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March 20, 2008

Daniel Nestor

Nenad Zimonjic


Q. How did it go today?
DANIEL NESTOR: You know, we did a good job of serving after a quick start by the other guys. Maybe it wasn't our best start, but a huge game to break back to make it 5-All, and then we got on a roll and started playing as we did all week: As a team and intense.
I think we won 10 out of 12 games and we started rolling pretty much.

Q. You have a past history of finals here. How do you feel about your chances now?
DANIEL NESTOR: Well, the way we're playing, we're playing as a team, and it's something we haven't done for most of our relationship. I think our biggest problem was playing like two individuals and, you know, the chemistry is there now.
I think we're feeding off each other, both mentally and, you know, with our games. I think when we're playing like this and, you know, really flowing, things are flowing, I think we can beat anyone on any given day, and I think there's no reason why we can't win tomorrow.

Q. You feel like you're pretty much the favorites? No Bryans, anybody that's really huge. Is it same ol' same ol'.
DANIEL NESTOR: I think the Israelis are probably the hottest team on tour. I think they're very deserving of where they are. And if they win, it's probably playing the best team right now. The other team is also coming on. They won Del Rey and, you know, like us, probably struggling a little bit, new team, new partnership.
Now they're coming together, and I think they're dangerous, too. Either way it's going to be tough, as always.

Q. Do you see this as the year Wimbledon and the No. 1, you can get it back, No. 1 ranking?
DANIEL NESTOR: Well, yeah, the goal is to win as many Grand Slams as we can. You know, Wimbledon's my first choice, but I'll take any of them. And No. 1, that comes with winning big tournaments.
I think right now we're happy we're playing well. We were struggling a little bit, but, you know, now we're feeling good about our partnership and the decision we made. You know, I think as long as we're playing well and playing a certain way and being aggressive, I think everything will come together.

Q. Nenad, do you have a thing for older men?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: First of all, this is one of his favorite tournaments. The results are saying all. He won it four times with Mark. It's like he said, we started the year with big expectations, you know. We maybe pushed a little too much, and then trying to find a way to combine our games and to play as a team, which we succeeded here. And further we progress in the tournament the more better we are playing.
And just looking forward to any match, any other match or any opponent really. If we played the way we've been playing, I'm pretty confident against really anybody.
The main thing is to continue with this and hard work will always pay off.

Q. What are the things that are better now than, say, a couple months ago?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Obviously the results, and then also how we both feel on the court, you know. I think we are very powerful players. We can dominate, you know, in the matches. Obviously it's not easy against very good teams.
But we manage to play really on the high level last few matches, and looking forward to our first finals this year.

Q. It's great to see you guys playing together. It's nice to see doubles played as it should be played, and it's very good that they didn't drive it off the circuit.
DANIEL NESTOR: We're very grateful, too.

Q. Maybe this has been asked. Did you like the no-ad scoring?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: It was actually the change. We've been looking for a change together, you know, players, the ATP, and then we test everything, but not this scoring. And then at the end they decided to go with this one. Players, obviously some of them didn't like it.
There are some good things about it, some bad things. Nobody really ask players after a while, after maybe a year of playing. This is already two years now that we're playing this way, and nobody really asked if players -- if we like it or not. Should we change something else? Should we go maybe three sets no-ad or maybe two regular sets with super tiebreaker? Maybe try to find the solution.
Because the main goal was to play this way so we know how long the matches are going to be so we can be more on the center court more, the matches before the singles, and maybe to get a chance to be more on TV. I personally I don't see us more on TV that much.
Maybe there's, you know, solution of, you know, filming some of the matches or showing the highlights, you know, after the tournaments. And then also maybe like a suggestion for all the tournaments that we play, ATP tournaments is for the local websites, you know, of the tournament itself.
It's very difficult to find anything about the doubles, first of all, anything about the players. There are very few pictures. Results are not really updated. You know, even now if you go to the Pacific -- I mean, of this tournament, if you go -- I just went on the website. There's nothing really about doubles. So there are just few pictures.
So that's where we have to start I think with giving more information, you know, about the players, about the results, you know, maybe showing couple of highlights, you know, right before the match, maybe on the video screen.

