On the possibility of ending 2014 year with the No. 1 ranking:
“I have a small shot at world No. 1 after winning Shanghai. I mean, I’m happy it’s this way. But I think it’s highly unlikely it’s going to happen. If it does, obviously it’s great.
“But for me personally, it doesn’t really matter if it happened at the end of the year or any other week during the year, as long as you could get back to world No. 1 for one more time. I think that would be very special because I’ve been there and I know how much it would mean, because winning a tournament is a one‑week thing or a two‑week thing, but getting back to world No. 1 is an entirely different animal.
“I’ll try to get there, but obviously Novak is going to dictate as well what’s going to happen here.”
Asked about the greater rivalry of his career – Nadal or Djokovic:
“I feel a special connection towards Rafa just because we did, I don’t want to say come up together somewhat on the tour, but we did have a very strong, intense rivalry for many years, starting 2004 maybe. Especially we played each other that many times in finals of slams, which hasn’t been the case with the other players as much.
“I know Novak, the matches and the rivalry is nice. I really enjoy playing against him. It’s very evenly matched, you know. But I played him more often probably in semis than in finals most likely. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s kind of how it felt like.
“Because me and Rafa were always 1 and 2 or 2 and 1 for so long. Murray and Djokovic always ended up in our semis for so long. So there was actually more opportunities to play those guys than Rafa, quite honestly, because getting to the finals is difficult.
“But then also I always like to look back and see who were my tougher players when I was coming up. In the beginning I struggled against the likes of Henman, Nalbandian, Hewitt, Roddick. So for me those were really interesting players to play against. I was lucky enough that Andre Agassi played as long as he did because I got to play him also, I think almost 15 times.”
Evaluating his win over Raonic:
“I think I played really well for probably one and a half sets. It was good to get off to a good start like I did against him at Cincinnati, and Wimbledon, I broke first game and sort of never looked back. I think when I had breakpoint in the second set, he was able to save that. When I was trying to hit a lob and he smashed it home, after that it became complicated. I don’t know why.
“I had a couple of games where I was up 40‑Love, and both times he came back and got into the game, which was probably my mistake. But it made me uncomfortable. I started to play a bit more passive. He started to become a bit more offensive. I actually think he was the better player from that moment on and deserved the set more than I did.
“Thankfully he didn’t play quite so well, like he did in Paris maybe. He gave me a few shots here and there, especially at the beginning of the breaker. I think those were crucial.
“I was happy to bring it home because it was very close at the end of the second.”
“But it’s obviously disappointing, very disappointing actually, the way I finished that second set off. “
“It took me more a set to find my way into the match because of playing Roger, not because of being here for the first time.”
“Every time you play Roger, the crowd’s on his side, even if he’s playing a local favorite. It’s hard for people to cheer against Roger.
“I’ve played him a few times. I’ve played home favorites on big courts also a few times, and in Davis Cup, many different situations. So it wasn’t any type of an issue.”
“I get pretty angry when I lose, so…
I’m going to have to learn how to slap myself out of it.”
On his loss to Nishikori:
“I didn’t serve well enough today. I would say that was the biggest difference in the match. And when you’re not serving well, obviously on your own service games you want to be looking to dictate the points. When you’re returning, you kind of dictate when you have the opportunity. You don’t always have the chance if someone’s serving well.
“And, yeah, I didn’t serve well enough. He was able to dictate a lot of points, especially behind my second serve. That was, yeah, statistically the part of the match ‑‑ yeah, I mean, that was the part of the match where he had the upper hand. That was the difference. “
“It’s still obviously disappointing to lose the first match. And, yeah, I would have liked to have done better.”
“Obviously now I need to win my next two matches more than likely, and win them well if I want to go through. That’s going to be tricky because Milos obviously played fantastic last week in Paris, and Roger always plays well at this event.
“So I’m definitely going to have to play better if I want to get through.”
On the surface at the O2 Arena: “It’s quite lively, to be honest. It can be hard to control the ball that can bounce pretty high up on the serve, on the kick serve. Yeah, it’s quicker than the other courts.
“It’s definitely quicker than Valencia and Paris, I would say that. I don’t know exactly why that is, because the balls are the same and it’s the same court, I believe, manufacturer. I don’t know if it’s to do with just how big the stadium is, and it does get warm in there. I’m not sure. But, yeah, it’s quite lively.”
Asked about his confidence in his first–ever win over Murray:
“For sure I was different than these couple matches we played because this year I was, you know, much better player than before and more aggressive, you know, have bigger result this year.
“So that’s why I try not to think, you know, I can’t beat these guys, because I’ve been beating those top‑10 guys already. You know, this is even first time for me to play to a Final.
“But we’ve been playing a lot these players, and I was a little bit tight in the beginning, but, you know, I start feeling little more confidence in especially second set. I was very, very, you know, solid player.”
About playing in the O2 Arena:
“The court is same as Paris, so I was little bit used to, you know, playing this surface. But the stadium is huge. You know, I try not to look up too much because there was too many people on the top. Try to stay focus.
“Maybe when I walk into the stadium, I was nervous, but same time I was really excited to play with this crowd.
You know, I was thinking, you know, very honored to be here. You know, first time to be top‑eight player. I was really happy that I played good tennis on this situation.”
“There is, you know, still a long way to going to final and to win it. Play one match at a time and hope I can win couple matches here and go to semifinal.”
“I see Li Na and Srichaphan, I was looking up to them. I felt a lot of motivation from them.”