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January 27, 2008

Tian Tian Sun

Nenad Zimonjic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your third Grand Slam mixes doubles, was it as tough as the other two?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Every finals, it's very difficult I have to say with the nerves and everything. I thought we started really well. I felt great in the beginning of the match. I don't think I missed one ball before maybe third or fourth game, which I think helped a little bit Tiantian because it was her first finals and it's great that we won it. First time that we played together actually.
I mention on the court there that, thanks to Sandon Stolle which was coaching them, and we're good friends. I ask him if he know somebody that would be interested to play, and he asked a couple of them, and then Tiantian responded that she would like to, and that's how it started.
So it was a lot of fun, you know, on the court. And I thought we played some really good matches. It was interesting tennis, and I think we both enjoyed it.

Q. What was the difference between the two pairs?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: In the finals?

Q. Yeah.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I thought we had a lot more chances. I thought we were serving a little bit better and putting non-stop pressure on them.
We didn't take all our chances. The second set I thought could have been much easier. Lack of concentration I have to say after we made the break in the first set at 3-1. I lost my serve that game. There was maybe letdown for us.
But other than that, I thought we played really good match. We helped each other, you know, a lot. And we didn't take those chances that we had in the second set, which were kind of like match points, when Mirza was serving 4-2, Love-40. There was four consecutive breakpoints. And then we had three match points on Mahesh's serve and then one on my serve and then finally we got the second one. It was getting really close.
But at the end I think we played better.

Q. Are you going to play more mixed doubles together?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: We just spoke like on the way here. Before we agreed to play here I spoke to Katarina Srebotnik, which I played a lot of mixed doubles with last couple of years. We said we're going to play French and US Open together, and for these two I was looking for somebody.
So we're pretty much sure that we're going to play Wimbledon together. We just have to see for the French because I promised Katarina. We have also pretty good score there. And depending on her because she also plays singles and doubles, depending how she feels. So we'll talk about this maybe during Miami or Indian Wells and just go from there.

Q. What do you think of Tiantian's performance today?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I thought it was very good. It's not easy. You can ask her, but it's never easy to play in the finals. You know, there are a lot of turnarounds in the match. You know, first we were up 3-1, then 4-3 down. Maybe you start to panic a little bit. Down 3-Love in the tiebreaker, which I think we managed to stay calm, positive, you know. We turned the match around there from Love-3 to 6-3 in the tiebreaker. And then we played made a break first game, and then it was a little bit easier I have to say.
But I thought she was very good at the net. She moves well. The more we play the more we understand each other. And then it's also difficult I think for the girl to play mixed doubles because the guy is moving a lot more and it's playing a little bit faster. So adjustment, it's more for them than for us. So better maybe ask her.

Q. In the five finals in the tournament, we have three Serbians in the finals. Can you tell us how proud you are.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I mean, it's really great. I have to say for me, it started like 2001 when I was in the semis here. And then we had two champions in juniors, which was Janko Tipsarevic and Jelena Jankovic. And then the second time it was 2004 when Ana Ivanovic made the finals of the juniors in singles. I was in the finals of men's doubles. And then Viktor Troiki, who lost here to Nadal, he was in the finals of doubles as well.
And then actually the last year then it all started, all changed at the French when Novak made semis and Ana made finals. I made also finals in doubles -- finals in mixed and semis in doubles. And Jelena made semis in singles.
From that he point on we had just amazing results at the big tournaments. For small country, Serbia, it's huge achievement. I'm sure a lot people are watching back home. Now tennis is getting very popular and we got a lot of support from back home from people, you know, sending regards and congratulations and all this.
So I have to say, I'm really proud to be part of this in a way. You know, they're all much younger than me. But also in the Davis Cup we had huge win against Australia at the end of last year. We played in front of 20,000 people three days. So it's really nice to see what's happening in Serbia with the tennis.

Q. Tiantian also told us that she played mixed doubles mainly for fun. Could you tell us when you missed two championship point and when you tried to serve for the match, how big the pressure you feel?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: It's never easy to serve for the championships. Doesn't matter what tournament it is, it's always a little pressure. And then if it's a Grand Slam finals, you know, you know you're there, it's very close. You want it so badly. So I have to tell you, it's not easy at all. I tried to stay calm, tried to go for my shots. I think we managed to do it at the end.

Q. Did you give her any of that experience, because this is her first Grand Slam final?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I was trying not to give too many informations to her, which I think is the most important thing. It's just to stay relaxed, try to enjoy, which is the most important thing. If you start thinking too much, if you're panicking a little bit, then it's not good. You cannot focus on the things you have to do.
So I tried to keep it very simple for her. My goal was to, myself, start very strong, you know, very consistent, so she has more opportunity to get into the match. I think I managed to do this.
That was I think the big key, because Mahesh is also very experienced. He won a lot of titles in mixed doubles. And I think that was the main thing what I was trying to do and just try to tell her to go for her shots and not to worry if she doesn't -- if she makes a mistake. That's what I tried to do.

Q. Tiantian, what do you think about Zimonjic?
TIANTIAN SUN: He is so good (laughter). He was so strong on court, so I can do my best on the court.

Q. You do better in mixed doubles than in men's doubles. Is that because women bring the best out of you than man?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Maybe. Maybe. You never know.
The thing is, I'm trying to stay as far as possible every Grand Slam. Last couple of years I managed to be always in the second week and always at the end of the tournament either in doubles or mixed doubles. Definitely the big goal for me is to win one of the Slams in doubles, in the men's doubles. So far made two finals, and in mixed now this is the third title. And besides this also two more finals, which I think it's pretty good.
But I would be more than happy to win at least one title in men's doubles. I have a good partner now. We are just starting the year. We didn't perform the best in our quarterfinals match. But I think there is a good future ahead of us and I'm looking forward for the rest of the season.
As well as being Olympic year, this is a really important year for me and for Serbia. And we have now tough Davis Cup match. So there is a lot of things happening, you know, this year.

Q. Will you be playing doubles at Beijing?
TIANTIAN SUN: Yeah, doubles. No mixed.

Q. Who with?

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