|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
April 6, 2013
7‑6, 7‑6, 5‑7, 4‑6, 15‑13
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions for the Serbian team.
Q.Â Ilija, just talk about this week a little bit.Â What was your expectation coming in here?Â Did you expect to be playing today?Â When did you find out for sure?
ILIJA BOZOLJAC:Â Yeah, hi, everybody.Â Okay.
Yeah, I came here personally.Â Captain called me for doubles.Â I knew if I need to play, I'll be playing in doubles.
I'm not playing doubles that often.Â My last match that I played in doubles, it was actually Davis Cup against Czech Republic.Â I didn't know that I'll be playing this well.
But Nenad helped me a lot.Â His experience, with his great tennis, I mean, we played unbelievable.
Q.Â (No microphone.)
ILIJA BOZOLJAC:Â They told me yesterday.Â But I was expecting that because Viktor was playing really tough match yesterday, lost after like four hours.Â He needed to be fresh for the last day.
You know, anybody who was supposed to play with Nenad would be underdog against Bryans.Â So in that, I knew that there is a big chance that I'm going to play because doesn't matter who plays, underdog.
But we managed to play well and to be on the highest possible, and we won.
I just can't believe, but it happened.
Q.Â Would each of you talk about what this win means for your career.
ILIJA BOZOLJAC:Â I mean, for me, definitely means a lot 'cause this is my best performance in Davis Cup so far.
You know Nenad, he won a lot of tournaments, Grand Slams and doubles.Â He beat Bryan brothers many times.Â Probably for him it's great, but probably not as great as is for me.
NENAD ZIMONJIC:Â For sure it's the biggest win in the Davis Cup for me in the doubles.Â Definitely I think this was the point that we were looking for.Â Really Viktor was really close yesterday, had couple of chances to get a break, didn't make it.Â Sam won that, played really well when he needed.
Today was similar thing.Â You know, we were playing very good, won two tiebreakers, had couple chances to break, didn't.Â One bad game, they make you pay for it right away.
Then again, in the fourth set, you know, it was similar scenario.
Starting the fifth set, you know, it was tough.Â We were serving second, always catching up.Â They had a good rhythm on the serve.Â The only chance we really had was on Bob's serve when we had 15‑40.
Other than that, they had couple of times 15‑30, second serves, but we came up with the really big serves.Â Doesn't matter, first, second ones, we needed them.
Q.Â What advice did Novak Djokovic gave you during the match?
ILIJA BOZOLJAC:Â He said, You guys have to win, no matter what, no matter what.Â Just come with that one point and win the match.
No, I'm joking (laughter).
It was really an honor to play while the world No.1, the greatest player, is watching you.Â He was there basically the whole match, helping us with advices like what we should do on the returns, what we should do to keep the energy high.
I mean, it helped me a lot to have me the confidence when I needed because he was sitting there.Â Not just him, but the whole bench was unbelievable.Â The crowd was great.
I really enjoyed it.Â I didn't feel the pressure.Â They helped me out to completely forget about how big and how important this match was.
Q.Â Ilija, you're mostly playing futures and challengers, barely playing doubles.Â Was there any way you could expect to go out and play not just that well, but that well for four hours?
ILIJA BOZOLJAC:Â I mean, I played and I know that I had that in myself.Â Through the years, I struggled a lot with injuries and I couldn't really play consistent through the whole year, so that is the reason, I guess, why I was not ranked higher.
But I knew that if I give my 100% for one match, I can play on a really high level and I can match up with these good players.
Q.Â Bogdan, the feeling on the U.S. side was that you were probably going to change your doubles lineup.Â When did you decide to stick with Ilija, when did you tell him, and what was your thinking behind that?
BOGDAN OBRADOVIC:Â Well, first of all, I want to congratulate my players.Â They play very great tennis today.
This was a very tough decision.Â I spoke, of course, with all of my players.Â You know that during these years I am the captain, seven years almost, Nenad was playing all those years, and he changed his partners like all the time.Â So it was really tough situation for him.Â Also in Boise to play with a player that he didn't play for a long time.
