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DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS


February 25, 2015


Novak Djokovic


DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

N. DJOKOVIC/A. Golubev
6‑1, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Comfortable?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  More comfortable than yesterday, that's for sure.  Basically I didn't have as much pressure from the opponent's serve as I did last night.
Having one match under my belt before today's encounter helped to feel a bit more comfortable to move around on the court quicker, and I tried to take away the time from my opponent today.  I know he, especially with these slower surfaces, he likes to have time so I tried to be aggressive, step in.
He tried to mix up the pace.  He was doing well, changing up the rhythm with slice and some high balls. 
All in all, it was just a much better performance than yesterday.  Hopefully I can, you know, improve as the tournament progresses.

Q.  Must have been the belly dancing.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Must have been something about last night that has influenced my performance today.  That's for sure.
It was a lot of dancing.  I saw most of the players leave when I arrived, because I finished the match late.  So I arrived around 10:30 and I thought we were in for a short night, but it was completely something different and I enjoyed it very much.
I think these Players Parties usually are not as much fun as here in Dubai.  We always have some nice, fun entertainment content during the night with magicians, with music.  The lady that was singing last night was incredible.  The lady that was dancing last night was incredible.  And the journalists that were there last night were incredible (laughter).
So I enjoyed it very much.¬† I thought, you know, why not have fun?¬† Didn't stay too late.¬† I don't know if 1:00 a.m. is a bit late.¬† Well, my coach was there with me, so he definitely approved everything.¬† Boris showed some very flexible, very agile moves on the dance floor with hip‑hop, with his hips that are replaced last couple of years (laughter) and then with his ankles and looks like a young guy on the floor.
But loved it.  Very good.

Q.  You have spent quite a lot of time with Borna Coric who is a kid that sort of bases his game a little bit on you.  He plays Andy in the next round.  Can he give Andy problems?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I call him differently, Coric, but it's fine (smiling).  Well, he's definitely one of the most talented players right now the world.  He beat Nadal in Basel four or five months ago, and since that tournament you can feel he has matured a lot.  He feels comfortable playing with top players.
You know, getting into main draw, he was a lucky loser.  Probably recent pressure from him so he played well the first two rounds here.  I practiced with him a lot in last two, three months.  Spent some time in Dubai and he was here so we practiced a few times, practiced a few times in Australia. 
I try to help him because I see, in a way, myself through him.  I've never felt that way when I practice with somebody as I felt with him.  It's like playing myself.  Very similar game.
Great fighting spirit, disciplined, focused, committed, confident, very young but confident, which is important.
You know, he's a good boy and we have good relationship.  I try to always talk with him, give him few advices.  I think he has a bright future if he is able to stay on the pathway he is right now and be patient and, you know, he has a good team of people around him.  Just reaching quarterfinals here, obviously beating Baghdatis and a couple good players says enough about his quality.  He's only 18 years old.  It takes a little bit of time, but he's already, as I see, physically matured, a strong guy, and I wish him all the best.

Q.  Is there a difference in your training routine on days when you're actually having a match and days in between?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, my routine is usually to dance up till 1:00 a.m. before the match (smiling).
No, well, I do have, you know, my routines usually on the days of the match.  If I play a night match, I would do some warmup around, you know, noon and 1:00 p.m., just do some running, some exercises to get the blood flow.
You know, come here, warm up three hours before the match, eat, and then prepare myself mentally as well, speak with my team about what I want to do on the court, tactics.
Obviously the days when I don't play a match are different.  But as we are getting closer to the tournament, the focus and attention and the excitement is growing, so you are more committed to the competition.

Q.  You talk about working with Coric.  You play almost every alternate week.  You lose a lot, too.  How do you think that attitude towards defeat helps, I mean, to have a good attitude towards losing?  Because you play so much.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You're talking about Coric or me?

Q.  You.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.  Well, obviously, as I said just before to this gentleman, it's a process.  Patience is a virtue.  And not many people or not many players are able to, you know, to have the sustained dedication, commitment to the sport.
That's something that it takes today in every aspect of your life, of your career, and life in general in order to get the performance and get the goal achieved that you really want.
So, you know, for younger players nowadays, I believe it's more difficult to break to top 100 than it was in my days, and I was going through, like, 10 years ago when I made my breakthrough, it was ‑‑ the point system was such and just it was a slightly different game.¬† I felt like I could reach the top 50 or maybe top 100 or top 50 earlier.
Nowadays it's more physical.  I feel like first professional match, when I played in comparing to today, I think many more players are professional just in everything they do.  You didn't see that much professionalism from the players that are, let's say, ranked 50 in the world in terms of practice, in terms of recovery, in terms of just a very professional approach to food, drinks, everything.
Today you can see a lot of gluten‑free sections, and I never seen a gluten‑free section before. Yeah, it's evolving, as everything in life, and it's very important to keep that positive attitude like everything in life.¬† It's not a cliche, but it really helps whatever you do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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