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July 27, 2008

Daniel Nestor

Nenad Zimonjic


6-2, 4-6, 10-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's been eight years, I think, since your last victory here in Toronto. How well do you feel today, and maybe what can you account for the gap between your last championship?
DANIEL NESTOR: I've had some close calls. I think I made the final in 2002 and lost to the Bryans. For whatever reason, yeah, haven't been back in the final.
Bu it's great to be back in the winners circle today. We played an unbelievable first set. Those guys started making some jokes about how well we were playing on the changeover, and that kind of changed the match.
Kind of funny how they were being nice at the changeover and maybe at the same time they are trying to talk us out of the match. Who knows.
It wasn't looking great at 6-3 in the tiebreaker, but we turned it around and won seven straight points. Nenad played some unbelievable points in the tiebreaker to keep us in there, and we then served well too when we got ahead.

Q. I wonder if you can tell us a little bit about this streak that you're on, how you came together as a pair, and what is it about your relative strengths thanks makes you such a formidable pairing?
DANIEL NESTOR: Well, we decided to come together last year during the season. We both weren't, you know, ecstatic with our partnerships at the present time. It was kind of a big change because we decided to do it halfway through the year. Obviously some people, our other partners, weren't too happy about that. That's something we had to live with.
We started playing at the end of last year and had some good results. This year started a little slow and pretty inconsistent for the first three months. The one thing that we did the whole time was get out there and do the practice and the hard work in the gym. We didn't get negative. We stayed patient.
Everything turned around in Rome. We won a few matches in a row and then lost in the final to the Bryans in a tough match. Won Hamburg and made the final of the French and started rolling. Played really well after that.

Q. What are your strengths with each other?
DANIEL NESTOR: He's got one of the biggest serves in singles or doubles. I serve pretty well, too. He's returning great. We both return well. You know, I think we pretty much do everything pretty well, which is nice.
You know, one thing we've done is get more consistent. I think that was our biggest drawback in the first few months of the year. We were missing too many shots and making stupid errors.
We're not doing that anymore. We're playing consistent tennis and putting a lot balls in play and we're serving a high percentage of first serves. We're taking over the net. I think we're really making it tough on our opponents when we serve. They don't know which direction we're going, and we're hitting big serves.
I think we're playing consistent overall.

Q. Do you feel as good as you've ever felt playing tennis right now?
DANIEL NESTOR: Yeah. It's funny, Louis Cayer's wife, I don't know if you remember him. He's working for the British Federation. She told me I that I've really improved. I just think I go through ups and downs.
I'm just playing great right now, and obviously a lot has to do with playing with Nenad. He's a great player. He's on his way to being No. 1. If we keep up our pace he'll be No. 1 at the end of the year, so it's exciting for him.

Q. Nenad, talk about what it's like playing with Daniel. When you're looking for a doubles partner not too many better than him to find.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: That's for sure. If you ask most of the doubles guys who's one of the worst guys to play against, it's definitely Danny. Very unpredictable, tough serve to return.
In the past, I had only two partners that were serving really big, and that was Arthurs and MacPhie. But that was just for a couple of months.
The difference is Danny is somebody that you can rely on, and that's, I think, the reason why we are doing well, really well, at the most important times in the match.
You know, when it's -- when you have to kind of play your best, you know, Danny is next to me or he knows that I'm there. He doesn't have to worry about me, if I'm going to make it or not. It's the same.
That's something that helped me, you know, play this way I'm playing now and to give us all these great results.
Sometimes, you know, he's going to take over and sometimes I'm going to take over. But our level now, it's pretty high because not just that it's the big first serve that we've got, Garros it's a great second serve with a lot of variety. He's lefty and I'm righty. A lot of different spins coming at the guys.
Then it's a lot of fun to play this way. Obviously you cannot win all the time, but it's great to play these matches in front of the big crowds and against a team like the Bryans. Now, head-to-head with them we are 2-All in the matches, and every time we play them it was in the finals.
So really looking forward to the next tournaments, and hopefully we can continue to keep this level.

