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February 25, 2010

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/I. Ljubicic
2-6, 6-4, 6-0

Q. As transformations go, that was pretty remarkable by any standards, wasn't it, really?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was very similar start of the second round match as well. Very slow start for me. Terrible serves. You know, the opponent was serving well.
As well as he served, I think he served as well as anybody on the tour right now. It's very difficult for me to get some returns back and try to get in some rally. That was my goal, basically.
So I was just trying to be patient and wait for my opportunities, and when I faced them, I should use them. That's what I did. And I think the crucial moment was basically at 3-All when I saved some break balls in that important 10th game of the second set where I got some returns back and put some pressure on him, you know.
And I was aware if I get into the rally I have more chances of winning the point, and that was my advantage.

Q. You're one of the guys at the very top of the game. Obviously, you view the slams as the one to win and then the Masters Series. Do you view tournaments like this as maybe a tournament to experiment and try a few things? Kind of not a public practice session, but just an experimental sort of thing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I wouldn't agree with that. I think that every tournament is important tournament. So that's the way I accepted every tournament in my professional career. Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow, so I play every match -- try to play 100%, and try to win every match I play.
I cannot calculate and I cannot experiment. Of course sometimes maybe you should prioritize some bigger events. But, look, you know, we are professionals, and we are here to perform as best as we can.
There is not just a lot of expectations from ourselves and our people that are surrounding us. It's just the tournament and people who come to watch you. You carry certain responsibility when you are Top 5, Top 10 in the world. You cannot just go out there and practice, you know. So that's my opinion.

Q. Just back to tonight's match. Did you expect it to be 6-Love in the decider?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, definitely not (smiling).

Q. What happened?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was, look, as I said, after losing the first set comfortably, I tried to play point-by-point, game-by-game. Try to hold my serve. And I knew that at a certain point he's going to miss couple of first serves, and that was my chance and that was it, you know. The 10th game kind of decided the match.

Q. Did you are detect any loss of spirit though in the third set?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I used it. Couple of points decided the second set. I managed to get the break in the most important moment. Then I got the big confidence boost, and I was basically on the wings.
Then I started hitting the ball and feeling really comfortable.

Q. All those years you worked together and worked with the same coach, you probably know Ivan's game better than anyone on the tour?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, we know each other really well. I'm still young, you know. I didn't play so many years as he did on the tour. But as soon as I got to the professional tour I -- he was one of the people that was introducing me to the game. I was practicing with him for a year, year-and-a-half with his team. We had the same coach.
We were very good friends outside of the court. We lived in the same place and we practiced many times. So, yeah, we know each other's game really well. But even though if he serves like that, I mean, he can be your brother but doesn't matter, you know. You can't get the ball back.
So, yeah, there was no secrets. And I knew that my chances are from the baseline.

Q. So what do you say to somebody you know that well when you've just had a close match until it's 6-Love in the third set? What do you say, just too bad?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I guess that's what I said (smiling). You know, it's hard because one or two points decide a match. That's tennis. That's professional level. Anybody who plays everybody plays well. It's a matter of the momentum, if you're mentally strong to play the right shot at the right time and to position yourself well. I was lucky, you know. Just lucky today.

Q. Do you ever feel sorry for an opponent in that situation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, because, you know, I want to win, so I don't want to lie to you. I just want to win against my opponent, and I feel happy for me.

Q. You have to show that ruthless streak when the opportunity arises?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, exactly.

Q. You've not only proved yourself as a tennis player this week. You also proved yourself as something of a doctor?

Q. With Mr. Tipsarevic's cold remedy?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Did he tell you?

Q. Yeah. What did you say to him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. He shouldn't have revealed the secrets of my knowledge.

Q. So you're a big believer in garlic?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah. In Serbia we tend to heal ourselves in a very natural way. Try not to take all these medications, tablets, and pills. So any kind of food, fruit whatever, something that comes from nature is good.
So garlic doesn't feel good, really when you eat it, and your probably girlfriend doesn't want to spend time next to you. So he told me that the next morning his fiancee now, future wife, when he woke up the night before he had the garlic -- when he woke up next morning he just saw a note, yeah, darling I went to shopping. See you in a couple of days when you clear up your breath (laughing).

Q. What is it about this part of the world that you like and that you find different from any other place you're playing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, this city is very international. People are so kind. It's incredible. I used the opportunity to come here for ten days prior to 2010 Australian Open, the new season, and came here to prepare. I was at the Habtoor Grand Resort just next to the beach and staying there. Met the family and they were very kind to me. So the people are really trying to welcome everybody in the best possible way, trying to attract people.
Every time I come here I see a row of new buildings growing. I don't know from where. They work 24/7. It's a future city, definitely. So much things to do.

Q. Roger lives here. Will you ever think about buying a place here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, I'm scratching my head now because -- well, I still like Belgrade and Monte-Carlo where I spend most of my time.

Q. But it's a training base?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's a training base, exactly. So I'll think about it.

End of FastScripts

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