[US OPEN] Sunday, September 9: SF vs Ferrer 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2
Q. First of all, congratulations on the match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thank you.
Q. It's a bit of an odyssey I would think the past two days. Just sort of describe the difference of yesterday and today. It must be a relief to have that match over with.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's a great relief obviously to get it over with in four sets. As well I was a different player. I felt much more comfortable on the court today than I did yesterday. Obviously the conditions were more brutal for all of us who played yesterday. I can imagine only for the two guys before us. I mean, they had to play, you know, four sets on that wind. You know, Ferrer was I think coping with the conditions much better than I did. He was handling it great. I mean, I haven't find any rhythm, so I didn't mind getting off the court yesterday, to be honest, and coming in today. (Smiling.)
Q. You played Andy in two pretty big occasions this year with different outcomes both times. What were the differences in the two matches? What do you remember most about that Australian Open five‑setter?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I remember that match going five sets and the distance. It was difficult, you know, in both a physical and mental way. A lot of long rallies, and you couldn't really say who was going to win that match up to the last point. Most of our matches that we played against each other were very close, and only small margins decide the winner. That's something that is expected in a way, because we have similar games. You know, we are big rivals and we have been in top of the men's game for a long time, so we know each other really well. The last match he has won in Olympic Games. Also close one. But it's a different surface, obviously. You know, with the different surface different tactics apply. So we'll see. You know, tomorrow I guess there is no clear favorite.
Q. What are your impressions of the evolution of Andy's game and the effect of Ivan Lendl on him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think he's going for the shots more than he used to. That's something that I guess he was looking for. I don't know if it's with Ivan's help or not, but he's definitely improved in that part of the game. Mentally I think he is more aggressive into the court right now. Probably that's the only thing that he was missing, you know, in his game. Because he's one of the most complete players in the world right now. In the last couple of years he was at the top of the men's game. This is his fifth Grand Slam final. We all knew that he's definitely a contender to win a Grand Slam title, you know, any year in last five years. But, you know, it just wasn't to be in the last four for him. Tomorrow I guess he's going to be very motivated to win the title. But me too. Also I will try to win that match. (Smiling.)
Q. Does it seem a little strange to be in a Grand Slam semi and now a final without seeing Roger or Rafa?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I think their rivalry is incredible. It's probably the best rivalry we have in sport. But, you know, also it's good for tennis to see different faces in the finals of a Grand Slam. I don't mind, to be honest. I think we played finals of 2011, Australian Open, Andy and me, so it's not the first time. It's not the first time we are playing an important match against each other in best‑of‑five. I'm sure we will deliver some good tennis for the people.
Q. Yesterday Dave Brewer said that four players gave four different opinions about what they wanted to see done yesterday. Either move you guys onto the other court to get it started, not get it started. Can you share what your opinion was and what your routine was when you left here yesterday?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, there was an evacuation mode, so we had to get as quickly out from the club as possible. So, you know, it was an emergency, so, you know, we all went home. And then I have done the work with, you know, my physio and then with the coach for preparation for this day. That was all. I mean, regarding the situation yesterday, I mean, weather conditions is something you cannot affect. Obviously it was incredibly difficult for all of us. I mean, people who watched the matches, the match of Murray and Berdych, could see how many times that the player tossed the ball and just let it drop. I never seen that in my life ever. So many times it happened during the match. It was brutal. But, you know, once I was on the court, I really tried to think only about the match. I didn't start well. You know, I tried to get the rhythm. When they came in on 5‑2, I mean, that's something ‑‑ you know, I didn't ask for it. Nobody asked for it. You know, we were focused on the match, but we had to get out. So we came in today.
Q. Were you relieved to get out?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I didn't mind. (Laughter.) Trust me.
Q. Did you want to play Louis Armstrong Stadium yesterday while the first semifinal was going on?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. No. I mean, they didn't ask me, but, you know, that was an option. I said, I mean, it's not on me to decide. Whatever you have to decide I have to accept it.
Q. You have been in this position before in Australia where you had less time to recover for the final. What are the challenges in that? Now you have even less time before this final than you did in Australia.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think in 2010 also similar situation. I mean, I played five sets with Roger and then supposed to ‑‑ I came the next day and then it rained and we had to move the finals to Monday. If I'm not mistaken, this is the fifth Monday final here in US Open. I'm not so sure about this Super‑Saturday, you know. I'm really ‑‑ I'm not so sure about that anymore. I really hope that the tournament will consider changing things for next year. I think I'm not speaking in the name of myself only. I think most of the players will agree. Every Grand Slam has a Friday/Sunday, you know, last couple of days. This is the only Grand Slam that has Super‑Saturday. You know, eventually playing back‑to‑back five sets with the top rivals, top guys, yeah, I think that's ridiculous, you know, from the players' perspective. We'll see what happens.
