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July 8, 2015
N. DJOKOVIC/M. Cilic
6‑4, 6‑4, 6‑4
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions, please.
Q.Â Very solid performance today.Â How did you assess it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Very solid, as you said.Â I managed to make three decisive crucial breaks in each set.Â I came out with the right intensity, moved well all over the court, tried to get as many returns back in play.
I didn't allow Marin to come back to the match.Â It was a close game when I was serving for the set.Â I think that helped my confidence to feel better afterwards.
Q.Â You seem to be doing everything well at the moment.Â It looks like there's maybe another gear to go.Â Do you feel like you're playing within yourself?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Well, I've been playing really good.Â I'm hoping I have that extra gear.Â I'm hoping it can come out now in semifinals, most important matches, final stages of the tournament.
Obviously an experience of being in these final stages of Wimbledon many times is going to help me to approach it in a proper way, and hopefully I'm going to use this day off tomorrow to work on certain things.
I still feel like I can do certain things better.Â But, again, winning against Marin Cilic in straight sets in quarterfinals of Wimbledon is a good win and I have to take the best out of it.
Q.Â There's been a lot of talk about the situation with the ball girl in your last match.Â How do you feel about those stories coming up?Â Does it get to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Look, I've talked with the girl and, you know, she said she didn't mind.Â We cleared it up.Â I apologized if it was anything that I did.
But, again, as I said last press conference, I didn't direct anything to her.Â It was in a moment of a battle.Â I turned around and screamed.Â I'm sorry that she was there in that moment.Â But I think the media made much bigger deal out of it than it really is.
Q.Â Gasquet just beat Wawrinka in the other quarterfinal.Â What do you think about playing him in the semifinal now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Well, it's a great effort from Richard to win against Stan, who is in a terrific form, and five sets.Â I think the biggest difference with Richard now, maybe comparing to the last couple years, is his fitness.Â I think he improved a lot.Â I heard he worked hard to get himself really fit and ready to go the distance, and it's paying off.
He always had a touch, he always had the talent.Â He loves playing on grass.Â I expect him to come out on the court in two days wanting to win.
Q.Â Do you feel it's good news for you, not facing Wawrinka in the semifinal?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Well, look, Richard is in semifinals for a reason.Â I watched a little bit of that match.Â I was playing during their match as well, so I couldn't see much.Â Last couple games, I saw him.Â It's a great effort from him to mentally stay tough because Stan, you know, is one of the toughest players on the tour.Â In decisive moments he goes for his shots.
As I said, great effort from Richard.Â I'm sure it's going to be close match between us.
Q.Â You say that the media made a bigger deal than is necessary about the incident with the ball girl.Â Pictures have surfaced on social media, people were quite worried about it.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Worried in what way?
Q.Â That she looked very scared.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Well, she's not.
Q.Â Just to understand, you said you spoke to her.Â When did you speak to her?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â One hour ago, after my match.
Q.Â And she's okay?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Completely okay.Â Media likes to make a big deal out of it, especially one kind of media in England, and you know which one I mean.
Q.Â I don't actually.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Yes, you do.
Q.Â I don't.Â Which one is it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â I don't want to say, but you know which one made a big deal out of it.
Q.Â Can I ask you a question as well.Â You've played on each of the last three days.Â Will that affect your preparations?Â Will you scale down your practice?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â No, I'll do everything that I did so far.Â Going to get myself ready and fit for the semis.
Q.Â Your sixth Wimbledon semifinal in a row.Â Quite an achievement.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â It's definitely something that makes me proud.Â I try not to take things for granted.Â I worked very hard to get myself in position to fight for the big trophies.Â I want to keep on going.
I know there are many other players that want this trophy as much as I do, so that fact encourages me even more, to work even harder.Â I'm going to keep on going.
Q.Â You talk about the experience that you've had here and how you hope it will help you and also about wanting that trophy.Â What is it like?Â What goes through your mind when you see your name on that trophy?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Well, this is the trophy that I always dreamed of winning.Â Back in 2011, when I realized my dream, it was really incredible to be able to share that achievement with the closest ones.Â My family was here, my wife.Â Went back to my country and celebrate that with my people, my first coach, Jelena Gencic, who always believed in me very hard.
