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July 30, 2008

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/S. Bolelli
7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. There's lots of talk about the No. 1 position between Federer and Nadal. After the beginning of the year we thought you would be mixing up. Where is your position right now?

Q. Yes, but are you looking...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I mean, I'm not looking to anything. I'm just trying to focus on my game, on my career, and my matches. That's my priority. I just want to improve.
I know there is still a lot of room for improvement in my game, so this is a positive fact actually for the future.
I'm only 21. I don't want to put an extra pressure. I have enough pressure and expectations of being a favorite in most matches I get in. So thinking about No. 2 or No. 1 spot in the world, in rankings, or race, or whatever, would create an extra amount of pressure, which I don't need in this moment.

Q. And we are now back on hard courts. That's where you won, on the same surface you won the Australian. Is it that you're at the beginning of your favorite surface?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it is. I mean, I had great results in the last year and a half in hard courts, with are my most preferred surface and the surface where I feel most comfortable. It suits to my game.
But, again, not every hard court is the same. Last week Toronto's courts were quite different than the ones here in Cincinnati, and conditions.
So it takes time. Maybe the first match today I haven't played maybe the way I was supposed to. Certainly I wasn't playing on my highest level.
But as I said, it takes a match and couple of days to just adjust to the conditions. So hopefully I can continue the run here and prepare well for Olympics and US Open, which are, I think, two priority events in the summer.

Q. Do you think you can use the talk with Roger and Raf this week and the No. 1 ranking to your advantage in some way, kind of fly under the radar and take some pressure off?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Again, I'm not thinking about them and their rivalry. I'm just trying to focus on my career. This is what I did until now, and this is what I will do. Of course you always feel the pressure. That's part of the sport. Pressure is a part of the sport, but it's a challenge for everyone to cope with it.

Q. Given Nadal's success, do you view them as almost co-No.1s right now? Nadal could pass him soon. Are they almost equal at that point?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Again, no, I mean, they're both great players. Nadal is still No. 2 and Federer is still number 1. Nadal is playing the best tennis this year, there is no doubt. But Roger is still at the top.
It could happen this week and it could happen in a year or two or three. You never know. It's very unpredictable.

Q. What's your assessment of how you played today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I just said I didn't play on my top level. I had ups and downs with the serve, which I really need to try to be as consistent as I can and to have a high percentage of the first serve.
It's important in the matches like this and tournaments like this. This is what actually I didn't do well in Toronto's quarterfinal. I didn't serve well, and that causes a negative outcome and a loss against Murray.
Still, I feel okay. Physically I'm there, even though in the last couple of weeks I wasn't - since Wimbledon - really performing well. But it's all part of the sport. You got to have your downs as well, because I had the best six months of my career. I'm slowly coming back.

Q. You talked about the serve in Toronto. I think you saved 12 break points and you still managed to win the match, but how worried are you about the serve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm trying not to be worried too much. The fact is that it's troubling me in the present, and this is something that I was working on in the last couple of days. This is something that I will work on in the next couple of weeks, you know, so I can get it right.

Q. Something technical, or what do you think?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's a matter of, I think, just confidence in one side. There are a lot of details: ball toss, just technical explosivity (sic) of the movements, all kinds of stuff. It all comes from the head. Mentally you just have to be relaxed and calm in that moment, just be focused, and this is what I don't do in some moments.

Q. You said in Wimbledon after the loss to Marat that mentally you felt a bit jaded. How do you feel now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I feel better. I feel like I worked hard since I lost that match against Marat. I was trying to set up my shape for the hard court season, which is obviously my favorite one. I had great success last year.
And then Olympics coming up, this is an event which I really look forward to. It's all on hard court, so I think I have good chances to be one of the most successful players.

Q. We heard Roger talk about how important the Olympics are to him. How would you rate the Olympics in comparison to, say, a Grand Slam event?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I got that a lot this year, if I could compare a win in Wimbledon or any Grand Slam with a win in Olympics.
It's difficult, but I can say that both have special meaning. For me, Olympics is something that, in my opinion, as a professional sportist I cannot miss.
This is an event which you have every four years, and who knows what is going to happen in four years. So I'll be very privileged just to be a part of the fantastic event and be surrounded with the best professional athletes from all over the world. Whatever I do there I will feel great.

End of FastScripts

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