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July 1, 2015

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/J. Nieminen
6‑4, 6‑2, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How many marks would you give yourself out of 10 for your performance today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I would rate probably around 7 or 8.  I think very solid performance.  I've done just enough to win in straight sets.
He started off very well, very aggressive, winners in the first couple games.  Well, I managed to stay calm and, you know, believe I can come back.  That's what I've done.
I think the crucial turning point was the 10th game of the first set when I won the set and I started playing more freely.
You know, I thought I had the match under control and everything was fine.

Q.  Is there anything you do on grass that's better than on any other surface?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's completely different surface than any other.  Obviously each surface requires a certain adjustment, especially with the movement.  I think that's one of the priorities that you're looking into when you're coming onto grass, to try to make this transition from clay, from sliding on the court, to grass, where you have to make more of a, say, sneaking or adjustment steps before the strokes, to make that transition as efficiently as possible and quick as possible.
This year we have an extra week between Roland Garros and Wimbledon.  Up to this year was only two weeks, and it was really very short time for a player to get in the shape for this tournament.
But I feel like this surface is being the fastest on the tour, demands the player to be more aggressive, to use more slice, more variety in his game.¬† You know, maybe block the returns, come to the net.¬† I'm not a serve‑and‑volley player.¬† I don't come to the net very often, but on grass I try to use that variety and try to use the opportunities off the serve or off the good groundstrokes when I see the player on the stretch.
These are particular things that I look forward to.

Q.  You play Bernard Tomic next.  The Aussie Fanatics are out in full force.  Have you ever found them distracting or funny?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  A little bit of everything.

Q.  What are your thoughts on it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think it's nice to see in the tennis that there are a group of guys coming to support their player.  I think tennis maybe misses that a little bit more, more of I'd say Davis Cup atmosphere.
But you get used to it once you play in front of them, which I've done in Australia quite a few times with Lleyton, against Lleyton.  So I know what's expecting me.
Bernard and Kyrgios and Kokkinakis are three young players from Australia that are under the radar of the world of tennis, especially the world of Australia.  Everybody's relying on them and cheering them on so they can be fighting for the biggest trophies.
They definitely do have the quality.  I'm going to play against one of them, so let's hope I can play well.

Q.  How did you find the effect of the heat today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It wasn't as bad as I thought.  People were talking about it and predicting really difficult conditions.  But I didn't find it as difficult as I thought it might be.

Q.  What exactly are you expecting from Bernard when you play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I do expect him to serve well, and I do expect him, you know, to mix up the game, come up with a lot of variety.  That's what he does.  He's got a lot of talent in his hands.  He can play flat shots.  He can play short slice, come to the net.  He has a very quick motion for the serve.  It's very difficult to read it on grass.
This is the surface that he loves playing the most on.  So it's going to be a difficult match.  I remember was it 2011, I think, quarterfinals, we played against each other.  Four tough sets.  So I'm not expecting anything easy there.

Q.  You didn't celebrate after match point.  You went to hug Jarkko Nieminen, which is sporting.  Why did you feel you wanted to do that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Well, it's his last Wimbledon.¬† I have very nice relationship with Jarkko for many years. ¬†When I was coming into the professional tennis as an 18‑year‑old, I was playing some challenger in Helsinki in Finland, that's where I met him the first time.¬† Ever since then he's been very kind to me.¬† He's one of the nicest guys on the tour that I know on the court and off the court.
Just out of respect.  There are these moments.  In the present moment, maybe you are not aware how important it is, it's a milestone for him, it's his last match in Wimbledon.  I'm sure he wanted to enjoy it a little bit.  So he deserved the ovation.

Q.  There are a huge number of stats available now.  I'm wondering how much you look at those stats to help you prepare for your matches.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  What stats are you referring to?  Post match?

Q.  Match stats.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  A little bit.  Not too much.  Once the match is behind me, I don't look at it too much.  I look just forward to the next one, trying to get myself prepared, work on the things that my coach and my team thinks that I should work on.
Just we analyze the next opponent and prepare ourselves.
Of course, it is useful.  I try not to pay too much attention to the numbers because then it can be a bit distracting.

Q.  Going back to Navratilova, so many great champions have gotten warm, wonderful adulation in defeat.  You had that incredible round of applause at Roland Garros.  What were your thoughts at the moment, and now that you've had time to reflect on it, what are your thoughts on that match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I thought it was one of the most beautiful moments that I experienced in my tennis career.  One of the four biggest tournaments in the world.  After losing a match, of course, in the ideal scenario it would be great that I would win that trophy.  But it wasn't to be.  I lost to a better player.  I had to accept that and move on.
But I thought that what I have experienced with Stan that day, the amount of respect we showed to each other, the way the post‑match ceremony has happened, and the way that both him and I received the ovation was very unique, very special.¬† I'll remember it for a long time.
You know, even though I had lost the match, that was a big win for me.  It was something that is far more, you know, important than trophies.  Winning or losing matches, it's the appreciation from the people.  That is something that is really dear to my heart.
It's a responsibility, as well, to keep on moving forward and keep on having the same kind of approach to the matches and to my colleagues.

Q.  You've been on the tour for more than 10 years now.  Of all the opponents you've played, what is the best area of someone's game you played against, whether it be a forehand, backhand, and why?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I mean, you want to talk about the serve, then you would talk about probably Karlovic and Isner.  Forehands, it would be probably Roger and Rafa.  Backhands, Andy Murray and Davydenko had a great backhand.  Berdych has a great forehand.
I mean, then you have Ferrer that is a great competitor.  He always gives you one ball back on the court.  Now Nishikori has a fantastic backhand.
Yeah, I mean, Stepanek had and has still very good volleys, a good feel.  He's one of the few players that plays serve and volley.  There are not many players who come into the net at the top of the men's game that often.
So I hope I answered your question (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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