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January 19, 2009

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/A. Stoppini
6-2, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that a satisfying start to the tournament for you or did you feel a bit unsettled, particularly in the third set?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was a bit slow start. I was a break down in two sets. Managed to come back, which is important.
But try to look at it as a positive thing. It's a first round. Usually you try to get used to it a little bit, and hopefully the next round will be better.

Q. Did you get tired in the third?

Q. What happened in the third?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I made too much unforced errors. He stepped it up, but it's good that I won in straight sets.

Q. Was heat the factor?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, no. I think it was something else. But heat was the same for both of us.

Q. A new experience for you coming into a Grand Slam defending a title. Were you nervous thinking up to it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, there is a pressure. But it didn't affect me today, no. I'm still trying to find the rhythm and slowly getting there.

Q. In general, had you be thinking about this in the weeks leading up to it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it is a different feel, but I look at it as a challenge.

Q. There's been a lot said about your change of racquets. Has that had anything to do with some indifferent form leading up to here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, it was a very important decision for me, and I already decided to play with those racquets.
As I said before the tournament, it takes time mentally to make this switch.

Q. Can you afford to do that in an Open?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I already done it, so I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Q. Jelena talked about how you guys are setting tradition for tennis in Serbia, where a lot of the players are coming from a country that already has a rich tradition. Is that something that's special to you, that you think about at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, in Serbia, we don't have a rich tennis tradition, that's for sure. We barely had couple of players in the tennis history of Serbia, and now we have so many in the men's tennis, and girls, as well.
It's a surprising fact, but we are all living up to it. We are really proud to make such a small country very proud. And, of course, we really appreciate that the people are following us and supporting us. So it's a great thing.

Q. Obviously you're defending champion. How does your form at this point stack up compared with last year at the same position?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: After the first match, I can't really judge, but hopefully I can get the same shape I did last year.

Q. What do you think about opinions of moving the tournament to February?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, there was a lot of talks about that, but there is nothing definite right now. Nobody wants to talk about it seriously because we are in the tournament. It's important for us players to focus.
Certainly we would like to have more rest because season is too long. The off-season is too short for us to get the proper preparation period and vacation combined.
So certainly we have to talk about it, yeah.

Q. After the Masters, you got four or five weeks to rest and train, am I correct?

Q. You've taken a leadership role on the tour, as has Roger and Rafa. Now that there's a new head, what are a few of the things you'd like to see Adam Helfant take up and change?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I had a meeting with him. Hopefully he's the right guy. It's not easy to find a CEO for such important sport. There is a lot of things that we need to improve. We players are concerned about some subjects. I did talk to him about it.
I don't want to bring it up now, because we don't need to discuss about it now. We just need to go slowly, step by step. One thing is for sure: we can't do it overnight.
There are things that are complicated, as the ranking system and schedule, prize money, so forth, so forth. But it's gonna be okay hopefully.

End of FastScripts

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