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May 8, 2008

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/I. Andreev
6-3, 3-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You like the draw now at this moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's okay. You know, you don't know what to expect. You can't expect an easy draw in a Masters event.

Q. Was it as difficult as it looked?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. Yeah, it was really. I knew that he's specialist for this surface and a player who's really physically strong, and one of the strongest players, and this is his advantage, I can say, playing against his opponents on this surface.
So I tried to be aggressive playing my style of the game but with a little more patience than I usually do. Because I knew that I have to be in charge of the game but still, you know, get some chances, because it could go either way I think, especially in the third set when he had the breakpoints on a couple of my service games.
But I held on, and I'm very happy to get through.

Q. Did you have better feeling today than the first match with the ground?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: With the court?

Q. With the court, sorry.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, not too much. The condition of the court is still pretty bad, but you can't do much about it. Sometimes during the match it gives you a little bit of the frustration, but the conditions are for all the players the same, and you have to get used to it.

Q. (In Italian) Was there a problem with the wind?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, a little bit, but the conditions are the same for every player, so we just have to make due with them.

Q. (In Italian) Did you feel the warmth of the crowd behind you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: A little bit. You know, I was mentioning before that I liked to play in Italia. I played many tournaments in junior events and been through a lot of places south, north, all over the country.
You know, this is the Italian Open. This is their biggest event, and a lot of people come here and they're very passionate about the sport and they appreciate the players, and we respect that.
I'm very happy that the crowd is able to stay behind me in the important matches.

Q. (In Italian.) On Sunday there will be the final, and at the same time your country will be going through an election. On Sunday perhaps you will be in the final at the same time. What do you think about this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We have to go slowly, because I'm just in the quarterfinals. It takes time to get on the Sunday. This is something that I will probably want to do.
The other question about political situation, you know, Serbia is a country which has been in the last twenty years through a lot of difficult times economy-wise and wars, a lot of negative things happened.
But I'm trying to be positive as much as I can, and present, of course, on the first place myself and then my country. Every time people see my name in the big events on the screen and my country name next to the name, this is, you know, a big thing for Serbia. I think the people respect that.
I just want to do what I need to do: be a professional tennis player and talk about that, talk about the sport. Politics is something that I don't want to be involved in, because it takes a lot of energy.

Q. Just on the match today, where does Andreev's forehand sit in terms of the men's game, because it's pretty big?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, he produces a lot of spin. Obviously his forehand has the most effect on this surface because it bounces a lot, especially here in Rome.
I think it's suitable to his game and he's very strong, so he gets most of the balls. That's why it makes it more tough for his opponents.

Q. How does it feel to see the name of Nadal not in the draw, and did you see any of the match yesterday?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I haven't seen anything, so it's pretty strange that he's out in the second round.
But, of course, he's's normal, as we all are. To lose, it's all part of the sport. I haven't seen any of the match so I can't really say if it was a difficulty with the health or whatever, but, you know, it's part of the sport.

End of FastScripts

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