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February 26, 2011

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/R. Federer
6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Last night you said it was catastrophic.

Q. And you turned around and were brilliant. How do you explain that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, well, I guess I raised up to the occasion. I was aware of the challenge that is expecting me on the court, and I was aware of the fact that I need to be on top of my game in order to beat Roger.
So the focus was there. It was different conditions than yesterday, which -- I was just a different player there. I was serving really well, especially the first set, holding my serve except that one game when I got broken, you know, confidently through throughout the whole match.
Just the perfect performance overall.

Q. Was it not difficult to adapt from hotter, faster conditions to what you had tonight?

Q. You didn't get your ass kicked.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. (Laughing.) It was good for me. As I was saying, I was playing here couple years back already day and night, and it wasn't really difficult to get used to it, as you could see.

Q. This was an easier win than last year. You struggled in several of your matches last year.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. Yes, well, I'm a different player in last year. I have a serve. (Laughter.) Last year the serve was not there and I was struggling a lot. I was using a lot of energy.
Now I get to have some free points, which is important.

Q. Without getting too technical, tell us what you've done with the serve.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, you know, it's been a hard work and it's been a long process. Yeah, I been asked a million times about my serve in the last 12 months. Why did you change? I didn't want to change. It just happened like that. I had some trouble with the shoulder, and I just got into the bad habit motion, some different motion than the one that was working for me quite well in 2008 and 2009.
Look, it's behind me. Now I have my serve back, and I've been working really hard. I knew it's all mental. I needed to believe that it's going to come back, and it did.

Q. It if you look back two or three years, are you going into the matches with Federer differently now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, over the years I guess you're getting more experience and you know what to play in the important moments. We know each other so well. We played so many times. I mean, I just know that really couple of points here and there will decide the winner always, and who is mentally calm or stronger focused.
You know, as I was saying, I needed to be on top of my game to win against Roger. Rafa or any top player you play against, you really have to be focused from the start, first to last point, because any time it could turn around.

Q. You talked before the tournament about how you felt like you played every tournament like you did in Australia Australian Open. Is that how felt tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I have this feeling in my head, and it's really important to know for me that I can perform this well. This match has probably been one of the best that I played this year. I want to keep it up, definitely.
I feel physically well, fit, mentally motivated to do even more coming up to Indian Wells and Miami where I haven't done well in the last years. So I really want to work hard and get some good results in the U.S.

Q. What are your thoughts on how Federer played?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He made a lot of unforced errors. It was obvious he wasn't feeling good on the court. You have those days. It's normal. Even for somebody like him who's always playing so well in the later stages of the tournament, it happens.
On the other side, I've played great and made him always play an extra shot, so...

Q. It must give you confidence that you brought out those errors in his game. It was quite uncharacteristic of him to make as many mistakes.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I had to put him out of his comfort zone. That's what I did. I returned well; I served really well; from the baseline I was working the ball well, changing pace of the ball.
I guess that was the reason he made a lot of mistakes.

Q. Apart from playing consistently at this very high level, do you have any other targets?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I want to take one tournament at a time, you know. I've been talking about my goals too many times in the past years, and right now I just want to be playing consistently well. That's all I want.
I want to keep up the good form that I have, being fit, and just taking care of my health and my physical condition. I've done it really well in last two months, and this is the goal basically.
I know that if I feel and play this way, I have a good chance to stay in top 3.

Q. You're going to play Davis Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, that's a question mark now. I'm still under the impression of winning tonight. I will decide in the next two days.

Q. You talk a lot about the mental game. For you to win two in a row against Roger after ending last year as you did against him, what does it mean for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Any time I win against Roger it's a great success, you know, because he's such a great player. He's been No. 1 for so many years, and, you know, won so many titles. So it's a huge challenge any time you play him, especially in the later stages of the tournament.
We all know how mentally strong of a player he is. To be able to win against Roger in straight sets as I did tonight is incredible, but I want to keep on going. I know that I have qualities to do even more, and that's what I want.

Q. You're quite an expressive player, and you look at your group and...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC. ...chat with them.

Q. What were you talking about today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, no, tonight there wasn't that much communication. Sometimes there is a lot. There is too much. I mean, it's not a dialog, it's monologue basically. I'm talking to them and they're looking at me. They say, Okay, what do you expect me to tell you now?
But I guess it's a part of my personality. Everybody is different. I'm very emotional. When I'm winning, I like to have a positive energy; when I'm losing, sometimes I break a racquet. But it's all part of my character. I haven't broken a racquet in a while, and my coach is very happy about it (smiling.)
But, yeah, as I said, sometimes it's frustration; sometimes it's just saying, Come on, let's go. It's these kind of things. It's not a science.

Q. When you were broken early in that second set, you made this kind of motion with your hands. I think that's what he was talking about. What happened there? Did you tighten up?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I felt in one game I just suddenly changed. My groundstrokes got a little bit slower and maybe lost a little bit balance. But I managed to regain my focus in and next two games, and it was all better.

Q. Is there a reason for the change of kit and trainers today? You're in full black and different trainers.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. I'm just trying to help Sergio Tacchini sell the other shirts as well, the black ones. I don't know.

Q. During your previous match between you and Roger, normally if you won the first round then you will won to the end. Do you consider it a coincidence, or...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn't understand about the first round.

Q. First set.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Whoever wins the first set between us wins the match?

Q. Yeah. Do you consider it coincidence or...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm not thinking about that, to be honest. You know, it is advantage if you win the first set, and, you know, getting into the continuation of the match with that advantage.
But still, I don't think -- both of us have been in situations where we were losing first sets and winning the matches, or vice versa, so it's not something I really think of.
Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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