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June 28, 2010

Novak Djokovic


7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Novak Djokovic.

Q. You appeared to be breezing your way through that. What happened in the third set?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I lost my focus little bit. I struggled with the stomach discomfort a little bit in that third set. And he got back into the match by breaking me 2-All in the third set. Then it could have gone either way really. If I made that double break in the start of the fourth, maybe I would win easily that fourth set. But, you know, he came back.
That's why he's a big champion, because he never stops, you know, fighting. I didn't know what's gonna happen up to the last moment. I was fortunate enough to get that break at 4-All and then held my serve quite well.

Q. You didn't look well throughout that third set. Would that be fair to say?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah, you know, I wasn't moving well. I wasn't thinking about my game. I was thinking about some other issues. You know, he used the momentum.
But, you know, the positive thing is that I came back. I managed to get my things together and played well when I needed to.

Q. What was the shirt ripping about at the end?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Emotions (smiling).

Q. Could you tell us more about your stomach discomfort in the third set.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, it's just it. You know, it's just the stomach discomfort. I didn't really get a lot of oxygen because I had that. You know, when you don't get a lot of oxygen, your muscles get a bit tired, and you get slower and slower.
I wasn't feeling really great at that third set. But then the doctor helped me out and everything was well in the fourth.

Q. Was it a muscle problem?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, it was just the stomach, yeah.

Q. Is it the heat, you think, that brought it on?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know. Maybe. A lot of side factors, I guess. I just overcomed it and right now I feel good, so that's the important thing.

Q. Lleyton was asked, Could you tell there was anything wrong with him in that third set, and he said, I don't know, he's always got something. What's your reaction to that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Everybody has an opinion. I don't know why the people think that I'm always having something, which is absolutely wrong because I haven't asked for medical or physio timeout for a long time.
I mean, any time I ask, you know, somebody has to say something. So I don't really care. You know, whatever.

Q. Could it have been something you'd eaten? Was it that sort of problem?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It might be. Really, just want to forget about it now and move on.

Q. We don't know yet who your opponent will be. If it is Andy Roddick, what are your observations of the way he's been playing this tournament, and how would you describe your matchup with him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We had some tough and interesting matches throughout these two, three years. I mean, he's probably the biggest serve next to Karlovic and Isner on the tour. He holds the record of the fastest serve. It's his big, big weapon.
Of course, on the grass, if you serve well, you put a lot of pressure on your opponents. Throughout these five, six years, he has lots of success. Played an epic final last year.
He loves grass. He loves Wimbledon. He's definitely one of the players that is able to win the title, even this year if he goes through this match.
I guess the return would be, you know, one of the important elements in my game if I'm wanting to set the right tactics and eventually win.

Q. You obviously are very up on the history of the game. You've even done imitations of the great players in history. When you think about how the game has changed, even in the last 10 years, the demise of the serve-and-volley style, how much do you think the court speed and the weight of the balls has affected that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It did, definitely. You don't get to see a lot of serve-and-volley players these days. Most of the champions, Wimbledon champions, are baseline players.
Roger has some variety there. But then you have Nadal and Hewitt. These players are playing mostly from the baseline.
So the game has changed. It goes to my favor in a way because my game is based, as well, from the back.
But definitely, you know, it has evolved, you know, from last 10, 15 years. 15 years ago you could see Becker, Sampras, all these guys ruling the tennis world with serve and volley. But these days you have so many good returners. Sometimes it's really impossible to go serve and volley because you get a lot of balls back. Game is much faster.

Q. What is the connection between the pace of the courts and the weight of the balls to that phenomenon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's difficult from my side to say and compare to the tennis that was 15 years ago because I'm really young and I haven't played. I haven't played Wimbledon for many years. I've played only five, six times.
From the first time I stepped on the Wimbledon grass, it is the fastest surface in the world in tennis. But from all the opinions and by watching as well on the TV, my opinion is that it got slower. It got much slower than, let's say, 15 years ago.

Q. You've lost to Andy the last three times you played him. Do you find him particularly mentally difficult to play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, he's very difficult to play against. As I said, if he serves well, he can beat anyone on any surface. It's a big weapon that he has, first and second serve. It gives him a lot of comfort. Then he can go for the shots on the return games.
As I said, it puts a lot of pressure on the opponent. So if I play him, I'll have to hold my serves and wait eventually for an opportunity.

Q. Back to the fourth set against Lleyton. When he leveled at 2-All, were you thinking that you were in a bit of trouble there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, you know, he's a big fighter. So I knew even when I was 2-Love up, he's not gonna let it go. Just trying when I lost the break to get my thoughts together, hold my serve and get a chance, because I know I will get one. Eventually I got one at the most important moment, 4-All. He double-faulted it and then I held.
But I'm really happy with my performances so far in Wimbledon. I think I'm getting on the right way and playing the better game than I did in last couple months. Just hope to continue.

Q. How long did it take you to put the US Open incident with Roddick behind you mentally?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, look, we went over it very fast. I mean, what happened happened. There's a lot of emotions involved. I just forget about it. Right now we're getting along just fine.

Q. What do you understand now more this year on the grass from last year or the last several months that's helped your game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The serve, definitely. I haven't been serving well in the last six, seven months. There's a lot of speculations why did I change my motion. I didn't want to change, but it just had -- I just got into that bad habit. Some side factors maybe influenced that a little bit: change of racquet, things like that. Once you get into the habit, it's really hard to get it out of your head.
So I've been working on it. And I think the serve is becoming better and better, which is very encouraging for my game. As soon as my serve goes well, I think I can really challenge anybody.

Q. Was one of the reasons why you changed the service motion was because your shoulder was hurting a bit and you were trying to relieve the pressure?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, yes. Well, it had started I think the end of last year. I was playing really well indoor season. Played so many matches, and got to the point of Masters Cup in London, or ATP Tour Finals, how they call it, where I really had a lack of energy and my shoulder was hurting. It was hard for me to get my shoulder up.
It got unfortunately into that bad habit. Then I tried to adjust with some things in the racquet. But it was wrong. It was all mental.
So it was a fight, a mental fight mostly. But I overcomed it right now. I know it will take a bit longer.

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