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April 21, 2012

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/T. Berdych
4‑6, 6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Novak, please.

Q.  It couldn't have been easy out there, for a lot of reasons.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's probably one of the most difficult conditions that I played on in my career, really.  It was not just the strength of the wind that was blowing, it was the changing of the direction.  You couldn't really predict where the ball is going to come, from where it's going to come.
Yeah, it was really tough.  But in the end I managed to hold my nerves and play well in the third.

Q.  Was the key moment the beginning of the second set, because you were pretty nervous after the first set, and you were able to get a break immediately?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.  I mean, the first game I saved break ball.  After that I kind of tried to encourage myself and be positive on the court.  There was a change of momentum I think when I made a break.  Then I felt more comfortable on the court, more confident hitting the ball, other than just defending.
That was the turning point probably.

Q.  He said he had five breakpoints and you had one.  He said it could have been 2‑1 for him.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It could have been 6‑2 for me first set, but it wasn't.  You can talk about things that could be or couldn't be, but that's the way it was.

Q.  Your mental strength, besides your high quality of game, when it comes to difficult moments, pulls you through.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's experience playing on the tour, playing big matches against the best players in the world, knowing what to do, holding your nerves and being composed on the court.  Obviously, I'm an emotional player, so I like to show my good and bad emotions.
But generally I always try to encourage myself from within and come up with the best tennis when I need to.  So that was the case today.

Q.  When you are down one set, does it help the fact that you are up 8‑1 versus him, so you're more confident thinking you've beaten him so many times?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  We never played on clay, so it really wasn't as important a fact.

Q.  How do you look at the challenge of trying to end Rafa's 41 match streak here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, he needs to win today first.  But if I get to play him, it would be the most difficult match for me in this tournament.  He's the player to beat here.  He's the player to beat on clay courts.  He's the best ever in history of the sport on this surface.
It's an ultimate challenge.  I need to play well.  I need to play well from the first to the last point.  I cannot have ups and downs.  I cannot afford that against Rafa.  I'm aware of that.
But why not believe that I can win?

Q.  Who is the favorite, the guy that won the last seven finals or the guy that won the last seven tournaments here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know really.  It's hard to say because we are I think evenly matched.  We played many, many matches against each other.  We played many finals against each other in the last 15 months.
It's going to be an interesting matchup if we get to play each other because, you know, I never won this tournament.  As you said, he won 40 matches in a row here.  He's definitely motivated to win another one.  He's always like that.  You always know that Rafa is going to come up with his best fight and his best tennis when he needs to.  That's why he makes another player who plays against him come up with the best tennis, too.
So that's something that I have to keep in mind.

Q.  You beat Rafa twice last year on clay.  Do you think it gives you some advantage for the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Conditions are quite different in Rome and Madrid from Monte‑Carlo.  I believe this is one of the slowest clay courts that we have.  Even today the wind blew all the clay from the court, so it's like a hard court today.
It's been 12 months ago that I won against him in back‑to‑back finals.  It's another year.  It's a different way of approaching it.  You know, the one time I played him here, I lost.
I'm going to give my best and try to win the match.  That's going to be my mindset.

Q.  Because of Rome and Madrid last year, tactically do you expect something new from him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, depends.  I don't know really.  We're going to see what he comes up with tomorrow.
I mean, he has one style of the game that is very familiar.  I don't think him, me or any other player can really change his style of the game by big margins.  You can tactically maybe make little adjustments.
More or less there are no secrets between us.  So I think we both expect what's going to happen and we know.  We're both going to go out and try to win.

Q.  You said before Nadal has been the best player clay court player ever.  What about Bjorn Borg?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's difficult to compare that time, and I'm too young to remember, as well.  Results‑wise, he is the best player.  He has won so many matches on this surface that it's just incredible, and he's only 25, 26 years old.  So he still has many years to come.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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