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April 26, 2008

Novak Djokovic


R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
6-3, 3-2 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What's the problem, Novak?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I didn't feel good for last three days. I've been waking up with some sore throat. But I thought it's not going to be nothing special.
But obviously when you're playing against the No. 1 player of the world, you obviously get a lot of balls back and longer points, and I just couldn't get enough energy back after each point. I needed a lot of time. And I just decided not to risk anything.

Q. Can you just talk about your symptoms. Do you feel sick? Is it just a sore throat?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's a sore throat. I feel dizziness a little bit in the last three days. I don't know. Doctor in the tournament couldn't give me the right diagnosis. I'll check as soon as possible.

Q. Considering that, did you do well to actually get to the semifinal itself then? Did you do above what you could have possibly done to get to today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think I could go even more. But, unfortunately, physically today I wasn't ready enough. I'm really disappointed that I had to finish this way. Feel sorry for the crowd and for everybody. In the first place, for me.
But, you know, I always put health in the first place. Semifinal is a great result. No doubt about that. I'm not extremely disappointed. You know, it's a good result to come in the best four of a strong tournament.

Q. Any fever at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not for now, hopefully. I don't know.

Q. You were already sick in the first set of the previous match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's always like this. Last three days, as I said. But the previous opponents were not, you know, not that tough and I didn't have long rallies against the previous opponents like I had today.
Obviously I needed that step further and to do something more and special to win the points today. Of course, it's normal, you're playing against the best player in the world. And, unfortunately, I couldn't do that.
But, you know, I have to look on the bright side.

Q. And you have to look at the season, as well, because the clay court season is a very tough season, very demanding. If you're going to be in peak condition for Paris, you have to take care of yourself.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sure, sure. That's a task I need to think about very seriously in the future, especially in the next couple of days. I'm gonna have a week before Rome. So hopefully I can be ready.

Q. How did Roger look to you, facing him for the first time since Melbourne?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He looks good. He was more aggressive than in Melbourne. I think he stepped up more. He was more patient. And I think I made some crucial mistakes in that first set. I had some chances on 3-All I think or 2-All, some breakpoints. Unfortunately in the end, physically I didn't hold on. You know, in them moments, when you just need to stay patient and just play another ball back, I wanted to finish up with the return. So resulted with a mistake.

Q. So when today did you start to feel it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, from the start I didn't feel so great. But, obviously, on the start of the match you feel, you know, fresh still somehow. But then after a while, after five, six games, after long points, started to feel more and more worse. I was thinking about, you know, stopping even after the first set. But, you know, I just wanted to try and see how it goes.
But it's not worth it, you know. I'm just 20 years old. Still a lot of time, a lot of tournaments to come.

Q. After three days, nobody knows what it is exactly?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. Just I thought it's nothing serious. You know, on the matches, I played well and I felt okay afterwards. I asked doctor yesterday. But he said I don't have nothing, which I really don't believe. I think he didn't give me the right diagnosis, obviously. I'll check as soon as possible.

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