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June 30, 2014

Novak Djokovic


6/3, 6/4, 7/6

THE MODERATOR:  Question, please.

Q.  You must be delighted with that victory.  It looked pretty emphatic.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  I was aware of his qualities, especially on this surface.  He looked, before the match, very determined to play his best and very focused.
I think I did really well from the start to the end, especially in the third set where I thought he elevated his level of game and he started serving very high percentage first serve, very strong, all angles.
It was difficult to get the return back in play, but managed to save a couple break points, crucial ones, get myself in the tiebreak and wait for the opportunity to be presented.
We both served very well in the tiebreak, and the only opportunity I had was on second serve on 6‑5, and I used it.¬† I went for the shot.
Yeah, I'm just glad that I didn't allow him to go into the fourth set, because he started to use obviously the crowd support.  And, you know, I knew that he's going to do that because he's the kind of player that feeds off the energy, so it was very important for me to get this done in straight sets.

Q.  Yourself and Andy both benefited from playing under the roof today.  There is a bit of a backlog.  Stan Wawrinka was complaining about the scheduling.  He will have to play back to back.  Is it beneficial to you going forward in this tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, in my own case, yes.  I mean, I had a couple of days off and then scheduled to play today on the Centre.  No interruptions, played the whole match under the roof, didn't think about the rain.  This is advantage of being scheduled on Centre Court.
But I understand why Wawrinka was complaining, because, you know, we have this tradition here of the middle Sunday not being played any match.  This tradition was broken a couple of times, and I remember a few years ago it was the case when they actually had to play a few matches.
So I think, you know, we have to rethink about this Sunday in between, because the day was beautiful.  It was no rain, and the whole day there was no match played.  No other Grand Slam has this particular rule.
We all know that tradition is something that is nurtured here in All England Club, and we respect that.  But there are some rules that I believe should be, you know, updated, changed, you know, for the better of the schedule and for the better of the players.

Q.  Didn't play a warmup tournament here, and then you had three very tight matches and only dropped one set.  Are you where you want to be at this stage of the tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  Especially after the match today, beating Tsonga who is very good player overall, but especially on the grass.  He won in the Centre Court against Federer a couple years ago, so he knows how to play on the big stage.  He has been winning against all the top players in different, various, big occasions and big tournaments.  He was in a couple of Grand Slam semifinals, finals.
So he's a top player, established top‑10 player, and he loves the big stage.¬† So to be able to win against him in straight sets on the surface that I said that I feel like it suits him the most is a great result.¬† I was very happy with consistency today, mental consistency, and variety in my game.¬† Played very good from back of the court.¬† Good serve.
So all in all, it was a very good match, and hopefully I can continue keeping the same level.

Q.  What about the left upper arm?  You pinched that a couple times in the third set.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, just happened in the tiebreaker in the third set that I felt it a little bit.
But it's good.

Q.  Did you receive treatment after the match on that arm?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, a little bit.  So it's still a bit sore because of the fall that I had a few days ago, but, you know, there is no damage, which is important.
So, you know, it's normal to have a bit of soreness in the muscle and around the joint.
But thankfully I have a flexible shoulder, and it helps in these particular situations.

Q.  But is it hampering when you play?

Q.  Not at all?

Q.  You face Marin in the next round, which pits your coach, Boris Becker, up against Goran Ivanisevic.  Do you expect Boris to be working especially hard the next couple days to make sure...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I expect him to come into the court and play instead of us (Laughter).
Well, you know, there is no difference in our approach in terms of practice and what we work on, and I will try to stick to the kind of a game plan that I had against Marin in the previous occasions.
I am aware of the fact, as well, that since he started working with Goran that he has improved, especially in his service department, where for his height I thought that he didn't use his full potential up to now work with Goran, where it's evident that it works well for him.
Especially on the grass it serves as a great weapon.  He won here in straight sets against Chardy and Berdych and some very good players.
So it says enough about his quality play in this tournament.

Q.  Is this the point in the tournament where Boris' impact comes into its own?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Of course.  I mean, he's my coach and we're working daily on all possible aspects of my mental and physical, emotional preparation and trying to get myself in the best possible shape.
You know, of course he can dedicate himself and help as much as he possibly can, but I need to execute the same work that we are doing.
But we do have a much better understanding now, and it shows on the court.

Q.  You're obviously very good friends with Marin.  Whenever we ask about you two friends playing each other you say, Yeah, but we're professionals on the court.  Is there some intensity that perhaps gets lost on both sides because you have so much respect and liking for each other off court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Well, not in my case, to be honest.¬† There was few times that I felt ‑‑that's a good question‑‑ that I felt this particular sensation when I would play somebody, especially somebody from my country, like Troicki or Tipsarevic, if I should go for this shot.¬† It seems a little bit strange because you don't want to express your emotions.
But in the end of the day, it's not a cliché.  This is actually how it should be.  The mental approach should be that we are both professionals and we want to win against each other.  I played Radek the other day and we had a tough match.  We both showed, expressed emotions.  We wanted to win.  We fighted through.  One hour after the match we were joking around in the locker room and we were practicing today and tomorrow as well.
So, you know, we are good friends.  We are both aware of the fact that that's our work, it's our life, and we need to do what we need to do on the court.

Q.  Is there any particular strength which you see in Cilic which you think you would like to prepare the most for?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, obviously, as I just said, his serve has improved and it is his weapon.
If I get to neutralize his serve in a way to get as many returns back in the court and get him moving, not allow him to have, you know, the comfort zone and not allow him to be too aggressive, I guess that's where I'm looking for my chance.

Q.  Goran was such a force of nature as a player, such a strong character.  Do you think that will naturally have an impact on Marin and how he approaches it on the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think it already does.  It shows with the results that he has in this tournament and lately their relationship helps Marin, for sure.
I mean, he's definitely feeling, you know, privileged to have Goran on his team because Goran is a legend of our sport, and especially in Croatia and in our ex‑Yugoslavian countries.¬† He's somebody that we respect a lot.¬† He always had this personality, this great drive about him.
He's tall, as well as Marin, so I'm sure that he helped him out and improved his serve and also his mental approach to this big tournaments and big matches.
I have played him last two times a tough three‑setter in Indian Wells, and also a tough four‑setter in Roland Garros a couple of weeks ago.
No easy matches, really.  I feel like he has improved, and I'm sure he's going to try to go for his shots and try to win the match.

Q.  Marin said that everybody remembers where they were when Goran won Wimbledon here.  Do you remember that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Do I remember?

Q.  When Goran won.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, of course.  Of course.  I was actually in Croatia at that time.  I was playing qualifications of a tournament in Umag, and I was watching him lift the Wimbledon trophy.
I thought he deserved it because he played three, four finals before that.  Yeah, that was the tournament that he always, you know, wanted to win and most successful tournament.  He loved playing on grass.
That's where this relationship with Marin obviously pays its positive dividends to Marin's game.

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