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January 6, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Doha, Qatar

N. DJOKOVIC/F. Verdasco

6-2, 6-2

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Usually you come a bit quicker than that. Everything okay with you? Were you with the physio or something?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I'm sorry. Three times I had to move the time.

No, I just did some work and met some people that I haven't seen for a while. Sorry about that.

Q. How pleased are you with your form just two matches into the season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Very pleased with the way I have started this season, two matches, straight sets. Tonight was tougher than the first round. Obviously I expected that. The scoreline was the same, but still I had to work for the win, especially in the second set. There were a couple of close games.

You know, Verdasco was a former top-10 player, somebody that has a lot of weapons in his game, can create a lot of power from the forehand side. And all in all, he's the guy that tries to step in and kind of dictate the play with forehand.

I wanted to take away the time from him, didn't want to give him always the same pace of the ball. So I tried to mix it up. I served well in important moments.

Of course there are things that I think I can still do better, but again I have to be satisfied with how I played the first two matches.

Q. Your next opponent is Leo Mayer. What do you think about him? What is there to fear, if anything?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I have seen that he has won comfortably both matches here. The conditions are played a little bit quicker, so I think that knowing his game, it's pretty suitable to his style.

He plays flat. Has a nice, good slice. Very good movement. He's very intelligent tennis player. He knows how to anticipate well on the court and serves very well, even though he has a very high toss, but I think he doesn't make too many double faults. His second serve is particularly good, I think.

I have talked with the guys from Serbian Davis Cup team after they lost the Davis Cup matches against him, especially Krajinovic last, was it last July, and he was actually praising his second serve, saying that he comes very fast and deep into the court, into the box, so it's very difficult to take advantage of that.

So he's a very solid player. He has been playing very well for the last couple of years. Let's see. You know, I know that every match that I play, next match I play, it's a bigger challenge. I'm going to try to get ready for it.

Q. There has been some strange retirements and withdrawals in the WTA this week. Five of the top six have all retired in their first match or didn't even play. Is it difficult to, after a tough offseason, if you're training a lot in the preseason, is it tough to be ready physically for that first week?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it is. You know, I can't obviously speak of the reason why that has happened. It's not usual. It's not something that we see each year. Although we do see some, you know, each year maybe some retirements, especially on the women's side in the opening weeks.

You know, maybe the reason is that you're still considering, given the official competition season has started, you still consider that week as a preparation week as you're working hard on certain things and you don't want to risk for, you know, to feel some kind of disadvantage or discomfort for Australian Open that is the most important tournament in this time of the year. So I'm sure they are all aiming to be fit for Melbourne.

But again, you know, everybody has a different kind of system of work so I can't really say, you know, what particularly has happened there.

In my personal experience, you know, I obviously try to get myself ready for when I play a tournament. Again, knowing that I have had such a long 2015, I knew in advance I'm not going to have too much time really to rest and to prepare for next season, but as I said, I have had previous experiences, especially after 2011, that was equally long that allowed me to understand, you know, how I need to approach the preparation season and then where I want to peak, you know, what I'm trying -- you know, I completely believe always in purposeful work. You know, you need to understand you can't just go out in the gym or on the tennis court and just hit the balls without really having a purpose and, you know, kind of a mission or a goal or a systematic approach.

I have a great team of experts around me that make sure that every aspect of my life and my career has been taken care of, and I think that's one of the reasons I managed to keep healthy and keep fit and to play consistently well.

Q. Kind of a similar question to her, but some players would say techniques won't be rusted, so even though you don't play tennis for a month or even a year, once you started practicing you can regain the feelings very quickly. And some players would say if you don't practice for just a few days, you would lose the feelings or, you know, touches. So I was wondering, which type of a player you are.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's very individual. As you said, each player has a different feel about that particular subject. You know, you obviously cannot completely lose the feeling, because that's something that you do for all your life so it's in your DNA.

But there is a reason why you take time in offseason to rest well and to, you know, to prepare equally well. I'm a kind of a player that likes to take time off, not just physically but mentally, as well, which I think is crucial for high-performance competition in which I'm part of. And in order to have the substance, mental and physical substance that is necessary for me to be consistently successful throughout the year, I need to rest and I need to recollect that substance and rejuvenate. I believe in this kind of approach.

Now, again, everybody is different. So I can't speak in the name of the other players.

Q. The last time you were in here you spoke about not being able to not do anything.

Q. Do you, in your daily life, experience any physical laziness, like maybe if you're just lying down and you don't want to go and get a book, will you ask somebody or are you not like that or you have conditioned yourself not to be like that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course everybody has those days. You know, everybody has those moments in a day, you know, where you feel like you want to just take it easy and sit down or lay down and, you know, watch a movie or read a book or whatever it is.

But as I said, I feel like my body is asking me always each day to do a little bit of stretch or something like that. I try always to take at least 10, 15 minutes, even when I'm basically on a full recovery or rest mode, still take a little bit of time to do that.

I care about my body and I give my body, you know, positive thoughts and emotions and love, and I get the same in return. So I think that's kind of a relation. I try to approach things in this way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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