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January 17, 2008

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Would you please explain what means your nickname, Nole?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the Nolic is not a common name in our country, but Nole is kind of like a nickname for that name. It doesn't really mean anything special.

Q. Looked like a very comfortable match for you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was, you know. It's always good to start a Grand Slam with two straight-set wins. I didn't want to underestimate anybody, even my opponent today, even though I knew that, you know, he didn't play a lot of professional matches in ATP and ITF Grand Slam events. So obviously he was a little bit nervous, and he didn't get a lot of balls back. I just needed really to stay in the match and stay focused, just, you know, be myself, be aggressive, which I did.
It wasn't really such a nice match for the audience to see. It was a lot of mistakes, and on my side, as well. You know, looking at the results, you thought, you know, I won easy. I did, but I made some -- too much unforced errors and maybe a little bit my serve was going up and down. So this is, you know, only the start of the tournament, and there's bigger matches and tougher matches are coming up. I'm going to play probably against a seeded player next round, so we'll see what happens.

Q. What is your thought on the next match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's 2-1 for Tursunov, as I saw. Well, Tursunov obviously is a favorite in the match, you know, but Querrey is a good player. I played -- I don't think -- I don't think I played ever against both of them. So it's going to be first match against both of the opponents, and I'm going to try to play my best.
My coach is right there, watching the match, and will try to get as much information as we can, and, you know, to prepare physically and mentally for that match.

Q. How do you physically feel now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I feel good. I had a long season last year, so I was trying to rest and prepare well so I can get fit for Australian Open, which I didn't play any tournaments before Australian Open, and that's why now physically I feel pretty good.

Q. You mentioned on the court that you weren't happy with your service today. What did you think was happening with your serve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, it was just a little ups and downs, that's all. Nothing special, you know.
Probably I was trying to overhit too much. And there was -- there was, you know, wind -- windy conditions, little bit, not to strong, but enough to, you know, stop you from serving well. And if you lose your focus, you could easily go down. And I was lucky that in this moment I didn't have such a strong opponent, who was going to give me pressure and trouble on my second serves.
But, you know, I'm going to work on that in these two days while I'm having off before the third round.

Q. You made a lot of bad mistakes, hitting the ball wide and things like that. Is that hard for you to get your rhythm in a match like that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, as I said, you know, I didn't get too much balls from the opponent. And when you don't get too much balls, it's quite difficult to get the rhythm in the match.
But I was trying to be patient and aggressive at the same time, so that probably caused some unforced errors.

Q. Janko had a good match today and the next opponent is Federer. What do you think he can do?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, one thing is for sure, he shouldn't go out to the court with a white flag. Even though we all know how good is Roger playing, especially on the such a big events. But even though I think everything is possible. You know, it's unpredictable. Certainly Roger is a favorite.
But I wish Janko all the best. And obviously Janko doesn't have anything to lose. He's been playing some pretty good tennis in the first two rounds, especially today, and we'll see what happens.

Q. At this stage of your career, where it is easier to motivate for the later stages of tournaments and play against the bigger names, how do you manage playing these first rounds mentally? How do you prepare?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you prepare for every match, I think, more or less the same. You don't want to underestimate anybody. Even though the first -- if you're high-seeded player, first two rounds, usually in the tournaments you get little bit lower-ranked players. But again, it depends on the draw. Even though you have 32 seeds, you can get the 33rd player of the world in the first round.
So it's -- even though, you know, I had first two rounds, you know, good opponents, not as good as, you know, the other players had, so I had an easy matches. But, you know, you want to keep your focus. And everybody plays a Grand Slam, there's 128 players on the world from a lot of countries, a lot of different countries coming here with a special motivation to play and to win, so they don't have nothing to lose. So it's always dangerous these first two, three rounds on the start of the season.

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