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April 14, 2010

Novak Djokovic


6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Novak.

Q. Happy with that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. Straight-set win, I have to be happy about it. There were some moments in the match that were a little bit difficult for me. I was a breakpoint down, 4-2, first set. Managed to come back.
But generally I have to be happy with the game because it's the first clay court match - not including Davis Cup - since Roland Garros last year.
So, you know, still some things can be better, like serve and maybe some movements. But, you know, still adjusting to the surface and conditions.
I am sure it's going to be better tomorrow.

Q. When you say the serve could be better, you tried to go back to your old serve or...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's very confusing. It's complicating. The worst thing you can do is to think about a bunch of different things technically-wise because then you come to the stage where you really don't know what to do, especially in the match when pressure comes up to you, and you start feeling uncomfortable serving. That's what happens.
But I'm just trying to make it as simple as possible. It's not easy. People say it's easy, but it's not. As much as you practice on the court, as much as you work on it, you know, the real thing comes from your head, and that's where you need to break it through.

Q. You try to bend your arm more?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, as I said, technically there are a couple of issues. I'm aware. The important thing is I'm aware of what I do wrong. So right now I will try to work on it.

Q. Is that something you analyzed specifically, sat down with a video recorder, taken the serve apart?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course, you know, yes.
But, as I said, it's a very mental game. On the court, you're by yourself, and you have to face all these problems by yourself. It's not a team sport where you can just have five minutes' rest and somebody can substitute you.
This is a one-on-one game, and there is no excuses. It's either you lose or you win. So you have to face pressures and expectations, especially when you're somebody on top of the game people look up to. So your every move is being watched. So it's not easy to face these problems.
But, you know, you got to work on it. I am aware of that. I have motivation, and I have the desire and will to improve that and get back to the old serve.
It's gonna come sooner or later. But it's a process I guess that needs patience.

Q. The fact you were playing on a court where you have so many good results, does it help?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's all the mental approach to the game. All the surroundings, the ambience, the atmosphere in the court, affects your approach. For the people it might sound funny, but all these things have a big effect on your performance. If you feel comfortable on a certain court, then even when you have a bad day, you can win.

Q. When you say sooner or later you'll get back to your old serving, do you have a time scale on that, how long it's going to take you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, it's too many things that I already think about when the serve is in question. So another question mark over the time, time limit, really, I don't need it. It's not necessary. It would put too much pressure on me.
There are certain stages and days where I'm patient and I really want to have good serve. In doubles a couple days ago, I served well. In the practice, I served well. So this is a true example of the mental toughness that you need to have on the match.
I mean, it's a difficult game because anything can happen. In one point, just something can click in your head and you can start playing worse and worse. So confidence is an easy thing to lose, but very difficult to gain. So you got to work hard.

Q. Is it one of the reasons why you play doubles here? You intend to play some more doubles in order to work on your game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, that's one of the reasons. But it's kind of difficult to take apart into the doubles matches when you have so many singles matches on the tour throughout the year. And especially on the clay court season, you have to play week after week, then save your energy for singles, because this is my priority.
But doubles is actually one of the ways to focus on a certain segment of your game, which is the serve right now.

Q. Do you enjoy it, playing doubles?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I do actually. I would like to play more. But, as I said, singles is my priority, so I have to organize my energy.

Q. What do you need to do better tomorrow?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, Serra is a player who can hit the ball really well, and he can surprise you with some shots, as he did today. So it's kind of the way that you don't know what to expect from him. He's really unpredictable.
On the other hand, Wawrinka is more consistent. I think he's physically more fit and he moves better on the court, feels great on the clay. We had so many long matches, especially the one we had last year here, three sets in the semis. I wouldn't be surprised if we go the distance.
I know I have to work hard for the points. But this is clay. If you want to go all the way through, you have to win against the best players.

Q. You look much better than the last few matches you play. Do you feel much better, too?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I feel good. Physically I have been working hard. As always, I've been dedicating myself for every tournament I play in.
I think Davis Cup that we had against States had an emotional effect. Fortunately, we won. Of course, it was a big win for us. But emotionally I was very exhausted. It had an effect on the American season after that, which was a pity because those two tournaments, especially Miami, are really important for me.
But, you know, life goes on. You have to learn from your mistakes and move on.

End of FastScripts

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