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November 28, 2010

Daniel Nestor

Nenad Zimonjic


7-6, 6-4


Q. Can you sum up what it means to go out like this with a big win.
DANIEL NESTOR: Do you want to start?
It's the best way that you can look if you want to end the season, and anything. I mean, to win it, it's always a great thing, especially the event like this where we didn't play that good last year. Now we are two out of three at this event.
For Daniel, it's second time. He did this with Mark Knowles when he was splitting up, so maybe he should split up more often. Who knows.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to upcoming Davis Cup match which is very important for me. This is just a big confidence boost for me.
DANIEL NESTOR: Same question?

Q. Having any second thoughts?
DANIEL NESTOR: Yeah, it always runs through your head. The decision was more Nenad. Obviously, I adapted and immediately contacted someone who I thought I could do well with. That's all in the past now.
Like he said, we finished great. It's a great partnership. We won three slams, two Masters, a lot of individual Masters tournaments throughout the years, a lot of tournaments. Pretty good record in finals, too. Most successful partnership I've had. I did very well with Mark Knowles, but that was more spread out over years. I mean, this is three years of winning a lot. Very solid play.
You know, obviously too bad that we're not continuing. But at the same time, you know, we had a great run.

Q. Daniel, Nenad goes off to join three top 50 players from his own country in the Davis Cup final, you're still flying a lone flag for Canada. Does it get tough after a while, just being the sole representative from a country with a reasonable tennis tradition?
DANIEL NESTOR: It's tough. That's one thing I've always wanted to do better in, is Davis Cup. That's one of the reasons why I've played for so many years, continued to play.
But, you know, for whatever reason, we have other attractive sports in Canada for kids. We don't have enough kids playing. The weather obviously doesn't help either.
But in answer to your question, yeah, it is a little bit frustrating. I'm sure we should have definitely more top singles and doubles players, definitely singles.
But we have some good players coming up, Milos Raonic, big kid. He's close to top hundred. I think he's like 150. He's got a big game. For sure you're going to be hearing about him in the near future. Guys like Polansky had solid results, beat Melzer at the Canada Open, good wins throughout the summer.
I think our best player is Dancevic, but he's always got injuries to deal with, which is unfortunate. He's a great player, just been a little bit unlucky with injuries over the years.
Like you said, it's frustrating. I wish we could have done better in Davis Cup. We have had some great wins at home. The problem is we don't win that much on the road on clay.
We'll see how it goes this year. We have an opportunity to get to the round of qualifying for the main draw of the Davis Cup.

Q. He hasn't persuaded you to go to Belgrade next week to support him?
DANIEL NESTOR: No. I've supported him enough for three years. It's finished right now. I wish him all the best (smiling). Try and catch the score in between football games, ice hockey, spending time with the family, all that stuff. Maybe I'll check the score every now and again.

Q. Can you talk about the match today, what pleased you about your performance?
DANIEL NESTOR: Just overcoming a really hot team, a team playing really well, just hanging with them. Just playing well at the right times. I think there were a lot of, you know, tough points there in the first set, and even in the second. We played well on those big points. We both served well when we had to.
It's nice to beat a team when they're playing at the top of their game, like we were. Two teams that are confident coming into a good match, it's good tennis. It's nice to be able to win a match like that.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I thought today to begin the match, I thought Mahesh was playing really unbelievable with returns and some volleys that he's been hitting. It was very similar match what we had in the round robin, very close, not too many chances on each other's serves. We were, I have to say, lucky to win the first set in the tiebreaker.
After that, I thought we felt more comfortable and we start - especially me - start making some returns. I was struggling in the first set. Daniel was playing pretty good. He was carrying us. And then after that, I thought we used the chance that we had and closed it out.

Q. You mentioned three slams, two Masters titles. Which are your dearest memories of the partnership? Was it the Wimbledon title?
DANIEL NESTOR: Yeah, sure. Any of the slams are special. I think anytime you win a Grand Slam, it's an amazing achievement. Those are the toughest tournaments to win on our tour. We won three in three years. I think when looking back, those three are the highlights, and then the year-end championships are a close second.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: Definitely those. I mean, I'm glad I helped Daniel to win the titles that he didn't in the past, which were very few. Wimbledon was one of them. Trying to catch him now, you know. He's far ahead. 71 titles. We won a lot of Masters Series, which is also I think a very big result considering that a lot of singles guys are playing those events.
I would say like what he said. For me the biggest one probably, the biggest moment, was finishing No. 1 in the world playing a match against the Bryans in Shanghai. That was probably the nicest feeling, because all of them, they had this experience in the past to be No. 1. For me, that was the first time that it happened. Always when it's first, it's nice. Especially Wimbledon, as well. I have to say with the circumstances what happened.

Q. Daniel, the end of this partnership, you were talking about the level of tennis in Canada, its popularity and so forth. Will you miss some of the arguably bigger coverage and exposure you had in the media because of your connection with Serbia?
DANIEL NESTOR: That was a nice addition to playing with Nenad, was always having the Serbian support. They're great in supporting around the world, in the most obscure places. They always seem to be vocal, which is nice, for sure.
For me, I mean, I've never been one to really worry about having people cheering for me. I think I actually play better when people cheer against me. Some of my best Davis Cup wins are on the road, stuff like that.
But, yeah, for sure. Nenad was one of the few players on tour that has, you know, a lot of friends at a lot of tournaments. That was definitely nice to be part of.

Q. Did you learn any Serbian?
DANIEL NESTOR: He taught me all the bad words (smiling).

Q. Are we going to get any?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: He's getting creative. He's making his own kind of translation. It's very interesting. I've learned some from him actually (smiling).
DANIEL NESTOR: It's all right. My wife is actually fluent, too. We're trying to teach our daughter. Not me, but grandparents and wife are trying to teach her.
Yeah, definitely my Serbian has improved over the last couple years.

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