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July 1, 2011

Novak Djokovic


7-6, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to be in the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It feels amazing. You know, when I finished the match I didn't know how to show my emotions. I was really happy. This is one of those moments where you can't describe it with the words.
You remember all your career, all your childhood, everything you worked for, you know, that comes true now.

Q. Is this the proudest day of your career in terms of the combined thing with being No. 1?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's definitely one of the most important achievements and days in my life, in my career. We are all dedicated to this sport hundred percent. When you know you're going to be the best in the world and you're reaching the finals of your favorite tournament, it's something special.

Q. When you're playing in the era of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, how would you describe the difficulty in becoming No. 1 and what that signifies to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's true. That's a good question because both of them are incredibly consistent with their success and so dominant the last couple years. They don't give you a lot of chances to become No. 1.
So I guess you need to lose only one match in seven months to get there (laughter). If you can do that, then well done.

Q. For No. 1 to mean something, do you have to win the final on Sunday to really make it count?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course. It is something that I always dreamed of, you know, when I started playing tennis. I was always trying to visualize myself on Sunday, the last Sunday of Wimbledon. Being in the Wimbledon final it's 'the thing' for me.
It probably will feel great. I definitely will step on the court and try to win.

Q. Have you ever kissed the turf like that before?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I did. But now it felt unbelievable.

Q. How worried were you after losing the third set knowing that Tsonga came back before being two sets down?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, he's a kind of player that feeds from the energy of the crowd. When he's in momentum, he can really be unstoppable at times, you know, hitting serves, from the baseline, especially forehands.
It was a little bit disappointing to lose that third set. But I tried to talk to myself on the changeover between sets and tried to focus and be calm and hold my emotions, not allow him to come back.
And as soon as I made the break on the start, I regained that rhythm and momentum.

Q. Did you realize how the people in your box celebrated once you were the winner?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I haven't seen it. I will watch it.

Q. It's been reported that you had dreams as a boy of being No. 1. Can you share with us was that at practice sessions in the morning? What were those dreams?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think every child has a dream to become something in his life. We live from those dreams. Obviously I had a big support of my family and people around me that allowed me to have the opportunity to reach that dream, you know, to reach the life goal.
Yes, I mean, I started in the mountains. Started in a very small place, and then I continued in Belgrade practicing tennis that wasn't really popular at the times. We were going through some really difficult periods. You know, our country had wars and stuff.
So, you know, it wasn't easy to hold that desire and really believe in yourself. But I always did, and the people close to me did. So, I mean, to reach here, it is something really special.

Q. Did you ever have doubts, maybe Roger and Rafa were too good, too many injuries, maybe I won't make it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There were times in last two, three years where it was really difficult when I was losing most of those important matches at the later stages of the majors against those two guys.
But, look, you know, I've always believed in myself. I have to say there were times when I questioned myself, but I always overcomed it because the belief was so strong.
You know, I knew that if I work hard, if I work on my game to try to improve it, get it to the stage where I feel comfortable to beat those guys. Competing with them, it is really challenging.
But, again, on the other side they make you improve. Because they are so good, you have to come up with your best tennis.

Q. From your comments a few moments ago, it sounds like this trophy is the one right now in your career you want to hold more than any other.

Q. Is that because it's in Europe, the grass, the prestige?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's just the tournament that I watched first. First time I watched tennis or anything related to tennis was Wimbledon tournament when I was four, five. I remember those days. I remember always Wimbledon being 'the one.'

Q. Jo said you played unbelievable today, especially on the defense. Was it your best performance from the beginning of the tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was -- under the circumstances, it was probably the best. From the end of the first set. I was a bit nervous to start the match, but then when I broke him on 5-4, I felt that, you know, it's time for me to step up and earn the victory. I think I played quite well.
You know, he could have easily gone back to the match, you know, because there were games even in the fourth set, 4-2 up, Love-30. It's really difficult to play him because he's unpredictable. Sometimes he comes up with incredible winners and he turns it around.
But I'm happy that I stayed determined after losing the third set.

