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July 7, 2007

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: First question for Novak.

Q. That's a very disappointing way for a Grand Slam challenge to end for you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, it is. But, you know, I got to look on a positive side. I had a best two weeks in Wimbledon ever, one of the best tennis I ever played, you know.
I showed here that I really deserve being in, you know, last four in Wimbledon and I think all the major tournaments. I made a lot of good results this year. You know, it's a disappointed, like you said, way to finish the biggest tournament for me.
Sure, I'm sad about it. But, again, it's something which was stronger than me and I had to retire because I wanted to avoid, you know, forcing that injury and making it more serious for the future.

Q. Can you tell us exactly what the problem was.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, exactly I stop because of the actually blister. It's not just the blister I have. It's a big infection from yesterday after the match.
I had a big swallow (sic) and it's really infected. I didn't sleep during the night because I had a lot of bleeding and everything, so I was barely walking this morning, you know, trying to do everything I can.
I really have to thank the doctors and physiotherapists for helping me out. They did their best and I did my best to get on the court really because I was thinking, Should I go and play? It was that serious.
In the other hand, it was not only that. It was, again, my back which was problem in the last couple of days and basically all body. I'm really tired and exhausted. You know, if you see the time, the length of my matches in three days, you realize everything.
I mean, everybody is human and it's naturally to feel like that. It's impossible to hold on with the matches like that.

Q. Were you able to hide your troubles away from Rafa before the match? Did you come across each other in the locker room?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, we did. But I was trying not to -- you know, there's a lot of people around me. I was trying to avoid him and his sight. I was just trying to get away and talk to the people there, you know.
My intentions before the match were not to, you know, show him that I am weak, whatever, so he can be an advantage.
Like I said, it was in question should I play or not, but I decided to go on the court. First set I played really, really good. Especially I served well. So service helps me to make the points shorter, and I was really aggressive. You know, it resulted with a win of the first set.
But, you know, afterwards, as soon as I dropped a little bit with the serve, you know, he used it.

Q. Is it fair to say the weather helped to beat you as well as your opponents?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. As I was mentioning on the press conferences before, the weather has been terrible here. You know, it made our way more difficult - especially mine. I think I was the player who was suffering mostly from all of the players here in Wimbledon 'cause I was basically on the schedule every day and I played really long matches, especially in the last three rounds.
Yeah, but, you know, it's a new experience. It's been a very strange two weeks. But, you know, you got to learn something from it so you know for the next time.
But, again, I have to say that I'm really not happy with the way they dealed with the schedule, the rain, really not happy. But, you know, what can you do? I hope that things will change in the future.

Q. Is it fair to say your fitness problems will go away with some rest?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sure, yeah. I was supposed to play next week but I pulled out, so I'm not going to play next two weeks. I'm going to play just one tournament here in Europe, in Umag on clay, then I'm going to go to States, actually Canada, Montréal, Cincinnati, US Open.
I'm going to try to reduce my tournaments as much as I can because I've played a lot, really a lot of matches. I'm not used to that. I had a really difficult season. No rest basically in six, seven months. I didn't have, you know, four or five days off.
This is probably -- this period, next seven to ten days, I'll try to recover as much as I can.

Q. When you won the first set, knowing how you felt, did you think you could win at that point?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I was a bit surprised that I won the first set, considering the fact that I really felt bad, you know, on the court. I didn't move.
I knew if he starts to move me then I don't have any chances. You know, that is what happened in the second set and third set.
So the first set, I was really trying all the time to be aggressive, to step in right away from the first shot. Of course, in the first set I was a bit lucky. But, again, I was serving well. Yeah, after the first set, you know, I thought, Okay, I'll try to continue this way, hoping that I can hold on, that my injury's not going to affect me.
But, you know, of course he's No. 2 of the world. He was a bit surprised in the start with the way I played. He started to play better. He figure it out, that I don't move well, so he used his opportunities and he won.

Q. What did he say to you at the end?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, he felt sorry that we had to finish this way. I wish him the best of luck for the finals. You know, he just told me that I had a great tournament, great two weeks. That's all.

Q. Where is the injury?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I just said before.

Q. You say in the foot. But where in the foot? How impedes you to move?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's on the small finger (sic) of the left foot. It's infection, blister infection.

Q. Your efforts this week are likely to earn you a career-high ranking of 3. What does that mean to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It means the world to me, for sure. It's the highest ranking I ever had. It's something special to be third player of the world right after the two most dominant players in tennis.
You know, just that fact gives me more motivation and confidence, you know, to work hard and more so I can become a No. 1 player of the world, which I think I can do.
I'm really not in the rush anywhere, even though I'm only 20 and already third on the world. I'm trying to slow it down now, keep up with the good work, get more experience, more matches so maybe one day I can reach my lifetime goal.

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