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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU


April 2, 2015


Novak Djokovic


MIAMI, FLORIDA

N. DJOKOVIC/D. Ferrer
7‑5, 7‑5


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.¬† Novak, when you look back at the match, how crucial was the 4‑2 game in the first set?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, of course it's crucial to get the break back at any time, especially towards the end of the set.
He started off very well; didn't make too many mistakes; of course he got the break.
I, on the other hand, wasn't feeling the ball that great at the beginning.
But I knew that I'm going to have my chances if I stay committed, if I kind of keep on working.
But I had to earn my points.  I had to fight for everything that I got tonight on the court, because he wasn't going to give it to me.  I knew that coming into the court.  I knew that he's a great competitor, that he grinds a lot, runs, and makes you play always an extra shot.
That's why he's been top‑10 player for so many years and he's tough to beat.

Q.  Any thoughts on the semifinals?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's going to be quite different match from tonight's match.  John is probably the best server we have in the game currently.  At 6'10" he can hit any angle he wants with that serve.
He won against Dimitrov, Raonic, and Nishikori in the last three matches, and that deserves a lot of respect.  He obviously feels very confident playing here.  He played great against Nishikori today.
I think he improved his baseline game.  Most of the players, when the play him, obviously he highly relies on his serve, but yet again, he does put a lot of balls back in play in his return games.  He likes to run around his backhand and hit the forehand inside out.  That's his favorite shot.
So I kind of know what to expect.  He has his own patterns, as everybody else.  I'm going to try to analyze his game, remember what I've done right in Indian Wells couple weeks ago, and try to obviously win.
Hopefully we play during the night so the conditions will be a bit slower, which is going to maybe help me to get few more serves back in play, even though I know it's going to be very close match.

Q.  The fact that you have just beaten him in Indian Wells, do you think that has any sort of bearing going into the match this time in that it was just a couple weeks ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's a pretty different tournament, different conditions.
Coming into tomorrow's match I think he's more confident because he won against top 10 players back‑to‑back.
I'm sure that's going to give him more advantage mentally's as he comes in.  He's going to try to be aggressive.  He's going to try to take his chances.  And I know he's going to do that.
He's going to come out on the court having not much to lose but a lot to gain.  That's how he's going to play.  He's going to try to gamble, hit some winners, and hope they will come in.
That's what makes him very dangerous.  Obviously as I mentioned before, with the serve that he has, he can play equally well on any surface.  He can put so much pressure on opponent's serve.
That's why it's important for me to stay mentally committed, composed, and hope that I can use the opportunities when they are presented.

Q.  I won't call you a veteran after the last time we talked, but you've been in this situation before.  How are you balancing everything with being a dad now, all the tournaments, the rigorous schedule, and for the most part getting through to the semifinals and finals just by playing so many matches, too?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, nothing is easy in life, but I do enjoy it.  It's a new chapter in my life.  Becoming a father brought me a lot of joy and happiness.  Of course it is responsibility, and I am aware of that.
As the days go by, as my wife‑ myself as well ‑ we are learning.¬† It's something new that we experience.¬† We never have been parents before, so we grow together as a couple together with our little boy.
I'm trying only to take the positives out of being a father.  It reflects also in my good results on the tennis court.
So I am getting used to the new way of life and going back from the tennis court and having to do my father's job, which of course is my role and I enjoy it very much.

Q.  I would like to ask you what you remember from your first match against Ferrer in 2004 and something about that tournament that makes it special to you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, Bucharest, Romania.  I qualified, and that was I think the first ATP that I played in my life.  Won against Clement in the first round and lost to Ferrer in three sets on the clay.
I remember it very well because it was a first ATP.  It was a great experience.  Romania is a neighboring country, so it was close to home and I had some good support from the crowd.
That was one of the tournaments that actually served as a springboard for what was coming up after in my career.

Q.  Just on the point of fatherhood, what has surprised you the most if you had to pinpoint one thing either yourself as a father or that you would not have thought of with a baby?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Everything is surprising me.  I have had no expectations and I did not know what's going to await for me.  This is first time I'm a father, and for my wife as well.
We of course talked to the people and tried to kind of prepare ourselves mentally.  Of course it's a responsibility, so you need to organize your life and yourself, because there is a new life that is coming to you and you need to take care of your child.
The child is the priority number one in life from that moment on.  There is in doubt.  But every single day brings something new, a new light, a new chapter that we learn from and we look forward to and embrace and cherish.
We just enjoy it.  We really do.  I think we want, as every parent in the world, the best for our child.  We try to give him as much attention and love as possible.

Q.  You said the other day you are getting maybe a bit mentally tired.  Is it going away the closer you get to maybe winning it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, today was better than last match, that's for sure.  I felt physically pretty good.  Mentally also tough.  You know, just regained my strength as I had day off, which I knew is going to serve me well.
Now playing tomorrow night again, it's going to be a huge mental challenge for me.  But I look forward to it.  This is the final stages of a big event, and this is what I came here for, to playing the big matches.
Hopefully I can play my best.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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