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February 28, 2010

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/M. Youzhny
7-5, 5-7, 6-3

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I know. It's the serve. I know.

Q. Well done, Novak. You got the job done eventually but it took a heck of a long time, didn't it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, obviously this tournament I don't allow myself to win in straight sets except the first round, you know. Even though when I can finish the job in two sets, I still want to play, you know. Thinking about people who bought tickets and want to stay a bit longer, and I really don't know what's going on (laughing).
But, generally, it took a lot of energy for me. Stopping and playing, and coming back and then again stopping the match last night because of the rain. As I was saying, if we continued last night, I think I had much better chances to get the job done in two sets. I felt really well on the court, hitting the ball, feeling relaxed.
Today I was really nervous before the match, during the match for no reason. You could see my frustrations when I lost the break at 4-All.
But, you know, again, I think more or less a very similar story from the past matches here in this tournament. I am down in the match and basically on the verge of losing the match but still coming back, fighting through. Winning the tournament in any way it's a huge success.
I know what are my holes in the game, let's call it in this way. The disadvantages, the elements in my game that weren't working for me throughout the week. I'm well aware of my serve and everything, you know. It's a very mental game. People don't realize how much tension you have to go through throughout the match, ups and downs, highs and lows. And it's all part of the game. It's not easy.
So I will try to look on the positive side of everything. And I am playing Davis Cup now. And after Indian Wells, Miami, I'm sure with the proper rest and good work, good practices, everything will come to normal.

Q. So what does it mean to successfully defend the title?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it means the whole world to me. Of course there are always people who are saying he can't do it. He can't do it. But I'm playing for myself, and this is another success in my career that I wasn't able to make in the last two years. But now, finally, I did it, and it's a big relief. So in the future I just hope I'll make a couple more of those.

Q. But that's a fact that you've admitted that you've not played your best tennis this whole week and still come out defending the title. Does that give you a big boost for the rest of the season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It does, actually. You know, confidence-wise it's a big boost because I believe in myself, you know. Even when I play bad, I know I have the abilities some -- well, if you want to call it reserve or secret weapons, you know -- running all over the court, trying to fight and play the right shots. Try to look and wait patiently for the chances from my opponent that have been given to me and then use them.
Today was another good example of how much I believe in myself and how much I fight till the end. So I'm really happy that this is one of the advantages in my game, I guess.

Q. How were the conditions, Novak? It was blustery and cool last night, dark. And then today, baking hot and calm.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Very different conditions. I was saying before after my second round against Troicki when I won in three sets. I played my first set in the night, next one in the day, and next two in the night as well. And now half night, half day, very different.
I think this is one of the tournaments where you feel the conditions change most. I think in my opinion, my case, the ball travels so fast during the day, it's incredible. It's like ten times faster than during the night. It's much less control during the day, so it's frustrating. It's frustrating.
But you've got to get used to it, you know. It's not only for me, it's for my opponent the same thing. Just happy to get the win out of this weekend, yeah.

Q. Did that contribute to the alarming miss you had when it was looking like 4-3, and you had that forehand down the line?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, yeah. I was it was a little bit windy and the ball came to my body and surprised me a little bit. It was quite makeable shot. I had the whole court on the right side open and I missed it.
Then he regained the mental control over the match. He broke me and broke back and broke again. You know, a lot of ups and downs in the match. Throughout the whole tournament there were a lot of ups and downs.
When you look at it overall, I think that's what makes you stronger, you know. It's easy when you win straight sets and you say wow I played unbelievable. Everything is working well. But when you're not playing well and then you're winning and finding the way to win against your opponent, I think that's a big event.

Q. You struggled a lot this week with your serve. Have you changed something in your move? Maybe especially when your racquet is down?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah, I know. It has changed. The problem is that there's too many things, and too many people saying a lot of things. It all affects mentally and a lot of side factors. As I said, very mental game.
I'm still trying to get back to the old serve and old move. It takes time I guess, you know. But when you're playing matches day after day and you don't have time one day to really relax and focus on the practice and the serve -- I didn't have time, you know. Every day since Monday I have played a match. So I will try to work until Friday when I have my first Davis Cup match, try to work a little bit more.
I'm sure it's going to come back, you know. It's not a huge problem. It's just mental. It's nothing I didn't change a whole lot.

Q. You spoke about your evolution in your game. What are the other points that you think you're changing over the year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't want to make any radical changes in my game, because I think my game is quite good for the top level.
What I changed lately is some variation in my game, like slice and change of pace which I think I'm doing much better now, and I have more options in the game, of course, net play. You know, I have been working with of course a new member of our team, Todd Martin, on that and it has been working well. I feel well when I step in the court and just use the opportunities to go to the net.
Of course sometimes it's not successful, but most of the times even in the matches you can see the stats, I was quite successful on the net. So that's what I have to use more, you know, in order to save the energy.

Q. You said on court you'd definitely be back. Presumably it could be a hat trick of titles here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I can't make a promise because you never know what's going to happen next year. But the way things stand right now I will ensure if everything goes right with my health I will be back. Because the people here are just fantastic, friendly, and they make me feel and my team so comfortable. We are very relaxed. Of course when you are off court so relaxed and you have an enjoyable time, you perform well on the court.

Q. We are local media of the Emirates. We'd like to give you the new nickname, Dubai-o-vic. What do you think?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Dubai-o-vic, okay. Another one, why not?

Q. I was wondering if you're still involved in the TV project about the life of King Alexander of Serbia?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, unfortunately right now it's no good because I have no time, and the project didn't work out well. So it's suspended for some time. We'll see.
My tennis career is my priority right now. But of course it would be a big honor to play such an important historical person of Serbia.

Q. But you've got a role in Ironman 2? Is it true?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I got offered. But, again, my time, my schedule, so...

End of FastScripts

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