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June 8, 2014

Novak Djokovic


R. NADAL/N. Djokovic
3‑6, 7‑5, 6‑2, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  How it went after the first set?  What was exactly going on in the match for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, it was a great start; came back in the second.  Could have gone to the tiebreak and was quite even.  I lost that service game 6‑5, and then the momentums went his side.
I started, you know, playing quite bad, you know, and didn't move as well.  Struggled a little bit physically throughout that third set.
Then in the fourth started to feel a little bit better, but then just crucial points he played better.  I wasn't playing at the level that I wanted, especially in the second part of the match.
You know, that's sport.  It's how it is.  These kind of big matches obviously take the best out of players.  And of course it's a huge challenge.  I tried to do my best.  My best wasn't as the best against him in Rome a couple weeks ago.
But, you know, it's how it is.  Congratulations to him.  He was a better player in the crucial moments.  Of course it's disappointing for me, but life goes on.  It's not the first time or last time that I lost a match.

Q.  Having to play Nadal in Roland Garros is something totally different than playing him elsewhere.  Like does he have moral superiority here, or the court's wide, as you had mentioned before?  Does it make him totally very different than from other courts?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, that's how it feels on the court.  Obviously his records speak for themselves.  He has won this tournament now nine times.  It's very impressive what he's playing on this court.  He has lost only once in his career on center court.
It's definitely not easy best of five to play against him in these conditions.

Q.  Can you just describe your frustration level at the end of the match I guess with match point interruption also, and then just generally not able to break through?  Seemed like you had more frustration visible normally than you might after...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's finals of Grand Slam.  I mean, I have expectations.  You want this win as much as your opponent across the net.  That's it.
I'm emotional player, and the tennis court is an arena and I'm there to fight and I'm there to try to win, and, you know, show my emotions.
Unfortunately, it didn't work this time.

Q.  Do you feel that you were not in the best physical condition today since two days ago you seemed to have some nose problems or something.  Would you say that today Nadal won it because he was stronger physically in a way?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I did have the period of the match, as I mentioned, end of the second and the whole third set I struggled a little bit.
But as I said, it's not impossible, but it's very, very difficult to stay with Rafa in this court, you know, throughout the whole match on the highest level of performance.
It's normal that you have ups and downs.  I was just hoping that in the fourth I would be able to come back.  I started feeling, as I said, a little bit better, but I wasn't managing to, you know, bring my A game when it was most needed in the end of the fourth.

Q.  This is a hypothetical question:  If the match started at 6:00 with no sun and a cooler temperature, do you think things might have been different?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, if I was left hander maybe I would win the tournament.  (Laughter) I don't know.  I don't know how to answer that question.

Q.  Regarding to emotions, do you feel the crowd plays some role since you always are really, really loved here in Paris?  Do you feel the crowd gave you not as good as it always gives you the cheers?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  The crowd, I think support of the crowd was big for him, was big for me.  I was trying to focus on my own fans, my own supporters, and of course it's finals of a Grand Slam.
When I play against Rafa, it's always exciting match for us to play and for crowd to see, so they get also involved in the match.
In the end of the day, it's very emotional.  A lot of tension going on on the court.  You can feel that.
I cannot, you know, find excuses in the crowd.  You know, I cannot blame anybody.  It's all part of the sport.

Q.  Early on you went and broke down his forehand quite effectively.  As the match went on you seemed to go over more, maybe try to work more on the backhand.  Is that an accurate perception?  Would you just talk about your philosophy there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, you know, I think he was covering the forehand angle quite well.  My backhand crosscourt wasn't as effective as it was maybe in the previous matches against him.
He was hitting down the line forehand really, really well, so I think his first shot off the forehand, off my return, was terrific today.

Q.  On match point on your second serve, someone from the crowd shouted something ‑‑
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Let's not talk about crowd, please.  I just answered for the crowd.  Thanks.

Q.  Positive question about the crowd.  In the end, the standing ovation was very special; it went very long.  It's almost like people want you to win this title and want you to win a career Grand Slam.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was fantastic.  I mean, I am so grateful for the opportunity to play here.  Of course it's right after you go off the court and you want this title so much and you don't win it for several years now, and it's disappointing.
But it's, as I said, not the first time that I have this particular experience.  In the end of the day, you have to put things in perspective and see where I come from and what kind of life I have.
It's a blessing.  So to be able to also be appreciated by the fans the way I was in the end of the match just gives me more, I'd say strength and motivation to come back here and try till the end of my career hopefully to get at least a title.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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