home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 15, 2009

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/M. Vassallo Arguelo
7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A solid opponent, solid match. What is the confidence level at this point comparing to last year? It is even higher, do you think?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's quite different stage. I think I've played probably the best tennis so far last year, winning the Australian Open and winning here at Indian Wells. I was really, really confident.
This year hasn't started maybe the way I thought I would, but now I've raised my confidence in a higher level. Winning Dubai meant a lot for my confidence level and for my game overall.
Winning this first match, it's never easy. I played against a solid opponent. As you said, from the baseline he made me work a lot with some points. But I played as much as I needed to, and I'm happy to get through.

Q. When you say that you didn't start the year exactly the way you'd like and now you've lifted things, about how many spots do you think you've lifted it in the last month and a half?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I've changed the racquet. Probably that was the big reason for, you know, mental instability in certain stages on the start of the year. I was thinking about that more than my game.
But luckily for me, it has changed on better. I won the tournament in Dubai, as I said, with this racquet, so it's on me now to just focus on the game and think. The quality is there. The game is there. The fitness is getting much better improved.
It's just a mental ability to play the best tennis. I know that I cannot perform always my best tennis, but, again, my confidence has raised in last month and a half. I'm aware that still there need to be some improvement. There are rooms for improvement. But I'm taking it step by step.

Q. You mentioned that your fitness is getting better. What is your fitness routine currently? Because I was very impressed watching you in the last match just now.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I was working quite hard after Australia, and in Davis Cup I had a tough schedule going to the clay courts right after the title in Dubai. So changing the surface and conditions wasn't really the best thing for my fitness and for my preparation for States here, but I used it in the best possible way that I could.
So the movement on the court today wasn't really great, you know. It wasn't really explosive, but endurance overall was quite good. I had the feeling that I can play long points, which is very encouraging for my upcoming matches.

Q. What about next round? How do you feel?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm going to have another day, so tough opponent, whoever wins. Did they finish? They didn't finish, right? Haas or Schuettler.
They're both very focused player players on the court. A little bit different styles. Tommy is always playing well on the hardcourts, and Rainer, played the finals in the Australian Open couple years ago. So it's going to be a tough one.
Probably the people expect me to win, but again, I have to raise the level of the play if I want to win next match.

Q. From your perspective, what do you think are the biggest weaknesses of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, since you're obviously in the best position to challenge both of them?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, Rafa has been very dominant on different kind of surfaces in last 12 months, so you have to give him credit for that.
On the other side, Roger is the one of the best players this sport has ever had, and very dominant in the last five years.
So when you look at them on the court, there is not much weaknesses because they are very focused and great players. But still, they are not unbeatable. They both have favorite surfaces. Roger has grass and hardcourts where he plays his best tennis. On the other hand, Rafa has played great on clay.
But I think against these two players you have to always believe that you can win. And that's the key, I guess.

Q. I heard after Davis Cup you had quite a taxi ride from Gatwick to Heathrow.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it was a quite difficult connection from where we were in the Davis Cup. We had to take four or five different planes. But in the end, we somehow -- we managed to get to Gatwick airport, and we had two hours between landing and taking off from Heathrow, so it was quite impossible with traffic there, but -- I don't know. Somehow we managed to do it. (laughter.)

Q. Last year you left Indian Wells as the champion having been the Australian Open champion, and you might well have thought that by the end of the year you'd be challenging for the No. 1 spot if not No. 2. Didn't happen. What has to change this year so that you will make it happen?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I did have my chances a couple of times last year to reach at least a spot further in rankings, but, you know, the life goes on.
I'm just still 21 years old and have a lot of time in front of me. I don't want to put an extra pressure on myself, you know, for reaching that spot further this year. I know it's possible, and I know that I have enough quality to do so, because I play -- I played quite well in these last two, three years on all the different surfaces.
So I can challenge the best players in the world. But still, you have Andy Murray, Tsonga, we cannot forget them, Roddick. They are all great players, and they're all really playing well the last six months so it's going to be interesting to see who's going to end up in the first couple of spots in the rankings towards the end of the year.

Q. As you just said, you're 21, but it's amazing when you look at a family owning a tournament, you are planning to get to the top, you have a shop in Belgrade, a clothing line, being on the Late Night Show, so much in such a short period of time. Is that part of the game now? What is it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You just have to accept it as a part of your life, and my life has changed incredibly in the last two, three years, as you mentioned. Everything has happened so fast, but, you know, I try to -- I try to stay calm and, you know, stay focused on what I do.
My job is to play tennis, and this is my life. This is what I love, as well. And you just have to, I guess, keep on doing it, and all the other things aside, try to make a good balance and gather around the right people, people that I trust, and that's it, I guess.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297