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May 1, 2009

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/J. Del Potro
6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You hit 20 winners today in two sets. Do you feel you're timing and seeing the ball particularly well at this moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I feel quite confident playing here. Each match I play, I feel more comfortable moving the court and just playing my style of the game.
Today I've tried to, you know, change the pace a lot, because I know that Del Potro likes more or less same pace, and he's moving really well for his height.
But still, I knew that I have to, you know, move him, left/right, try to be patient, and go for the little longer rallies and a little more spin into the balls.
That's what I did. I think I've played well. It's a good win for me. I'm ready for next challenge.

Q. Yesterday you said you are playing better this year than last year. What are you doing better this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, physically I think I'm stronger, and I'm combining this patience with the aggressivity in the certain moments. It's really important on clay to be confident in yourself, that you can play a lot of long rallies and be patient, but yet again, have big weapons to finish of the points.
So that's what I did. The serve is going up and down a little bit. I think I need to work a little bit more on that. It's just -- I think momentum it's going to be okay.

Q. Could you comment on your changes to your fitness routine over the last week. I know you switched fitness coaches as well. Is that a result of the match in Australia earlier in the year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What about the result of the Australian?

Q. I don't know if conditioning was a factor in Melbourne. I know you were trying to make adjustments before Roland Garros.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I've been working with my ex-fitness coach for two and a half years. I changed because I felt that I need a change and something new to improve on.
The walkover in Australia was something else. It was extreme conditions. It was some scheduling problem, as well. So it has nothing to do with my decision to change the coach, particularly that match.
I've been thinking about that for the last five, six months. Hopefully the new change is going to be better.

Q. Did you watch any of the first set of Federer?

Q. What do you expect? He seems to be winning at the moment. What do you expect for a new match with him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I look forward to it. I expect him to win, so it's going to be great for the people and great for the tournament to see that kind of semifinal. It's a challenge for both of us.
I think we played two times on clay only, and he won both of the times in Monte-Carlo. Well, I think I have good chances, you know. I have been playing really well lately, so let's see what happens.

Q. How you play on clay changes tactically the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, sure. Sure. It's a slower surface. But still, here it's quite fast. I think both of us, we like it. He likes a little faster clay as well, so it's going to be interesting.

Q. Is it easier in a way to play Federer than Nadal on clay? I don't say easier, but you can understand what I mean.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, look, nothing is easy I can say, but certainly the toughest opponent on this surface is Nadal. There's no question about it.
But still, Roger has been playing really well on this surface. He's been playing two, three, French Open finals and winning Hamburg and getting to the final stages of each clay court event in last four, five years. He's certainly, behind Nadal, the best player that plays on this surface.
I think I've been improving, so as I said, I have good chances.

Q. Does it make any difference to be the champion of the tournament when you go back the next year? Does it feel any different, or you completely more or less forget?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first of all, it's great to come back in the place where you defend your title. I mean, I feel nice. You feel a lot of attention. I get great support here. I'm really thankful for the crowd.
In other words, of course you have some certain pressure and responsibility. It's a bit difficult to defend a title and all these points.
I think I've been doing quite a good job until now.

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