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February 28, 2015

Novak Djokovic


R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
6‑3, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  I guess he rose to the challenge you posed pretty well?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I thought it was a good match.  I thought there wasn't much difference, a few points decided a winner.  He was a better player in the first set.  He deserved to win it.
In the second set, I had, what, a couple games at 15‑40, set points.  If you don't use these opportunities against Roger, then, you know, he fires back, and then 5‑All, 40‑Love game, lost that one.
But, you know, I didn't play too bad.  I thought he just was too good, you know, in the points where maybe I had a chance, break points.  He served well.  He aced.  Then, you know, maybe a volley that hit the line.  Bit of a lucky shot.  That's what happens, you know, in a sport like this.
Very quick surface.  Everything happens very fast.  I congratulate him for a performance.  He deserved it.

Q.  Does his attacking game, number of volleys, did that puncture your rhythm a little bit?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, you know, I expected that from him.  I knew he was going to chip and charge, come to the net, serve and volley.  He does that especially if the surface is a bit quicker, and he loves playing in this surface.  He loves playing in these conditions.  So I was expecting that.  I was aware of the fact that he's gonna spend some time at the net.
But he didn't miss much.  I think he missed one or two volleys the entire match.  Some second serves and, you know, coming in I played some really good returns very low.  He managed to play always a volley and make me play an extra shot.
You know, as I said, he's gonna speak obviously about how he feels he played, but I thought he played a terrific game.

Q.  Is that kind of an example of it doesn't matter how much break points you have, but it's whether you have an opportunity on them?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.  Again, maybe just a couple out of seven I have had some chance to really play the point second serve or something like that.  Everything else was an ace or service winner, so while I did my best, I thought I tried to hang in there, you know.  Mentally I didn't want to let it go, and it was unfortunate in the end.

Q.  When was the last time he served that well at crucial moments to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, over the course of his career he's been serving more or less like this, you know, in the important moments and big matches his entire career, you know, hasn't been dropping the level too much.  But again, today was exceptional.  I thought at least I'm going to get one good look at the rally or something like that, but he did a very good job.

Q.  You obviously played Andy a lot, Rafa a lot, Roger a lot.  Each rivalry is different.  How do you describe the one with Roger?  What in particular makes it so close?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, as you said, I have three biggest rivalries against these three guys, and they are all different.  After Rafa, I've played the most against Roger in some big matches, finals.  You know, we always make each other play our best tennis.  We require from each other the maximum focus and commitment, and that's what raises the quality of the match.
That's why he's who he is.  I managed to achieve a lot in my career, I was saying before, because of the matches against Roger and Rafa, managed to learn, understand mentally, physically, game‑wise what I need to do to improve to get myself to the high level and to win Grand Slams, to be the best in the world.
So that's also because of them.

Q.  From your side, do you think there's anything you could have done better?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, I mean, I think in important moments maybe I could have been maybe a little bit more aggressive, but small margins, really.  Nothing to really worry about.  I thought it was a good week overall.
I played some terrific tennis.  I'm happy with the result here and moving into now Davis Cup and, of course, hard court season at Indian Wells, Miami, which is going to be tough obviously.
But I look forward to it.  I actually do feel good about how I play and how I feel physically, and I'm motivated.  So I just hope I can continue to maintain that level of high performance throughout the season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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