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August 19, 2011

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/G. Monfils
3-6, 6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you feel that he started out with a lot more confidence obviously winning the first set and then dropped off as the match went on? Did you raise your level? What happened?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think a little bit of both. I think I managed to get into his serve, and as you said, he started after serving and volleying extremely well. I never seen him volley that good. He's not a typical serve and volley player. So it was surprising to see him do that. But it worked for him.
As the match went on, you know, I started playing better on the return games and held my serve quite good.

Q. Roger and Rafa both lost today an center court. After the first set, did it ever cross your mind that you could be No. 3 in the top three going out today?

Q. Your break point percentage was a little less than usual for you, especially this year. Was he doing anything different on those points? Was he serving...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Serving well, and, you know, I had my chances first set; didn't use them. I didn't step in when I needed to in the first set. You know, he's the kind of player that doesn't give you that much chances.
But second set, in the middle of the second set, started playing better. Stepped in when I needed to. It was a very physical match in the end. He struggled I think more physically. But I hung in there, and in the end it was a good win.

Q. You were gesturing a lot on court, especially in the second and third sets. Was that tactic to get more crowd support and fire you up, too?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, it was a match that had a lot of tension, and it's kind of normal to have emotions shown on the court from my side. You know, the crowd was there. Crowd was in the big numbers until the end of the match, so it was nice to see that.

Q. Talk about the way you've been managing matches. You seem to be doing that very well this year.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, you know, the confidence that I have this year helps me a lot, so I believe that I can win any match I play on. This is, I think, something that wins matches for me, you know, that right mindset.

Q. Being the No. 1 player in the world, you've got a huge target on your back obviously. What do you have to change? Like if this was a best-of-five sets and you lost the first two sets or something, being able to come back, how do you adjust to that? You're going to get everybody's best shot.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm not changing anything. I'm winning most of the matches I'm playing. Why should I change anything? I just need to keep working hard.
And I know that the players will have nothing to lose against me in the matches, especially coming to US Open.
Look, this is the position that I always wanted to have, to be No. 1 of the world. I'm doing I think quite well of, you know, accepting the challenge that I have as No. 1 of the world.
I'm always trying to take the positives out of it, you know. I don't want to be worrying if the player will play his best and I won't be able to, you know, hold on with the pressure and everything.
No, really, every time I step on the court it's the same thing, even before I become No. 1.

Q. Midway through the third set, Gaël started talking quite loudly to himself. It almost looked like he was in a trance. I know you're locked in and whatnot, but did you notice that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I did notice. Look, it's his own thing that he's doing on the court, encouraging himself.
I tried to hold my concentration, and I did well.

Q. You have a really good record against Berdych, 6-1. What's the key for to you continue the roll you're on?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Against Berdych? I guess I hope I will be fresh tomorrow on the court. That's something I wish to have, just freshness.
And it's a very fast court where he plays really well this tournament. He won today against Federer quite comfortably. He was hitting the ball extremely well.
He will be aggressive, I'm sure, but, you know, it's another big match. It's a semifinals.

Q. When you beat Roger at the Australian Open this year, he was asked, Is it kind of a change in generations of tennis? What's your opinion now? Do you think your time has come now, your generation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't think that Roger's time has past. I think he's still out there fighting, he's still playing great tennis, and I'm sure he is motivated now to come back to the No. 1 of the world, even though he's losing more matches than he usually does.
And you have Rafa still out there playing finals of all the tournaments. We played so many finals this year. Then it's Murray and Fish who's doing really well.
So I think next to Roger and Rafa and myself, there are more players coming up and being confident on the court. You know, we didn't get to see that maybe in the last couple of years.
Now players believe they can win against top players.

Q. You're 56 and 1 this year, I think. Do you have a sense of how special and unique that is?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is great, but I don't have the right I guess perception of the things that are going on with the run that I have, because I don't try think about it too much.
I try to really keep the simple focus that I always have in my routine. I leave the stats it somebody else. (Smiling.)

Q. This was the most entertaining match today by far. Even though it was such a big fight for you, were you able to enjoy it as well? Was there some fun in the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, sure. I mean, the victory is even bigger when you win a match like this. You know, you just feel proud of yourself, of the effort that you put into if you win an almost three-hour match.
It's great. Of course you would like to do your job as quick as possible. Still, sometimes it's very nice to be a part of great matches like this.

Q. You mentioned Gaël's come to the net a lot was bothering you a little bit. Mardy Fish took you to three sets coming also to the net a lot. Is this still one of the few things that's still bothering you tactically from your opponents?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I wouldn't necessarily say it's bothering me, but there are players who are trying to mix up the game. It's working for them for a while until I find a way to read their tactics.
I think I was doing great in finding the way to win tonight, and against Mardy, even though both matches were quite close.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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