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WIMBLEDON


July 2, 2014


Novak Djokovic


LONDON, ENGLAND

N. DJOKOVIC/M. Cilic
6/1, 3/6, 7/6, 6/2, 6/2


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  What turned it around for you?  How did you get back in the winning way?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Just held my composure in those moments when the match was going his way, especially when he won the third set.  You know, obviously I was frustrated with the fact that I haven't used the opportunities that were presented, and also the fact that I allowed him to come back into the match.
I mean, he did start playing more offense and playing better, but I thought that I allowed him to have this opportunity on the court.

Q.  What effect does it have on you when you realize that Rafa lost and perhaps, if you heard, that Murray lost while you were on court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Doesn't matter.  To be honest, if they lost, they lost to players who were better than them.  To me, it doesn't matter.  I just look at my own matches.

Q.  There was a moment in the fourth set in the changeover where you sit down and your eyes were closed.  Were you visualizing or meditating, trying to calm yourself down?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, yes, obviously, you know, you go through the difficult moments, especially when you're two sets to one down, playing quarters of Grand Slams.  It gets very emotional.  You're fighting on the court as much as your opponent, and you try to just mentally be strong and find that inner strength that can help you in those particular moments.
That's what helped me.

Q.  You appeared to be distracted at times by the noise coming from outside.  How significant was that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think both of us, we thought it was too much in a way.  But it is what it is.  I mean, it's kind of strange to feel so much noise coming from the Centre Court.  I don't know how come, because from the Centre you can't hear and vice versa.
But the crowd gets into it.  Today with him losing in straight sets, it was obviously a result that all stadium, even on Court1, wanted to see.  I said to the chair umpire, Let's just stop the match, put it live on the big screen, and let's watch it till they're done.  It's going to be better for all of us.

Q.  Tomorrow you have a day off.  What have you planned, except from practicing and relaxing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, I'm going to keep my routine, same things.  Try to relax, do some things that I do usually on the days off.

Q.  What is that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That is my private thing.  Can't reveal too much.

Q.  How important is experience in games like that?  You've been in situations like that lots of times, two sets to one down.  How important is the fact that you've been there before?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Well, you try to rely on that experience that is obviously necessary and can decide in these particular matches.¬† I've been there and I've played five‑setters in my life.¬† I was down and coming back.¬† So I know what I needed to do.
Also Marin is an experienced player, nevertheless.  But I thought that he got a little bit tired physically.  He seemed.  I was looking at him in the fourth set.  He wasn't moving as well anymore.  So I tried to, you know, get him from one corner to another, mix up the pace.  I've done pretty well in the last two sets.

Q.  You're going to be a father for the first time this year.  How is the pregnancy going and how does this motivate you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Very good.  Thank you for asking.  The date is coming closer.  The stomach is growing.  If you have kids, you know how that feels.
For us, it's a new chapter of our lives.  It's a new experience.  We're full of joy.  What can I say?  It can only bring positive things to us.  It's the most beautiful news that I ever received when she told me she was pregnant.
We're together almost nine years, and this is the crown of our relationship.

Q.  How difficult is it to not look at the entire draw when guys are falling by the wayside, the bigger names?  How close are you paying attention to that and how it's going to affect you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I just answered that question.  It doesn't affect me at all because I just try to focus on my own matches because that's something I can influence.  Focusing on the next opponent obviously, you know, you're expecting always the top guys from outside perspective, you know, media, fans, for those guys to reach the final stages.
But if it doesn't happen, it's obviously a surprise.  It is a surprise.  But, again, it shows and it proves that Grand Slam you cannot underestimate any opponents.  There are new young players like Kyrgios and Dimitrov that are challenging the best and are winning against the best players in the world.
That's why they deserve to be where they are now.

Q.  You changed your shoes.  Can you explain a little bit more about that.  What was the problem and how did it help you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I thought I was slipping, I was falling, and I wasn't really finding the balance in the third.  I don't know if it was shoes or socks or whatever.  It was very warm.  I was sweating a lot, so I want to change it.
I had just a better grip.  I had better movement.  Maybe it was just mental, but anyway, it worked.