But still Nenad is a great professional.Â He played a great match.Â He's got so much experience because he beat Bryan brothers with six different players, so it's huge result.Â He's got a lot of experience with that.Â That's what he actually transfer in this doubles competition here in the Davis Cup.
I just spoke with him.Â You know I have also Novak Djokovic in combination with him.Â Both of them are better in this moment in rankings, but still I wanted to keep them more fresh, let's say, Novak and Viktor.Â It was a very tough decision for myself.
But still I just want to congratulate to Nenad and, of course, to Ilija.Â They played a great tennis.Â That's the part of my team, why we are very strong, we have good relationship.
Q.Â If you hadn't picked Ilija, who were you leaning towards?
BOGDAN OBRADOVIC:Â It's very tough to answer on that question in this moment because all the three options were actually open.
We just spoke night before and make the decision.
Q.Â Bob and Mike said they played you so many times.Â You've had a lot of wins against them.Â They said today was the best you served against them.
NENAD ZIMONJIC:Â I remember the match, a couple of matches ‑ well not couple, 15 times we played, Nestor and me.Â There's many matches you have to serve well against them.Â One of those matches, Washington, the finals of Wimbledon where there were no breaks of serve the whole match, just came one break of serve the fourth set.
So this was definitely a great, great performance, great match from me because, like Ilija said, he hasn't been playing doubles much.Â He's not as experienced as any of the guys that were on the court, not even close.Â So that puts a lot of pressure on the server because you are as good as your next man.
That's where the Bryans are the best, helping each other, taking the middle, poaching.Â That's why this is completely different.Â Like when I would play them with Daniel Nestor, somebody who is more experienced in doubles, you know, it's maybe a little easier to hold serve.
But that's why, you know, I had to come with some huge second serves to believe in the important points in my serve, which happened in the last game.
But, again, to say how unbelievable the performance was from Ilija on such a high level, four and a half hours, under the circumstances, the No.1 team, probably the best team of all team on the other side of the court, with the crowd, for us, it was great.Â It's a great experience.Â You try to hold your nerves and everything, hold everything in yourself, but then again, you want to enjoy it as much as you can.
The difference at the end is really how much you believe in yourself, to come with the best play or shots when it counts the most.Â So we succeeded today.Â That's why it was unbelievable performance, I think.
I don't know if you guys enjoyed it.Â I thought today was incredible tennis.Â There were some reflexes, unbelievable points, like you think you have easy put‑away, you hit a shot, the ball comes back.Â That's what the Bryans bring to the game.
They changed doubles.Â They put it to the different level.Â They were so good for us when we were struggling with the doubles in 2001.Â Wayne Bryan, I have to say, he had a big role in all of this, and I would like to thank them again, you know, for that, what they've been doing, not just for the Davis Cup team, the records that they have, all the matches that they won.Â It's amazing.
You know, hopefully we'll have in the future somebody like this, that is as good in doubles as these guys because most of the guys are now playing from the back of the court, they don't play that good at the net.Â Even in singles we're losing that part of the tennis that used to be with Sampras, with Becker, Edberg, all these guys, maybe different matchups.Â This is what we can see still in doubles, which I think is a lot of fun for the crowd to see something different.
Q.Â Ilija, the Bryan brothers commented on how they didn't expect you to serve so well, especially on your second serve.Â Did you know you had that in you to serve over 105 on your second serve?
ILIJA BOZOLJAC:Â Usually that's my strongest stroke, I mean, serve, strongest shot.Â Here it's little bit altitude, the ball is flying little bit faster.Â So I used that as advantage, serving well through the whole match.Â I was just getting confidence more and more.Â Just tried to be focused, not to hit so hard, use the placement more.Â I did quite well.
And it's so easy to serve when you have a good net man (laughter).