Q. Sure, that's a good idea.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Or maybe just showing on the TV when they're showing singles to say who won the doubles, who is in the finals, maybe show a couple of good points. Maybe that would be a good start so we can promote more doubles and maybe then get a chance to be more on TV, which happens obviously in the Grand Slam tournaments in the semis or finals or even in mixed doubles.
I'm sure here I have to say it's great to play doubles, because there's a lot of people watching. They enjoy it, and it's great atmosphere. Every Masters we play we have a lot of fun.

Q. The commentators are at fault. They act as if the tournament is just singles. They never bring up the fact that there are doubles finals later going to be, things like that. To the original question, do you like no-ad or do you just put up with it because you have to?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Again, my opinion is that it's more exciting, but again it's more stressful.

Q. Yeah.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: And then combination of these two things, you know, having no-ad and then super tiebreak can be little bit too much.
But then again, I think the best players will always be on the top, you know, no matter what scoring you use. Maybe the difference, where I see it, is if you play against some team 10 matches with the normal scoring, you might lose one or two.
With this scoring you might lose three or four matches, because there's maybe more luck involved here. So that's how I see it, but then everybody has their own opinion.

Q. But the man who invented it wanted players to be stressed. He's also the same guy who invented the tiebreak, Jimmy Van Allen.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: No, it's great.

Q. I thought the more pressure on the players, the better.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: No, no, this is no question.
DANIEL NESTOR: Why don't they do that in singles, then, too?

Q. He thought so, and for a while American colleges did. I don't know why they stopped.
DANIEL NESTOR: I think singles should have no-ad scoring. I think it would make it more exciting. I think the fans would appreciate. A lot of the singles matches carry on. You know, a lot of great athletes. I think the popularity would go up and up with no-ad scoring. Not necessarily a super tiebreak. I think both singles and doubles with two out of three sets and no-ad scoring is very fair. And Grand Slams especially, three out of five sets.

Q. The Serbians are going through such a wonderful period with four of you in the top 10. You never get mentioned as one of the top 10, but nevertheless, those two girls and Novak left Serbia to train. Did you leave to train during the war?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Yeah, same thing happened to me. You know, maybe I was even in the worst situation of all of them, because when I was junior I couldn't really, you know, come to the tournaments. Either I didn't get the visa or we didn't get permission to play. We had embargo sanctions at the time.
So even when I was top junior in Europe, like I got invited to play in France as a top 60 in juniors, and then I didn't get the visa for European championships. Again, I didn't get the visa. Tournaments in Italy, I couldn't play.
And then, it was a big struggle. The airport was closed, you have to drive to Budapest, which was six hours, you know, by car. Basically, every trip within Europe it was 12 hours or more, and to the States it was over 24 hours.
Then it was difficult, obviously, to get a sponsor when people are surviving and, you know, it was tough. The huge help that I had, it was from Robert Seguso, former Davis Cup player. You know, he helped me a lot in my career when I was 18, 19.
I used to play only on clay, because we have no hardcourts back home. So I was learning basically to move and to play hardcourt tennis when I was 18, 19, which was pretty late. Thanks to him, kind of opened my horizon, you know, in the vision, how to play, you know, better tennis. We're still friends, you know. He still helps me. We were practicing at the IMG Academy in Bollettieri's. End of last year he was there, as well.
So it wasn't easy, definitely, and I also trained everywhere else, you know, but not in Serbia. There was nobody there, first of all, no players. And then again with the facilities was very difficult.

Q. So you went where, to what country? France?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I was in -- practicing in Florida there in Boca, and I was practicing a little bit in Holland. Then in Austria I put two years, different places, everywhere but home.

Q. In Canada, you're household name among tennis fans.
DANIEL NESTOR: I thought it was amongst all people (laughter.)

Q. I think it goes back to the days when you played with Grant McConnell. Down here there's a lot of snowbirds. Do you hear from the Canadians or sense there are Canadians in the crowd?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Yeah, I hear. I always get support here more than most places. I hear, Go Canada a lot. I hear a lot of western Canadians vacation in this area. People from the East Coast spend a lot of time in Florida. A lot of people from Calgary. We played our last four or five Davis Cups at home in Calgary. A lot of people watched us play there. This tournament too, so it's pretty nice to be here.

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