September 01, 2010
When Novak Djokovic went down two sets to one in his first-round match against fellow Serb Viktor Troicki, all seemed lost for the No. 3 seed. The Djoker was playing in 109 degree heat and had his back up against the wall, two things that have normally been the recipe for a total collapse from him. He had even seemed psyched out by the heat before the match began, giving a nervous chuckle during a pre-match interview when asked how he was going to cope.
But then, remarkably, Djokovic rallied. When the sun dipped below Arthur Ashe Stadium and provided some shade, Djokovic got a burst of energy and was able to come back to avoid the upset and move to the second round at the U.S. Open. How good did that shade make him feel? Djokovic gave an analogy on live television:
Brad Gilbert's reaction is fantastic. He knows it's hilarious, he wants to keep going, but he probably has somebody yelling loudly in his ear to stop the interview immediately.
Afterward, Djokovic sat down for a press conference:
Q. Did you see the replay or the actual live shot of [Roger Federer's] tween the legs shot last night?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I've seen it live last year passing next to me (smiling). That's enough traumatic experiences for me. Today when Viktor tried to do the same thing, I said, No, no, please. He was running for the ball between the legs. Please miss it. Please don't embarrass me again.
Q. As somebody who does very good imitations, is that something you can imitate?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, definitely not. I am not as good as he is in that. I'd like to be very careful with my racquet (smiling). You know what I mean.
Q. You made a comment about sleeping with your girlfriend out on the court. What was that analogy to?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know. He asked me for the comparison of the feeling, what kind of feeling was it to feel the shade. The sun came down and I didn't have any more heat, what kind of feeling was it. It just came up to me. It's one of the best feelings, I guess, when you're sleeping with your close one. So I compare it to that.
Q. Must have felt good.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It felt unbelievable (smiling). Let's get back to tennis now (laughter).
Glad you're still around, Nole.
Clip courtesy @SIOOpenSource