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March 22, 2008

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Well played.

Q. Did you think that was going to be that easy, and how well did you think you played?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I played really well. I -- think tactically-wise I played really smart. And I knew that I had to be aggressive and take the control, take over the control of the match, try to go for the shots, which I did.
A bit too much in the start of the match, but the important -- I think the turning point was that break on 4-3, first set. I had a bit of luck.
Anyhow, looking in the general stats of the match, I was really playing well and serving well. That is the base. It was really important.

Q. Where does this huge confidence that you have this year coming from? I think this is the biggest difference in your game in the last couple months.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, if you win more and more matches you get more confident. I think that's obvious fact. But I'm trying to remain focused on results and tennis, because I already achieved a lot with only 20 years of age, and I know that people already see me as one of the best players in the world.
But I need to stay calm and just go step by step and try to get to my lifetime goal which is to be No. 1. It's getting closer, but still, I don't want to go too fast and skip some things. I really need to be consistent with my results in the most important events, major events. I started the year in the best possible way, but still, it's not over yet. I need to play finals.

Q. How much better do you think you've gotten this year so far?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I matured a lot mentally, I think, in the first place. I knew that mental ability and strength comes with time and with experience, of course.
I had a lot of the matches. I think I played most of the matches last year on the ATP Tour, which gave me a lot of boost, I think, and a lot of confidence. So I had some really important wins last year, which proved and made me believe that I can be one of the best players in the world and I have enough quality for that.

Q. This is a maybe/if question: Have you played Mardy Fish before, and how have you done?

Q. You beat him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. It was a really tough match.

Q. Is that the only time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. No, actually we played in Hopman Cup this year. Again, it was 7-6 in the third set, I think.
He's a really difficult opponent to play against. I think the match is still not over, but he's in the lead, obviously playing on top of his shape in this tournament, has nothing to lose. He won against some great players throughout all tournament, obviously has nothing to lose today.
If he wins, he's not going to have anything to lose even tomorrow. No expectations for him. He's just going to go for his shots probably and be aggressive. He's a big server. It takes time. If I play him, I need to be patient and wait for my chances.

Q. It's 5-1 in the second. Does that surprise you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It does a little bit. You know, I think his style of the game suits to Roger, but obviously Roger is not playing well today for whatever reason.
But, of course, you can't play always well. I think for Roger it is not so good that he didn't play quarterfinals and he didn't have a tough match. You know, Fish is ready for it. He's obviously deserving it. You know, he plays better.

Q. Let's say Fish does close it out. Would you feel a bit more confident playing Mardy Fish than -- not saying you wouldn't feel confident playing Roger, but more confident play Fish than playing Roger?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, probably if you play No. 1 player of the world in the finals, in the finals of any tournament, I think it's much tougher than to play against somebody who has not been in so many finals of the major events.
But again, looking at his results and the players he won against this tournament, it's not going to be easy, for sure. You know, winning against best player in the world, 6-3, 5-1, it's just fantastic result.
As I said, he's going to go for his shots. He has a big serve which he can rely on and he improved a lot from the baseline.

Q. Three different Serbians in three different finals this year in Indian Wells.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Again, Serbian Open, probably. It's becoming a bit boring to see so many Serbians. I think it's just unexplainable and fantastic to see so many Serbs in the top of the men's and women's worlds in both singles and doubles.
We are all doing so great. It's just fantastic to see, as well, how much people in our country appreciate what we do and respect our results and, you know, we can't ask for better.

Q. It's only the been a year. Are you saying you're bored of the Serbian success?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I'm just saying every single tournament the last couple months there's always some Serbian in the finals. For our country, it means a lot.

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