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May 30, 2015

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/T. Kokkinakis
6-4, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. At some point in your career you were at Kokkinakis' place, playing a top player on a big stage for the first time. Is it weird for you to be now on the other side, like a young player is coming at you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's different. I think that tennis needs players like Thanasi, who is a teenager, but still able to come out on center court and play with courage and play with power and believe in himself. He's one of this group of three, four young players that are, you know, starting to be more and more consistent and make couple of big wins in their careers and that are obviously expected to do very well from the tennis world. Now, we didn't have that many young successful players under 20 year olds in last six, seven years, so I think it's quite refreshing for tennis and it's pretty good to see that. I thought he served well. He played pretty well. I made the three breaks each set, and that was enough for the win.

Q. Did you not practice yesterday? Was that because of the way the leg had been feeling in your previous match? How did you feel out there physically today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It felt good. I haven't hit the ball yesterday, and just had an agreement with the team that it's better for me to skip the tennis practice. I have had enough tennis in the last couple of months. It wasn't enough of my concern if I'm going to keep in shape or not if I don't play a day. Body feels fine today, absolutely recovered from the last match, and that's it.

Q. You were talking about Kokkinakis, another young Australian, Kyrgios, is also one of those probably before you mentioned. Do you think they are a little rough as players, the way they act, they behave? Sometimes they don't seem to be too kind to the ball boys or ball girls. They are quite rough. That is my opinion. I would like to know, because when you were young, I remember, you were usually very, very sort of kind and good mannered.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You haven't watched my matches, then (laughter).

Q. Now you've gotten worse.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thank you for nice compliments, but it wasn't always like this. I think when you are young player, teenager and starting to get your way through, it's normal to expect that you have more of, let's say...

Q. (Off microphone.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: How can I express myself? You have these moments on the court that you express your emotions maybe in ways that after you regret. It's normal. It's all a process of learning, understanding, you know, how you need to behave, how you need to play. And that's something that awaits them, this process of learning and growing and developing. I know exactly how they feel, and they have so much desire to play and win and so much energy and they are young and go out on the court and want to fire every shot as hard as they can and put their heart on the court. And this is good to see. I mean, I don't think they are rough. It's just that's the way they are. I mean, everybody is different. That's the beauty of this sport, because it portrays different characters, players who have, say, different ways of approaching a tennis match and just life in general. So I think it's refreshing. I think they bring something new. Both of them, they have some character on the court and people like them because of that, I think. I think tennis generally lacks a little bit of more entertaining, fun personalities. That's who they are.

Q. What would you say is the reason that there have been so many good and great players that have come out of the Balkan nations, which is relatively low in population?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Still trying to find out if it's waters or mountains or something. But quite a lot of success in team sports especially. Particularly for Serbia, we are a nation of basketball, water polo, volleyball, handball. Those are our sports that we were historically very successful in. Tennis was never a traditional sport in our country, and it just became popular and successful maybe 10 years ago. But in country, you had Croatia that has nurtured a tennis tradition and success for a long time. I think just the genes are very good for sport in general. If you get to -- I don't know if you have been to the ex-Yugoslavian region, people are pretty tall, strong and athletic. I think that definitely helps as a good base, physically good base for the sport. Then after that, you have these psychological factors that have affected many generations, talking about the tough times in wars and so forth. People also live pretty low standard compared to the western European countries, and they have to fight for each day. I think that's something that strengthens them mentally. And that's a little factor that a lot of athletes carry inside their heads and subconsciously they are great fighters and they appreciate everything life gives them. I think that's where you already have a strong base for success in sport.

Q. I know that obviously being a great player you get a lot of different outfits and shoes and everything a year. I know Roger said once he realized he was going to be successful, he kept a sampling of everyone, but basically donates them. I'm wondering what you do with all your clothes and shoes and where they are? Is there a museum someplace?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. Well, I have, first of all, two younger brothers. They both play tennis. That's where the first delivery, first bag goes to. (Smiling.) Friends around me, my team. You know, family. The foundation, as well. We work with a lot of schools and kindergartens back in Serbia, so we try to give as much help in that way, as well, aside all the programs that our foundation has. So I tend to change my matchwear and my lines that I have for clothing pretty fast after two, three months. Already next one is coming in. So I don't like to keep it at home. I like to give it to people that would appreciate something. But I always like to keep at least one sample of this collection for nice memory and for maybe tomorrow, something like museum that could be nice to remember things.

Q. Any outfit that you particularly remember that you really loved or liked or is special?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think Uniqlo is doing a great job with their design. I hear a couple of laughs, I'm not sure what that means, but one of my favorites is actually the blue shirt that I wore this year for hard courts from Uniqlo, Sergio Tacchini, as well, back in 2011. I wore a couple of dragons and birds and stuff like this on the back of my shirt with Tacchini and adidas before and not intending to do that. That's a period of rough behavior (laughter). But now it's more conservative and try to keep it more elegant.

Q. How many goals will Zlatan score tonight? Do you have a prognostic for tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wrong person you are asking (smiling). I hope he scores. I'm his fan, so I will cheer him to score.

Q. No prognostic?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. Not competent enough for the football. I'm sorry.
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