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Old 09-14-2010, 04:39 PM   #3196
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An Interview With: Novak Djokovic (USO 2010 press conference -Final)
Monday, September 13, 2010


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Novak, you were talking after the win with Roger, there was a lot of questions to you about Rafa and about whether or not he could maybe some day surpass Roger as possibly being the greatest player ever. Is that the caliber of player that you faced out there tonight?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Definitely. He has the capabilities already now to become the best player ever. I think he's playing the best tennis that I ever seen him play on hardcourts. He has improved his serve drastically. The speed, the accuracy, and of course his baseline is as good as ever. So he's a very complete player. And for me, in order to win against him tonight, I had to be on the top of my game. I was playing really well for most of the match, but then there were some moments in, let's say, third and fourth set where I dropped my focus a little bit. You know, I dropped my level of game and just a little bit on service games. You know, it went for me. He took it away, and he never gave me a chance to go back. I had this 15 30 chance in 5 4 third set, and then he served, I mean, three amazing serves. So I think that's one of the key factors today in his win except an amazing baseline game, of course, and great coverage of the court. The serve was fantastic the whole tournament.

Q. You had a very tough physical and emotional match with Roger. Granted, you were lucky to get the rain break, but it seemed like a pretty courageous performance tonight in terms of overcoming the difficulties of fatigue.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was feeling good on the court tonight from a physical perspective, and just running all over the court and getting a lot of balls back. But as you could see, you know, we played four sets for almost four hours, and anywhere against Rafa you play, you know, you've got to be ready to perform your best and to expect the long rallies. That was the case tonight, and I was aware of that and I was ready for that. I don't think I can blame my physical situation, actually. It was all good. It was just, okay, maybe emotionally I was a little bit drained after the semifinal match, but I recovered, you know. I had two days, and I was motivated to win this match, and, you know, this is one of the matches where the opponent plays better than you, and you just have to congratulate him and tell him, You're better. That's it. I don't think I played a bad match overall. It was very good performance from my side. But whenever it was important, he was the one who was playing just too good.

Q. Have you ever played as well as you have tonight and lost a match?


NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know. It's hard to say, to be honest. I did play a lot of great matches over these couple of years and losing and winning; I just cannot name any, you know. I won many matches when I was playing very bad, so, you know, I could have lost this tournament in the first round easily, you know, to Troicki. I was two sets to one down and almost double break. After that first round win, it turned everything in my favor, and I was playing great tennis all the way, even in tonight's match, as I said. Playing great, feeling good on the court. But Rafa was just too good.

Q. After you beat Roger, he was in this press room, and he said, Yeah, it feels bad, but it doesn't feel as bad as if it were in the final, as if getting to the final and losing is, you know, is the most hurtful thing. And yet, to be in the final, be out there in that theater and to be able to play as well as you did, I mean, do you find this talk about that in terms of getting there but not getting there all the way.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I cannot hide the disappointment. It's just I'm not gonna cry or complain about that, you know. It's just the way it is. Of course, I am feeling bad about my loss. I wanted that trophy, and I know I gave my maximum to get it even tonight. But, you know, when I sleep over the night, tomorrow I will wake up as a new man. You know, I will continue on working hard and waiting for the next chance to come.

Q. You said on court that the fans, that you fight for the fans because they support you. Do you feel you really have good support?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, definitely, especially tonight. It was great. It was just a pleasure performing in front of the people who enjoy tennis so much and support the players. Both of us, we had great support, and you always very much need the support of the people in these moments, in the matches of this importance, and we had it. And of course in the tough moments when I thought when I was a double break down and I thought the match is getting away from me, I still was trying and fighting back. I was a bit unlucky, and the fans really wanted me to come back. So, yeah, definitely very thankful for that.

Q. Thank you for all you've given to all of us. Thank you for giving all you've given for the past couple weeks. You've had the unique experience of playing Roger and then Rafa back to back. Could you just take a moment and really compare their two games and who would you say is better at this point? We know Nadal has had a better year, but...

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, look, we cannot judge who is better on one tournament, you know. At this point there is, you know, five, six years' difference between them, and basically Federer had more years on the tour, he had more success; he has more trophies. He's definitely somebody who made history in this sport. He's still playing as one of the best players in the world. The other hand, you have Nadal who is just proving each day, each year that he's getting better, you know. That's what's so frustrating, a little bit. He's getting better each time you play him. He's so mentally strong and dedicated to this sport. You know, he has all the capabilities, everything he needs, in order to be the biggest ever, my opinion. He has lots of time to come if he physically holds on the next five, six, seven years. I don't know how long he's gonna play. Anyway, he has the game now for each surface, and he has won each Major. He has proven to the world that he's the best in this moment, so there is no question about it.

