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March 17, 2009

Novak Djokovic


6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So how did you feel about your performance today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Better than the first match. I think I played really well in the opening set, and then could have done the job a bit earlier. Had some break chances and didn't make a couple returns, and gave him a chance to come back into the match. So I was lucky, because it could go in the third set, and then who knows?
Overall, I'm happy with the way I played, and hopefully I can continue.

Q. I don't ask this question with any disrespect, but all of us in our lives, we look back at things and say, Hey, I could have handled that differently. Do you have any thoughts about that night with Andy at the Open and the crowd and how you handled that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I don't really like to talk about it anymore, because what's been -- what happened, it happened really. You learn from your mistake, as you said. I reacted the way I felt in that moment. Maybe it was right, maybe it was wrong. Everybody has a right to an opinion.
It's just behind me, and I want to, you know, take the best out of it and just continue on.

Q. Well, let me just follow up by taking a different approach. Do you enjoy playing in the United States?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course. Of course. I have no reason -- I mean, that happened. Look, we are having a really difficult, you know, season playing so many tournaments. And every match, especially if you play quarterfinals of the Grand Slam, it's so important, it's crucial, and it's frustrating for everybody, you know. And.
You are going through so many emotions, and it's not easy to handle everything. So I will not think differently in a way of liking to play here or not just because that happened with Andy for one night.
So as I said, I still like playing here, and I made, you know, best results next to the Grand Slam title here.

Q. When you threw the racquet, was it just frustration, you didn't want to play the third set, or you thought that you may be losing control of the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, I have frustration because I didn't use quite some opportunities that have been given to me in certain moments of the second set, break balls, 3-2, 4-3.
But yet again, I'm a player who plays with a lot of emotions on and off of the court, so that was something that isn't really unusual.

Q. Let me bring you forward now with Roddick to Australia, where the match before you played him you finally appeared to hit a very good level. You play a good first set, excellent tiebreak, and then physically things got away from you. Just think about that time period and how disappointing it was, not being able to finish there.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was very disappointing. Unfortunately, there were some side factors that affected my loss there, and I was a little bit disappointed with the scheduling there, as well. But, you know, I couldn't do anything about it.
I think there was no reason for me to play a day match when I had finished at, you know, 2:30 a.m. two nights before playing against Baghdatis. So I expected a night match so I can get more time to recover, but it didn't happen.
So unfortunately I had to finish the Australian Open this year the way I finished it with the retirement. And, of course, there was a lot of speculations after that, which was very unfortunate for me. But, look, this is sport, and you just have to deal with it.

Q. You've talked a little bit about your racquets this week again. Sorry if this has been asked already, but why did you change them when you were doing so well in the first place? What was the reservation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, there were a couple of reasons. Probably one of the reasons was, you know, the business change probably, the financing specter.
On the other hand, I already played with a Head racquet, so there were some things already in Wilson racquet that I played last year that I wanted to change. I've played well, but I think there were some more things that I could add up.
Head stepped in and really made a good work and made a promise that they going to try to make as best a racquet as possible. We worked on that for really four or five, six months. Changing a racquet in tennis is probably the most difficult and most dangerous decision, especially in this time for me. But I have played, as I said, with Head already for a couple of years in my career.
There was just a matter of time mentally when I can really adapt to a new racquet.

Q. Who did you work with at Head? Did you go to Austria? And what aspects of the racquet did you...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The people -- well, they were coming to Monte-Carlo. I went to Austria, as well. There's a lot of small things that we worked on, details on the racquet. I don't want to make the story long, but it's balance, swing weight, weight. You know, there's tons of things that really matter in the match that you actually play for the racquet.
Every individual player has different requests. My game is based on the baseline, so I want to have, you know, fast racquet, but again, a racquet which gives me control.

Q. When you say you're disappointed at times when you didn't take advantage of opportunities, what system do you use to get back to the state of mind where you're off of that disappointment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's logically -- you can't, you know, think negatively and think about something that has already has happened, you know. So I try to overcome that and try to keep my focus on upcoming points.

Q. Futuristic question. What's your vision for the tennis tournament that your family owns now in Serbia and its development? How do you see it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first of all, I'm very happy and privileged to have the tournament in Serbia after so many years. I think we deserve it because we have so many players, and we had the great success in the last two years.
So we have, for now, the 250, lowest category of ATP events. But, again, we have tournament in our hands, so hopefully we can show to the world that we can be great hosts, and then next couple of years, you know, improve it and get the better event.

Q. Do you think you'll get better scheduling for your matches there than in Australia? (laughter.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'll make sure I'll be present for scheduling.

Q. With your next match, how many points do you have to lift your game to the next round?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I already played better than my first-round match. That's what I think. Still finding the rhythm and everything. But, you know, I don't want to put an extra pressure, which is unnecessary in this moment in myself in the way that I really have to improve my game drastically, you know.
I think I'm playing a very solid game for now, and just, you know, saving lots of energy and being focused, not underestimating my opponents, and then really going step by step. And the game, for now it's quite fine. There are, you know, certain things that I need to focus on more, but I'm on the right path.

Q. Are you completely comfortable now on tour? Are you still finding that it's a learning experience for you? That not just on court, but there's a lot of things you have to go through before you fulfill your potential overall?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. Look, I'm on the tour for last three, four years, and I'm still really young and I have experienced a lot of great things. I can say traveling and playing great on the major events and getting a lot of attention, you know, fighting against the good and bad things, this is life, you know.
You just have to accept it and try to make the right balance, and this is where I'm trying. It's not -- certainly it's not easy traveling 11 out of 12 months a year, changing the surfaces, changing the cities, time zones. It all has an effect, but I do something that I really like to do, love to do, and so I enjoy it.

End of FastScripts

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