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September 3, 2011

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/N. Davydenko
6-3, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Novak.

Q. Was it hard to get into the rhythm against him at first?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I had some ups and downs in my match today. But, okay, look, it's the first test I think I had this tournament, and it was expected. I was aware of his qualities. You know, Davydenko is a great player. You know, he's been around for many years. He knows how to play on this stadium. He knows how to play majors.
He went out there and played his game, very aggressive. I think I was a little too defensive at the start. That's why I was missing balls from the forehand side. But when I needed to adjust, I did. Crucial breaks each set. The third one was better.

Q. You play so well on the big points. Is that something that's come over the last year or so?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It comes with experience. You know, it comes with time. It's not something that you can be born with, you know. It's not a talent. It's just, you know, knowledge, experience playing many matches, knowing what to do at a certain moment.
Of course, your tactics change depending on the player you play against. But more or less, you know, you need to be mentally there, focused. You know, there is not much difference at this stage, at this level.

Q. Are you able or interested in watching much of the men's tennis this week? If so, has anybody jumped out at you as being at an interesting point in their career?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I watch. I watch, definitely. I watch matches on my days off, mostly because I have more time. You know, it's part of my job, I guess, as well. I enjoy it, to be honest. I enjoy watching mostly men's matches. There has been some exciting matches to watch.
But I think more exciting ones are about to come because we're coming into the second week and I think top players are playing against each other, so it's going to be good to see, interesting to see.

Q. Out of what you've seen of the guys you watched, is it what you've expected or is anybody off the charts?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, it's more or less what I expected. To be honest, most of the top players are through.

Q. You practiced with Jack Sock and maybe a little bit this year. What's his potential?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn't see that much of last night's match. You know, he definitely has potential. He has a big serve. He moves around well. He's very talented player.
But it's just what we talked about now: that experience, that's what he needs to play. Andy obviously is a player who has been top 10 for many, many years, and he won majors, he was No. 1 of the world, and he feels at home playing here at center court night session. For Jack it was the first time, so I guess that was the difference.

Q. When you're watching a match, somebody else's match, how much are you taking mental notes, studying, thinking ahead if you play these guys?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: To be honest, I like to think about my next opponent, you know, mostly. But I do watch all the top guys. I watch their matches. You know, I do analyze their games, as well, see how they're playing. You know, mostly that's a job of my coach, to take notes, but I do take mental notes, if you want to call them.

Q. So what mental notes do you have on your next opponent?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I haven't seen him play, to be honest, this tournament. But I know him from before. And he's somebody that has the best year, year and a half of his career. Last year and a half he's been playing well. I think hard courts is his preferred surface.
He's very aggressive. He's moving quite lightly all over the court. He has a pretty big serve, a good forehand, mixing up the pace. He's a tough player. Played quarters in Australia.
Look, now we are in the second week and we are expecting tough matches.

Q. You danced after the match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You liked it?

Q. Does that dance have a name?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, it's not like Petko dance. Petko has already marked her dance. I have to invent a name for mine.

Q. You danced on the Jay Leno show?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's a Serbian dance called Kolo. Have you heard (smiling)?

Q. Did you see the movie Saturday Night Fever and know the songs?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I've seen some. I didn't know what I was doing really. I was just moving all over. But that guy was great. They caught him a couple of times on the TV.

Q. You notice that stuff during a match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, you do. It's so much noise that you kind of sneak peek at the big screen. He had a 'I love New York' shirt. If my coach hears about this, he's being to be, What are you doing on the court?

Q. Last year you played a match where it wasn't a dancing person that caught your eye but people scuffling in the stands.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I remember.

