people you played?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, he plays the best tennis when he needs to, which a lot of players don't. That's why he's the world No. 1. He comes up with the best tennis when he needs to. We play 55-shot rallies. The only way for me to win that rally is to hit a forehand winner. That says it all, on a set point.
Yeah, I mean, look, there is a reason why he's won 20 Grand Slams. There's a reason why he's spent the most weeks at world No. 1. There's a lot of reasons for that. I think mentally he's the best player to ever play the game. Mentally in the most important moments I would rather play against anybody else but him.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports