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March 21, 2015

Novak Djokovic


6‑2, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  I guess before the match you were guessing it wouldn't be so quick or so smooth against Andy?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I'm prepared for a battle, and that was kind of a mindset that I had prior to the match against Andy today.  I know that we have a similar styles of the game, and it's very physical whenever we play against each other.
Even though it's a straight‑set victory, I still had to earn it.  I thought that he hasn't played close to his highest level.  Made a lot of unforced errors, especially from the forehand side.  Low percentage of first serves in.  That allowed me to obviously step in and be aggressive.
I thought I played solid, with the right intensity from the beginning.  Good first‑serve percentage.  Got some free points there in the important moments.
Just overall it was a good performance.

Q.  Andy hasn't beaten you since the Wimbledon final in 2013.  When you go in to play him now, do you just feel totally confident?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, obviously if you win a certain amount of matches in a row against one of the top rivals it does give you a little bit of a mental advantage coming into any match.  But I don't think that plays hugely important or crucial role in the matches.
It just does depend on which surface do we play, how do we feel.  But, you know, knowing that I have won probably six previous occasions does give me a bit of confidence coming into the match, yes.

Q.  Do you see the diminished play from his end since he came back from the injury early last year?  Since then he's basically 0 and 11 against you, Rafa, and Roger.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think that's a question for him, how does he feel after an injury.  I thought he played well in Australian Open.  It was a close match that we had in the finals.
Yes, before an injury he won two Grand Slams, US Open, Wimbledon, and Olympic gold medal.  So that was probably the best 15 months of his career that he had.
I don't know to what extent that surgery, you know, obviously limiting his, you know, movements, maybe the body, and as the tournament goes on is he physically getting more exhausted or not.  That's something I don't know.
But he didn't look unfit in Australia to.  Where he needed to be well, he played all the way through very well.  As I said, close match in the finals.
But Andy is a top quality player.  He's been consistent and he's a multiple Grand Slam winner.  He has shown why he deserves to be at the top.
So he's always difficult to play against on any surface.

Q.  A couple days ago, Roger had said that every great player has their sort of phase during this era, and right now it's yours.  You're pretty much the favorite going into every tournament.  Defending your championship here, just how comfortable are you with how you're playing and where your level is right now personally?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  The last two matches have went really well.  Against John I thought was very good win considering the fact that he is one of the best servers around and he loves playing in this tournament.
Then I had a withdraw from Tomic.  I haven't played.  Considering this was probably the first match that I've played in the day in the entire year ‑‑ because I have played Doha, Dubai, Australian Open, and 90% of the matches I played during the night ‑‑ I thought I handled the conditions well.
It wasn't easy, but I needed some time to adjust.  The fact that I'm in another finals makes me definitely feel very good, very confident.
I had a phenomenal start of the season, and hopefully I can, you know, do my best tomorrow and maybe get another trophy.

Q.  We haven't seen you in full press since Wayne Odesnik was banned a couple days ago.  I think you guys practiced before the Miami final last year.  Wondered what your view is on that news.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, we did.  Well, I was surprised that this happened.  I don't know him too well.  From the several occasions that we practiced with each other and we talked on the tour he seemed like a nice guy.
It's a very sensitive subject for me to talk about it.  Obviously there is no room in the tennis for people who are trying to cheat or trying to use forbidden substances and so forth.
He already was banned one time before.  To come back and do it again is really, I think, immature mistake from his side or his team or whoever made that move, you know, if that's true.  I don't know.  I cannot judge him if maybe he has an appeal or not.
But again, of course I will stand always on the side of, you know, protecting the integrity of the sport and hoping that we gonna have a clean and fair, you know, colleagues that in the system that will check everybody equally.
So, you know, I think tennis, in terms of doping, is one of the best sports around.  You know, there are not many scandals, so that's something that is definitely sending a good message out there.

Q.  Do you like always night tennis or is it disruptive to rhythm?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's just completely different.  Ball bounce and visual effect, speed of the ball that travels through the air.  You got to string your racquets differently.  It's just different conditions.
From a player's perspective, I'm sure that people understand whoever played in this high level understands what the difference is.
That's why I was coming into today's match a bit, you know, concerned.  Will I play well from the beginning?  That's, you know, the kind of a mindset that I had, was to come out with the right intensity and concentration and from the beginning try to, you know, try to be aggressive and do what I need to do.
I thought I handled it well.

Q.  The last person to repeat as a champion here was Roger back in 2006.  If you win tomorrow you'll match him for the most titles at Indian Wells.  Do those kind of numbers and landmarks mean anything to you in these tournaments?  Also, can you talk about playing either Roger or Milos?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, of course it means a lot to me or to any player to make a history on every tournament or just to be remembered as somebody that made history in any kind of way.
That's a motivation more, I can say.  It doesn't play a decisive role on how I'm going to approach the match, but it does motivate me.  It does give me, you know, this positive, I would say, wind in the back that I can maybe use and manifest on the court.
Considering the match tomorrow, well, I think Roger is a favorite against Milos.  If I get to play Roger, it's the ultimate final that right now I can have.  Probably the player that is in the best form.  You know, in the last 12 months he's been playing some of his best tennis, I thought.
Especially after, for his standards, pretty average season in 2013.  He came back and played the finals in Wimbledon, played some great tournaments, won titles, and we had a fight for No. 1 spot all the way up to last couple of matches in London.
He started off the year well again except that third‑round loss in the Australian Open.  He won two titles.  You know, he's playing great.  There no question about it.
We all know that Roger, with all his records, we know the experience that he has.  He's not expected to play nothing less than his best in these stages of the tournament.
He's been proving that.  He won so many titles.  He loves the big occasions, and I'm sure he's gonna come out wanting to win, being aggressive.
He moves great.  I thought since he changed the racquet it helped him with maybe reaching balls in the defense that he wasn't able to do maybe before that.  Seems like he has more control in the backhand.  Great serve, as always.
So he's a very complete player.  No question about it.
If I get to play Milos again, then they call him Missile Raonic with his serve.  I've faced one similar server in this tournament, John Isner, and I know what to expect.  He's highly relying on his serve, but he moves well obviously for his size.
He has good footwork.  He's improved since he started working with Ljubicic.  And his forehand.  All‑around player, and now established top‑10 player as well.

Q.  Last year's final.  Some thought this was probably one of the best men's final in this stadium in 15 years.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I appreciate that.  I'm pleased to be part of that final.  You know, one thing about Roger is that he always makes you play highest level if you want to win against him.
That's something that's always in the back of my mind.  This is something that makes me come out with the highest possible concentration and intensity and commitment.  If I want to win that match and win this title, I definitely need to be on top of my game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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