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NOVAK DJOKOVIC

Djokovic: 'I didn't get a lot of balls back'. Kyrgios: 'I played well in the crucial points'

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by Gatto Luigi

Tennis - The Nole and Nick's sayigs after the match won by the Australian player in Indian Wells

Novak Djokovic admitted Nick Kyrgios played and served better than him on Wednesday in Indian Wells. ´Nick, again, as he did in Acapulco earlier, few weeks ago, he served so well´, the World No. 2 said after the 6/4 7/6 loss. ´Just wasn´t managing to get a lot of balls back on his serve, first and second, as well. So I guess that´s what made a difference. He obviously comes out playing his style, very aggressive, and just going for every serve, whether it´s first or second. It´s obviously very hard to play like that.´

Novak didn´t feel comfortable today: ´I guess conditions like today where the ball travels through the air very fast and it bounces very high, you know, it´s a gamble. And on his first serves, to try to anticipate and read his serve, where he´s going to go 140 miles per hour down the T and also pretty good angle wide, so it´s hard to position yourself well. Let´s call it that way. It is a gamble. His second serve, if you think you´re going to have a look at it, you don´t, because he goes for it, as well. He didn´t make too many double faults. As I said, you know, in this kind of conditions, it´s quite suitable for the server. Puts a lot of pressure on your service games. I don´t think I reached a break point, but I did have some close games on his serves, but I just wasn´t able to deliver what was important at that stage.´

He kept praising Kyrgios saying: ´He´s capable of a lot of big things. That was projected for him already a couple years back. He´s not very consistent with his results, but, you know, he´s coming closer to top 10. He had his best year last year, so things are coming together for him. There is no doubt that he has a big game, and that game that he has can and should be for top 10, top 5 player. So it just depends on him and his commitment to the sport. Obviously it´s not only about the game. It´s many things that have to fall in place.´

´I knew it was going to be a tough battle today´, said Kyrgios. ´I knew he wanted to come out there and obviously after Acapulco to come out there and win. The conditions are completely different here than they are in Acapulco. I don´t think I served anywhere near as I did in Acapulco. I fought for every point, and obviously we were a bit -- I think both of us were a bit nervous at times. I thought it was a pretty good match. I played the crucial points pretty well. Obviously I just served well again. Yeah, it was good to get through. But honestly the doubles just kind of killed the mood a little bit. We just got destroyed. That was tough.´

He will play his next match against Roger Federer. What does he remember about the match played in Madrid two years ago? ´I remember the first game I broke him, and I said, Come on, pretty loud, just to show that I felt like he knew I would compete for every point that day. But that was kind of surreal, playing him, center court and winning was unbelievable feeling. I think a lot´s happened since then. I have played a lot more matches. I feel more confident in my game, and he´s obviously playing unbelievable at the moment. But, yeah, I remember a lot. It´s completely different conditions from Madrid clay to Indian Wells in the desert. So it´s going to be a completely different game.´

´I´m not surprised that he won the Oz Open. You know, when I see him winning tournaments, when I see him producing level, it doesn´t really surprise me at all. He´s the greatest player of all time. Age is just a thing for him. As long as he stays healthy, he´s going to be the top player, you know, around that top tier.´

He said that he is in a good place mentally right now. Can he talk about why that is and what´s going on? ´I think it´s starting in practice, I guess. Every time I go on the practice court, I try and be positive, try and have fun, not being too hard on myself. I was in a pretty dark place. Even I was at 13 last year, but I wasn´t in a good place mentally at all. I was beating myself down, and I just wasn´t in a good place. Some of that´s obviously having my girlfriend back on tour is going to be awesome seeing her every couple weeks. Obviously, my mom is here. I´m just trying to stay happy and enjoy my tennis a little bit.´

He has played all the top guys now. What´s the experience and the challenge, like, playing Novak now that he has had a couple cracks at it now compared to the other players in the top of the game? ´I played Zverev a couple days ago and I thought the level was incredible. The level is not that different, I don´t think. You know, it´s just about being able to bring that every single day, and that´s what the top guys do the best. I think Alexander some days could play a higher level than Novak, but he couldn´t bring it as consistently as Novak can. I think that´s the main difference.´

He feels a different player: ´Towards the end of last year, I was just going to places and dreading going, like just really dreading going to tournaments. Didn´t want to practice, didn´t want to really do anything.  I had a physical trainer for a little bit, but it was tough, because my team was motivated but I wasn´t motivated. After the Australian Open I went and spent a week with my girlfriend, and then Rusty called me up, Lleyton, and then he really wanted me to come play Davis Cup. And that was the best thing I could have done, come back and be with the boys, and I found some enjoyment practicing again. Yeah, I don´t know what happened. Something -- something switched, and now I´m really enjoying it again. We still talk to this day, the whole Davis Cup team. I think that´s helped me the most. You know, having some people on my side and, you know, they have my back. So that´s been the key.´

ALSO READ: Roger Federer: 'I didn't think I could play so well. Really a good performance!'



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