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January 23, 2009

Novak Djokovic


6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is that the sort of third round match that you needed?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I think so. I need some matches like this to feel really what is Grand Slam all about, you know. It's about those long four-, five-set matches on the heat like this.
I didn't really plan to be that long on the court, of course. You always want to finish the job as soon as possible. As I said, the positive thing is that I got more time out there, and looking forward to the upcoming match.

Q. We just spoke to Delic about the trouble outside. What are your thoughts on what happened?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I tried not to keep my attention on that. This is something that we cannot effect on. We can, as players, try to ask them to be a little bit less -- a little bit quiet during the point.
But, you know, it's really uncontrollable from our side. We give our authorities to deal with that if they're exaggerating. You have to understand them in some point, because people don't get many chances to see their professional athletes from their countries.
This is probably the only opportunity they can see them, and they support them. This is something that makes Australian Open different, I think, from the other Grand Slams, is that nationalities. Groups are coming to support their players.

Q. When it becomes violent to the point it did, what would you say to the fans that were involved?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, as I said, I can't do much. I'm on the court. I have to keep my focus on the tennis, because I need to win the match. As I said, authorities are there, chair umpires, referees, the people, security. If they think that they're overreacting or somebody is complaining about them, then it's different and they can do something about it.

Q. Delic said he asked his supporters to keep it quiet and nice on his website. Would you look at doing something like that as well?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, I'm trying to play my best tennis on the court. This is why I'm here. If I start to lose my energy on these things, I'm going to lose my focus as well.
I agree and it's very nice for him for doing that, you know, so he can have a fair encounter with his opponent, which is obviously not annoyed by the fact that the people who are supporting them, they're not exaggerating.
Look, I'm not thinking about that. As I said, it not on me.

Q. The atmosphere on court seemed to be much better towards each other. The fans were enthusiastic, but not out of control. I assume you had to walk a fine line between wanting people to cheer for and you feed you a little bit of their energy.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You're exactly right. I don't think things got out of control today. I think actually we had a nice match. It was really enjoyable to play and enjoyable to watch. The crowd enjoyed it. The fans were all right.
There were some points when they, you know, start cheering between the serves or during the point, but very rare. I was very happy with the way the Serbs and Bosnians were cheering, you know, reacting on everything.
So I mean, we have big respect for each other, Amer and myself. We know each other for a long time. He's a great guy. Sportsmanship is something which is a part of us.
Look, we are friends off the court. Why we shouldn't keep that on the court? Of course, we are rivals, so we have to put that aside when we're playing against each other.

Q. There was allegations of a chair being thrown, and there was a scuffle outside. About twenty Serbs and Croats. Does that disappoint that you, fans of yours are involved in that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I'm going to repeat it again: We have no control over that. I am happy when I see that I have my own group of fans that are supporting me in a fair way, of course, not provoking my opponent and everything is going in a sportsmanship way.
It's fine with me. I didn't know about this encounter whatever they had outside of the courts. But, you know, I have no comment about that.

Q. Would you ask them to tone it down?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, I've said enough. Please, let's change the subject.

Q. What do you think was the difference out there today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think it was focus. I knew I had to stay with him all the way until the end. The way he started serving was just annoying, really. He was serving really well. He had the high percentage of the first serves, a lot of aces, especially aces in the fourth set when I thought he was going to drop his first serve a little bit, but he didn't.
I stayed all the way through the end and I looked for my chances in the tiebreak.

Q. He had a lot of chances on your serve. I think he only took one of them. Was that more your good play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think I served well in the important moments and set points and breakpoints. Okay, I was a little bit fortunate as well. Some net calls.
Luck is a part of the sport. Sometimes you need it to overcome the tough matches like that.

Q. Did you learn anything at the US Open last year before the Roddick match with all the nonsense and after the Roddick match? Do you do anything in terms of trying to stay calm?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah, exactly. I mean, we're here to play some tennis. Of course, there are some moments in our careers when the emotions are, you know, too big. Then you react the way you shouldn't and you don't think rationally, which sometimes happens. But we learn from our mistakes.
I think it was a very specific situation I had in US Open, but it's a good lesson for me. I look at it as the past, and now I just focus myself on the future and try to improve as a person and as a player.

Q. Is adapting to this racquet any different from adapting to any racquet in the past?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's quite different. I have changed racquets in past, but when I was a junior. The level of play is really -- it's different from a professional level.
As the third player of the world, of course the defending champion here, it was a pretty risky move. But I already decided to do that, so I take the responsibility and I just move on.
I think I found a good rhythm and good feel with the racquet. Hopefully it's going to stay that way.

Q. The ball was out by so little. What did you see? You didn't see it out, in, you just took a chance?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I just took a chance. Maybe I looked confident by taking the towel and whatever. I just focused on upcoming points. But it was really pure luck.

Q. You feel your game is where you want it to be, or do you still need to improve a lot of things at this time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you're always improving. I can't play perfect tennis. It's normal to have ups and downs during the tournament and during the matches. I've played, I think, the best tournament of my life here last year, which helps me out for this year.
You know, I feel comfortable very much playing on the center court. I could prove that by today's match and two days ago. Just confident. You know, winning the matches giving you more confidence and self-belief.

Q. A lot of players like to play when they feel like it's them against the world. You seem to be a player who plays best when you feel like you have a lot of positive support behind you. Do you feel like you're lacking a bit of that at the moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I don't think I lack any positive energy. I have always motivation to play and to win the tournaments. I mean, look, the bottom line is that I love tennis. I play it because I love playing this sport.
I'm only 21. I did go through a lot of great matches and a lot of great tournaments. Hopefully if I stay healthy enough I will have a long career.

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