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February 24, 2011

Novak Djokovic


7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk to us about the beginning of the match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it was very slow start. Quite different condition from last night's match. The ball was going faster today, and he took it to me from the start. Already first game he was on the net, twice, three times. You know, I was not moving my legs well. I was making lost have unforced errors.
But when I needed to play well and needed to keep the ball in the court, I did. Match turned around since the break on 5-4.

Q. You were saying the other day that you thought this court is as fast as most of the them.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yes. This is in my opinion it's one of the fastest courts in tennis, yeah. Hardcourts.

Q. So you perhaps played two during the day and one at night, so there must be a difference.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it is a difference. It's quite a difference, because during the day, especially if it's sunny and hot, the ball - with the dry air - travels through the air very fast. You have to serve well; you have to have a very fast footwork in order to keep the control over the ball.

Q. Now, not wishing to throw this forward, but the final will be played at night. A certain other player has played all his other matches at night. Do you have any thoughts on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (Smiling.) I don't know why that happens, but it's just the scheduling. I'm not the one who's making the schedule. But I've played here a couple years ago already in the night, during the day, so I know how it feels like playing in both conditions.
But, you know, maybe the slower it gets, it's better for my game to have a little bit more time it set up for shots. I like it that way.

Q. What was it about his game early on that gave you some trouble? I heard you talk out there about a backhand slice.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, it's a very unorthodox game, you know. I really could not predict that well the shots that he was playing first eight, nine games. It was my fault as well, because I wasn't moving well.
So I was just kind of just standing and waiting for him to make a mistake. He was playing aggressive; he was coming to the net.
So, yeah, I guess as soon as I started focusing a little bit more on my returns and my baseline play and just keeping the ball into the play, working my points out, building up the point, then it was all better.

Q. Do you think you also changed the match around partly through your body language? You clearly didn't panic. You gave the impression you knew you were going to turn this around.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I had this feeling from the start. I never played Mayer, but I knew that he's a very unusual player who has a very unusual technique, so I needed to be ready to expect anything.
But I wasn't in the start, and then it turned around.

Q. Is that something that when you're 5-3 down that you actually switch on, I've got to move up a gear?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I was saying to myself from 2-1. (Smiling.) It took me a while.

Q. You're playing Berdych tomorrow. Can you talk about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, tough one. He's playing really well in last year and a half. He's a quite consistent player right now. We played in Australia.
It's different conditions, as I said. He has a very powerful serve, very fast baseline strokes, very flat, so I guess I need to be patient and wait for my chances.

Q. Was there a point where you felt -- you know, I mean, because you won 7-5 and then he almost caved. I mean, was there a...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he helped a little bit with his double faults. He made one, two double faults on 5-4; again, two double faults on 6-5. He wasn't serving well, so where I felt I should step in.

Q. Do you sense from the other side of the net that when he makes those mistakes that it's time to pounce?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, tennis is a mental game, and a lot of things depend from a momentum. So if you're able to use the momentum and make your opponent feel that you're on top of him and just feeling good, you have the advantage.

Q. Your family has a tournament in your country. I'm wondering, when you travel to such a nice tournament like in Dubai, did you draw the experience from the tournament in terms of organization and hospitality and use it in your own tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course, of course. I'm a part of that organization as well. Not as much as maybe my uncle who's the tournament director and my company that's organizing everything. There's a lot of people and a lot of work involved. It's not really easy, even though it's a 250 event. It takes a lot of time to make everything ready and to make everybody feel good in our tournament.
It's a very young tournament. It's only third year since we have it. First two years we heard a lot of positive comments from our guests from outside of the country who came. Even the Serbian people were happy, because it's the only ATP event that we ever held in our country in the history of tennis.
So, yes, definitely from the players' perspective mostly I do recognize a lot of things that could be implemented in organization of my tournament and facilities of our tournament.
So I know what players need. You know, we are not really demanding, but we do have some things which we need during the tournament and we want to feel comfortable.
So, yeah, it's my part.

Q. Besides you, who else have you got in the field this year? I remember you talking last year about wanting to get a few more players.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, to be honest, that's something that my uncle and couple more people are taking care about. They are the ones who keep the list of players. To be honest, I really don't know. For this year, I don't know a single player who's going to play, besides me. I know besides me, most likely the Serbian guys Troicki and Tipsarevic, which is really important for our country.
And then we'll try to get some guys from top 15, 20 eventually. We know that most of the players in top 10, it's really difficult to get them.

Q. It's tough time of year, isn't it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, because it's middle of the clay court season and it's a tournament before the 1000 event in Madrid, I think. So most of the top players are going there. So it's tough, tough week.
Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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