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February 26, 2009

Novak Djokovic


6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So the real Novak Djokovic showed up tonight.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I was willing and trying in the last three matches to find this exact rhythm, and that's what I did today.
I think the key today was movement and focus. I was really trying to move well in the point, be patient, and just wait for the chances that, you know, has been -- have been given to me throughout the whole match because I was returning as well, as well.
He dropped with the serve a little bit in the second set a little bit because he got a lot of balls back. But again, saying I was quite lucky not to be broken once in the whole match.

Q. He came back at you quite strongly after the good start you had, didn't he?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, actually I knew he was going to be very aggressive, and it's hard to give that this aggressiveness back from your side when you have a tall player who is standing close to the line all the time.
So I needed to make kind of a combination of the game, aggressive game, and then patient game at the same time, which I think I did well.

Q. You obviously can't play at your best the whole time. Do you find you're at the stage where you play as well as you need to be?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't think I played as well as I needed to yesterday. I was pretty close to defeat.
Well, look, every match you try to give your best. It's a matter of the opponent, of course, who you play against, and you decide what you want to do, what kind of tactic you want to perform on the court.
And certainly maybe I don't keep my focus 100 percent all the time, which I think I need to do that more often if I want to really come at the finish, or at the late stages of every tournament.

Q. Are you fully comfortable with your new racquet, and what advantages does it give you over the old one?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I got that question really a thousand times since the start of the year, because I had some ups and downs, and I was really even changing some things in the racquet on the start of the year, on the tournaments, which was a little bit frustrating me.
But I managed to find the good rhythm with the racquet, and so it really takes time, as well, mentally, to accept the change. It's a big change, a big switch. But if I play the way I played today, it's good.

Q. And does it give you any advantages over your old racquet? Do you notice more power, more control?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think it has more power, and a little bit too much power in some moments (laughing).

Q. Is this as well as you've played this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, I played really well in Australian Open, a couple of opening rounds against Stoppini I played well; Chardy. And then I had some bad performances against Roddick in the semifinals. I had some ups and downs here and there. But I'm still looking for that consistency which I had great in 2008.

Q. You have your prospects of winning this tournament improved by the withdrawal tonight of Andy Murray. Any comment on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I heard that just before my match. I don't know what is the reason -- oh, I heard it's a virus, right.
He was looking okay till today, I don't know. I mean, he has to have a serious reason to withdraw from the tournament.
So, it happens. There's a lot of viruses around.

Q. And you feel confident now that you can go all the way?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I wasn't thinking about Andy, because I would meet him in the finals. As I said, I have, you know, a couple more matches to go to the final, I have Gilles Simon in the next round. And I had a couple of matches, really close matches and played three sets in Marseilles last year, in Shanghai last year. It's not going to be easy, for sure. So I have to overpass him, and we'll see.

Q. I remember 12 months ago when you came here, I think you had just come from Moscow and you were very sick in Davis Cup and you talked about how one of the goals was trying to keep well, keep fitter. Have you changed your diet or anything? Have you looked into certain things, just to try and keep more healthy?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think everybody is trying to be healthier at the times. But as you can see, it's even not possible for the players who are really fit and working hard, the top players I'm talking about: Nadal, Federer, Murray, myself.
We are playing a lot of matches, a lot of tournaments, and it can be really too much at the time because you are changing continents, changing countries, time zones.
It's not easy. You always have to adopt to conditions for a couple of days, but with he don't have a couple of days. I came from Marseilles here, and I had to play already second day I arrived here.
It's risky for the health, but you always try to rest as much as you can, save the energy and eat well.
THE MODERATOR: Last question? Thank you.

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