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April 16, 2015

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/A. Haider‑Maurer
6‑4, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Are you able to gain rhythm and confidence when you have such easy matches?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I've played quite a lot of matches this year, so I don't think I'm missing this competitive rhythm on the court.  I actually feel confident.  I've played and won a lot of matches this year, fortunately.
I don't like that.  But, of course, I haven't played much on clay, which is different.  But still I've practiced a week before the tournament started.  Now I have two matches that have been satisfying performance‑wise for me.  Now the quarterfinals are getting tougher, obviously.
The level of performance needs to be high, needs to be sustained throughout the whole match if I want to be a winner of those encounters.
I have Marin Cilic, who is a Grand Slam winner, who is playing the tennis of his life.  He struggled a little bit with his injuries the last four months, but won against Tsonga.  I watched a little bit of that match.
I look forward to that challenge.  Obviously now it's going to get tougher.

Q.  You may know that Seppi lost 11 matches in a row to Federer, then he won in Melbourne.  You have won 11 matches in a row versus Cilic.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Please don't finish the sentence (laughter).  I know what you're going for.  I don't want to hear about that.

Q.  How do you explain that you beat him 11 times in a row?  He's a Grand Slam winner.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  He's a very good player.  I know him for a long time because, of course, we are from neighboring countries and speak the same language.  We have known each other since I think we were 12, 13 years old because we played a lot of junior competitions, team competitions, with each other, against each other, so forth.  We also are very good friends.  He's a very nice guy.  We practice a lot.  We played against each other.
I always found good solutions whenever I played against him on most of the surfaces.  But I thought the last couple matches we played against each other were very close:  five sets in Wimbledon, four tight sets in Roland Garros.  So, you know, I don't expect an easy match, that's for sure.
I don't think I'm a clear favorite in that match because he doesn't have much to lose.  He, as I said, hasn't played many matches this year.  He's played only one match in Indian Wells other than this tournament.
I'm sure he's going to go out and be very aggressive.  So that makes him dangerous.

Q.  Dimitrov was in here earlier talking about racquet changes.  Rafa changed his racquet, too.  I wonder if you have had to change yours in the past few years?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Only aesthetics.  Only the color of the racquet has changed.  Dimensions or any other specific parameters of the racquet haven't been changed.
I don't want to make any complications with my racquet because that's obviously the most important tool I have on the court.

Q.  What can push a player to change in the middle of a season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I remember when I have changed from Wilson to Head.  I think was back in 2009.  It wasn't easy decision because it took me I think more than a year to actually find the proper racquet that I play with today.
I think back in 2010, for the clay court season, I found the racquet that I'm playing with today.  So it took me over a year to really get used to it, find what is suitable to my style of the game, to my likings.  But everybody's different.
What can push a player to change the racquet?  I think it's lack of confidence, lack of matches won.  When you don't feel comfortable on the court, that's when you start to question not just your game, but your racquet, the people around you.  Sometimes you're finding too many excuses.
But generally it's not an easy decision to make.  You need to be courageous to change the racquet really.
But when you are changing racquets, you must be 100% confident that that's the right decision to do because then you start mentally to play around with yourself, if that's the right decision or not.  That's something that is a challenge for a player who changes.

Q.  Speaking of aesthetics, we've seen some very strange outfits this week at this tournament.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Am I in that mix, as well (laughter)?

Q.  No, no, no.  But how much importance do you give to your style?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, most important is how you play and if you win the match or not.  Then it's also relevant if you're looking good and if you're feeling good, most importantly, in your clothes or not.
So I do work closely with creative designers in the Uniqlo company that is representing me, sponsor for my clothes.  We work on design.  I give my input, and they of course come up with the final proposals.
I'm very happy with I think the design and color selections, the fabrics that they're using, the quality, it's very good.

Q.  Can you tell us something about winning the Laureus award.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Of course, absolutely thrilled and honored to win this award.  The Laureus sports award is considered the most prestigious award in sports because Laureus Sports Academy has around 50 founding members.  The Laureus sports award was founded back in 2000, I think.  All these people who are part of the academy are actually legends of sport.  They have been at least Olympic champions, European champions, World champions.
To be selected by those people, the people I was looking up to, the people I was inspired by, is truly something very special.  I'm obviously very happy about it.

Q.  This year is completely different than last year.  You seem very confident and are playing really well.  How important is it for you to start the season like this, maybe to win this title another time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, starting off the season with a Grand Slam win is always a huge confidence boost.  You feel definitely more confident and more comfortable on the court if the season starts the way it started for me.  Plus if you follow up, of course, with Indian Wells and Miami, you can't ask for anything else other than that.
I just want to try to stay healthy, work as well as I did in all these years, discipline, and have the right mindset.
If I'm going to win this title or not, we're going to see that in a couple days' time.  But I'm going to take it one match at a time and see how far I go.  I don't want to think too much in advance.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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