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June 30, 2006

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Novak will not be fielding any questions on British citizenship today.

Q. Why not? It's very much in the public interest.
THE MODERATOR: He said everything he's had to say and there's no progress on it.

Q. Even if he says there's no progress on it, we still need to hear that from him really.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah, I just want to say the one and only thing if you want me to say, okay.
I'll repeat it, but I have to say that I repeat it every day since Paris really. And I have to say that, uhm, for me, the worst thing is to actually talk about it because I really need to focus right now on the tournament because I am right now on the tournament which is one of my favorite one and most important one. Nothing serious is going on between me and LTA, uhm, the federation. That's it.
I don't have anything to say because I was really confused when I saw the story about me coming to Britain, and when they said that it's just a matter of time for me to come there -- here, I was really surprised. It's no truth in this.

Q. When you come here, though, this week and get the level of support from the British fans, does that influence you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, I don't think actually about this, about this stories and stuff like this. I just feel comfortable here, and really the people are really nice to me. They give me great support, you know, on and off the court.
I had really nice -- really good last year, and so far this year as well. I just hope that with the crowd and everybody will stand behind me next week, you know. Just I am not thinking about the stories really. I just feel comfortable.

Q. You seemed very comfortable on the court, two years running, still a teenager, yet third round last year, fourth round this year. You seem comfortable on the grass and with the atmosphere at Wimbledon.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, considering the fact that this is my second year on the grass, I'm really satisfied with the way I played so far on the Wimbledon, for sure.
It's a big motivation for a player to play on a Grand Slam, especially on Wimbledon. I think it's the most important one. And a lot of players don't like to play on the grass 'cause, you know, today's tennis is more from the baseline, you know. The grass is actually a bit slower than 10, 15 years ago, so there you can see a lot of rallies, you know, you can see the baseline players actually winning the matches, like Lleyton Hewitt winning couple years ago Wimbledon.
So, you know, that shows you that actually it's not everything about the serve, you know, and volley, in this surface anymore. So I'm really happy about it 'cause actually my game is based on the baseline.

Q. You seem to volley very well. The few times when you did come in, you seemed very comfortable and assured at the net.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I did, I did. A lot of people are saying to me this thing and as well the coach, that I should come more, 'cause this is my game, 'cause this is what I do actually pretty well.
I think I just need confidence for it, and I need to -- I need to do it by myself mentally, just to prove to myself that I can play well on the net and I can use this opportunities, because I have a lot of opportunities during the match, not just today, in all these matches during this year and last year. Well, I hope, you know, in the next period that I will improve on this element.

Q. Do you feel like the crowd is supporting you more now because of all the rumors that you are coming to Britain?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I actually didn't feel it so much. Honestly, I didn't feel it because I played my first two rounds on small courts, you know. And now I played on Court 18. Today I had some supporters, but my family was too loud, so I could hear only them.
But, you know, I don't want to actually get the support on this way, you know, just about the rumors, talking about that, you know, and just try to get supporters over the rumors, you know? I want to get supporters and crowd behind me the way I play, you know, the way I win on the court, you know, the way I act on the court. So that is the most important thing for me. And if I get the crowd behind me by playing good tennis, then it's really good thing, important for me.

Q. Who of your family is with you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, my parents and my youngest brother. I have another brother, he didn't come. He was in Paris. He's also trying to be professional, you know. He's 14 years old and he's already in academy.

Q. You play some doubles with Andy Murray, haven't you?

Q. Can you just explain if you have any relationship in terms of friends.

Q. You spend time together?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, he's one of my best friends on tour, that's for sure. I know him since I was 12 years old. Andy is a great guy. I think he had -- in one way, he had easier way to improve and to get to the top 50 by having a lot of support from the country, from the sponsors and everything.
But in the other way, you know, he has a lot of pressure, you know. It's really difficult for the player to deal with this pressure. I have to say that he's dealing with the pressure pretty good. You know, he achieved in the last half a year, year, you know, great -- he did great results. Sooner or later, he will be top 10, I think so.

Q. When you see the amount of pressure and amount of media coverage Andy Murray gets here, does that factor into your thinking? Does that scare you or excite you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, no. Why not, you know? Excite me for sure. I don't look him as an enemy or something like this, you know. Just he's very good friend of mine. This is our job, this is what we do for living. We enjoy it, you know. We love tennis. I don't look on this kind of way, like if he is my -- some kind of, you know, competition, you know.

