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March 27, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Miami, Florida


6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How concerned were you that you hurt yourself? Pretty nasty spill you took in the first set.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, not really concerned. I slipped few times. Conditions here are quite different from Indian Wells. It's pretty humid. Players are sweating a lot, so you have some obviously spots, especially behind the baseline, where it's a little bit too wet.

Then it happens that you slip, especially if you're on a full run, which I was. That's all. That first set went down to a few points. Couple long games on 4-3 when I lost my serve and then I broke him back.

After that it was quite a good performance. Second set felt much more comfortable. Serving very well the entire day. It's not easy. Obviously everybody talks about conditions being different, but it's something that you have to accept. It's same for your opponent and you.

I'm glad that I managed to finish the match the way I am. Obviously gives my confidence for next one.

Q. Almost seemed like the tumble gave you a needed jolt. Level really rose after.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, well, he made me play. You know, he made me push myself harder in the second set because he was staying close to the line and picking up the balls very efficiently, staying close to the line, which I wasn't expecting, honestly. I thought he was going to be playing from back of the court a little bit more.

He was taking away the time from me, especially from the side he was playing down the wind. Yeah, he's a good player; he's very talented; he's very quick around the court; he's serving well.

I started to read his serve better in the second and just didn't give him enough rhythm anymore in the second set for him to maneuver.

Q. (Question regarding raising his level.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, in most of the matches that I play on I'm considered as the favorite and I am expected to win those matches. Obviously guys that are especially bit lower ranked, they don't have anything to lose.

Like Joas today. He came out on court with a clear game plan. He really played well in the beginning, in the first set, and he wanted to take his chances, step in, and try his best. He has not much to lose.

So in these particulars cases it can be dangerous. If you're not hitting the ball well, somebody that was as aggressive as he was can be close to the victory. But, you know, I rose to the occasion and understood the importance of me stepping up few levels and delivering my A-Game.

Q. (Question regarding Boris and Marian.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, Dusan Demic, who I worked with and was part of my team, he was assistant coach several years ago, he's here this week. So he helps out. He's basically temporary solution while Boris and Marian are back home.

Probably that both going to be in Monte-Carlo so back to normal.

Q. Next up is one of the Next Gen players. As you look ahead to playing him, what are the strengths that you've got to be aware of knowing that he's a very talented young player?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he has one of the most powerful baseline games I think in tennis at the moment. If I'm not mistaken, he played semis or quarters against Andy and he's playing really well in these conditions.

He likes a little bit slower conditions where the ball bounces higher so he can put a lot of rotation on the ball. Especially his serve. He has tremendous kick. He's quick and has very powerful shots from backhand side. Good slice. Just likes to construct the points.

So I'll try to take away his time. I haven't played him in a while. He has had, you know, definitely the best year and a half of his life. The results are showing that. He's one of the best players in the world in terms of results.

He beat Nadal on clay. He had some great wins. He has a title. Yeah, he' s definitely one of the players that is a next generation that we should all look out for.

I'm sure he's going to be very motivated to perform his best, to showcase all that he's got in his arsenal.

I'll make sure I'm ready for it.

Q. Roger, Stan, and Rafa are all out. Are there any players on tour that you like to watch when you have a chance?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Monfils, No. 1, by far, because you never know what's coming up next. He is very unpredictable player, but very entertaining, and I think he's great for the sport.

Dominic Thiem is also very nice to watch. Young player who has lots of talent and potential and really nice variety in his game.

There are couple of guys, but Monfils I would pay my ticket to watch.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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