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August 1, 2008

Novak Djokovic


6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was the story of the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think you saw it, right? Did you?

Q. I was there.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: So you know the story.

Q. I was curious what you thought the story was.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I thought that I was serving much better, and day after day I'm getting stronger in the segment of my game which is really important coming up to the final stages of the tournament.
Powerful hitter, Gulbis, very talented, but playing more or less with the same pace. I needed to calm him down and wait for my chances, which I did.

Q. If you play Nadal tomorrow, does it make a difference if you face him on a hard court or a clay court or a grass court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it does make a difference. One thins is for sure: He really does always give his 100% on every match he plays and any surface and against any player he plays. There's a lot at stake for him tonight, and he obviously wants to win.
This match is his probably biggest match of his career, to be the No. 1 player of the world. But even if he goes through he won't stop. We all know that. He's a great competitor, and I have a lot of respect for him. Obviously he's on a run. He didn't feel the sense to lose a match for a long time, so obviously he's very confident on any surface he plays. He proved that he can play equally well on any surface he plays on.
So if I get to play him tomorrow it's going to be a challenge, but I'll accept it.

Q. What do you think is the biggest difference surface to surface against him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, you have difference. I mean, of course. Looking the way he plays on clay, you think that he's unbeatable, you know, because he's just very, very dominant on that surface and he just feels his best and he feels very comfortable on that surface.
It's slow, which goes in his favor, because physically he's the strongest man on the tour. Mentally as well. So he likes playing long matches and long points. That's where he's the best.
Hard courts are bit more difficult for him because of the movement. You can't slide that much and the ball bounces in a different way. Here it's pretty fast, which can go in my favor tomorrow. But, again, he's playing great tennis even on this tournament, and obviously he's very motivated.

Q. Is it surprising, because he's never really done well here, he wins Toronto...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn't do well here as well.

Q. But is it surprising that he's done so well on hard courts?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. Not really. I think it was a matter of a tournament and a year or season or whatever when he's going to start to play better and better on hard courts, because he has all the things that he needs to play well on any surface.
He's proven that he's even this year the best player on grass. I mean, even though if you look at his style of the game you don't think that he might do really well on that surface which is the fastest in the sport, he obviously does really well. Winning that Wimbledon and French Open, he won more or less all the title that really matter this year.

Q. Does it matter to you who is No. 1? The whole story has captivated the fan's attention.

Q. Do you kind of feel like maybe you're the forgotten man? So much focus on No. 1 and 2, but you're still No. 3.

Q. Is it true that you and Gulbis played in the juniors a lot against each other?

Q. You never played him in the juniors?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I practice with him in the academy.

Q. You went to the same academy in Germany?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, we did. We know each other for five or six years. We practice for two, three years with the same coach in the same academy, so I know him for a long time. He's a good guy. He's a rising star.
Obviously he has a lot of potential to be a top 10 player of the world, no doubt. But still he has some things to work on.

Q. I think people are curious to get to know him a little bit better. Do you have any stories or can you share anything from your days at the academy?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You should ask him.

End of FastScripts

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