This Is My Greatest Victory – Djokovic

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WAS THAT THE GREATEST WIN OF YOUR LIFE?
WAS THAT THE GREATEST WIN OF YOUR LIFE?

Ah, yes.  Right now, yes. Probably Wimbledon because Wimbledon is right up there next to this one because it’s just the tournament that I always dreamed of winning.

But this one I think comes out on the top because for us to play almost six hours is incredible.  I think it’s probably the longest finals in the history of all Grand Slams, and just to hear that fact is making me cry, really.

I’m very proud to be part of this history and part of the elite of the players that have won this tournament for several times. And I was very flattered to be playing in front of Rod Laver, in front of the all-time greats, and in front of 15,000 people that stayed until 1:30 a.m.

It’s incredible, really.

WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?

Look, you know, it’s finals.  It was the fifth set.  I had lots of chances to finish the match in the fourth, but he came up with some incredible serves and incredible points.

So he deserved to prolong the match in the fifth set, and then both of us could have won the match.  It could have gone either way. I felt my body started to slow down, but on the other hand, I was aware of the fact that he’s not as well feeling that great and fresh on the court.

I’m sure that physically it’s taking a toll on him, as well.  So I tried mentally to hang in there, to hold my composure, to hold my emotions.  And, you know, even when I was 42 down I still pushed myself up to the limit.

You know, one of the points I think in the match was at 4All, fifth, the first point after 35, 40shot rally I think we both went down on our knees. We live for these matches.  We work every day.  We’re trying to dedicate all our life to this sport to come to the situation where we play six hour match for a Grand Slam title.

APART FROM THE BREATHING PROBLEMS YOU HAVE BEEN HAVING, WHAT OTHER PHYSICAL ISSUES DID YOU GO THROUGH DURING THE TOURNAMENT?

I don’t think it is worth talking about.  I overcame everything, and that’s the most important thing for me. And to be able to mentally hang in there and physically too with everybody who came watching us physically taking the last drop of energy that we had from our bodies, you know I think was just a matter of maybe luck in some moments.

IT WAS REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT FOR YOU SAYS NADAL

I absolutely agree with him.  I think I had a similar feeling in couple of matches, but nothing like this.  You know, you are in pain, you are suffering, you know that you’re trying to activate your legs, you’re trying to push yourself another point, just one more point, one more game. You’re going through so much suffering your toes are bleeding.  Everything is just outrageous, you know, but you’re still enjoying that pain. So I would agree with that comment from Rafa.

YOU TALKED ABOUT REPEATING YOUR 2011 FEATS 

I’m not really concerned about the rest of the year how physically I am going to endure and all of that.  It’s just the start of the year.  I’m going to have some weeks off now, and I’m going to try to enjoy this victory as much as I can. Then back to the office. You know, back to work, preparation.  There is much that awaits me but I want to enjoy the present moment.

TALK ABOUT THE 44 POINT, 31BALL RALLY

At that point, I was just thinking of getting some air and trying to recover for next point.

A thousand thoughts going through the mind, you know.  Trying to separate the right from wrong, trying to prioritize the next point and taking it step by step. I mean, I’m playing against one of the greatest players ever, you know, the player that is so mentally strong, and he always comes up with his best game and best shots at the right moments.

We both knew that we can’t really go too far in the rallies, so you could feel that we all tried to hit the ball as much as? as hard as we could and tried to go for winners.

 In the last game when I was serving I had a feeling that he was really trying to step into the backhand and forehand and just try to go for everything or nothing.

IN THE LAST GAME YOU WERE CROSSING YOURSELF AFTER THE BREAK POINT.  DID YOU ACTUALLY SAY A PRAYER AT THAT POINT?

Yeah. I was trying to find every possible help and energy that I could. It paid off, I guess.

DO YOU FEEL A LITTLE BIT SORRY FOR RAFA?

Well I was in that position. I was in that position a couple of years ago losing most of the semi finals and finals against him and Roger in Grand Slams so I know how it feels.

I really thought what I said sincerely on the court, is that unfortunately there had to be only one winner because we both gave it all. We both put 100% of our abilities on the court and played to the last moment. Unfortunately there couldn’t be two winners, but he definitely deserved to be a winner as well. You know, I would be saying same thing if I’m the loser.

YOU ARE ON THE ROAD TO A GRAND SLAM IF YOU WIN ROLAND GARROS.  HOW IMPORTANT WILL BE YOUR PREPARATION FOR THE FRENCH OPEN?

Very important, you know.  I’m prioritizing Grand Slams this year, as every year, and Olympic Games.  I think that’s one of my highest goals. That doesn’t mean of course that I’m not going to prepare well and perform my best on the other tournaments.  It’s just that, you know, the Grand Slams matter the most. So I want to do well and I want to get the first final at least in Paris, you know.  I have never been in finals there, and I have a feeling that I’m ready this year to achieve that.

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