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August 25, 2007

Novak Djokovic



Q. You've been the dark horse to maybe win the tournament here. Have you been reading your clippings or sort of laying low?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I know that a lot of people expect obviously for me to be one of the favorites to win the US Open this year, but I'm not trying to see myself already lifting the trophy or being at the semis or finals of the tournament. I'm trying to go step by step and really take it easy. It's a long two weeks. There's a lot of matches to play, a lot of matches to win against difficult players.
You know, the players come here with another extra motivation because it's a Grand Slam, it's a huge event. But for me it's a lot of fun to play here because the tennis fans here in the States are giving a lot of support, they're making a great atmosphere. It's always good fun.

Q. What is the secret of beating Federer?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, everybody's asking that. I cannot explain you by the words. You will have to play him on the court and then see how it looks.
It's difficult to play him. He's a perfectionist on the court. All his shots are really good. Mentally he's the strongest player in the world. He plays his best tennis in the most important moments.
The only thing you can do is you have to keep it up with him, play every point, try to be focused, wait for your chances, which I managed to do in Montréal. I always learn something new from the matches against him. I lost four times, but put away the negative thoughts and just got into the match thinking of winning. It was not the case in the last four matches. I was just trying to prove to the people that I'm playing good tennis, that I'm talented. In Montréal, it was another thing, I tried to win.

Q. What do you take from Montréal, beating Nadal, Roddick?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I take a big trophy. It's back home (smiling).
It's been amazing year, first of all. Looking at Montréal, probably the best tournament of my career. I managed to do something which not many players did in the history of the tennis. You know, I won against Roger in a tough match. I won two tiebreaks. It makes my success even bigger, you know.
Now, after that tournament, I believe more in myself and I have more confidence and I think I have enough quality to challenge the best players on the world and to be one of the favorites to win this tournament, obviously, because I've been playing my best tennis on this surface.

Q. Roger has certain patterns he plays during groundstroke rallies. What did you learn from that match about anticipating patterns he puts together on the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, as I said, you always learn something new when you play him. I try to just play my game my style and not pay attention on his shots, what he does. I know that he likes to be in control of the match, likes to be aggressive. But still he has probably a lot of trouble with Nadal because Nadal stays with him every point and he doesn't give him a lot of free shots, a lot of unforced errors.
As I said, you always learn. Now since I managed to win against him, even it was a tight match, I believe more. I'm really looking forward to the next challenge, the next match against him.

Q. What is your style?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, as you probably saw on the court, I'm a baseline player. I have very aggressive and strong groundstrokes. I was working a lot in the last year or so on my volleys and serve. I was trying to improve. I still know that I have a lot of elements in the game that I need to improve on. It's a positive thing. I'm still 20 years old. Still a lot more time to come. I'm really happy with my performances the last couple of months on all the different kinds of surfaces. I was getting to the net more and more, which is probably my goal for the future.

Q. Your victory over Roger means it's probably more realizable than ever that two Serbians can win this tournament. How do you feel about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I feel great.

Q. Do you agree it seems probable?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Serbian tennis has grown extremely a lot in the last two years. You have two girls top five in the world. You have a doubles player top 10 in the world. You have me No. 3 in the world. It's really strange how we managed to do that only in two years of time. Looking at the history of Serbian tennis, we never had somebody really at the top. On men's tennis, we had (indiscernible), and from Serbia we didn't have anybody. In women's tennis, we had Monica Seles playing for us. We didn't have a big tennis tradition going on. We didn't have a big tennis system in our country. It's always good to see somebody which you've grown up with is doing well.
Those girls I know for a long time. I'm sure they have a lot of quality and one of them can win it this year.

Q. Can you talk about your first-round match. When you saw the draw, what did you think?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's a difficult draw. The draw is a matter of luck. You cannot have a big impact on the draw. It's a matter of luck. I didn't have luck this time. I got a very difficult draw. I got Ancic in the first round, a player who was close to top 10. He was actually in top 10 end of last year. He's been through a difficult period since the March of this year. He didn't play any tournaments as he was injured and he was sick.
Now he has came back. He's not in the shape, in the top shape, but he's still a great player, a lot of talent. I have to be careful because he's motivated a lot because he didn't play a lot of matches. For sure he's gonna play the match thinking of winning and nothing to lose, so I can say looking on the paper I'm favorite, but it's gonna be a difficult match first round, of course. I'm not looking at the rest of the draw. Just going match by match.

Q. Has Roger, since you beat him, said anything to you, complimented you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I mean, we didn't talk about tennis too much. We try to talk about some other things when we are off the court 'cause I think we all have enough of the tennis during the day, during the night, during the year.

Q. Did you do a good impression of him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: They're accepting it positively. Nobody's getting angry or upset. I'm really not trying to make fun of anybody. I'm just trying to bring up something new and just have fun.

Q. Have you done an impression for Roger?

Q. What does he think of it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't think he saw it. He has to come for one of my practices. Maybe if we practice together, I do a joke.

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