Q. Obviously you could come away with two major titles this year. It's a great year. You were playing at such an extraordinary level last year. What's the mental journey for you been like, the challenges? Obviously you had to come down a little bit from that level and why do you think that happened and how did you tunnel through that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, in life you have ups and downs, so I wasn't really surprised with, if you want to call it a bit less success, you know, in 2012 than it was in 2011. It's really hard to expect that I can win every single match that I play in six months. This maybe happens once in your lifetime. I tried to take the best out of that experience. You know, tried to use if it my own favor in a way that it brings me confidence knowing that I can play that well in different surfaces. So regardless of the comparison with these two years, I still think it's been a fantastic year for me, you know, 2012.
Q. This is the second time Scotland has faced Serbia this weekend.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We watched it together yesterday.
Q. Did you watch it together yesterday?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: 0‑0. We watched before his semifinals. We took the computer and we watched. We were talking about the football qualifications for ‑‑ soccer, as you call it. So it was Scotland and Serbia. We tried to be quiet, but inside we were cheering for our own national teams. (Laughter.)
Q. How is your physical status? Do you feel fresh or any problems?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I don't feel any problems physically. I mean, as I say, it was good to have the job done in four sets today. I feel fresh as I can be at this stage of the tournament and looking forward for tomorrow.
Q. New Yorkers make a big deal out of the weather, so I feel compelled to ask you this question because it hasn't been asked: Murray completed his match in the wind. Ferrer was coping better in the wind, you say.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.
Q. If you had to play all those sets in the wind yesterday, do you think the outcome might have been different?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The outcome is the way it is today. (Laughter.) I don't want to think ‑‑ I don't want to go back. No "ifs" now.
Q. At the French Open final, Rafa was in pretty good control; then you really put together an incredible rally, as I recall, like eight games in a row and had the momentum and seemed to be going for it. Then the rain came.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: And then the weather didn't help me.
Q. So talk about momentum; talk about do things balance out? Did you reflect on that at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, I mean, I was really happy to reach the finals at Roland Garros. I never did in my career, and it was just a great achievement, I mean, considering that I came back from four match points down in quarters and then two sets down the round before that. So I could have gone out from the tournament in the previous rounds, but I went to the finals. Then I faced, you know, the ultimate challenge on clay. You know, Nadal, the defending champion. I came back and I started feeling much better as the match went on. You know, that run from eight games to love, I mean, it was incredible tennis. You know, I felt that those conditions, wet conditions, were favoring me more than him. Then, you know, the rain came and we continued the next day. You know, I don't want to go back and say, you know, that's why I lost the match. I mean, it helped me, you know, the first interruption we had, it helped me to regroup and become better on the court. Yeah, it's something that is not ‑‑ I don't think it's good to talk about those excuses or whether weather conditions are favoring one player or the other. It's something you cannot affect.
Q. Momentum is important in this game.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Momentum?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, of course. Of course. Momentum is always important.
Q. If you don't mind one quick one again about yesterday's conditions. As an experienced player, could you look at the TV, could you look at Murray's match and realize fully how difficult the wind was? Or was it something you really had to experience and you didn't fully understand till you were out there actually playing Ferrer?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I've watched their match and we saw how difficult it was. I mean, we saw how many times the server had to let the ball bounce, I mean, because the wind was carrying it away. But when I stepped on the court it was even more, so, I mean, that's when you really feel how strong it is. It was incredible.
Q. Obviously Andy is coming into this having lost his first four slam finals. How difficult must that be for him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think that's a question for him, really. I tried to think about myself in this moment. I mean, as I said before, he did play four Grand Slam finals. He never won a title, but I think that he already has enough experience to know how to play well on the big stage in important matches, and he has proven that. This year he has won a gold medal match in impressive way. So, you know, we're expecting a good match tomorrow.
Q. Who was happier at the end of the football yesterday?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think two minutes before the end he went to warmup, so... Then we had the great chance, but we missed. I think it was fair. 0‑0.
Overall smart responses to the questions about the weather/match suspension. He looks relaxed both here and during ESPN interview.