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January 21, 2009

Novak Djokovic


7-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you assess your form. You've had two straight-set wins. Are you right on track?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I'm playing better and better which is very encouraging fact for me. I was saying that it wasn't really convenient winning in the first round and I won in straight sets. I really stepped it up and played pretty good in the second and third set especially.

Q. Especially your serving and returning.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yes, serving and returning is really good which was good base for all-round game. I can say I feel comfortable returning and serving well, then everything goes in a positive way.

Q. Just one double fault and 71%. Is that the sort of level you're going to have to maintain?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course. You always try to serve your best and play you're best. Not always you can get the best outcome.
It's normal to have ups and downs throughout the match and the tournament. But the consistency is something that everybody tries to have, yeah.

Q. Are you playing as well as you did this time last year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't think I can compare it. You know, it's pretty difficult because I'm in two different situations. Right now, physically I feel better. Game-wise, you know, it's different.
But it's still couple of first matches of the tournament. So I have a little bit slower start at start of the season because I made that changes with the racquet and a couple more things on my mind, so I couldn't really think about game that much. Now things are changing.

Q. With Roger healthy and Andy playing well. Coming in does did feel harder to win this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, I'm just paying attention in my games and my matches. I think I'm playing better and better every match, so this is really important. This is something that I planned to do. If I keep the high level of performance and good game, I will hopefully get far in the tournament.

Q. Last year there was a lot of attention on you're imitations of other players on the court. Now since you've won here last year a lot more attention seems to be focused on your game. Does that make it easier or harder for you to concentrate on?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: My priorities is to perform well on the court and to win the matches. Hopefully the people can remember me as a champion, as a great player, not as an imitator. This is something that I do off the court and I have fun doing it. But I never exaggerate. I don't go off the limits if I feel that I shouldn't do it. So I try to keep my focus 100% a soon as I'm on the court. As soon out of the court it's a different.

Q. In your mind does it satisfy you that you're one of the top leading contenders for the titles that people aren't looking that sort of stuff anymore?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's flattering when the people put me in the group of the couple of players that are candidates for the top spots in men's tennis in this year.
On the other hand, you get expectations and certain pressure with this role, so it's always normal and part of the sport. Just a matter of you, if you can deal with it in a good way or not.

Q. Do you watch the other guys? Will you go out and watch Roger's match now?

Q. Last year everyone was talking about you as sort of the third man after Rafa and Roger. Now it's Andy as the third man. Do you get that sense?

Q. Because he's the one being talked about as the third challenger.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What's his ranking and my ranking?

Q. I'm not going on the ranking system.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The thing is that you cannot put somebody, I mean, all the respect to Andy, I like him as a person and as a player. He's done a lot in the last couple months, and he's a very talented player and we can expect him to win some Grand Slams in the future.
But you cannot put him as the favorites next to Roger and Rafa and myself here at Australian Open.

Q. There's going to be a great game in Spain in March, Serbia versus Spain. How much important is it that you have Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic? You think you're going to be able to upset title-holder, Spain?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's the second year in a row we get titleholder, so it's not the best possible draw. We have a good young team with a lot of potential for the future. It's good we have Troicki as well coming up.
It's really important to have Zimonjic as the No. 1 player of the world in doubles. Doubles is really important in this competition. So we are going there not as a favorites. They're favorites, of course.
If Rafa plays, then we have less chances than if he is not playing. But we will not give up. That's for sure. We will try to upset.

Q. Delic just won. Is he an easier opponent for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Nobody is easy on this tournament. I don't want underestimate anybody. Delic deserves to be in the third round. If he came there, of course, he has a lot of qualities. He's a big server. We played in Wimbledon in 2007 and we had a really close match, so I expect the same in this third round.

Q. In the third set were you trying to save a bit of energy toward the end or was he really putting in the effort?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I don't think that I was trying to save my energy. Maybe it was a bit lack of concentration in that service game on 5-2. But that's all.

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