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November 11, 2007

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Why did you make so many unforced errors today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it wasn't my day. Of course, this is sport. We all have to get used to the wins and losses. Of course, I was the favorite in this match, but he proved that he's a great player and absolutely he deserved to win.
Of course, I didn't play on the level I was supposed to play, that I played throughout all this year, of course but I'm still not out of the chances to get to the semifinal.

Q. I imagine this format is something a little unique for you. I don't know how often you've played round robin. How interesting or difficult do you think it's going to be coming back after the loss?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I have played one round robin. It was actually the first one in the start of the year in Adelaide and I won it. I think it's interesting format to have for the sport. It gives me in this situation another opportunity to come back and try to play better and win some matches.
Hopefully, you know, I can have chances to get to the semifinal.

Q. You said in Bercy a week or so ago that you were feeling very, very tired and exhausted. Has the week's rest and the journey out here affected that at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, it was a long year for me. The period after Madrid was extremely difficult because I had this surgery of my throat (sic), which was pretty difficult.
But, anyway, I'm not really trying to find any excuses for today's win. I'm here for already five, six days, so I had enough time to get used to the conditions, you know, acclimatization. Of course, I was ready. I was feeling good before the match physically.
Mentally I felt kind of, you know, a bit more pressure than I usually have. Obviously had an effect on my game.

Q. You are smart and seem to be a careful boy. I think no pains, no gains. Today you lose again. I want to know how did you deal with such a stress?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is sport and pressure is part of this sport, part of the game, so you have to get used to it if you want to be a professional tennis player.
I always had very high goals, so pressure is something that it's normal to have. And, of course, as the third player of the world, I usually get as a favorite into most of the matches, so I have to deal with that pressure.
But, of course, it's not easy. I didn't cope with that pressure today.

Q. Did you watch any of the first match? What is your opinion of your next match against Richard Gasquet?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I watched a little bit of the match. I think Richard was playing really well first set. It was a really difficult match for both of them. You could see a lot of good points, a lot of talent on the court.
But in the end, you know, Rafa was the one to win and to fight all the way through. Of course, I'm going to have difficult matches against both of them. With the game I showed today, you know, I have to change a lot of things if I want to get through.

Q. In the second set, latter part of the second set, everybody was rooting for you. Did you feel this motivation? Which is bigger: Pressure or motivation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, depends from the situation. Of course, I'm very thankful to the fans who have been supporting me today. There was quite a lot. There was really guys trying to lift me up and they were supporting me all the way through till the last point, so I'm really thankful for that.
I feel very nice here. People are very polite to me. The people greet me with a lot of emotion, so it's really nice to be here.
You know, the question about motivation and pressure? It's kind of difficult to compare, because what is bigger? I mean, if you are in a tournament like this, as a young player, as the first time coming here, the first appearance, of course you feel a lot of motivation to succeed and do well. And that's what I feel. And I have a big will to get far.
But, again, if you come here as a young player and the third player of the world, one of the players that is probably the favorite in the match, then there is a lot of pressure.
Unfortunately that pressure was pretty big today. But, again, I played against a player who really deserved to win, so there is no excuses.

Q. How difficult is it to play against Ferrer because he returns everything?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, it is difficult. You know, he showed a couple of times this year that he deserves to be in the top 10 and he has the quality to play against all the players. He's giving a hard time to any player on the world. He showed that on a couple of occasions on any surface.
I knew that it's not going to be an easy match. I didn't underestimate him or anybody, of course. And obviously he was very motivated. You know, it's even his first time in Shanghai, in the Masters Cup, and he didn't have anything to lose.
You could see that he was moving really well. He was aggressive. He kind of surprised me in the start, the way he played.

Q. Can you comment on the case of Alessio Di Mauro?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I have nothing to say about that really. Bad luck for him.

Q. Do you think the punishment is too long?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I have nothing to say.

Q. You are the first player to practice on the center court. After that you said the court is pretty slow for your style. Do you think it was still a problem for you today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, actually it has been changed. If you heard the other part of the interview I said after five days is probably going to be pretty fast, and that's what it is right now. The balls are really kind of hard, so it's difficult to get the control here. It's a pretty fast game, pretty fast conditions, which suits to my game.
But, again, I was unpatient, too much unpatient today. Unfortunately, I lost.

Q. You did have a chance to break David in the first game of the second set. In the last game of the match, you still got a breakpoint. What happened in that key moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, what happened? Obviously I felt I was close. I had a couple of breakpoints throughout most of the match. And then in the last game I had the big opportunity, and we played some great points.
Obviously he was fighting, fighting all the way through. Maybe I was trying too much in some moments, especially on that match point in the end. But it's okay. You know, we are turning a new page and I'm getting to the new match, and hopefully I can do better in the next match.

Q. If Nadal would invite you to go out, would you go with him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I have no answer for that question.

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