Q. I meant more if you were to come over here and put yourself in this position?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, put myself in this position.

Q. Would you be comfortable with that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's very difficult to say. Like I said, you know, in one hand, it's great, really, to have big support on biggest tournament in tennis, and really media and everything. But on the other hand, a lot of expectations and pressure. So, you know, it's really difficult for me to say, to be in this position.

Q. Will you be playing doubles with Andy again?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I hope so, you know. We just -- we played, you know, Australian Open the last time and only time. We played pretty well, I have to say. We lost. We were unfortunate. But I hope that in the future if he wants, if I want, you know, if we get together, that we can play more tournaments because I think we can play great doubles, you know.
But it's all depends from our singles careers and results, because this is the priority.

Q. When did you first meet him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: When I was 12 years old on one tournament in France, actually, and we played on this tournament. It was my first international tournament and he really destroyed me (laughing).

Q. Do you remember the score?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, 6-Love, 7-6.

Q. And are you having a contest or a bet or wager with him as first to get to the top 10?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, no, no. We -- no.

Q. You haven't discussed that, joking or anything?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, no, no. We don't talk about that.

Q. How do you think? Do you think he might beat you, you might beat him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know. I just hope that we'll both get to top 10 soon. As I said, you know, I don't look him as a competition and in this way, so I don't -- I will not be the happiest man on the Earth if I get first to top 10. It's not my goal, you know. My goal is actually to be No. 1 in the world, and this is my goal and I am just looking myself. If he gets to top 10, I will be happy for him, you know.
But everybody looks own way.

Q. Have you spoken to Andy about the situation with you potentially coming over here and stuff? Did you ask his advice?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, we didn't talk. We didn't talk too much about it because I don't have any serious talks, you know.
You know, he's making jokes of me like, "What's up, teammate, British," or something like this. Especially Greg. Greg makes jokes with me every day. Every time I see him, he says, "What's up, British?"
It's nice, you know. We are really good friends and we have fun. But about these rumors, nothing serious really so far.

Q. Do you say anything back to them?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Uhm, I didn't know what to say (laughing).

Q. Did you call him a Canadian?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Canadian, yeah, that's what I was thinking, but I didn't want to insult him or something.

Q. You've got a match against Mario Ancic in the next round. Have you played him before?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I played him one time, yes, in US Open last year. I won in US Open 3-1, I think, in sets, second round. Was, yeah, last year.
Well, I have to -- Mario is really, really talented and really good player, you know. He got to top 10 right now and everybody expect it from him, to do that, 'cause he's -- he has all the elements in the game and everything what he does, he does it pretty well. He's one of the few all-around players, really, he can play all the games. I think he's mostly dangerous on this surface. He played semifinals here, and he feels most comfortable here. So if I play against him on Monday, for sure it's going to be a tough match for me, you know.
But as well for him, you know, 'cause he will be under pressure because of losing against me in US Open, you know, already. So I think it's kind of small advantage for me. We practiced a lot of times, so I know his game, he knows mine. But everything is open, you know, I have to say. It just depends, you know.

Q. I think the umpire had to say something to you about a ball girl? I think you said "sorry," but...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah, yeah. In this moment I shouted "towel," because she didn't hear me. I showed her like this, and she didn't hear me. I was nervous and I said "towel" a bit louder. He said, "Please, you know, don't do it." I said, "Sorry, okay."

Q. How do you feel about the political things that are happening in your home country?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I have to say that I'm not interested too much in politics, but it doesn't really change too much for me and for tennis, you know, because most of the -- actually all the players you see right now from Serbia-Montenegro on the tour are from Serbia, so it doesn't change anything. Nobody is from Montenegro.
But it's really -- for me, I was not happy to hear that we split, you know. Ten, 15 years ago we split from Croatia, now we split again, I don't know what's happening now.
But, you know, I just hope that everything will be okay, you know, because we had a lot of problems in last 15, 20 years as a country, and we are trying our best as a sport to actually be real ambassadors of the country.

Q. England v. Portugal, who do you want to win?

Q. Good man.

End of FastScripts...

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