Roland Garros

Tuesday, 6 June 2023

Paris, France

Karen Khachanov

Press Conference

N. DJOKOVIC/K. Khachanov

4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Bad luck, Karen. Not the result you wanted today, but another strong Grand Slam showing and you'll be back in the top 10. How many positives do you take out of Paris?

KAREN KHACHANOV: Yeah, thanks. Obviously a lot of positives. You know, there are no regrets. Yeah, another good, I mean, good performance in a Grand Slam.

Yeah, obviously, you know, I have been saying for a few years that my goal was to return to top 10. You know, it's not the ultimate goal, but still, it's good to have it.

Yeah, going back home, to be honest, with my head high, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. You have played against Djokovic 10 times. Could you describe what it's like to play against him and maybe what playing against him does to an opponent over the course of a match.

KAREN KHACHANOV: You know, to be honest, every time it's a different story and a different match. Today I would say I was close again, you know, and it was really the closest out of the last matches that we have played.

I think in a Grand Slam obviously it makes difference, because it's best of five, and, you know, I pulled it today to play four sets. I think even though I had a chance to take 2-0 lead, first two sets, I was feeling that I was pushing him much more than it was the second part of the match.

What it feels like, you know, it always feels like he finds a way how to make you into the trouble. He's always there. You know, he's always pushing, and you know this.

At one point if you don't cross him, you know, then it becomes tougher and tougher. That's what it makes. He always tries to find a way. He's changing the game. He's stepping in, he's going back, defending, and it's always you feel like you have extra balls to play.

Otherwise it's just not easy to go boom, boom, boom, left, right, and that's it. You always have to build a point a lot.

Q. He was talking about that period I guess beginning with the tiebreaker and into the first game where he described it as playing sort of perfect tennis. Did you sense something changed with him? What did he do differently? Sort of that previous question, did that feel different than what was going on before in terms of how he was playing and what was going on in the match?

KAREN KHACHANOV: You know, it's always a question, right, tennis. Two guys are playing against each other. Sometimes you can do something better; sometimes he did something well. It's always tough to describe.

I think the tiebreak he played really perfect. Maybe I could have done something better, yes, but at the same time I think he did all the right shots and he made all of them.

I think he kind of stepped up, you know, he started to play more aggressive, especially during the tiebreak. You know, he got the win.

And then the next set I think the first game I had two shots where I could -- I missed them -- but I had actually attacks to make. Then he starts to take over, yeah, from that moment.

Q. Did you feel differently after the tiebreaker? Did you psychologically feel differently in your head about what you needed to accomplish and what needed to be done, or were you still in the same state of mind?

KAREN KHACHANOV: No, I was always in the same state of mind. I think it's just, like I said, like I answered to the question before, he changed the game a little bit. He kind of increased the level also at one point.

You know, you can always do better. You can do down a little bit. I think I went down in terms of energy and in terms of -- not mentally. Mentally I was always there. I'm always fighting until the end. It doesn't matter if I'm losing 2 sets to love and break or not. Especially in a match like this in a quarterfinals, I will give it all.

That's why I think it was just, yeah, he started to play better, I would say, in this moment, and then I stepped back a little bit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
133670-1-1063 2023-06-06 18:30:00 GMT

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