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November 24, 2010

Nenad Zimonjic


7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was the difference between the two teams today?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I think it was very close match. Both Mahesh and Max and us, we were serving really good, playing well on our serves. It was very difficult to get any chances to break.
We had one breakpoint, one deciding point, I think in the first set. In the second, they had one. But both teams made first serves. Return was missed. There was not really a big chance to break anybody's serve.
And then I thought we returned better in the tiebreaker, both tiebreakers actually. I think it was 3-All, first set, I made one really good forehand return winner. Then Daniel made it on the set point. Maybe it was 4-All, sorry. Then Daniel made it on the set point.
Then the same thing happened in the second set where we made some aggressive returns. That caused the mistake.

Q. When Mahesh received treatment, did you change your tactics?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Not really. I mean, I didn't see any big change in the way he was playing. He was serving quite good. I thought he was taking a lot of chances with his second serves, where he was making them on the big points.
I thought they played really, really well.

Q. Has it been difficult at all this week concentrating on this week with the Davis Cup final coming up?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: No, not really. I mean, this is the tournament that everybody looks forward to coming here and playing. It's a great city, great arena. Spectators are amazing, as well.
It's really honor for everybody to come here. So if you don't find motivation to play here, I don't know where you will.
But then again, it's very good preparation for myself. Every match that we win here, it's confidence boost for Davis Cup, which is very important. I'm really happy the way I've been playing last couple of weeks. My form is definitely going up.
It is going to be completely different match in the Davis Cup because I don't have Daniel next to me. But it's important that I'm playing good tennis. That way I can help my team more.

Q. Have you been in Serbia at all in recent weeks?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Just before coming here.

Q. And what is it like there? Is everyone talking about Davis Cup?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Everybody was talking about it. Normally when the Davis Cup comes, it's just two, three days, four days before people start calling, asking for tickets. Now it started like three, four weeks before. Everybody was afraid not to get the tickets. Excitement is there. Everybody's talking about it. We are very excited to be in the finals.
It's probably the biggest sports event that we had in Serbia I think in the history of new Serbian country.

Q. What would it mean to the country if you were to win it?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: It would mean a lot to everybody: to the players, to the Federation, to people there, to say we are world champions. Maybe not all of them knew what is Davis Cup. Now I believe they know that it's like a World Championships in tennis.
We had some great wins. We are undefeated in that arena. So hopefully it stays that way. It's definitely going to be the biggest result in tennis history for Serbian tennis and for all of us because this year, as you know, it was the first time that we won first round, first time to be in the semis, first time to be in the finals. So everything is bonus.
Really looking forward to it.

Q. I know it's not a simple question, but Serbia is a small country, and yet you produce many outstanding sports people across a whole range of sports. Why is that, do you think?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I don't know, to be honest. I believe we are talented country for pretty much everything. It's all about competition, proving that you're better maybe than the others, even though you know they have bigger country, they have better facilities, better training conditions, and all this, maybe more support.
You try to prove everybody wrong, if I can say it, try to make most out of it. It's maybe the way of also representing the country, what we've been trying to do last couple of years. Especially when it started with sanctions, with embargo. It was a lot of bad press with Serbian people. I believe that athletes are helping to bring something nice about our people.

Q. How confident are you that you can win the Davis Cup?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I mean, we are very confident. We have a strong team. We have a team that can play any country. Doesn't matter if we play away or at home, doesn't matter what surface. I believe we're very strong on each conditions that we are put to play.
Especially playing at home, with the support that we'll get, I hope that it's going to be full capacity from the first point on, which is very important. I really believe we have a good chance to win.

Q. Must be a big bonus having a player like Novak to lead the team, as well.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Definitely, it's a big bonus. But, again, you have to count the other players, too. It's not the situation like maybe in the past, what you had that one player like I would say Kafelnikov, for example, that was playing all three days, was winning all three matches.
Here Novak was definitely doing a big part, being undefeated this year. But then the other guys stepped up when we needed it. It was Viktor in the match against the States. First day was a big win against John Isner. I thought doubles was very important against Croatia second day after being 1-All. Then Janko came up with the two huge wins.
I believe it's the whole team. Definitely it's a huge bonus to have a player like Novak that can play anybody on any surface and have a chance to win.
Now that I'm talking, the only country was Spain in Spain. You don't have a lot of chances to win because they have unbelievable team and you're going to be playing on clay.
But next time when we play them, it's going to be at home, probably on something fast. Looking forward to that match, if it comes as a rematch.

End of FastScripts

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