June 6, 2019
N. DJOKOVIC/A. Zverev
7-5, 6-2, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. It is the first time since Australian Open 2012 that the four top seeds make the semifinals. I'd like to know if, in your opinion, Dominic Thiem is the new Andy Murray? I mean, the Fab Four, Ringo Starr replacing...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Who is Ringo Starr?
Q. One of the Fab Four.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I know. Who of all four of us is...
Q. Andy Murray was Ringo Starr, the less famous of the four Beatles and the less winner. And Dominic Thiem for semifinal is the new Ringo Starr.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm sure some people would debate if Ringo Starr was the less famous. Some people liked him the most. I don't know. That's what my parents tell me (smiling).
You make the best questions. You always make me wonder. Cannot have a simple answer.
Well, it's great to have -- it speaks about the quality of the tournament and the quality of the top four guys that reached the last four.
I think it's great to have the top four players competing in the semifinals on the biggest event because it brings even more rivalry, more importance to those matches and to the tournament in general.
Look, you know, you mentioned Andy Murray. I want to say that I'm really pleased to see that he's coming back to the court. He's going to play doubles, and hopefully singles very soon after.
You know, what has happened with him in last couple of years, I can, you know, relate to the issues that he had because I kind of went through my elbow surgery in a similar time. But, you know, obviously his injuries are much worse than mine.
You know, I have shared my trajectory of my career in a very similar fashion and probably in the same time as Andy, so I feel very connected with him. We are the same age, same generation. We have known each other for a long time. So it's really nice to see him, on a side note.
And Dominic is deservedly where he is, one of the top four guys, especially on clay. That's where he's playing his best tennis. He's got that tremendous power in his game, especially with forehand and serve. I think backhand also has improved a lot in the last couple of years.
Seems like his relationship with Massu has helped him a lot, also mentally, I think, in big matches. Seems like it has been working really well.
If he continues playing this way, not just on clay but in general, I think we will probably be seeing him more often on different surfaces in the final stages of the tournament.
How far us four, so to say, other than this tournament can, you know, create something that we have created with Andy, three of us guys? I don't know. It's a different time for us now than it was five years ago now, obviously. We're a bit older.
But, you know, we have still been enjoying some of our best tennis in biggest events, talking about Federer, Nadal, and myself. That's great to see.
I mean, obviously these two guys, Nadal and Federer, arguably the biggest legends of this sport and best players, successful players ever, so to be in the mix with them and to have myself successful career is quite a great feeling.
Q. On a similar theme, this is the first Grand Slam since the French Open in 2012 that you and Roger and Rafa are all in the semifinals at the same tournament. It seems incredible it's been that long. I just wanted your reaction to that.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Okay, I mean, Roger also didn't play last couple of years, if I'm not mistaken. You know, it happens. In big tournaments like slams, everyone has an extra, so to say -- it seems like everyone has an extra gear, extra motivation to really perform their best and to shine in these tournaments.
Because obviously these tournaments count the most in the history of our sport, so of course they inspire players to play their best. And you can actually see more surprises, I guess, surprising wins against top players here and maybe other tournaments.
You know, I think we all have been quite consistent. I didn't know about that, so it's great. I don't know what else I can say about that.
Q. You have won in straight sets again today. Earlier in the week you said you were happy to win in cruise control. I wondered, if they made a film about your life, would you be happy for Tom Cruise to play you? Are there any other actors that you admire? Would you ever consider an acting career in future, or would that be Mission Impossible for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wow, amazing (smiling).
No, I probably wouldn't choose, if I had a choice, I wouldn't choose Tom, even though of course I respect him.
I don't consider acting career, but we can talk. If you have some offers later on, you can always recommend.
Did I answer all your questions?
Q. Actors that you admire?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Actors that I admire? Well, DiCaprio, DeNiro, Gerard Butler on the men's side. And I like Halle Barry, Sharon Stone, and Jessica Alba. I do.
Q. If we could possibly get back to tennis...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ah, okay.
Q. Tennis players have to play each round by round, and you do that week in, week out. But you're facing a possible historic marker. You have a long ways to go still, but it's out there. To what extent in your career do you feel you're playing for history, that history plays a role in your career and your desires?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the presence I think of history-making is stronger than ever right now in my career. I think the longer I play or the further I go, I guess, in my career, the sense of history-making is only getting stronger. That's one of the greatest motivations I have, obviously.
I think there is no better way to make history of the sport than to win slams and play your best in the biggest events, and obviously try to stay No. 1 as long as you can. I mean, those are, results-wise, the pinnacle achievements that you can have in our sport.
Q. Obviously the top four made the semifinals here on the men's side this year, and on the women's side only one player from the top 25 even made the semifinals. You have been in this era where there has been a lot of consistency on the men's side. Do you wish there was a crazy result on the men's side and something similarly unpredictable happened, or are you enjoying being part of this fairly steady time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, apart from myself, I would love to see big surprises, to be honest with you. (Laughter.)
You know, it's tough for me to compare now the women's and the men's tournament or in general. I mean, Serena, you know, has been so dominant over the years. But obviously she hasn't been playing as much, and she hasn't been as consistent, which is normal, I mean, of course, after so many years of great success.
And then after her, you know, obviously you have players like Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens, and Muguruza a couple of times Grand Slam winner, that, you know, people are kind of looking for who is the next dominant women's tennis player?
But there are more players in the mix, I guess. There are young ones like Anisimova from today, and Vondrousova, which is first time that I personally see them play on highest level, and it's great.
I think it's really great for the sport to see new faces. I'm sure that people are also excited and looking forward to see some, you know, new champions of Grand Slams, and I guess big tournaments on the men's side, as well.
Hopefully that will come after I finish my career. (Laughter.)
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