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November 20, 2005

David Nalbandian


THE MODERATOR: Good evening. Questions in English and Chinese for David, please.

Q. What do you think about the spectators today? Because in the middle of the final set, the spectators seemed to have emotions out of control a little bit. Do you think so? Were you mad of that?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, of course the people playing a very important game today. I was leading 4-0, and then he come back, he come back very good, and then the crowd was cheering so high. I think they play a very important game today, but I keep focus. I didn't disconcentrate (sic) in the big moments. Is normal, no? He is the No. 1. Everybody is gonna cheer for him. But I did it.

Q. Is this the best moment of your career, possibly of your life?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, of course. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think it's more important the way that I win. It's really incredible, these kind of matches in the finals against the No. 1 of the world. He didn't lose many matches during the year. So it's really important.

Q. Having played so well for two sets, but to find yourself two sets to love down, how difficult was it at that moment to keep going and keep thinking you could win it?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Very tough. Both sets was very, very close. Some important points he had a little bit of lucky sometimes. The way that he win the first set, with the net. All that stuff, it's very tough to keep focused, keep going, believe that you can win. And then the second set was almost the same, a lot of set point for both, very close. And I say, "Shit, I have to really fight now, two sets down." But I know that he wasn't hundred percent for the ankle, his preparation wasn't the perfect one. I feel in the beginning of the third when he play not so good, that I had my chance in there. I had to keep going, to keep fighting, and play the most important match that I do during the year. I left everything on court.

Q. I think it's fair to say that in the past, perhaps in the bigger matches, you haven't played as well as you would have liked to have played. How important do you think this can be for your career and for your sort of self-esteem to win a major, major final like this in the style that you won it in today?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Very important. It's very, very important. When I play Lleyton Hewitt in the Wimbledon finals, I was 20 years old, different. I was a little bit nervous, and I couldn't play my best. But today I think I play very good from the beginning. And then win like this, it's really incredible, the way. It's incredible. Of course, it makes me special feeling to win like this. Of course, for the next time, very important matches or big moments, I will be different on court.

Q. I have two questions. First, how do you feel about to be Roger Federer's fourth terminator this year?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, incredible. He didn't lose many matches during the year, so beat him here in the finals, I think he never lose a final for a long time ago. So it's make me feel very, very happy.

Q. My second question is, how do you evaluate this victory in your career? What history can make in the future?

THE MODERATOR: He already answered that question before.

Q. When Roger came back in the fifth set, when he was serving 6-5, 30-Love, what went through your mind at that moment? What were you saying to yourself at that moment?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: I can't go home like this (smiling). The match was already in my hands in the 4-0 in the fifth set. I feel I didn't do a lot of mistakes in those moments. It was Roger coming up, playing much better. Then was almost done, 6-5, he's serving. He was playing much better in the last few games. And then I play very good. I keep focused. The backhand, the return that I make in the 30-15 was very important. I think that moment was very important of the game. 30-Love and then come back in the tiebreak as well. I break him, but then need to play a tiebreak. And I lose both tiebreak that we played before. So it's not easy to keep focused, keep going, and I made it.

Q. When you were on that sequence of winning every game, ten in a row --


Q. Yeah, you had the sequence of winning 10 games in a row. Were you thinking at that point, "He's going to come back eventually, he's going to start playing again"?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, not really.

Q. You thought you were going to win every other game, did you?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Yeah, of course. 4-0 in the fifth, 30-Love. Then I serve first serve, and then he hit me winner return. And then I just do one mistake in the whole game. So I didn't play bad. So he come back playing incredible. So I didn't go down on my level, so it was him that he play very good. But the way that I win the second -- the third and the fourth, you never can imagine that leading 4-0 in the fifth that he will come back again.

Q. Would you call Andy Roddick to say thanks because he gave you a chance to come to the Masters Cup?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Yeah, I need to thank him. Because if it wasn't for him, I didn't be here.

Q. The next question is you change your red T-shirt during the game. Is red your lucky color?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, on Saturday I lose with the red color, so is not the luckiest one that I won. But today, I don't mind which color I use. I always try to win. Doesn't matter.

