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July 1, 2009

Novak Djokovic


T. HAAS/N. Djokovic
7-5, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Afternoon, everyone. Novak Djokovic. Questions, please.

Q. How would you assess your performance today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, obviously disappointed that I didn't win. I think I've played okay throughout the tournament, and unfortunately I haven't performed that well today.
I was solid on my service games, but then when I needed to step it up in the important games, I was too nervous in these moments. He took his chances and he played better. Got to give him credit for that.
But I think he was serving really well. And I knew that the key is gonna be my return if I'm going to be able to make him play an extra shot. That's what I didn't do. So he deserved to win.

Q. As a Grand Slam champion yourself, do you normally feel nervous at the quarterfinals of a tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, you always feel a little bit nervous now. It's up to you if you are able to put that aside and just try to think positively.
I don't know. I just somehow couldn't relax in those moments, especially 5-All in the first two sets. You know, I was playing very, very defensively and making some unforced errors that I, you know, didn't do throughout the match.

Q. Were you surprised at how aggressive he was playing and how he stayed aggressive all the way?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I knew that he's gonna be this aggressive. I just tried to keep up with him and wait for the chance. I knew that he's going for the first and second serve, as well, and it's quite difficult to make a good return.
But he didn't have a lot of up and downs in his service games. He was very consistent.

Q. Was there any particular reason you weren't able to force him on that second serve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I mean, as I said, I didn't return well, and that's the bottom line. I think I was returning really bad. You know, return is one of my -- I mean, I think I can say one of my strength strokes in the game. But today was a real disaster.

Q. That's two defeats to Tommy Haas on grass in quite quick succession. Is his game particularly suited to grass, and why?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he's very aggressive player. I think he has -- even in the next match he has good chances if he serves well. He just needs to keep his consistency. Obviously, he has a good serve, good volley.
From the baseline, he hits the ball, he goes for his shots. I think he's a perfect player for this surface.

Q. So is your game suited to a hard court better than grass?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, depending on what aspects and from what perspective I'm analyzing my game on the surfaces. But it's different, you know. But I think that hard court suits me better, and clay as well, than grass.
But, you know, I don't think that's a big reason why I lost today. I think it's just a day, you know, when I couldn't deal with his serve.

Q. When you were first rising up into the top five, your personality on the court and around the tour seemed very outgoing and fun-loving. Have you deliberately toned that down? And if you have, why?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I haven't really. It's just that there are some other players who are, you know, in the spotlight. Obviously, Murray coming up, Del Potro. They've been playing really well lately. And Roger coming back, as well.
You know, I guess you always get more attention more successful you are. I was consistent with my results even in this year, but I wasn't that successful on the Grand Slam. I didn't make that step further than quarterfinals.
But, no, I mean, you know, I'm still the way I am. I just think that the difference, you know, is a little unpatience in that important moments. I think I get nervous a little bit more than I used to. And I guess that's probably pressure that I feel. But I shouldn't.

Q. Do you think Tommy has any chance in the semifinal?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. I mean, look, it's a semifinal. Tommy hasn't lost still this year on this surface. He's playing really well and he has nothing to lose against Roger, so of course he has chance.

Q. You and Ana and Jelena had great results. You really captivated our attention. Now you're having some tough times. Can you reflect on that.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think everybody goes through the crisis. I can speak only for myself, that I've been going through some tough period at the start of the year again.
And then I had a Miami final and then whole clay court season was really successful, and I was happy with the way I was playing. And the start of this grass court season was all right, as well.
So my game is there. I mean, I don't want to -- you know, I'm just disappointed now because I lost, because I thought I was playing well in this moment and I could, you know, go all the way.
But, I mean, Haas was better player today, and I just have to turn the new page and keep on working. I think ups and downs are normal in the career of one professional tennis player.

Q. Do you feel the results from Jelena and Ana?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, but I can't talk in their name, you know.

Q. Do you think you may change anything in your preparation to your grass season in the future or is it not worth the time because it's so short?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know. I mean, I think it's just, as I was saying, these couple of details, moments, they decide the winner and they decide the match basically. That's what happened today.
I mean, I could have won the second set. I just made some incredible unforced errors and I was just, you know, shocked on the court that I couldn't use that.
It just turns around. You're two sets down. If you're playing quarterfinals against a good player as Tommy Haas is, your time passes by.
I think I was very well-prepared for grass court. Physically and mentally I was motivated obviously, because I had more time and I wanted to do better in Wimbledon.
Quarterfinals is a good result. But I still think I can do better.

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