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July 7, 2015

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/K. Anderson
6‑7, 6‑7, 6‑1, 6‑4, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  When you were two sets down yesterday, what was your feeling?  How was it knowing you had to come back and try to finish it today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was a very difficult match, one of the most difficult in my Wimbledon career, that's for sure.
I thought Kevin played exceptionally well throughout the entire match.  Maybe he dropped his level a little bit in the third set.  But other than that, he was serving very efficiently, very powerful serve.  Also high percentage of first serves.  It was very difficult for me to read because he has a same toss for every direction.
So with that kind of serve and the aggressive groundstrokes, he's a very, very tough opponent on any surface, especially on grass.
Two tiebreaks.  I thought I was close to win both, especially the second with 4‑Love.  Again, double‑faulted in some moments.  He took his chances.  Served well.  Came to the net.
He was just the better player in both sets.  He took the advantage on the opportunities, shorter balls.  I backed up because he was just so aggressive that naturally I was a little bit more passive.
But I was hanging in there.  I was just trying, even though I was two sets down, to stay calm and mentally strong.  I believed I could come back, which I did.
Obviously the fifth set today was very frustrating, very tense.  I didn't have basically any chances on his serve till that 11th game when he made two double‑faults and I made couple good returns from the forehand side.  That was enough.
Again, when I was serving for the match, I had to come back from Love‑30.
So all in all, until the last moment, until the last point, I didn't know if I was going to win or not.  I was just trying to be very active and come with the right intensity.  That's all I could influence.  That's all I could focus on.
Because he was playing on such a high level, I could just hope that I going to have some opportunities, which I had.

Q.  Could you clear something up for us today.  I think it was the sixth game, you won the point, then you had this kind of explosion of anger.  I wasn't sure if you were shouting at Boris Becker, the ball girl, yourself, or the wall.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  As I said, it was a very, very intense fifth set today.  Because he was winning his service games so easily, it put an extra pressure on my service games.  That was maybe one of the turning points, that game where I won that very close point on 30‑All or deuce.
I just took out everything I had, not on anybody but me.  I was looking at the box, but I was talking to myself.
Yeah, as I said, emotions are present.  Always going through ups and downs.  And it's particularly frustrating when you're playing somebody that serves this well and doesn't give you any look at the break.
But, you know, it happened later on.

Q.  That was a reaction I would expect from somebody who lost the point.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, but I was trying to get myself motivated.  I was not showing much emotions yesterday.  I was just trying to keep it together.  Sometimes it's just good to scream and let it all out, because that's the way I work.  Somebody else is different.

Q.  So does my wife.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  (Laughter).

Q.  Speaking of tough matches at Wimbledon, what do you remember most from facing Cilic in the quarterfinals a year ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I remember we played very close three sets.  I played very well the fourth and fifth.  He got a bit tired and was not serving as well in those two last sets.
But he had an exceptional season last year, the best of his life.  Played very well at the Grand Slams, and of course winning US Open.  That's crown of his career.
I remember him mentioning earlier this year that he wants to focus mostly on Wimbledon, grass.  That's where he feels like he has a best chance besides US Open.
So, yeah, he's been playing on a high level.  We meet again in the quarterfinals.  I know him very well.  We played many, many matches on different surfaces.
I'm going to try to obviously do a few things differently than I've done this match in terms of return and my positioning.  Hopefully I'll be able to get more balls back, because he does serve very well, too.  I think he's going to try to rely on that element in his game.
But again, it's a best‑of‑five, and I hope I can play as well as I will prepare.

Q.  Were you annoyed that it went over to today?  Do you think it could have been finished last night?  It's an added risk, isn't it, if it goes over to another day?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It is, but I didn't argue much.  I expected that decision to be made, for us to continue today the fifth set on the same court.
A few days ago, Monfils and Simon played a fifth set on Centre Court and played four sets on Court 1, but it was an exceptional situation because they played on Saturday, and Sunday was a no‑match day.
I didn't expect them to, you know, get us on Centre Court and play fifth set, honestly.  So I was already in my mind in the next day.

Q.  I'm sure you didn't mean to do it, but according to the photographers, there are pictures of this ball girl looking shaken up by your reaction towards her.  After what happened in Miami, will you try to find out who she is and make amends?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I'm sorry.  There was nothing towards her.  Maybe she was just afraid of my screaming there.  I was pretty close to her.  I'm definitely going to try to apologize to her if I did something wrong.