Q. Your countryman, Gaston Gaudio, came in here yesterday and said most of the players in the ATP think they lose to Roger before they walk out on court. Certainly if you look at his finals record over the last couple years, he may have a point. How important do you think this is, the message you sent out to the other top 10 players, that he is now fallible in finals?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, he have an incredible record. I don't know exactly, but he almost didn't lose any finals. So that's incredible. What I say before, beating him, was two sets to down, come back against him, No. 1 of the world, with that record, is incredible, really incredible. But I think he's very strong. And today he maybe feel a little bit sad, but next he will come back and play more records.

Q. Was his final record on your mind before the match, or did you try and put it out of your mind?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: No, we have a lot of history behind both. Every time that we play, the matches are incredible. Big moments. Big matches. Longest, 7-6, 7-5, 7-5, 7-5, or three sets. Every time we play each other, it's very close. Of course when we start playing, he start playing very good with almost no mistakes. I say, "Shit, I need to play very good today."

Q. Did you surprise yourself today by winning such a big final, such a big occasion, or have you always been sure to have that kind of fight in yourself?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, I think I surprise all the world, because beating him, what I say, with that record, No. 1 of the world, he didn't lose matches almost, it's really incredible. But inside me, we have a lot of matches playing, and I lost the last four. So it wasn't perfect for me. But I know him very good, he knows me very good, and I get lucky today to win because was very close, very, very close match. But all the times that we play, is the same.

Q. You were saying to us after the Ljubicic match - you were very honest - you said sometimes you struggle for motivation in tennis. Do you think having won a tournament like this with a final like this, that you will find it easier to motivate yourself in the future?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, I prefer that the year keep going and no end like this. I prefer playing more tournaments now (smiling). But next year, anything can happen. But, of course, make me feel difference now in the big matches. I will try to do my best all the times.

Q. In the last week in Shanghai, do you think you have been overlooked before the final before today? Have you been overlooked by the media, by the crowd?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, I was the last guy get in on the tournament, so it's normal that nobody knows if I am gonna play or Roddick play or all that stuff. But I think I really surprised everybody with this victory.

Q. How do you adapt to that, to the situation?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Perfect (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: Actually, he got on the plane not knowing if he was going to play.

Q. Do you always play so many dropshots against Federer, or was tonight a special case, considering he came in with an injured leg?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: No, not too many like today. I was thinking that I need him to keep running, and that's why I do many dropshots.

Q. When did your mother arrive?


Q. She just came in for the semifinals?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: No, last week.

Q. She's been here the whole time?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: All week, yeah.

Q. Compared with Roger, this match, what do you think your advantage is? Is it because you controlled the rhythm of the match, or because of your backhands or because of your baseline play?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: No, well, everything. Against him, you need to play very good from everywhere. I think that I do it.

Q. Do you notice that your head-to-head record with Federer, you're 6-4 leading, the record will give more confidence for you to beat Federer next time?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, I said before, every time we play, the match is very close, is very tough. So I don't know what's gonna happen next match. I hope don't play this long, but is gonna be a tough either way. Doesn't matter who's leading in the history.

Q. Any regret not to have gone fishing, and will you go fishing next week?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: No, I am going fishing, don't worry. I will go.

THE MODERATOR: Caught a big fish today.

Q. I think at the start of this year, and certainly for much of this year, we've seen maybe five players at the very top of the game because they've won Grand Slams, you can reel them off. Do you feel you're part of that group? Do you feel you belong in the sort of company with Federer, Nadal, Hewitt, Safin?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, I always play good in the big tournaments. I was in quarters, semis, some finals. I always be there when the tournament -- Grand Slams or these kind of tournaments. I feel that I can be up there in any moment. So I need to play more -- not more tournaments, but give the tournaments the important as these ones.

Q. If someone said to you at the start of the year that you would win two five-set matches from two sets to love down against the --

DAVID NALBANDIAN: What is the other one?

Q. Against a British player at Wimbledon (laughter).

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry (laughing).

Q. And against the world No. 1 in the Masters Cup final, what would your reaction have been, if someone said to you you would do that?

DAVID NALBANDIAN: Well, reaction? It's incredible when you are two sets to down, it's really difficult to come back. Of course, it's different moments, different matches. I think in Wimbledon, the other guy makes little bit nervous or something, that he started cramping. So when we start playing the third set, that I knew if I would win the match, if I keep going, keep trying, he will be falls down faster than me for - experience, for everything. Today, of course it's much different, much, much important. Against Roger, you can't play bad if you want to win. Again, losing two sets to love and come back against him, incredible.

End of FastScripts….

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