Novak Djokovic was surprised, in some ways, by Roger Federer's performance in Cincinnati final on Sunday. In press conference, the Serb admitted the Swiss wasn't performing as well as possible.
'Roger wasn't obviously at his best', Djokovic recognized. 'He missed a lot of returns. He had also seems like a difficult time to move. He was not really playing as well as he did in previous matches this week, but at the same time I thought I was solid.
I didn't allow him to come to the net and be aggressive too much, and I tried to kind of hold ground and protect the line. It's much easier said than done when you're playing Roger, especially in these conditions where he loves playing here.
Everything happens really, really fast and there is not much time to think or to construct the points, so you really need to be alert all the time, especially against him. I'm very pleased the way I held my nerves at the end.
And even when I lost the break of serve in the second set, I managed to rebreak the next game and get back on the right track.' Commenting on what it means to him to achieve Career Golden Masters, Djokovic added: 'Definitely one of the most special moments in my career.
Achievements, making history of the sport that I truly love is a great privilege and honor and something that I'll be very proud of for the rest of my life. I was saying previously that during this week that obviously this trophy has been a motivation, big motivation for me.
But at the same time I tried not to think about the pressure of really making history too much, because I have had already some failed attempts, three years ago with Roger, and coming into today's match, I wasn't easy psychologically because I knew I lost to him every time I played him on this court.
But at the same time, I liked my chances because I felt better and better as the tournament week was progressing. I felt that in the past when I had this particular circumstances in the tournament and matches where I come back from situations where I'm down a set and a break and I managed to win close matches, I usually come out semifinals or finals playing my best tennis.
That's something that I was hoping is going to happen again, and I believed that it will and it did. It was by far the best performance of the week.' ALSO READ: 2018 Cincinnati Prize Money: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic earnings