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March 30, 2012

Novak Djokovic


6‑0, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  A strange match.  Is it difficult to keep your concentration when a guy is playing as poorly as he did in the first set?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think I did really well coming into the match.  As I did yesterday in the quarterfinals, I started very strong, just going for the shots, being very aggressive, then I just wasn't able to close it out.  It was a very similar match to the one against Ferrer.
I think, you know, with all the credit, you know, to him for staying in the match, fighting and coming back.¬† I mean, I still think ‑‑ you know, I gave him points.¬† I made so many unforced errors that I got him back to the match.
But it was exciting match I think for us to play and for the crowd.  It was semifinals.  It was never going to be easy.  I didn't expect an easy match and just happy to be through.

Q.  Was it important for you to avoid the third set, considering Andy Murray didn't have to play today?  Was that important to get off the court quick?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No.  I mean, I wasn't thinking about that, really.  You know, you always want to win in straight sets.  That's something that is normal.
But I wasn't thinking about my opponent in the finals.

Q.  Ferrer and Monaco did a little bit of the same game.  Which one was harder for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's, you know, similar styles of game from both players but still can't compare, you know, to both matches.
I think, you know, Monaco maybe goes for his shots a little bit more.  Just depends on the momentum, you know.  In both matches my tactics was to be very aggressive and, you know, know what to do on the court and just take the ball early.

Q.¬† Can you discuss the 26‑shot rally in the tiebreak, how important that was and what happened?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, there were a couple of points that went very long, long exchanges.
But as I said, you know, I think I wasn't aggressive enough.¬† Some moments in the second set when I was 5‑3 and 5‑4‑up, maybe I needed to step in and go, you know, go for the shots but I didn't.
He got the momentum going.  He felt well on the court.  He started hitting the ball, so it was a very close second set.

Q.  Do you recall that point in particular in the tiebreaker, the 26...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, I can't recall.  There was a couple of them.

Q.  Can you talk about facing Andy Murray on Sunday and the fact that he didn't play today?  Do you think that will affect him one way or the other, or what do you expect from Sunday?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, Andy is a top player, I mean, for many years already.  He deserves to be up there.  He's very consistent with his results.
Over the years he's been top 4 and playing a couple of Grand Slam finals and winning, you know, many tournaments and major tournaments, you know.
So we all know his talent, his potential, and quality.  He's dangerous on any surface.  Obviously here we played finals in 2009.  I lost in straight sets.  He likes the conditions.  He likes to play in the heat, as well, and has a good serve.
So we kind of play similar, as well.  You know, we grew up together.  We know each other really well.  We have been rivals since and good friends off the court.
It's going to be a good match.  I don't think it's going to affect him that much that he hasn't played today, but we'll see.  We'll see what happens.

Q.  At times you are so confident that you accommodate yourself a little bit and step up when it's really needed.  You were always a guy that gave so little break.  How do you feel at this new time in your career?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, in the important moments today I still felt that I should have done a bit more.
But look, you know, it was a straight‑set win.¬† In the tiebreak I stayed calm and focused and closed it out when I needed to.

Q.  (In Spanish.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† You caught me wrong‑footed here.¬† Different language.
Tournament of Monaco, you're talking about?

Q.  Yes.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, right now my concentration and focus is here in the finals.  I really hope I can get another title, and then I'll start thinking about Monaco.  I haven't played that tournament last year.
I consider it a home tournament because I live there.  I spend a lot of time in Monaco  I'm looking forward to it this year.

Q.  I think he's talking about Juan Monaco.

Q.  He's asking how you felt about Monaco's tournament.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Sorry.  I've gotta work on my Spanish.
Yeah, he had a good week.  He had some big wins:  Roddick, Fish, Monfils.  They're all top players.  He won comfortably.  Against Fish he was impressive on the court.
As I said, even though I was the favorite in the match, I could not underestimate him.  I went in very focused and, you know, knowing what to do to take the match and get to the finals, and that's what I did.
He had a good week.  I wish him all the best.

Q.  Your first serve percentage today was kind of low.  I was wondering if that was frustrating.  Is that something you're gonna work on?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, yeah.  I think throughout the whole week it was quite all right, actually.  It was very good against Ferrer.
Today it was not good.  But aside that, I think everything was working well for me.  You know, I'll work on my serve a bit tomorrow.  I'm sure I'm gonna get better next match.

Q.  Are you at all concerned that you had a bit of a letdown in the second set, the kind you can't afford against some of the better players?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I can't afford against anybody.  As you could see, it could have been easily third set.
Yesterday, today again was very similar, as I said.  Second set I was serving for both matches.  I couldn't close it out.
But okay.  I'm in the finals, and that's a positive fact.  I'll try in the finals not to have that letdown.

Q.¬† Do you see any difference ‑I know it's a short time ‑in Andy, physically or mentally with his game, since he's been working with Ivan?¬† Or too soon to tell?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think time is gonna tell, but, you know, semifinals of Australia and couple of finals, win in Brisbane, so he had a great start of the year, a very good one.
I think you could feel a little bit, little change, a good change in his game.  I think he's going for his forehand more than he used to.
I don't know if that's an influence of Ivan Lendl, but it's definitely, you know, great to see such a legend of the sport being part of somebody's team and helping him out.  So time will tell if that's gonna pay off.

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