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June 27, 2011

Novak Djokovic


6-3, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was fairly impressive.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thank you. It felt great, especially after the long match that I had against Baghdatis, too. To come out and play as well as I did today is definitely encouraging fact, you know, in the beginning of the second week.

Q. What do you think about the schedule, the way you've been put on Court 1 a couple of times? Potentially world No. 1 at the end of this week, you should be on Centre Court from now on in?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look I don't get into the scheduling. It's not to me to make a decision where I'm going to play. I respect whatever they decide to do. I have no complaints towards that.
I've been playing on both big courts. Court 1 is as beautiful as the Centre Court is, as well.

Q. How would you describe the relationship you have with your next opponent and how well you know his game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Uhm, I have nice words for Bernard, and I think he has a great potential, a great talent. He's showing it right now. He believes that he can win against the top players, and he was doing that very comfortably in last couple of rounds here in Wimbledon. As I understand, he came from qualification, so he has a lot of matches under his belt.
He loves playing on grass. If you analyze his game, he loves playing on the fast surfaces. He just has these flat shots. He doesn't give you a lot of time. You know, he serves really well. He doesn't make many unforced errors.
It's going to be exciting match for both of us, I think. You know, we practice couple of times here in Wimbledon, a couple of times throughout the whole year wherever we are. We're good friends on and off the court.

Q. How did he first come to your attention? How did you know about this young kid?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I've heard about him, that he's very successful in the junior circuit a couple years ago. Then when I saw him play, you know, it was obvious that he's very, very talented. I saw him in Australia, I think, first time two, three years ago when he was playing juniors.
But, you know, now he establish himself already in the professional circuit. So with this quarterfinal in Wimbledon, he shows everybody he has a quality to be here.

Q. You first asked him to hit with you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know who asked who. You know, we speak the same language, so for us is easy to communicate.

Q. The exhibition match January of last year in Melbourne, what do you remember about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah. I remember I lost. Yeah, but, you know, these exhibition matches are not really matches that you can really judge who is in a good shape, who is playing better.
You know, it was just more of a practice match, more of players are trying to try their games, you know, how it works prior to the big slam.
But as I said, you know, we had many opportunities to practice with each other. We know each other's game. Even though he's quite young, he's quite new on the professional circuit, I still feel when I watch him definitely these last couple of matches that he plays with a lot of confidence.
You know, he can be very dangerous because he doesn't have anything to lose really. I mean, he's in quarterfinals, and I'm sure he's going to step into the court willing to win.

Q. He said that when you had a knockup last week you played a couple of sets and you destroyed him. Is that quite right?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I don't know. Look, we don't look at the score that much. It's more kind of playing, testing our strokes, just kind of trying to prepare for the match what is about to come.
We do have lots of fun on the practice, as well. I like practicing with him because, you know, we get to be serious for, let's say, like four or five minutes and then we are having fun for 45 minutes.

Q. If you put Roger and Rafa in the big picture on a sort of a neutral surface, slow hard court, having them both playing at their peaks, who do you think would be better?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I really cannot answer that. I don't know. I don't know. I mean, it's obvious that Rafa is playing his best tennis on the clay and Roger on the grass. So I guess when they had this exhibition match, half grass court, half clay court, it was cool to watch really. I enjoyed it. It was something very interesting.
I had fun watching it. I'm sure they had fun playing. Unfortunately we don't have half halfcourts. Has to be only one surface.

Q. There have been press reports about Pierre and his status as to whether he might still be able to join you here. Have you had any updates on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I've heard that this story came out. I don't understand why it was so serious. There was nothing going on. It was just he couldn't come, you know.
I like having him around, but it was impossible this time. Maybe next time, we'll see.

Q. No way this time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's too late now.

Q. When you speak of the level of the top four guys, how would you describe the level of play that the four of you are at, how formidable as a foursome you guys are right now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was obvious that Nadal and Federer have been the two most dominant players in the circuit for the last, what, five years. And now I think it gets a little bit more interesting in our sport to have Murray and myself and a couple more players, you know, who can challenge those guys in the Grand Slams, in the big events.
You know, considering Roger and Rafa, in my case, I guess for most of the players, they always make you play your best tennis. They make you improve.
So even though it's very difficult to compete with them because they are so consistent and such great players, they are always reaching at least the semifinals of each tournament they play on Grand Slams. They've been winning 90% of the Grand Slams in the last six years.
In order to keep up with them, you really need to work on your game. You know, you need to step out there and believe you can win, because everybody got used to watching Rafa and Roger in the finals, expecting them to play in every tournament finals. But now it's a bit different.
I think it's interesting to see that.

Q. Will you play Davis Cup in Sweden? And what do you think about Robin Soderling's decision not to play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I will play Davis Cup. I am in the team. But for Soderling, I've heard, yes, that he has pulled out. I mean, regardless if he's playing or not, we will come as the strongest team, the team that has won the Davis Cup title last year, because we are aware that we are going away from home.
You know, I wouldn't be surprised if Robin still plays on that match. He's not in the tournament here. He has still chance to be in the team. But we are not looking at their squad. We are just trying to be the best squad we can.

Q. Do you think with the four of you playing as you are at the moment that we've entered a golden era where truly great individuals are reaching their peak together and contesting for the big prizes?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Can you repeat? We're getting philosophical.

Q. The quality of the four seems to be head and shoulders above the rest of the others. Is it potentially something that people will look back as a golden era of tennis?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Nadal and Federer, definitely, because they have had an incredible rivalry, and they have an incredible five, six years of dominance in so many Grand Slams and things they've won. They just made the history of the sport.
Even I have won two Grand Slams and played a couple of finals, as well as Andy Murray, we still have a lot to prove. I don't think we are still in the league of comparing to those two guys and their results.
But, you know, we are still quite young and there's many years to come hopefully.

Q. You grew up watching Pete. How would you compare the three or four of you now with his generation with Andre, Courier, Chang, possibly Becker and Edberg?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, Pete was best player in the world for five, six years in a row. It was kind of his era in last 15 years.
But you had great players I really enjoyed. I think there was many players that were able to challenge Pete, even on this tournament, which he has won so many times in a row.
But, you know, I think the era that we are in right now, I think men's tennis especially is experiencing some good times. Of course, it all depends how you look at it. It was Federer and Nadal winning most of the major tournaments in the last three, four, five years. But now there is more players.
I think for the sport, it's better to have more players, more options, so people can support some more players.

Q. What is your particular superstitions or do you not have any?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I do not have a superstition. I have routines. I would call them routines that I try to respect prior to each match. More or less I don't take a shower in the same shower, for example. I don't do that. But I have a certain timing that I prepare myself for. Just regular stuff. Nothing dependent from.

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