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September 6, 2008

Novak Djokovic


R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was Roger just too good today, especially that first set?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, he was playing good. I think he deserved to win, absolutely. I was just a little disappointed from my side that I wasn't able, physically I wasn't able enough to give him a challenge.
I think I played well that second set, and, you know, was on serve in that third one. Then I was just unlucky to lose that third set and then more or less routine in the fourth for him.
Overall, you know, it's been a very exhausting tournament mentally and physically for me, so I'm happy that I got to the semi.

Q. Is that the main issue, exhaustion physically, or were there other...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, that's one of the main issues probably today. I knew that I have to really be 100% fit to win against the player who won four times here. So if you're not able to hold on then you're not able to win.

Q. Could you just elaborate a little bit on when you said that it's been an exhausting tournament mentally.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I've said what I needed to say in the last press conference.

Q. Was there something specific physically today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, if you finish, you know, a couple of matches 1:00 in the morning and then you go to sleep 4:00 in the morning, and then two days afterwards you got to play at 11:00 or 12:00.
It's not really the best thing you want to have for yourself, but what could I do? I had bad luck.

Q. The crowd was certainly in Roger's favor today. In retrospect, do you regret saying the things you did the other night?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I think they were pretty fair. I think they were pretty fair. It was obvious that they are on his side because he's ex No. 1 and still the second best player in the world and he's defending champ here four times and people love him. He deserves that support.

Q. They were even cheering when you had unforced errors. There were times they were cheering in the middle of your serve. Did that rattle you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not so much.

Q. Was his serve particularly good today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, in the important moments he served it out really well. There were a couple of games in that third set, as well, when I was, you know, pretty close, 30-All, Love-30, you know, deuce.
Every time, you know, I got -- I didn't -- he didn't give me a chance because he really served well, so I wasn't able to get in the point.

Q. How much of a battle was it between your ears today? How frustrating was it knowing you didn't have probably everything you'd like to have and the whole general situation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: This is life, you know. Not always everything comes in your favor. You have to deal with it in the best possible way. I tried to focus myself and get all the strength that is left, you know, for me.
But, you know, I knew that this third set was really crucial. If it went my way, you know, I could have the bigger chance to get the victory, but unfortunately didn't.

Q. Having played Roger in three of the last five slams, how would you compare his level during those matches from last year's Open through Australia to here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, he's been very dominant in the last four years. He's been the best player in the world. This year you have to give credit to Rafa, because he was -- he's playing the best season, best year so far, and he's been winning so many matches. I mean, it's incredible what he does. All around, all the surfaces.
But Roger is still there, you know. And even though people are talking about him not playing so well this year, he's still very consistent, you know. All Grand Slams he was semis, finals, you know, semis at minimum.
So I think today he played pretty well, even though throughout this tournament he had some difficulties. But that's his strength, you know. Whenever he needs to play well, he plays his best.

Q. But do you look at him the same way today than you did a year ago when you faced him here in the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm always trying to win whoever I play against, so I didn't really pay attention to his game or whatever he does. I'm just trying to get myself together and try to win.

Q. If you could change one thing about this year's US Open, what would it be?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know. Just -- I'm not looking at the things that have passed already. I'm just looking at the future.

Q. Overall, how would you assess yourself...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm satisfied. I've said already. I'm happy to be in the semi.

Q. About the summer as a whole with the silver medal.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, of course, summer in general is great. I mean, okay. I haven't won the title on the hardcourts, but I've been pretty consistent with the results.
I had lost against the great players, so I think -- I think I still need to improve something in my game, but still there is a lot of time.

Q. How do you need to improve? What are the things you'd be working on?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, physically, obviously, some things, and, you know, some elements in my game. I'll try to be more aggressive, you know, get more to the net and use the opportunities that have been given to me.
So I think this is one of the things that is quite important, variety in the game. And like that, I think I can be even a better player.

Q. You didn't do very well at all last fall. I know it's hard to think ahead right away now, but are you sort of looking forward to the fall to be able to make a good move?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I am. I am, certainly. This year has been different. I've been doing really well in clay court season, as well, which is very encouraging. Indoor season, like you said, wasn't really great for me. I had some difficulties, you know, on these indoor events. I haven't won any match in Shanghai.
So really look forward especially to Shanghai this year and win some matches.

Q. As someone who made your first Grand Slam final here last year, what advice would you give Jelena as she plays Serena?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Win. (laughter.)
I mean, she knows best. I don't need to give her any advice. She's very, very -- you know, very good player, complete. For women's tennis she's, you know, at the top, one of the two, three best players in the world now, and she's been very consistent.
I think she's going to be very motivated to win her first set Grand Slam title.

Q. Each Grand Slam is different and presents its own unique challenges. What would you say is the most difficult one for this tournament, having gone to the final last year and now the semifinal?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, every tournament is a challenge. You know, but being in the Grand Slams is a pleasure for everybody just taking part in such a great event. Being a part of the finals last year, for me, this year was a challenge to get there.
I played well, you know. I had ups and downs throughout the tournament. As I said, the schedule was not the best for me. But overall, I'm happy. You know, semifinal, being one of the four best players in such a strong tournament is a good achievement, even though I lost a round before last year.

Q. What did you learn about yourself this tournament and about New York fans?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I just want to forget some things, you know, as soon as possible. I always remember this tournament in the best possible way, so I don't want to take the bad memories out of it and just turn the next page and try to do better next year.

End of FastScripts

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