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April 19, 2009

Novak Djokovic


R. NADAL/N. Djokovic
6-3, 2-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You made a superb effort to break back in the third set, and after that you scored only three points.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I would look on the brighter side: I think I've played a very good match - actually one of the best I have played against him on this surface.
It's really unfortunate that in the certain moments I didn't play the way I was supposed to play, with a little bit more patience. I went for too much. I went for too much shots. He was just right there.
He used his strength and his experience playing in the big matches and just waited wisely for his chances, then he used them.

Q. How difficult is it? It seems like it's almost impossible to know when to be aggressive or when to stay back. Is that the real challenge?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it is a challenge, I think. Just playing against Rafa on this surface is challenge by itself. And then you have to figure out the way that you can actually, you know, get the right tactic so you can win against him on this surface.
As I said yesterday night, I really believed that I can, you know, I can really get a close match and might win in our encounter, because I have played a lot of good matches against him and I know the way he's playing. I know that he's been very dominant on this surface. The strength and mental ability of course is his advantage on the clay courts.
But, again, you know, I needed to step it up. That's what I did. And it was a very impressive second set. And then that probably breakpoint in the first game when he got incredible dropshot and he made a winner, the other angle was just incredible. I think that's what kind of lifted him up, and I probably didn't participate that much anymore.

Q. Can we say it was a little bit similar to the match in Hamburg?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yes, yes, we can say that. But here I felt that I have more chance because the conditions are faster than Hamburg. Hamburg was quite slow. But here the ball was going really fast, and it was all suitable for my game against him.
It was just unfortunate, again, to miss some opportunities in the start of the third set because if I was break up, then things would probably look different.

Q. Does this performance give you hope in terms of Rafa on clay?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, for sure. I mean, I have played couple of great matches. Even at Roland Garros I have played some close sets. So it certainly gives me a lot of confidence playing against him. Hopefully I can have another chance this season.

Q. What was the problem with the back?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's probably because of the serve, and I just made some quick move. The muscle got tight, really tight. After, I was really okay after the medical timeout.

Q. If it is so tough to win one set off of Nadal, how difficult is it to win possibly two or three?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We are coming back again to the story of believing in yourself. I think there is where the key of playing him. You just have to be focused every single point because you have a player on the other side of the net that doesn't really give you any points. I mean, you could see him on 5-1 in the third set, he played like it's 5-All. He really doesn't care about the result. He just wants to give his best every single point. That's why he's very unique and that's why he's the best now.
So you probably will have to be physically really fit in the first place, because long rallies and long points are waiting for you. That's no secret.

End of FastScripts

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