home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 22, 2010

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/T. Berdych
6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Novak, Tomas said he was very nervous at the start. Is that something you thought about before the match and that you would make a strong start against him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, obviously when you have a first appearance in such a big occasion, big tournament, it's not easy to handle the pressure and expectations, and you could feel that in his game, especially on the start of the match. He made two double-faults in the opening game. To start off with a break for me was very important.
You know, I was trying to focus on my game and do the things that I planned to do tactically with my coach. I think I did well. I couldn't ask for a better start of the tournament.

Q. You say it's such a big stage. Where are the great imitations gone? This is the perfect stage for the imitations, like in Australia? So...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, still I didn't find the right moment. But when the right moment comes, my imitation can come, as well. It doesn't need to be a tennis player, so we'll see.

Q. Because there was a guy who could learn something from you, Maradona, because he made the point in the hand, in football is forbidden, but at the same time you gave back a point in today's match to your opponent.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I wouldn't go there (laughter). It was many years ago. We all remember the hand of God.
But, still, just to have him as a support is incredible honor and pleasure. Actually, I would disagree with you. He cannot learn from me; I can learn from him. He is much older and much more experienced. He's an image that is recognized all over the world. We don't need to spend words about him. He's a big legend.
It's a big pleasure to meet him. After many years, we exchanged some gifts, shirts and racquets, in last two, three years, but never met in person. This was the first time. So he's going to stay throughout the whole tournament. Hopefully he can be my lucky charm.

Q. Is he just here on holiday, just watching?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He's actually doing coaching, you didn't know that, for me (smiling)? We're working on some specifics, like how to play with hands, high balls (laughter).

Q. Do you think we should be surprised that you and Andy and Roger have had such emphatic starts here or not?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yes, it's hard to answer. You know, in my case, I'm really happy that I had a straight-set win in such a tough tournament where every match is important, every set you win is important. We felt that, you know, because of the format last year, even though I made two wins and one loss, because of the set difference, I could not go through to the semifinal.
You have to be really on the top of the game in order to win against those players because these players who are taking part in this tournament are the best players in the world. There is no easy match, easy opponent, whatever. So it's good you have a day between each match so you can work on some stuff, recover, get ready for next challenge.

Q. How easy is it to concentrate on this week when you have the Davis Cup coming up?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, everything but easy. We all know that Davis Cup is very special competition. Playing in a Davis Cup final is the biggest success that my country ever had. Maybe it's a unique opportunity to have Davis Cup final played at home. Maybe we'll never have this opportunity again. We all are looking forward to that.
But I'm managing to control my emotions and my focus towards this tournament in the first place, and then I'll think of Davis Cup when I finish with this tournament.

Q. Today the French team is starting to prepare for the finals. Do you know where are Troicki and Tipsarevic are? Are they preparing for the finals?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm not saying anything. It's a big secret (smiling).
No, they're starting to prepare, as well. They're getting very serious. I think they never played better in their lives. Just for the French team, one notice.

Q. You keep in touch?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course. It's unbelievable. They're feeling the ball incredible. Seeing it like a watermelon. I'm kidding (laughter).

Q. With Maradona, did you speak more about tennis or football or everything?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, everything. We spoke in Italian, which made some exercise for me. He has played so many years in Italy, so he speaks very well. I still have to work on my Spanish.
But tomorrow we spoke about eventually him coming to practice and playing a little bit of tennis and football. So hopefully he's going to come, you know, around 1:00, 2:00, going to show me some skills.

Q. Murray met him as well. Were all the other players keen to meet him in the players lounge, as well?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, he's maybe the best player that ever played football. So, I mean, he's one of the biggest icons of the sport ever. It's normal that we're all excited and kind of nervous in front of him when we speak to him.

Q. Do you remember seeing him play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I was not even better than - not even planned to be born (smiling).

Q. A year ago here you turned up at the O2, but you did seem particularly tired by the end of the season. Is the fact that you have a Davis Cup final next week, does that help reenergize you and give you an extra lift at this time of year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We all are feeling a little bit exhausted mentally or physically in this period of the year after such a long year, so many tournaments played, so many matches on the big stage.
But, you know, there is no excuse. It's the same for everybody, same conditions, same schedule. You know, you have to find energy. You have to find focus to perform as best as you can. This is a good start. You know, this year we are playing Davis Cup final, French and Serbian players have a little bit longer season than anybody else. But, as I said, you know, it's maybe unique opportunity for all of us, so we have to find this little piece of energy there is left and give everything on the court.

Q. One more question on Maradona. You said this is the first time you'd met him, but had some contact with him before.

Q. How did that come about, that contact with him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he loves tennis. He was watching I think Davis Cup final, Argentina/Russia a couple years back. He went to Moscow a couple of times. Whenever he's in around, when he's around, he's very passionate about this support. It's great to see that.
One of the Argentinian journalists told me he likes watching me play. Definitely I sent him a shirt and racquet. He got me a jersey in return with a signature.
That's kind of the connection that we had in the past couple years. But this is the first time we met in person.

Q. What have you done with the shirt?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's at home at the very special place, yeah.

Q. Novak, we remember Robert De Niro cheering for you in New York. Perhaps in the future you are also an actor or is it because you are good in public relations? Explain.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's all planned, you know, whoever comes in the box (laughter).
No, but, you know, these are all people that are just great in their professions. To have them around is exciting. It's a pleasure. Actually, to be honest with you, when you say Maradona in the box today, I didn't know that he's gonna come. He came in the middle of the first set. I got nervous. It's not easy to have them.
But it's great to have their support. It means that, you know, you succeeded in your life, as well. It makes you proud of yourself that such important people in life come to watch you and support you and be there for hours and hours watching your match. So this is definitely a big thing.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297