Q. When is the first time you saw Rafa?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: When was the first time I saw him?

Q. Yeah.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wow. I don't remember. To be honest, I think we haven't met in juniors. He has played very few, and I played very few, but not the same ones. And I think the first time we met was some ATP tournament, you know. He was 15 already when he started playing ATP. Already very strong at that age, and I was I needed a little bit more time. Then we met, yeah, on ATP.

Q. I'm just wondering what you saw then you I'm sure you weren't sitting around thinking what he's gonna be possible of. Are you amazed at the adjustments he's made to get where he's gone?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's just great for somebody who had so much success as he did, very young age, and to be able to continue motivating himself to perform his best each tournament, each match he plays regardless who he has across the net. You just have to put a hat down for this guy, everything he does on and off the court. Great champion, great person, and great example of an athlete.

Q. Do you feel at all like you've reinvented yourself at all at this tournament?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I've played the best tennis certainly last seven, eight months, maybe the whole year. Wimbledon I played great, as well. So from Wimbledon up to this point, I feel much more comfortable on the court, more confident and getting this aggressive game back and the game that I need to have in order to stay at the top, and a game that has been a part of me always. It's a good sign. I will continue on working, as I said, and hope that I can keep that performance.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:03 PM   #3197
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That was a great interview -- even for Nole who routinely gives good interviews.

Here's a story I read this morning about the match.


http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.co...beat-djokovic/
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:52 PM   #3198
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There's been a shitload of press for Nole... enjoy!

Five things we learned from the 2010 U.S. Open men's final by Jon Wertheim
(Sports Illustrated)


Five thoughts from the 2010 U.S. Open men's final:

• Rafael Nadal, you're starting to scare us. The Spaniard completed the "Career Slam" -- winning all four majors -- Monday, defeating a game Novak Djokovic in a thoroughly engrossing final to take the 2010 U.S. Open. Nadal has now won nine majors and three straight. History beckons. He's the superhero who doesn't just catch the lightning bolts but whips them back. Watching Nadal blister serves, volley as well as anyone in the field, defend peerlessly and win anything resembling a "big point," one wonders a) how he hadn't won this event before and b) what, other than bad knees, can stop him for the next few years.

If Nadal emerges from this tournament as the big winner, Djokovic isn't far behind. Remember the wacky guy who did impersonations and got catcalls after a feud with Andy Roddick? Neither do we. Djokovic played sensational hardcourt tennis for two weeks. He stared down Roger Federer in the match of the year. Then, under adverse circumstances, he played a thoroughly courageous final, recalling the boxer willing to eat punches because he knows it's the only way he can win. We said before this tournament that, after a string of unsatisfying results, this was a make-or-break event for Djokovic. Suffice to say, he made.

Bless Jack Sock, the junior champion from Nebraska. And bless Ryan Harrison, who has a bright future. But those are hopes. The reality is that most big matches are like tonight's, pitting, as it did, a lefty from a Spanish Island against a workaholic from Belgrade, who happen to play tennis at a dizzyingly high level. Midway through the match 20,000 or so New Yorkers broke into an impromptu cheer of "Novak." They've come to know both players through the years, they've come to know they're personalities, they've come to know the context of this match. Sure it might have been easier if one guy was from Wichita and the other from Charlotte. But fans have to realize that this is an international sport with an individual cast, and you appreciate players regardless of their country of origin. Progress, we call it.

• Nadal owes Roger Federer some Omaha steaks or somesuch. Stellar as Nadal was tonight -- and all tournament -- his job was made a bit easier by Djokovic's level of fatigue, the understandable legacy of that five-set masterpiece against Federer. Depending on your viewpoint, it's either weirdly fitting or doubly ironic that Federer gets an assist for this historic Nadal title. In this respect, perhaps we should be thankful for the Sunday rainout. If Djokovic felt as though he had cinderblocks tied to his ankles tonight, imagine how he would have felt on less than 24 hours of rest.

• Build that roof, USTA. Thanks to Nadal's Herculean play and Djokovic's relentless fighting, this was a thrilling final, a semi-classic match that, mercifully, directed attention back to the tennis and away from meteorology, architecture and finance. But the fact remains: for the third straight year, the final weekend was shredded by rain and the absence of a contingency plan. Never mind the financial consequences, it's not good for tennis to see its premiere event in the U.S. torn asunder like this. We need some creative problem solving here.