Q.  Just last month you went through the experience of having to play on back‑to‑back days going into a final.  What did you learn from that?  How did you feel then compared to now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Just repeat.  I didn't hear the first part.

Q.  In Paris you had to play also back‑to‑back.

Q.  Do you think that experience helps you now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't think it's too much a matter of really experience.  It's just how your body reacts and how it recovers.
In that particular scenario, I played two sets with Andy the next day, and then I had to play finals the day after.
Here, you know, I played a set today.  I think I'm going to be fine for tomorrow.  I think I haven't spent too much energy throughout this tournament.  Of course, this match was by far the toughest I had so far.
Let's see.  I'm confident I can feel good.

Q.  I'm sure you're pretty aware that today 30 years ago your coach won his first title here.  Was it maybe in the back of your mind that you might ruin his big day today with a loss?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I didn't know it was today.  But he's going to have a glass of wine, I'll have a glass of water, and we celebrate this nice milestone (smiling).

Q.  Today the Davis Cup captain make an announcement without you on the team.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  There is a possibility that I'm still going to be on the team.  There's a possibility.  But it's still not final, as he has, by the rules, the position to change the team a few days before the match.
Even though I'm not in the team that he entered, I still may be there.

Q.  When you start talking to yourself, as you said before, is it usually a bad sign or sometimes can be something that helps you to react and do better?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think it's just generally what I've mentioned before, the effort that I try to make to get myself more energized, get the right intensity, just get myself more involved in the match.
Felt like maybe I was a bit too flat.  With the serves, they were coming my way, I couldn't do much with that.  So I just tried to get myself moving, you know, kind of stimulate all the body and brain functions.

Q.  After you left here last night, was it difficult to wind down and get to sleep on time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, well, it's not easy because you don't usually experience this particular situations where, you know, you play four sets and the match is not over.  You have to come back the next day.  There's not much time really to recover.
Of course, as we finished around 9:00 in the evening, it takes for a professional athlete, usually a lot of time for adrenaline rush to settle down.  It takes hours and hours to really be able to fall asleep and recover and so forth.
Let's say that I haven't had a great night.  But, again, what it matters that I managed to survive this day and we move on.

Q.  Do you know about what time maybe you fell asleep?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know.  I don't know.  But it wasn't before midnight, that's for sure.

Q.  I understand you in the last week or two have done a promotional video with a young British player called Jonathan Gray.  You were encouraging of him yesterday ahead of his match.  Can you say a little bit about him as a young man, as a player.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, well, I met him in one of the ties and campaigns that I did for one of my sponsors before Wimbledon started.  I met him on the court.  He was the player I was hitting with.
He seemed like a very nice guy.  We had a nice chat.  He also talked with my team.  He asked for advice.  You could say that he was quite curious to know, to find out more.  You could see that there's a big desire from his side to succeed and to get to professional tennis.
So I'm happy that I saw him play in the junior tournament.  I don't know if he's still in the tournament.

Q.  He lost.  It was close.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  He lost.  Well, I wish him all the best.  He's a very nice guy.  From Leeds.  Big fan of Leeds United.

Q.  Will you head out into Wimbledon on your bike this afternoon to blow off a bit of steam?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I'm not going to use my bicycle as much.  I think I have to rest my legs.  To get to where I'm staying, I have to go uphill, downhill.  I prefer not.
But I love biking.  I love going around common park, jogging, walking around with my family, with my wife, baby, the team.  It's one thing about London that is so special, is the nature, the parks.  They offer so much tranquility, it's really beautiful to be around here.

Q.  Do you get strange looks on your bike around Wimbledon?

Q.  Any curious incidents for us?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No.  A little bit of chasing around, but nothing special.

Q.  Are you chasing or are you being chased?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, I was being chased (laughter).

Q.  I'd like to know if you think yesterday the first two sets, especially the second, you were probably lacking some competition since you didn't play any tennis, let's say seriously, after Wawrinka's match in Paris?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  This particular situation, yes, I understand.
Probably.  I mean, I made a couple double‑faults in important moments in the two tiebreakers which I lost.  Probably that situation where, you know, one point decides the winner of a set, that's something that I lacked a little bit since Roland Garros.
But it was good.  It was a big challenge.  Now that I managed to survive this challenge, it definitely adds more confidence and gives me this right state of mind.
I know now what I need to do.  Obviously if you went through it once, it's going to be easier second time.  At least I hope so.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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