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June 29, 2009

Dudi Sela


6-2, 6-4, 6-1

Q. Did nerves play a part today, or do you think he was just playing very well?
DUDI SELA: Nerves did play a part. I think I started very nervous. Also I finished very nervous.
But he is much better player that all of the guys that I played until today.
I think I had a few chances here and there, but also I didn't play aggressive any chances, tried to make him make the mistake and not go for it.
You know, the weather, I had two days off, and I'm not used to that. Every Grand Slam he's in the second week, so it's a big advantage. He has a lot of experience, and hopefully next time will be a little bit better.

Q. Was losing the three breakpoints in the first set, was that quite devastating?
DUDI SELA: Not so much. I mean, it was 2-1, I think Love-40, I knew I definitely want to break him and hold my serve, so it's going to help me a lot.
But he was playing well. He was serving very tough. His second serve is very good, and I didn't expect for that. I had a tough time. I think the main reason that this match was one-sided is the serve. He was serving good. I didn't serve so good.
And the second serve, also. For me second serve I gave him a lot of easy balls, so he was dictating the points.

Q. There seemed to be quite a few shots of backhands to your body which you couldn't release?
DUDI SELA: Yeah, it's also from nervous, also. It's first time my second week. I had two days off. I didn't play as good as the last round. But also he's a much better player.

Q. Did the nerves play into -- there was quite a bit of support from the crowd. I think there's a lot of support in Israel right now. Tell me what kind of pressure you're feeling externally.
DUDI SELA: I didn't have any pressure from the crowd or from back home. But I had the pressure of second week, I didn't play for two days and didn't feel in the beginning so good, and he's taking the ball so early and my hand is a little bit tight.
I want to win, and playing short, so it was very tough for me to play my tennis and to play free and go for my shots. So I think -- he's a very good player. He's No. 4 in the world. It's not like playing a guy who's 400th in the world. It was very tough for me.

Q. Obviously disappointing today, but looking back on the tournament overall, how do you reflect on it? What positives do take from it?
DUDI SELA: I've got some confidence now for next week for Davis Cup. We play against Russia. It's even more important for me than Wimbledon.
My ranking is going to be much higher. I'm going to be sitting in two events that will help settle the first two rounds.
But I can play on grass. That's the main reason that -- last year I came here and I suffered. I thought on grass I have no chance, and now it's different. I have a lot of confidence that I can think of making some wins.

Q. I think your win this week will maybe take you to the top 30s in the rankings. You said earlier in the week you'd be happy to be in the top 50. Is that still the case?
DUDI SELA: I think I'm going to be 35, something like that. I have a few points to defend in August or September, and then Beijing after. So it's going to be good if I stay in the top 40 now that I make this unexpected result maybe.

Q. You surprised some people. Did you surprise yourself?
DUDI SELA: No, not at all. I think it was a good run for me. I played Schuettler and Robredo before and I beat them and they never beat me. And I felt very confident when I played against these two guys. In the first round I played the qualifier was not bad.
But I mean, my game is okay on grass. It's tough for me to play against the big servers, of course. But I think I learned a lot from this year, and next year hopefully I'm going to do well here.

Q. You had in the last two games some beautiful play at the net. What kept you away from it, his ability or your confidence?
DUDI SELA: The last match he's returning -- well, Robredo return not as much as aggressive as Djokovic, and his returning is one of the best in the world. I couldn't come in after my serve because every time is on my feet, and it was very tough for me to come in a lot.
Also he has a very good passing shot, so I have to hit a really deep and good shot on the corners to come in, and it was difficult for me.

Q. Can I ask you about the Davis Cup next week? First of all, are you confident that Israel can beat Russia?
DUDI SELA: Of course, I think in Israel with the crowd, there's going to be maybe 10,000 people screaming every point, and me and Harel Levy, I think, who is going to be the No. 2, he's playing a lot better this moment.
But of course they are favored, but I believe in our team. We're very, you know, very good friends also outside the court, and it's very important to be united. We're very united team, and I think we have a chance.

Q. I'm guessing your run here has excited people back home in Israel.
DUDI SELA: I hope so. I hope some more people is going to buy some tickets because one month ago maybe 6,000 tickets were sold, so I hope some people watch the last few days on TV the tennis and they're going to come to the Davis Cup next week.

Q. You came in from a very far spot let's say two years ago, three years ago. What did you feel today, Novak Djokovic, round 4 in Wimbledon?
DUDI SELA: I felt like I can win this match. He is No. 4 in the world and it's 4th round, which is unbelievable for me. But I wanted to win this match. I believed that I could win this match.
But unfortunately he played much better today, and he's a very good player and I was nervous and many factors came in.
But hopefully I'm going to have another chance to be in the second week and do better.

Q. There were lots of flags and chanting. Did that help, hinder?
DUDI SELA: Well, I like when there is a lot of chaos going on on the court. It reminds me of Israel. I'm playing much better when it's like that. It didn't affect me in a bad way.

Q. Were you disappointed not to be on one of the main show courts during the competition?
DUDI SELA: No. To tell you the truth, I wanted to play on Court 3. I won there, and it's a nice court, I think. I was happy not to be in the Centre Court, but it didn't help me too much.

Q. Did you hear from the prime minister of Israel or anyone high up during the competition?

Q. What did Djokov say to you after the game?
DUDI SELA: Nothing, good work, and that's it.

Q. I know you know he has a few Israeli people on his staff. Do you think they gave away your secrets?
DUDI SELA: Maybe. I hope not (smiling).

End of FastScripts

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