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July 22, 2008

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/F. Dancevic
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just want to talk about your game. Frank said that you were on balance and ready for every ball, and he was really surprised, you surprised him with a lot of returns. Did you feel that, or were you surprised by a lot his returns in return?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I was trying to focus on my game, and this was a key fact, I think. One of the most important shots against Frank was return today. I was returning really well, and I was happy with that stroke.
I was very consistent throughout the match. I had little ups and downs with the serve. When I needed to serve it out at 5-3 second set I didn't make any of the first serves, which was not good.
But then I managed to hold my concentration in the next game. He was serving extremely well. High percentage of the first serve, especially in the first set, which was making my job a bit tougher.
But I was aware that he doesn't have anything to lose obviously. A big Canadian hope playing in front of his crowd. Big support. There was a lot of people today. Really, really good atmosphere to play in.
Always the first matches are the most trickiest ones trying to keep the balance. I was happy with the way I was moving. Of course, there are still some things that I was not really happy about, but it's still only a first match.

Q. You mentioned the big Canadian crowd. Did you notice the number of Serbian flags, and did you hear the marriage proposal that you got?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I heard them bigtime. Really happy for that. I wanted to thank them, of course, for coming and supporting me. It's a big community here, Serbians. About 100,000 Sers in Toronto and in surroundings.
It's great to have so many people supporting you from your country. I think it makes you really happy and proud and excited to just play in front of them.
And not just them. I felt that the Canadian crowd really appreciate my victory last year and they are happy to see me again. It's my pleasure to play in front of this crowd.

Q. Did you accept the marriage proposal that you got?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Marriage proposal?

Q. A woman yelled out, Marry me Novak.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Really? How much money did she get? (Laughter)

Q. What did you think of Frank's game tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I felt that he was serving well, as I mentioned before, but maybe he was a little bit too defensive in the baseline rallies. I took advantage of it. You know, I tried to be patient, you know, wait for my opportunities.
I knew that I'm going to get those throughout the match, but I wanted to be aggressive at the same time. Not to allow him to take advantage of the shots and just get to the net, because I know that in these moments he's the most dangerous. It's what he did in the first match I was watching against Ancic. He was returning well and playing very wisely.
Today he was maybe too defensive but he was serving very well.

Q. There's been so much talk over the past couple weeks about the Wimbledon men's final with Federer and Nadal. It was almost as though people stopped thinking about you for a little while --

Q. -- despite the great year you had. Is this part of, I mean, tonight, in this tournament to sort of say there's three big players in the world right now, not just two?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, of course. I'm just happy to be a part of this group with the two best players in the world. Obviously they show their quality and they're improving year after year.
Even after four years of dominance of the two players they're still continuing to play fantastic tennis. I think they played maybe even the best match of the history in that Wimbledon final. I mean, they deserve that role: two best players of the world.
Me being right behind them and trying to be a big challenge for them, I think I did a great job in the first six months of the year. I was getting pretty closer and winning a Grand Slam and couple more major events.
I don't want put an extra pressure on myself. I'm just trying to focus on my way, on my career, and try to get the game as best as possible, as perfect as possible, improve on some things.
There are still some things and elements in the game that I need to improve on so I can be complete player.

Q. Roger Federer said just before the tournament that you were very strong on this surface, and he actually thought that the two of you were perhaps the best on hard courts and that Rafa was slightly behind the two of you. Does that fit with your assessment or not?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, every surface is different. You have so many difference in today's surfaces. You have clay, grass, hard court. I mean, you just have to be complete so you can hold on with those two guys.
I mean, you have to be consistent with your results on every surface that you play. They're all-round players. Rafa, you know, I don't think many people believe that he can win Wimbledon three years ago because of the style of his play. But he was playing in the last three years two final and he won Wimbledon, and he absolutely deserved it. He's improving day after day.
And Roger, of course, being No. 1 player of the world is still playing fantastic tennis. I feel very confident and very comfortable playing on this surface. It's my favorite one and the surface where I achieved my biggest results in my career, so I really look forward to this season.
But I don't know, I wouldn't like to rank myself as the best player on this surface or not. I'm still the third player of the world, so I think this is what counts.

Q. How much is winning here in and of itself very important, and how much is it just preparation for the US Open?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's very important. US Open is the most important event on this surface for everybody. But to play well in Masters Series events is -- in Canada and Cincinnati is quite important, you know, so you can get a lot of the matches and get a good preparation for the Flushing Meadows.

Q. I don't know if you answered this, but are you going to the Olympics?

Q. How important is that for you to win in Beijing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Very, very important. Of course, every player has different opinion and different position on that. But for me, Olympics is one of the priority -- most priority events in my career.
I never participate in, for me, the biggest event in sports, so it's going to be a big honor and just pleasure. I'm very excited to meet the best professional athletes all around the world in a lot of different sports.
Just being around them in the Olympic village is great experience. Who knows what's going to happen in four years, so it's important for me being there.

Q. Would winning the Olympics be equal to a Wimbledon victory, or better?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think yes. It has a big value for me.

Q. You're established in third position. It's a big up between next and Nadal. Do you plan to attack Nadal and Roger Federer and to get closer to them?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm not planning to attack them. I wouldn't call it like that. I'm just trying to attack the ball on the tennis court. That's what I'm trying to do: be aggressive and results will come.
I'm not really in a lot of tension and pressure that I need to reach the second or the first place in the world in this year or next year. I'm only 21. I have all the time in the world. Just need to be healthy and keep on playing well.

End of FastScripts

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