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February 22, 2011

Novak Djokovic


6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Comfortable match for you pretty much.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, but still, I didn't know how I'm going to start the tournament after three weeks of not playing an official match. So I have to say I'm happy with the performance today. I think he didn't serve as well and as fast as our last match in Paris couple months back. But still, I was managing to return a lot of balls back and making him play an extra shot.
In the end, we had a lot of fun. He's considered as one of the funniest guys, jokers on the tour. We made a little entertainment, a little show.

Q. Were you surprised you played so well first match back after Australia?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I was playing well last couple of days in the practices. It was good that I came here five days prior to the first match. So it's good preparation.

Q. He gives you a target sometimes coming forward a lot, doesn't he?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Yeah, I'm working on that. It's not easy after playing 23 years from the baseline you want to step into the court and go to the net a little bit.
But, you know, I'm working on that variety in my game, using the serves well, and I did well today.

Q. Your serve is one of the big improvements. Obviously looked very good today.

Q. How do you feel about the serve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, serve was good. Serve was good. I think maybe a little bit higher first serve percentage would be even better, but I can't complain. I was using the serve quite well.

Q. What's the thinking about playing more doubles this year, your brother today, Murray in Miami?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, with my brother here; Indian Wells I'm playing with Troicki; Miami with Murray. So, you know, next three tournaments I'm playing doubles. One of the reasons playing doubles is to work on the serve and volley game and return.
It's good. It helps. Hopefully I can have fun with it as well. I like playing doubles around.

Q. You still remember your first match after the 2008 Australian Open win?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't remember the first match after. I think it was -- was it in Rotterdam or was it here in Dubai? No, it was in Dubai.

Q. With Davydenko.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah, that's true. Well, I'm a different player since then. I think I'm physically...

Q. Talk about experience in the past three years. You had another big win, so you're more experienced and get your focus back after such a big win. How did that happen?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. As I said, I'm a different player physically and mentally, and I guess more experienced and I know what to do now.
I mean, back in 2008, I was still very young and won a Grand Slam. I was kind of satisfied with that. I had some good results in first couple of months of 2008, but then I had a lot of ups and downs and wasn't managing to hold my emotions really well.
But now I'm physically stronger and I'm really fit, and I don't want to be too happy about the success. Of course it's a great start, Grand Slam title. It's a big win, a big achievement, but I want to move on and play consistently well all year.

Q. What was the difference from today and Paris? What did you feel you did better, perhaps Michael did worse?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, my return. I think my return in matches against serve and volley players -- and Michael is I think one of the rare serve and volley players these days. It's very important to return well and to return as many balls back in the court so you can make him play an extra shot and eventually have a chance to make a passing shot.
I think I made a lot of returns in. That's what made I think the difference.

Q. Just tell us about your brother. How good a player is he, and what do you think he can achieve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, my brother, my older brother that I play here doubles with, I think he's a good player, but he struggled a lot in the last two, three years with injuries and health issues and things like that.
So even here he has trouble with the left wrist, so I don't know if he's going to be able to play backhand today as he does usually, because it's his best shot.
But main purpose for him here and in any professional event he plays on is to period is to learn. You know, to get as much practice, as much experience as he can, and then use it afterwards. It's a huge inspiration for him to see the best players in the world, and motivation.
It's not easy after to go back to the Futures and play, but he knows he can play with the good players equally well. So I think for him, main priority right now is to get fit. He's still not fit. He needs another couple weeks, and then he can slowly start and try to get to the top 100 in the next year and a half or so.

End of FastScripts

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