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February 22, 2010

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/G. Garcia-Lopez
6-4, 6-4

Q. How'd you feel after that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sweaty, you know (smiling). It was not pleasant coming from 5-Love to 5-4 and him serving to get back into the match. But it was all my fault, you know. I think I lost the focus.
I was playing well all the way up to 5-Love and then just lost it. But, you know, it's the first match outdoors since Australia, so still getting used to the conditions. And I'm sure next match is going to be better.

Q. Are you back to a court where you've won previous year, is that a special feeling some?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is. And it's something that I'm, you know, a success that I'm still trying to achieve to defend my title. I haven't done it in my career, so, you know, I'm really hoping that it's going to be this week.

Q. How much did that match sharpen you up for the rest of the tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I was playing a player who didn't have anything to lose. I played him a really long time ago. I haven't played him for a long time. I was aware of his quality. And if I gave him time for the shot, he's going to make it.
In certain points from 5-Love up, I just suddenly started to play too defensive. I don't know for what reason. Patient, you know, I had to be in control of the match. But, you know, when it mattered, I played well and I'm happy to win it.

Q. Do you expect to play as many matches this year as you did last year? You played 90-odd last year, didn't you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: If I played that many, that means that I had some success obviously (smiling). But, you know, I want to prioritize bigger events this year. And I want to play well in the thousand events and Grand Slams, and be healthy and physically fit.
I think in Australia I played really, really well. I was unfortunate that happened in the match with Tsonga. But I'm confident that I have the quality to compete with the best players in the world. It's just a matter of a good or a bad day, you know. It's all sport.

Q. But do you think you'll play in fewer tournaments this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't think it's going to be a huge difference from last year's schedule, because we are committed to play a lot of events. So I have to show up on all those events.
If I sacrifice something for my own good, they will be in the smaller events, but I still don't know what's going to happen. I just play for today and hope for a better tomorrow.

Q. You're now going to be involved in an all-Serbian affair in the second round on Wednesday. You've beaten him twice already this year, but he beat you in your opening encounter. Are you good pals, and is he a worthy opponent for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Definitely, yeah. We get along great off the court. We grew up together. We won in the Junior European Championship, team championship together. I mean, we know each other for ten years like this.
But as soon as you step on the court you want to win whoever is across your net, so... I've played him in Beijing the last time. Played really good match. I just need to be -- I believe I can win that match if I'm on my level. You know, I just need to play well.

Q. There's already this year been quite a few withdrawals and a few injuries as well. It was four of the top seven. But do you think it could be a benefit, a trend emerging maybe for best players being a bit more choosey about what they play and deliberately try to pare down their schedules a bit?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's unfortunate for the tournament and the sponsors, obviously, at certain tournaments when top players pull out because that's what attracts the crowd and attention to the tournament. But this is the way it is the schedule at this moment.
We are all working with the leadership of the ATP towards better solutions. It's not going to happen overnight, obviously. But we are all trying hard, you know. I think you need to be very selective with the tournaments. But still on the other hand, you know, everybody's playing tennis these days, and everybody plays well, physically fit.
So it can happen that you go out in opening rounds in any big events and then what happens, you know, you'll have to play more matches.
So it's really a sign in that term what you're going to play. You have to be very wise. But I'm one of the players that likes to give a hundred percent on the court and try to win every single match that he plays. Maybe it's good, maybe it's not, but this is just the way I am.

Q. How has your perspective changed since you have your own tournament that you're organizing in a way?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, I'm taking a part. But luckily I have people who are organizing that event instead of me. My family, the people who work in our companies are doing a great job, and this year we have some innovation, some improvements. We really want to make even a better impression to the people that are coming here and watching that tournament.
We got a lot of positive comments on the first year, 2009. This year we'll try to make it even better.

Q. Having your own tournament, which I presume you'll play in, that is an extra tournament. Do you think you'll play Monte-Carlo this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: All those tournaments are really important on clay for me, for my sponsor, for my country as well. Lot of different things. People don't really know from outside of the sport if they're not really familiar with the things that you have to deal with. But that's just the way it is. You have to face it.
I enjoy playing on clay. Even though it takes a lot of energy out of me, I really do enjoy it. I play well and I've had a lot of success in the last couple of years.

End of FastScripts

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