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February 24, 2009

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/F. Cipolla
6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: All right. Questions, please.

Q. Your thoughts on the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm happy that I'm through in straight sets, but certainly it wasn't the performance I was looking for.
I didn't expect him to play so many short balls, and with a change of pace, and that's probably what didn't give me a lot of rhythm. It's my first match, and I didn't have a lot of practice here and arrived two days ago from Europe.
But it's all right. Hopefully I can go with my game towards the finish of the tournament.

Q. Is it tougher to switch from indoors to out, or go outdoors to in?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think indoors to outdoors, because outdoors, you have elements probably that affect most, wind, heat, sun, things like that; it's different. Indoors, you can get more still conditions and get rhythm much faster than outdoors.
But as I said, you always need a couple of days, which I didn't have. That's probably the reason why I had a little weaker performance today.

Q. What did you think when you heard that Federer and Nadal were not playing here? Did you feel disappointed that you could not test yourself against them?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I didn't have any feelings to be honest. I just try to focus on myself and I had some ups and downs this year. I didn't really start the year the -- the way things went, it was a little more difficult for me.
So I'm trying to get on the right path, and that's what the most matters for me.

Q. Most of us have not seen you since Australia. What happened in the aftermath of that? How were you after that, and what did you do to sort of pick yourself up again?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I had to take some time off. There were speculations about that in the media, which I understand, obviously, but the people don't understand how hot it was.
And there was no absolutely logic in me playing during the day, if I finished 2:00, 2:30 in the morning the night before.
There was a couple of things involved, but I just don't want to come back to it. It's just what has been, it has been. It's passed.

Q. But you're okay physically?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I'm okay now.

Q. You spoke about, obviously, tonight, struggling to find your rhythm. Is there a sense sometimes that in the first round, you actually prefer a three-set match so you just get more court time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't know. It's really hard to say. You always want to finish earlier, and winning in straight sets, but maybe sometimes three sets is needed.
I don't think tonight's goal was to play three sets. I think it was just to perform good tennis, be aggressive. I was a bit too aggressive. I made some unforced errors, but happy to be in the second round.

Q. With all of the pressure and expectation that you've experienced over the past 12 months, are you enjoying this game quite as much as you once did?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, it's a good question. I always try to enjoy what I do on and off the court.
And really, I certainly don't have too many issues outside of the court, because I try to be as positive as I can, and try to enjoy the life. And I'm really happy with all of the things that are happening for me. I have a great surroundings, great people, honest people who have been really supporting me in my career.
The only thing is for sure I didn't like the things that have been happening around in this, you know, last, seven, eight months in the media about me. But you know, that's a part of the life and I just have to deal with it.

Q. How are the tournament preparations coming on for Belgrade, with your family running it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, we are directly involved in the organization. I can say that I'm really happy with the way things are going.
We are on schedule and we will try to make one of the best organized events in the world, really. I know it's the first year, but me as a player, from the player's perspective, I know all of the things which are really important from the player's side, and of course sponsor's side.
And all Serbia is now living for tennis. It's the No. 1 sport, and everybody wants to come almost to attend the event, which helps us, as well.

Q. What sort of field have you got?

Q. What sort of field have you got? What players have you got?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, we are still negotiating. We are still negotiating. I can't say the names. I don't want to announce before it's certain.

Q. You're seeded No. 1. If seedings go to form, could you place Andy in the final on Saturday. If that happens, how would you feel about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's still a long way, a long way to the final. I have tough encounters. Every match is important as the final. Next round I have Hernych, I won against him last week in Marseilles.
Hopefully I can get through that, and then I have opponents like Cilic, who has lost only one match this year.
Let's see if it comes through to my encounter against Andy. I think everybody would like to see that, but we go step-by-step.

Q. They are talking about the dream final to see seed one versus seed two.

Q. How impressed are you with the way Andy is playing, two titles this season already?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, he's one of best players in the world, there's no doubt. He's been playing fantastic tennis in the past couple of months, and he's proven that.
So, he gained a lot of strength physically. He's there at the top and he always was playing really smart tennis and with a great touch.
So, you know, it's a matter of time when he can win a Grand Slam title.

Q. Next week in Spain, Davis Cup, is it a big, big favorite or just a favorite?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The title defenders are obviously the, defenders whoever we play, and Spain is the best team in the world at the moment.
But one thing is for sure; that we are not going there to, you know, just play some good tennis. I think we have quite a young team, which can really challenge every team on the world on every surface. I believe that.
Of course, Rafa not playing makes a whole lot of difference, but still, they are favorites.

Q. Coming back to today's match, were you happy with your first serve? You missed a lot of first serves.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, not really. But I'm trying to take the best out of it. I think I need to work on the serve and some other elements of my game in these couple of days, if I may still in the tournament.
So as I said, I didn't get an outdoor match since the Australian Open and played in the indoors most of this time. So still need some time to get used to the conditions.

Q. When there was a doubt about this tournament, the question was that you would get a Visa; were you consulted by the ATP about this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. I wasn't consulted by anybody. I did follow, and I was informed, because it was a big story.
It was a very difficult thing and very sensitive for both sides, but I'm glad it got solved.

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