Q. Can you talk about how do the crowds here compare to the other slams, and have you had any experiences this year other than the disgruntled fan asking for something for you since you only played a 90-minute match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, you know, you travel around the world and you meet different kind of people. I guess it all depends where you are for the moment, the match, the day.
But, you know, I try to always bring the positive energy, you know, to the people 'cause I know they paying tickets to come and watch all of us. So you need to give them something in return. Obviously, you're playing your best, playing tennis. But still it's nice to have some interaction with your fans. It's really important. So I'm trying to do that.
But New York crowd, especially in the night matches, is very special. You know, they really get involved. They have a lot of fun. They're very loud. A lot of music in the changeovers. It's different from other Grand Slams. I think every Grand Slam has something special about it. You know, Wimbledon is very quiet, all white. Here it's all about entertainment.
I guess it just depends where you are.

Q. What have you thought of Janko's progress? He's deeper than he's ever been here.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Congratulations to Janko. He's been playing well lately, definitely. I think I noticed the difference in his mental approach. You know, he always had the game. I just think now he believes he can win against top guys, that he can go far in the tournaments, in the Grand Slams.
Now he has a big chance. Playing Ferrero now. So he has a big chance to reach quarters.
He's fit. He was struggling a lot with injuries. He was struggling a lot with injuries. But more with himself I think mentally.
As I said, it was a process for him, learning. And now I think he's playing best tennis of his life.

Q. He said he wasn't nearly as serious about the game as you have been always, but he took a page from your book. Did you ever talk about it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, we did. We talk a lot, you know, because they're my best friends on the tour, one of my best friends in life as well. I spend so much time with Janko, Nenad and Viktor. We've been through some really best moments in our careers, winning Davis Cups. Every time we go to the Davis Cup, we are very much looking forward to that week. So we do spend a lot of time talking, trying to help each other. I think we all do well.

Q. Did you have to shake him up or did he come to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I mean, I don't know exactly who comes to who. We just start the subject, we start talking about it. I share my thoughts, my experiences. They share theirs.
You can always learn. You can always learn regardless who it is. Everybody has a different way in tennis, different lives, different career. So it's important to always be open for suggestions.

Q. This is looking a bit ahead, but I'm wondering in the scope of your goals and ambitions, where is the Olympics, particularly 2012 at Wimbledon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's a big goal. There is still quite a lot of time up to Olympics. But still, you know, I do think about Olympics. I'm really looking forward to it. I had this privilege to be part of the Serbian Olympic team in Beijing, and I had a bronze medal from that competition. It was incredible experience, like nothing else.
Only thing that I'm sad about is that tennis tournament goes only for a week. So we don't get to stay that much. But the whole atmosphere, you know, everything about it, the whole world of sport, not just the sport, the whole world is looking at the Olympic Games for those couple weeks.
Wow, it's just different. You know, you represent your country. You have the national colors. It's beautiful competition.

Q. The fact that this one will be at the All England Club, does that elevate it in your mind?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it helps. It helps that I won Wimbledon this year is definitely helping for Olympics.

Q. Around this complex, Roger and Rafael Nadal have their own store, Andy Roddick has a huge picture over the Lacoste store. You're not quite as visible despite being the No. 1 player. Do you care about that at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think I have to talk with my sponsors about it (smiling).
But, look, you know, I care mostly about obviously the game, to win on the court, and everything else I leave to the people who are responsible for that.

Q. You're the most popular player this year. More popularity means more trouble. Do you feel the same way as that saying says?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I would just add, you know, depends how you accept it. Again, depends how you use your experience being around the tour and how to handle this popularity.
Of course, there is a lot of temptations. There is everyday situations that you can easily get carried away by those. But it's important to keep the things very simple. That's what I do.
I know that with success there's a lot of attention, obviously.

Q. Did you learn some of that? Did you watch how Roger and Rafa behaved?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, sure, sure. They are great examples. I mean, as I said, I've always been very open to learn. I know that I can improve as a player, as a person each day of my life. It's important to always accept the advice, accept the suggestions. Roger and Rafa are big champions on and off the court, so they're great examples to, you know, me as well for the situation where I'm in now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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