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July 4, 2007

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Novak.

Q. Being the youngest player left in the draw, having won this match today from the only player who took a set off Federer in 2005, what are your chances of winning this championship?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: First of all, sorry I'm late. I know you were waiting for me quite a long time.
Yeah, I mean, Kiefer is a very good player, even though he had a year off because of the injury. I knew that he's going to be a difficult match because he didn't still lose a set until the third round.
And, considering the fact we played for five days one match, it was very frustrating for both of us. So I think it was more a matter of mental strength than anything else. I think who was stronger mentally and the player who was hanging in there was the one who had advantage.
I'm really happy that I managed to break him right away in the third set today. More or less I played really well. I had a lot of chances in the fourth set. In the end I won this tiebreaker.
Since I got through, you know, this third round, you know, I think that now it's going to be a difficult time for me 'cause obviously I'm gonna play tomorrow against Hewitt. If I win, I'm going to play after tomorrow. So I'm going to play every day, which is unusual situation, but that's the way it is unfortunately.
I'm not thinking of winning Wimbledon right now. I don't see myself as a winner, of course. On every tournament I go with the will to win. I don't have any particular goal for this year's Wimbledon, but what I'm trying to do is to go match by match and try to keep my focus all the time, which is very important and crucial for this surface, and we gonna see.
There are at lot of good players still in the main draw. There were not so many surprises this year. Most of the seeded players got through.
So, you know, I'm playing Lleyton Hewitt, former No. 1. Everybody knows about him, and he was the Wimbledon champion. He plays well, especially on the grass which is his probably favorite surface. So it's going to be a tough one for me, and I hope I'll recover physically and get ready.

Q. The rain is a very unfortunate thing that nobody can control. You now face the possibility of playing six consecutive days. In your mind, are you satisfied the tournament has handled the scheduling of the players properly?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's a difficult task to talk about. But it's not on me to organize the matches and the schedule.
As a player, one thing is for sure, that we are very frustrated in the times like this when the rain is on basically every day. What I might say I didn't agree with is that there was no play on Sunday, which is I think a bad decision by the organizators (sic).
They knew the forecast for this week is going to be bad, is going to be a lot of rain. It was on the end of last week a lot of rain. I didn't understand why they didn't have any play on Sunday. Plus Sunday was a very nice day so they would finish all the matches. So I can blame them for that situation.
But on the other hand it's nature and you can't fight against it. You know, it's stronger than us.

Q. What makes Tipsarevic such a special guy?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think it's more a question for him to answer about him. What I can say is that the tennis has grown a lot, basically from zero to hero in Serbia. It's probably the No. 1 sport. We are all proud of it. We are trying really to do our best to present, first of all, ourselves and then the country, in the best possible way. I think we are doing a great job and really happy for it.
You know Janko was actually a bit struggling lately in the start of the year and end of the last year 'cause there was a lot of attention on Jankovic, Ivanovic and myself, Zimonjic. He was kind of in shadow of us in the media.
It was very difficult for him to break it through mentally, but he did it. I'm really happy for him. He's a big fighter, great competitor. He has unbelievable record in five sets. I think he lost maybe in all his career two or three and he won 15 or something.
So here he won three five-setters, which is incredible. That means he's physically very strong. Now I think he's top 50. So I can say that he's going to have a pretty good year.

Q. He caused quite a stir here at Wimbledon. Do you think you'd have had more games on the show courts if you had an eyebrow stud and tattoos up your arm?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I don't think so. I'm not interested in tattoos. I'm not comments on that.

Q. A lot of players seem terrified suggesting they can even beat Federer. From what I've read, you seem to have the attitude you believe you can. You're not frightened to say it.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Why should I be frightened? For me it's totally normal thing. If you go out on the court thinking positively and thinking, I can win against anybody, I think that's a right thinking. If you go with the white flag on the court, what you're doing there? You know what I mean?
Federer is surely No. 1 player of the world already for last four years, the best player, most consistent player, probably one of the best tennis players in the history of this sport. We all know that.
But looking from my point of view I really want to get to that place. That's my goal: To be No. 1 player of the world. I'm really going slowly even though I made fantastic results in last two years. But I'm really trying to go step by step, really slowly, and I'm sure that my time will come.
Even though I lost four times to him, I'm still working on my strokes, on my game. Every time I play him or Nadal I learn something new and see the things, negative things, what I need to improve on so I can win next time.

Q. Have you spoken to anyone or asked anybody why it rains so much here or made any inquiries?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I did. There was one very -- it was just a joke I wanted to make. Every day there are some announcements on the paper for the players from the side of Ian Ritchie and the rest of the officials.
I was pissed off why it rains so much. It was like two days ago. I just wrote just a little question for Ian Ritchie, and I requested a quick respond. I asked him, Why do you have so much rain? I got the answer in like one hour. He told me, I can be blamed for many things, for lack of entertainment, for a lot of rain, but what can I do? I ensure (sic) you the roof is going to come in 2009.

Q. He enjoyed your bits of karaoke in France. Are you thinking of launching any singing career, any karaoke bars in London?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I'm planning. I spoke to Duran Duran in London. We're planning to have concerts around Europe (laughter).
No, it was just for fun. I've seen it after the French Open last year. I didn't do it, so I was interested, what is this. They ask me, If you want to do it, you can do it.
So I put a lot of emotions into the song, if you know what I mean, if I saw it. People who saw it are understanding what I'm talking about.

Q. We were talking about John McEnroe helping you out around the net. What is the status on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, for now I'm working with Mark Woodforde. We worked in the States, for Indian Wells and Miami. We worked pretty well, pretty hard. The results are showing that. I spoke to him after that. I like the way we work.
I thought it can be very good if we give it a try here in grass court season, grass court tournaments. For now it's like that.
Who knows in the future. John is one of the best players ever. We all know that he's a great competitor. He had a really good serve and volley, which are probably some of the elements in the game which I need mostly to improve on.
So, you know, I will talk to him in the future more. For now it stays like this. But who knows. We might work out in the future.

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