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August 12, 2011

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/G. Monfils
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Novak.

Q. You made it look so easy. Was it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: On this level, it's never easy. You still have to make your points and you still have to make all those winners that I have done tonight.
I mean, I have played the best match of the tournament, no doubt. Everything was going well. I had a difficult game on 2-All to hold my serve. After that, when I made the first break, it was incredible. 9, 10 games in a row.
I'm happy to see my game is progressing each day.

Q. Monfils just said that he thought today it was the best Djokovic he ever played. Do you feel that you were at the top of your game tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think so. I've played really, really, really, really good (smiling). Yeah, I mean, the first couple of games was very close. We both had the long games. After that, you know, I was placing my serve well. I think I wasn't going for the speed as much as I was for placement. I think most of my forehands were winners.
I played really, really fast and tried to constantly put pressure on Gaël because I didn't want to give him any time to get back to the match or to think about what he's going to play.
I mean, overall performance was fantastic, yeah.

Q. It is needless to say how much your game improved and how much you matured as a person. Your results show it. But Novak Djokovic, you became a Serbian pride, an icon, role model for many Serbian people in Serbia, the Serbian community all over the world. How does that make you feel?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Emotional. Thank you for nice words.
Well, to be honest with you, I don't want to sound pretending that I'm not modest or something, but I don't really consider myself a star or something like that. You know, I just consider myself somebody that is very fortunate to do what he likes to do, what he loves to do in his life, to be successful at it, and to be fortunate enough to carry the flag of the country wherever he shows up and plays. Not just myself, but all the tennis players, athletes, from our country, I'm sure you know they are the best and biggest ambassadors of Serbia in the last 10, 15 years.
So, yes, we have the responsibility of representing our country in the best possible way.

Q. You're playing Tsonga next, who has done well against you in the past. What is your feeling about meeting him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, we played in Wimbledon. The last match was very close, very intense, very important for both of us. He's been playing better in last couple of months. I think he increased his level. He's and all-around player. He can play pretty well on all surfaces. He has a big serve. If he serves well, he can beat anybody. He showed that in previous couple of tournaments.
So it's going to be tough one. It's a fast surface. I need to return well and hope that I can get some chances.

Q. Janko earlier in the day said he's jealous of you, but he said it was positive jealousy. You've come off a fun win tonight. How much fun would that be to play him Sunday?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It would be a fun, fun moment for Serbia, for sure. It would be great for both of us. We are great friends off the court, Davis Cup colleagues. We know each other a very long time. I'm really happy to see him playing well, happy to see him winning. He's been struggling a lot with injuries, and that kept him away from the court in last two years.
Now I think he really start to believe in himself. He has the game. He has the game to compete with the best players in the world and win against them. He showed that.
Yeah, there is another match to come for both of us. Hopefully we can have a nice Sunday.

Q. Is there anything special about the Montréal court for you and Janko to feel so confident?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's hard to say. I cannot answer for him.
In my case, I have won this tournament in 2007, so I do have a nice memories from this city and from this tournament. As I was saying on the court, it's really a pleasure to play in front of a packed stadium each match. I mean, the Montréal crowd really shows that they like tennis, they know tennis, and they appreciate what the tennis players do.
I really do look forward every time I come here to play the event.

Q. What did you learn from growing up that you would share with the next generation of superstars that will follow in your footsteps?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There is many things I have been through and have learned. I think I have enough experience. I'm still quite young, but I have a lot of experience that I can transfer to some up-and-coming Serbian tennis players, talents.
I've been practicing a lot with juniors, especially in the off-seasons, wherever I go, not just Serbian juniors, but Americans and French, because I know how much it means for them to play with a top player. I was in that position and I know how much I enjoyed every single moment spent on the court with a top player in tennis.
If I can advise them, if I can help them in any way, yeah, I'm always trying to do that.
THE MODERATOR: Toronto, you can ask your question, please.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: My favorite.

Q. You get energy from your 51 wins this year. Do you know if you'll have enough energy to go through the rest of the season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, there is always energy if there is motivation. There is plenty of motivation and desire to continue on and play well and win matches and win tournaments.
Look, you know, even though I have achieved my two biggest dreams in my tennis career, I'm still 24 and I still want to play tennis as long as I do have this inspiration and motivation in myself.
I'm aware of the fantastic year that I had and a great streak, but I'm not thinking how many matches will I lose, I'm thinking how many matches will I win. As long as it's like that, I think I'm in the right direction.

Q. We've seen that being No. 1 comes with a lot of responsibility. You've seen Rafa and Roger do their things over the years. How do you think your style of No. 1 in the world might turn out?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I never compared myself to any of the players that I compete with, a lot of players in tennis history. I think everybody is different and special on their way because it's individual sport.
It's all new for me. It's my first tournament only that I'm playing as No. 1. I did have a couple of good matches. I'm still getting used to the whole attention that I'm getting. Maybe it's a bit different than before I became No. 1. But my approach hasn't changed to tennis.

Q. Michael Chang and Jim Courier are playing an exhibition here in Toronto. Do you have any memories of the two of them while you were growing up and which players you looked up to as you grew up?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sure, of course, I remember Chang and Courier, Sampras, Agassi, that generation. I was watching them when I was growing up in Serbia. I was admiring what they do. Of course, every player was different. But I always looked up to Pete Sampras. He was my idol.

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