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January 19, 2008

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. First time ever, please tell us what do you think about this other match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course all eyes were on Centre Court on the match, Tipsarevic against Federer. Of course, it was amazing match. And Janko, all credit to him. He was fighting all the way through, I mean, what I saw. The start of the fifth set -- I saw the whole fifth set.
He was really trying to get through, but, you know, he got tired in the end and Roger was the fresher one and he had some good and lucky shots. In the end, you know, he won.
But if the result was the other way around, if Janko won, I think he would be totally deserved. I'm very happy that my country fellow and my friend is doing well. Of course, in the first place, he's representing himself in the best possible way, and the people saw him -- all the world saw him, basically.
You know, he played a four-and-a-half-hour match against the best player in the world, so he can be really proud of himself.

Q. Did you think he could play at that level? I mean, he maintained a fantastic level throughout the match. Did you think he could do that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, of course. I mean, he proved it today.

Q. Before the match, would you have said that he could do that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean -- you know, I had a chat with him before the match. You know, he asked me, because I played against Roger many times, so I told him a couple of things.
Obviously Roger was huge favorite in that match, of course. But he didn't have anything to lose, so probably that's one of the big reasons why he played so well.

Q. What about your match today? It was the complete opposite. How did you see your form today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, obviously, as I said, after the match, I got a pretty good draw, and it kind of opened up to me till the fourth round, and I used my chances right away from the start, and even though the results look pretty easy, you know, I was -- it wasn't so much. I didn't want to underestimate the opponent, and of course I was a big favorite in that match. I knew that he's a big server.
Just, you know, trying to be focused and get the job done as soon as possible, which I did. It's, of course, always good to have three easy matches on the start of the Grand Slam. You know, I saved my energy physically and mentally so I can be really 100% fit for the next one.

Q. Sam says that he found you intimidating.

Q. That's the world he used.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Usually that's Sharapova, not me.

Q. Her too.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Why is that?

Q. Well, I think he said it's a combination of the way you play and the way you carry yourself. Do you feel that you carry yourself differently than you did a year ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, of course. I mean, I'm trying to improve day after day. I'm only 20 years old, and I have a lot of qualities in my game, and I have a lot of mental strength which, you know, helped me out, winning those tough matches in 2007. It's a really positive thing for the future.
Of course, whenever I'm on the court against whoever I play, especially on the big events, as the Grand Slam, I try to be focused from the start. I want to finish the match, you know, in the straight sets. You know, I don't want to stay there for four or five hours.
I think you need to be, of course, depending on the person, every person is different. But for me, I'm trying to be focused and really positive all the time.
You need to be a little probably arrogant on the court to have this, you know, self-confidence so you can get the positive outcome.

Q. He's about a foot taller than you, too.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. I actually couldn't see when he'd throw the ball, you know. Because he's so tall, when he throws the ball, I don't see the ball because of the people. It was kind of difficult to return, but it was okay.
It was a bit humid today because of the roof, with strange conditions, different. But, you know, you got to hold on.

Q. Does it encourage a player like you to see Roger being stretched and kind of struggling out there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I mean, I'm not in the position to, you know -- I don't want Roger to win every match. I don't look at him as, you know, as the enemy or something like that.
Of course, he was -- he was playing really well all these years, and he was so dominant on basically every surface except clay. When you have such a dominant player, you want to see him struggling a little bit, in my matches against him and in other matches. It gives you motivation that you can win against him.
You know, you have to start believing more and more, so it's still a long way for me to his match if we get to the match, but I'm going to try to look at my next opponent.

Q. Are you going to wait tonight to see the match, Baghdatis and Hewitt?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: They're going to start after midnight, I think, so I'll be sleeping in that time. I think my coach will see that match.

Q. This tournament is known for having such international color in its crowds and a lot of people love that, players and fans a like. But sometimes it gets nasty. Do you think, overall, is it a positive or negative that there are so many people that are so, sort of nationalistic?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Depends, the way you look at it. If you're a player which gets motivated by the crowd and supporters and the way they cheer for you, then it's a positive thing, you know.
But if you're a player which likes to have, you know, total peace when he's, and really quiet moment when he's playing the points, then it's not so good.
It's nice to see something different in a sport. It's really unusual atmosphere here. As I was saying before, I think a lot of players like playing here, even though sometimes the fans can exaggerate, you know, a little bit with the cheering and it kind of effects -- it has effect on you or your opponent or referee or the crowd in general.
But it's good to have -- tennis is a pretty quiet sport. During the point you can't cheer, so it's very strict. Here it's a bit different.

Q. Maybe it helps to be a soccer fan if you're here?

Q. What's your favorite Slam?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't have one. There is a lot of difference. This one has probably best atmosphere. The other ones have best facility. The third one -- so it's strange, but I was saying always that I would like to win Wimbledon on the first place, because it has -- when I was a kid, I just saw Sampras lifting the Wimbledon trophy, and it has a big tradition. So it would have a special place in my career.

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