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August 23, 2009

Novak Djokovic


R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
6-1, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How big of a factor in this match was the very first service game you had where you got broken after a really long struggle?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was -- well, it's very important to have a good start in the match. That second game helped him to get into the rhythm, and he gained more confidence, played more relaxed from that point on. He was just too good in the first set.
I didn't start very energetic, and my body language wasn't atmosphere way it was last night. I think it affected probably the time. I had a late-night finish of the semifinal and too early start today.
But, I mean, what can you do? I found the rhythm and I found the good pace in the start of the second set. I thought I would be able to hold on, but he just put too much pressure on my service games. I had a very low percentage of the first serves in towards the end of the second set.
I think there was no advantage whatsoever there. You know, if you play against Roger without the first serve, I don't think you have a lot of chances.

Q. On the last game of the match you turned around. It looked like someone must have said something to you. And even before that game you were talking...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, this guy was just saying some crazy things throughout the whole match.

Q. Like negative...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was just annoying. It was not appropriate.

Q. Did you do anything differently in the second set? Seemed like you started serving better and the volleys seemed more crisp.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, there are some positives that I try to look for in today's match. I mean, overall it's final and it's been is great week for me, and I got a lot of matches in before the US Open. I'm satisfied.
Today, on those breakpoints in important moments, I think I played quite okay, going to the net and ending out the points at the net with the volleys. This is something that I'm trying to improve on in my game and put more variety.
So you know, I just try to push myself more to get to the net. Eventually I have more options.

Q. Do you also have a little bit of frustration just that you've got to so many Masters 1000 finals this year and haven't been able to convert those into titles?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, unfortunately I was born in the wrong era. Yeah, I was very close in most of those finals. But, you know, I don't think this is some kind of curse or something. It's just the day, you know.
Everybody is playing tennis. Those two guys, Nadal and Federer, and of course Murray, they're all playing fantastic tennis. And Roger and Rafa are two -- maybe one of the best players that ever played this game. Roger for sure is.
It's kind of hard, because that they raise their level in the final stages of the tournaments, especially the finals. That's why they perform their best tennis. So for me to reach the final stages is a big success. Hopefully in the future I'll be able to get some titles.

Q. Do you feel like you found something in your game again this week?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, as I said, I mean, I didn't start that great the tournament. I had some slow starts, but I had some big servers for opponents. But then quarterfinals was a little bit better, and then semifinals was a great match.
Today, you know, there were some parts of the match that I played quite okay. So as I said, I will try to work in these seven days before US Open on the things, on a better approach to the match and being aggressive from the start. If I manage to do that, I think I can get far.

Q. I wanted to get your perspective on the greatest of all-time debate. Some people say Roger is with all he's accomplished. Even Rod Laver said you can't compare players from different eras. If you had to establish some criteria to what would the greatest of all-time player, without naming names...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Stats. You cannot compare those two times. Tennis has changed so much in the last 20 years. Racquets are much faster and the points, you serve, I don't know, 130 miles, 140 miles per hour. Definitely a different feeling on the court.
But, you know, winning the tournaments in this year is maybe even more difficult considering those facts. So you got to give Roger credit for that.

Q. As has been pointed out earlier, you've graced many Masters Series finals this year. What do you need to do to replicate that in the Grand Slam event? This year you've probably been a little disappointed with how you've done.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah. I haven't played this year in the Grand Slams really well, and yet reach the semifinals. Well, I just had not a good approach to those tournaments, I think. French Open was just an exception, because I think I played exceptionally well throughout the whole clay court season, and then I had the high expectations for French Open and suddenly I had a very bad day.
Grand Slams are the four most important tournaments, and everybody is trying to play on the highest possible level on those events. In the last couple of years, I have been playing quite well and consistently well on those Grand Slams.
So it's not that I haven't reached finals or haven't won a title. I know how does it feel, so I just need to believe and be focused.

Q. What do you hope Todd will bring to your game when you start working with him? Will that be next week?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's gonna be next week. But I'm not stopping with my coach, because I have seen some media talking about me stopping with Marian Vajda. But I'm not stopping work with him. I'm gonna work with both of them.
Todd, being two-times finalist of the Grand Slams and being top 5 player and playing on a highest tennis level, professional tennis level for a long time, makes him very experienced. I'm very, very happy, and I really look forward to it. He's got a lot of ideas and things I can improve on, a lot of things in my game.
One week is not gonna be enough for all of that, but it's a process.

Q. Can you share any of the ideas he has?

Q. When you've been playing your best over the last couple years, your second serve has been very aggressive.

Q. In the last few months, do you feel like that's one of the things you need to get back?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I think mentally I've maybe a lot lost a little confidence right there for the second serve. But you go through those periods. I hope I can get of the it.

Q. As you showed in the post-match ceremony, you have a great personality. What do you need to do in New York to win back the fans that you won over two years ago and maybe lost last year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, this is an experience that you got to learn from it. You know, learn from some situations in your life that you experience. It was unfortunate for me that it happened in one of the four biggest events in the world, and it happened in the city and tournament where I always felt great, like at home.
But, you know, it's the past. I mean, I forgot about it. I really look forward to playing there, and hopefully the fans will accept me in good way. So I just, you know, keep on looking forward.

Q. After the first set or after you got broken twice in the first set, when you won the first service game you kind of smiled and waved at the crowd. Did it help you relax and get back into the match? Seemed like from that point you played a lot better.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, in some way you can say, yeah, that was some expression that certain point of his domination.

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