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June 21, 2011

Novak Djokovic


6-4, 6-1, 61

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's very early, your first match in the tournament. But this is the first Wimbledon since you were a teenager that people aren't expecting necessarily a Federer/Nadal final. One of the stories of this year is you've played yourself into that rivalry. How do you think about that? You're friends with Rafa. How does that change your approach, if it does?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first of all, I'm very satisfied with the way I started the tournament. Today's performance was great. As you said, the serve was very accurate.
It was quite difficult conditions for both of us because we had to face the strong wind. So I went more for the precision, and I got the returns when I needed to. Really, really happy with the overall performance.
Rafa and Roger are two biggest favorites to win this tournament because of the fact that they've been so dominant the last couple years, especially on the grass courts. They are the only two players who have been winning this tournament for quite some time.
Obviously, there is Andy Murray, who is home favorite. He's playing really well on grass courts, Wimbledon, last couple years.
It's true there is a different approach to this year's Wimbledon from my side because I'm playing, I think, best tennis of my life in the last six months. That's why confidence-wise, you know, I believe in myself much more on the court and I know I can perform well, equally well, on this surface as I do on the other ones.
As you said, it's a bit too early to think about the later stages of the tournament. So I'd like to, you know, take one match at a time.

Q. You only dropped 11 points on serve. Can you ever remember being so dominant on serve in a five-set match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm not great with the stats. But it is definitely one of the, yeah, most dominant matches regarding the serve. Especially on the grass court, you need the serve. You need to have the accuracy, efficiency. You need to get a lot of free points in order to, you know, put a pressure on your opponent.

Q. Were you pleased how quickly you adapted to the win?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's the first match in Wimbledon this year. First official match that I had on grass. So, you know, it took some time to get adjusted.
But all the credit to him for serving the first set the way he did. It was really hard because he had a really high percentage of first serves.
But that break on 4-All was a turning point. I think was crucial. Was important to start off with a set advantage.

Q. How much would you wish that Caroline Wozniacki was here to ask the questions instead of us?

Q. Better questions.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: She's great. We have a lot of fun off court.

Q. Following her question, you have one winning streak.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, it came true, whatever she said.

Q. How do you relax yourself during the Wimbledon tournament? You play golf?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah. You know, as soon as the tournament starts, you're spending most of the time on the courts or, you know, watching tennis on the TV, just trying to save as much energy as you can, try to focus, try to get your body in best possible shape for the upcoming challenges, upcoming matches.
You know, you don't have that much free time. I think what's very nice about this tournament is that you have the opportunity to stay in a house. Most of the players are staying around this area. There's a lot of beautiful nature, beautiful parks. So it's great. Fresh air is really important sometimes to get out of the city.

Q. You looked like you had some strapping on your left knee. Is that just a precaution?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, just a precaution. I have it on every match that I've played this year. I've had the tape on my knee. Since Australia, you know, I have been feeling a little bit uncomfortable. It's nothing serious, but I just want to be cautious about it.

Q. A little while ago you were the focus of all the talk in tennis. Today there's plenty of room to stretch out, not that much focus on you. Talk about this new stage. Do you enjoy having a breather, that not everyone is concentrating on you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's been a best winning streak, the longest that I've had in my career. And it's incredible, the amount of matches I have won in a row. It was definitely surprising for myself, as well.
And, obviously, with the seven titles that I've won in a row, you know, I got more attention. You know, it was easier this year for me to handle things on and off the court because I have gained the necessary experience in past couple years playing on the top level and knowing how to handle myself on the court, how to, you know, be dedicated every single day, and how to handle the attention that you have. It's kind of normal. It comes with the success.
So when this streak ended, you know, in Paris, it was kind of a relief as well because, you know, it's been a very, very successful five, six months for me, but very long as well and exhausting. I've played so many matches. So I needed some time to relax and I'm happy to see that I'm playing well again, you know, that I'm mentally really fresh to have more success.

Q. Tennis is a game of cycles and growth. Inside Novak Djokovic, does he feel that he's ready to win Wimbledon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I need to believe that. I have to be optimist. There is no use of being anything else.

Q. On the night that the streak ended, you went out to have some fun in Paris. You were even tweeting. Do you remember anything about that night? Looked like you were very happy.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it wasn't a relief, as I said. This is sport. You win, you lose, it's normal. Of course, it was disappointing for me to lose my first match this year in the semifinals of Roland Garros in probably the most important match this year.
But look, you know, it had to come sometime. I just needed an hour, hour and a half to really forget about it and move on.
It's normal. We tennis players, we have to get used to losing, as well. Sometimes you have tournaments, big tournaments, week after week. So we really need to refresh.

Q. Do you have any superstitions of any description before you go into a big tournament like this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not anything particular that I can say that I depend from a superstition. I do have my own routines, you know. Usually if I travel, and we mostly travel to the same places and we play the same tournaments, so we get to see the same people, we get to stay at the same hotels or houses. I don't call that any superstition. It's just a routine. If something makes you feel comfortable, then, you know, you have no reason to change it.

Q. You've beaten Rafael Nadal four times in a final this year. I can't remember him losing four finals. How does that affect your interpersonal dynamic with him? When you're in the locker room with him, how does that change?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, you know, we are professionals. Of course, when we step on the court, we want to win. So it is definitely a biggest challenge if you're playing your big rival, someone that is on top of the men's tennis, and especially if he is No. 1 of the world. To be able to win four finals against him was an amazing achievement.
This year actually in Indian Wells was the first time I ever won against him in the finals. You know, I've lost many finals against him before. It all happens. It all changes. Hopefully we can have many more to come.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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