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March 15, 2010

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/P. Kohlschreiber
6-2, 2-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Never a doubt, eh?

Q. Match was never in doubt?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. It was a comfortable win (laughter.)
Everything was well up a set and 2-love, and then I played a bad game on 2-1 with my serve and suddenly he started missing less and I started making a lost of unforced errors.
We lost nine games in a row, which was very frustrating. But, you know, fighting through. It's another win, so I try to look on the positive side, the things that I did well.
It's a fact that I'm not feeling the ball 100%, and I know that, and people who see the match, they know that. Look, it's a sport. You cannot always play your best. Still, considering the last couple of weeks that I had, it's normal that I dropped the level of game a little bit.
But still trying to find the rhythm and manage to feel good on the court. As I said, set and break was great, and then after that, it was -- it was just pulling up the strings to stay in the match.

Q. When you're down a match point, did your coach tell you how to play or think with a match point, or does that come all from your own brain?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the way I was playing from 2-Love, 2-Love down, I don't think you could tell me too much how to play. It was a match with a lot of ups and downs. Love-3 down and break balls, and then I was 4-3 with a serve.
I lost that, and then on love-40 I just played a couple of good points. That's it. He was playing well most of the second and third set. But when I needed to, I did the work, served well, made some good approaches from forehand side.
You know, in those moments, you just try to stay focused and work the things in the best possible way. I mean, you know, it's one or two points. One point in a tight match, I mean, he easily could be the winner of this match; and he would deserve it.
Again, I managed to do it.

Q. On that game where you were down three match points, did you pick up the level of your serve, do you think, or what happened there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think it happened a little bit that I served more efficient and managed to have more aggressivity in the play and take over the control of the point.
I just don't understand why I didn't do that throughout the whole match. I've changed the concept and the tactics for no reason.
It was all my fault, and I put him back into the play. He regained the rhythm, and he was just a point away from the victory. So these things frustrate me a little bit, but what can you do?

Q. Then when you're down Love-40 like that, do you quit worrying so much? Do you just play more freely because you have nothing to lose at that point?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Somehow, yeah.

Q. Have you decided you're going to run for the council again?

Q. Have you decided you're going to run for the players' council again?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I have to think about it. But I really -- you know, I got into the council because Rafa and Roger did, and we all agreed that we want to participate in the decision-making and try to make this sport better for all of us, especially the players, because there are things that we're not happy with.
So far it's going well. I think the people who are in charge of ATP and leadership, they understand the players' needs. It's a process, you know. You can't ask, you know, today for tomorrow. There's a lot of things at stake, you know. You have to consider tournaments' requests, as well.

Q. What do you consider your biggest accomplishments on the council?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think our biggest advantage and accomplishment is that most of the top 10, 15 players are sharing more or less the same opinion. In 90% of questions and tasks, we agree.
This is an improvement. This is something that as far as I know didn't happen for a while, and we should use that and we should be together.
It's individual sport, and everybody has his own thinking and his own requests and directions in career. But if we are managing to keep all those thoughts together and fight our way through, we can accomplish a lot.

Q. When the hat came off, what was that all about?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Hey, it's one of the frustration moments when everything is bothering you. If I could pull my hair off, I would do it in that moment. (Laughing.)
It doesn't surprise me with me anyway.

Q. Apart from the win itself, what other positives do you take out of today's match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Like the first match, I got into both encounters with a lot of focus, and you could see that in the first set against Fish and today against Kohlschreiber.
So I will try to maintain this focus, but I really for next match want to maintain it up to the end and not have any mental breakdowns, you know, in the middle of the match.
Nine games in a row, this is something that I cannot allow anymore to happen.

Q. The other night Pete Sampras did an imitation of Andre. Have you seen that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I haven't seen it. I was planning to go to watch that match. Actually, I was very happy to meet Pete, which is my lifetime idol. I met him for the first time in my life. I've seen him for the first time live just a couple days ago, which was strange, you know, because I've seen most of the guys except him. I've seen him in La Quinta and we had a little chat.
You know, I fulfilled somehow my childhood dreams, you know, because he's the one that gave me a lot of motivation to become a professional player. I've seen him winning the Wimbledon when I was four, five years old.
Because I didn't have anybody playing tennis in my family, I had to do it myself. So he's one of the persons that I admire a lot in the sport, and to be able to meet him was just amazing.

Q. He obviously has a lot of strengths, but what was the one thing that really inspired you? Was it his strokes? His commitment to being No. 1?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Definitely commitment and just mental mindset. Mindset and the way he approaches matches, tournaments. He's just one of the biggest ever that played this game.

Q. Did you have a good conversation? Did you learn anything about him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. You know, when the kid meets an idol -- I surprised myself. I thought, it's not going to be a big deal. I'm on the tour for many years. I'm grown up. But it was incredible, you know.
I mean, you looked up to somebody and you just meet him and shake hands with him, and he tells you you win with your mind and your heart, and that's something that is very true.
I wish one day I can hit with him. He promised me he's going to hit with me, so I'll keep him for the word.

Q. Did you meet at an organized event, or was it just randomly around town?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, he practiced with Federer just before I did in La Quinta. That's how we saw each other.

Q. If you can take anything from Pete's game and put in your own game, what would be it would it be?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Serve, man, serve.

Q. Not the net game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Net as well. Definitely.

Q. Talk about his serve. What, is it from a different planet, or what makes it so special?

Q. Yeah.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I thought my serve. (laughter.)
What makes it so special? Wow. Well, I think a lot of double faults make it very special. No, he's -- let's not get to the biomechanics of the serve too much in details, but I think it was just his mindset.
I mean, his ability and confidence in the right moments. Whenever he needed to serve well, he did, you know. Break ball, 30-All, he always pulled up an ace, a winner.
With a big serve -- his serve was not that fast, but it was so precise, and he gave himself a lot of opportunities for easy next shot.

End of FastScripts

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