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July 4, 2012

Novak Djokovic


6‑4, 6‑1, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Did you have a problem with your eyes at the start of the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I had a little trouble adjusting, you know, to the sun and to outdoor conditions because I played last three matches indoors.  So it took me a bit of time to get into the rhythm.
But, you know, it was a tricky first set obviously.  It was important for me to get a set lead, and after that I played much better.

Q.  Is it important for you to enjoy yourself?  Do you find it's important to smile and laugh sometimes on court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it is.  It depends on the moment obviously.  You try to focus.  At this level very few points and details decide the winner.  You know, when you're playing at the latter stages of a Grand Slam, the opponents are high‑quality opponents.  You need to be on your best in order to deliver the game that can prevail, you know, in that encounter.
So, you know, I try to focus.  I try to do my job.  Obviously enjoy being there, as well.

Q.  What do you admire most about the play of Roger Federer on grass?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You know, he has a variety, great variety, in his game, I guess.  He uses his serve very well.  He opens up the court.  He uses that slice really well to get the balls to bounce low.  You know, he's very aggressive at times.  He can defend well.
I mean, I guess he's going to say better, but I think that grass courts are suiting his style of game the most, so it's going to be an interesting match.

Q.  What are you feeling right now about that challenge ahead of you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It is a challenge when you play Roger and Rafa or any of the top players.  Roger has been on the top of the men's game for so long.  This is where he won six titles.  You know, he definitely wants to prove himself and to everybody else that he can win it once again.
You know, he was winning very comfortably.  I mean, today he won incredibly fast, in straight sets, so we'll see.  I'm playing well, I believe.  You know, we both have to play at our best in order to get a win.

Q.  It's your 27th meeting with Roger, but your first on grass, I believe.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It is, yes.

Q.  Does that change anything?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, we never played on grass, so we'll see how that is going to turn out.
But, you know, as I said, maybe he uses the grass court better because of that slice.  You know, he has a really smart game for this surface.
But I improved playing on grass in last couple of years.  I mean, I won the title here last year, get to another semifinal this year, so I'm feeling good about this surface, about myself on the court.
I really have nothing to lose.  I'm going to try to win.

Q.  I know you're very much in the Wimbledon moment, but to what extent is it different this year given you have the Olympics coming up just three weeks later?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, my focus mainly is on the semifinals now and on this tournament, obviously Wimbledon being probably the most tournament of them all in our sport.  So I want to do well.  I want to try to win last two matches.  Obviously it's going to be really tough.  I have a great opponent in my next round.
So then, you know, I'll think about Olympics.  But obviously I'm happy that we have Olympic Games on these grass courts here.

Q.  You dreamt of Wimbledon your whole life.  Last year you won.  You've come back to defend.  Talk about the difference between getting that first title and the effort to defend it this year.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, depends how you look at it, really.  I'm not trying to defend my title here; I'm trying to fight for it as every other player who is in last four of the men's side.
So my mindset is very positive.  I obviously felt relief in a way that I won the tournament on the grass.  It was actually the first tournament I ever won on a grass court, which before it wasn't my most successful surface.
But now, as I said, I'm feeling great about myself playing on grass court.
This year I've been playing really well, constantly well, from the start of the tournament, and I hope to continue that way.

Q.  Do you feel you have more confidence this year than during your run last year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I was very confident last year, as well, at this time, losing only one match at that stage.
I am confident equally well this year.

Q.  Has your grass court game changed since last year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's interesting question because I thought I played, you know, the best‑ever Wimbledon last year, and obviously brought me a great result.
This year, knowing that I won the title last year, in the back of my mind obviously gives me a lot of self‑belief on the court.  I do try to be more aggressive a little bit, in the important moments go for my serves and shots.  This is something that is really important for this surface.

Q.  You held the world No.1 ranking for a year.  Does the fact that you could possibly lose the No.1 ranking give the semifinal an extra edge, or that's not a factor for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, look, when you're playing at this stage of a Grand Slam against one of your biggest rivals, there is a lot of things involved, a lot of things on the line.
It's not the first time that I'm playing to win or lose a rankings.  It's not something that I think about too much.  I really just want to focus on the match.

Q.  You're playing very well as the game went on, but it seemed at the start you were a little hesitant with your footwork.  People said you had an eye condition.  Was that the case?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I answered that question before.  It was just the conditions a little bit.  I played only the first match outdoors and three matches indoors.  It took me a little bit of time to adjust to obviously the sun and the wind and everything that goes on.  There was a bit of rain delay, and obviously he's a player who doesn't give you much rhythm.  You know, he changes his pace.  He's very tricky player to play against on grass.
He had some big wins here in Wimbledon, so I was a little bit more nervous at the start.  But I managed to get the rhythm in the right moments.

Q.  Do you think you have a psychological hold over Roger at the moment after some of the big wins you've had six out of the last seven?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, most of our matches that we play against each other are very close.  Very few points decide the winner.  I won two years in a row against him with match points down, so I can't really say I've been winning comfortably those matches.
That's what I expect in the next one, as well.  As I said, we never played on grass, so I think it's going to be interesting for both of us to see what happens.

Q.  How would you describe from your perspective what Roger's place in history is?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I mean, look, the success that he had over, what, the period of seven, eight years says enough.  I mean, he has won the most Grand Slams in history.  He's rated probably as the best player in history.  He has won everything that a tennis player can win and he's coming back for more.
He has a lot of respect from me, from all the players.  There is no question about it.  You know, but we are all rivals, we are all opponents.  You know, I don't think about his history or his success or whatever too much when I'm on the court.  I just want to win that match.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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