NENAD ZIMONJIC:Â I have to say he broke the record when we played Great Britain in Glasgow against Andy Murray and Greg Rusedski.Â That was our big win against them.Â They took it away from him.Â Probably they were like, Who is this guy?Â There's no way he will overtake this record, but he actually did it.Â I remember, I forget what it was, but at that time Roddick was the one, the holder, and I think he served like maybe 156 or something like this.Â I remember when Greg and me, we looked at each other, What was that?
Then they came up with a comment that there was a time or whatever which is no sense, but he is capable of hitting over 150, I would say.Â So that's why he said he was going for the rhythm, just so you guys understand.
ILIJA BOZOLJAC:Â I was young and strong (laughter).
Q.Â Nenad, you talk about that last game, 15‑40, all of a sudden, you come up with four or five giant serves.Â What is going through your mind in that situation?Â How much did you practice together, the two of you?
NENAD ZIMONJIC:Â Actually not one shot together on the same side of the court, that's how much we practiced.Â His last doubles was, like he told you, this time of the year against Czech Republic.Â So that was the last doubles match he played.Â That was our preparation.Â So you can figure it out.
I mean, what helped in this match definitely, is that Ilija is capable of hitting huge shots, doesn't matter what it is.Â If it's forehand, backhand, returns, huge serves.Â It helps the experience I have over the years playing Bryans for many times.Â I know their weaknesses, their strengths, like they do mine as well.Â That could help today.
I just have to say, you know, like it was the last‑minute decision.Â We made it together, like captain said, what's best for team.Â He want Novak to be fresh.Â Then again in the fifth match, you have to have Viktor, so maybe you would like those chances, you want him to be fresh.Â It is high altitude.Â It's difficult to return John's serve.
But you figure, like Ilija said, there is nobody really who will be next to me that we have good chance to win against Bryans.
I was expecting the only way we can win is if we perform like this, you know, serve unbelievable, take the chances when we get them, as you could see which we didn't get too many of them against them.Â But I'm really proud of Ilija and I hope he can continue with the success in singles because he was 100 in the world and played some good matches against Roger at Wimbledon, he played against Tommy Haas in Australia, many big matches that he played.Â I hope that he'll have this in him, the best tennis still to come.
Q.Â Nenad, when you're in the middle of a match like this, are you able to enjoy what's happening?Â The crowd is going crazy, the points are on a knife's edge.Â Are you able to actually enjoy what's happening on the court?
NENAD ZIMONJIC:Â For sure, like I said.Â I was amazed with some shots, some points that we created, all four players, some reflexes.Â It was just amazing.
Then similar thing happened when I had to serve out against them at Wimbledon.Â You know, there I was going maybe for the title, second title in a row for Daniel and me.Â I was going for huge serves.Â I think I even double‑faulted once or twice.Â But then I came up with huge first serves, like today, when I needed.
If you have weapons like we do, serves and big shots, you want to use them in the big moments.Â You don't want to count that they're going to miss 'cause they are great players.Â You have to bring your A game and go for your shots.
So there were no really choices.Â I mean, everything goes through your mind.Â You say to yourself, Stay calm, you're serving for match many times, this and that.Â Next thing you know, you're 15‑40 down out of nowhere.
So you just have to stay focused, try to enjoy as much as you can.Â Ilija was saying to me, Keep smiling.Â A couple of times I look in the crowd trying to feed off the crowd, the energy.Â We had great support here from Serbian fans, even though it was incredible atmosphere throughout the match.Â It was very fair crowd.Â I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.Â And we certainly did.
Q.Â Ilija, it seemed like right from the start you were out there having fun and smiling.Â How do you keep that attitude in a situation like this where there's that kind of pressure?
ILIJA BOZOLJAC:Â I guess we are just entertainers, just four of us on the court, four of us watching us live, and millions of people watching us on TV.Â So it's not actually about us, it's about them.
So since I start to play tennis, I started because I like the stage and I just want to enjoy.Â Usually when you feel like that, you make your best performance.Â I certainly did today.Â So is Nenad.
I really, really enjoyed it.Â I mean, I didn't think that we are going to lose, not even once in the match.Â I was just positive and I knew that we were going to come out.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports