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June 29, 2015

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/P. Kohlschreiber
6‑4, 6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Did you feel any rust?  I didn't see any.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Not much.  Honestly, I thought I started the match really well, breaking Philipp, losing the serve right away.
All three sets were decided in the 10th game.  After I broke him to win the first set and the second set, it was the same situation.  I felt like in the third, as well.  That's where maybe I can have a mental edge over him.  He missed couple shots.
I thought return was exceptionally well, good from my side.  Serving efficiently.  Just overall a great performance against a quality opponent.

Q.  The other day you told us about the communication between you and Boris in the box, more kind of an encouragement thing.  Now I've seen footage where he's talked about using hand signals, the Serbian members of your team shouting out things in Serbian, which fewer people are going to understand.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I'm just trying to figure out what you want to achieve with this story.  I don't understand what you really want.  Do you want to say I'm cheating, my team?  I'm really trying to figure out what's behind this.
I mean, are you asking only me or are you asking other players, as well?

Q.  We know very well that in the past, Rafa Nadal, for instance, and Uncle Toni have been pulled up for this.  I am interested this in general, and just at the French Open, we were asking Rafa about why a particular umpire wasn't with him, about the whole issue of time violations.  It just so happens now it appears twice in the last three weeks, say, Boris has been talking about how he communicates with you on court.  I'm only responding to what I've seen and heard.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, I understand.  But, I mean, I got this question already two times in the last couple days.  I don't understand what I can say, what I haven't said already before.  I'm going to repeat myself:
I'm going to say that there are certain ways of communication which is encouragement, which is support, which is understanding the moment when to, you know, clap or say something that, you know, can lift my energy up, that can kind of motivate me to play a certain point.  But it's all within the rules.
If I am breaking any rules or my team does, I would be fined for that, right?  The chair umpire would say, Coaching penalty, and that's it.  Or the supervisor, or whoever.
I think it has happened in my life, no doubt about that.  Of course, I accept the fact if my coach, Boris or Marian, do say something that is against the rules that are in place, I have no complaint about the code violation that I get for coaching.  So, I mean, I'm completely fine by that.
I just don't understand why this same story is repeating over and over for days.

Q.  Because we keep finding examples of Boris saying it.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  He said it once.

Q.  There's another instance.  Anyway...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Anyway, then you can talk to him about it, if he's willing to talk more about it.  But I'm honestly not.

Q.  Do you think you know better where your game is after a tough round like this?  And were you talking to that bird on the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, the bird.  Yeah, the bird didn't want to go away.  Was really funny moment on the court.
But I thought it was great to be back in Wimbledon and to play on the untouched grass and open the Wimbledon 2015 campaign on Centre Court as the defending champion.
Of course, it is a special feeling, completely different from any other tournaments.  The tradition and history is nurtured here, respected.  You can instantly sense that when you're stepping on the Centre Court.
So I did have also the memories, positive memories, from last year.  Obviously it feels great stepping on the court where you won the title the last time you were there.  So that has given me the extra, I'd say, intensity and positivity before this match that wasn't easy at all.

Q.  This is Lleyton Hewitt's last Wimbledon.  He might be your next opponent.  Can you talk about how strange it might be knowing, if you beat him, it's going to be his last match here.  Must be a strange situation.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I would definitely want to be on the winning side in that match.  But nevertheless, I have lots of respect for Lleyton.  He's one of the greatest competitors we had in sport.
It's impressive the way he was playing on a high level, competing, coming back, refusing to stop.  Even after a couple years of being No.1 of the world, winning multiple Grand Slams, you know, being devoted to Davis Cup, playing for Australia.  He's always been there for them.
Off the court, at the beginning I didn't get to know him that well.  He was a bit reserved.  I could see over the years he's a nice guy.  He's a family man.  But once he's on the court, he's a feisty competitor.  Rusty, that's his nickname.
No, it's great to see him.  Great to see him play.  He's competing hard.  He's playing I think fifth set now.  So if we get to play, of course he will be dangerous because he likes playing on grass the most out of any surface, with the flat strokes.
He's one of the youngest ever Grand Slam champions, I think one of the youngest No.1's of the world.  He had long, long career.
I will definitely look forward to that challenge in playing him.

Q.  Did you discuss in advance of today's match with Boris the thing about signals, not to do it?  Was that subject discussed in advance of the game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, it wasn't.

Q.  Were there any signals or anything today or words in Serbian?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Unfortunately or fortunately, he doesn't speak Serbian (smiling).  That's all I can say.

Q.  As you left, it seemed as though a lady gave you a CD or something.

Q.  What was that about?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was a present from a Nole fan, the group of loyal fans I have around the world that kind of follow me, give me the beautiful presents, show their appreciation for what I do.
She came from that group of people and she gave me the CD as a sign of respect and appreciation of all the videos of me and so forth.

Q.  Videos?

Q.  I was wondering what your sense is of why you think Roger Federer has been so durable, and then at the other side with Rafa, his injuries in recent years, what your thoughts are about their longevity moving forward over the next year or two?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think two different players, two different characters.  Both are extremely successful, really impressive as champions on and off the court in their own way.
Roger has always taken care of his body, the scheduling.  Obviously technically, he's probably the best player in the world.  When he plays, it looks so easy, it looks so flawless.  I think the kind of game that he has, the proper care that he had about his body and professionalism has kept him so durable, kept him at the top of the men's game for so many years.  He's still up there.
And Rafa on the other side, he's somebody that spends a lot of hours on the court.  I mean, he really, you know, loves to practice for two, three hours in a row.  Just somebody that has a hard working ethics.  It really pays off.

Q.  Back to the bird.  Did you ever fear for its safety?  It got close to the tram lines at one point.  Did you recognize the species?  In the press box, we didn't have a very good view.  Wonder if you could help identify which one it was.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  In English you say sparrow, right?  That's how you call the bird, right?

Q.  Yes.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  From where I come from, from capital of Serbia, Belgrade, there's a special sparrow bird called jivjum (phonetic).  I believe this bird came all the way from Belgrade to help me (smiling).
But I was feeling for its safety honestly.  A few times, I remember at one point, because I could not not notice it.  I mean, it just loves tennis, I guess.
At one point Kohlschreiber was serving at the advantage side, between the first and second serve, the bird landed literally very close to the sideline.  She stayed there until I won that point.  So I said, Be my guest, stay around, if you want.
But, yeah, it was funny.  It was funny to see that.  We had birds, mostly birds and different animals come in and out from the court.  But the sparrow bird from Belgrade really stayed for the entire match (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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