Nadal's slam, Clijsters's romp and more from a satisfying U.S. Open

• It's rare that a top player loses in a Major and doesn't walk away disappointed. But Novak Djokovic must be thrilled with this event. He reached still another semifinal. He stares down Roger Federer for the best win of his career. He plays valiantly against Nadal in the final. Just a terrific event for a player in need of one.

• A few years ago at the Australian Open, some of us had a good laugh. The Djokovic clan -- Mom, Pa, and two brothers -- each wore shirt adorned with an "N," "O," "L," and "E," so when they stood together it read "NOLE," their son's nickname. However, when one son went to the restroom he returned to a different seat. Suddenly they spelled "L-E-O-N." That chuckle, though, was nothing compared to Mr. Djokovic's shirt, emblazoned, as it was, with his son's image. That is the ultimate representation of paternal pride.

• Nice to see Djokovic back in the good graces of the New York crowd. He had perhaps the best lines of the tournament. Brad: "Do you have that tweener shot between your legs?" Djokovic's response: "I have something else between my legs."


A lot still to prove before 2010 ends (Matt Cronin for Fox Sports)


Given that he played as well as he ever has — and that includes his title run at the 2008 Australian Open — in reaching the U.S. Open final, No. 2 Novak Djokovic shouldn't harbor any negative thoughts. Yes, he can still lose a bit of focus in long matches, but armed with a more dependable serve and bigger forehand, he has all the tools to win more majors.

It's merely a matter of Djokovic improving another five percent in the next year and he should pocket another Slam. Defending his Masters Series Paris title or winning the year-end championships would put him in prime position for another strong run Down Under.


10 Top Moments from the 2010 US Open (Nick Laham for Fox Sports)


No joke: Djokovic outlasts Federer in the semis

While the epic match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon will live forever, Novak Djokovic's semifinal win over Roger Federer may have been the best match of the year in men's tennis. The Serbian saved a pair of match points to defeat Federer in a five-set victory. Both competitors played with guts and guile, conjuring up lengthy rallies and brilliant shot-making. After losing to Federer three consecutive years at the Open, the scintillating win provided some redemption for Djokovic. Federer saw his streak of reaching six straight U.S. Open finals come to an end. Perhaps Djokovic was inspired by his parents' distinctive fashion choice, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with portraits of their son.


U.S. Open 2010: After Historic Win, What's Next for Rafael Nadal? (Rob York for Bleacher Report)


What’s Next for Novak Djokovic?

With two quarterfinals, a semi, and a final to his credit, the Serb has emerged as the third-best performer at the majors. The big impediment to his winning one is that his career started later than the other two, so he’s only been ranked higher than one of them for brief periods, and never ahead of both. This means that he’s consistently got to beat one of them in the semis of a major which, even if he can pull it off, has to take a lot out of a player mentally and physically.

The good news is that he’s still quite a bit younger than Federer and has done less damage to his body than Nadal, so draws shouldn’t always be so intimidating. I see more Slams in his future.


Nadal's 'impossible' achievement and other U.S. Open musings (Bruce Jenkins for SI)

Wrapping up the Open on other fronts:

Novak Djokovic: Just a tremendous performance. When he's on, as he was so often during the tournament, he's really the best of the Big Blast generation, superior to Tomas Berdych, Robin Soderling and even Juan Martin del Potro when it comes to combining sheer power with all-court movement and agility at the net. A physical specimen of the highest order. And for anyone still questioning his heart, imagine yourself lining up a second serve against Roger Federer with a match point against you. Djokovic prevailed on both of the match points he faced in that semifinal, and that's courage for the ages.


Men's tennis is now Rafa and the rest (By Johnette Howard ESPNNewYork.com)

Will Djokovic replace Federer as Nadal's greatest challenger in 2011? He could. Federer is 29, which is old in tennis years. Given that Djokovic, 23, and Nadal are just a year apart in age, they are far more likely to keep repeating these major final showdowns in the next five years or so.

But as Andy Murray, Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick -- who all made early exits at the Open -- have found out, the ability of Federer and Nadal to will themselves to be consistently spectacular, not just great once in awhile, is a talent as vital as having a great serve or forehand.

Djokovic always has been seen as a guy who needs to be mentally and physically tougher. By outgunning Federer and battling Nadal so fiercely in New York, Djokovic defied that rap. But can he push himself to stay at such a high level? If he's hoping to overtake a workhorse like Nadal for No. 1 in the world, he has to.

Jimmy Connors' take on Nadal -- "He plays as if he's broke" -- is pitch perfect.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:22 AM   #3199
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Default Re: Novak News!!



