home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 30, 2007

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Two 19-year-old prodigies going toe-to-toe at the end of such a prestigious tournament, one would expect a more impressive match than 6-1, 6-0. Was it just a case you were in the zone or --
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Like you say, two of the probably most improved players and most talented players playing the semifinals again, in great shape, both of us. You know, I just tried not to think about him and his game, and performance and whatever he does. You know, I just tried to keep focused on myself and my game and tried to play every point 100%, because I knew that he is a kind of player who can just come back any time.
So I learned my lesson from the past matches I've had with him. You know, I won both, I was very close to losing Madrid, and I came back. So I am really familiar with his game. I think that's why I was playing really good today.

Q. It's not necessarily the case, but when you do see someone with a drop shot as often as this, it is easy to suspect that the player may know something about the general fitness of the player on the other side of the net. Do you know anything about Andy's fitness?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, of course. We've had a lot of matches during this --

Q. I mean injury, whether he might have been possibly injured?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I know, I know. It's just my tactic. I have always, you always need to know how is your next opponent playing, you know? It's basically what you need to know.
So I played a lot of drop shots, because you know, he was a bit far back from the baseline, trying to play a lot of baseline shots. So I tried to change the rhythm, change the pace. I was trying to be in control of the match, because that's how I need to play to win.

Q. What do you think it is in your game the last few weeks that's helped you start to play so --
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think it's consistency, first of all. Mentally, I'm really a lot stronger than last year. I knew that it's going to come, I just needed time and experience. And experience comes with the matches, with tournaments. So I really think mental strength has improved a lot.
Then, you know, some elements in the game, like return volley. You know, I'm trying to get to the net as much as I can. I'm still not going so often, but really trying to use every opportunity, especially against players like Andy today.
My style, you know, is aggressive, so I've played this game throughout all my career, and I think I'm going to need to work more on the volleys and on the serves to improve more and to make my game perfect.

Q. Were you aware he had any physical discomfort?

Q. Were you aware Andy had any physical discomfort?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, really, like I said, I'm really not paying attention on his physical situation or anything. I know that there were talks in Indian Wells, he was not fit, blah, blah, blah, but I'm really not paying attention on it. I'm trying to focus on my game, you know, and play.
I know I was really well prepared how to play, and I don't think that the excuse of his losing today is fitness.

Q. He didn't use it as an excuse.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I know, I know. It's just that probably I really played better today. That's all.

Q. Have you ever played a better match start to finish than this one?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think all together looking at the strokes and consistency and everything, you know, general, I think match against Nadal was my best match of my career.

Q. You have so much to your game, so many ways to play, so many styles, is it easy to know at age 19 what to use in which situation out there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I can say that I'm an all-around player. Like you said, I can play different styles of game. You know, it's never easy to play against the top players on this kind of level and to play the way I played these two weeks, three, four weeks, both at the Indian Wells and here, Key Biscayne, tournaments. I've played on I think the highest level I've ever played in my life.
It's always good to have a game like mine, so I can change the pace and change the rhythm whenever I want so I can play different kinds of styles of the game. It's always good to have this. Federer does, he can play aggressive, he can play defensive, he can go to the net. He can change all the time, so it's good to have.

Q. Do you ever see serving and volleying, do you think you'll ever do that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm trying, I'm trying. You know, it's difficult practicing in match, official matches. It's totally different thing, you know. It's mentally you've got to be very strong and very confident to play serve and volley if you are not that kind of player. And I'm not that kind of player; I'm baseline player. So I'll work on it. It's always good a change of pace.

Q. What is it with you and hats? Indian Wells you were taking them off and on.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was just bothering me. Probably my hair has grown. I have like a nest now (laughing).

Q. You try it sometimes; you put it on and take it off in the changeover?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, because I really honestly have been -- as a junior, I was always playing with a hat, whenever there is sun, you know. Indoors not, but outdoors when there is sun I always played with a hat.
Right now I just don't feel like it. It bothers me, I don't know, probably because of the vision maybe and stuff.
So whenever I play, whenever sun is behind me so it doesn't bother me, I try to play without a hat.

Q. What kind of match did you anticipate today?

Q. What did you think was going to happen before the match? What were you anticipating?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I expected a difficult match for sure. He's a great competitor, you know, and very talented player. We are playing semifinals, so certainly I didn't expect 6-1, 6-0. But again, I'm very happy to win easy like this.

Q. What would your thinking be a year ago; okay, you're going to be in two Masters finals a year hence?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I would probably sign, like thank you. You know, I'm very happy with that achievement.

Q. So you're happy just to be in the finals now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. Since I am here, you know, I'll try to win. No, really, I'm playing against either Ljubicic or Cañas; both of the players are very good players, of course, great competitors. Cañas with winning two times over Roger in these two tournaments, whoever I play is going to be a difficult match. So sure, you know, finals is something else.
You can't go to the finals and just, you know, give up. Everybody wants to win a title.

Q. If it's Ivan, despite the difference in your ages, do you know him well?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, probably, I was a baby when he started playing tennis. No, I know him. I was practicing with him and his coach, tennis coach and fitness coach. I was practicing with them, I was on the team for a year.

Q. What year?

Q. When? When?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: When? It was winter last year. So December of 2005 until from September 2005 to French Open 2006. Then we stopped. But I think the main reason we stopped is because Ivan was playing great and he was making results. You know, it's just very difficult for a coach to pay attention to two players.
But I know him pretty well. We practiced a lot, and he's a very good friend of mine. Very good guy. So we're going to see what happens, you know. When you get to the court you don't look friendly anymore.

Q. Of course, tomorrow is going to be -- well, Sunday I should say, it is going to be a best-of-five set final. With this easy result that you have, and perhaps maybe this evening's match going to three sets, that gives you a particular advantage, doesn't it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's an advantage. Like I said, I'm very happy to win an easy match on this level. It's really unpredictable. It's never easy to win.
But again, it's good. It's an advantage to have an easy match, short match, so I can get ready and prepare and recover as much as I can for Sunday.

Q. What is the attitude of the guys in the locker room toward Cañas, have they welcomed him back from the suspension? Do people have any doubts? Roger made some pretty strong remarks in Indian Wells about it.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Honestly, I don't know, really. I don't see him too much in the locker room. I don't know him. I never met him. We say hi to each other, you know, we know each other like this, but we are not like friends. I mean, players accepted him pretty okay. I didn't see any troubles or any things like that.

Q. Have you played him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, never played him.

Q. Where did you get the vibration dampener?

Q. The vibration dampener?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Probably from my fans (laughing).

Q. How many drop shots will we see on Sunday in a five-set match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm going to see with my coach and probably going to see a little bit of it tonight's match. But to play drop shots against Cañas, to play Cañas drop shots, I don't think it's a good idea. He's pretty fast, you know.
And Ljubicic is, as well, a very smart player. So I don't know. I'm going to change the tactic for Sunday.

Q. How many did you hit against Rafa, drop shots?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Against who?

Q. Rafa?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not too many. A couple.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297