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MONTE-CARLO ROLEX MASTERS


April 16, 2010


Novak Djokovic


MONTE CARLO, MONACO

N. DJOKOVIC/D. Nalbandian
6-2, 6-3


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Novak.

Q. Do you speak any Spanish?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I speak Italian, so I understand Spanish (smiling).
I definitely should speak more because, you know, if I played them so much, I should definitely get more Spanish.

Q. Which feeling do you have to be the only non-Spanish here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: If I'm representing the rest of the world, then must be big responsibility (smiling).
But, look, I mean, we all know how successful history of the clay court season they have throughout the years. So it's no surprise if there is so many Spanish in the quarterfinals or semifinals.
They are just specialists. They have this tennis school back in Spain. Throughout the whole country, 90% of the courts are clay courts. They're growing up on this surface. They are very familiar with the style of the game. Physically, they're very fit.
I mean, Nadal, Verdasco, all these guys, are a real example of how you should play on clay. But I'm keeping up with them so far. In the last three, four years that I've been playing on a high level, I think I have been playing quite well on this surface. I think I have a good game, good style. Physically, I just need to be fit to compete with them and be able to win.

Q. You mentioned your serve a lot this week. Were you happy with it today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The start wasn't that great. Generally I think it could be a little bit better. Even though it was a 2-3 win, still the match could have turned the other way around.
He had a couple of breakpoints. I was aware of his quality. So I didn't want to let anything slip out of my hands.
Some service games I was a little bit nervous. He stands very close to the baseline. He steps into the court during the points. He likes to take control, you know, over his opponent. So I try to mix up the serve, and I succeeded when I needed to.

Q. He is a very dangerous opponent. What did you do tactically? Tactically you had a clear mind of the way to play him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He's a very talented player who has been for so many years on the tour. He has one of the cleanest, nicest tennis shots on the tour at this moment. So if the ball gets to him, you know, if he's on time, on balance, then he can beat anyone.
So I try to move him around, get him out of balance. I managed to do that. So he made a lot of unforced errors and made my life a little bit easier.

Q. You arrived here not having played very well before. Are you where you wanted to be now in terms of tennis?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Can you repeat?

Q. When you arrived here, you had not good matches before. Are you pleased with the level you have? Are you where you wanted to be now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: This is one of the best matches I've played in 2010, definitely. I have to be happy with the way things are going for me so far. In the first three matches, I performed the tennis that I wanted to perform. I just need to keep it up.
Clay is the surface that I feel comfortable on. I didn't have a great American season. I lost in Miami very early. But in the other hand, it helped me to get my thoughts together, get a little rest after exhausting Davis Cup, Dubai, Rotterdam, indoor Europe season, and prepare well for clay.
So now I have high expectations on this surface. It's a great start. I can't ask for more.

Q. You say Nalbandian is one of the players you hits the most cleanly. You hit very clean today because you need to do that to move him around. Were you happy with how you were hitting it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was mixing up a lot. As I said, he likes one pace. He likes the ball going straight up to him, clean, and then he can control it really well.
But if you mix it up with a little spin, low balls, short balls, long balls. I was trying to move him all around, not to give him any comfortable zone in the court.

Q. And against a Spanish player, what do you have to do?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I guess chip and charge, serve and volley (laughter).
No, I just need to play my game. I've played against Verdasco, MontaƱes, Nadal, most of the Spanish players, a lot of times. Different surfaces, clay courts. So I know what is the game to play against them.
I need to stay closer to the line, I guess, and be aggressive, but still not too much, because then, you know, I can make a lot of unforced errors. I shouldn't force it too much.

End of FastScripts




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