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July 2, 2011

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to still be here at this stage of Wimbledon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it feels great. It feels a bit strange to do another press conference before the match. It's usually after the match.
But, you know, I'm excited. I'm excited. It's another day to come before the match starts, and I'm ready, you know. Will work today a little bit on the practice and spend most of the day relaxing and getting ready.

Q. You've achieved some firsts now for you: No. 1, first Wimbledon final. Now you have another that you're going to try to achieve: beating Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam. Can you describe that challenge and how the other ones may have helped you prepare for this one?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it is quite different playing Nadal in a Grand Slam because it's a best-of-five. So physically we all know that he's superior and he's the strongest player around, you know, most prepared.
So I'm ready for long rallies, you know, long points. You know, I need to be physically ready, which I am. I feel fit in this moment, and mentally obviously motivated. It's my first Wimbledon final.
The four times I won against him this year can probably help me in some ways mentally prior to this match.

Q. What have you proven to yourself about the mental side of the game with what you've achieved in this half year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I have always believed that I can, you know, win against the best players in the world in the biggest tournaments. Yeah, I guess I just needed to wait for the time to come, you know. I needed to be patient.
And last couple years has been a great experience for me playing on the top level. I was losing most of the matches against Nadal and Federer in the major events. Now I feel that I can win against those guys in a big matches, big events.
I matured as a player, and I feel that on the court.

Q. Yesterday Andy Murray at the start of the second set had one point which was very crucial that he missed. Seemed to let it affect him for a while. What do you do to make sure if you make one mistake that it's not the start of more?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, it's really unpredictable, I mean, what can happen to you. I mean, Andy Murray is a great player. He's mentally very stable and strong.
But it can happen. I mean, it can happen to anybody because it's a big occasion, it's a top men's tennis level. If you are letting your chance pass by and you have across the net player like Nadal, you know, you're not going to have any chances left.
You know, you just need to stay focused and I guess play each point, not think about, you know, the past, what you have missed. You know, it's just what you can do.

Q. Do you feel able to do that now? Do you think that's something you've put into your game this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yes. You know, serve obviously improved. Against Rafa, if I have any chances of winning tomorrow, I need to serve well and I need to be aggressive. That's the game plan.

Q. You've got the No. 1 ranking. Do you feel you need to beat Rafa in a slam tomorrow just to prove to everyone you are the No. 1?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, I don't need to prove anything to anybody - just to myself. I want to win this trophy. This has been always my dream, you know, to be in the finals of Wimbledon.
So I am very much looking forward to it, very much excited. Look, there is no bigger challenge at this point in our sport than playing in Wimbledon final against Nadal, who has won out of the last three Wimbledons two times.
It's a big match.

Q. Will you be doing anything special to prepare yourself for Sunday?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, nothing special really. I will just stick to the usual routine.

Q. At the beginning of the tournament a lot of the experts and pundits were tipping either Rafa or Roger, talking a lot about Andy Murray, even though you had been the form player of the season so far. Do you feel you've got the respect for what you've achieved so far this season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, I don't give much attention to the speculations. You know, look, it's obvious most of the talks go around Federer and Nadal. They are two best players in this sport for last, you know, five, six years. It's kind of logical to expect that. You know, and then you have Murray, who is home favorite.
But, you know, I just try to keep the attention on my path, you know, my own tournament, my own matches, and then I guess the attention will come if I have more success.

Q. We've been quite carried away in this country about Liam Broady. You have a younger brother playing at a high standard. Have you brought him over just to show him what a Grand Slam is like? Can you talk a little bit about him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. I have two younger brothers. They're playing tennis, as well. Whenever there is an opportunity, if they can come to watch me play live, then they use it, you know.
I love to have them around. I love their support. I understand the role that they're going on now. I understand the feelings that they have. It's the same thing that I've been through.
This can serve them as a great experience. I played with my brother the last five, six days every day, days between the matches with the older brother, so it's great to have them around.

Q. How would you best describe Nadal the player and Nadal the person?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, look, the player and the person, he's a real example of a champion. I mean, everything he does on and off the court is just I think unique. I mean, I'm young. I haven't seen the old greats, how they were playing and behaving.
But the way he's behaving is just an example to all kids, how you should take the success on and off the court. I mean, he's really fair play. He's always down-to-earth, even though he has won 10 Grand Slams, he has won Davis Cup, he has won Olympic gold medal. He has won everything.
I have only nice words about him.

Q. You say he's always fair play. He does have a reputation for slowing the game down, particularly when he's in a difficult situation. What's your take on that? If he does that tomorrow, how will you deal with it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, everybody has its own habits. I mean, I do tend to slow the game down sometimes myself with my ball bouncing and things like that.
It happens, you know. It happens time to time that you have these critical moments in the match, especially when you're feeling nervous. You take a little bit more time. I don't think he does that as a disrespecting to his opponent. It's just something that, you know, he does for himself to try to feel better. That's something that makes him feel better so...
But I don't mind it.

Q. Your reaction yesterday was very expressive. Winning this title, would this mean more to you than anything else you've ever achieved?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes (smiling).

Q. Because it's Wimbledon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, because it's Wimbledon. Yeah, it's just simply something I've dreamed of forever.

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