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November 21, 2011

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/T. Berdych
3‑6, 6‑3, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  That was a big fight out there.  Do you feel maybe it's your best match since winning the US Open?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Was the toughest match probably since the US Open.  I mean, I wasn't very satisfied with my performance tonight.  I know I wasn't playing on top of my game.
But, look, you know, a win is a win in the end.  And I knew that my opponent tonight is unpredictable player who has a powerful groundstrokes and great serve.  If he's on, you know, if he feels the ball well, it's difficult to, you know, compete with him.
That's what happened.  I think he made pressure, a lot of pressure, on my serve, especially the second serve.  He was stepping in.  I went back.  I was too passive.
But, you know, in the end, it was important to stay in the match and use the chances when they're presented.

Q.  How does it feel to be back out there after going the distance after all of your injuries that you've had since New York?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  To be honest, it feels good.  You know, that's something that I'm happy about, is my condition.  I haven't felt any pain in my shoulder.  I've been feeling well on the court.
Obviously, I feel a little bit exhausted, you know, because the match was almost three hours.  It's normal.  But I think I'm physically fit.  And I just need to get some things better in my game for the next challenge.

Q.  Is it the belief, you think, of winning all the matches you've won this season that makes you come through such a tight tussle like that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I was saying before, you need to be on top of your game each match to win.  You have opponents who are top eight in the world.  I might have been a favorite on the paper, but I knew that the chances are more or less the same for both of us to win tonight because I haven't been playing my best in maybe month and a half.
You know, I struggled a little bit with injuries.  I retired a couple of matches.  Didn't get a lot of indoor match play, let's say, you know, before this event.  And it's been a long season.
But, look, maybe this is a good start, you know, to overcome such a test.  Hopefully next match will be better.

Q.  How do you assess the playing conditions?  You are a tennis superstar, now you're a worldwide superstar during the summer.  Did anything really change in your life?  What changed when you became No.1?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, 'conditions,' you mean conditions of the court?

Q.  Yes.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Surface is quite slow, to be honest.  You know, it's basically the same surface that we've been playing here for last three years.  Maybe comparing to Paris, it's quite similar this year.
You know, I've been feeling well and comfortable on this surface.  I'm sure that I can play even better than I did tonight.  But conditions obviously are the same for everybody.
On the other hand my approach hasn't changed ‑ a slight bit ‑ to what I do to my profession.  My team of people is still the same.  We have still the same practice routines and preparations.
Okay, it's evident that let's say the approach from the world of sport is different to me because of the success that I had.  But I think I'm still handling all these things well.  I need to still stay with my both feet on the ground in order to keep doing well.
That's what I want.  I'm a tennis player.  I want to try to win as many majors as I can in the future.

Q.  If you could sum up what's been an incredible season for you and what it would mean for you to win this this week?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It would mean a lot.  It's a crown for all the achievements I had.  It would be a fantastic way to end the best season in my career.
But look, you know, I need to step up a little bit.  I need to raise the level of performance in order to have a chance to go all the way.

Q.  Massive disappointment for Andy today.  He was unwell, not sure if he's going to continue in the tournament.  You've been in that position recently.  Do you sympathize with him?  Also the home crowd as well for him.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, it's bad luck.  I don't know exactly what's his condition, but it's been a long season for everybody.  You know, it's probably take its toll ‑ maybe for him at the wrong moment.  Because I'm sure that everybody wants to see him go all the way here, you know, playing in his home country.  Getting a trophy would be a huge win for him and all the people here.
But this is another example that there is no big favorites.  David Ferrer, Berdych, all these guys, even though they're lower ranked than we are, we all played very close matches.  You cannot underestimate anybody.  That's why this tournament is so important for all of us.

Q.  When you get into a situation like you're facing a match point, as you did at the US Open, and you did tonight, how do you approach that?  Do you feel that you just got to go for it and give it everything?  Do you try to take something off your returns?  What are your views when you're a match point down?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, to be honest, if you're thinking too much about what you should do, you know, you're not going to get the right outcome.
I guess I'm just trying to take that point as any other, obviously stay focused, depending who is on the serve.  You know, at this level, small details and couple of points are deciding a winner, and that was the case tonight.  It could easily have gone the other way for him.  He stepped it in.  Even on the match ball, he was more aggressive, he was going for his shots.  I think I was doing well to stay in the point.  Just tried to get one ball back more than he did.
He made a mistake and I was back in the match.

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