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July 24, 2008

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/R. Soderling
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Were you pleased to close that out so efficiently?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, sure. Straight-set win is always good. I had same scores in the first two rounds. I played more or less in the level which was satisfying for me.
I played enough -- as much as I needed to play. Although in the start of the match, as it was in the first match, I didn't serve well. He put quite some pressure on me.
The most important moments I played my best tennis, and that's what matters.

Q. Was he the kind of opponent that could get quite difficult and dangerous?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He's a powerful hitter. From the baseline he likes to hit. He doesn't like to move so much forward, backward, so I was trying to change the pace all the time.

Q. You said that you came here much fresher than you had been at Wimbledon. Is it nevertheless important to conserve energy and not get into long matches?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, this is what you learn. Time to time, of course, obviously it comes with experience. Playing so many matches of course you want it save your energy.
Again, you cannot just focus on your upcoming matches. You have to focus, you know, on your next opponent and try to see what you can do so you can get the job done quickly and spend as less energy as possible.
Again, there's a lot of players in the world who are improving day after day, practicing a lot. And me having the role of a favorite in most matches I play, obviously I'm put in a lot of pressure. I have a lot of responsibilities and expectations, so it's not easy.

Q. Without looking too far forward, Roger going out of a tournament is fairly notable at this stage. Do other players take note of that? What do you think of it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I just pay attention to my matches.

Q. That said though, is there a lesson for the top players that everybody is vulnerable at some point to a lesser player?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course. As I said, tennis has changed a lot in the last 10, 15 years. Obviously physically you need to be very well-prepared to hold on. You just have to keep up all the time.
As I said, the upsets are happening because you are put in a lot of pressure, obviously a lot of expectations, and the players don't have anything to lose against you. You know, they're going for the shots and they're being aggressive. They just have so many motivation.
For you, being in that position, you just have to hold on and try to use your experience from the big matches and big events and try to win it.
You know, it's not an easy thing.

Q. You mentioned that you already noted that Roger Federer lot his match. Does it influence your play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I just said...

Q. Does it put more pressure on you?

Q. Coming into this tournament, we're all looking at Roger and Rafa because of the waves that the Wimbledon match created. For the first half of the year I think you were the best player on tour. Do you feel forgotten or overshadowed at all, given you're right around the level of those two guys, but right after Wimbledon they're the subject of conversation and not you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. Well, look I played the best tennis of my career in the first six months of the year. As I was saying before, I just want to care and keep my focus about my career.
I know that if I continue going forward the same way and I'm on the good way the results will come. That I will have a positive outcome if I have a, you know, just positive position and very confident play wherever I go.
This is where I feel most comfortable. This surface just suits my game perfectly. Everything about it. Having said that, you know, and having so much success on this surface, obviously it gives you a boost up when you have tournaments on this surface again.
So I really look forward to the continuation of this hard court season.

Q. You're known a little bit for your impersonations of people's serves. Have you been working on any new ones that you want to show the fans in Toronto?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. This has passed.

Q. What's the happiest moment in your life?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm still not a father, so probably winning a Grand Slam is one of the happiest moments of my life.

Q. Does it feel any different at all coming into a tournament as champion? A little bit of a boost, or just the same?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As the defending champion on this tournament?

Q. Yeah.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I didn't do such a great job in Miami as defending champion, so here it's quite different. Started pretty well, so I'm happy about it.
It's kind of like a challenge, you know, and the people welcomed me in the best possible way. I would like to thank everybody for that. The first night, the way I felt, it was just great.
So many fans in Canada, and plus the Serbian people who are living here. A big community of Serbs. Just everybody is coming.
For me it's a pleasure to play in front of such a crowd.

Q. Will it affect you when you get on the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You always have pressure and you always feel a little bit nervous about the match. You have a lot of eyes on you, and as I said, a lot of expectations.
But it's all part of the sport. You have to deal with it.

Q. You are the defending champion, but last year's tournament was at a different site in Montreal. Does it feel different, or do you still feel like you own the tournament coming in being that it's in a different place?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Actually, I don't notice so much difference. I think I'm trying actually to imagine Montreal, so...
It's all going well for now.

End of FastScripts

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