21 April: Dusan Lajovic

Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters
Sunday, 21 April 2019
Dusan Lajovic
Press Conference
F. FOGNINI/D. Lajovic

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How special was this match?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, first time in the finals, so great experience for me. Today was, again, not easy to play. A lot of wind.

But Fabio is a guy who knows how to play in these conditions. Has great hands. He’s moving really well.

So I was feeling on the court that I had to work much harder than him to win the points. I think this was the key.

He was pretty stable and solid from both sides, moving well. And when I was on and when I was aggressive, I was able to make points and put him under pressure. But at times, my game was just off. I had a lot of unforced errors.

One thing was that it was windy. The other thing was I was under the pressure of the finals of the moment, and all together, I think he was much better player today. Congrats to him.

It’s many more positives than negatives this week, so there is no reason to be sad even if I don’t feel as happy as the whole week today. But I know that it’s my best result, and I just hope that I can repeat this result in some other event, as well, in the future.

Q. What do you think of Fabio’s game?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, I think that when he’s focused and when he’s playing well on clay, he’s one of the toughest players to play. He’s got fast shots, he’s moving really well. His serve is not the best, but he’s returning really well.

He just knows how to play tennis on clay. And he beat Rafa yesterday in two sets, so he showed that he can produce top quality tennis. He deserved to win the title here.

Q. Is there one moment where you think you could go ahead in the match? I think you had an opportunity to go up 3-1 at one moment, I believe, and sometimes the games were very, very close.
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Yeah, exactly. Like in the first set I think 2-1 I was serving. I had a couple game points and a couple mishit forehands. I think it would be different if I was up 3-1. Maybe I could break again in this case.

But as I said, he’s there every point, and you’ve got to be really focused and play to the maximum. I felt like at times I didn’t have solutions how to win points. But again, at times sometimes just playing heavy I was able to be more aggressive on the court, but it was not easy today. I think it would be different if I was up 3-1 maybe. And second set he started with a break, and then I broke back.

So mentally, at some point of the sets, we were very close to each other. The margins were very small. But at the end, he was able to control the emotions and the momentum in both sets better than me.

Q. Coming back to Fabio and his capacities on the court, with this result do you think he can enter in the top 10, which he hasn’t done yet?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Okay, is he top 10 now? What’s he gonna be? 12? Okay.

Well, you know, he definitely has game for top 10, but we all know that tennis is not just tennis, and your game, it’s mentally most of the time. So I think that it depends on him.

He was couple times in a position where he was able to get couple good results and break into top 10, so I think that this will be a huge boost, because he never won Masters before. So I think if he keeps playing like this, for sure he’s gonna break into top 10.

He’s three years older than me, so he’s playing his best tennis right now. That’s also a good thing for me. I can see that it’s never too late.

I’m happy for him that he won the title. On the other hand, I’m also happy that I had this experience this week and played finals in a Masters.

Q. Do you think with the losses of Nadal and Djokovic, things are more open for Roland Garros?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Yeah, well, the thing is I would consider these kind of events separate, because it’s best of five and it’s another mentality. And there, it’s not the same if you beat them in best of three and to beat them in best of five, especially in French Open where Rafa dominated so much.

So I think they is still the biggest favorites and contenders for the title. And a couple losses here in clay, I don’t think it’s gonna change that tremendously. To beat them there, it’s not gonna be like yesterday Fabio here. I don’t think that Rafa can play such a bad match two times in such a short period of time.

But again, it’s also proven that they can be beaten. Just I would say that it’s much harder in a slam.

Q. Can you tell us what did you feel when Fabio had his injury?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, I didn’t see exactly what happened. Maybe a misstep or something like that. So I don’t think it was anything huge, because he continued playing. Maybe couple points he was not running his full. But I think it didn’t bother him that much, so I didn’t focus on that too much.

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