Q. Nenad, I'm guessing this is the most fun you've ever had playing in Canada. What's the crowd support being like? Have you been and maybe feeling like an adopted Canadian for a week?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Thanks to Danny. Hopefully they'll say also my name there, not just, Let's go Team Nestor. Maybe next year they will say let's go whatever, you know.
But it's really nice for me. This part of the season was always kind of coming through tough times. I never did really well here or in Montreal or Cincinnati. My best result was quarterfinals at both tournaments, so it was really nice to play all our matches on the center court. The crowd was behind us and a great atmosphere.
There are also some Serbian fans coming and supporting, so it was really a lot of fun. Especially today, I have to say from the beginning, you know, I wasn't -- from the beginning of the week I wasn't really returning well. I had some trouble with my hand, and Danny was the one that was very consistent.
I was trying to help him as much as I could, but today I felt like the level of our tennis went a little bit higher, which we had to do against the Bryans.
We played, like Danny said, perfect first set, and then a lot of turnaround in the second. And also in the super tiebreaker it was a lot of excitement, so we're really happy.
First title in this part of the world to say like at the Masters Series. I won so far just in -- on clay, and this is the first title for me on hard courts in my career.

Q. Nenad, is the wrist fracture affecting you at all in practice or during the match?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: It's getting better. It's still -- I try to compensate and maybe try to do a little bit too much with my right side, and then I'm not as relaxed as I want to be. Maybe that's why my body after the matches or practice it's more tight, especially on the right side.
But it's getting really better. I had a lot of help from the medical staff, especially from Clay, our trainer, ATP trainer. I have to say I'm looking forward, you know, to the next week to try to see this bone scan or MRI, whatever they tell me to do to make sure the healing process is going well.
It should be another week if everything goes all right, and then slowly I can start practicing and everything will be okay.
But if we play the way we've been playing... So maybe I'll just keep it, you know.

Q. I just wanted to tell you that there was a big Serbian community that did support, and you we're happy for both of you that you have won this title. What do you plan to do for the future to continue this victorious streak? Just keep on playing the way you are? Is your arm going to be fine? What are your plans?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Obviously it's better to play without this, then I don't have to think too much if I'm going fall or how I'm going to change the grip or some reaction. Doubles it's also sometimes dangerous to play. They're a lot of reflexes there. Maybe somebody can hit you accidentally.
The main thing is that even -- eventually we're going to lose one match here and there, but what I would like to do is to have a certain level that we don't go below. That whoever is playing against us feels a lot of pressure and that they have to play their best to win the match. That's the main thing.
And then obviously our goal is to win as many big tournaments as we can. Next one is Cincinnati. After the Olympics it's going to be US Open, our second biggest goal now.
Then it's going to come to the last couple of tournaments. Maybe in Shanghai it's going to be, you know, the tournament that's going to decide who's going to end No. 1 in the race. We're in the good position now and playing really well. Looking forward for the rest of the season.

Q. With the Olympics coming up in a couple weeks, how do you guys feel with having to change partners? We know you can't play together. How do you feel about your respective partners with Djokovic and Niemeyer?
DANIEL NESTOR: For me, Freddy and I have always played well in Davis Cup. Obviously Freddy's -- Nenad is a different level than Freddy is, but, you know, he's a dangerous player. He's got a huge serve and he's very aggressive. We're the kind of team that can maybe beat anyone in the draw, but on the other side we can probably lose to anyone in the draw too, on a bad day.
I think there are a lot of teams like that in the event where there's new partnerships. Maybe two singles guys playing together, or like Nenad, a top doubles player and a top singles player playing together.
I think it's going to be an interesting event. I think depending on the draw, how you're seeded or placed in the draw is going to be important, too. Obviously the Bryans are the favorites going in. There are some other good teams.
The Indian team have won a lot together. The Israelis. I think they're probably more favored than we are, but we think we can make some noise with the right draw. If we get a couple wins under our belt we should be okay.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: It's going to be really tough. Like Danny said, the tournament is going to be maybe one of the strongest ever. You have all the guys that won medals in the last Olympics. González/Massu and also Kiefer and Schuettler and Ancic/Ljubicic. And then besides them, there are a lot of teams like Federer/Wawrinka, Nadal/Robredo besides Bryans, Israelis, Clement/ Llodra.
Like Danny said, it's going to be very important to go through the first match. Novak and me, we played seven matches in total. We are 5-2 up so far. Last two Davis Cup ties we won. We played really well together.
He is also trying to make it in singles, you know, trying to win one of the medals. It's going to be really exciting. This time going to the Olympics after 2000, you know, I feel like we have a chance if we play good. If we have a good draw that we can go pretty far in the tournament.
That's something that I'm really excited about. To be among the best athletes in the world, for me it's just amazing feeling.

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