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January 19, 2010

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/D. Gimeno-Traver
7-5, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel after? Looked pretty comfortable in the end.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's the first match of the year so it was a little bit slower start, but I think that I had across the net an opponent who played exceptionally well today.
Conditions were a little bit, you know, strange, because it was -- the balls were really fluffy and it was really slow. It was hard to make a winner. He's a very fast player. He was going for the shots and didn't have anything to lose. You could see that. He had a very high percentage of the first serves.
I was struggling in the first set. That's no secret. In the end I picked it up, and I was really happy overall with how I handled things.

Q. The passing shot he made in the 9th or 14th game, you had a smile to yourself. Was that a catalyst for, Right, I'll get you for that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, just a smile of being happy of winning the point, I guess.

Q. He won the point, though.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, so, I mean, I don't know. I can't remember. I mean, what does it matter, really?

Q. What do you think the key is gonna be for you to do as well as you want to at this tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I guess, you know, the Grand Slams are different than all the other tournaments because they're two weeks long and you play best of five. Every opponent you play against, you have to get him seriously and not underestimate, especially in the opening rounds where the players are lower ranked and really ready to give everything and have nothing to lose.
So the question is if you want to be tested early on or you want to go easy and smoothly past the rounds, past the opponents, and save the energy for second week. It's really hard to say. Both ways are good, I guess.
For me, as I said, to get a little bit more time on the court today was actually positive. So physically I'm ready. I mean, I'm moving well, and more or less game-wise overall I think I'm playing good enough tennis to challenge the best players in the world.
Now I have to take one match at time.

Q. Mentally do you feel better prepared than you did, say, during the Grand Slams last year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: During the Australian Open last year, I had a lot of, well, mental barriers I can say, because I was -- I positioned myself. First time I had the role of defending champion on a Grand Slam. So it was really difficult to cope with the pressure and expectations that I had. It was a different feel. You know, a feel that I never experienced before.
And I changed the racquet and I was struggling to find an exact racquet that I'm comfortable with. There was a lot of stories, should I change it? Should I have changed it or not? Obviously it all had an impact on my results.
But this year I feel that I can do better on Grand Slams.

Q. You were having great fun two days ago in the Hit-for-Haiti game. Will you keep this kind of rhythm during this tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, fun is fun, I guess, and work is work. I have to try to give my best and win on the court. That's my main priority.
Of course I try to enjoy every single moment of my life, and things I do off court. Actually, I was very happy with the way that exhibition went. I think we should gather around more often and try to have those exhibitions more often together.

Q. For the victims?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Exactly. And charity as well. It's really hard to gather all the players from men's and women's tennis in one event. It was a great idea, and we all tried to contribute in the best possible way for the people that need help.

Q. Do you think it's realistic to say that there's maybe six or seven guys that could win this tournament? A lot of Grand Slams you go in and hear that, but there's usually three or four guys. This time seems like a bunch of guys.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I agree. I think this is one of the most exciting Grand Slams in the last five or six years because of the reason you just said: You have a group of players that are able to lift the trophy in two weeks.
Next of course two big favorites, Federer and Nadal. I think Murray, Del Potro, Roddick, and myself. Davydenko plays exceptionally well lately. Gonna be interesting for the fans and for the sport to see who will win it in the end.

Q. I read some of your comments on the World Cup of Tennis. Clarify your position. You've got a big Davis Cup match coming up, and I would say that's been important to Serbia before.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Davis Cup is a different competition. It's very unique because it's a team competition, which, you know, you don't get to have team competitions in our sport that much. So for every country to have a Davis Cup, especially to be in the World Group, means a lot.
But, you know, we're still discussing with the current leadership and with the people who are in charge of our sport, and of course between ourselves, between players, what we can make to -- what we can do to make this sport better and more attractive to fans.
I think the ATP right now has a good understanding for what we want. But I wouldn't talk further than that. World Team Cup Tennis and bunch of other things are just ideas. They're still not, you know, going to realization.

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