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March 29, 2011

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/V. Troicki
6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Kind of a crazy day, huh?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's been very long day. Well, I guess that's what we expected when we have seen the forecast yesterday.
So, you know, I didn't know what time I'm going to play, and they told me that it's going to be a possible court change. That's what happened.
So I had to be ready for that, and I was. Yeah, very, very, very humid day after the rain and very low pressure, so it wasn't really easy conditions to play in.

Q. You don't seem to have that problem though with the breathing like you once had.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, you know, but you could feel that everybody had a bit slow starts, you know. Just the balls getting very big and it was very slow conditions, so you had to really stay focused and then try to get your job done. Sooner the better.

Q. When you play Viktor Troicki, do you go into a match thinking you've already won a few free points because it seems like you're in his mind, you've affected his mental state?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I guess that's the best question for him, you know, to answer how he feels.
You know, I get to that match like any other match. I try not to think that he's my good friend. You know, that that might affect my performance on the court, you know. We are both professional. We both need to win that match. We both want to win the match.
So that's the only thinking I have.

Q. You will play against Anderson. Do you remember your match here three years ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. It's not a nice memory, definitely.

Q. No, no, sorry for that.
But, you know, I will have an opportunity to get my revenge in the same court where I lost in 2008.
But, you know, he keeps on playing really well on these courts, and you've got to give him credit for that. He beat some very good players. Big serve, very aggressive.
So, you know, tomorrow night we are going to play where conditions are going to be a little bit slower, which I guess is a little bit better for me.

Q. So it feels very far away from you today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's different. I feel much more complete, as a more complete player today. I feel stronger. Just more experience. That's the difference than from the player who was playing here three years ago.

Q. I guess you are now used to playing central courts like stadium. You were playing grandstand. Any difference?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There is difference, yeah. It took me a little bit while to get used to. You can't really see the ball when your opponent is serving, and it's kind of -- a little bit different conditions, different speed of the court. A bit.
So it took me a while. We had a couple of games which were really long, especially the third game of the match. But, you know, once, you know, I found the control and the momentum in the match, I was really -- I was playing quite solid.

Q. Can you talk a bit more about what it's like to play against your best friend? Do you avoid eye contact, or you don't talk about the match before?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, we don't talk about the match afterwards, you know. And before. We talk -- we do communicate. We actually watch together. Before our match, we watched the football match with Serbia, which ended up as a draw. It's terrible. But we watched it together, so we don't have a problem not communicating with each other before the match.
But, of course, just before the match we do get the focus, and we -- you know, obviously everybody goes with their own team and then try to get, you know, try to get concentration for the match.

Q. Indian Wells you beat him at 6-Love and 6-1. You guys have like a joke about the scoreline afterward?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I don't think he would joke around about that. (Laughter.)

Q. I believe you saw Ana afterwards.

Q. What did you say to her? Because obviously that was a devastating result.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I didn't know what was the score, and she told me she had five match points and 5-1, Love-40. I could not believe it.
I felt really sorry for her, because I think she went through a really difficult period in last year and a half, and now she's finally getting the momentum going and finally finding the confidence. I think she's finally playing like the old Ana, you know, in 2008 when she was No. 1.
This was big opportunity for her, obviously, playing against I think right now the best player in the world, Kim. Being able to get to the match points and then not finish off, you know, it's very unfortunate. Very unfortunate.
But hopefully she can recover from that loss and take the best out of it and continue on playing well.

Q. Ana, when you were younger, did you used to play with each other like when you were really young?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, we played, we practice together, we played in a lot of tournaments together. We grew up together playing tennis in Serbia.
And then she went the other way. She went to Switzerland; I went to, you know, Germany to live for practice and kind of split. You know, our ways were different.
But we kind of made the breakthrough to the professional tennis as well more or less the same time. Our families are very good friends, and so we know each other since we were five or six years old.

Q. Back then was there ever a time she could hold her own against you? Was there ever a time back then that she could hold her own against you on the court? When you were really little, could she match you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, we did play a couple of sets against each other. (Smiling.)
I was really eager to beat her.

Q. When was that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: But, no, I don't remember. I remember we were just -- we practiced a couple of times, but we never kind of counted the scores. It was more to, you know, to have some together time on the court, you know, because we always supported each other throughout the careers because we were very good friends. That's about it.

Q. Are you surprised by Andrea Petkovic and her game at this top level?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, she has made a couple of great wins. I mean, she's partly Serbian, as well, which is nice. It's nice to have another Serbian at the later stage of the tournament. Obviously today she played against Jelena, and she made two big wins in a row.
She's a very nice girl, so I wish her all the best continuing through the tournament.

Q. Yesterday she alluded to the fact when she hangs out with you, you're such a nice guy, she feels the need to be funny herself. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. Do you feel like you're an influence?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah, we're just joking around. I don't think I put any pressure on her to be funny. It's more like spontaneous jokes that come up. We have been a couple of times in the dinner in Indian Wells.
She's actually coached by a Serbian guy, so we get a lot of mutual friends. Very, very nice girl. Very outgoing, very smart.

Q. Is she funny, though?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: She is. She's definitely funny. She's one of the people that introduced me to Twitter, actually.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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