MADRID, May 7, 2016
World number one Novak Djokovic found his way to the semi-finals and is still in hunt for his second Mutua Madrid Open title.
The 28-year-old from Belgrade defeated Milos Raonic in Friday’s night session at the Caja Mágica. The encounter ended at 11:30pm but Djokovic was still in good mood to answer the questions from the journalists in the post match press conference.
“One of the keys of the match was getting as many returns back in play. I knew that before I stepped on the court that I should not give him too many free points on his serve. That’s where the big servers get a lot of confidence. So I returned exceptionally well. I thought I didn’t do too many things wrong. Very, very pleased with the performance,” the Serbian was satisfied.
“When I was in trouble I came up with good serves, good forehands. Maybe could have capitalized on the opportunities early in the second set to go double break, but credit to him for fighting, for being aggressive. It’s not easy to play somebody that serves that big. I was very pleased with the return. That was one of the best shots of the game today.”
Due to bad weather in Madrid the roof was closed, which could be considered as an advantage for Djokovic.
“Conditions might have helped me for returning better because I was slower than it usually is during the day when it’s sunny. So I enjoyed it. I really did. I think that it was even louder than usually is when the roof is not closed. So it was a fun and entertaining match,” he explained.
After the one hour and 44 minutes encounter with Raonic, Djokovic is confident to be well prepared for his semi-finals match against Kei Nishikori on Saturday.
“I don’t disconnect. I’m always connected. I disconnect probably only when I sleep,” Djokovic laughed when he was asked, how he disconnects and recovers between the matches.
“But everything aside that, I assure you my brain works 300 kilometers per hour. That’s usually the case when you’re a part of the tour. There is a lot of adrenaline and emotions going on. I think over the years of playing so many matches and tournaments, you develop this kind of skill and experience of knowing how to handle these particular moments during a tournament.
“Everybody is different. It’s hard to say what’s the right formula for success. I like to have a right combination or balance between passive and active recovery. Being involved in some things that are not only related to tennis or sports. I enjoy many different things and trying to get my mind off the tennis. That’s how I recharge my batteries actually. You always try to rationally spend your energy. Not too much outside and going around, because you need all your awareness and concentration for the match,” he told.
Djokovic will take on Nishikori for the 10th tour meeting, leading 7-2 in head to head records.
“He doesn’t serve as big as Milos, that’s for sure. He’s much quicker around the court and he’s got a very aggressive, very good game for these kind of conditions. He played couple years ago I think finals here. He dug himself out of the trouble against Fognini as well as Kyrgios today.
He’s an experienced player. He’s been on the big stage and has been part of the big matches so many times. I’ll try to obviously take away the time from him because I know that he likes to stay close to the line and dictate the play. I’ll try to mix up the pace and prepare myself well.”