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June 14, 2008

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/D. Nalbandian
6-1, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Novak.

Q. Must be very disappointed to lose one game there, that was very sloppy.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I mean, having these kind of performances, these easy victories, is always good before the finals. Honestly, saying again, I wasn't expecting such an easy match. Knowing that Nalbandian has a lot of experience and he loves to play on this surface, he had quite a bit of success in the past years, he played the finals of Wimbledon and he managed to get here to the semifinals quite comfortably, you know, I was preparing for a tough match, tough encounter.
But obviously I did everything that I needed to do. In the most important moments, I was playing great tennis. He wasn't serving on his top of the level. He wasn't serving good at all, you know, very weak and very low percentage. You know, I stepped it up and went for shots.

Q. Did you feel he was struggling?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I felt it, yeah. I felt it I don't know at what point. I was just trying to be focused all the time. I knew that grass is a very specific, very unique surface, and it can turn around in any moment if you not focused enough.
I figured out that he was struggling a little bit, you know, with his serve especially, and he was not moving at all. So I used it.

Q. Did he give you any indication afterwards that he was injured at all?

Q. How do you feel about playing Nadal?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look forward to it. You know, we played only one time on grass courts, last year Wimbledon. I was unfortunate to finish that way due to injury. But this time I feel much more comfortable on this surface, more experienced. I gained a lot of confidence, matured. Physically, I'm much better.
So it can be very interesting match.

Q. Do you expect it to be more like some of your hard court meetings than your clay court meetings?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, it's different. It's different. I think he plays better on grass than he does on hard courts.

Q. I appreciate it's a different surface, but what happened in Paris is out the window when you go on court against him in this match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's not out of the window. You know, mental situation plays a big role in every match we play against each other. He's leading 8-3 I think in our last 11 matches. Yeah, I've played him a lot of times, a lot of different surfaces. So there is no secrets. You know, I know the way he plays. I've been watching him here. The way he plays on grass, it's very impressive. He's improved a lot, especially on his serve. So he gained, you know, a bigger serve percentage, so he has this advantage a lot. And, of course, always he plays very well from the baseline, puts a lot of pressure on an opponent. He's making very few mistakes these days on grass courts, so this can be a trouble for me.
I need to step it up and just be aggressive because it's much better playing him on the faster surfaces than on his favorite: clay.

Q. Have you noticed any weak spots, anything you can exploit?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'll keep that for myself (smiling).

Q. Did Wimbledon last year teach you anything about preparation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The match against him?

Q. Yes.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think it wasn't really a realistic point of view in that moment because I was one of the few players that was really hurt by the bad weather, terrible weather. It was five, six days playing one match, and then I had to play three very tough matches in a row, you know, in three days, staying for four and a half, five hours on the court, day after day. Then I had to play him next day at 12:00, which was really early. I couldn't hold on physically. Even though I won that first set, I was just playing out of my mind, being very aggressive, nothing to lose.
But, as I said, it's quite different this year. So it's good to have one match before Wimbledon this year against him.

Q. After that experience last year, did you actually watch the final?

Q. You avoided watching it purposely?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I was not interested.

Q. How do you feel Andy is going to do this year in Wimbledon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Nobody knows. Of course, it's very unpredictable. The sport is unpredictable. It all depends, of course, from his situation with injuries. He had a lot of troubles with that throughout all his career, and especially here. He has a couple of spots on his body that are hurting him, making a lot of trouble. So depends from his physical condition.

Q. Can you detail the aspects of grass court play you're more comfortable with this year than you might have been last year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I improved on a couple of things. As I said, confidence is a very important factor in tennis, so I came here this year to the grass court season as a Grand Slam winner, a couple of major tournaments winner, third player of the world. It changes quite a lot. In the end, this is a very mental game.
But I have changed some things in my game. I improved my serve. I think I have more variety. Second serve is much better. My return is great. So, you know, since you get so many balls back to your opponent, it's not easy for him. You know, I feel much more comfortable if I return on grass good, and then I can step in the baseline and just play the good shots.
I think I'm going for the shots much more. Last year in Wimbledon, I was playing well, but still it was on the edge, you know, all the time I was fighting a lot, it could go either way. But this year I'm feeling really very good.

Q. Your posture, biomechanics, everyone says it's probably the best there is in the game. Movement on grass, has that been tricky for you or has that always been easy?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's never been easy. You know, I didn't grow up on this surface. I've played first time on this surface maybe three years ago. Actually was here I think in Queen's. So it's not easy, you know. I'm still getting to know this surface a little bit more. Considering the fact there is such a small period of time between clay court season and grass court season, you know, just a couple of days and you have to get used to that and play already the tournament against best players in the world, it's almost impossible. But it's just the way it is. You have to get used to it. It's the same for everybody. Well, for the top players, it's more difficult because, you know, depending on what you do in the French Open.
But I've been very cautious with the way I move in this tournament. My main goal, of course priority, is Wimbledon. That's where I want to do well. Here I wanted to get a couple of matches under my belt. You know, it's going better than I expected, so I'm happy.

Q. Would you like to see more than four weeks of grass court tennis or is that enough for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I would like to have a bigger gap in between French Open and Wimbledon, that's what I'd like to have. I think a lot of players would agree with me. But this is something that we have to discuss more in the future. But, you know, considering the grass as a surface, it has a lot of history, the tennis has become a sport invented in this country on this surface. So for me it all depends from the player.
But to my game grass is suitable, as you could see in this tournament, and past years. So I would like to play more, yeah.

End of FastScripts

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