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May 12, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Rome, Italy

N. DJOKOVIC/T. Bellucci

0-6, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What will you think the next time in Rome you will have Thomaz as your opponent?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn't understand the question.

Q. Every time in Rome, last year and now, very difficult match, very tough match for you again against Thomaz.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is, it is, but I'm on the winning end so that's what matters.

Q. It was the tough match in first set, of course. It seems that you were mentally absent. Today you were practicing with left-handed guy. How it is feel like in the court to play against your opponent that's left-handed also? It was helpful for you? In which moment do you realize that you must change something? Because after first set it was -- well, it didn't looks like it would be good.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, after first set I had to change. First set was a complete Bellucci storm, and I was blown away from the court. So that was something to change.

Fortunately the matches are played in best of three, so I had another opportunity to come back and to restart, which I did.

The crucial game was the first game of the second set where I held my serve, and then I felt that things started to go my way as I tactically changed certain things, started to change the pace, get him on the move from one corner another, which with a little bit of a shorter and longer variety of balls. And it worked well.

But the first set, credit to him. I mean, he came out the blocks very hot and, you know, returning everything very deep, aggressive, serving well, hitting from all corners.

Yeah, but in the end of the day, I had a W after this match and that's what matters. That's what counts.

Q. You usually win set 6-0. How do you feel to be for one time on the other side?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the feeling would be different definitely if I lost 6-Love set and then I lost the match. But since I won the match, you know, obviously it feels a little bit different.

But as I said, you know, I didn't feel that I was starting the match in the right way. But again, not taking away too much of his quality, I think his quality in the first set was tremendous. You know, sometimes if you don't start well and your opponent is seeing the ball like a watermelon, that's what happens. You know, you've got to give him credit.

That's all I can say. But it was one set fortunately for me, not two.

Q. While you were losing your set 6-0, Tomas Berdych lost two sets 6-0. It was a weird day for top 10 guys in that regard. Why do you think bagels are so rare for the top ATP guys? What made them suddenly come raining down today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, at this level, logically you should not expect to have too many bagels, you know, especially if you play against, you know, as a top player playing against somebody who is top 20, top 15. You know, usually these matches are decided in few instances, few points.

So it is weird to see bagels. And, yeah, fortunately for me I didn't end up as Tomas. You know, I only had one bagel today and managed to come back.

Q. Is it at all flashing through your mind when you're down 6-0 that you're halfway to a double bagel?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Actually, midway through second set and I was break up I saw the result of Tomas, and I was a bit surprised. But it happens. This is sport. Sometimes, as I said, things come together for your opponent, which usually, not coming into a match as a favorite, has nothing to lose.

He just comes up with his best tennis, very aggressive, and, you know, in my match 10 minutes passed and I was already double break down.

Yeah, after that, you know, he didn't feel much of a tension so he could swing freely. He felt it. You know, he felt it. It was a nice, a not really nice couple, 22 minutes for me in the beginning, but credit to him for playing very well.

Q. Do you feel you have to majorly step up tomorrow against Nadal, or do you feel it's a few details that's missing to your game right now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, look, you know, I still haven't played as well as I can and as well as I hope I can play in Rome in these two matches. But, you know, I didn't have too much time really to practice in these conditions, you know, coming from Madrid pretty late.

But, you know, there are positives in every day, and I try to look things on the brighter side. Look, I'm moving on to next day. Tomorrow is a big challenge playing against Rafa. The fact that I played against left-handed player today hopefully will kind of get myself positioned and prepared well for next match.

You know, obviously Bellucci maybe plays closer to the line than Rafa does, but Rafa is, all in all a better quality player, plays with higher intensity, with higher spin.

I've played him in Rome several times. I know what's expecting me. I have watched his match. I'm going to try to get myself ready. I'm hoping I can start better than I did today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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