Q.  The grass is supposed to be slower and bounces truer.  We've had a record number of tiebreaks in the tournament, suggesting that breaking is not going on as much.  What is your explanation for that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Grass is still the fastest surface we have in sport.  If you are going to have tiebreak records anywhere, you're going to have it here.  Especially with guys like Isner or López or Raonic, Kyrgios, these big servers, big guys, Cilic.
It's not easy to break them.  They put a lot of pressure on your service games, as well.  Your best chance is getting to a tiebreak.
Again, I would agree with the fact that we have more baseline rallies than we had maybe 20, 30 years ago looking at the grass at those times.
But I think it's not a matter of grass.  I think it's a matter of tennis balls.  I think they're a bit slower, which suits the baseline players more I guess nowadays.

Q.  So the serve should be slower, too?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, not if you're 6'10".  It doesn't matter.  If you serve with a tomato, you're going to ace it.

Q.  How would you assess the match against Dimitrov next given the run he's had on grass?  Do you have any sympathy for Andy Murray being defending champion and how hard it is to, I suppose, keep winning at tournaments you've won before?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I understand him, of course.  I was saying before here that he goes through immense pressure and expectations in Wimbledon because he's somebody that everybody relies on and expects him to go far and win the trophy.
He has done that.  I'm sure that he felt a huge relief.
But again, now he has faced another experience:  to be defending champion for the first time at Wimbledon.  It's quite different.  It's another way of pressure that you feel.
So I understand what he goes through.  But Dimitrov won in straight sets and he deserves respect for that.  Of course, he must have played an incredible match.  To beat Andy on grass is a very, very difficult challenge.

Q.  You just spoke about the thrill of becoming a family man.  Your family sacrificed everything.  Can you imagine where Novak Djokovic would be if those sacrifices hadn't occurred?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Family support is something that was a base of everything I am and everything I have achieved in my life.  Without my parents, first of all, and my brothers backing me up, sacrificing also a lot of things in their life for me to live my dream, if they hadn't done that, I wouldn't be able to be here.
As a person, you need to be fortunate to be in a right surrounding to have the proper support from the family.  It's not always easy.  It's a rare family, especially coming from a less developed countries like Serbia and this region where it's a struggle economically.
It was for my father, borrowing money and so forth.  It was a tough decision to make, but they strongly believed, him and my mother and a couple of other people, you know, and they allowed me to be where I am.
So that's always in the back of my mind, this life value, family, how strong that is.  You should always respect that and always keep that in your mind.

Q.  What are your thoughts on the way Dimitrov has attained the level that he has, and also the idea of the young guys maybe getting this opportunity to break into the big four's stranglehold?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  The fact that he hasn't lost a match in the grass court season this year says enough about his quality.  Also winning against Andy.  I'm sure many people look at him as a potential Grand Slam winner.  Maybe here, maybe in the Grand Slams to follow.
But he has won I think tournaments on each surface this year, so it says enough about his quality on different surfaces, his ability to adjust to different surfaces.
His game has improved a lot.  Working with Roger Rasheed as well, I'm sure that helps.  He's getting more experience now playing on the big stage, which definitely is useful when you play in the big tournaments like this.

Q.  And the young guys led by Dimitrov and the opportunity maybe to break the run the big four that's been nine plus years.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.  Of course, we have Kyrgios, as we mentioned, Raonic.  Kyrgios just got into the mix in this tournament.  He's a 19 year old, which is amazing.  It's good for tennis to see that, because we lacked a little bit of successful teenagers in the last 10 years or so.
So we have these youngsters coming up, fearless on the court, hitting the ball, you know, not caring who is across the net.
It's good.  You know, it gets more attention to new faces and to new wave of generation that is able to challenge the best and be contending for Grand Slam titles.

Q.  Are you going to be wearing your lucky shoes against Grigor?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I have to think about that.  If they're lucky, if you say they're lucky, I'll wear them (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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