This girl is pure gold. I laughed at least for ten minutes. I didn't know that JJ cousin is some singer wannabe - hahaha.

Quote:
http://cowbell.typepad.com/forty_deu...rty-deuce.html

Cultural Learnings of Serbia and Australia for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Forty Deuce



While I was in New York, I hung out quite a bit with Serbs and Aussies. And bless them, they let me ask all the stupid questions I've always wanted to ask and they were even patient enough to speak slowly to the dumb American. Here's a bit of what I learned:

* Aussies and Serbs are really friendly, good natured folks. Who can drink. A lot.
* Serbian pride, paranoia, and fatalism is way fucking real.
* Beer is completely regional in Australia. So if I plan on taking my "tracking" to Gold Coast, I better practice ordering Fourex beer.
* Novak is indeed the most popular sportsman in Serbia.
* Yelling "That's the way!" and "Love your work!" are really Aussie things to do.
* Anastasia Rodionova has fans. Weird.
* JJ's like, the real deal in Serbia. They love her and her fashions. No really, AND HER FASHIONS.
* Watching a tennis match involving a Serb with a bunch of Serbs basically sounds like this: "AJDE! AJDE! AJDE!" --> "Oh my God, you're going to lose." ---> "IDEMO!!! COME ON!!!" ---> "Oh my God, you suck at tennis." ---> AJDEEEEEEEE! You can do it!!!" ---> That ball was out!!! The stupid line judge!!! It's a conspiracy!!!" ----> "AJDEEEEEEEE!" ---> "WHY DOES HE/SHE DO THIS TO ME!?!?!?" ---> "Yeah! He/She won!" Aaaaaand...scene.
* Ana's used sweaty visor reeks. Novak's used sweaty cap does not.
* There is a really complicated Sammy Stosur song that is sung to the tune of a Vegemite jingle that I tried to learn while mildly intoxicated and failed miserably.
* Australia Day is a very big deal in Australia and they love that it falls during the Aussie Open.
* Americans like Lleyton more than Aussies do. No one told me that. That was just an observation.
* JJ's cousin wants to be a pop star and JJ wasn't happy about it. But they've since made up. Probably because JJ finally saw how awesome this video is:


* While I already knew "Ajde" and "Idemo", my new favorite Serbian cheer is "TOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" (prounced "toe"). So fun.
* Never ever mention Fosters to Aussies.

Thanks to my educators! You guys were bomb. That's American for "awesome".
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:47 AM   #3200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nole fan View Post
There's been a shitload of press for Nole... enjoy!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepwalker64 View Post
Thank you!

'Watching a tennis match involving a Serb with a bunch of Serbs basically sounds like this: "AJDE! AJDE! AJDE!" --> "Oh my God, you're going to lose." ---> "IDEMO!!! COME ON!!!" ---> "Oh my God, you suck at tennis." ---> AJDEEEEEEEE! You can do it!!!" ---> That ball was out!!! The stupid line judge!!! It's a conspiracy!!!" ----> "AJDEEEEEEEE!" ---> "WHY DOES HE/SHE DO THIS TO ME!?!?!?" ---> "Yeah! He/She won!" Aaaaaand...scene.
While I already knew "Ajde" and "Idemo", my new favorite Serbian cheer is "TOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" (prounced "toe"). So fun.'

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Old 09-16-2010, 10:24 AM   #3201
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Default Re: Novak News!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nole fan View Post
There's been a shitload of press for Nole... enjoy!
[...]
It's so refreshing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelena_78 View Post
Thanks!

Thank you!

'Watching a tennis match involving a Serb with a bunch of Serbs basically sounds like this: "AJDE! AJDE! AJDE!" --> "Oh my God, you're going to lose." ---> "IDEMO!!! COME ON!!!" ---> "Oh my God, you suck at tennis." ---> AJDEEEEEEEE! You can do it!!!" ---> That ball was out!!! The stupid line judge!!! It's a conspiracy!!!" ----> "AJDEEEEEEEE!" ---> "WHY DOES HE/SHE DO THIS TO ME!?!?!?" ---> "Yeah! He/She won!" Aaaaaand...scene.
While I already knew "Ajde" and "Idemo", my new favorite Serbian cheer is "TOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" (prounced "toe"). So fun.'

I bet all of us Nole fans do the same things during his matches. No matter where you are from. Certainly I'm crazy like that.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:37 PM   #3202
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Default Re: Novak News!!

I do all the yelling as well. My mum hates me when I do it
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:48 PM   #3203
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Thanks for all the "research" of Nole
I'm actually not used to him getting so much media attention
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:00 PM   #3204
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Default Re: Novak News!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuhrat View Post
It's so refreshing.


