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September 3, 2009

Novak Djokovic


6-3, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Assess the match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I have to say that it's always hard to predict what is going to expect you in the match against a guy who you don't know basically. And I haven't seen any of his matches. I haven't been introduced to his game. So I didn't know what to expect.
I knew he's a big guy with a big serve, lefty. So, you know, I haven't watched it. So it's always dangerous in these positions. But that's why I needed to really stay focused and try to read his game and try to be able to recognize the positions and his disadvantages.
That's what I did. I think it was very important to get the early break in the start of the first set. As you seen, he was serving between 130, 140 miles throughout the whole match. He hadn't dropped a serve. He was going for the serves. I knew he was going to try to be aggressive and don't make long rallies from the baseline because that's where I have more chances than him, I guess.
So it's always great to go in the straight sets.

Q. Do you worry about not getting tested? Are you just as happy to have relatively smooth sailing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'll have to say there were some moments in today's match that I have been tested, you know. He had maybe one, two breakpoints throughout the match in some important games. My breakpoints, I didn't convert my break balls that great. Had over 15 break balls and I didn't use that many. So that's something that was a little bit frustrating me.
But, you know, again, he's a big server and he's fighting his way through with a big serve, which is, you know, an advantage.
So in the opening rounds, you know, most of the players I play against are lower ranked, so obviously I'm a favorite in those matches. As I said, that's where you have to get as much rhythm as can you and not underestimate your opponent because these guys can play great tennis, as he showed today.

Q. When you were growing up, there wasn't much international tennis coming out of Serbia. You won a Grand Slam, many other things. What do you think Novak as a small boy would think of the man, the international athlete today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, certainly is a big advantage to have somebody like me and Ana, Jelena, Viktor, Janko, in the top of the tennis world. The young kids can look up to somebody and choose their role models in order to develop into the professional tennis player.
I think Serbia has become certainly a tennis country in last three years, considering the results that we were achieving. As I was saying before many times, tennis didn't have any big tradition as a sport in a country, so it was more like a national level, and now it became international.
The tournaments we organize this year for the first time in our history of tennis was incredible. The people loved it. We really look forward to another tournament. So now I just hope that the country itself and the Federation can produce, you know, more champions so we can have a longer tradition.

Q. My question was more about you and what your thoughts as a young boy would be. What would you think of all you've achieved now and the place you have, what would the little boy think of the grown Novak?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The young boy who wants to become a professional think of me and my results, my achievements in general?

Q. Exactly.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't know. I can't read their minds.

Q. What would you have thought?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course, it would motivate me a lot to become a professional tennis player. As I said, by achieving so many good results, tennis has become even No. 1 sport in our country at one time. I think all the kids, instead of taking a basketball or volleyball or water polo, those sports which we were always the best in, now they took racquets. Of course, it's expensive sport, but it's individual sport that makes it very unique. And I think looking up to somebody like myself can certainly give you a lot of motivation.

Q. You're known for the imitations, your Michael Jackson in Monte-Carlo. How did it go with the Bryan brothers?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think you guys should pay more attention on that show, the Monte-Carlo show, because I think this is very interesting and should get a lot more coverage because that show was actually the best show throughout the year. I love it. I participate in that show every single year for last four years because then, you know, you create some show for an hour, hour and a half. You have, I don't know, 10 scenes. You just try to come up with some situations in the sport, try to impersonate some players, the locker room situations. I think this is very interesting for public.
I mean, I can't just do impersonations once more again. I don't know how the people would react, you know. It comes spontaneous really. If the moment is right, then I'll probably do it. But I don't want anybody to be insulted.

Q. Two years ago you were very spontaneous about it. It was a coming out for you. Last year it seemed as if you made a calculated effort not to do that. Do you look back and think maybe I was overly thinking about that last year and you didn't really allow your personality to come out?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I mean, you're going through a process of learning throughout the whole life. That's what I think of when I step on the court, when I practice, when I play official match, when I travel. It's all about learning and improving and trying to take as much things and informations as possible so you can create yourself, you know, as a grown-up person and create a personality you have.
I have a different personality from somebody else. I'm absolutely aware of that. You know, doing those impersonations, I was very happy that the people here in New York accepted it in the great way. It was very funny.
You know, last year my intention was not to not do those things; it's just I didn't have idea. I wasn't ready, I guess. But I'm still enjoying. You know, I'm still enjoying. There were some periods which were very difficult for me. I had to deal with obviously things like pressure and expectations, which are very common when you are on the top of the tennis world and everybody expects you to play well and reach the final stages of the Grand Slams every single tournament you play. That's something that Roger Federer, Nadal, those two and a couple more guys are facing every single year. And they are dealing with it fantastically well. They can be a great example of a tennis player who is able to deal with the pressure in the best possible way.

Q. Sometimes the mark of maturity is understanding who you are and accepting that. If that means some people by nature are a little goofy or funny, that's okay.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I absolutely agree. I think everybody should just be what they are. Obviously, it gives me more attention if I do these things on and off the court, but I'm not trying to be somebody that I'm not. The impersonations, all these things I'm doing, that's me. That's what I've bone doing all my life. It's just the people pay attention on you more when you're successful.

Q. You've had some nice results this summer. Do you feel right now you're at a point mentally, physically...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Physically I feel great. I feel ready. I feel confident on the court. Mentally motivated and willing to do more. Just have a big desire to perform good and to win the matches. And I think you could see that on the court.
I just try to push myself always to the limit. Sometimes I'm perfectionist, I want everything to go well. I always try to give 100% on the court. So this is what I expect from myself in the first place and upcoming matches. And hopefully, like in the past couple years, I can do well.

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