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April 19, 2015

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/T. Berdych
7‑5, 4‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  I would like to know if you're driving a Peugeot diesel.  Every time you start losing the first two games with Nadal, today with Berdych.  When it was raining, we came back, you lose your serve.  Against Murray in Miami you saved a breakpoint in the first game and lose the serve in the third.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You're right, I do drive Peugeot diesel.  It's saving me a lot of energy.  But it requires a little bit more time to get moving (laughter).
Well, it was in a way a similar start to yesterday's match.  But was a completely different match, obviously.  Different conditions of play, as well.
I thought I won this match with my heart and with battle.  That's how I feel like I won it.  I don't think I've played on the level that I wish to play and that I have played throughout the whole week.  But also credit to Tomas because he has played very aggressively, staying close to the line, pushing me back.  So I had to defend a lot of times.
It was a battle.  I mean, set and 3‑2, interruption, came back, had the breakpoint, he played some amazing shots.  If I made the break there, maybe the match could be done in two sets.
He had his chances as well.  Third set started very well, 4‑Love.  I just lose that service game for no reason.  After that, every single game went the distance.  Deuce, advantage.  It was a real fight.  I was trying to mentally stay tough and fight my way through because I didn't feel the ball very well.
Of course, obviously I was just trying to stay with the right intensity and focus for each point because obviously you get tense when you're not feeling so comfortable on the court, when you start missing, you kind of back up.
I had to adjust my position and movement on the court several times.  In the end I'm sitting here with this trophy that is very special to me, of course.  This is what matters.  Sometimes winning ugly is necessary.  It's been a remarkable start of the season for me.  Of course, couldn't ask for a better start of clay court season.

Q.  Do you think the kind of bad sensations today could be a result of the match yesterday against Nadal?  When you win despite not playing your best, is it even better for your confidence?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Obviously, it is.  I came on the court today hoping and wanting, of course, to play as well as I played throughout the whole week.  I've played my best match and best tennis in the week against Nadal yesterday.  Maybe I was a little bit also mentally exhausted coming into this match.  It's always emotional and intense when you play against Rafa, especially on clay, where physically it's most demanding.
But, you know, again, it was finals, so there was no lack of motivation, obviously.  As I said, you know, because of the fact that I live here and that I practice in this very court where I played the match today, that kept me going, and of course, you know, the fact that we are fighting for a big title.  I'm just thrilled that I was able to make that final step.

Q.  How does it feel to win everything like that?  How long do you think you can keep this winning streak?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know.  Honestly I'm not thinking about how long I can keep it or how long the streak will go.
Fortunately I had one time a similar situation in my career, in 2011, when I won over 40 matches in a row.  I got that question asked basically after every match, How long it's going to go, how long it's going to go.
I really don't know.  It's something I can't influence and predict.  What I can do and influence right now is rest, recover, 'cause I need at least a week of good rest.  It's been a long couple months for me.  Very successful, though.  I cannot complain.  But I played a lot of matches, traveled a lot with Davis Cup, Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, coming here, not having too much time, already getting into clay that is a totally different surface.
So I'm healthy, obviously very confident.  Everything is going in the right direction.  I just need to take some time off, which is equally as important as the work I do on the court.

Q.  Thinking about you won the Masters, all that you won this year, if you close your eyes, you don't want to see a yellow ball for how long?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know.  I mean, as I said, the good thing is that there is two weeks now between this tournament and the start of the next one.  I have no tournament now, so it's perfect that I'm able to stay at home.  I don't need to travel anywhere.  I can relax, enjoy my time with family.
This is something that is necessary right now for me ‑ mentally most of all.  Of course, I'll get ready for the next challenge.

Q.  You became the first man to win the first three Masters of the season.  It was your 23rd title.  You broke Federer's record.  Are you a man of statistics?  Does it matter to you to break new barriers all the time or...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Certain statistics and certain, I'd say, records and milestones that are a possibility for me, I am aware of.  Not all of them.  I think most of all you need a clear mind when you're on the court.  So if you start thinking too much about the potential achievements, you know, the possibility to mark your name in the history of the sport, you get distracted.
I try to keep the same mindset and routine going.  That's what helps me to be determined and focused only for the present moment and for the match that I'm playing and the challenge I have, to overcome it.
But, of course, there's certain facts that I'm very much aware of.  The fact that now I won three Masters in a row that nobody ever has done that, of course I'm aware of that.  That has given me, even this week, more motivation.  I'm very, very proud of what I have achieved.  It can only serve as an incentive, imperative for what's coming up.
I'm 27.  Obviously I'm experiencing the time of my life on the tennis court, and also private life is very good.  Became a father, of course.  I'm just trying to sometimes pinch myself and say, Where I am at this point in my life?  I'm very grateful for this, for everything that I got.  That's the kind of philosophy.

Q.  Obviously wherever you go you are one of the fans' favorite.  In today's match, the people started to root for Tomas at one point.  How do you feel when they start cheering not against you but for your opponent?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's understandable.  As I said on the court, I really mean it, he deserve this trophy as I do.  He has fought hard.  He has played very good.  He was there.  He was focused.  He was not very emotional.  He was trying to give his best.
The crowd recognized that and they were cheering for him to win the second set and to get into the third.  I understand that.  I didn't mind it at all.
I did have my supporters, as well.  Obviously it was a tough day for people, as well, with the rain interruption.  It was not easy conditions for us to play, but also for the crowd to watch.
Hopefully everybody who came enjoyed it.

Q.  You said you weren't playing that well today.  Then there was the rain delay.  How do you keep yourself focused to come back and close the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's a bit unpredictable how the rain is going to fall and behave, you know, if the rain is going to keep falling or not.  People really couldn't foresee the changes in the weather.  That's why you were kind of, Should I warm up, relax a little bit, stretch, eat something.  It was pretty tricky.
Again, it was not the first time we have experienced this particular situation.  We've experienced it many times before.  I stay with my team and go through certain things that I did wrong and that I did right, prepare myself for the rest of the match.

Q.  I know usually guys you don't like to compare seasons, differences.  You're breaking every record.  How far do you feel from your level this year from the amazing 2011?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's hard to compare honestly because I do feel different as a person, as a player, today than I was in 2011.  I think I matured more.
Different circumstances in life.  I'm a father and a husband.  Many things are different today than they were three years ago, four years ago.
2011 results‑wise was the best season I had so far in my career.  I don't know.  Somehow I do feel better now than I did in 2011.  I do enjoy tennis, but I enjoy being a father and kind of combining it all together.  It gives me a great fulfillment, satisfaction and joy to keep on going.
Everything has more sense.  I have a greater purpose, I would say, of playing tennis than it was the case in 2011.

Q.  We're all going to compare what you're doing right now with 2011.  Do you feel it's the same state of mind?  Can it help you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, experiencing that already once, that can definitely help me to have the right approach and to kind of follow up and to know what to do.
If I'm going to repeat the same or not, I honestly don't know.  I mean, in 2011 I didn't lose a match from the beginning till the French Open semis.  Now this year I lost twice.
It's a bit different, but still it does feel in a way similar because I won so many tournaments already, so many matches.
Knowing that I have achieved that already once, knowing that I can do it, actually gives me even more, I would say, reason to believe I can repeat it.
I'll keep on going.  It's only four months of the year.  I think the most important period of the year is coming up right now where you have Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros, Wimbledon in a matter of two months.  It's very close to each other.  The tournaments are condensed, the schedule.
Obviously Roland Garros and Wimbledon are the priority.  That's where I want to perform my best.  But we'll take it step by step and see how far I can go.

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