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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU


March 30, 2015


Novak Djokovic


MIAMI, FLORIDA

N. DJOKOVIC/S. Darcis
6‑0, 7‑5


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Did you expect it to be as tough of a game as it was?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, the first set was very similar to the first set of the first match:  went completely my way.
Then the drop of the intensity and the fact that I haven't used the opportunities early in the second set resulted in a close second set.
I managed to come back in the right moment.  I kind of elevated the intensity and started playing a little bit more with depth on the ball.  He's got a lot of variety, especially from his backhand side.  He slices pretty well.
So I was handling it really good for first 30 minutes.  Then started to make some unforced errors and started to play a little bit more neutral, a little bit slower, and he got into the match.  You know, complicated my own life in the second set.
But in the end of the day, it's a win.

Q.  There seems to be some frustration rising in the second set.  Can you talk us through the internal talk that was going on?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, you go through this particular change of the emotions depending on the result.  Obviously because of the scoreline in the second set and the fact that I, you know, could not capitalize on the opportunities, I got a bit frustrated.  That's all.
As I said, I managed to stay composed when I needed to.

Q.¬† You have an extra difficult game where you have to use an extra spin of your game.¬† So given the fact that you have to play some extra games ‑‑ Nadal now is out, which gives you maybe an extra motivation.¬† How do you feel?¬† Do you feel extra motivated for the rest of the tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  My motivation is always present regardless of what other, you know, tennis colleagues and opponents are doing in their own matches and tournaments.
I try to focus my attention on my own challenges.  That's what's interesting me.

Q.¬† Yesterday Rafa, who's always very honest and forthright, was telling us that he actually feels some self‑doubt for the first time in his career.¬† That he gets nervous on points and anxious, and it's something he's never experienced before.¬† Have you ever had moments like that during matches or any stretch of your career?¬† How did you get through that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Of course.  More or less every single match you go through these moments.  I mean, we are all humans and we all go through certain emotional ups and downs.  Depending on the, I'd say quality and intensity of the match, that's how your emotions kind of wave during the play.
Of course I understand what he's talking about because I'm playing for many years on this high level and I know how much pressure and expectations you have.
So I respect what he has achieved in his career so far very much because I understand what it takes to be there and what it takes achieve as much as he did.
He has so much experience and so much success for only 28 years.  I'm sure he wants to play for many more years.  It's normal to have some periods of crisis, if you want to call it that, where you sometimes feel more doubt than confidence in important moments and you lose a couple of matches.
But it's Nadal that we are talking about, the player that's won 14 Grand Slams and he's one of the best players in the history of the game.
I'm sure that he's somebody that knows exactly how to deal with this particular situation and how to get better.

Q.  The ITF is looking for ideas to shortening the games.  Next year there will be a tiebreak in the fifth set in Davis Cup.  What do you think of the idea?  Would you like to see that happening in all the Grand Slams than just the US Open?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I am more in support of a tiebreak in the fifth set in any competition than for no tiebreak.  That would be my answer on that.
I also support the fact to have a certain change in the sport.¬† I think it's the right time.¬† As we go along and as we evolve as a sport that is very global, I think that we should all strongly consider certain‑‑ applying certain changes.
Of course, you don't want to change completely the game.  There is a long tradition in integrity of the sport that, you know, is very recognized around the world because of that.
But still, I believe there is some room for improvements.

Q.  For example?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, for example, Davis Cup, the format of Davis Cup I think should be changed, definitely.  The schedule is, especially for top players, is very, very bad.
And then you have also certain things that are already in motion in terms of ATP schedule, in terms of Grand Slams.  Now we have one week longer grass court season, which is longer this year, which is good.  It gives you a little bit more time to prepare between the slowest surface in sport and the fastest surface in sport.
Schedule is the same for so many years, but I still believe that Australian Open should be couple of weeks later, at least.  To start off with a Grand Slam right away and the season hasn't even started, and then to have a very long gap between Australian Open and Roland Garros and then a very short one, it proportionately doesn't make sense.
But, you know, that's the way the schedule has been officially present in our sport and we kind of play with it, but I'm always in support for new discussions and progress and change that can kind of revolutionalize the sport.

Q.  Alex Dolgopolov next round.  You had some comfortable results against him and you've also had some tight matches against him.  What are your thoughts going into this one?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I saw a couple of matches he played here, and he's feeling good.  He likes this surface.  Generally likes a bit slower court with a higher bounce.
Very quick dynamic motion on the serve and can serve very big for somebody of his height.  And moves around very well around the court.
So I know his game pretty well.  I know what to expect.  Hopefully I'll be able to start as well as I did in the first two matches, but then end it in a bit different way.  Keep the concentration going, you know, all the way through.

Q.  What would be a better format for Davis Cup and what kind of feelings can players really have on this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, the problem we have in tennis is that you have two, three different organizations and governing bodies that are independent.  ATP can't do much about Davis Cup, neither about Grand Slams and other way around.
So that makes a huge confusion, and that's something that requires a lot of time for any issue that has been presented on the table as a subject of discussion.
So this is something that it's not only coming from me in terms of changing of format of Davis Cup.  Many top players have been talking about it in past years.  There has been some talks, and hopefully, you know, people from ITF can recognize the importance of top players participating in Davis Cup each year, because that's the whole point.
I mean, last year Switzerland won.  Roger played, and Stan.  But, you know, looking at the other teams, I mean, there were no top 10 players playing in the teams.
So it's not very, I would say, attractive marketing‑wise for the media and for the fans.¬† I mean, I'm sure that, you know, for the people who like tennis but don't follow it frequently, many of them do not know and do not understand what Davis Cup represents.
This is individual sport and this is the only team competition we have in sport, so why not leverage that and use it in a proper way.  Use some kind of structure and format that will actually create attention and create, let's say, something that is similar to example of a World Cup.
You know, maybe a two‑week event every year, every two years, where you would have, you know, top 16 teams playing in four groups of four in different locations, and then coming in the final four, for example.¬† That's one of the examples.
The important thing is to have‑‑ to attract the top players to be there, to be present.¬† Because we all love representing our countries in Olympic Games and Davis Cup, but you can't be frequent.¬† I speak from my personal experience.
You know, you have the Davis Cup schedule that is right after Wimbledon or right after Australian Open or right after US Open.¬† If you're playing finals of these events, you know, to change the time zone and arrive from US Open to Europe in matter of two, three days and adjust from hard court outdoors to indoor clay, I mean, your body ‑‑I mean, it's a huge risk for injuries and so forth.
But you still want to play, so you're kind of accepting the fact that this is the format that is present.  You like to play for your country.  From my experience, I do, I enjoy it very much because I feel that title in 2010 with Serbia/Davis Cup brought me and in my personal career a lot of confidence and I would say a lot of joy, a lot of new energy.
I would like to play it more, but, you know, sometimes I have to make choices.  You know, that's why I would strongly support to change the format as soon as possible.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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