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June 29, 2012

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/R. Stepanek
4‑6, 6‑2, 6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  After what happened last night with Rafa, any point where you thought, Oh, no?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, not really.  I was trying to focus from the start of my match.  Obviously I had a lot of chances in the opening set.
But being aware of his qualities and experience, I wasn't too surprised with the way he played in important moments.  He was mentally very composed.
You know, he was out there to win a match.  I was a set down, but managed to make the crucial break in the opening game of the second set, and then I thought I played really well.

Q.  Did you see Rafa's match last night?  What was your reaction to it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, you know, there is not much to say about that match aside of the fact that Rosol played incredible match.  There's not much you can do.  I don't think Rafa played that bad.  You know, just Rosol came up with incredible serves, very aggressive shots.  He was taking his chances.
You know, you have those days when your opponents have really nothing to lose and they're going for all the shots.  So congratulations to him.  It's been an incredible match.  Everybody thought maybe he's going to have some ups and downs probably in the fifth set, but he proved everybody wrong.
That's what happens.  I mean, everybody plays tennis nowadays.  Even though somebody is ranked 100 places lower than you are, on a given day, especially on the grass, if somebody serves that big, anything can happen.

Q.  Did you watch any of it?

Q.  If you were in Rafa's shoes and the roof was closed ‑ he complained about this ‑ how do you feel about the policy that it takes 35, 40 minutes to get squared away again?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's hard to judge because there are rules that have been there for years.  It's not on us to decide if the roof is going to be open or closed.  From a players' perspective, I think it's really important that people from organization and everybody take the opinion of the player very seriously, you know.
It's really hard to say.  I mean, Rafa knew what's best for him.  Obviously it distracted him a little bit because he was playing well in that fourth set.
But that's what happens.  These are the conditions.  You cannot affect the weather.  Today we got to the court, they closed the roof, and then we saw sunshine and clear blue sky.  But the rule is you cannot open the roof when it is closed.  That's what I was said.
I thought I played well under these conditions.  The last two matches I've played under the closed roof.

Q.  Were you surprised the roof was on today?  Do you like playing under the roof?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I've had, as I said, last two matches under the roof.  I thought I played great.
But, look, this is an outdoor tournament, so I think everybody wants to play when the roof is open.
I was a little bit surprised when I saw sunshine that the roof is closed.  But obviously they're relying on the forecast that I don't think is very reliable here.
But okay, you know, it was the whole match.  Was exciting to be playing in a closed roof.

Q.  Obviously you and Rafa have dominated the story of the last four Grand Slams.  Was there a part of you at all that was genuinely shocked by what happened last night and knowing that this Grand Slam could be about to unfold very differently and you can never take dominance for granted?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you cannot take for granted anybody.  You can't underestimate any opponent.  I don't think Rafa did, as well.  He's well aware of the quality of all the players on the tour.
Rosol is a tall player.  He's serving huge.  He had a first‑serve percentage incredibly well.  He's hitting the first shotreally ‑‑ you know, he's going for everything.
It's Grand Slam.  It's Wimbledon.  Everybody wants to come up with their best game, especially when you're playing one of the top players, one of the favorites.  You have nothing to lose.  You're out there on the court and you're going for your shots.
Obviously I was surprised a little bit with his mental strength in these important moments, Rosol, because he doesn't have much experience playing against the top guys in such important stage.
You just can say congratulations.  It can serve as an example for everybody that anything is possible in this sport.  Even though myself, Rafa, Roger, Murray, a couple other players, we've been dominant in a way in Grand Slams, last couple of years later stages of events, and it's expected us to reach the last four.
But tennis is improving.  Everybody plays equally well.

Q.  With Rafa gone, what do you see the impact on the tournament in terms of opening up?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't see anything on my side.  I'm not thinking really about that, to be honest.

Q.  The draw on that side is wide open.  What must a guy like Andy be thinking when he's watching that unfold in front of him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You have to ask him.

Q.  Do you think Andy has a better chance now?  That's what most people think.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It really depends.  I have to repeat myself again:  It's not about four players.  This is a draw of 128 players.  Everybody, especially in the opening rounds of the tournament, has big motivation to make a surprise, to go out there and play their best tennis.
You can't underestimate any opponents.  You have to go slowly.  I'm sure Andy is aware of that.

Q.  What are you going to do for the next couple of days to chill out and relax?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, yes, I've been in this position a couple times in my career.  I'm going to try to use the next couple of days to rest, and then use it also for practice to get ready for next challenge.

Q.  Closing the roof, it seems like it gave an advantage for Rosol.  Nadal thought he played unbelievable.  Do you think closing the roof favored his style of game and that's what made it difficult for Nadal's game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I've answered I think on this question just before where I said that Rafa was feeling confident, played a great fourth set.  That's what happened.  I mean, because of the lights, because of the weather ‑ I'm not really sure; I wasn't there on the court ‑ but it certainly made a difference in the momentum change.  He made a crucial break at the start of the fifth and then served it out.

Q.  How big is the difference about the grass first week and second week?  Do you use the same shoes or do you change?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I have always couple of shoes, I think.  Most of us do.  The grass is changing, that's a fact.  You could see already on the Centre Court we are lacking a bit of grass around the baseline.  That's due to a lot of baseline rallies.  That's something that we got used to I think last couple of years.  It's something we have to face.

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