Q. When you fell to your back at the end of the match, were you thinking to yourself, I'm in the Wimbledon final or, I'm the world No. 1?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was thinking to myself, because he was asking for challenge, that the ball would stay on the line. Otherwise, I would have to go back.

Q. What percentage you assign to winning the Davis Cup to this moment, the importance?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, up to this moment or maybe up to Sunday, it's still Davis Cup that brought me most joy on the tennis court because it's just team. It's a nation thing. It's not something that you won by yourself. It's with a team, with people, and you share it with everybody on the court.
It was just an incredible experience. Playing for the country is much different than playing for yourself.

Q. Can we say that the season you are having in part is because of this result winning the Davis Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Partly, yes.

Q. Is it fair to say that after the incredible start you had to the year, you struggled with your confidence a little bit in this tournament at certain stages?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I wouldn't say it's confidence. Actually confidence was always there. I mean, it's obvious after losing one match in six, seven months, you could expect there will be one tournament where I will have some ups and downs, and this was the one.
I'm happy that I overcome matches against Baghdatis and Tomic, which were really difficult, you know, physically, emotionally. But, look, you know, to get to the finals of a Grand Slam, you cannot expect a player always to win comfortably every match.

Q. What words did you share with Jo at the net there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We were looking at the challenge first. He says, You never know. I said, Okay. I said, I do not, but let's see. He said, Okay, very good. We congratulate each other.

Q. The biggest improvement in your game seems to be on the serve since last year. Was that the missing link that brought you this success?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I mean, definitely serve improved. In some difficult moments I can rely on that stroke in my game, which is very important.
I mean, I'm not reaching the level of Karlovic or something, but still I can use my serve in a good way. I have some variety and am trying to use it.

Q. Some analysts have said that even your slamming of the racquet on the court has improved. You did a really good job the other day.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thank you (smiling).

Q. On a serious note, does that sometimes feel good to vent, let it all out?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It feels good at the moment. But then when you actually do it, you realize where you have done it - on the Centre Court of Wimbledon - and then you question yourself: Was it the really good thing to do?
I'm emotional, so sometimes I do show my good emotions, bad emotions. Try to control it as much as I can, but it's part of me. I can't change myself.

Q. We don't know who your opponent will be next of course. If you could, take each one separately and discuss the potential matchups starting perhaps with Rafa.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: If I get to play Rafa it will be another important match that I play him, you know. This year we have played so many finals and important matches. Obviously even though it's a different surface, you know, I believe I can win against him.
He's been on a winning streak in Wimbledon for last, you know, I don't know, almost 20 matches. He's playing great on grass. He has still a lot of confidence and he knows how it feels like to win a trophy at Wimbledon. Me, I don't know, because I never been there.
But, look, you know, I have really nothing to lose. I will step on the court and be aggressive, you know, try to take it to him, because I don't want him to feel the control of the match.
If I get to play Andy, obviously he's a home favorite. He wants to be in the finals as much as I want it. I am sure that he, above all, wants to get his first Grand Slam title. This would be the perfect place.
I mean, he's been playing great. In last two, three months he, I think, started playing much better than he did in the opening three, four months of the year. We have quite similar styles of the game.
So I guess against both of those guys will be an even match.

Q. The finals in Australia would have hurt him, wouldn't it? I think he's admitted how much that hurt him.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, that's for him to answer really. But, look, he played in couple finals of a Grand Slam, three finals. But, you know, he came back. You have to give him credit for that. It's not easy.
Everybody knows that he can win a Grand Slam, but he didn't. But now he's coming back and he's playing really well on grass under all this pressure that he has here.
I'm sure he has a lot of motivation, so...

Q. Is it true that the first Grand Slam is the hardest one to win?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Probably, yes.

Q. But you and Andy are of a similar age. Have you grown in stature as a player since you won your first Grand Slam?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. I mean, we have developed into professional tennis players of very similar age. We have grown up together playing juniors circuit. Actually, first time we played we were 11 years old, 12 years old, in France. It's very long time ago, you know.
But it's great to see somebody, you know, in your generation doing so well. I mean, we played so many matches throughout last 10 years. But, you know, I know he will make it because he has a great game.

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