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July 6, 2012

Novak Djokovic


R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
6‑3, 3‑6, 6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  After the third set, did you feel any different pressure inside the way that things were going?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I thought from the beginning of the match up to the end of the third set we were quite even.  You know, we split sets and we both had some break opportunities in the third, and then, you know, I dropped the percentage of the first serve in the end of the third set.
Then had, yeah, unfortunately a bad service game on 5‑4, and obviously he uses his opportunities when they're presented.  You know, so you have to be always consistent; I wasn't.
In the start of the fourth set I dropped in the energy level, I thought.  I played really a couple of sloppy games, very slow, with no pace, you know, very low percentage of first serves, as I said.
When you don't have free points from the first serve, you know, it's very difficult to, you know, kind of get in the rhythm and the control of the match when you have an opponent as Federer.

Q.  How much of that was pressure related?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  What pressure?  I don't understand.

Q.  As far as falling behind in the match at that point.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, pressure is always present, you know.  Obviously being two sets to one up is better than being two sets to one down.

Q.  Is that the best Roger Federer has played against you in recent years?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, you know, he played well.  No question about it.  He was the better player.  In the important moments he was aggressive, you know, hitting from both sides.
Obviously that's what you expect when you play against Roger at the final four of a Grand Slam.  I knew that.  I expected him to be at the top level, but I expected myself, as well.  You know, I needed to be very consistent in order to win this match; I wasn't.  I had ups and downs throughout the match.
Unfortunately the one that lasted for, what, 15, 20 minutes, end of the third, beginning of the fourth, costed me the win today.

Q.  How do you explain the drop in the energy level given that you came back twice in the US Open from sets down?  You have to think you have a chance, no?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, well, you know, I tried hard to stay in the third set.  He had break ball opportunities.  We had some long games.  As I said, I played one bad game and that costed me the loss.
You know, I didn't recover from that drop of serve.  And, yeah, after that it was really difficult to come back.

Q.  There's a lot of discussion about the conditions with the roof.  I'm wondering if you felt that was favoring you or him.  Talk about that.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You know, it's really hard to say.  We both know what it's like to play under the roof, under these conditions.  You know, I thought the beginning of the match was a little bit slippery in the back of the court.  After that, you know, it was good conditions to play on.
You know, we both got used to it.  As I said, we played a couple matches already this tournament, so I don't think it favored neither of us.

Q.  You were winning all the long rallies until you were 3‑All in the third set.  You should be more confident in your game.  What happened afterwards?  You start losing some serves, but...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, he served well.  He served really well.  I think high percentage of first serves and really good precision and he was aggressive on his second, as well.
And I think what I did bad and wrong today was my first shot after the serve.  You know, I missed a lot of those, I didn't move as fast as I was supposed to, and I didn't, you know, get on the ball.
So, you know, if you play the first shot defensively, then you are on your back foot and you have very little chance to win the point.

Q.  You're younger than he is; you're defending champ.  He's got a great long history here.  There is a lot of sentiment for Roger.  Is it possible to block that all out or did you think about this at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  To be honest, you know, I thought about this match really.  Obviously last two days I was really focused on performing well today and trying to get a win.
I mean, of course I do have a respect for Roger and everything he has done.  Of course it goes to his credit, the history that he has.
But, again, when you're on the court you don't think about it.

Q.  You've been so consistently strong over the last year and a half.  Was there any particular reason why you didn't feel as sharp as you were on that second ball?  Did you feel good coming into today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Not so great really.  I had bad last couple days.  Last five, six days I wasn't feeling great.  But I don't want to talk about it now.

Q.  After the last match you used the term 'I have nothing to lose.'  What exactly did you mean by that?  Now how do you feel about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, I lost the match.  It's not the first; it's not the last time I lost a match.  I lost to a great champion, somebody that is has the most Grand Slams in the history of the sport.
I do regret that I didn't play as well as I thought I would and as well as I played maybe last couple matches.
You know, life goes on.  This is sport.  I have to move on.

Q.  Things almost went perfectly for you last year at the Grand Slams.  Was it sort of inevitable this year that they wouldn't?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, comparing to last year people would say this year is not that great.  But, you know, look, I won a Grand Slam, played finals, semifinals, won a couple of big tournaments, and played a lot of finals.
You know, so I'm very satisfied with the way it goes.  Maybe couple of matches I'm disappointed about, you know.  But, look, you know, it's normal.  It's really difficult to do, to repeat what I have done last year, and I didn't expect myself to do that.  Every year is different obviously.
But I feel good about myself in general.  I feel good playing on the major events.  Confidence is there.  I just need to continue on working hard and hoping for the best.

Q.  Whatever happens in the other semifinal, do you think Roger Federer is favorite now for the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, considering the history that he has at Wimbledon, yes, probably.

Q.  When a great champion doesn't win a big title for a couple of years people start to doubt his ability to do that.  I'm wondering if you always felt like Federer was always there and capable of winning?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  He was always there.  Last couple years he didn't win a major, but he was in a couple of finals and always semifinals.  He's always playing close matches against whoever, you know.
This is tennis.  You know, of course he was so dominant, and then you had Nadal who made a great rivalry with him.  Then myself, Murray, a couple other players who were young and who started believing they can win against him.
That's what I think makes this era right now in men's tennis very interesting.

Q.  If Sunday Federer will win, he will become No.1 in the world.  I don't know if you will watch it or not, but do you think about that?  You don't care?  In a way you hope the other one wins so you remain No.1.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Look, if he wins and becomes No.1 it's going to be well‑deserved.  He's played fantastic this year.  He's been so consistent.  If he wins, he wins.  There's nothing I can do about it.  The best player will win this tournament.  I'm out.
Now I will cheer for my holidays in next 10 days.

Q.  He's 30; he's into an eighth Wimbledon final.  Pretty extraordinary.  For you out there facing him, what are the qualities about Roger Federer that are so tough?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You really like talking about Roger (smiling)?  Every press conference you come up with questions about him.  I have to repeat myself again.
It's his mental strength and ability to always play best in important moments.

Q.  Can you tell us what you are going to do now ahead of the Olympics?  Are you going to watch the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, no.  I'm really going for holidays now.  It's been a long five, six months for me.  Didn't have much rest.  Now I'm going to take some time off and really try to keep my mind off tennis.
Then of course coming back to Olympics, which I'm looking forward to.

Q.  When you hit that dropshot in the last stages of the match, did that bring back memories of the US Open match when you hit that fantastic shot?  Did you think you had a hope of getting back in?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Oh, you know, no, I really wasn't thinking about that.  It was really hard to expect that I can do the same.
But, you know, I was there.  You know, I tried my best.  I tried to come back to the match.
But, as I said, when you drop a serve against Roger at this stage of the match in the tournament, there's not much chance you can come back.

Q.  Is it quite nice to know you're not done yet here this year and you'll come back in three weeks?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  Olympic Games are pinnacle of all sports.  I'm really looking forward to play here and see how it looks during Olympic Games, how the grass will look, as well.  You know, try to enjoy every single moment of it.  End.

Q.  What would Pierre say?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know.  I guess he will be disappointing when I come back home.  I don't know.  I'll see.

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