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March 29, 2012

Novak Djokovic


6‑2, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You had a leg workout a little bit tonight, right?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you could always expect that when you're playing David.  He's like a wall on the court.  Gets a lot of balls back.  Always makes you play an extra shot.
So that's something that I was expecting.  He was more than impressive, especially in his last match against Del Potro.
I needed to play well and aggressive and step into the court from the first point.  That's what I did.
I had a fantastic first set, break up in the second twice, serving for the match, and then in some moments, you know, I allowed him to take control in the rallies and, you know, just waiting for him to make an unforced error, which, you know, he used it wisely and he got back to the match.
Luckily for me, it was decided in tiebreak.

Q.  Is it hard to keep your patience against someone like that, not to get frustrated and want to go for too much?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, we played so many times, you know.  I understand what kind of tactics I need to implement in my game when I play David.
He has long years' experience playing on the tour.  He improved so much playing on hard courts.
The last match we played in Australia was really tough, you know.  First two sets took more than two hours.
Then I prevailed in straight sets, but it's always‑‑ you know, the scoreline doesn't say much, because you have to earn your points against him.

Q.  I think sometimes from the outside, the levels that tennis reaches these days is almost disbelieving for us who watch it all the time.  When you're actually in a match like that, do you sense that the level is so great, that the crowd is right in it, and it's a real show out there?  It's something that's just incredible.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's beautiful about tennis.  It's individual sport.  It always makes you improve and get better on the court.
The competition is bigger nowadays.  I believe there is more players than maybe five, six years ago who are at the top and able to win major events.  You could sense that in a way.
It became so professional, you know, and so intensive.  Everybody is taking care of what they eat, what they do off the court, on the court, the way they practice, how many hours they sleep.
You know, it becomes very, very professional.  You could always expect results and improvements from all the players on the tour.

Q.  You didn't mind the crowd tonight?  They were a bit wild at times.  We can see you signaling to the chair.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's a flash.  That's a flash.  I ask for the flash photography.

Q.  You didn't mind, then?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, no, no.  I don't mind crowd.  Actually, it gets me excited.  Always these night sessions in Miami you can expect that.  And US Open, as well.  There is something special about these night sessions playing in United States.  They always make great entertainment and great show out of the matches.

Q.  So your take on the season so far?  Obviously you won in Melbourne.  Fantastic final there.  Semifinal in Dubai.  Semifinal in Indian Wells.  Now you're at least through to the semifinals here.  How happy are you with your form this season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I'm very happy.  I couldn't ask for a better start in Australia.  Had some time off after that.  Had a very, very decent tournament in Dubai.
Indian Wells I played well.  You know, I just had a better opponent that day who was serving tremendous.
Then coming into Miami, I was confident.  You know, that's how I feel.  I feel that I am playing better and better as the tournament goes on.
I can comfortably say that this has been tonight the best match that I've played in last couple weeks in States.

Q.  So you're not tired?  You'll be ready for Monaco  for the next Masters?  Last year you had to rest after this sort of sequence of tournaments that you won.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Yeah, it was a different schedule.¬† For most of the years, there was a week between Miami and Monte‑Carlo, which was not enough, obviously, if you go all the way in Miami.¬† Last year I made that decision to skip the Monte‑Carlo tournament, which turned out to be a right decision.
But this year I have a week more.  I'm not playing Davis Cup.  You know, I'll be there.  I live there.  I'm looking forward to that event.

Q.  Can you allow yourself any sympathy for David?  He's been to so many semifinals and so many big tournaments including Masters and Grand Slams, but he hasn't punched through.  I mean, as a professional and a rival, do you still admire the guy for what he's done?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I have a tremendous respect for him.  I think all of us, we do, because of his dedication to the sport.  He's a great, great, great guy off the court.  Loves the sport.
He's very determined to improve always, as I was saying before.  He's a great competitor.  You know, he runs for every ball.
You can see ‑‑ it's a little bit frustrating.¬† Before the match you see him, 20 minutes, he's like nonstop running around before going to the court.¬† He's so warmed up, and, you know, he makes you warm up better because you know that in the first point he's going to go for his shots always.
So, yeah, I mean, it's bad luck for him to lose in many semifinals.  Again, he's one of the most consistent players on the tour we have.

Q.  Just curious.  Tennis has changed, so press conferences have changed a little bit.  When you're sitting in here now and people are holding iPads up and people are sitting here taking pictures of you, in the old days it used to be just this.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  In the future somebody else is going to talk instead of me (laughter).
I'm just going to sit here and just smile.

Q.  I'm just wondering when people sit there like that...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I prefer old school, as well.

Q.  So do I.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I can see that.  (Laughter.)

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