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July 31, 2008

Novak Djokovic


6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In terms of playing Gulbis next, he certainly seems to be playing well right now. How would you assess that match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We know each other for a long time. As I was saying before, I've practiced with him for a couple of years in Germany in tennis academy of Niki Pilic.
Back then I, you know, I noticed his great talent for the game. He was always kind of tall for his age and strong and he was also hitting these powerful shots.
It was a matter of time when he was going to make this breakthrough and just gain the experience with the time. Obviously he's showing his quality now and he's one of the young rising stars that we expect to see more in the future.
We played one match in Roland Garros, and it wasn't an easy one even though, it's not his favorite surface. This is where I think he feels best and where he feels most comfortable.
On the other side, I do feel great here as well. We're going to see an interesting match.

Q. And with an easy game like this, I think we can say it was easy because of the scores, and it gives you a lot of confidence now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it does. You know, after the tough two-tiebreak, second-round match, I managed to really get through, as you could see, with an easy score.
But, again, nothing is easy. You get to the court and you just want to give 100% whoever you play against and just try to be consistent with the game and focused all the way through.
This is what I did today. I didn't want to let anything slip out of my hand, so I'm happy with the way performed.

Q. We talked your serve yesterday. Today it was around 56%. How did you feel you served today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Again, I had ups and downs, but less than yesterday. Today I felt more consistent with the serve. I felt that I was more precise, and that I managed to open up a second shot, which was pretty easy for me in the game.
So it's quite important, you know, to serve well, to have a good percentage and good precision. In that way you put the pressure on your opponent.

Q. He had a pretty good clay court season and he's known as a pretty good baseliner. Did you feel he was off today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, he was off. I spoke to him afterwards and he said he had troubles with his back and he couldn't serve. I mean, he was making some double faults in important moments in breakpoints, so he couldn't really put any pressure with his serve.
It was obviously frustrating for him, so that caused tons of unforced errors from the baseline.

Q. Yesterday you mentioned that when you're not serving well it comes from your mind. I'd like to know if you have any special technique to work on mind? How do you work on mind?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, it's probably all about practice and your focus from the start. Everybody has bad days.
But as I said, and I'm confirming again, it all comes from the mental obviously ability to stay concentrated as long as you can.
So we are all working on that. It's not easy because you're playing week after week very strong tournaments, difficult matches, and you're playing against the top players in the world.
It's never easy to say that you can serve always good, so obviously I was focused more than I did yesterday.

Q. But what kind of extra subjects really affect you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What kind of extra subjects on what? Effects on what?

Q. Like maybe politics in your country or...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I'm not thinking about that, no. Politics are not in my mind, no. Believe me.

End of FastScripts

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