I bet all of us Nole fans do the same things during his matches. No matter where you are from. Certainly I'm crazy like that.
I seldom speak foul language. They only come when I watch Nole
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:35 PM   #3205
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Default Re: Novak News!!

Another nice read:
http://sports.yahoo.com/tennis/blog/...urn=ten-270211

In losing with grace, Djokovic proved he's a champion

It was a simple gesture. While Rafael Nadal was celebrating his U.S. Open victory, the man he defeated, Novak Djokovic, walked over to Nadal's side of the court to offer his congratulations. The two men warmly embraced, exchanged words and then began walking off the court arm in arm: a poignant show of sportsmanship on the sport's grandest stage.
Minutes earlier, Djokovic had been on the verge of pulling off the greatest victory of his career. When he hit a ball wide on match point, he must have been heartbroken. Had he gone to the net, waited for Nadal to get to him, exchanged a perfunctory handshake and then dashed off the court, nobody would have thought ill of him. It's what most players do. But Djokovic is wired differently than most. He offered sincere congratulations during the most painful moment of his career and that, perhaps, is more commendable than anything he accomplished over the past two weeks in New York.
Contrast Djokovic'c actions to Roger Federer's two days before. When Djokovic took a five-set thriller from Federer, he celebrated by looking at his player's box and standing with his arms outstretched near the baseline. Federer couldn't watch, rushing to the side of the court to begin packing away his racquets. When Djokovic finally came in for the handshake, Federer left the bag, gave Novak an abrupt handshake and then left the court as quickly as possible.
It wasn't poor sportsmanship by Federer, but it wasn't good sportsmanship either. He was understandably gutted. Many athletes are after losses. Peyton Manning didn't even give a handshake after losing this year's Super Bowl. LeBron James did the same in the NBA playoffs a few years ago. When you're unaccustomed to losing, it's sometimes hard to do so with graciousness.
There's always a delicate balance to how much one should celebrate after a tennis match. The victor needs to revel in their accomplishment and release the pent-up emotions from the match. (Hence the tendency to fall to the ground. It's cathartic.) But there's also the loser to think about. While the winner is basking in the glow of a big win, the player they defeated is waiting at net to give the handshake they've dreaded giving and are usually trying to leave the court as fast as possible so they can go in the locker room and have a cathartic emotion-release of their own. At some point the winner needs to think of the loser during the celebration. Approach the net too quickly, and you've deprived yourself of the greatest moment in your tennis career. Go too slowly and too joyfully and you're rubbing salt in the wound of a person who just experienced the most disappointing moment of theirs.
Nadal and Djokovic did the dance perfectly. Rafa fell to the ground, having accomplished one of the greatest achievements in the sport. When he got up, his face was stoic. He knew Djokovic's pain -- he's been there before. Their embrace was genuine. It was sportsmanship at its finest. For as good a loser as Djokovic was, Nadal was just as good of a winner.
If you're a young athlete in any sport, take a page from Rafa and Nole. Win with grace and lose with dignity. Watch Djokovic when he shakes the hand of the chair umpire. His head is held high. It should be. In losing the U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic showed that you don't have to be the guy holding the trophy in order to be a champion.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:03 PM   #3206
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I'm definitely not used to seeing so many positive things being said about Nole. Well deserved!
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:32 PM   #3207
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LOL yeah, people write that he's a different man after this final, they hardly ever remember Nole was a champion before!
But good to read anyway, I think this US Open has changed the perception of many people in regards to Nole and that's great. Late converters...
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:42 PM   #3208
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I loved that Pica Pica. He was amazing.

Did you all see the clip where Rafa went to Nole's chair and rubbed his shoulders? That was nice too.

There were two fine young men out there Monday night.

There are just a few moments where the camera caught Nole's sadness, but that's understandable too.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:42 PM   #3209
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I love this guy. He is so gracious, nice, humble and amazing in the interview. I don't think he's a loser for losing the final. He's a champion! He fought hard, played well, and deserved to take a set off Rafa! His chance will come. He's too good to only have one slam. Trust me, he will have many more before his career is over
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:45 PM   #3210
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Originally Posted by sokk View Post
I love this guy. He is so gracious, nice, humble and amazing in the interview. I don't think he's a loser for losing the final. He's a champion! He fought hard, played well, and deserved to take a set off Rafa! His chance will come. He's too good to only have one slam. Trust me, he will have many more before his career is over
I think the same.
And the good thing is that people are starting to believe in him again...
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