Yeah, it definitely has a very special place in my heart.Â After losing Roland Garros final, it was not easy for me mentally to bounce back, to get myself motivated.Â So I think it's great in a way that we only have a couple weeks later another Grand Slam, the biggest one.
So that's why I put myself in a position to make myself, you know, responsible to be out here and fight.
Q.Â How do you assess the other semifinal between Roger and Andy Murray?Â Who would you make favorite in that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â I can't pick a favorite honestly because, yes, Roger is maybe better ranked than he is.Â An incredible history of success in Wimbledon.Â Andy has been playing some of his best tennis this year.Â He won Queen's, and he's playing in front of his home crowd.
I would go 50/50.Â It's really hard to say.Â I think it's going to be a really good match.
Q.Â If you were to make the final, do you have a preference of who you would face?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Nobody.
Q.Â You speak of bouncing back.Â You have won here before.Â You hadn't won at Roland Garros.Â Any sense in which coming here is an anticlimax after losing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â I already put that behind me.Â As I said, just the question before, definitely wasn't easy to digest this loss in the finals against Stan.Â I thought it was a great chance for me to win Roland Garros for the first time.
But again, look, this is sport.Â Got to keep going.Â If one thing I learned from tennis is the fact you have to recover so quickly.Â After a few days you have to leave that behind.Â Try to use these losses, these particular experiences, as a way of getting stronger, encouraging yourself to be better.
Last year was a pretty similar situation.Â I lost another close Roland Garros final against Rafa.Â Came here, won the title.Â That was maybe even more special than the one in 2011, against Roger in five sets.
I'm in semifinals of Wimbledon, and I need to direct my thoughts and concentration to this tournament, to the next match because I already left Roland Garros behind me.
Q.Â The TV commentators were saying before your match today that your match against Kevin was your blip, you got that out of the way.Â Do you feel you've overcome that blip?Â You feel almost more empowered now?Â It's given you a confidence boost?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Yes, it was one of the toughest matches I played in my career here in Wimbledon.Â He really pushed me to the limit.Â This match required the last drop of energy that I had and concentration and skills to take everything out.Â You know, I managed to survive.Â I was very close to losing that match.
I came back from two sets down.Â Played over the course of two days.Â That has, you know, lifted me up in a way for today's quarterfinal.Â It allowed me to really feel like I've encountered already, you know, the toughest match situations.Â So I have that match playing in myself now because in the first week I played three matches and I wasn't really tested.Â It was really good that I had that match against Kevin that way.
Q.Â Are your legs fresh enough to be able to cycle to practice tomorrow?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â I think so, tomorrow.
Q.Â Back on the bike?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â I will rethink that one.
Q.Â You're getting hammered on this ball person thing.Â There were others in the media center that were saying, Hey, this guy is one of the top players, he's fun‑loving, jokes with ball kids all over the world, giving them racquets.Â Do you think there's another side to the story?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â Look, you know, I really don't want to talk too much about this particular situation.Â I'm not running away from it.Â As I said, in that moment nothing is directed to the ball girl or any ball kid.
I was ball kid myself.Â I respect them.Â I respect line umpires, chair umpire, everybody who is there.Â You know, sometimes you in a moment of a battle on the court, you know, you get your emotions out, but never on the ball kid.
It appeared like that.Â But, you know, as I said, I spoke to her and we cleared the air.Â She didn't mind at all.
As I said, you know, I respect them a lot.Â I try to be grateful for what they're doing, as well.Â I try always to chat with them before or after the match, you know, give them an item that they appreciate as a souvenir, a towel, a wristband or something like this.Â I know how much it means to them.
They're all teenagers, kids.Â They're overwhelmed by the importance of the tournament, how big the stage is.Â To be able to share the court with tennis idols, many of them are tennis players, they dream to be actually in the same court but with a racquet in the hand.Â Having to know that allows me to really appreciate their position in tennis.
Q.Â Can you take a minute and talk about Gasquet's game and his beautiful backhand.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:Â I think Gasquet's backhand and Stan's backhand are two best one‑handed backhands in the world that we have.Â It was great to watch them go backhand to backhand today.Â Some great points, great exchanges.
That's his weapon.Â He has a variety.Â He can play really well from defense and offense.Â I think he's also very skilled on the net.Â He improved his serve.Â He's an all‑around player.
I will try to do my best there.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports