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June 1, 2015

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/R. Gasquet
6‑1, 6‑2, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in English.

Q.テつ The first three games were long, but after you started dominating, how is your interpretation of the situation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, yeah, as you said, three long games that lasted over 20 minutes.テつ After that I managed to start playing better and more solid.テつ Continued making pressure at him from the baseline, but he evidently started getting a bit tired and fatigued and started making mistakes.
Obviously a set and 3‑Love in much as time three games took, as well.テつ He started to come back and the crowd was trying to support him.テつ Overall for me it was the best match so far in the tournament.
It came at the right time.テつ It's the beginning of the second week.テつ Richard is very talented player.テつ He's been around for a long time.テつ He's French; he's playing at home.テつ Obviously that makes a difference.
It's not easy for any opponent playing against a French player on center court coming into the match knowing that you're going to have to face the crowd as well, you know, because logically they're going to be behind their home player.
I managed to stay mentally tough, kept things together, and played a really good match.

Q.テつ Richard said for him it was tennis made perfect.テつ Do you feel right now you're at your best physical shape before this big match with Rafa?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Yes, I am.テつ I have won many tournaments and matches this year.テつ I still haven't lost on clay courts.テつ Now, of course, the match that everybody anticipated or expected, it's a big quarterfinals, and I couldn't ask for a better leadup to that match.

Q.テつ Rafa said it was going to be the toughest quarterfinal he's ever had here, but not a final.テつ He emphasized that.テつ I'm wondering how you're approaching this.テつ You played him five or six times here without success.テつ Does this feel different?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ It does feel different because it's quarterfinals.テつ I'm not used to playing him that early.テつ But, you know, that's the reality and that's a challenge that both of us have to accept.テつ It was always a possibility before the draw came out because he dropped in the rankings.
Again, playing him here and playing him in any other tournament in the world is completely different.テつ Conditions are very suitable to his style of the game.テつ He loves playing on Chatrier.
We will see.テつ I never won against him at Roland Garros, but in the other hand I was close a couple of times.テつ And the fact that I have a great season this year and I'm feeling good from every aspect of my game allows me to have belief and reason to, you know, to go on the court and try to win.

Q.テつ You have completely recovered from what happened during your last match, or...

Q.テつ Somebody extra is coming for this quarterfinal.テつ CostaRica or somebody of your world?テつ You are happy still in Paris?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ I'm still happy in Paris, yes.テつ Honestly, I don't know.テつ I'm trying to keep my routine together, the same every single day.テつ The way I prepare myself for every match is going to be the same for next match.

Q.テつ You made an interesting answer on the latest press conference on tennis in the Balkans.テつ I asked the question to Goran Ivanisevic as well and Ivan Ljubicic, and they told me, It is in our gene.テつ We are arrogant.テつ We think we can beat anyone.テつ What do you think of that and do you recognize it in yourself?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, you can call it with different names and use different terminology.テつ You know, I wouldn't say arrogant.テつ Arrogant is not a great word.テつ I would say it's just confident.テつ Confident in life, confident in whatever you do.
It is, I would agree it's in the genes and part of who we are and part of our roots and part of our ancestors that have lived in this region.テつ So that definitely helps in sport.

Q.テつ Do you think it makes it psychologically easier that you have played him a lot and you will play him again?テつ How do you approach it as a quarterfinal?テつ You have to give a lot more after that to win the title if you get through.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Of course it is a different approach mentally when you play Nadal in quarterfinals than any other player.テつ I mean, there is no doubt about that.テつ I'm going to try to keep my routine the same and not give so much importance to the match.
I don't want to spend too much energy before getting on the court, because I know that for me it's necessary to have every source of strength and energy possible.テつ And I know what to do.テつ I mean, I know what's expecting me.テつ I have played him so many times, and the player that I have played against the most in my life.テつ We played here, as you said, five, six times before.
So I know what I need to do to have a chance to win.テつ Doesn't mean that I will win.テつ You know, the future is unpredictable.テつ It's something you can't influence.
I can get myself in the right state of mind and prepare well and get on the court and give my best.

Q.テつ Do you think the pressure is more on you because Rafa has won so many times here and you haven't?テつ Do you think the pressure is more on you and that could be a danger for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ The pressure is on both of us people expecting to win always in this tournament.テつ So you can look from different perspectives, but pressure is also part of what we do, and you have to accept it.
You have to deal with it and go out on the court and play.

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